Skip to main content

Cybercriminals are sharing around their most effective hacking tools

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Gorodenkoff)

A wide variety of effective hacking tools are now circulating on underground forums, lowering the barrier to entry for cybercrime, a new report from the HP threat research team suggests.

Based on data collected via HP security products, the report shows there was a 65% rise in the use of hacking tools downloaded from forums and file sharing sites in H1 2021, compared to the latter half of 2020.

HP describes many of these tools as “surprisingly capable”, with one in particular even capable of bypassing CAPTCHA protections and launching credential stuffing attacks.

“The proliferation of pirated hacking tools and underground forums are allowing previously low-level actors to pose serious risks to enterprise security, said Dr. Ian Pratty, Global Head of Security, Personal Systems at HP.

“Simultaneously, users continue to fall prey to simple phishing attacks time and time again. Security solutions that arm IT departments to stay ahead of future threats are key to maximizing business protection and resilience.”

According to HP, cybercrime is becoming increasingly sophisticated and well-orchestrated, and online forums provide an ideal space for collaboration between malicious actors. This new level of cooperation is helping cybercriminals to maximize the efficacy and profitability of their campaigns, with obvious consequences for the businesses they target.

  • Here's our list of the best antivirus (opens in new tab) services around

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has been a Staff Writer working across both TechRadar Pro and ITProPortal.