Cybercriminals have begun targeting policy groups and the non-governmental organizations so that they can get a foothold in US government strategy. The statement is according to an executive at CrowdStrike Inc., a cyber-security company. This kind of nation-state hackers are most often related to other nations such as China or Russia, countries which always want some advanced intelligence and information on US policy, Shawn Henry, a chief security officer at Irvine, said.
Henry said that the hackers wanted to ascertain what the United States has been debating and what they are thinking about. They want to know the policy design and are finding how ex-leaders in the United States are advising and helping the existing senior leaders. The hackers are eager to find out what issues the US government and what strategies they want to implement.
Henry was the overseer of the FBIs global cyber investigations before he retired in 2012. He, however, could not say the targets and specifics of the targets. This is probably because of the numerous think tanks and organizations that are in Washington. The number of groups that have employed former government and White House officials and still have contacts at policymakers’ offices are numerous.
The attacks are also increasing from the Middle East. The number of Iranian campaigns are being tracked by CrowdStrike. The Iranian campaigns are targeting the energy industry and telecommunications in the US. A monitoring group also aligned with the Islamic militants who have been critical US infrastructure.
Hackers are also using enhanced tactics to hack into computer networks. On top of that, hacktivist groups that want to expand and grow their own political and social propaganda are also on the prowl. CrowdStrike has been alerting some of the large US companies which are being targeted by a Turkish group that is demonstrating in support for the Armenia and anti-Azerbaijan stance, Henry said.
The healthcare, retail, financial servers and mergers and acquisitions industries are also being targeted by these hackers.
Henry also noted that Russian Ransomware distributing hackers are also a constant threat. They have hacked hospital networks, local and state governments and encrypt the data until the ransom is paid. Hackers are targeting these companies because they have probably not backed up their systems, so the option is to pay the ransom and get it over with.
Henry suggests that the US government be much faster in spreading out information about hacking activity and also better ways to do it, better than the usual email. The government mostly relies on the private sector when it comes to tackling hacking matters, and Henry suggests that there be a partnership between companies as they develop products.