Bookmark and Share

The Cyber Criminal

Think of the name Al Capone. You may associate him with a tommy gun or remember an anecdote someone told you about his life in Chicago. Point made – you know the name if asked. Now think of the name Albert Gonzalez. It might not come as easily. Albert Gonzalez was a cybercriminal who stole over 90 million credit and debit card numbers from well-known retailers and is currently serving a 20 year sentence for his actions.

Anonymity as a Threat

Cybercriminals can commit crimes and never be well known. The truth is, part of the reason cybercrime is so frightening is because it is easily nameless. Hive organizations like Anonymous allow for individual hackers to exist as a unit. Hackers like Gonzalez organize criminals without meeting them or even knowing their real names. Even if, in their personal life, a cybercriminal may behave one way, in their virtual life, they may commit heinous acts – not even realizing the hypocrisy. As a J. Keith Mularski, a cybercrimes supervisor in Philadelphia, stated “It can be very hard because when you think about it, the good hackers are going to use many different layers of anonymity…It is very difficult, especially if they really keep their criminal persona free from their real-person person.” They are all individual criminals acting in the self-interest of a common goal. It is in the anonymity that they are able to hide and continue their behavior without recourse.”

New Crime, New Security

As the world of cyber security contains to grow and change, so do the needs of individuals working in the field. It is no longer acceptable to simply wait for information to develop. Leaders in the field of cybersecurity are calling for employees to understand the nuances of the cybercriminal: to understand not just what motivates them, but also how to deter them from acting out on their endeavors.

Money is an obvious motivator for any criminal activity, but it is not the sole reason for cybercriminals. They are usually motivated by their own desire to see an organization suffer either a financial loss or a humiliation – or both.