Toolkits to facilitate in cyber attacks have become more accessible, easier to use and more widely utilised.

Attracting would-be criminals who would otherwise lack the technical expertise into cyber crime, a report by Symantec said that this is fuelling a self-sustaining, profitable and increasingly organised global economy. It said that the toolkits provide the ability to customise threats in order to evade detection, as well as automate the attack process.

It said that as cyber attacks have become more profitable, the popularity of attack kits has dramatically increased. This has led to more robust and sophisticated kits that are now often sold on a subscription-based model with regular updates, components that extend capabilities and support services.

Stephen Trilling, senior vice president at Symantec security technology and response, said: “In the past, hackers had to create their own threats from scratch. This complex process limited the number of attackers to a small pool of highly skilled cyber criminals.

“Today's attack toolkits make it relatively easy for even a malicious novice to launch a cyber attack and as a result, we expect to see even more criminal activity in this area and a higher likelihood that the average user will be victimised.”