Cybercrime is defined as any crime that involves the use of computer or Internet. It could be Phishing, stalking, fake offers, hacking for fun, or hacking for financial gains. The scope of this post is limited to organized and unorganized cybercrime syndicates, cyber terrorism, corporate, and state-sponsored cybercrimes.
These are people working alone or in small teams to commit cybercrimes like phishing, cyberstalking, and hacking other computers or websites. It could also be an identity theft or loss of property like email, servers, etc.
In most cases, these criminals are not working just for money. A crime committed successfully makes them feel good and powerful.
Some of them are not trained at all. These criminals download hack code from the Dark Net and use it.
Some from this category are talented. They can if undetected, go on to create or join organized cybercrime syndicates. We’ll talk about cybercrime syndicates in a moment.
The unorganized cybercrime is just like the unorganized labor services: a bit chaotic as it lacks rules. It is also called the unskilled sector of cybercrime because it requires less to no skills. As said earlier, everything is available on the darknet.
Syndicates, corporate-sponsored hacking, cyber terrorism, and state sponsor of cybercrime forms the essence of this section.
The best example of syndicates would be “The Anonymous”. They are an organized group of hackers who generally hack things to get their message(s) across. This syndicate is not as harmful as far as I know. They just help in getting a message across to those who matter.
Anonymous’ motivation was best described as giving voice for those not heard, and responding to unanswered abuses like racism and corruption, the group says.
There are syndicates that are not named in public; they’re just code-named by security agencies. They are syndicates that mix cybercrime with other crimes like drug selling, and human trafficking, via the Internet.
May or may not be state-sponsored. Cyber terrorism causes widespread fear and even loss of life. It can be defined as follows.
Cyber terrorism is the use of computers and internet to cause severe disruption or widespread fear in society.
These types of organizations (cyber-terrorist cells) disturb normal routine and may bring down essential services, issue threats, harm people badly. They kind of kidnap your data and ask for ransom for returning it. You might have heard of ransomware. Cybercriminals lock you out and demand ransom in Bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency for allowing access to your computer.
There is news about malware that resides on your firmware. In this case, you cannot get rid of it just by formatting and reinstalling the operating system. This is frightening – a malware writing itself on the flash ROM (Read Only Memory) and sticking there. The only way to remove it is to flash and rewrite the firmware code without destroying your computer. This again requires professionals who can rewrite the firmware (ROM in most cases)
Organized Cybercrime – Corporate and State-sponsored crime
I gave just two examples of cyber-terrorism above, which are not extreme cases. Extreme is when any cybercriminal destroys properties such as your email, and websites to cause direct loss to the victim of the cyberattack.
Corporate houses use hackers to ease the competition with its rivals. They hire talented hackers to break into the networks of their rivals for the information they want. Mostly it is to find out the plans of their rivals. An example would be a company hired hacker breaking into the company’s rival to find out the details of a tender so that they can create a better one before submitting it. Most of them don’t care if it is a white hat hacking or black hat hacking as long as the attempts bear fruit.
These are hackers who work for the government. They commit cybercrimes but do not go to jails because they have state immunity. They work for different governments. Most of their work tilts towards snooping on people who are important.
They also attack other countries’ websites and hack into their servers for information. Everything is organized. The state hires hackers known for their skills. They then use these hackers to achieve their aim: legal or illegal
An example of state-sponsored cybercrime could be bringing essential services of other countries. They can hack into the network of electricity department and take down the entire grid so that people are left without power for days.
State-sponsored hackers may or may not work from the security agency offices. They could be working on a state order from their home’s basement or sitting at Starbucks. They are paid when the action taken is successful.
Summary: Unorganized and Organized Cybercrime
Let’s take a quick look at what is covered in this article.
- Hackers may have high skills to no skills; different types of hacking code are available for sale on the darknet
- The amateur hacker does it mostly for feeling powerful and own sense of quick gratification; They don’t target bigger entities like FBI or other federal government websites
- There are some cybercrime syndicates that use cybercrime methods to get their message across and to bring down others’ ideology.
- Cyber terrorists are harmful to properties at a large scale; Even as Trump was meeting Kim in North Korea, the Korean cybercrime syndicates kept hacking banking and other essential service websites to create chaos. They claim they were offended when Trump said, “Kim is a rocket man” some time ago.
- Corporate sponsors cybercrime to get an edge over their competition
- Governments hire hackers to snoop on people and countries; they may also get the hackers to bring down essential services like electricity or water; they also sometimes commit a crime by breaking into, and leaking databases of the rival countries
The above explains unorganized and organized crime. If you wish to talk about cybercrime, please comment below.