Who are the threat actors responsible for targeting major events?

From lone-wolf hackers to state-sponsored threat actors, Kroll's Alan Brill explains the spectrum of agents that launch cyberattacks against massive events such as the Olympics.

TechRepublic spoke with Kroll cybersecurity and investigations senior managing director Alan Brill to discuss what threat actors are likely to be involved with a major event.

Brill: Well I think you've kind of recognized the fact that there's a spectrum. You have state actors and state-supported actors who are out there to get data for espionage purposes, for economic purposes. You have activists, those who are following a social cause, a political cause and looking to gain information, or do damage. You also have cybercriminals. They are not acting for state, they're acting for themselves. What are they looking for? They're looking for things that generally can be converted to money. You connect up to your bank, you connect up to a brokerage house, you put personal information that ought not to be out there, through there, through their intermediating networks.

You have those who are looking for corporate data, for commercial espionage, those who are looking to put things into your computer for ransomware payments. So, that exists across the spectrum, and really, unfortunately whether you like it or not, and whether you choose to ignore it or not. You know one of the most important thins to say about cyberrisk is this: You may choose to ignore the problem, but that is no guarantee that the problem is going to ignore you. That vulnerability is something you have to take into account and make a decision. What am I going to take? What am I going to use? How am I going to configure my system? Do I want to take my regular computer, or maybe I should just take something like a Chromebook that give me the ability to do what I need through a secure connection to the cloud. Again, a lot of options, just takes a little bit of thinking before you go.

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Image: iStock/natasaadzic

About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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