Cyber Crime and Automation: Bots, Bots, and More Bots

September 23, 2022

With tools now available at the cybercrime boutique Genesis Market, online theft, fraud, and extortion have become user-friendly. It is no wonder the problem is growing faster than ever. Insider spoke with someone who knows a thing or two about the topic and reports, “A Former Cybercriminal Who Once Worked with—and Betrayed—the Secret Service Says the Easy Access to Bots Is One of the Biggest Threats on the Internet Right Now.” Now rehabilitated, ex-hacker Brett Shannon Johnson now works at a fraud prevention company. Writer Samantha Delouya tells us:

“[Johnson] told Insider he worries that shady corners of the web, like bot marketplace The Genesis Market, have made it easier for inexperienced criminals to commit complicated financial crimes. ‘You’ve got sophisticated tools that 98% of cybercriminals simply don’t use, and what scares me right now is we’re seeing that change [to more use],’ Johnson said. Johnson says these bot marketplaces can deliver everything a low-level hacker would need to commit complicated financial crimes. ‘When you visit a Genesis Market, you can search for the target that you’re wanting to get. Chase, Bank of America, Google, Walmart …. you can search for the target. It will deliver the bots that are accessing credentials for that target… So I buy the bot, and the bot delivers everything that I need,’ Johnson added.”

Delouya notes cryptocurrencies have been an especially juicy target recently. With these tools at the ready, Johnson suspects, the challenging economy will motivate many otherwise law-abiding folks to try their hand at financial crimes. For the rest of us, let this be a reminder to stay on top of security best-practices. Have you changed your important passwords lately?

Cynthia Murrell, September 23, 2022

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