Industrial Espionage & State-Sponsored Attacks
Cited by Gartner
as one of the chief risks of instant communications, 20%
of the world’s corporate organizations see industrial espionage and state-sponsored attacks as their biggest threat. What The Economist terms
“offensive cyber-power – the ability to do harm in or through computer networks” is set to loom larger and larger in the coming years.
Industrial espionage attacks often target the instant communication channels that both public and private sector executives use on a daily basis. However, most enterprises lack the visibility to see into these channels and detect when their staff are interacting with accounts or content that could be harmful.
One sobering example here is the Pegasus spyware. Produced by Israeli NSO Group, Pegasus hit an estimated 1,400 WhatsApp users
, many of them human rights activists, lawyers, dissidents, and journalists. The spyware came with a malicious code that caused the infected mobile device to link to a remote server. Without the ability to detect threats emerging within WhatsApp, all of these victims lacked the protection layer they needed.
Similarly, Labyrinth Chollima, a North Korean threat actor, has used WhatsApp to deliver malicious payloads. With a last detected attack in June 2020
, Labyrinth Chollima connects with enterprise employees on LinkedIn, and lures them to WhatsApp, where the victims are hit with malware-laced messages and content.