Cybercrime Cost Effects, Types & Preventive Measures

Cybercrime can begin with anyone wherever there is digital data, opportunity, and motive. From the lone user engaged in cyberbullying to state-sponsored actors, like China’s intelligence services. But, Cybercrimes generally does not occur in a vacuum; they are, in many ways, distributed in nature.

Generally, cyber criminals typically rely on other actors to complete the crime. Whether it’s the creator of malware using the dark web to sell code or even the distributor of illegal pharmaceuticals using cryptocurrency brokers to hold virtual money in escrow. Not forgetting, the general state threat actors relying on technology subcontractors to steal intellectual property.

Cybercrime

In the early long periods of the cybersecurity world, the standard cybercriminals were teenagers or hobbyists in operation from a home laptop. With attacks principally restricted to pranks and malicious mischief.

On one hand, most Cybercrimes are carried out in order to generate profit for cybercriminals. And also, some of them used against computers or devices to damage or disable them.

On the other hand, while others use computers or networks to spread malware, illegal information, images or other materials, some Cybercriminals do both.

What is Cybercrime?

Cybercrime, or computer-oriented crime, is a crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target.

In that case, Cybercrimes can be defined as offenses that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals. With a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm, or loss, to the victim directly or indirectly.

Especially, using modern telecommunication networks such as the Internet (networks including chat rooms, emails, notice boards and groups). As well as mobile phones (Bluetooth/SMS/MMS)”. Not forgetting, Cybercrime may threaten a person or a nation’s security and financial health.

Issues surrounding these types of crimes have become high-profile, particularly those regarding;

Basically, Cybercrimes happens as a result of any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network. For instance, Cybercriminals target computers to infect them with viruses, which are then spread to other machines and, sometimes, entire networks.

In another example, cybercriminals may use computer technology to access personal information, and also business trade secrets. Or even, use the internet for exploitative or malicious purposes. Such as the ones illustrated above.

In other words, Cybercrimes may also be referred to as computer crime. Not to mention, these computer criminals can also use computers for communication and document or data storage.

Who is a Computer Hacker?

By definition, a hacker is an individual who uses a computer, networking or other skills to overcome a technical problem.

Surprisingly, the term hacker may also refer to anyone with technical skills, but it often refers to a person who uses his or her abilities to gain unauthorized access. Especially, to systems or networks in order to commit crimes.

By classifying the type of engaged computer hack, we may achieve at some of the major hacker types. However, it is important to point out that, in cloud computing, some personalities trigger a hack process by accident.

Computer Hacking Cybercrime

Below is a clear example of the life of a teenage hacker.

A 15-year-old boy sits behind a glowing black monitor, typing furiously. The green text streams across his screen like a waterfall. His nervousness escalates dramatically as he sends rapid-fire commands to the strained computer. Suddenly, he lets out a triumphant laugh and proceeds to steal money.

Such is the stereotypical view of a hacker. Yet, there’s so much more to this fine art than Hollywood or the media describes.

Read Also: Hackers are varied creatures and include these 8 types

Many companies will employ people who know how to hack and ask them to deliberately try to break into their systems. Equally important, this helps companies to know if their security is good enough and see where there are problems.

In reality, hacking in Cybercrimes can have a devastating effect on a company or even individuals.

How does Cybercrime Work?

Common types of cybercrimes include online bank information theft, identity theft, online predatory crimes, and unauthorized computer access. More serious crimes like cyberterrorism are also of significant concern. Cyber crimes encompass a wide range of activities, but these can generally be broken into two categories:

  • Firstly, crimes that target computer networks or devices. These types of crimes include viruses and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.
  • Secondly, crimes that use computer networks to advance other criminal activities. These types of crimes include cyberstalking, phishing and fraud or identity theft.

The FBI identifies cybercrime fugitives who have allegedly committed bank fraud and trafficked counterfeit devices that access personal electronic information.

And on the other hand, the FBI also provides information on how to report cybercrimes, as well as useful intelligence information about the latest Cybercriminals.

Read Also: Cybercriminals Ransomware Recap (Snatch & Zeppelin)

The dark web not surprisingly has given rise to the digital form of an old crime known as the “exit scam.” In today’s form, dark web administrators divert virtual currency held in marketplace escrow accounts to their own accounts — essentially, criminals stealing from other criminals.

Cybercriminals use a number of attack vectors to carry out their cyberattacks. And are constantly seeking new methods and techniques for achieving their goals. While avoiding detection and arrest.

With this in mind, there are many different types of cybercrime. Below are common types of cybercriminal attacks.

1. Distributed DoS Attacks

(DDoS) are often used to shut down systems and networks. This type of attack uses a network’s own communications protocol against it by overwhelming its ability to respond to connection requests.

DoS attacks are sometimes carried out simply for malicious reasons or as part of a cyberextortion scheme. But, they may also be used to distract the victim organization from some other attack or exploit carried out at the same time.

2. Cyberextortion

This is a crime involving an attack or threat of an attack coupled with a demand for money to stop the attack.

One form of cyberextortion is the ransomware attack, in which the attacker gains access to an organization’s systems and encrypts its documents, files — anything of potential value — making the data inaccessible until a ransom is paid, usually in some form of cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin.

3. Cryptojacking 

Cryptojacking attacks use scripts to mine cryptocurrencies within browsers without the user’s consent. Such attacks may involve loading cryptocurrency mining software to the victim’s system.

However, many attacks depend on JavaScript code that does in-browser mining as long as the user’s browser has a tab or window open on the malicious site; no malware needs to be installed as loading the affected page executes the in-browser mining code.

4. Identity Theft

Important to realize, identity theft occurs when an attacker accesses a computer to glean a user’s personal information that they can then use to steal that person’s identity or access bank or other accounts.

Cybercriminals buy and sell identity information on darknet markets, offering financial accounts, as well as other types of accounts, like video streaming services, webmail, video, and audio streaming, online auctions and more.

Personal health information is another frequent target of identity thieves. Whereas, for credentials attacks, cybercriminals aims to steal or guess user IDs and passwords for the victim’s systems or personal accounts.

5. Credits Card Fraud

Credit card fraud occurs when hackers infiltrate retailers’ systems to get the credit card and/or banking information of their customers.

Whereby, hackers who have stolen mass quantities of credit card profit by selling to lower-level cybercriminals. At the end, who profit through credit card fraud against individual accounts.

6. Ransomware 

Basically, Ransomware is a form of cyberextortion in which the victim device is infected with malware that prevents the owner from using the device or the data stored on it.

Infecting systems and networks with malware is used to damage the system or harm users by, for example, damaging the system, software or data stored on the system. Ransomware attacks are similar, but the malware acts by encrypting or shutting down victim systems until a ransom is paid.

To regain access to the device or data, the victim has to pay the hacker a ransom. Ransomware can be inadvertently downloaded by opening an infected email attachment, visiting a compromised website or clicking on a pop-up ad.

7. Cyberespionage 

Cyberespionage occurs when a cybercriminal hacks into systems or networks to gain access to confidential information held by a government or other organization.

Attacks may be motivated by profit or by ideology, and cyberespionage activities can include every type of cyberattack to gather, modify or destroy data, as well as using network-connected devices, like webcams or closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras, to spy on a targeted individual or groups and monitoring communications, including email, text messages, and instant messages.

8. Web Targeting

By the same fashion, cybercriminals may also attempt to hijack a website to change or delete content or to access or modify databases without authorization.

For example, an attacker may use an SQL injection exploit to insert malicious code into a website, which can then be used to exploit vulnerabilities in the website’s database. In particular, enabling a hacker to access and tamper with records or gain unauthorized access to data.

Such as customer passwords, credit card numbers, personally identifiable information (PII), trade secrets, intellectual property, and other sensitive information.

9. Malware Injection

Another important point, cybercriminals often carry out their activities using malware and other types of software. But, social engineering is often an important component for executing most types of cybercrime.

A phishing email is an important component of many types of cybercrime, but especially so for targeted attacks, like business email compromise (BEC). After all, in which the attacker attempts to impersonate, via email, a business owner in order to convince employees to pay out bogus invoices.

10. Phishing

In general, phishing campaigns are used to infiltrate corporate networks by sending fraudulent emails to users in an organization. And in the end, enticing them to download attachments or click on links that then spread viruses or malware to their systems and through their systems to their company’s networks.

What is the Cost of Cybercrime?

The true cost of cybercrime is difficult to accurately assess. In 2018, McAfee released a report on the economic impact of cybercrime with an estimated global cost to the economy as nearly $600 billion. Up from $45 billion in 2014.

While the financial losses due to cybercrime can be significant, businesses can also suffer other disastrous consequences as a result of criminal cyberattacks. Most people paying attention would expect that the cost of cybercrime has gone up in recent years. But, a new report has put a number on it: Worldwide cybercrime costs an estimated $600 billion USD a year.

That’s up from $500 billion USD in 2014, the last time security vendor McAfee and think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies released a similar study. The new estimate amounts to 0.8 percent of global GDP, up from 0.7 percent in 2014.

Among the other reasons for the growth in the cost of cybercrime:

  • Cybercriminals are embracing new attack technologies.
  • Many new Internet users come from countries with weak cybersecurity.
  • Online crime is becoming easier through cybercrime-as-a-service and other business schemes.
  • Finally, Cybercriminals are becoming more financially sophisticated, making it easier to monetize their exploits.

Tor developers have defended their project by saying it protects users’ privacy. By shielding them from corporate tracking and government surveillance. And Bitcoin defenders say the cryptocurrency’s anonymous transactions help improve security.

Surprisingly, Instagram is the social media site where most young people report experiencing cyberbullying. Particularly, with 42% of those surveyed experiencing harassment on the platform.

Young people who experience Cybercrimes and other Cyberbullying attacks are at a greater risk than those who don’t for both self-harm and suicidal behaviors. Additionally, companies might be forced to pay money in order to get back into their computers. And once they’ve paid the money, the criminals might not even let them back into their system anyway.

Read Also: 11 Facts About Cyberbullying

In general, girls are more likely than boys to be both victims and perpetrators of Cybercrimes through cyberbullying. According to dosomething.org, about 37% of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have been bullied online. Not forgetting, 30% have had it happen more than once.

In another example, 95% of teens in the world are online, and the vast majority access the internet on their mobile devices. In the end, making it the most common medium for cyberbullying. Reports show that 23% of students reported that they’ve said or done something mean or cruel to another person online.

Whereas, 27% reported that they’ve experienced the same from someone else. On the contrary, 83% of young people believe social media companies should be doing more to tackle cyberbullying on their platforms. Notwithstanding, 60% of young people have witnessed online bullying and most do not intervene.

In reality, only 1 in 10 teen victims will inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse. Also, 4 out of 5 students (81%) say they would be more likely to intervene in instances of cyberbullying if they could do it anonymously.

How do you Prevent Cybercrimes?

As an example, Mimecast empowers you with a holistic approach to Cybercrimes security designed to secure, preserve and continue the flow of information via email. Despite your investment in the best cybersecurity solutions, your organization will likely fall victim to cyber hacking at some point in the future.

It’s simply too difficult to defend against cyber threats and vulnerabilities that are constantly evolving and growing in number. That’s why you’ll want to consider the latest paradigm in cyber defense. Particularly, addressing cyber hacking with a strategy for cyber resilience.

Cyber resilience includes cybersecurity solutions to prevent cyber hacking as well as tools to mitigate the impact of a successful attack. It’s about ensuring continuity during an attack, and about preventing the kind of damage that can have disastrous repercussions for your business and the bottom line.

Some steps for resisting cybercrimes include:

  • develop clear policies and procedures for the business and employees;
  • outline the security measures that are in place about how to protect systems and corporate data;
  • use two-factor authentication apps or physical security keys: Activate two-factor authentication on every online account when possible;
  • verbally verify the authenticity of requests to send money by talking to a financial manager;
  • create intrusion detection system rules that flag emails with extensions that are similar to company emails
  • carefully scrutinize all email requests for the transfer of funds to determine if the requests are out of the ordinary.
  • create a cybersecurity incident response management plans to support these policies and procedures;
  • continually train employees on cybersecurity policies and procedures and what to do in the event of security breaches;
  • keep websites, endpoint devices, and systems current with all software release updates or patches; and
  • back up data and information regularly to reduce the damage in case of a ransomware attack or data breach

Most cyber hacking today involves some kind of email-borne threat. Ransomware, spear-phishing and impersonation fraud are only the latest in a cyber risk landscape that is continually becoming more sophisticated.

That’s why any resilience strategy to combat cyber hacking must include tools to protect email, simplify email backup and recovery, and ensure continuous access to email data during and after an attack. That’s where Mimecast can Help

Resourceful References;

I hope you have gathered enough information in regards to the 21st Century Cybercrimes and how you can play safe. But, if you’ll have additional information, contributions or even suggestions, please Contact Us.

You can also share some or more of your thoughts in the comments box below this post. Below are more additional and related to the topic links.

  1. Spam Filtering Guidelines For Email Users
  2. 11 Facts About Cyberbullying
  3. Phishing & Email Attacks Prevention Guide
  4. Is Computer Hacking always a Crime?
  5. Prevent cyber hacking with Mimecast
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