What is cybercrime?
Cybercrime is criminal activity that either targets or uses a computer, a computer network or a networked device. Most, but not all, cybercrime is committed by cybercriminals or hackers who want to make money. Cybercrime is carried out by individuals or organizations. There are many privacy concerns surrounding cybercrime when confidential information is intercepted or disclosed, lawfully or otherwise. Internationally, both governmental and non-state actors engage in cybercrimes, including financial theft, and other cross-border crimes. Cybercrimes crossing international borders and involving the actions of at least one nation-state is sometimes referred to as cyberwarfare. What are the types of cybercrime?
1. Identity Theft scams
Cybercrooks who may have gained access to your credit card or banking account information may use that information to make purchases in your name. Identity theft has been a major issue even before the conception of the Internet but as you may already know, the virtual world has made it much easier for criminals to utilize and steal your identity.
2. Online Harassment
Harassment online is usually related to your social lifestyle and if you choose to use a popular social network such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Online harassment can consist of threats sent through email, instant message or through a social network message/post.
3. Invasion of privacy
The invasion of privacy is basically the act of someone attempting to intrude on a person's personal life. This includes hacking into a person's computer, reading their emails or monitoring online activities.
4. Ransomware attacks
Ransomware is a type of malware from hackers that threatens to publish the victim's data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid.
These are the types of cybercrime, that are known to us. Hackers and frauds keep thinking of new ways of tricking and hacking people. There have been many cases in 2020, as people were at home using the internet a lot. Around 155.8 million individuals were affected by data exposures, that are the accidental revelation of sensitive information due to less-than-adequate information security. Here are some of the example cases so that you can be aware and protect yourself from being hacked.
I. Coronavirus now possibly largest-ever cybersecurity threat
The total volume of phishing emails and other security threats relating to the Covid-19 coronavirus now represents the largest coalescing of cyber-attack.
To date, Proofpoint has observed attacks ranging from credential phishing, malicious attachments and links, business email compromise, fake landing pages, downloaders, spam, and malware and ransomware strains, all being tied to the rapidly spreading coronavirus. “For more than five weeks, our threat research team has observed numerous Covid-19 malicious email campaigns, with many using fear to try to convince potential victims to click,” said DeGrippo.
II. Cyber gangsters demand payment from Travelex after Sodinokibi attack
Foreign exchange company Travelex is facing demands for payment to decrypt critical computer files after it was hit by one of the most sophisticated ransomware attacks, known as Sodinokibi, which disabled its IT systems on New Year’s Eve.
The company, which has operations in 70 countries, has faced days of disruption after criminal hackers penetrated its computer networks and delivered a devastating attack timed to hit the company when many of its staff were on holiday.
According to security specialists, criminals are demanding a six-figure sum to supply Travelex with decryption tools that will allow it to recover the contents of files across its computer network that have been encrypted by the virus.
Now that seems scary, so to protect yourself from these types of frauds, we have brought you ways to protect yourself from these cyber-goons:
· One of the easiest and least expensive things to do to protect your identity is to closely monitor your accounts.
· Educate yourself, and for companies your employees. Learn how to spot and avoid lures.
· Use multi-factor authentication where possible.
· Make sure you are backing up your data often and that you are backing it up to an off-line source.
· Make sure anti-virus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and run regular scans.
· If you notice suspicious activity, you should report it to the proper authorities immediately. Be proactive and do not waste time in these situations.
· Cyberstalking cases should also be reported to authorities, just like online harassment cases. Cyberstalks may contact a victim's colleagues, friends and other online contacts in an effort to slander them or extract personal information from them.
· If you ever suspect someone invading your privacy, you can simply contact the police and file a report.
We have to very careful while surfing the internet. On your device; you should always have the proper computer security applications installed and updated on your computer which may include a trustworthy anti-spyware or anti-virus program.
The only way to stop these criminals is to report them and make them the fear of getting reported, don’t resist any kind of harassment or racial discrimination on the internet report them immediately.
Together let’s stop these criminals!
Contributed by Ahal Karim, Year 7, The New Era, Dubai