Crimes committed using the internet and other digital devices as main elements are known as cybercrime. People committing such crimes are known as cybercriminals, and they work in organized groups and as individual hackers. Various crime techniques, from malware to ransomware and phishing attacks to blackmail, are unleashed on the internet daily by them. Most people affected by cybercrimes realize its implications only after a long time.
What is a Cybercrime?
Blatantly blackmailing a person and threatening them to expose the adult content they watch on the internet is the first cybercrime. It quickly escalated to adware that fills your internet page with ads related to your interest. Malware started stealing information stored on your computers, like bank details and passwords.
Viruses affected entire offices and even towns at a time, stalling work and costing million-dollar losses. Computer viruses will often destroy essential business documents in offices right before a huge contract sabotaging their profits.
Computer viruses, North Korean hackers were blocking huge bank websites from functioning, demanding Ransomware, malware, and adware – these are old, outdated cybercrimes. Modern cyber crimes have evolved with the internet and come in sneaky ways making the victim vulnerable to weird demands.
Who is a Cybercriminal?
Cybercriminals work in a professional way maintaining a vast network of people worldwide. They mainly operate on the dark web, stealing data and money from innocent internet users. The Internet of Things of IoT evolves daily, connecting our life more and more with the world wide web and compromising our security more than ever.
Business email compromise or BEC attacks, identity theft, and loan fraud using another person’s data are the common dark web cyber crimes today. Starting a fake website to collect people’s credit card details when they pay for it is common these days.
Phishing is the most common form of cybercrime that makes a user subscribe to a new website and gather all personal details about them. They create another identity for a criminal doing illegal activities using these details to create and sell fake passports on the dark web.
Pharming is another advanced version of Phishing where the users get automatically diverted to a fake site. If you try to buy a product from Amazon, you land on a page looking similar to that. But it is a pharming site that aims to track your shopping interests and sell them to the marketers or steal your payment details.
Crypto and fake websites
Cryptojacking occurs once you use such fake websites as they track your info, including the back details, and start mining cryptocurrency. Most victims of this crime are not aware their money and system are used for a crime until it is too late and they encounter substantial financial losses.
Using a good antivirus package in your system will warn you against these fake sites because they often lack security features. Besides, there will be minor differences in the logo and design of the website.
Once you use the fake site, you will receive a call stating you won a jackpot for being a hundredth customer for the site that particular day. They will ask you to pay money to collect a huge car or a TV and scoot with the money. Alternatively, people get invited to visit a place, beaten and mugged through such scams.
Influence on business and economy
Keylogging and sniffing are two cybercrimes associated with the business. Keylogging viruses monitor and capture every keystroke tracing the passwords of your systems and essential documents. They use it to enter business systems and steal important details from them. Businesses spend over $6 Trillion every year protecting their emails, training their employees regarding data theft, and fighting cybercriminals.
Many businesses fall prey to ransomware attacks, and their entire server gets hacked if one business email gets compromised in their office. The best way to total office security from cybercrime is to train all the employees on safe data usage and the latest cybercrime activities. The training will make them stay alert and active whenever they open an attachment or sense malware.
Most employees follow the rules when they are in the office diligently and forget the dangers of free Wi-Fi. Since most of them log in to the office or bank sites through their mobile internet, free Wi-Fi makes it extremely easy for sniffing hackers to collect their details. They hack into the businesses using weak employee links and wreak havoc within a few hours.
Cyber Extortion or DDoS attacks occur through such weak links, commonly called botnet attacks. They gather the employee details, log into their office server, and encrypt every file, making all systems dormant. The hackers release the dormancy only after releasing a certain amount of Ransomware.
Tips to protect from cybercrimes
Always use online signatures in the documents and proper encryption in business emails. Always ask for two-factor authentications to open any vital document or access your credit card. Create self-awareness among the organization’s employees about the looming threat and how to protect themselves.
Businesses must invest heavily in security measures and have an expert in the office to handle such issues. Even an hour of downtime due to ransomware attacks can cause thousands of dollars loss for huge businesses operating worldwide.
Cybercriminals might befriend you on social media or gaming platforms, luring you to download some cheats or discounts. Always remember your simple act of carelessness might affect your company and family in enormous ways, and think twice before accepting such offers.
Businesses can avoid Ransomware and malware if all employees work together and follow basic safety rules. They must be aware of spam and never open unauthorized email attachments in the office. Personal protection involves paying for encrypted credit cards and emails and staying clear of suspicious websites.
Individuals can avoid Phishing and sniffing attacks if they know how the dark web operates and stay alert in avoiding fake websites. Use an extra secure browser like Tor to prevent you from entering such websites and warn you about unsecured sites.