FBI Sting Reveals How Organized “Cyber” Gangs Really Are

The FBI recently released some interesting findings about online crime that confirms what we suspected all along.  That the criminals involved are business-like, coordinated and cooperative, and operating just like businesses that are out to turn a profit.  A number of sting operations have uncovered the various roles individuals play within a criminal organization, down to specific titles and duties.

For example, Coders write malware.  Hackers actively search for vulnerabilities to exploit.  Fraudsters create and deploy social engineering schemes.  Hosters provide safe content servers and sites.  Techies maintain the infrastructure.  Leaders are the managers who keep the team together.

Although the FBI report is written from a heavily US perspective, it can be gleaned and extrapolated from this report that these organized and efficient gangs continue to steal public and private sector information for the purpose of undermining the stability of all of our governments, or weakening our economic and military independance.  This threat can be an existential threat, meaning it can challenge any country’s very existence, or significantly alter a nation’s potential.

Undercover FBI agents who became trusted members of criminal organizations found that self-reliance is rare.  Almost every criminal on a team is a member of at least one online forum, website or chat room.  They use these virtual meeting places to discuss techniques, share tools, tips, and evaluate other users.

The rise of Mafia-like cyber crime syndicates