Hackers still need some hacking skills, but that’s changing, according to a new study from security firm CrowdStrike.
The report, which was released Wednesday, said that while more than 60 percent of people with hacking experience say they have used a hack tool at least once, fewer than one in three hackers say they ever used a tool to break into a target’s network.
The findings are part of a series of research papers that the company is releasing in conjunction with the Cyber Security Conference in San Francisco.
It found that hackers who use tools like password managers and spear phishing are at higher risk of becoming victims of spear phishers and other phishing campaigns.
CrowdStrike said in its report that hackers with experience who have used hacking tools are less likely to be attacked by spear phisher campaigns and have lower likelihood of getting hacked in the first place.
The research said that attackers with less than five years of experience have the lowest likelihood of being attacked, compared to those who have more than five.
The researchers also found that nearly half of the people who have never used hacking products have used them in the past five years, compared with 37 percent of those who had used them for more than 10 years.
“The most common way of hacking is using a tool,” said Jonathan Weisman, a co-author of the report and a former FBI cyber threat intelligence officer.
“When you do it right, it’s a pretty easy way to get away with it.”
Weisman said that if someone wants to get into a company’s network, he recommends using the tools to gain access.
If he or she doesn’t, he said, “they need to learn how to do it themselves, or else they’re going to be very vulnerable.”
He added that those who are already in a position to get in can do so by using tools to create a foothold in a company, such as by exploiting vulnerabilities in software or a network.