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Eastern European hackers posing bigger threat than Asian cyber crooks

19 Sep 2012
Concept image of a cyber criminal

Businesses should be far more concerned about Eastern European hackers for hire than Asian cyber snoops, according to security firm Trend Micro.

Trend Micro warned that European mercenary hackers are currently mounting far more sophisticated campaigns and attacks that their East Asian counterparts in a report entitled: Peter the Great vs Sun Tzu.

The report highlighted a significant disparity in the two regions hacker methodologies.

"The Eastern European custom-written, carefully crafted tools are designed for very specific attacks," Trend Micro security director Rik Ferguson told V3.

"Asian teams use more off the shelf stuff, things like Spyeye, Zeus, exploit kits. They go after targets that aren't bulletproof and are more widespread."

Ferguson highlighted the importance of reputation among Eastern bloc hackers as a key reason for the difference.

"You're only as good as your last hack. If a known gang gets defaced or hacked it translates into brand damage and could put the crew out of business," said Ferguson.

"Asian teams are backed, they have sponsors. This means they're larger and if things go wrong its the project not the team that is damaged."

The news follows widespread warnings within the security industry that hackers are developing new and more dangerous attacks.

FireEye issued its own report suggesting the majority of UK firms' networks have already been breached by hackers.

For more insight into some of the major security issues affecting businesses make sure you sign up to the V3 Security Summit taking place on Tuesday 25 September which includes high-level speakers such as Nathaniel Borenstein and Bruce Schneier and Rik Ferguson.

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Alastair Stevenson
About

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

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