Illusive Blog December 13, 2015

Is It Easy for Cyber Criminals to Get Away From The Law?

By The Illusive Networks team

cyber_criminalsBusinesses of all size have their hands full with the 80 to 90 million cyber attacks that are launched every year. However, with 70% of these attacks going undetected, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that most cyber crime goes unpunished.

Cyber criminals are making off with $400 to $500 billion in profits every year, leaving you to wonder why exactly attackers are getting away without being brought to justice.

The simple answer is that cyber criminals are innovating at a far quicker pace than security professionals can keep up with, according to the Cisco 2015 Mid-Year Report.

Cyber criminals have plenty of tricks up their sleeves for evading cyber defenses, and the only way to cut down on these injustices is for businesses and governmental agencies to implement more proactive cyber security measures.

How Exactly are Attackers Slipping Through Legal Control?

Cyber criminals are ruthless—they’re persistent, sophisticated and entirely capable of outsmarting your network of cyber security applications.

There are a number of evasion tools and strategies in the arsenals of skilled attackers that you’ll need to understand if you want to detect and catch these criminals.

Be on the lookout for 3 ways attackers can avoid being caught by you and the legal system:

Proxy Chaining

Cyber criminals are just like you and me: their activity is identified by an IP header. But if that’s the case, why can’t we catch them?

One way that attackers mask their IP address is by using proxy chains. Rather than directly attacking a network, cyber criminals compromise a system of proxy machines, routing their traffic through these computers to create a lengthy list of IP addresses in use.

They can take advantage of limited legal jurisdiction by routing traffic through countries such as Russia and Sweden to make it almost impossible to subpoena the necessary evidence for a court case.

Organizations like the FBI simply don’t have the resources or jurisdiction to track down every IP address for each cyber attack.

Anonymous Web Networks

Another way that cyber criminals can mask their identity is by routing traffic through anonymous web networks like Tor.

Tor can be used to launch the command and control communications necessary to remotely navigate an enterprise network. While the presence of Tor traffic is an obvious red flag for security professionals to check for malicious activity, tracking down the attacker is almost impossible. You can stop the attack, but bringing a Tor user to justice is a tall task.

Malware with Anti-Analysis Functionality

Attackers don’t always have to use command-and-control servers to launch attacks —sometimes delivering sophisticated malware is enough. New malware like Rombertik are coded with a number of anti-analysis functions.

For example:

  • Garbage code is included to make security appliances use more resources for analysis.

  • When placed in a sandbox, Rombertik writes random bytes of data 960 million times to overwhelm security systems. Rather than “sleeping” like most malware does to avoid detection, Rombertik appears unsuspicious because it remains active.

  • The malware has a self-destruct feature that destroys files and master boot records when detection is imminent.

Rombertik is a sign of things to come in the cyber security community, as attackers find innovative ways to avoid detection and punishment.

Unfortunately, these are only a few tactics that attackers employ as they launch evasive attacks – and they’ll only grow more sophisticated. It’s time for businesses and governmental agencies to get more proactive and start bringing criminals to justice.


Cyber Justice Starts with Proactive Detection and Tracking

Malware as a service is the product of an increasingly industrialized cyber crime market—and according to FBI Agent Michael Driscolll, it’s controlled by just 100 to 200 major cyber criminals.

Theoretically, if these kingpins are dethroned, cyber security would see a major boost in success.  To that end, governmental agencies around the world have formed the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (J-CAT) to cooperate and bring cyber criminals to justice.

They’ve already seen some success, but what can you do to avoid becoming a victim and watching attackers escape unscathed?

Deceptions Everywhere® technology has emerged as the proactive solution that individual companies can deploy to catch attackers in the act. You may not be able to bring them to justice yourself—by placing a blanket of illusions over your network, you can deceive attackers and be alerted to their every move with real-time forensics and high fidelity alerts.

Knowing exactly how attackers are moving throughout your network enables you to end the threat, learn more about the attack and provide law enforcement with the information necessary to help prosecute these dangerous cyber criminals.

Don’t you think it’s about time these attackers pay the price for their offenses?  Will you be sharing information will law enforcement?


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