Cybercrime in 2021


The most recent HP Threat Insights Report was recently released, and highlights a disturbingly large increase in cybercrime activity. In particular, the report shows that between 2020 and 2021, there was a 65% increase in the use of hacking tools that had been downloaded from filesharing websites and other, underground hacker forums.

Based on the increasing number of these underground forums that cater to cybercriminals, and the collaboration between the hackers themselves, cybercrime is clearly becoming more organized. The research also noted that the hacking tools currently available are increasingly capable. Some are even able to solve CAPTCHA challenges (the security tools that websites often use as a form of authentication) by using optical character recognition tools to solve the authentication questions.

Other important findings in the report include:

• 75% of the malware detected was delivered through regular email, and web-based downloads were accounted for the remaining 25%.

• The most common email phishing lures were disguised as invoices and business transactions (49%), while 15% were replies to intercepted email threads. Between 2020 and 2021, phishing lures that mention COVID-19 dropped by 77%.

• Email attachments are still used to hide malware, with archive files (29%), spreadsheets (23%), documents (19%), and executable files (19%) being the most common ones.

• Cyber criminals are beginning to utilize unusual archive file types – such as JAR (Java Archive files) – to avoid detection and scanning tools.

• Although lower than in 2020, the report found 34% of malware captured was previously unknown.

As cybercrime techniques are getting more sophisticated and more organized, cybercriminals are increasingly able to operate alone – without the need to rely on a team of hackers in order to commit their crimes.

Working with a reliable, experienced managed network service provider like Capital Business Systems can mitigate potential losses stemming from a data breach or other network issue.

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