IT and business media are increasingly full of the threats posed by cybercrime. Based on my own extensive experience the threat is not exaggerated.
Many of the threats are underpinned by something called the Dark Web, or Dark Net. This term refers to an overlay network that exists in parallel to the Internet, which can only be accessed using specific software like a TOR (an application browser used on the dark web) browser, configurations or authorisation.
Dark nets are quite transient, appearing and disappearing at unexpected times. They contain a vibrant and thriving e-commerce sector in which participants trade in illegal goods and services. These markets offer goods like drugs, counterfeit money, stolen IDs, credit card details, and website and corporate access credentials.
Where do these thriving markets in this hidden cyber world get the goods they are selling in such quantities?
The answer is from you, or your network, often through a compromised device. Upon investigation, it is also clear that in almost every incident, the user and the people responsible for managing the computers and networks did not even know they had been compromised. In other words, they do not know to take post-factor remedial action.
An additional factor is that even a person with limited experience can quite easily access the tools and services needed to hack into sensitive data and credentials. In uncertain times, people look for new ways to make a little bit extra. These amateur hackers are compounding the already severe problem posed by criminal syndicates.