Feeling like a page taken out of the SpaceX competitions, the latest shock comes from news of an underworld hacking competition intent on sharing cutting edge malicious code.
With a prize of $15,000 to the hacker that can demonstrate the most cunning and original proof-of-concept video or code, this competition has garnered the attention of hacker’s worldwide. Promising an opportunity to "work with" the creators of REvil ransomware under "mutually beneficial conditions,” this latest black hat hacking contest affords would-be cybercriminals an opportunity for some fast cash today, and the potential for more in the future.
These competitions aren’t entirely new, but this latest one boasting a five-figure prize is big news. The danger in such competitions is the ability to foster ingenuity, spawn creativity, and encourage the sharing of ideas to make ransomware and other forms of malware more powerful and capable of successfully infiltrating organizations to carry out their dastardly programming.
You should be worried. The bad guys are getting together to figure out how to be “badder” and better at doing so. The right time to ensure proper security controls in place is now. Ensure your layered security strategy that protects the logical perimeter (think email and web access), endpoint (think anti-malware and endpoint protection), and user (think Security Awareness Training).
The bad guys want to create the best piece of code they can – just like the security vendors do. It’s a constant battle between cyber-good and evil, with both sides improving their game daily. Whether they win or not depends on you.