Know Thy Enemy: Tools, Tactics, and Techniques of Cybercriminals

3 weeks ago
Eric Vanderburg

Many view the cybercriminal as an unknown.  This is due, in part, to the difficulty inherent in tracking down individual attackers.  However, we do not need to identify each individual cybercriminal to understand cybercriminals, and this understanding is invaluable.

Sun Tzu, the legendary Chinese tactician said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

We must know our enemy because then he can be conquered.   An understanding of cybercriminals motivations, methods, and mechanisms of attack allows us to develop effective countermeasures and avoid security initiatives that produce little or no value.

Knowledge also removes fear.  Fear can prompt action, and this is a good response, but responses to fear are inconsistent and short-lived.  Others are not inspired to act.  Instead, they become petrified, and some become apathetic.

I wrote an article titled “Cybersecurity Threats and the Criminals Behind Them” with Juniper Networks.  This article will help you understand cybercriminals, how they operate, the tools they use, and how they are organized.  It is far better to know our enemy so that we can leave fear behind and take informed action.