A hacker-for-hire operation was found conducting cyber espionage operations against an international architectural and video production company that engages with billion-dollar real estate developers in New York and elsewhere. (C. Taylor Crothers/Getty Images)

In the span of just over three months, researchers have exposed three mercenary, “hacker-for-hire” groups engaging in industrial espionage and stealing corporate secrets for profit.

Despite using tactics, techniques and procedures that are more typical of a nation-state ATP group, these threat actors –  Dark BasinDeathStalker and an unnamed third entity group detailed late last month by Bitdefender – appear to have no government sponsor. Instead, they offer their cyber spying services to the highest bidder, in the form of organizations or individuals who seek intelligence on their business competition or their perceived enemies.

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