Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Cybercrime drives a Ferrari

“Ferrari gives you a special feeling.” We don’t need Fernando Alonso telling us, we can imagine how amazing must be driving one of the Cavallino Rampante’s cars.

In fact, the leader of an eastern European cybercrime scheme has offered a brand new Ferrari for the hacker who gets more profits from their illicit activities within his organization, according to the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3). It is a way to motivate them to find new scams and carry out more effective cyber attacks.

It is clear that cybercriminals have no shortage of incentives to spend hours looking for the most profitable way of taking advantage of their skills. For example, some of them are increasingly attacking the Point Of Sale (POS) systems of different retailers. In many cases, such systems are poorly protected. Therefore, infecting them is a very effective way to get the buyers’ payment card data.

Also Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are more and more common. In fact, earlier this month, two high-capacity servers from two different DDoS protection services providers were hijacked. Precisely they were used to carry out a DDoS attack against an online games website. Hunter becomes the hunted.

The link shortening service Bitly also knows how it feels suffering a cyberattack. A few days ago, its users’ credentials were compromised. That forced Bitly to ask them to change their passwords. But practice makes perfect. Now they have said they will implement two factor authentication.

All these cyberthreats represent major challenges for small organizations. For instance, the U.S. Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has announced that it will implement new vulnerability and risk-mitigation assessment in order to strengthen small banks’ strategies, which have scarcity of resources to invest in cybersecurity.

It also seems that the Estonian government should rethink the security of its electronic voting system. According to a research conducted by experts, such system suffers many weaknesses that could be easily exploited by hackers to change the course of elections. Especially if their boss promises them a Ferrari. Looks like a pretty small price to manipulate some elections, right?


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