Growing professionalism in cybercrime

There’s a reason the security market is so “hot” right now, and that’s mostly due to the quickly evolving threat landscape. While the bad guys continue to produce sophisticated tools and use tactics to compromise organizations - and in most cases profit off of their actions - new start-ups continue to crop up offering state-of-the-art technology that security and risk departments can add to their arsenal.

But believe it or not, it’s not only the good guys that look for a little protection, even cybercriminals need a way to ensure their actions are protected. When it comes to cybercrime the notion of “honor among thieves” doesn’t exist. That’s why one service was created to ensure that there is some sense of honor when conducting business in the cyber underground. Enter Ripper.cc; a reputation service that protects cybercriminals from swindlers that may try and pull a fast one on them.

Cybercrime makes it really easy to rip people off, so online criminals are easily cheating one another, says Rick Holland, vice president of strategy at Digital Shadows. While this may seem like somewhat of a Robin Hood-esque type of scenario that could serve as a kind of bad karma payback, it actually results in even more cybercrime.

“Ultimately when criminals get ripped off, they need to acquire more machines that they’re going to own and more data, so they’re going after the consumers and the enterprises to make up for the losses that they get against the rippers,” Holland told Infosec Insider in a recent video interview.

A lot of the consumer-facing businesses need to keep an eye on how attackers are conducting their activity to know how to protect their people. By having a view on what they’re doing, security managers can inform the business strategically at a high level, and also understand what they need to do for their security program.

In this full-length video interview with Holland, he discusses the impact that services like Ripper.cc are having on the threat landscape, how the professionalism surrounding cybercrime has grown recently, and what security professionals can do to prepare.


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