Scriptkiddies and the Democratization of Cybercrime: A Bigger Threat? -Forbes France

Hacker… return and precision in the “hack” universe.

“What we understand well is articulated, and the words to express it come easily,” this quote from Boileau should be scrupulously applied to the world of hacking. As I keep repeating, rewriting – sometimes I think in vain – is an insulting label to associate and reduce the term “hacker” to a cyber offence. For those who don’t know, BBN engineer Raymond Samuel Tomlinson, who previously worked for the US government on the design of the ARPANET (the ancestor of the Internet), was, for example, a hacker, in the noblest sense of the word … he is “just” – if so to speak – invented e-mail …. which, you see, was not a malicious act. How ? Combining in 1971 two programs he created: SNDMSG (en) (Send Message), which allows two users connected to the same computer to leave messages to each other. And CPYNET, which can send files to any computer connected via the ARPANET. The only “misdemeanor” (professional misconduct?) is that he was not authorized to do so as part of his job. The story tells of the incredible words that he then addressed to his friend and colleague Jerry Burchfil, to whom he showed his skill: “Don’t tell anyone, we don’t have to work on this.” … Moreover, I recall that the term “hacker” first appeared in 1959 in the jargon of the Technical Model Railroad Club (TMRC), an association of students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an institution that, you will agree, is not known specifically for engages in cybercrime or trains cybercriminals. That being said, if we take a moment to look at the correct typology of the world of hacking, we can indeed discern, and the media should do so more regularly:

  • White hat hackers (French for “white hat”) testing vulnerabilities in software solutions, betting on the market, sites, etc., so that if flaws are found, they notify structures so that the offer made to users is “safe”
  • Black hat hackers, on the other hand, are hackers or a group of hackers who use their knowledge in the service of cybercrime for mere annoyances and/or financial gains.
  • Gray hat hackers, gray hat (French for “grey hat”) are hackers or a group of hackers who sometimes act ethically (cf. “hacker ethic” as defined by Peka Himmanen) and sometimes not.
  • Scriptkiddies that mostly use existing software solutions.

Writers: Amateur black hats and exponential menace.

This last category, scriptkiddies, from my point of view, is an exponential threat to users and small structures (Users, EURL, SME) without a dedicated IT department, they are actually more vulnerable, unlike many large companies that constantly train their employees and equipped themselves with protections to repel many types of “traditional” attacks.

If scriptkiddies are a growing threat, the reason is very simple, unlike the above categories, they do not have particularly advanced computer knowledge, they often do not have the slightest knowledge of coding, on the contrary, they know the area of ​​hacking and possible criminal activities. , they are able to quickly master special software and are well versed in the Internet and can strike in all directions …

The exponential digitization of our society during the Covid crisis has undoubtedly increased the possibilities of hacking for criminal purposes… If I say that cybercrime by Sunday hackers is likely to develop…. This is because there are more and more tools available to do this, they are relatively easy to access and are within the reach of people who do not have sufficient computer knowledge… be it ransomware, phishing, denial of service… etc. e.g. the EvilProxy solution is an illustration of this, it coexists with many other solutions and “available kits” that allow, for example, customizing ransomware operations. When it comes to ransomware, some Dark Web participants promote Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) operations and publish advertisements highlighting different ransomware suites and their different service levels. In addition, it is “easy” for those who purchase them to use the “tutorials that thrive on the Internet, promoting their marketing and how to acquire and use them. This means that in order to protect themselves, the knowledge of ordinary users (a priority goal) about fraud attempts must increase in order to deal with them. They don’t have experienced Blackhat hackers in front of them, but they deal more specifically and more often with “kids” (more or less young, for that matter) who don’t necessarily appreciate the seriousness of their actions or their consequences. …

Some non-exhaustive tracks… When it’s “too late”. »

For victims of the most formidable attacks (ransomware) that block all possibilities of activity, with imaginable consequences, in addition to the fact bis repetita, never, strictly never pay a ransom if you were a victim, fortunately there are some solutions if it’s “too late”.

• The first step is to identify the ransomware you have been a victim of. Thus, the ID Ransomware site will be very useful for you, it will allow you to recognize and name the ransomware in the source of the attack on your computer or NAS* (*Network Attached Storage).

• Once the solution used against you has been determined, you can first investigate your options for potentially recovering your files, for example, there is a decryption tool for PyLocky ransomware version 1 and 2, this one is available at / Another Ransomware File Decryptor tool is Trend-Micro, a utility designed for certain ransomware.

• If, however, apart from your research, you do not find any solution, as a last resort you can try to “limit the damage” and restore some files by searching in temporary files or using specialized recovery software such as shadowexplorer…very regular backups copies (backups) on an external hard drive (by checking for no infection) or purchasing a ransomware protection kit such as Weam for example… I am talking here about the attacks among the most malicious and most confusing… I repeat my advice to never to pay! For other types of attacks such as denial of service, sextortion… solutions also exist. We can come back to this later…

Photo credit: kpishdadi on VisualHunt

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