Categories
Cybercrimes Internet security Malware Targeted Attacks Trojans Virus Worms

Knowing About Targeted Attacks

Cyberattacks are usually done with the aim to affect a large sum of people but targeted attacks are quite different. While the motive of hackers is same. I.e., cause harm to someone but they target single organization/company at a time. What are target attacks? Who are they targeting and what are the harms caused by such attacks? Knowing about any cyberattack is a step forward to prevent it. Even small pieces of knowledge can help you build up a plan in case of such targeted attacks. You can know about the basics by reading this article.

knowing-about-targeted-attacks

Cyberattacks aren’t new, they are happening and increasing at an alarming rate. Anyone can be the victim of these malicious attackers, me, you or anyone who is their target. But that doesn’t mean you have to panic, instead you can prepare yourself for such situations and react accordingly. Trust me that’s the need of the hour and will help you a lot.

Targeted attacks:

You can call an attack a targeted attacks if it fulfills the three main criteria:

  1. Main aim of that attack is to infiltrate the networks of their target and steal sensitive information from their servers.
  2. These attacks are target specific and it seen that to carry out this attack considerable amount of time, efforts and resources have been spent.
  3. Targeted attacks are persistent where attackers show considerable effort so that the attacks continue unless their aim is fulfilled.

Is there any difference between cyberattacks and targeted attacks?

As mentioned earlier targeted attacks are actually very different from the cyberattacks. Here’s how you can differentiate between them.

When an attack is done with the intention of harming maximum number of people in a short time span they are cyber attacks but when the attack is targeted they have a narrow scope limiting their targets to one company or organization. All their work, effort and research is carried out to lure people into their trap and getting access to their network.

While cyber attacks are opportunistic, automated and indiscriminate, targeted attacks are purposeful, deliberate and persistent. Intention behind any cyber crime is to steal money like stealing bank details but when any targeted attack takes place it occurs with the main intent of stealing information, the secondary intent is to steal money. Also targeted attacks take place on specific targets having a strong unifying theme like from the same organization.

Who are the targets?

Who are under the radar of target attackers is a concerning question. They can probably target and attack the following:

  • Billing companies : Attackers targeting and attacking billing companies have the purpose of accessing into customer’s account and steal important information. These information consists of financial information, customer’s database and technical data too.

  • Banks : The cyber criminals attack banks’ server with the intention of accessing information and illegally transfer money from the customers’ bank accounts.

Damage caused by targeted attacks:

The victims of target attacks can either be a whole company/organization or some employees of a company/organization in the following ways:

Effect on company:

  • Loss of customer’s information can be one of the damages caused by targeted attacks. Hackers break into the information database of the company and steal customer’s personal information which can be used for identity theft, extortion and blackmail.
  • Company’s reputation will be tarnished because of such attacks. Everyone will see the company incapable of being trusted with sensitive data important to their customers or related to national security.
  • Targeted attacks can cause financial loss too as they might lose clients or have to pay a lot because of legal troubles. Not just this but to repair all the damage caused by the attacks and for future investments companies have to pay big loads of money.
  • Target attacks can be very disrupting for any business and makes them unable to perform even their basic tasks. They either divert the manpower to deal with the attack and cause delay or cause a system downtime.

Effect on company’s employees:

  • Not just the company’s reputation but the employees’ reputation is at stake too. These attacks can also tarnish the reputation on any employee. Data breach results in stealing of important credentials and information that can be used in malicious ways to tarnish the image of employees.
  • Financial loss is very common when banking information of any employee is stolen.
  • Transferring funds from victim’s account is not the only way to steal money. Cyber criminals can use the stolen information of employees to blackmail them and extort money. If attacker’s aim is to steal/extort money then blackmailing is the most viable option for them as there’s no guarantee of getting your information back or destroyed by them. They can blackmail the victim as long as they are getting the money.
  • When cyber-attackers steal information or commit data breach they steal all the significant information and personal identity information. This includes your full name, phone numbers, address, banking details and other important information. This can lead to identity theft.
Categories
Cybercrimes Internet security Malware Phishing Trojans Virus Worms

Why Cybercrimes Are Spreading Like Forest Fire?

Cybercrimes are becoming the new normal. Everyday you wake up to almost a new case of scam, fraud, theft and what not? No, this should not be the new normal! If someones asks me what can we do about it, the answer is, “Educate yourself about cybercrimes as much as you can”. Because by the means of education you can fight back against these crimes and criminals.

One of the most important questions to be raised is, “why there is a hike in the rate of cybercrimes”? the root of the problem will give you the solution. If we work on this principle then it can be a step forward in flattening this crime curve. What kind of cybercrimes are rising and why is the main concern of this article. Let’s begin with the first concern, I.e. the types of cybercrimes rising this year.

cybercrime-spreding-like-forest-fire

Cybercrimes:

Criminal activities targeting or using computers by using a computer network or networked device is termed as a cybercrime. Most of the cybercrimes are committed by the hackers with the intention of stealing money from net users. But some of the cybercrimes are carried by individuals or even organizations.

The main aim of cybercrime is to steal personal information of users, commit crimes and extort money from them. Sometimes the aim can also be other than that like fulfilling any political or personal agenda. A lot of hackers use advanced techniques and are technically skilled. Such crimes are mostly organized.

There are different types of cybercrimes you must have heard about, mentioned here:

  • Identity theft : People using internet for cash transactions and banking services are under the target of cyber attackers. Hackers get unauthorized access to your system and steal important information about you like bank account details, credit and debit card numbers etc. And transfer money from your account or buy things online in the victim’s name. By stealing your identity such criminals can cause you financial loss.

  • Hacking : Hacking is one of the most common cybercrimes committed by hackers for accessing into the system of their victim and steal their credentials and sensitive information by using a variety f softwares. Government systems are usually targeted by the hackers so that they can gain notoriety.

  • Illegal selling on dark web : When hackers steal your information they can sell it to third party on dark web. Besides victim’s information other illegal things like drugs, weapons etc are sold here and the transaction takes place via cryptocurrency. Millions of users around the world are selling and buying illegal stuff on dark web.

  • Computer vandalism : In order to disrupt businesses computer vandalism is used where attackers damage computers and their data. Malicious programs are designed for performing harmful tasks like extracting login information, erasing hard drives and more.

Reason behind increased cybercrime:

  • Doing their research : Nowadays cybercriminals have become smart as they are doing research about their potential targets. They try to gain as much information as possible about the victim. Publicly available data from social media is a big help for them.

  • Cybercrimes can be operated from anywhere : Thanks to the easily accessible internet, cybercrimes can be operated from almost anywhere. To operate without any difficulty criminals are working in countries with limited digital crime laws or only lax enforcement standards. It’s a comfort zone for any criminal to work in a place with lower risk of being caught.

  • Art of being patient and persistent : Thinking that all the attackers are impatient when it comes to scamming people is not true in every case. Now that they have grown smarter they have learned the art of being patient and persistent. They know that having patience can be beneficial to them. Data breaches can take weeks to be discovered and that time is used by the attackers to spread malware to maximum users and stealing their data without being caught. Persistent criminals start by gathering information from social media platforms and then use it for extracting important information.

  • Evolving scams : Scams are evolving with the scammers at an alarming rate. They know old schemes won’t work on most of the users so they have evolved their techniques. Touch screens have become really popular amongst the present population. Scammers came with the plan to created digitalized dust particles or hair follicles. They appear on your phone/computer/laptop screen, you swipe it and in that moment a malware is installed on your system.

  • Targeting maximum people at a time : Because of email facility targeting bulk of people at a time isn’t a big task for scammers. Nowadays everyone is receiving mails with attachments looking from any legitimate organization. All you have to do is click open the attachment and your system is infected. Sending mails is an easy option is cheap and you can send it in bulk at a times