Before we look at the top cyber crimes, lets’ determine what exactly is this crime all about? Read our post here. Here is a list of the top 5 cyber crimes to stay away from and to look out for!
“Phishing” is the attempt to gain access to someone’s or some company’s sensitive and/or personal information by and from the use of a computer. This is most often done, not by hacking software, but by simply tricking the unfortunate person into entering their real information. For instance, they will create a website that looks like/mimics a real website, like a banking website. For instance, they can gain your email and phone number in minutes by simply having you create an account n their web page (if that is what they’re offering.) and by doing so you will enter your information.
2. Identity Theft
Cyber hackers that have gained access to your banking information, personal accounts, email, phone number, credit cards, etc… will most likely use this information to make credit/debit card purchases online. The best thing you can do is to contact your bank to have them temporarily shut down your credit/debit card. However, by making purchases, the police can look at the areas in which the purchases were made via an online receipt or contact the manufacturer/distributer of the goods that were purchased online and look at the billing/shipping address and from there are able to prosecute the cyber thief.
3. Online Bullying and Harassment
Online bullying is commonly connected to your online social profile. If you chose to use online social media, for instance, Facebook and Twitter, you are eligible to be harassed/bullied online. This cyberbullying consists of messages, alerts or emails sent from somebody to your email, phone or social media account. It’s easy to report threats and harassments to a company. For instance, if someone sent you a Facebook message with a threat in it, just report their account. State your reason, too, and they will be banned or sent a strict warning.
Online cyber stalkers will try to monitor and follow someone’s online activity through careful examination and monitoring software. One of the most popular methods of doing this is to infect the victim’s computer with malware or a phishing bot that disables their computer to do anything but post, or tracks their logins, passwords, screens, and even webcam.
5. Invasion of Privacy
The invasion of someone’s privacy online is what is defined as somebody online attempting and sometimes succeeding to gain access to documents, information, and records of somebody’s personal life. This includes sometimes infecting the victim’s computer with a virus, hacking into it via remote hacking software, monitoring their webcam, screen, and activities. If you believe or have proof that someone is invading your personal privacy online, do not hesitate to report it to online authorities as this crime, like all of the other cyber crimes listed in this article, are fineable and punishable under a lawsuit by the correct authorities.
Cybercrime takes places in various ways by using software typically referred to as malware. One type that falls under that bracket is known as Ransomware. First lets define what malware is: it is softer that is built and used to access and gain sensitive information from computer systems. It is intended to cause harm acting against a computer user and steal sensitive information or spy, often over a long period of time. There are many malicious programs that fall under the category of malware, such as computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, adware, and ransomware.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software which infects a user’s computer and demands a ransom or that in some other way, the owners to pay the malicious software operators for them to remove any kind of restriction. In many cases, the owners would need to purchase an encryption key in order to unlock their system. Scams such as this one originated in Russia, but has since become popular in internationally.
How does ransomware enter your system?
Oftentimes, ransomware will enter your computer through malware such as trojan. (trojan is software created to deceive users into thinking it is useful and often comes by way of email, perhaps as a form or something of value that is necessary or interesting) In this way, they have “permission” to enter their system, and consequently, the software runs a payload, or message/data often times displaying false warnings, or applications that lock the system until a ransom is paid.
Other tactics are the attackers will use is to purchase and create false ads, or to place a hidden iFrame somewhere in the page, which when clicked, redirect the user onto another page containing an exploit pack which then cause the browser to automatically download malware.
Additionally, ransomware will threaten to disclose a customer’s personal information, or threaten to block services to companies unless paid to stop. This type of criminal activity of extortion and ransom has been going on for many centuries, but as turned into a trillion dollar business worldwide as technology has taken center stage.
Basic Precautions you take take to protect your home or company computer network
- You should back up your data daily
- Be certain servers are up to date, and patched.
- Utilize endpoint protection on your systems (security that protects entry points on your computer networks against threats by remote devices)
- Instruct employers/users in your organization on safe web-browsing practices.
Read our post regarding identity theft, and how to avoid it so you can make all the necessary precautions against it.
When someone steals your personal information, such as your social security number, uses your name and other personal information and fraudulently applies for credit or gets medical services, than this is considered Identity Theft. It goes unnoticed until you start to receive mystery bills and charges on credit cards, or loan denial.
There are many usages for stolen identity, specifically Thefts of:
- Tax ID – stealing this ID can reap much damage as your information attained will be used to file returns for government or state.
- Child ID – can go unnoticed until children become adults, making the damage incredibly difficult to correct.
- Medical ID – when this ID is stolen, Medicare or Health Ins. can be taken advantage of as well as pharmaceutical losses.
- Social ID – phony accounts can be made on social media giving you a bad reputation VERY hard to reverse.
- Senior ID – many senior benefits, especially health benefits can be co-opted.
Some steps in preventing identity theft should be considered and taken. For example:
- Never give out your personal information by phone or email to unsolicited requests.
- Be aware of people who look from behind you when you are keying in passwords at ATM’s or computers around you.
- Always double check your receipts and compare with statements, looking for unauthorized transactions.
- Keep your personal in a safe place at home and never carry around your social security cards.
- Install anti-virus software on your computers
- Keep an eye on your credit by ordering credit reports annually.
- Don’t let your mail pile up at your house, collect daily and be aware of information that you toss in the wastebasket. Purchase a shredder when you dispose of your office trash.
If Identity Theft happens to you, report it immediately. Critical in reporting is the Federal trade Commission and of course, local police. Federal Trade Commission. Once you file you will want to take the affidavit to the local authorities where you will be given an additional report to then use when dealing with the creditors, banks or other businesses to iron out your issues.
Be sure to notify and report case to Credit Reporting Agencies, Financial Institutions, Retailers or other companies to alert them and close all accounts to avoid additional spending.
What is Cybercrime?
Cybercrime are crimes that primarily use the means of computers to commit illegal activity, including the use of a computer to store evidence.
One of the fastest growing areas of crime is Cybercrime because of the speed and secrecy that the internet provides. There are limitless possibilities causing criminals to turn, in large numbers, to this type of illegal activity.
Billions of dollars are lost each year by our economy through the ongoing developments of cybercrime through the interconnectedness and rapid growth of crime groups. With this growth, we also see the growth of agencies partnering with law enforcements that are committed to the global fight.
There are basically two categories of cybercrime. Advanced cybercrime and Cyber-enabled crime.
Advanced is an attack directly on computer hard/software, while Cyber-enabled allows for a wide variety of attacks against institutions, children and enabling terrorism. Some crimes include network intrusions and propagation of viruses, talking, identity theft, and bullying.
There are controversies regarding the possible prosecuting of exchanging files such as music or videos. We have a potential of 70 million individuals involved in these type of crimes which make this a huge issue to control and complicated law to enforce. It’s a unpopular law by the general population, but popular within the entertainment industry; those who think it’s imperative to impose.
Additionally controversial is the issue of digital surveillance and interference with civil liberties. Because of the threats of terrorism, many have felt the increased security something necessary in exchange for privacy.
NSA statistics show that American companies use $250 billion dollars/year and that global costs are up to $1 trillion. Get. Keith Alexander, director at NSA says “That’s our future disappearing in front of us”, stating we have the “greatest transfer of wealth in history”. Although these statistics have been repeatedly used in talks by the president, congress, and other politicians, there has been further research indicating the mysterious nature of sources of the findings, which are debatable according to university researchers. In the end, we know the numbers are high, but because of the nature of the crimes, verifiable data is difficult to attain. Assuming these numbers with certainty can be dangerous as they may cause federal funding to be allocated to the wrong priorities. It is difficult to rely on the data of agencies against cybercrime as the tendency to paint the worst possible scenario would increase their business. The general public, and federal government needs to be given unbiased research analysis in order to educate business of the realistic dangers they are facing, and the necessary cost to prevent it.
For more facts regarding Cybercrime: