At CyberCrimeCon’21, Group-IB highlighted global and regional sales of access to corporate networks as a major trend established in 2021, and growing in 2022.

Group-IB revealed at its annual threat hunting and intelligence CyberCrimeCon’21 conference findings from its research into global cyberthreats Hi-Tech Crime Trends 2021/2022.

Among its key findings was that, in H2 2020 to H1 2021, the market for the sales of access to corporate networks continued to flourish and reached US$7,165,387 globally, a 16% increase compared to the corresponding period a year earlier.

In APAC alone, the total cost of all the accesses to the region’s companies available in the underground totaled US$3,307,210 in the review period, which is nearly a 7-fold increase year-on-year.

Most of the corporate network access on sale belonged to organizations from Australia (36%), India (23%) and China (14%).

Cybercriminals who buy access to corporate networks frequently monetize it with the help of ransomware-as-a-service affiliate programs. Group-IB analysts expect the growing demand for ransomware to contribute to the emergence of new initial access brokers and the general increase in the number of access offers.

More breakdowns from the Hi-Tech Crime Trends report – in terms of market size globally and in Asia Pacific, the top countries and top industries targeted, and the growth and evolution of this cybercriminal activity – are available in this infographic.