British multinational BAE Systems, a defense, security and aerospace solutions company has revealed that it is subject to at least two “serious and persistent” cyberattacks every week.
BAE Systems has revealed that hackers backed by foreign governments target the British multinational firm over a 100 times every year, in attempts to steal its secrets.
Beyond the more serious threats, BAE has also revealed that it faces “many more” attacks by cybercriminals who are not nearly as sophisticated or organized by their more serious counterparts, according to the Telegraph. Head of BAE’s Applied Intelligence business, Kevin Taylor, revealed:
Behind every cyber attack is a real human with motivations and ways of operating. Understanding the threats such as what motivates them and how they work is one of the best ways of defending against them.
The UK-based company is currently vying to be among the big players in the cyberspace security sector, vying to bag both commercial and governmental contracts. The annual results of BAE systems recently revealed that its cyber and intelligence division alone posted annual sales of $2.61 billion, laying claim to the rapid growth of the cybersecurity industry.
Chief executive Ian King played an important role in getting the company into diversifying into the cyberspace security realm, noted:
[The cybersecurity division] is well placed to generate attractive returns…as commercial adjacencies of cyber and commercial electronics continue to grow.
The company’s head of cyber threat intelligence, Dr. Adrian Nish contends that cybercriminals have “professionalized” in recent times, leading to what he calls as the “industrialization of cyber crime.”
Nish adds that cybercriminals have now evolved to running various schemes and malicious endeavors including running support scams, developing their own software that is complete with service agreements and money-back guarantees. They also come with the promise of a replacement, if detected.
BAE identified six types of cybercriminals, each one with their own motivations and intentions to indulge in cyberespionage and/or malicious hacking.
- Mules – Money launderers who may not even realize they’re facilitating cyber crime.
- Professionals – Career cyber criminals.
- Nation State Actors – Cyberespionage spies with sophisticated skillsets.
- Activists – Those who hack for a cause.
- Getaways – Hackers who are far too young to be prosecuted and usually get away during their first offence with a slap on the wrist.
- Insiders – Those who knowingly or unknowingly help hackers or threat actors with insider information. They routinely fall prey to phishing schemes, as an example.
Image credit: Wikimedia.