mi2g Intelligence Unit, the U.K. digital risk assessment and security company, has some very sobering news regarding hacking trends:
- The phenomenon of Islamic hacking for political purposes did not exist in any significant measure prior to the 9/11 events in 2001, save India-Pakistan and Israel-Palestine localised cyber skirmishes. International Islamic hacking accelerated throughout 2002 as did global criminal syndicate activity on the internet to reach a new crescendo immediately after the start of war with Iraq in March 2003. The last one year has seen further increases. The targets have included assets belonging to the US, UK, Australia and other coalition partners on the one hand and within the domestic environments of Russia, Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Malaysia and Kuwait on the other.
There is mounting evidence that politically motivated hackers from amongst Islamic countries are collaborating with each other and with criminal syndicates from Russia, Latin America and China. They are devising and implementing new strategies for carrying out simultaneous attacks; subtle reconnaissance and surveillance missions including identity theft; organised crime activities to raise funds through phishing scams, spam and malware proliferation; as well as mount globally noticeable yet untraceable distributed denial of service (DDoS) business interruptions against publicly quoted household name corporations within the financial services, information technology and consumer goods sectors.
….”Although the economic damage appears large in absolute terms, when it is divided by the installed base of online computers worldwide which has reached one billion machines, the damage number is modest and does not cross a few hundred dollars per unit,” said DK Matai, Chairman, mi2g. “The collaboration between radical groups and criminal syndicates is particularly significant because they both feed of each others’ agenda to create short term opportunities by benefiting from injuring public confidence, creating misfortune for individuals and corporations as well as accelerating local and global destabilisation forces.”
The combination of politically-motivated Islamic hackers teaming with criminal groups would seem to touch upon virtually every kind of danger imaginable.