Hacking has a very broad definition, and there are several different types that such attacks can be divided into. For example, the use of IoT botnets can allowunlimitedaccess to smart security cameras and other IoT devices in a smart home to the hacker, while crypto jacking allows cryptocurrency miners to utilise the computing power of several devices at once for their own benefit, and without the knowledge of the hapless victims.
However, there’s more to the concept of cyberthreats today than just hacker attacks. Keeping that point in mind, let’s highlight a few less familiar but uncomfortably common cyberthreats that businesses and even individuals should protect themselves from in 2020.
Ransomware is a common term these days and not every one of the attacks is as bad as the ones we hear about. However, all three types as mentioned below are a nuisance to deal with:
Scareware – Often pretends to be the FBI or some other authority figure, and asks money in compensation for crimes that have no basis in reality (unless coincidental/targeted). Relatively harmless, they will bombard you with popups all the same.
Screen Locker – Moderately threatening, but still not the real deal. A screen locker prevents the user from accessing the computer unless they pay the ransom. They can be handled by a white hat hacker quite easily.
Encrypted– This is the real deal, and if your files have been encrypted, then they are already compromised. The cybercriminalswill ask for a ransom to give you control back over the files on your own devices/cloud accounts.
Online impersonationfrauds work exactly like traditional impersonation frauds, but the effects are usually far more damaging and often remain undetected, until it’s too late. The concept of online impersonation revolves around a few key ideas, as detailed below:
- The target’s website and/or social media presence is duplicated in a convincing manner
- In case of personal impersonation, the objective is usually defamation
- When it’s a business, impersonation may involve stealing customers, business defamation, stealing customers’ data, hacking multiple customers, etc.
- The impersonating entity will disappear after a while, which will direct all blame for their activities towards the target
To protect identity theft, pay a visit to this cyber security blog, which points out the steps necessary to detect, take down and prevent fraudulent websites and social media accounts.
The threat of spear phishing is quite simple in its definition, but absolutely devastating for the victim. Similar to how phishing in general works, it also seeks to find and steal email and other account information, such as passwords, usernames, PINs, and bank account details from the target. However, what makes spear phishing more dangerous than general phishing attempts is the fact that these attacks are particularly generated with intelligent precision for targeting a specific individual or business.
An even more alarming fact about spear fishing is that it works in the same way that targeted ads do! This means that just like targeted ads, the phishing attacks will actually be relevant to the target, but on top of that, they will carry personal information about the target to convince them of their genuineness. In the absence of a proper anti-phishing tool, you or your business is always going to be a step away from being compromised by a particularly good spear phishing attack.
The same is true for all the threats we discussed, as well as the many that we did not. Be it for personal or commercial security, using a smart device without proper protection today is similar to using a ticking timebomb.