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Is Organized Crime Using Ransomware to Take Real World Competitors Offline?

What does the ransomware incidents at GWK Travelex and Gedia Automotive tell us about the evolution of ransomware trends, and the players behind the attacks?  Viewed from their individual incident cases it may appear that the only characteristics the businesses share was that they were both vulnerable and both hit by the same group.  But what if we’re wrong about that?  What if these two dissembler businesses share a third characteristic?  What if both of these businesses were attacked because they are infringing on the black markets of organized crime barons, who like the Las Vegas Casino organized crime barons before them, are now using their “muscle” against legitimate business operations who compete against them?  The lucrative black markets of money laundering and grey and black market automotive parts. What if the motivation for using ransomware attacks expanded beyond the return of a potential ransom paid?  Has the use of ransomware evolved into an asymmetric threat?  Is ransomware being used in a destructive capacity to disrupt the supply chain and business competitors of organized crime entities?

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Kevin McPeake

Kevin McPeake

For more than 30 years, Kevin McPeake has been a author, keynote speaker, innovator, pioneer and leader in cybersecurity and technological risk management domains. And the connection of cybersecurity to shareholder value is truly encoded into both his DNA and his career history. In 1991, Kevin invented the first product and co-founded one of the first two-way radio tower monitoring companies, Location Data Systems, Inc., which was wholly acquired by Motorola in 1995. In 1998, he co-founded Trust Factory, the first full-services cybersecurity consulting firm The Hague, which is now considered the cybersecurity capital of the Netherlands. He was the first public figure (2000) to call for making cybersecurity a function of Finance, rather than Technology, as a means to improve governance, organizational agility, and remove many of the business blockers, conflicts of interests, and high overheads that often affects security teams when cybersecurity operates as a function of Technology or Operations departments. He went on to implement this structure in two GSM companies - Orange (2004) and T-Mobile Netherlands (2015). He is the founder and driver behind Peak Security, a cybersecurity boutique focused on providing a sustainable ecosystem of security solutions, products and services, located in the center of The Hague, Netherlands.