Cybercriminal Sophistication: Using Automation for Attacks

Automation is something that businesses in almost every sector are familiar with, especially in making their operations more efficient. It’s something that the cybersecurity industry in particular is increasingly sophisticating in to make data safer and more accessible to the right people.

But as cybersecurity teams are putting more efforts into automation, so are hackers who conduct cyberattacks. And with hackers attacking a network system every 39 seconds in the U.S., this is something that should be a major focus for IT teams looking to protect against a Cyber crime.

To better protect against the effects of automation in the hands of hackers, cybersecurity teams should understand the different ways it’s being developed and used.

Data Breaches and Sale of Databases

In most cases regarding data breaches and cyberattacks, those distributing the database won’t sell its contents altogether. Instead, hackers will use automation to pick out the most valuable data, such as email addresses, payment card data, passwords, and other personal information, before selling for a profit.

Loaders and Cryptors

These allow threat actors to deliver malicious payloads, bypassing antivirus products however possible. Low-level attackers don’t have the expertise and resources to deliver malware or ransomware to their victims, so authors of malicious software are automating this process in advance. This allows attackers to install the malware without any more input. Sometimes they’re able to make small changes with a simple user interface.

Brute Force Attacks

These are some of the most common means of threat actors automating cyberattacks today. Using a list of stolen or commonly used passwords, it’s entirely possible for hackers to fully automate breaking into different accounts, with an automated password tool doing the work for them to gain access.

Banking Injects

Widely available on dark web sites, banking injects are modules that are usually grouped within banking trojans that inject HTML code into processes to redirect users from real banking sites to fake ones in order to steal details. The tools used during this kind of automated attack provide users with an automated kit they can use to steal high dollar amounts with little effort.

Spam and Phishing

Email spam is a classic and go-to choice for hackers as it is the simplest cybercrime to operate. It involves attackers indiscriminately using automated software to generate email addresses and send out low-level cybercrimes, such as fake gift vouchers and get rich quick schemes. This takes very little effort to set up and has proven to be successful for decades.

Spear phishing attacks are slightly more complex due to the use of social engineering and have more complex attack techniques. But these attacks are still possible to automate large areas with the use of templates and frameworks that can easily be found on the dark web.

While not every cybercrime can be protected against or avoided, IT teams can do their best to be aware of what they’re up against. Having enough know-how and knowledge of what they face on a daily basis is the first step toward limiting risks.

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