with Joel de la Garza, Jonathan Lusthaus, and @omnivorousread Cybercrime is unfortunately as evergreen a topic as the problem itself—which is why we’re re-running this popular security episode all about the criminal industry of cybercrime from 2019. The idea of the cybercriminal as lone wolf or hobby hacker is no longer much of a reality. Instead, the business of cybercrime looks a lot more like a large, global technology business, with many of the same structures, challenges, and even casts of characters that legitimate businesses have. In this conversation, a16z’s Joel de la Garza, a16z operating partner for information security (formerly CSO of Box and head Citigroup’s Cyber Intelligence Center), and Hanne Tidnam, discuss with Jonathan Lusthaus, Director of the Human Cybercriminal Project at the University of Oxford, the evolution of cybercrime into a sprawling and sophisticated international industry.
A dive into the sociological, operational, and tactical realities of this murky underworld, Lusthaus and de la Garza discuss who the players are, what they are motivated by, and specialize in—as well as how basic ideas like trust and anonymity function in a world where no one wants to get caught. How do criminal nicknames function as brand? Which countries tend to specialize in what kinds of crime, and why? And most of all, what changes when you begin to think of the business of cybercrime as an industry?