The Most Common Forms of Cyber-Crime

Cybercrime is a huge issue, causing billions of dollars in damage and putting many people in danger, damaging the security of Governments all over the world and exposing great weaknesses in the cyber-security of multi-national corporations-

As well, the greater the advancements in new tech- the wider landscape for cyber-crime; with the Australian Cyber Crime 2017 Government Report stating several main reasons for the change in the landscape;

-The frequency scale, sophistication, and severity of cybercrime incidents

-More diverse and innovative attempts to compromise government and private secret networks

-Cybercriminal sophistication due to new advanced tech

Basically, Cybercriminals are incredibly fast and adaptive when it comes to advancing criminal elements and aspects of new technology. This is a scary thought; so we’ve put together a list of some of the most common types of cybercrime and some ways to dramatically reduce your risk online.

 

Malware

Malware is the insidious and deliberate programming of something that burrows into your system under the guise of being something else- it is software written with the intention to cause harm- sometimes called ‘Trojans’, or ‘Spyware’, malware works like a virus, giving over control of the host device to another party, and allowing them to extract any information affected by the virus, such as credit card details and other bits of sensitive personal information- which can then be used to steal, manipulate or cause serious personal harm

Malware is also a very popular and prevalent form of cybercrime- however; fortunately, there are plenty of ways to act against the risk of an intentional virus attack-

-Protect your vulnerabilities- including updating your browsers, systems, and plugins- these updates can sometimes provide up to the minute system protections against popular viruses.

– If you’re unsure of an email … just don’t open it!

– Employ the use of strong and different passwords for all platforms/accounts

 

Phishing

Perhaps one of the most prevalent and costly cyber crimes of all is phishing attempts- these unique crimes are an advent of recent years, and enjoying an explosion of popularity within criminal circles- Phishing attempts are in their essence, attempts by scammers to trick you into freely giving away your personal details i.e. Passwords, credit card pins, bank account numbers etc. by engineering situations in which you think you are being contacted by a legitimate person or organisation-

Often people are contacted out of the blue, through text message, email and even social media channels, masquerading as legitimate people or institutions – and the construct sometimes simple, sometimes more elaborate schemes to get you to hand over information- it could be a request to update your personal details on a server, a customer survey or even a prize scheme-

Phishing is easily one of the most popular forms of cybercrime and can be very worrying to think of just how easy it is for a criminal to do- there are however a few safeguards to protect yourself and mitigate the risk of you or your business falling victim to a phishing scam- They include;

  • Never click on website links to your personal bank through emails- scammers are very good at making fake sites look legitimate, and sometimes you won’t be able to tell the difference between the fake and real sites-
  • Make a habit of periodically checking your accounts
  • Check if the website is ‘Secure’ before entering any details
  • Increase security of your device(s) and try to use different passwords across all existing platforms

Email Bombing

An email bomb is more a form of Internet abuse, but can still have disastrous and long-lasting effects on an individual;

Email bombing is an overload of emails directed to one email address; this will cause the person receiving the emails server to become sluggish or even crash. They may not necessarily be stealing anything from you but having a sluggish server can be a real pain and hard work to fix.

Some ways to mitigate the risk of Email Bombing include-

-Use proxy servers

-Employ email filter applications

 

Social Media Hack & Spamming

Social media hacking is often seen as a light-hearted type of hacking -And many celebrities that are hacked may end up following people they wouldn’t usually or put random statuses. Even though for the everyman, seeing a celebrity or brand post offensive or just bizarre content, can sometimes be amusing. But it’s still an invasion of privacy- and this can get serious.

A hacker can also spread unwarranted content that can be distressing to people that view this content, it can also cause your account to be reported and shut down- this can become very damaging if done to businesses- revenue streams can be entirely disrupted and brand reputation and image has the potential to be destroyed.

Social media spamming comes when a person makes a fake account and becomes friends or followed by the average person. This then gives the fake account the freedom to spam inboxes with bulk messaging, this can be done for spreading malware.

Spamming can also spread malicious links created with the intent to harm, mislead or damage a user or their device. Clicking on the malicious link, which may be advertising a new iPhone or weight loss treatment, means you could be downloading malware, which can lead to the theft of personal information.

 

Contact us if our investigators can assist you if you are a victim of cyber-crime.