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top cybercrime tricks and hacks

Top 4 Cybercrime Tricks And Hacks To Be Aware Of

by Martha Simmonds
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In the 21st century, cybercrime has risen head and heels above many other forms of crime to become one of the most worrisome and devastating occurrences. To put this into context, there were 52 million data breaches in the second quarter of 2022 alone. 

These damning figures gain new significance when you realize that nearly 5 billion people use the internet daily in 2022. In order to stay safe, it is important to be aware of hackers’ tricks and the different forms they take. This post highlights the top four cybercrime hacks you should take note of. 

1. Identity Theft

In an era where it’s so easy to obtain user information, identity thefts have risen to be one of the most efficient weapons in cybercriminals’ arsenal. 

Identity theft, also referred to as identity fraud, occurs when hackers steal your personal information to commit fraud. Usually, a remote hacker gains access to your personal details such as your name, address, and other key transactional information.

After this, the hacker applies for hefty loans in your name. By the time you realize what has happened, the remote hacker has disappeared into thin air, leaving you helpless to face an unplanned and painful debt. 

2. Cyber Extortion

Cyber extortion is a crime where cybercriminals hold your data hostage until you meet their outrageous demands for payment. It occurs in two distinct stages.

The first stage involves data theft, where the hackers gain access to sensitive online credentials and assets on your device. Then, they go on to spread malicious codes on your device, which will keep you from accessing it. 

The second stage involves the hackers threatening and scaring you to agree to their payment demands. This is usually done through DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks. To protect yourself from cyber extortion, you must patch up any security breaches in your systems.

3. Cyber Espionage

This works similarly to cyber extortion. However, the difference lies in the targets. While the former often targets small business owners with limited systems security, cyber espionage targets government agencies to access sensitive and classified information.

Cyber espionage is a growing worry for many governments today. This digital theft of intellectual property is a lucrative business for hackers, as governments can usually afford to pay bigger sums to protect state secrets from leaking to the public. 

4. Phishing Emails

Phishing is one of the most popular ways cybercriminals wreak havoc and steal data and funds. If you’ve ever received an anonymous email soliciting help, or an informative email from a “legit-looking” source providing unsolicited guides on equally spontaneous topics, then you’ve been targeted for a phishing scam.

These emails are harmless until you click them as they can spread malware throughout your device to steal your data. Although phishing emails are easy to spot nowadays, hackers are getting more creative at setting up malicious email campaigns that so closely resemble what is legitimate that many people still fall victim. 

Most recently, security company INKY, reported a phishing scam that claimed to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA). With subject lines such as “SSN going to be suspended” and “SSN found under suspicious activities”, the cybercriminals sought to create a sense of urgency.

While the email itself did not contain malware, it did include an attachment; a letter with the logo of the SSA. The fake letter included a phone number for the recipients to get in touch with. Here, cybercriminals get victims to disclose their Social Security and other personal details.  Users who may have disclosed this sensitive data can check whether their Social Security Number is being misused

Conclusion

Cybercriminals continue to develop ingenious ways to trick unsuspecting users into divulging sensitive data, and far too often, have they been successful. Hence, it is essential to take the required steps to protect your data and identify the characteristics of hacks in whatever form they take.

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