“Cutting edge” cyber attacks used against Ukraine are set to be used more widely by the hackers of tomorrow, experts have warned.
Rogue threat actors will employ “sophisticated” techniques forged in the heat of Russia’s cyber assault, while data and tech attacks become more “pervasive”, CityAM has been told.
Sophos security expert Christopher Budd warned of a “trickle down” effect in cyber crime.
“Tools and techniques used in these really hot areas, that start there in these more nation state-attached attacks… what we’ve seen over decades is those advanced tools and tactics eventually find their way down from nation state actors down to cyber criminals,” he said.
“We can be sure that anything more advanced that is effective that is learned by attackers in Ukraine will eventually get picked up, reused and go into that trickle down.”
Budd compared the uptick of attacks in Ukraine – which has suffered a tripling of cybercrime in the past year, often hand in hand with bombings – to the “cutting edge” Stuxnet attack on Iran.
“Nation state military weapons eventually make it into arms and later we see them more broadly used,” he said.
“[Stuxnet] was very advanced at the time but we’ve seen over the years techniques that were used then make their way into attacks that organisations see more generally today.”
While Steve Stone, cybersecurity expert at Rubrik Zero Labs, said cyber attacks were trending upwards across all metrics.
“Every threat trend we discuss is on the up and has been for years,” he said. “The number of governments involved, the criminal groups involved, the number of events themselves.
“Data is growing and more companies are leveraging more tech so we shouldn’t be surprised about bad actors.
“This is the direction the world is going. This is something that’s going to become more pervasive and more prevalent day after day.”
He also highlighted risks from hostile foreign governments, describing cyber warfare and espionage as a key tool in the arsenal of any “modern country”.
Stone said: “This is a significant part of what China does, from a military and a government and an economic perspective, Iran has moved heavily into this space, and North Korea is one of the largest crypto theft bad actors out there.
“North Korea has used illicit fund generation for decades and they just have figured out how to use cyber for that long term goal as well.”
The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) has been contacted for comment.