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Cyber Criminals Got Serious In 2016 – Report

Cyber criminals scaled new heights in 2016 by perpetrating a series of “extraordinary” attacks, including multi-million-dollar virtual bank heists and attempts to disrupt the US electoral process, a new report from Symantec shows.

The firm’s Internet Security Threat Report shows that cyber criminals reached new levels of ambition last year as they executed “politically devastating attacks” to undermine a “new class” of targets.

“New sophistication and innovation are the nature of the threat landscape, but this year Symantec has identified seismic shifts in motivation and focus,” Symantec’s Tarun Kaura said in a statement.

“The world saw specific nation states double down on political manipulation and straight sabotage. Meanwhile, cyber criminals caused unprecedented levels of disruption by focusing their exploits on relatively simple IT tools and cloud services.”

Examples of major cyber attacks include attempts to attack the US Democratic Party of the subsequent leak of stolen information and virtual bank heists where billions of dollars have been stolen.

The report also noted a trend toward criminals employing highly-publicised, overt campaigns designed to destabilise and disrupt targeted organisations and countries.

“This was an incredibly audacious hack as well as the first time we observed strong indications of nation state involvement in financial cyber crime. While their sights were set even higher, the attackers stole at least $94 million,” Kaura added.

Filed in: News

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