Do Hacker Groups Pose a Risk to Organizations? Study on Financial Institutions Targeted by Hacktivists

43 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2021 Last revised: 12 Jul 2021

See all articles by Jussi Keppo

Jussi Keppo

National University of Singapore - NUS Business School

Mikko Niemela

Singapore Management University - Lee Kong Chian School of Business

Date Written: July 1, 2021

Abstract

As organizations are increasingly engaged in the digital world with greater dependency on data, crime and activism have shifted from the streets to the internet. In this paper, we study the impact of activist hacking campaigns on financial institutions. We look into how target institutions’ deep web and dark web exposure in terms of different risk categories is affected by hacking campaigns, and the interactions of the risk categories during the campaigns. On average, hacking campaigns raise the target institutions’ deep web and dark web exposure by 62 percent per year during the first two years after the campaigns’ start date. Small financial institutions are more vulnerable to the campaigns than large institutions. Further, leaked employee passwords amplify the campaign effect substantially, which allows us to forecast the institutions’ cyber exposure changes during and after the campaigns.

Keywords: Cyber risk, risk management, hacking campaign, financial institution

JEL Classification: C23, C53, G21

Suggested Citation

Keppo, Jussi and Niemela, Mikko, Do Hacker Groups Pose a Risk to Organizations? Study on Financial Institutions Targeted by Hacktivists (July 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3835547 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3835547

Jussi Keppo (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore - NUS Business School ( email )

1 Business Link
Singapore, 117592
Singapore

Mikko Niemela

Singapore Management University - Lee Kong Chian School of Business ( email )

469 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 912409
Singapore

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