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Cybercrime is no longer just a business, it’s a self-sustained economy. Imagine virtual, hyper-connected marketplaces across the globe exchanging data in the form of payment cards, account logins, and intellectual property for intangible and frequently untraceable “cryptocash”. Originally coined by Dr. McGuire, the economic era of “platform criminality” is an evil twin to platform capitalism, empowering individuals with data and tools to carry out illicit hacks on their own. So far, the weapons of war have arrived as pre-packaged malware, hackers-on-demand, and ransomware; but what does the future hold? Take a peek into the emerging universe of cybercrime and let’s brainstorm how you can keep your university worlds apart.

Selling cybercrime

As highlighted in Bromium’s cybercrime study, the industry paradigm has shifted from committing crime to selling it. Shopping for malicious software?

Take your pick:

  • Zero-day Adobe exploit = $30,000.
  • Zero-day iOS exploit = $250,000
  • Malware exploit kits = $200-$600 per exploit
  • Blackhole exploit kits = $700 for a month’s leasing/ $1,500 for a year
  • Custom spyware = $200
  • Month of SMS spoofing = $20
  • Hacker-for-hire = $200 for a small hack.

To simplify the process for novices, cybercriminal sites also provide reviews, technical support, and descriptions, along with convenient payment methods facilitated through cryptocurrencies. Buying a hack has never been easier.

Thriving in wartime economy

When it comes to understanding the new-age “Web of Profit” that cybercrime operates from, we must erase the old heuristic of disorganized, hooded hackers laden in suspiciously black outfits. Today’s cybercriminals are housed in dedicated production zones, whether that be “troll factories in Russia, the Hackerville fraud villages in Romania, or mass marketing scam centres in West Africa”. Furthermore, they have access to state-of-the-art technology, specialized tools, and supervision. However, what’s most alarming is the devised career development programs, where budding cybercriminals can develop their resumes/CV’s, apply online, and train to become expert hackers.

Pulling back the arrow

Enough doom and gloom. By now, you must be wondering how you can keep your university out of the crosshairs of modern cybercrime.

Looking at the big picture, the change begins with a shift in mindset. Instead of focusing on detection, we must prioritize prevention. By protecting the areas that are most vulnerable on campus, we can stop platform criminality right in its tracks. In other words, you have to pull back the arrow to launch it forward.

Work with the Arrow team and allow us to do the heavy lifting. To get started, set up an appointment with us here:

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