Hackers don’t do vacations

Hackers don’t do vacations

When I searched on Google about hackers and cyberattacks, the amount of news that came through made me realize that while most of us in Turkey may be on vacation, hackers certainly are not. Actually, holiday season is one of their favorite times, as you use your credit card in exotic places where you would not usually use it. When I read the latest Intel Security Group report I understood how little I know about hackers in general. 

Every hacker has his/her own agenda, you cannot simplify and categorize them into sub-groups efficiently. There are many divisions between them. It is true that many do it just for money, but some have red lines. There is a new hype among hackers called “ransom attack,” in which they hold captive some vital information about people or companies. 

Some of them recently attacked a hospital in California. Shortly after the California hospital attack was reported, several malicious actors in underground forums reacted to these attacks. For example, one Russian speaker from a notorious hacker forum expressed his frustration, condemning the hackers who committed the attacks. In the Russian underground, there is an ethical “code of conduct” that places hospitals off limits, even if they are in countries normally targeted in their cybercrime campaigns and operations. 

Coming back to the Intel Security Group’s report, here are some of the Intel Security Group’s conclusions: 

- The gap between data loss and breach discovery is getting larger Data loss is real, and breaches happen to far too many companies. Worse, they are not discovered nearly often enough by internal security teams, leading to a long gap between detection and remediation. And if the internal team is not detecting the breaches, it is also not preventing them. 

- Health care providers and manufacturers are “sitting duck” industries that hold significant amounts of payment card information with the most mature data loss prevention systems and practices. However, the desirable data for theft is shifting to personally identifiable information, protected health information, and intellectual property. As a result, industries that tend to have less mature systems, such as healthcare and manufacturing, are at significant risk. 

- The typical data loss prevention approach is increasingly ineffective against new theft targets.

- Increasingly valuable unstructured data types are more di cult to monitor with regular expressions that concentrate on structured data, so companies still relying on simple, default data loss prevention configurations may think their protections are stronger than they actually are. 

- All the major institutions around the world are being attacked at least 20-30 times a day. There had been more around 1.3 million attacks for data capturing and ransom last year. On total the number of attacks increased 128 percent.

So since there is obvious data about the fact that hackers are continuously hacking all over the world, 24/7, I naturally wondered whether Turkish institutions have taken precautions or have put defense mechanisms in place. But I could not find real information. Some time ago it was announced that Turkey was building a “cyber security army,” but there has been no news about whether we are being protected by white hat hackers or not. 

We should certainly have sound prevention methods soon, or else we could experience big problems in our healthcare and energy systems. I hope that the authorities now see cyber security as a priority too.