The number of “hackers for hire” will rise over the next five years, leading to more cyberattacks and increasingly unpredictable threats, the UK’s cybersecurity agency has warned.
Spyware and other hacking tools are also expected to increase, according to a new report from the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), the Government Communications Headquarters.
“Over the next five years, the proliferation of cyber tools and services will have a profound impact on the threat landscape as more state and non-state actors gain access to capabilities and intelligence previously inaccessible to them,” said Resilience and Director Jonathon Ellison said. Future Technology said in comments published on Wednesday.
“Our new assessment highlights that as more hackers-for-hire are tasked with going after a wider range of targets and off-the-shelf products, the threat will not only become larger but also less predictable, and exploitation will lower security for all.” Barriers to entry.
“In order to maintain security in cyberspace, it is vital that these capabilities are managed responsibly, proportionately and legally, and in collaboration with international partners, and the UK is determined to meet this growing challenge.”
The release of the report coincides with CyberUK, the annual cybersecurity conference hosted by the NCSC. The two-day conference will take place in Belfast this year.
The cyber agency warned that demand for hackers was expected to expand.
Additionally, the proliferation of hostile cyber capabilities has enabled more nations, gangs, and individuals to develop online hacking and espionage capabilities.
Over the past decade, more than 80 countries have purchased cyber-intrusion software, “almost certainly used irresponsibly by some countries to target journalists, human rights activists, dissidents and opponents, and foreign government officials,” the report said. “.
According to the NCSC report, “the growing hacker-for-hire market increases the risk of unpredictable targets or accidental escalation.”
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Over the past decade, UK-based cyber experts have seen that cyber intrusion has grown into an industry that provides a growing range of products and services to customers around the world.
This includes off-the-shelf capabilities, which the report describes as “hacking as a service,” as well as bespoke hacking services, which it calls “hackers-for-hire.”
The sophistication of these commercial products is as effective as some of the tools developed by nation-states, it said.
The report warns that the use of such spyware against individuals “is almost certain to occur on a large scale, with thousands being targeted each year”.
“Hackers for hire pose a potential corporate espionage threat to organizations or individuals across multiple sectors, and the potential for significant financial rewards may incentivize state employees or contractors to become hackers for hire,” it added.