Types of Cyber Crime (Part II)

Hacking is one of the most common ways of performing a cyber attack. A hacker’s job is to find a way to break into the secure system, determine its weakness and explore it. Hacking could be done in ethical ways (White Hat Hackers) as well in order to ensure cyber security.

Just like in typical cowboy fashion, the “white hats” are the good guys and the “black hats” are the bad guys. The “White Hats” are security experts who try to find the vulnerabilities in programs and systems, and report them to the manufacturers. They would be considered “ethical hackers” because they either have authorization to break into the system or program, or they do so with the intent of assisting the manufacturer in securing them. The “Black Hats” are the ones who are trying to find those same vulnerabilities and exploit them.

Social Engineering is another technique of attacking one’s confidential information. It is the art of influencing someone to do something which may or may not be in their best interest. Considering the security perspective, social engineering is defined as tricking an individual in order to get some confidential information.

Social engineering is one of the most common attacks on security as it is much easier to fool someone into giving you their password than trying to hack their system. Social engineering is also termed as human hacking.

Qualities of human nature attacked by criminals as a part of Social Engineering

  • Tendency to trust– If someone tells us we are a certain person, we usually accept that statement.
  • Laziness– Posting passwords on desks or screen.
  • Desire to be helpful: Assisting others would lead to a good appraisal.

Denial of Service (DoS): The most common and obvious type of DoS attack occurs when an attacker “floods” a network with information. When you type a URL for a particular website into your browser, you are sending a request to that site’s computer server to view the page. The server can only process a certain number of requests at once, so if an attacker overloads the server with requests, it can’t process your request. This is a “denial of service” because you can’t access that site.

One of the biggest categories of cyber crime is one of the least discussed — insider theft, by disgruntled or ex-employees. There’s also a category of attacks that do not have overt financial motives and that can constitute acts of war: Attempts to create havoc in computer systems that control nuclear power plants, dams and the electrical grid. This category is of the greatest concern to national security officials.

How social media is also involved?

By perusing the “routine” information, we supply to Facebook. I could locate you and pay you a visit unexpectedly. Talking about the pictures you post to Facebook and other social media sites; digital photographs contain the information called EXIF data. This information could allow me to track your location.

Looking at the scam history, some of the popular scams have been the ‘419 scam’, ‘See who viewed your profile!’, ‘Dad walks in on daughter …. Embarrassing!’, ‘Get a Starbucks gift card!’, ‘The ‘dislike’ button’, ‘Make thousands working from home!’ and the list goes on. (Source)

How can we be safe?

The first and foremost step to overcome the cybercrime is to accept that anybody can be hacked. Companies today fear to admit the fact as they are worried about their stock prices and do not want to portray themselves as vulnerable.  Maintaining “cyber hygiene” is another measure in order to shift the balance of cyber offense towards defense

CYBERCRIME cannot be completely eradicated in the real sense. With the advancements in technology the cyber abuse would definitely go a step forward. But we could undoubtedly make use of the same technology to curb this crime. We could employ more White Hat hackers; incorporate more security and awareness trainings in our corporate culture to stay alert and smart. The basics of security like installing firewalls, keeping your anti-virus updated, set your spam filters to high, are in our hands. No one would give you millions of dollars just with the click of a mouse. So act smart and do not open any email from an unknown source. By clicking on the link given in that email, you could be providing access to your confidential information to those hackers.

Well, the evolution has definitely happened from all standpoints. It may be technology, it may be cybercrime, and it may be motive and nature of attackers. What now needs to evolve is:

  • The awareness among masses and the initiative to fight cyber crime.
  • Accept the severity of cyber crime and be prepared to respond.
  • The interests and how different nations see cyber security, needs to be aligned.

Remember!

Security is not a destination, it’s a journey..!!

-Naman

 

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