Trend Micro report shows how criminal organizations come to resemble legitimate businesses
HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach
– 12 April 2023 – Trend Micro
; TSE: 4704
), a global cybersecurity leader, today published new research detailing how criminal groups start behaving like corporations as they grow bigger, but that this comes with its own attendant costs and challenges. To read a full copy of the report, Inside the Halls of a Cybercrime Business, please visit: https://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/hk/security/news/cybercrime-and-digital-threats/inside-the-halls-of-a-cybercrime-business Jon Clay, VP of threat intelligence at Trend Micro
: “The criminal underground is rapidly professionalizing – with groups beginning to mimic legitimate businesses that grow in complexity as their membership and revenue increases. However, larger cybercrime organizations can be harder to manage and have more ‘office politics,’ poor performers, and trust issues. This report highlights to investigators the importance of understanding the size of the criminal entities they’re dealing with.”
A typical large organization allocates 80% of its operating expenses to wages, with the figure similarly high (78%) for small criminal organizations, according to the report. Other common expenses include infrastructure (servers/routers/VPNs), virtual machines, and software.
The study outlined three types of organizations based on size, using examples where Trend Micro collected the most data from law enforcement and insider information. Small criminal businesses (e.g., Counter Anti-Virus service Scan4You):
Medium-sized criminal businesses (e.g., bulletproof hoster MaxDedi):
- Typically, one management layer, 1-5 staff members, and under $500K in annual turnover.
- Their members often handle multiple tasks within the group and also have a day job on top of this work.
- Comprise the majority of criminal businesses, often partnering with other criminal entities.
Large criminal business (e.g., ransomware group Conti):
- Typically have two management layers, 6-49 employees, and up to $50m in annual turnover.
- They usually have a pyramid-style hierarchical structure with a single person in charge.
- Typically have three management layers, 50+ staff, and $50m+ in annual turnover.
- Feature relatively large numbers of lower management and supervisors.
- Implement effective OPSEC and partner with other criminal organizations.
- Those in charge are seasoned cyber-criminals and hire multiple developers, administrators, and penetration testers – including short-term contractors.
- They may have corporate-like departments (e.g., IT, HR) and even run employee programs, such as performance reviews.
According to the report, knowing the size and complexity of a criminal organization can provide critical clues to investigators, such as what types of data to hunt for.
For example, larger criminal entities may store employee lists, financial statements, company guides/tutorials, M&A documents, employee crypto wallet details, and even shared calendars to probe.
Understanding the size of targeted criminal organizations can also allow law enforcers to prioritize better which groups should be pursued for maximum impact.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
About Trend Micro
Trend Micro, a global cybersecurity leader, helps make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Fueled by decades of security expertise, global threat research, and continuous innovation, Trend Micro’s cybersecurity platform protects hundreds of thousands of organizations and millions of individuals across clouds, networks, devices, and endpoints. As a leader in cloud and enterprise cybersecurity, the platform delivers a powerful range of advanced threat defense techniques optimized for environments like AWS, Microsoft, and Google, and central visibility for better, faster detection and response. With 7,000 employees across 65 countries, Trend Micro enables organizations to simplify and secure their connected world. www.trendmicro.com.hk.
Stakeholder mapping, analysis, engagement and communication needs to be detailed to avoid business losses or even worse, a crisis. How can you do this effectively to prevent failure? ...
Data-driven business decisions have never been as crucial, especially in this era. MGBF leverages off, technology, experience and market presence to aid businesses in making accurate decisions. ...
MGBF provides comprehensive strategic advice and results-focused solutions to solve clients' problems in business-government relations so they can focus on their core business. ...
A critical business challenge is meeting the right decision-makers and potential buyers through the best channel and platform. How will you improve your business competency? ...
MGBF is hosting a networking session with Romania's global analyst, Radu Magdin, in Kuala Lumpur. Join the discussion on strategic shifts and conflict flash points that impact Malaysia’s international facing business.
Expanding on the Malaysian government's efforts to promote the country as a trade and investment destination of choice, MGBF will engage with the many industry leaders who announced multi-billion dollar commitments.
The global trend towards a sustainable future is driven by multiple forces. What does Malaysia have to do to achieve resilience at the corporate level while creating new business opportunities?
Special session: Cyberwarfare Waged on the Corporate Sector - Lessons from the Russia-Ukraine Crisis. Corporations are in a digital arms race that many don't realise. How does this relate to your organisation?
MGBF In The News
The classic knee-jerk reaction is to say, fire the coach, change the leadership of associations, and reduce the funding till they start performing better. This kind of negative reinforcement may work for kindergarten children, but we are dealing with high-performance adults – individuals much further along in their psychological and […]
Since its earliest tea plantations in 1929, Cameron Highlands has grown to become a key player in the agricultural landscape of Malaysia, producing 40 per cent of all vegetables grown. Despite Malaysia shifting its economic focus away from agriculture, the industry remains imperative for food security and the livelihoods of […]
Although at first glance the travel industry and the agricultural sector appear to have nothing in common, they actually share more than meets the eye. The economic benefits of tourism to the agricultural sector can be multiplied several times over. “Tourism brings the end consumers closer to the source, which […]
The Malaysia Global Business Forum (MGBF) recently held a high-level roundtable themed ‘Designing the Future of the Digital Economy’, attended by industry leaders and business associations. The guest of honour was Yang Berhormat Syerleena Abdul Rashid, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bukit Bendera in Penang. The MP’s Special Session […]
The Malaysia Global Business Forum (MGBF) will be hosting a roundtable on ‘Designing the Future of the Digital Economy’ on 23 February 2023. It is the culmination of the first three MGBF Exclusive Roundtable Series titled ‘The Evolving Threat Matrix in the Digital Economy’ held throughout 2022. According to the […]
The Founding Chairman of the Malaysia Global Business Forum (MGBF), Nordin Abdullah, today spoke on Bernama TV’s leading English talk show, The Brief, hosted by Jessy Chahal, on the topic of a stable political reality and what that means for the Malaysian economy. Nordin said, “The first thing that it […]
More than 1,100 years ago, Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi was developing the mathematical formulas that we know today as algorithms which now have become so intertwined with the business fortunes of global media giants and the very fabric of geopolitics. A series of recent high level international reports have revealed […]
KSK Land has been recognised by the Malaysia Global Business Forum (MGBF) for its role in attracting high net-worth individuals to Malaysia post-pandemic. The first challenge in investor attraction is “selling” the country. In the context of Asia, Malaysia is competing with some very established investment destinations. The second […]
Malaysia, in particular Kuala Lumpur, continues to position itself as a regional centre to do business, educate a family and enjoy a global lifestyle. One company, KSK Land, has taken the lead in positioning itself and the city of Kuala Lumpur as a property investment destination for the global citizen […]
The upcoming budget represents an opportunity to build resilience in the critical sectors that will form the backbone of the country’s future-facing economic ambitions. This however needs to be achieved in the context of managing the community sectors most impacted by COVID-19 over the past two years. The Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) […]
Malaysia Global Business Forum (MGBF) has moved to support the creative economy as the overall economy moves into a recovery phase following the COVID19 pandemic. As a step in the direction of normalcy, the MGBF has agreed to host the art exhibition “I Know You’re Somewhere So Far” by one […]
Congratulations to Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob for taking up the mantle of the ninth prime minister of Malaysia. There is nothing normal about the situation; it could not have been scripted but it has kept the spectrum of media, mainstream and social, gripped. The first order of business for […]
In a stirring speech to the nation, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. stamped his brand of leadership on the presidency, in his first act as the 46th president of the United State of America, it signaled several shifts. Perhaps the weather was foreboding with snow falling before the ceremony that […]
KUALA LUMPUR, 6 July 2022 – As the global economy continues to deal with unprecedented levels of disruption caused by the pandemic and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the convergence of energy security and food security issues has become a front-of-mind issue faced by policy makers and consumers alike. […]
KUALA LUMPUR, 23 June 2022 — Malaysia Global Business Forum (MGBF) ties up with scoutAsia to ensure that businesses are equipped with deeper regional insights. The past two years has seen a massive shift in the way businesses are conducted with digitisation, digitalisation and automation continuously being adopted to improve […]
KUALA LUMPUR, 25 May 2022 – The Malaysia Global Business Forum (MGBF)’s exclusive roundtable on ‘Security Concerns in Critical Value Chains’ was held in a hybrid setting yesterday at the Eastin Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The guest of honour was Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Rafidah Aziz, former minister of […]
We live in the age of crisis. At the heart of any crisis is the threat of rapid change. Change too deep or too wide that the current coping mechanisms for an individual, corporation or government are unable to remain resilient. An unwelcome paradigm shift, like the proverbial spider, that […]
The Malaysia Global Business Forum (MGBF) has released a report following the roundtable on ‘Digital Resilience in the Corporate Sector’, which was recently held in Kuala Lumpur. In attendance as guest of honour was Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin. The report recommended several critical development […]
Trade and investment delegations will trickle back over the next few months, but the second half of the year should see considerable return of business travellers. It was learnt that over 50 per cent of international business chambers and industry associations surveyed will consider sending exploratory teams to Malaysia during […]