As you get more tech-savvy, the hackers get more sophisticated.
Most of individuals and businesses pay a good amount of money for their cyber security software and we all get emails alerting us to watch out for cyber crimes. “Don’t open…”, “Do not click on…” messages float around the office, personal email inboxes, and on social media pages but the report shows that cyber crime still caused 48% more losses in 2014 than in 2013.
Cyber criminals are using more sophisticated methods to dodge the security. Some of their tactics are to get deep inside the computer systems, and in most cases, by the time someone notices the attack, it is too late. The cyber attacks used to be for smaller amounts from individuals, but the advancement of technology is allowing the hackers to find more technical ways to incur bigger damages. The targets are changing from individuals to firms, especially brokerages and advisory firms. A Real Estate firm in WA had was for $50K last year, and according to THE FINANCIAL REVIEW, half of the Fortune 500 will no longer exist in the next decade due to cyber crime.
The cyber thieves were able to get into a Broome, WA firm’s online bank account by an email that contained malicious software (or malware) and redirected 3 payments totalling $50,000, by changing a client’s account information. The payments were sent by the victim’s own hand, only to the wrong account. The thieves were also able to change the client’s account information back to the original making it more difficult to detect the fraud.
For many firms, the damage is not only monetary, but also to their future reputation.
All of the current security organizations offer different tiers of “protection” but not enough of “prevention.” Often, by the time someone notices the attack, the contact has already been made through malware that contains viruses or a keylogger that records every key stroke you make. Keylogger and CryptoLocker are current threats to be aware of and here’s what they do;
- A keylogger sits in your system and records every keystroke you make. Every letter, number and symbol in e-mails, instant messages, and any information you type anywhere at any time using your keyboard can be recorded.
- CryptoLocker, aka ransomware, encrypts certain types of files on local or network drives, which can only be decrypted with the private key the hacker claim to have. The hackers offer to decrypt the data if a payment is made and threaten to delete the private key if deadline is not met. Many reports clearly state that even when the virus is gone, some files are still locked and encrypted.
The malware is transferred to the system through phishing email attachments or links to click on, and the content is quite realistic as if they are from someone you know, or even pretend to be from government agencies. Even the Australian Cyber Security Centre warns that it’s not just up to them.
It is critical to be aware and stay updated on the existing threats as the attacks are activated by the emails received by yourself and your work colleagues.
Do we all need to be the experts in catching these bad guys? What can we do to STOP these faceless criminals?