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Hackers selling services to target FTSE companies

(Image credit: Image Credit: Den Rise / Shutterstock)

The amount of hacking tools that can be used against FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies is on the rise on the dark net, new research has warned.

A report from Bromium found four in ten vendors on the dark net are selling targeted hacking services, which it claims translates to a 20 per cent rise compared to the same period three years ago.

The price varies, significantly – from $150 to $10,000, and mostly depends on the target company, and the plan to which the malware needs to be customised.

Additionally, access to corporate networks is ‘openly’ sold. Researchers approached many vendors with such a request, and 60 per cent responded positively. To stay safe and outside the reach of law enforcement agencies, vendors use different encrypted messaging applications. Seven in ten use Telegram.

Hackers target mostly organisations in banking, ecommerce, healthcare and education industries, with each industry having its own set of tailored tools.

“Almost every vendor offered us tailored versions of malware as a way of targeting specific companies or industries,” said Dr. Mike McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Surrey. “The more targeted the attack, the higher the cost, with prices rising even further when it involved high-value targets like banks. The most expensive piece of malware found was designed to target ATMs and retailed for approximately $1,500.”

Phishing remains the preferred method for infiltrating the networks, the report concluded.

Image Credit: Den Rise / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.