What is the future of the dark web

The dark side

Several of our companies had to grapple with the consequences of cyber security in the past year. The virus that emerges in these cases in the form of so-called ransomware is in no way inferior to real viruses. After being smuggled in, it infects essential parts of the network and prevents productive work. The incubation time is just as clever as in the natural model: Unfortunately, symptoms only show up when it is too late.

This type of attack and digital blackmail using ransomware is a trend that is growing in size. In the first phase of such a ransomware attack, the attacker must be able to penetrate the company's system. In 2020, the corona pandemic led to an increased switch to digital work concepts and presented companies with new challenges. Teleworking technologies had to be implemented or massively expanded in a very short time. The dissemination of business-critical information and essential knowledge across multiple systems under great time pressure led to a particularly sensitive situation that opened up a wide range of gateways for cyber criminals.

The infection is typically carried out by means of an email with a malicious program as an attachment. When the attachment is opened at the latest, its unpleasant companion will be let out of the bottle like a ghost. Unfortunately, it doesn't fulfill any wishes, but its very own purpose. Many companies have already reacted to this and give general advice such as "please do not open any e-mails from strangers".

However, practice shows that such information often comes to nothing: According to police crime statistics, in 2019 primarily alleged unsolicited applications were provided with such attachments. The increasing professionalization of cyber criminals often means that the danger does not just come from a stranger, but more and more often from apparently known e-mail contacts. Because in the meantime cyber fraudsters cleverly use all available information to fake trusted senders. The email address of colleagues, suppliers, etc. can also be misused by criminals to bring the malware into the system. This is followed by the classic fraud pattern: the target systems are encrypted, the owners of the system are informed about the encryption and blackmailed.