A report by Crowdstrike that studied access brokers’ ads since 2019, found a preference among academic, government and technology institutions in the U.S.
Initial access brokers are a very important link in the cybercrime chain, as these attackers are responsible for breaching corporate networks for future attacks.
These brokers then offer other cybercriminals access to these networks, which then use malware, ransomware, move laterally, conduct espionage and other exploits.
The top targets appearing in dark web listings are the U.S. and the U.K. Listings from these two nations are selling for almost $4,000.
Between the two countries, the United States accounts for more than half of all primary access offers on dark web forums and markets.
The U.K. ranks far second with just 7%, while Brazil, Canada and France are also significant targets at between 6% and 8%.
The sectors targeted by initial access brokers are also different: depending on the company, the threat actors use the access for financial extortion, data exfiltration, cyber espionage and BEC acts, among others.
According to the Crowdstrike report, the academic, government and technology are the sectors most affected, followed by financial, health and energy services.
In terms of the mean asking price for each sector, government listings are the most expensive, at $6,151, followed by financial service providers at $5,855.
Nevertheless, the access broker economy is undergoing a similar upheaval to all sectors of cybercrime. Cybercriminals keep the supply alive through their operations. However, easily exploitable vulnerabilities such as Log4Shell have also gained notoriety.
In addition, ransomware gangs now use exclusive initial access contractors tasked to hack specific targets instead of buying random firm access.
For more information, read the original story in BleepingComputer.