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When hacking began many decades ago, it was mostly the work of enthusiasts fueled by their passion for learning everything they could about computers and networks. Today, nation-state actors are developing increasingly sophisticated cyberespionage tools, while cybercriminals are cashing in millions of dollars targeting everything from Fortune 500 companies to hospitals.

Cyberattacks have never been more complex, more profitable, and perhaps even more baffling. At times, drawing clear lines between different kinds of activities is a challenging task. Nation-states sometimes partner with each other for a common goal, and sometimes they even appear to be working in tandem with cybercriminal gangs. Moreover, once a malicious tool is released, it is often recycled and reused by competing threat actors.

Following are some of the most creative and dangerous cyberespionage and cybercriminal groups, listed in no particular order:

Lazarus (a.k.a. Hidden Cobra, Guardians of Peace, APT38, Whois Team, Zinc)

A group associated with North Korea, Lazarus is known for perhaps the biggest cyber heist of all time: the attack on the Bangladesh Bank, which led to the theft of more than $100 million in February 2016. Yet, the group did much more than that.

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