Looking in the Attacker’s eyes – There are many ways we can do it. So when we want to achieve the goal of Understanding Attackers, we must Inspect a few things.
Why are they called attackers? What are their Motives? Why should we care? Let’s take a Deep Breath and find out…
Way back when the Computer was invented, many things have changed. Devices for personal use were also invented. This means that it is now possible that these devices contain personal and sometimes valuable information. And that’s why, the ability to try and abuse it has risen.
In the past, the dependence on computer systems was small, therefore the possible damage caused by attacking computer systems was very limited. Today, it’s Different. With the advancement of technology, our dependence on computer systems is increasing and so are the attacks, both in quantity and quality.
All these things raised another question:
Is the advancement of Technology “Good” for us?
Today, it is not enough to know which resources need protection or to rely only on firewalls and
solutions that detect known attacks. This is because attackers have “smartened up” over time. Every day thousands of new weaknesses are found (and created) for all types of security systems, we have reached a situation where we are in a race with those who want to harm us.
But wait, who wants to hurt us?
Who is an Attacker?
We need to know who we are defending against. Behind every attack, even if it doesn’t seem like it, there is a Human. This person has needs like us (we will learn about them soon), feelings and yes, he also needs to learn all the things that he will do in a certain way. It is impossible to define an attacker as an “external party”, because sometimes an attack can also come from within the organization. Therefore, we will define him as a person who wants to harm us in a certain way. Still, no matter how we define it, even if it’s our best friend, an attacker in the field of information security is someone trying to achieve something as a result of penetrating our defense systems in a certain form of attack.
The path to an optimal security solution requires a thorough understanding of the attacker’s actions. In other words, against a skilled and goal-oriented attacker, a battle must be waged for everything and battles rely on intelligence, an understanding of the attacker’s activity and the stages of the attack.
In order to deal with the threats, it is necessary to know what the attacker’s desires are. What motivates him and causes him to carry out Cyber Attacks.
What are their Motives?
Attackers do what they do for a few main reasons:
- Money – ah yes, MONEY. Cyber-crime has become a very common thing in our world. Ransom Attacks aimed at blackmailing business owners, industrial espionage by various companies, criminal organizations that use these types of attacks to enrich themselves.
- Curiosity – the lowest level of cyber attacks are sometimes carried out by rather amateurs, who do it out of curiosity or boredom. Simply to answer; Can I do it? or What will happen ‘If’?
- Idealism – aka Hacktivists. Acting out of the desire to promote their personal opinions. Sometimes it’s about promoting political views, attacks are carried out against government organizations.
- Military – yes, sometimes these are attacks that are carried out against government agencies or departments belonging to an enemy country.
Learn about more Types of Attackers here.
Traits of Attackers (who are they?)
- Location – Surprised? not us. Sometimes attackers are from inside of the organization. Aka Insiders.
- The Attackers “Level” – Is this a person with experience and knowledge gained over years? Or is this a 14-year-old who likes to call himself a “hacker”?
- Resources – Here are determined one of the critical things in attacks. Will it last? How long can the attackers keep doing what they do? Do they have the Equipment necessary to accomplish their goals?
- And finally, their Motives, which we talked about above.
Why should we care?
Well, if you don’t have an answer to this question by now, you’re probably a programmer because you got lazy, didn’t read and just skipped to the end. But if not, there is only one answer: This should interest you, because today, one attack is the difference that will turn Everything – into Nothing.
All in all, an attacker is not a scary thing (usually). All you need to do, is to follow and answer the questions above. After that, maybe these Attackers – will become the “Victims”? (not that we support that).
Prevent attackers from attacking you in the first place!
Stay safe, choose Kayran.