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Inside jobs: A greater threat than you might think

News > Inside jobs: A greater threat than you might think

Inside jobs: A greater threat than you might think

 

Last year, cybersecurity expert Brian Kreb reported on the rise in "targeted attacks" facilitated by forums on the Dark Web: "These bid-and-ask forums match crooks who are looking for access to specific data, resources or systems within major corporations with hired muscle who are up to the task or who already have access to those resources."

A source told Krebs that it wasn't just hackers talking to each other: "I even saw bids regarding names of people who could serve as insiders. Lists of people who might be susceptible to being recruited or extorted."

Today, that threat is growing as insiders seek out hackers. Avivah Litan of Gartner recently warned: "Disgruntled employees working at companies across many sectors, such as financial services, pharma, retail, tech, and government, are gladly selling their services to the bad guys in order to inflict harm on their employers. Seeking harm and revenge on employers is a bigger incentive for insider threats than is stealing money from employers, according to our clients."

But wait, it gets worse. A sophisticated Trojan discovered in July, nicknamed Delilah, blackmails people into sharing sensitive employer data: "Diskin Advanced Technologies (DAT) reports that the bot is delivered to victims via downloads from multiple popular adult and gaming sites. Once installed the hidden bot gathers enough personal information from the victim so that the individual can later be manipulated or extorted. This includes information on the victim's family and workplace. The bot comes with a social engineering plugin that connects to webcam operations so that the victim can be filmed without his or her knowledge."

At the time of that report Delilah was not available for purchase, as many forms of malware are. But it's only a matter of time.

Also looming, according to Ars Technica, are inexpensive gadgets that can compromise a PC in lock-screen mode: "The hack works by plugging a flash-sized minicomputer into an unattended computer that's logged in but currently locked. In about 20 seconds, the USB device will obtain the username and password hash used to log into the computer."

Aside from keeping employees happy, what can companies do? The first step is establishing protocols for quickly and cleanly cutting network access for people who leave, whether voluntarily or not. This includes whatever access they may have through mobile devices. If the device is company-owned, you should be able to shut it off remotely. (This is also useful if the device is lost or stolen.)

But the greater threat is an employee who stays in place and shares data or login credentials with outsiders. Even at small companies, access to all data should be restricted only to those who need it. Shared servers should be partitioned.

As the insider threat rises, security software providers are introducing systems that can monitor networks for tell-tale activity. If you're interested in any of these precautions, we can help you find the solution that's right for you. Contact us today.