LONDON: Criminal and state sponsored hackers have begun collaborating to create new and advanced ways to steal data, according to RSA executive chairman Arthur Coviello.
Coviello claimed that the company has already seen evidence that criminals are not only learning from attacks like Flame and Gauss, but are working with the state sponsors behind such attacks during a conference at RSA Europe 2012 on Tuesday.
"Criminals are starting to cooperate with nation states," said Coviello. "We're seeing criminals adopting the APT techniques of the nation state."
The new collaboration stems from the emergence of new common goals between criminals and state hacker teams.
This is reportedly due to the vast amounts of data being stolen by criminals during cyber raids that cannot be sold using their traditional money making practices.
"The criminals themselves have a big data problem," said Coviello.
This means that the criminals now have a motive to share their resources with state actors, who may find the data useful, leading to a tit for tat relationship between the two types of hacker.
"The nation states are now starting to sell their sophisticated APT attacks to the criminals," warned Coviello. "These are the kinds of chilling things that are starting to go on."
Coviello's comments follow on from similar warnings from F-Secure security analyst Sean Sullivan, who prophesied it would only be a matter of time before cyber criminals began learning from advanced threats like Flame earlier in September.
The RSA executive chairman claimed that the situation is being made worse by the fact that most business are struggling to recruit security experts.
"We face a severe skills shortage," said Coviello.
"That skill shortage is real and we see that time and time again. Most companies are not that mature when it comes to security as they don't have the skill set required."
Prior to the press conference Coviello had called for education reforms within the security industry, claiming a number of conflicting privacy laws are hampering companies ability to protect their data.
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