I was reading one of Alan’s posts over at StillSecure, based on the Lending Tree debacle. He starts with a bit I totally agree with:
This sort of stealing your competitors information has been going on for decades, well before computers and cybercrime were around. However, this is a great example of some things not going out of style. Obtaining your competitors information is a great motive, computers are just the container where the information is kept.
This is something I’ve been harping on for a while- the only new thing about cybercrime is the vector; nearly every crime we see has a corollary in the physical world. Why? Because we’ve been screwing each other over since before we were technically humans. We’ve been taking things that don’t belong to us since far before we had any concept of commerce or society. That’s tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of years of criminal refinement. Nigerian 419 scam? It’s the Spanish Prisoner. DoS? It’s sabotage or a protection racket. You name the cybercrime, and I can name the pre-cyber-crime.
Now how does this practically apply to how security professionals do their job?
Focus on the crime, not the tech. When you’re piecing together your defenses, monitoring for incidents, or cleaning up a mess, always remember that someone attacked for a reason. If they didn’t steal something, hijack an asset for their own use, trespass for the fun of it, or vandalize/break something, keep looking. Odds are you still haven’t figured out why they are there, and what the real target is, and your day ain’t over yet.
A person may change, but people don’t.