How many bad guys on the internet?

by Chris Zappone

How many bad guys on the internet? Specifically, how many gangs of criminals, hackers and state-sponsored cyber aggressors? Well, probably between 3000 and 5000 groups, according to Palo Alto Networks chief security officer Rick Howard.

Howard gives a lively interview with the Cybersecurity Podcast hosted by Peter W. Singer and Sara Sorcher, (including a great story about a US Army cyber command center designed to look like the bridge of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise.)

kaos

A bad guy: (KAOS henchman Ludwig Siegfried)

As the response to cyber challenges matures, Palo Alto Networks and three other companies have formed the Cyber Threat Alliance which allows sharing of threat information in real time.

On the subject of “bad guys”, two experts from Carnegie Mellon University and a group called the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology have produced an insightful list of some of them.

The ‘Know Your Enemies 2.0’ list focuses on  advanced persistent threat groups, including “hacktivists, nation-state and mercenary hackers.”

The report defines APTs as “a group of attackers or developers who are sophisticated, persistent, and who have access to significant resources.

In other words, not just broke teens working alone.

For us foreign news types, ‘Know Your Enemies 2.0’ is worth perusing as the groups are classified by the nation-states they’re associated with.

After a cyber intrusion is discovered, it can take months, (an average of 205 days according to Singer) for the group likely responsible to be identified. While the world waits for details, keep this list on hand.