As the Presidential election is drawing closer, the Data Loss Gremlins are getting excited for their own election, competing to see who will be the biggest data loss threat of 2016.
Last week, Scorch and Mayhem debated which one can wipe out the most data with physical disasters. This week, meet Mal and Klepto of the Cyber Crime Party, both equally abominable in their own right.
Place of Birth: A capsid
Fun Fact: One mobile device infected with malware can cost an organization on average $9,485. This year, I will leave no device uninfected—and it’s going to get expensive!
Tell us about yourself: I live for infecting companies’ systems and compromising their data, and the more I infect, the stronger I become. Sometimes I want to encrypt files and demand ransom to fund new projects, sometimes I want to spy on people, and sometimes I simply want to create chaos.
Who should we call for a reference? Ask any computer user. I don’t even need to brag—I’m just that good at corrupting everything I touch. PCs are my specialty when it comes to spreading malware, but recently I’ve dipped my toes in the Mac pool. KeRanger ransomware is more trouble than users bargained for, and it’s certainly a treat to scare all those people who thought they were safe from me just because they have an Apple computer. Want more? Try asking Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital how much fun it was paying $17,000 to get their files back after they got hit with Locky ransomware.
What’s your greatest strength? I like to keep people on their toes. I never want them to know what I’ll be up to next, and with so many different forms of attacks, I can keep people guessing. They never see me coming! With attacks like CryptoWall, Moose, Demon, Rombertik, and so many more— it’s easy to see I’m clearly the biggest, baddest gremlin in town. You just never know what I’ll come up with next!
What’s your greatest weakness? My biggest weakness is informed users! Once they backup their data, I lose my power to hold it for ransom. And if they’re smart about keeping their security up to date, it’s harder for me to infect them in the first place. Thankfully I keep finding new ways to enter systems, so everyone who forgets to update their security software has a chance to fall victim to my evil plans.
Why are you a bigger threat than all those other gremlins? With so many malware strains to choose from, it’s easy to see why I’m the biggest threat. All it takes is for someone to click one wrong link, and I can take down a whole system. And I’m always innovating—12 new malware strains are discovered every minute. Good luck keeping up!
Place of Birth: Wrong side of the tracks
Fun Fact: More than 121 million records were compromised by hacking in 2015. That’s what I call a productive year! And I have big plans to make that number even higher in 2016.
Tell us about yourself: I like lurking in the background and pulling of big heists while no one’s looking. Some say that might make me humble, but honestly it’s easier to sneak into backdoors and catch people off guard when you’re not in the spotlight.
Who should we call to give you a reference? There are so many people who can give me a stellar reference. In December 2015, I weaseled my way into the UC Berkeley system and gained access to 80,000 financial accounts due to a slight security flaw. However, one of my best data breaches of all time is when I hacked into Target, and 40 million credit and debit card account numbers were exposed. That was a real highlight. I’m pretty proud of that Anthem hack, too. That upset about 80 million people!
What’s your greatest strength? My greatest strength is exploiting weaknesses. There is always a flaw in programming, and because I have such a high attention to detail, it’s easy for me to break into systems and get my hands on valuable data. The other day I was able to find a way into Facebook, and I got $15,000 for revealing my tricks. I’m also a big fan of people who use passwords that are easy to guess!
What’s your greatest weakness? Military-grade encryption is impossible to navigate, and SSL (secure socket layers) and 256-bit AES encryption are serious thorns in my side. It’s like an endless maze. Even if I steal the encrypted data, I can’t understand any of it. Talk about frustrating! My greatest weakness though is probably two-factor authentication. This drives me bananas—just when I think I’m getting into a system, my plan gets shut down!
Why are you a bigger threat than all those other gremlins? I’m sneaky, always lurking in the shadows waiting to break into your system to steal your data. You might see most of the other gremlins coming, but I attack when least expected. You’ll never even know I was there—well, until it’s too late, that is.