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The Shape of Things to Come

Just over 40 years ago if you had a spare $ 1 000, what would you have considered doing with the money? There were actually a lot of options available at that time.

Following a tip-off in 1976, you could have tracked down a certain Mr. Gates and a Mr. Wozniak operating from a garage in 2066 Crist Drive, Los Altos, CA. They were supposedly developing the first home computers which they claimed would revolutionise the world. Had they turned down your offer to buy into the company, you simply had to wait to 1980 and could buy shares at $ 22 each during the IPO launch. Excluding dividends, your investment would have returned $521,740.80 after stock splits. A tidy profit.

A lot riskier would have been making the acquaintance of a certain Pablo Escobar and joining his Medillin Cartel which at that time was setting up the early cocaine routes into the USA. If you had gained his favour and not been sent to heaven by Saint Pablo, your share of the profits would have been enormous. Shortly before his death the drug lord had an estimated worth of between $ 25 - $ 30 billion, (between $ 48 - $ 56 billion today). Nothing to snort at (excuse the pun).

If you were far-sighted and could see the huge picture, predicting the rise of a connected world, you would not have hesitated forking out a whopping $ 666,66 for an Apple Mac and using the remainder to train yourself in its potential and flaws. Although there were some crude forms of the net before, it is considered that the true world-wide web exploded onto the scene in 1991 and by that time you would have expanded your systems and knowledge. It would have seemed that St. Peter had opened the gates and you had gone to heaven.

It is estimated that cybercrime in 2021 will cost the world $ 6 trillion annually. This wealth transference will represent the greatest amount humankind has ever known, in fact more lucrative than the combined trade of all major global drug dealings. These are not thumb suck figures, they have been confirmed by many eminent institutions and industry experts. We are all well aware of the effect that cybercrime had in 2017, but the future will make it pale in comparison.

Yet, many companies, organisations and individuals remain complacent, or perhaps resigned, that they are secure or simply awaiting the inevitable.

As it Stands and Projected figures.

 

2016/2017

2020/2021

Internet Users

3.8 billion

6 billion

Websites

1.2 billion

No figure found

World Population

7 billion

8 billion

Data Volumes

99,777 petabytes/month1

232,655 petabytes/month

Wearable Devices

310 million

500 million

Digital Content

4 billion zettabytes.2

96 billion zettabytes

Cyber Security Spending

86.4 billion

12-15% YoY growth

Note:

1 To store a single PB would take over 745 million floppy disks or 1.5 million CD-ROM discs.

2 A zettabyte is 10 to the power21 or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes, just over a million petabytes.

New and Expanding Attack Surfaces

  • It is estimated 90% of all cars shipped (20 million) in 2020 will be connected with onboard software-based technology. This could put millions of drivers/passengers at risk of hijacking and assassination by means of hacking.
  • Millions of patients are at risk of having their implanted medical devices (pacemakers, insulin pumps, neurostimulators, etc) hacked.
  • Currently, every 40 seconds, a business falls victim to a ransomware attack. It is expected to drop to 10-14 seconds by 2020.
  • Ransomware damage costs estimated at $ 5 billion at present is expected to skyrocket as it becomes the new cybercrime business model.
  • Automation and AI are speeding up crime processes and making life a misery for businesses and individuals worldwide.
  • Humans are struggling to keep up and Security Operations Centres are growing.
  • There is a severe lack of qualified personnel.
  • In 2021 there will be 3.5 million unfilled positions with a zero% unemployment rate.
  • Internet of Things is proving a major crime driver. A casino was hacked through their connected aquarium thermostat.
  • There are around 1.4 million phishing websites created each month.
  • Zero-day exploits are expected to rise from one or two per week to one per day in 2021.
  • Finally, as has been stated ad nauseam, the human factor remains the greatest threat to any business or organisations and will remain the lowest hanging fruit. So little is spent on awareness training, penny wise pound foolish.

Is there ANY HOPE for the future?

  • China is becoming the leader in CCTV, facial and behavioural technology. They are reporting a drop in crime while monitoring their vast population.
  • Collision avoidance systems are improving and expected to reduce death rates on the roads.
  • Emergency services are able to respond quicker to crime/emergency scenes.
  • And, …well not much actually.


By: Richard Rosewarne

QA: Richard Rosewarne

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A Winter of Joy, a Spring of Despair

Please note: These are the opinions of the author and in no way reflects the stance of experienced professionals and Wolfpack Information Risk.

I have, for a while, been wondering why there have been far fewer cyber incidents this half and a bit of 2018 than last year? I believe many political, personal and sporting (yes, sporting) events have contributed to making the first half of the year ‘’quieter” than normally should be expected. I will try to explain my perhaps illogical thinking.

The year 2018 has been memorable/immemorable in many ways, depending on your way of thinking. There has been a massive build-up and culmination of events leading to huge public support/decrial that not only affected world stock markets, but also the cybercrime industry. Let us begin with probably the least expected event affecting 2018…

World Cup Russia 2018

The build-up to the actual final began months before and many people (including black hatters and government-sponsored fiends) were planning their travels, enjoying a lovely summer and enjoying a few weeks on the Black Sea long beforehand. Therefore, a lot of inactivity, after all, cyber criminals are people too. However, with the euphoria dying down and autumn and winter beginning to encroach, I predict that we can expect an increase in attacks from people home and office-bound. They need to recoup their expenses. What else is there to do in an icy Northern Hemisphere ranging from Russia to North Korea? What awaits us here in the Southern Hemisphere?

Trump/Kim/Putin Talks

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump’s talks with North Korea’s leader and Russian hard man Putin must have played a part in downscaling cyber security events. N Korea’s capabilities, once laughed at, are now taken in a serious light. See: https://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/11/asia/north-korea-technological-capabilities/index.html

Russia’s abilities have always been well known. Their influence in affecting the American elections is becoming more open in spite of the US leader not knowing his facts or hiding them, and trying to buddy-up to his Moscow counterpart.

The fact of the matter is that all three must have called off their ‘’Dogs of War” in preparation to these meetings. They are probably being let loose again.

Counterattack

Not last or least, people are finally taking cyber/crime/war/espionage at its true value and are becoming proactive, many times not ethically, many times so. This battle will rage on for many years to come.

 “A Victoribus Historia Scribitur” – History Belongs to the Victor.


By: Richard Rosewarne

Editor: Ashleigh Roach

QA: Richard Rosewarne


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