Danger Ahead – Cybercriminals Are After Your Data

The recent intrusion to Equifax shocked the whole credit-financing industry. The Equifax breach affected almost 143 Million people and put 75% of American adult personal information at stake. The Malware attack from phishing emails infecting 2 million computers worldwide, the breaching epidemic have become the Black Plague of our generation.

Equifax’s “The Hack,” the most extensive illegal manipulation, which they announced on September 7th, has been the biggest unthinkable cyber threats to occur across the globe. The hackers are holding the data for a ransom of 1 million Bitcoin.  If not received, the hacktivists will release all the data.  It is the “golden prize” of personal information because it contains Social Security numbers, addresses, loans, and insurance information, bank account details, phone numbers, social media identities, and contacts.  If this information is released everything wrong, you can imagine will take place.

It’s all about money, for both Equifax and the Hacktivists.

Equifax, a behemoth credit-rating company, decided that they should extend their range of services and offer credit protection and data mining. Their data mining efforts allowed them to acquire enormous amounts of highly sensitive information about citizens without their consent in 25 different countries. They declared their right to this information as property by manipulating it with their proprietary formulas and then offered the data for sale to the highest bidder.

However, their piss poor security practices and weak defenses made them a prime target for hacktivists. This event should put them entirely out of business.  Richard Smith, the former CEO and Chairman must never have any more corporate responsibility than to push a broom.

It was his total lack of understanding of the depth and sophistication of security today.  He did not encourage Equifax to pursue a set of proactive operational security priorities that could adapt rapidly to changes and respond to all emerging threats immediately.  News reports say that the hackers were in their system from March or maybe since as far back as October fo 2016.  That is almost a year before they announced the breach occurred.

Security is both complicated and tricky even for extremely experienced technical IT teams. Navigating it with leadership that does not have a functional understanding of the enormous threats today is madness.

According to an estimate done by Microsoft, Humans have become the top target for hackers, and they estimate that by 2020 4 billion people will be online — twice the number that are online today.

With these astounding numbers, threats increase, and criminals can sell your information and have other people use it even without your permission.

They can get your data through the use of ransomware, one of the most common forms of cybersecurity intrusion. Thugs encrypt data in users computer or network denying access to the person or the group who owns it, holding it for ransom.

The bandits will negotiate with the aggrieved party to sell the computer data back. After making a payment, the hackers may provide the key for victims to decrypt their data.

Malware, on the other hand, is a parasite designed to probe and interfere with a computer or device’s normal function has had a handful of tactics devised to invade privacy.  DangerousObject.Multi Generic, the most rampant malware case has affected 62.27% users worldwide.

A hacker can collect information, such as your passwords from social media accounts, and by utilizing psychological manipulation to influence you to do something or act some way that is not in your best interest.   Once a hacktivist has taken full control of your identity, it can be used to commit crimes in your name.

Using your Credit card numbers, bank account details, e-money transactions, credit history, insurance, loans and financial credentials for identity theft exploits. Once all of this data is collected and compiled, the hackers sell it on the dark web to elite syndicates. These skilled criminals specialize in illegal manipulation that allows them to perpetrate stealing anyone’s identity.

Your information isn’t only used for black trade, but as a puppet for trafficking. Hackers use your accounts such as these to purchase online goods, build pyramid scams and commit plunder in cryptocurrency. Sometimes they use the information to create spammy websites for collecting emails and sending out even more malicious emails or create a domain which showcases child pornography.

An e-mail account ransom hack recently was observed where a notorious group of hackers sent out emails to random people with the subject “your payment has arrived” to entice them to click and open the malicious email. Their clickbait stored the information within the email to its database for trading and exploitation.  They targeted both personal emails and domain emails, with this insidious approach.

Webcam extortion does not steal anyone’s “cyber” identity but exposes victims to numerous threats, tampering fake ID’s with their photos, using the information as a dummy to conduct other heinous transactions across the internet and to sell counterfeit products in an online store and so on.

Cyber Crime damage costs are predicted to hit $6 trillion annually in the next four years, making cyber theft one of the fastest growing and most lucrative crimes. Anti-Virus companies have been able to identify 33,006,783 unique URLs as malicious.  Corporations, government agencies, financial and educational institutions and even everyday citizens are all subjected to cybercrime.

The cyberterrorism does not only dwell within the realms of the internet it is so heinous that it can interfere with the personal life of anyone with threats extending to physical threats- abduction, rape, arson, torture and even murder.