The usual suspects?

By Rebecca Bole on August 14, 2014

The Who’s Who in global cyber crime makes interesting reading. And they are not necessarily the usual suspects.

The latest headline-grabbing data breach – that of allegedly more than 1 billion records – was believed to have been perpetrated by a Russian criminal gang, using the latest sophisticated malware.

No surprise there, then.

Russia and some of its closest Eastern European neighbours (Ukraine, Romania) are the most prolific hackers on earth. And a reticence from President Putin’s government to hand these criminals to overseas authorities, has nurtured a booming business in the country.

But cyber crime is a global business – and it’s booming thanks to emerging armies of IT experts and readily available malware on the internet.

So, I wondered which other countries might be nipping at Russia’s heels to take the top spot in global cyber crime?

An article in Time magazine last week listed the top 5 territories for perpetrating cyber crime.

Russia (criminal gangs) and China (mainly government activity) take the top two spots on the podium. The rest of the list makes for an interesting read…

Brazil came third in the line-up, with a rapidly emerging cyber crime underground. According to the Time article, Brazil is currently only nibbling away at local businesses. But how long will that last, when there are much tastier meals to be devoured in larger economies?

Nigeria – once the King of Spam – has evolved its criminal activity into hacking. The Nigerian government is trying to crack down on such activity and is driving some criminals into neighbouring African nations.

The final territory on the list is Vietnam, where the IT industry has expanded very rapidly in recent years. With a deep pool of tech expertise, it’s no wonder some otherwise ‘white market’ workers are tempted to the dark side.

So, as information security professionals, where should you be looking to block potential cyber crimes against your customers?  The answer is: Everywhere.

The very nature of the internet and global tech communications means that every nation in the world has the potential to get onto that ‘hallowed’ list of Top Cyber Criminals.

Look out behind you…

Rebecca Bole is EVP & Editor-in-Chief at Advisen. She has nearly 20 years of experience in the international insurance markets, both as an underwriter and a journalist. Contact Rebecca at [email protected].