To prevent a cybersecurity attack, you need to know the types of hackers and attacks they are using to compromise your data.
In order to protect your personal data, you need to stay up to date and educate yourself about cyber attacks. But what about the people behind these attacks? Hackers are often lumped into a group, but there are many different types.
You will have heard of all the usual colorful hat hackers: white, black, gray or whatever they wear . But you need to know what threats they really represent. Who are these hackers.
Nation-State Hackers: Notorious Cyber Criminals
They are cybercriminals backed by a state government. You must have heard of the Solarwinds attacks; those who caused massive network breach and allowed hackers to expose thousands of organizations around the world, including parts of the United States government.
U.S. cybersecurity experts and intelligence have blamed Russia for the cyberattack categorically. The hackers tied their malware to SolarWinds, a company that produces the computer performance monitoring platform called Orion. Thousands of companies around the world are using this software, and all of them received contaminated software from March to June 2020.
Russia’s foreign intelligence service is suspected of carrying out the attacks. But that’s not all. There are also hacker groups believed to have ties to the North Korean and Iranian governments.
Corporate spies: thieves of plans
Corporate spies are hackers who practice corporate espionage to steal all types of important corporate data such as business plans, company patents, financial data, contracts, etc.
One of the most popular cases of corporate espionage has to be Compulife — NAAIP . In 2020, Compulife Software, Inc. alleged that one of its competitors hacked into the company’s system and stole its proprietary data. Evidence confirmed that the NAAIP had in fact hired a hacker for commercial espionage.
In the end, the lower court ruled that there was no crime. But the Eleven Circuit Court disagreed and overturned the decision.
If you own a business of any size, you should purchase business insurance along with a policy to protect your data.
Cryptojackers: Two-Headed Threats
Cryptojackers steal users’ computing power and resources to mine cryptocurrencies. In 2019, McAfee reported a 4000% increase in crypto-mining malware. This is scary as they range from compromising individual users’ PCs and mobile devices to infiltrating popular websites and spreading malware to anyone who visits them.
One of the most notable cryptojackers, Smominru, consists of over 520,000 machines that have helped its owners earn over $ 3 million in a single year. This cryptojacking botnet was used in the 2017 global WannaCry ransomware outbreak.
Now the question is how to protect yourself from such hackers. Here are a few tips:
- Always pay attention to changes in the behavior of your device.
- Use only known and trusted plug-ins, apps, and add-ons.
- Before downloading an app, make sure it is well reviewed, updated regularly, and has enough downloads.
Hacktivists: Technological Age Activists
These are the ones who use hacking to make a statement – political or social. These cybercriminals do not necessarily act to make money but rather to voice their opposition and question or provoke the government.
A popular example of a hacktivist attack is Operation Tunisia of 2010. It was when a group of Tunisian hackers destroyed eight government websites using DDoS attacks to support the Arab Spring movements.
If you are not logged into the government, you don’t really have to worry about these hackers.
Script-Kiddies: Unqualified amateurs or dangerous hackers
These hackers are amateurs who hack primarily for fun. But don’t take them lightly.
We all remember the series of cyberattacks that forced hundreds of websites to go offline on a Friday in 2016. The “script kiddies” are believed to be behind the massive hack that hit Amazon, Twitter, and Reddit.
Experts also say that script kiddies often unwittingly help serious criminals through their reckless polls and system compromises. Here’s how to protect yourself from them:
- Update your security software regularly.
- Regularly track your site traffic.
- Do not use fake passwords.