With the most recent intrusion that shocked the whole credit-financing industry- the Equifax breach affecting 143 Million people and putting 75% of American adult information at stake to the Malware attack from phishing emails infecting 2 million computers worldwide, the breaching epidemic is the Black Plague of our generation.
Equifax’s “The Hack,” the largest illegal manipulation which sparked last September 7th have been the biggest eyesore, foreboding the most unthinkable cyber threats to every part of the globe. Equifax, being a behemoth credit-rating company venturing into another niche to acquire information about a multitude of people in 25 different countries has lost its weak defenses to a group of hacktivists. These criminals, if not given the ransom of 1 million Bitcoin, will release all of the confidential information. The data from Equifax contains Social Security numbers, addresses, loans, and insurance information, bank account details, phone numbers, social media identities and contacts will get leaked—and everything bad you can imagine will take place.
Why would these people desire to have your data when there is no intrinsic value in it? It’s all about money.
According to an estimate done by Microsoft, the personal attack surface will reach 4 billion people by 2020, doubling twice the number of individuals who have existed online during 2017. With these astounding numbers, comes a plethora of threats. These 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 wherein the thugs encrypt data into a user computer or network so the person or the group who owns it will be denied access, holding it for ransom. The bandits will negotiate with the aggravated party to sell the computer back. Once payment has been settled, the hackers provide the key for victims to decrypt it.
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 collate information such as your passwords from social media accounts, and manipulate your mind to the point that you have no control over it anymore. 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 these data are collected and compiled, the hackers sell it on the dark web to elite syndicates skilled in illegal manipulate to perpetrate stealing anyone’s identity.
Your information isn’t only used for black trade, but as a puppet for trafficking. Hackers can use your account to purchase online goods, build pyramid scams and commit plunder in cryptocurrency, create a spammy website collecting webmails and sending out more malicious emails, a domain which showcases child pornography.
Email account ransom recently was observed where a notorious group of hackers send out emails to random people indicating “your payment has arrived” to entice them to click and open the malicious email. This clickbait stores the information within the email to its database, to be traded and exploited. Both personal emails and domain emails are targeted, with an insidious approach.
Webcam extortion does not only steal anyone’s “cyber” identity but exposes victims to numerous threats, tampering fake ID’s with their faces, using it as a dummy to make other heinous transactions done across the internet, sell fake products in an online store and so on.
Cyber Crime damage costs are predicted to hit $6 trillion annually by the next four years, making cyber theft the fastest growing and most lucrative crime. There have been 33,006,783 unique URLs identified as malicious by the aid web antivirus components. Corporations, government agencies, financial and educational institutions and even everyday citizens are all subjected to it.
The cyberterrorism does not dwell within the realms of the internet, but so heinous that it can interfere with anybody’s personal life with the continuum extending to physical threats- abduction, rape, arson, torture and worst- murder.