Motivated cybercriminals seek new ways to disrupt, make money, spy

By Erin Ayers on August 13, 2018

Predictions that Iran would become a major cybersecurity threat have come to fruition according to the latest cyber threat report from Accenture, which found that cybercriminals are constantly seeking “new ways to disrupt operations, make money or spy on their targets.”

“The threats posed by Android malware and ransomware developed in Iran and used by actors located in Iran are growing and expanding beyond levels seen prior to the past year. It is not just threat actors located in Iran … threat actors and threat groups across the globe are broadening their attack scope,” said Accenture in its report. The firm noted that attacks have expanded to include third- and fourth-party supply chain partners, connected devices, and industrial Internet of Things technologies not designed with security in mind.

“The convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) is opening doors to adversaries to disrupt operations, deploy crypto-mining malware, or to conduct deep-seated espionage operations,” Accenture warned.

Access to supply chains offers attackers an avenue to the true targets, the report pointed out. Critical infrastructure also represents a high-value target for nation-states.’

Nation-state cyber espionage activity has an impact on private-sector organizations as well. In asking chief information security officers (CISOs) about their concerns, 71 percent told Accenture that cyberattacks represent “bit of a black box; we do not quite know how or when they will affect our organization.”

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eayers@advisen.com'

Erin is an editor at Advisen. She has 15 years of journalism experience. Prior to Advisen, Erin covered property-casualty insurance for 13 years as editor-in-chief of The Standard, New England’s Insurance Weekly. Erin is based in Boston, Mass. Contact Erin at eayers@advisen.com.