Alex Holden is the founder and CISO of Hold Security. Holden is credited with the discovery of many high-profile breaches including Adobe Systems, initial vendor breach that led to the discovery of the JPMorgan Chase breach, the independent discovery of the Target breach and Equifax Argentina (Veraz) breach. Considered one of the leading security experts, he regularly voices his professional opinion in mainstream media.
Examining hacker’s motivations is not an easy task. We need to step away from a “defender” mentality and try to understand what drives a hacker. Beyond technology, business drivers, and compliance, there is a human factor that is always present in an attack. On a practical example, understanding true motivations of a hacker Ree4 who was behind Target breach. What made him write “Kartoxa” malware? What drove Iranian hackers to disguise themselves as Russians during Ransomware attack against San Francisco’s Light Rail system? Hacker Tessa88 held the entire world hostage by selling billions of stolen records from the largest breaches including LinkedIn, Yahoo, and many others. What motivates him? Based on these real examples we draw a conclusion that knowing hackers’ motivation is one of the keys of stopping them.