news-logoThe Dark Web – the scary under belly of the Internet, is known to have been the source of most of the major security breaches of the past few years. Any place where large numbers of the most gifted coders in the world, some with less than altruistic beliefs, can meet regularly is bound to produce those sorts of results. New reports indicate that criminal, ‘malware-as-a-service’ is becoming one of the fastest growing industries on the Dark Web.

McAfee Security released a report detailing the sources of potential threats of the future. An estimated 200+ new malware programs are released every minute. These come in a variety of forms, with some running vicious keyloggers, aimed at unearthing passwords as well as bank details, and other more benign ones using a portion of CPU usage for bitcoin mining.

In Russia alone, the malware creation industry has an estimated worth of over $2 billion. For now, the Russian authorities are willing to turn a blind eye to the antics of the hackers involved, as very few Russian organizations have been targeted.

Even though cyber-security and threat avoidance is growing to deal with the new threats from the Dark Web, the reality is that the threats are constantly evolving. One particular new development is ‘spear-phishing.’ Phishing has always been the basic form of security breach; it’s effective because it attacks the weakest link in the system, the human one. However, spear-phishing takes this a step further and so instead of targeting all individuals in the hope of catching one or two, it targets specific individuals. By doing this, those who are believed to be the most susceptible to phishing attacks, for example the technophobe, who never updates his antivirus, can become the focus of a very convincing attack.

So the war rages on, malware has taken a huge leap forward thanks to the over-the-counter services available on the Dark Web.

Steven R. Kleffman
Advanced Technology Center, Inc.