Cyber Alert: Growth of Cyber Crime-as-a- Service

Learn why you should worry about CCaaS (Cyber Crime-as-a-Service) and what you can do to protect your business from highly organized and sophisticated criminal elements.
Cyber Crime-as-a- Service
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Cyber crime in 2021 raked in a staggering $6 trillion globally! That amount, according to Cybersecurity Almanac, is equivalent to, virtually, the 3rd largest nation-state economy after the US and China. Cybercrime has risen to a level where it represents the most significant transfer of economic wealth in history. No thanks to CCaaS – the fastest-growing criminal industry.

What started as a few highly-skilled hackers in a tiny corner of the dark web has quickly evolved into a large-scale outsourcing business. Cyber Crime-as-a-Service or CCaaS is described as a highly organized and commercialized skill trade where cybercriminals, malware developers, and other threat actors sell their cybercrime services to their “customers”. 

How does CCaaS work?

CCaaS operators have ganged up with like-minded organized criminal syndicates to leverage their services or platform in exchange for a fee or profit-sharing. This criminal partnership has reached a level of complexity and sophistication as the organizations they target.

With CCaaS, a customer with criminal intent does not need to have any technical knowledge or coding skills to launch an attack. The CCaaS vendor performs all the groundwork to launch a successful cyberattack for a fee.

CCaaS vendors are dangerous elements organized like legitimate businesses. The public should beware that CCaaS employs highly capable developers and engineers to manage the technical aspects of their toxic product. They go as far as hiring tech support representatives to resolve queries. A typical CCaaS service offering includes money-laundering services for stolen payments and bulletproof hosting to help customers evade law enforcement if their services or hardware have been discovered to be behind an attack.

 

Should you worry about CCaaS?

Virtually anyone with malicious intent can attack your business and customers for a small monthly fee. So yes, you should be worried. CCaaS customers have access to phishing templates, hosting services for scam websites, tools for credential theft for as little as $50.  CCaaS low barrier to entry makes it easy for criminals to perpetrate malware and ransomware attacks at scale, including –

  • Engage in cyber extortion
  • Launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks
  • Send phishing emails
  • Install keyloggers on victims’ devices
  • Steal money from digital currency wallets, bank ATMs, etc.

 

MaaS – Malware-as-a-Service

According to Infosec Magazine, MaaS alone has grown into a booming $20 billion business in 2021 for cybercrime organizations. MaaS targets large enterprises with critical or sensitive assets – which is known in the industry as “big game hunting.” MaaS offers access to botnets that distribute malware through a ‘pay-and-use’ model. Think of it as adopting the ‘software as a service’ for non-technical cyber criminals.

RaaS – Ransomware-as-a-Service

RaaS is the creation of ransomware software for cybercriminals, who then target victims and deploy the ransomware. Once the cybercriminals collect their ransom, they pay a royalty back to the original creator. Security Boulevard describes the operation where criminal ‘helpdesks’ and ‘end user support’ services collect royalties by negotiating the ransom demand and providing the victim with assistance in purchasing bitcoins or other popular cryptocurrencies to pay the ransom.

 

How should you respond?

The reality is, no one is spared from cyber-attacks. Cybercrime-as-a-service threats will most likely intensify and there is no magic bullet that can stop it. However, businesses could be well prepared to mitigate attacks with CIRS or Cybersecurity Incident Response Service – an in-depth approach to cyber defense that’s beyond skills and technology and provides the following:

  1. Readiness and Protection

A reputable CIRS can demonstrate a clear plan for preparing, responding and insuring against incidents. By connecting the business with the right insurance carriers, the CIRS provider should be able to clear the pathway to a swift recovery. 

Completing readiness assessments in the underwriting process is just one of the more helpful features of a comprehensive CIRS service offering. An ongoing security posture monitoring data delivered to both brokers and carriers could be included in the service level agreement for good measure. This is to determine premiums and coverage levels during policy renewal.

  1. Successful Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance

By laying out the organization’s unique vulnerabilities, CIRS can enforce and establish the technology, practices, policies, and procedures to secure the infrastructure and its applications. Managed security services and risk management interface, provide CIRS an in-depth visibility of security controls, events, and levels of service. With radical transparency of the entire ecosystem, businesses will easily meet compliance requirements and immediately resolve any issues.

  1. Post-Incident And Long-Term Recovery

CIRS provides ongoing training and Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services to ensure the attacker doesn’t regain entry. It may also assist with strategic planning to improve the overall security posture. The bottomline is, a capable CIRS provider should be able to support your reputational recovery needs and solve security gaps in the long-term.

Focus time, money, and effort on what really matters

Let’s build success together. 

More to explore

Experiencing a security breach?

Get immediate assistance from our security operations center! Take the following recommended actions NOW while we get on the case:

RECOMMENDED IMMEDIATE NEXT ACTIONS

  1. Determine which systems were impacted and immediately isolate them. Take the network offline at the switch level or physically unplug the systems from the wired or wireless network.
  2. Immediately take backups offline to preserve them. Scan backups with anti-virus and malware tools to ensure they’re not infected
  3. Initiate an immediate password reset on affected user accounts with new passwords that are no less than 14 characters in length. Do this for Senior Management accounts as well.

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