Cybercrime, Crimeware and How to Protect Your Organization
“The era of web blackmailing, racket and chantage is about to start.”
Do you need to gather evidence of online criminal activities for potential future litigation or other legal requirement?
Malware, Ransomware, DDoS, spam, botnets and associated threats and issues via crimeware are some of the most serious economic and security threats to functioning governments, companies and individuals in this current digital era.
2014 was a dark year in cybercrime; with record breaking incidences of hacking and data breaches for both individuals and companies, creating a black marketplace of personal and corporate data, financial and medical records and much more stolen information.
Gemalto’s Breach Level Index (BLIA) report that the number of global data breaches rose by 50% from 2013. These processes are becoming not only more dangerous and common – but profitable for the cyber criminals involved.
Ease to cause. Difficult to prevent. Financially driven.
Hackers have procured a way in a form of malware to make money off negligent site administrators and individuals, with vulnerable website applications with critical data providing an easy way to compromise, threaten and extort companies. Criminals now have the ease, luxury and danger of working under the guise of the internet to cause as much economic damage and international panic as desired with the minimal resources of technical knowledge, time and a computer – and engage in the threatening phenomenon of cybercrime by way of crimeware.
These online criminals have unlimited resources of data, technology, and ill intent to damage, defraud and scam millions at the stroke of a few keys.
But what exactly is Crimeware?
Crimeware is collectively the programs, viruses, forms and techniques of social engineering utilised to fraudulently obtain financial gains from either the targeted parties or others. These financial gains come from either direct access to funds, or exploiting sensitive and confidential information and can be obtained directly (using stolen information) or indirectly (renting botnets). And so the loss as a result of some crimeware hacks have huge social impacts, compromising governments, companies and individuals reputations and economic well-being.
Crimeware can affect big corporations or an individual with online banking – anyone with an internet connection and personal information to disclose is susceptible to any, and more, of the following:
- Personal data theft
- Financial loss from exploiting online banking passwords
- Identity theft
- Invasion of privacy
- Loss of production due to spam., pop ups, interruptions to software and operating systems
- Keystroke logging
- Compromising computer systems and executing remote commands
- Compromised computers can be used to target third parties to launch more span, DOS attacks, distribution of malware and more (bots).
- Access cached passwords
The silent operations undertaken by crimeware are often not reported – due to a sense of defenselessness or to avoid negative publicity, and the customized nature of these attacks also add an additional hurdle for conventional anti-virus systems to configure.
Crimeware creators are not merely tech savvy thrill seekers looking to simply break into a system for notoriety – they are looking for, and finding, financial gains. They capitalise on the “blended threats” of spyware, phishing and malware – of which WebPreserver’s Blog will keep you updated on new forms and reported hacks, including posts on:
Regulation on the Internet and Legal Responses
Just as governments, legislation and technology have been attempting to catch up with and prevent crimeware techniques and hacks – the technology and scope of attacks have been increasing at a rapid pace.
Legislation on both national and international levels exist for safeguarding of personal information and online privacy. The US utilise standards such as the SOX Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, multitude of security breach notification laws, including the latest order signed by President Obama to penalise overseas hackers.
“Cyber threats pose one of the most serious economic and national security challenges to the United States” – President Obama, April 1, 2015
Criminalisation for fraud, privacy and other legal repercussions of course exist also, but the monitoring and standardisation of processing of data and information on the internet in compliance with standards set by bodies such as the FTC are imperative to the prevention of crimeware hacks.
All though many companies do not want to report such attacks due to additional damage to their reputation, credibility potential devastating economic repercussions, companies and individuals are encouraged to do so, as the FTC have followed up many crimeware cases with litigation in recent years. Companies, advertisers, healthcare providers banks and more must be compliant with data and open records regulation and keep authentic records of users information, suspect e-mails, links and webpages.
Tags: #malware #ransomware #DDoS #spam #botnets #Phishing #Spearphishing #Whaling
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