Technology, artificial intelligence(AI) and the mighty internet are some things we are surviving on. There is no way our professional or personal errands are finished without them. We have talked about a parallel universe for ages, well, the World Wide Web is it.
That is a world in itself that we think we know. The reality is that we are only aware of the mere 40-50% of the entire fiasco. The reality is dark.
As our IoT devices are getting smarter, the number of cybersecurity threats are increasing. From major companies to Millenials, everyone chooses cloud as a platform to keep their information safe and for their systems to operate efficiently.
The cloud, however, is prone to threats and since the concept is still evolving, the system security strategies have new challenges every day. IoT devices continue to be an area of concern for businesses and consumers.
- According to a report by Nexus guard in 2018, the average large scale DDOS attack increased by 500% in 2018. This was bound to happen, with the influx of IoT devices being compromised in joining the army of botnets available for attack.
- 500,000 routers were infected by VPN filters until May 2018.
- The ghost DNS attack was responsible for another 100,000 home routers.
- At one point, the Mirai Satori Botnet was seen from over 280,000 IP addresses over a 12-hour period.
- The newer anarchy botnet was able to amass 18000 routers in a single day.
The attacks are endless and each year, through hackers or third-party vendors, we become victims of cybersecurity attacks. This year, like any other year, saw patterns and trends that were very common.
1. Hitman for Hire.
You receive an e-mail from the “hitman” stating that he was appointed to murder you and that he rather very generously has chosen to given you time to save yourself. He asks for 4000 US dollars, later provides you with a bitcoin address and a deadline of 38 hours. This has caught the attention of law enforcement agencies including FBI. Although it is not considered to be a legitimate threat, many cases have been registered.
2. Sextortion emails
This year was filled with reports of email phishing attempts that threatened to release captured webcam footage if the victim fails to pay the ransom.
These scams also come as poorly written e-mails. It begins with your password flashing on your email and a threat note attached to it stating that it has all the information linked to your email and the captured webcam footage would be posted on the internet if you fail to pay the ransom.
This is a perfect crime, only the fools fall prey to it. They flash your old password that was stolen from websites and applications you must have used at one point. If you are smart enough to use different passwords and keep rotating them, you will be able to suspect. This scam makes hackers earn around 50000 dollars per week.
3. Webcam hacking
This is where the hacker gets access to someone’s nest camera remotely. Once he gets access to it, he threatens the parents to pay the ransom or their child will get kidnapped. A couple who is smart enough to suspect the cheat, won’t pay the amount.
- Our own IoT devices are getting smarter day by day and becoming ticking bombs for large scale botnet attacks against us. They act as perfect botnets because once they are compromised, they sit undetected, waiting to launch an attack, which further might attack other devices connected to it.
- The problem with society is the access we all have all the information at all times. Shodan is a popular search engine for devices connected to the internet. This same engine is the source of leaked webcam and nest cams footages.
The hackers get access to IP addresses through it and search for devices or manufacturers that they are looking for to target. Their top searches are- webcams, cams and nest cams. If an unprotected device is connected, chances are that it will end up on Shodan.
- FIREWALL will help block the crawlers and other unauthorized users from accessing your personal information. A firewall is of no use if your device requires cloud connection, there is a high risk of infiltration.
4. SUPPLY CHAIN ATTACKS
A supply chain is the network of individuals, resources, technology, and activities that are linked to the creation and management of a product. However, this is not immune to cyber-attacks. Supply chain attacks are carried out by infiltrating an organization through malware. It targets software developers and suppliers. Through insecure and unprotected protocols and infrastructures, they get access to source codes and infect their operating systems and applications. The most famous attacks being the Eastern European ATM malware and the Target security breach.
The phishing industry is getting smarter and the cybersecurity technologies are getting advanced day by day. Most of the cybersecurity threats feed on fear. One needs to take smart steps so as to tackle these baseless threats. Many are aware of these threats and frauds, but there are still be ten out of five hundred people becoming victims of such attacks. Although the count is low, it is an achievement for the hackers and a boost to this industry.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?
- New laws need to be passed, regulated and implemented that protect the personal information and data of individuals and companies. Ensures higher security. Breaching leading to brutal results.
- Stay alert about the ways and techniques hackers use to phish. Be very careful if you suspect the same pattern.
- Use security back-ups and authentication applications provided by major operating systems.
- Always and always think before clicking. Fear acts like leverage. That is the only way hackers easily get access to your information and get money out of you.
- Keep changing your passwords, use a combination of numbers, alphabets, and symbols. Try to not link your name and birthdate to your passwords.
Ayman Totounji is the CEO of Cynexlink. Cynexlink is a company which helps small and mid-sized companies by delivering technology solutions like Cybersecurity, Managed IT services and cloud computing.
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