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Nation States Are Using Cyber Crime Groups to Carry Attacks: States Blackberry Threat Report 2021

 

Nation-states are employing cybercriminals for hacking activities to perpetrate assaults in order to conceal their own presence. An e-security report by BlackBerry researchers indicates that the advent of advanced cybercrime – as – a – service schemes means that nations have the potential to cooperate more and more with organizations that can render attacks for them. 

Researchers at BlackBerry stated that Nation-state hacker organizations no longer have to do their work: they may recruit criminal cartels to break targets - with the extra advantage, analysts claim, that it really is difficult to monitor the attack back on them. 

Such cyber-criminal activity provides malicious hacking activities such as phishing, ransomware, or network violations and is compensated for their activities when information or access remains open to the nation-state that requested the operation. It also comes with the additional advantage that, since cybercriminals who use their own technology and tactics to carry out the attack, it is hard to reconnect the action with the state which had requested the operation. 

"The emergence, sophistication, and anonymity of crimeware-as-a-service means that nation-states can mask their efforts behind third-party contractors and an almost impenetrable wall of plausible deniability," warns the Blackberry 2021 Threat Report. 

Researchers are pointing out how advanced cyber-criminal campaigns have grown to the existence of extensive hacking operations, such as Bahamut. Bahamut used phishing, social engineering, malicious applications, modified malware, and zero-day attacks, originally defined by BlackBerry last year – and had been doing this for several years until it was discovered. 

Researchers note that Bahamut works with multiple consumers, who have an eye for work openings that give it more money—and some nation-states have the most money to spend on campaigning when it comes to funding—these are all just too diverse profiles and geographical areas of their victims to match their priorities with a single bad actor's interests. 

"Threat actor identification can be challenging for threat researchers due to several factors, such as overlapping infrastructure, disparate targeting, and unusual tactics. This is especially true when only part of a campaign is outsourced," said the report. 

Although networks can be difficult to defend against specific cyber-attacks, it is possible that companies apply cyber protection practices to help them keep out intrusions, such as having remote access for those who need them and always monitoring the network for unauthorized behaviors which are deemed suspicious.