Trends in Cyber Crime: A Look at the First Half of 2014

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  • Who (actor): Identity unknown (83 percent)
  • Targeted (target): Customers/clients (19 percent)
  • What happened (effect): Financial loss (31 percent)
  • How they did it (practice): Malware (50 percent)

This year has also seen widespread discussion about cyber crime related to a variety of digital currencies. In the financials sector, Bitcoin and related currencies were six of the top 10 most discussed industry targets – and 10 of the top 25. Bitcoin and Mt. Gox were not only the top two targets in terms of digital currency, they were the top two most discussed industry targets for all of the financials sector (at 18 percent and 15 percent respectively).

The variety of malware targeting these currencies has exploded over the past six months, in part due to the fact that traditional defenses that have been honed by larger financial institutions over the past decade to fight cyber crime are largely absent when it comes to digital currencies, which in essence forces the holders of currency like Bitcoin into being their own bank.


While security pros need clear insight into their organizations vulnerabilities, internal analysis alone is not enough. Outward examination - such as who is attacking other members of your business sector with what kind of attack and how it is impacting them - is a critical component of an effective cybersecurity approach. Unfortunately, oftentimes, we spend too much time looking at only a small piece of the puzzle.

A new report recently published by SurfWatch Labs, "Trends in Cybercrime: A Social Look at the First Half 2014," aggregates and standardizes cyber crime-related data from the first six months of the year into cyber business intelligence that provides some interesting insights. The standardized cyber data, known as CyberFacts, provide instant understanding of who (Actor) did what to whom (Target), what happened (Effect), and how they did it (Practice). By harnessing the collective power of all this information that exists outside an organization’s walls – from security researcher and infosec blogger discussions to news outlets, social media, vulnerability and security data feeds and more – it’s possible to extrapolate cybersecurity trends across various industries.

Here’s a top-line look at what SurfWatch Labs found in the first half of 2014 for the six most active industries.

Jason Polancich, founder and chief architect, SurfWatch Labs, is a serial entrepreneur focused on solving complex Internet security and cyber-defense problems, with more than 20 years of experience as an intelligence analyst, software engineer, systems architect and corporate executive. Prior to founding SurfWatch Labs, Mr. Polancich co-founded Novii Design, which assisted the U.S. intelligence community and Department of Defense in building some of the largest data warehouse and analysis systems ever put into operation within the government and defense contracting sectors.


Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

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