Security Culture

Hackers Approach Unhappy Workers to Be Accomplices

The human workforce is a massive cybersecurity threat to organizations worldwide. Now that most employees are working from home, organizations face loopholes and complexities protecting their company data from hackers. Though phishing emails are still the favorite hacking tactic for cybercriminals, they have come up with a new approach. Hackers are directly approaching unhappy workers to help with cyber-attacks. Well, organizations do have some unhappy workers. Worrisome, isn’t it? In this article at Krebs on Security, Brian Krebs shares this new development.

Unhappy Workers as Accomplices

Abnormal Security director Crane Hassold conducted an operation where he posed as an employee and talked to a hacker for five days. The cybercrook was ready to pay Hassold 40 percent of the $1-million haul if the ransomware attack was successfully released in the employee network.

The attacker initially wanted to infiltrate the network by sending phishing emails to top executives of the company. DamonWare, the hacker’s preferred ransomware, is “freely available on GitHub,” reveals Hassold. However, when the plan did not work, the cybercriminal resorted to approaching unhappy workers. The threat actor was later found out to be Oluwaseun Medayedupin from Nigeria, the owner of Sociogram, a popular social network.

BEC Scams on the Rise

Companies are making headlines for shelling out ransom amounts, while business email compromise (BEC) and CEO scams are increasing. The scammers are chiefly from Africa and Southeast Asia. According to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), BEC attacks shot up to $1.86 billion in 2020. Furthermore, LockBit 2.0 ransomware-as-a-service has a real advertisement that openly invites unhappy workers to join their scam operations. BlackMatter, a new ransomware crew, also boasts the same hacking vertical. It is into “Buying/monetizing your access to corporate networks.” Some existing cybercrook gangs are also profiting by shifting their target group to unhappy workers.

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