Typical activities of organised criminal gangs in cyberspace are essentially an expansion of their physical crimes. Organised criminals primarily became involved with hacking because it made it easier to facilitate money laundering; they needed to move money around as efficiently as possible without being tracked. They also expanded their activities into reliable and low risk methods of stealing money; credit card thefts and fraud can certainly be attributed to organised cybercrime gangs. As it became obvious that computer crime would be a steady and reliable source of profit, these organised criminals developed their computer expertise by hiring and developing already skilled hackers.
This report highlights a worrying development as does a recent article that highlighted that the Clop ransomware gang had not stopped at threatening hacked companies and contacting journalists, but had taken the additional step of directly emailing victims’ customers, whose details had been found in stolen data, encouraging recipients to apply pressure on the organisation being extorted to pay up otherwise their personal data would be published.
Ransom demands continue to increase. Collectively, gangs in the Cartel generated hundreds of millions of dollars from ransomware and data extortion operations.