When hackers know that a big payday is coming they don’t mind waiting for months for the best moment to strike.
Hackers have been stealing credit card data, targeting valuable intellectual property and holding companies hostage with ransomware for some time. In doing so, these hackers are not only becoming richer and more notorious, they are leaving companies’ shattered reputations and frustrated consumers in their wake. But the savvy hackers will soon be moving on to a more surreptitious and stealthy attack method, the cyber long con.
Hackers tend to be very persistent and very patient; they know that a payday is coming and they don’t mind waiting until the best moment to strike arises. Fueled by evolving tactics and techniques, the door is being opened for longer, slower attacks that take a long time to pay off.
The long cyber con is very real. One possible example: instead of stealing credit cards from a large retailer, a hacker adjusts their systems so only 99 percent of purchases are actually processed. How long does it take the retailer to notice, and in that time, how much financial damage is done? The financial windfall for the hacker is gained not from ransoms or stolen data but from manipulating the stock market. Knowing poor sales performance is imminent, the hacker shorts their victim’s stock or invests in a rival retailer.