Why the Cyber Criminal Wins

How to Level the Playing Field

Why is access to a computer, laptop,tablet, cell phone and Internet access so important to success in the world today?

Access to a computer, a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, a cell phone, or the internet is crucial for success in the modern world for several reasons:

  1. Education and Learning:
    • Online Learning Resources: Computers and internet access provide access to a vast array of educational resources, including online courses, e-books, and academic journals. Platforms like Khan Academy, Coursera, and edX offer free and paid courses that can enhance one’s knowledge and skills in various fields .
    • Virtual Classrooms: Especially highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to attend virtual classes has become essential for continuing education without physical presence. This flexibility is crucial for students at all levels .
  2. Employment Opportunities:
    • Job Searches: The internet is a primary tool for job hunting, with platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor providing access to job listings and networking opportunities .
    • Remote Work: Many modern jobs require or benefit from the ability to work remotely. Laptops, tablets, and smartphones enable employees to perform their tasks from anywhere, making access to these devices essential for participation in the global workforce .
  3. Communication and Networking:
    • Professional Networking: Social media platforms like LinkedIn help individuals network professionally, which is critical for career growth and opportunities .
    • Staying Connected: Smartphones and the internet allow for constant communication through email, messaging apps, and video calls, which is vital for personal and professional relationships .
  4. Access to Information:
    • News and Updates: The internet provides real-time access to news and information, helping individuals stay informed about current events and developments in their fields of interest .
    • Research and Data: For professionals and students, access to digital libraries, research databases, and other online resources is indispensable for conducting research and staying updated with the latest findings .
  5. Economic Participation:
    • E-Commerce: Access to the internet allows individuals to participate in the digital economy, whether as consumers or entrepreneurs. E-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay enable buying and selling goods and services online .
    • Financial Services: Online banking and financial services provide convenience and accessibility for managing finances, making investments, and conducting transactions .
  6. Healthcare:
    • Telemedicine: Access to computers and the internet facilitates telehealth services, allowing individuals to consult with healthcare providers remotely. This is especially crucial for those in remote areas or with mobility issues .
    • Health Information: The internet provides access to health information and resources, helping individuals make informed decisions about their health and wellness .

In summary, access to digital devices and the internet is vital for education, employment, communication, information, economic participation, and healthcare. These tools enable individuals to engage in and benefit from the opportunities of the modern digital world.


Why do so many people pay so little time to understand how a computer, a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, a cell phone or access to the internet internal functionality?

There are several reasons why many people spend little time understanding the internal functioning of computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, or internet access:

  1. Complexity and Specialization:
    • Technical Complexity: The internal workings of modern digital devices and the internet are highly complex. Understanding hardware components, software, networking protocols, and cybersecurity requires specialized knowledge and education.
    • Specialization: Many people rely on professionals (e.g., IT support, technicians) to handle technical issues, which reduces the need for them to understand these complexities themselves​ (Read the Docs)​.
  2. Convenience and User-Friendly Design:
    • User Interface Design: Manufacturers design devices to be user-friendly and intuitive, minimizing the need for users to understand the underlying technology. The focus is on providing a seamless user experience rather than requiring technical knowledge​ (Read the Docs)​.
    • Plug-and-Play: Many modern devices and software are designed to work out of the box with minimal setup, encouraging users to focus on functionality rather than internal mechanics.
  3. Time and Prioritization:
    • Busy Lifestyles: People often have busy schedules and prioritize their time on activities they perceive as more immediately beneficial or necessary, such as work, family, and personal interests​ (Read the Docs)​.
    • Interest Levels: Not everyone has a natural interest in technology. Many users are content with knowing how to operate their devices without delving into the technical details.
  4. Education and Awareness:
    • Educational Gaps: Many educational systems do not prioritize teaching the inner workings of technology to a broad audience. Computer science and engineering are often specialized subjects not included in general curricula​ (Read the Docs)​.
    • Awareness: There is sometimes a lack of awareness about the importance or benefits of understanding the technology that people use daily.
  5. Reliance on Technology:
    • Dependency on Technology: As technology becomes more integral to daily life, users become more dependent on it without necessarily understanding it. This dependency can lead to a comfort zone where users are proficient in using devices but not in understanding them​ (Read the Docs)​.
    • Support Systems: The availability of extensive support systems, including customer service, tech support, and online forums, allows users to resolve issues without needing to understand the technology deeply​ (Read the Docs)​.
  6. Economic Factors:
    • Cost of Education: Gaining a deep understanding of technology often requires formal education, which can be expensive and time-consuming. This barrier can deter people from pursuing such knowledge​ (Read the Docs)​.
  7. Psychological Factors:
    • Technophobia: Some people may have an inherent fear or anxiety about technology, which discourages them from exploring and understanding it in depth.
    • Satisfaction with Surface Knowledge: Many users find that surface-level knowledge meets their needs, leading to a lack of motivation to learn more​ (Read the Docs)​.

Overall, while some people are deeply interested in understanding the internal workings of their devices, many others prioritize ease of use, convenience, and reliance on specialized professionals for technical support.

Why do so many criminals pay so much time to understand how a computer, a desktop, a laptop, a tablet, a cell phone or access to the internet internally function?

Criminals invest significant time in understanding the internal functions of computers, desktops, laptops, tablets, cell phones, and internet access due to several key motivations:

  1. Financial Gain:
    • Cybercrime Profits: Cybercriminals can make substantial amounts of money through various illegal activities such as identity theft, credit card fraud, ransomware attacks, and selling stolen data on the dark web​ (Read the Docs)​ .
    • Scamming and Phishing: Understanding the technology allows criminals to create convincing phishing schemes and scams, tricking victims into providing sensitive information or making financial transactions .
  2. Exploitation of Vulnerabilities:
    • Identifying Weaknesses: By understanding how systems and software work, criminals can identify and exploit vulnerabilities. This knowledge is crucial for launching effective malware attacks, exploiting software bugs, and bypassing security measures .
    • Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs): Criminals involved in APTs spend time studying systems to maintain long-term access and extract valuable information without being detected .
  3. Anonymity and Evasion:
    • Covering Tracks: Knowledge of computer systems and the internet allows criminals to better hide their tracks, use encryption, employ anonymizing tools like Tor, and avoid detection by law enforcement .
    • Creating and Using Botnets: By understanding network functions, criminals can create botnets—networks of infected devices that can be used for large-scale attacks like Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) .
  4. Information and Intelligence Gathering:
    • Reconnaissance: Understanding how devices and networks function helps criminals perform reconnaissance on targets, gather intelligence, and plan their attacks effectively .
    • Espionage: Cybercriminals, especially those involved in corporate or state-sponsored espionage, invest time in learning how to breach systems to steal confidential information and trade secrets .
  5. Automation and Scalability:
    • Developing Tools and Scripts: Advanced knowledge allows criminals to develop automated tools and scripts that can launch widespread attacks with minimal effort. This scalability is essential for activities like spamming, spreading malware, and conducting large-scale fraud .
    • Efficiency in Operations: Automation and understanding of technology improve the efficiency of criminal operations, making them more lucrative and less likely to be detected .
  6. Intellectual Challenge and Prestige:
    • Hacker Culture: Some individuals are motivated by the intellectual challenge and the prestige within certain subcultures of hacking communities. Successfully breaching a high-profile target can bring status and recognition among peers .
    • Skill Development: Continuous learning and understanding of technology are essential for staying ahead of cybersecurity measures and developing more sophisticated attack methods .

Criminals invest time in understanding the internal functions of digital devices and the internet to exploit vulnerabilities, gain financial rewards, evade detection, and improve the efficiency and scalability of their operations. Their efforts are driven by the significant profits and the intellectual challenge associated with cyber crime.

What term describes an individual opposite to the cyber criminal?

The term that describes an individual who uses a computer, laptop, tablet, or cell phone to access the internet and is the opposite of a cyber criminal is generally referred to as a “law-abiding digital citizen”. This term encompasses several more specific roles, such as:

  1. Responsible User: Someone who uses technology and the internet responsibly, following legal and ethical guidelines.
  2. Digital Citizen: An individual who utilizes information technology to engage in society, politics, and government in a responsible and constructive manner. Digital citizenship involves using the internet safely, ethically, and respectfully​ (Read the Docs)​.
  3. Ethical User: A person who adheres to ethical standards when using digital devices and the internet, ensuring that their actions do not harm others and that they respect privacy and intellectual property laws.
  4. Cybersecurity Advocate: Someone who promotes safe and secure use of technology, often educating others about cybersecurity best practices and online safety​ (Read the Docs)​.

These individuals contribute positively to the digital world, respecting laws and norms while utilizing technology for personal, professional, and educational purposes.

How does Volatility3 help protect the responsible user, the digital citizen, the ethical user, and the cybersecurity advocate and limit the effectiveness of the cyber criminal?

Volatility3, a powerful memory forensics framework, plays a crucial role in protecting responsible users, digital citizens, ethical users, and cybersecurity advocates while limiting the effectiveness of cyber criminals. Here are several ways Volatility3 achieves this:

1. Detection of Malicious Activities:
  • Malware Analysis: Volatility3 helps in detecting and analyzing malware that may be running on a system. Plugins like malfind can identify hidden or injected code, helping users and cybersecurity professionals detect and remove malicious software​ (Read the Docs)​.
  • Rootkit Detection: It can detect rootkits that hide their presence on systems, providing insights into any unauthorized kernel modifications or hidden processes​ (Read the Docs)​​ (Read the Docs)​.
2. Incident Response and Investigation:
  • Forensic Analysis: Volatility3 allows forensic investigators to analyze memory dumps and uncover evidence of cyber crimes. This is critical for understanding the nature of the attack, identifying compromised systems, and gathering evidence for legal actions​ (Read the Docs)​​ (Read the Docs)​.
  • Data Recovery: By analyzing memory, Volatility3 can help recover data that might have been lost or encrypted during an attack, aiding in the restoration of affected systems​ (Read the Docs)​.
3. Enhancing Cybersecurity Practices:
  • Security Audits: Ethical users and cybersecurity advocates can use Volatility3 to perform regular security audits of their systems, ensuring there are no unauthorized activities or vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cyber criminals​ (Read the Docs)​.
  • Education and Training: Volatility3 serves as an educational tool for teaching digital citizens and cybersecurity students about memory forensics and the importance of understanding system internals to defend against threats​ (Read the Docs)​.
4. Limiting Cyber Criminal Activities:
  • Exposing Techniques and Tools: By thoroughly analyzing malware and attack methods, Volatility3 helps the cybersecurity community understand the techniques used by cyber criminals, which can then be countered and defended against more effectively​ (Read the Docs)​​ (HackTricks | HackTricks | HackTricks)​.
  • Developing Countermeasures: The insights gained from Volatility3 analyses can be used to develop more robust security measures and defenses, making it harder for cyber criminals to succeed in their attacks​ (Read the Docs)​​ (Read the Docs)​.
5. Support for Law Enforcement:
  • Legal Evidence: Volatility3 aids law enforcement by providing the necessary tools to gather and analyze digital evidence, which can be used to prosecute cyber criminals and reduce cybercrime​ (Read the Docs)​​ (HackTricks | HackTricks | HackTricks)​.

In summary, Volatility3 helps protect responsible and ethical users by providing powerful tools for detecting, analyzing, and responding to cyber threats. It enhances the capabilities of cybersecurity advocates by offering detailed insights into system behavior and malicious activities, thereby reducing the effectiveness of cyber criminals.


What are Plugins in Volatility3?

Volatility3 is a comprehensive memory forensics framework that includes a variety of plugins designed to detect different types of threats. Here’s a summary of some key plugins, the types of threats they detect, and how the data collected from each plugin helps in threat detection:

  1. Malfind:
    • Threat Detected: Malware and injected code.
    • How It Works: Scans processes to identify memory ranges with read, write, and execute permissions, which are common indicators of code injection by malware​ (Read the Docs)​​ (Read the Docs)​.
  2. PsList and PsScan:
    • Threat Detected: Suspicious processes.
    • How It Works: PsList navigates kernel structures to list active processes, while PsScan scans memory to find processes that might have been hidden or unlinked by malware​ (HackTricks | HackTricks | HackTricks)​​ (Read the Docs)​.
  3. DllList and DllDump:
    • Threat Detected: Malicious or injected DLLs.
    • How It Works: Lists and dumps loaded DLLs from processes to identify any that are unusual or potentially malicious​ (Read the Docs)​.
  4. Handles:
    • Threat Detected: Unusual or unauthorized system handles.
    • How It Works: Lists open handles in the system, which can indicate suspicious activities like unauthorized file access or manipulation of system objects​ (Read the Docs)​.
  5. NetScan and NetStat:
    • Threat Detected: Network-based threats.
    • How It Works: NetScan scans for active network connections and sockets, while NetStat provides a detailed list of network statistics, helping to identify suspicious network activities​ (Read the Docs)​.
  6. HashDump:
    • Threat Detected: Credential theft.
    • How It Works: Extracts password hashes from the memory, which can then be analyzed to detect unauthorized access or credential dumping attacks​ (Read the Docs)​.
  7. Registry Plugins (e.g., hivelist, userassist):
    • Threat Detected: Persistence mechanisms and system configurations.
    • How It Works: Analyzes the Windows registry hives to uncover persistence mechanisms used by malware, such as startup entries or scheduled tasks​ (Read the Docs)​.
  8. SvcScan:
    • Threat Detected: Malicious or suspicious services.
    • How It Works: Scans for and lists all services running on the system, which helps identify any that are potentially malicious​ (Read the Docs)​.
  9. DriverScan and DriverModules:
    • Threat Detected: Malicious drivers.
    • How It Works: Scans for loaded kernel drivers and modules to identify any that might be malicious or unauthorized​ (Read the Docs)​.
  10. YaraScan:
    • Threat Detected: Known malware patterns.
    • How It Works: Uses Yara rules to scan memory for patterns associated with known malware, aiding in the detection of specific malware families​ (Read the Docs)​.

These plugins work together by analyzing different aspects of system memory, looking for anomalies, unauthorized modifications, or patterns associated with malicious activities. This holistic approach helps in identifying various types of threats that might compromise an individual’s system. For a more detailed understanding and comprehensive list of plugins, you can refer to the Volatility3 documentation​ (Read the Docs)​​ (Read the Docs)​.

How to make Volatility3 more effective in detecting cyber criminals and cyber threats.

See our previous post.

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