Classifying Cyber Attackers and their motivational Quotients ~ Blog, PC Care 247 Tech Support Redefined

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Classifying Cyber Attackers and their motivational Quotients

Different organizations tend to have their own way of specifying cyber threats. But then again, as it would be the case according to the renowned IT organizations there are just five broad categories of cyber attacks and each one of them have their own and distinct; although sometimes overlapping methods and objectives. Those popularly being:

-      Pulling off Financial cons and scams
Online SecurityThe first amongst the objectives; it often ends up involving criminals – highly organized and well-funded; using technology as a tool for stealing money and other assets. This stolen information at times is used for extorting a ransom from the target organization in question.

-       Spying
In the present era, the valuable intellectual property of an organization comprises of corporate electronic communications and files as well as traditional R&D outputs. With the theft of IP considered as a persistent threat and the victims not even knowing what has happened – right till the point until someone knocks off the products suddenly appearing in the market, or the patent based on R&D gets registered by another organization. Well, as it would go the crimes in such a case may be either carried out by commercial competitors or state intelligence services seeking to use IP for either R&D or gain high-end business intelligence.

-        Conflict between nations or Warfare
With tensions every now and then escalating amongst nations; critical national infrastructure (CNI) such as power, telecoms and financial systems is always a plum target. The Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear establishment is a good example.

-         Unleashing Terror Campaigns
With the threat often overlapping with warfare attacks are undertaken by (possibly state-backed) terrorist groups again targeting either state or private assets, in some instances often targeting establishments such as CNI.

-          Activism
Again as an ideology, it may end up overlapping some other categories, but then as it goes attacks are undertaken by supporters of an idealistic cause – as in the recent times by supporters of the Wiki Leaks site. And as it goes organizations need to anticipate such threats by thinking how activists might view the impact of particular actions taken by them on their personal interests.

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