IT security is becoming always more important.
In its latest report on cybercrime, McAfee explains why cybercrime is growing and how hacking or “piracy on demand” contributes to this development.
In September 2016, the McAfee Labs researchers provide an update on the changes that have allowed anyone to simply become a cybercriminal.
You just don’t have to be a computer expert or use sophisticated equipment to create a cyber-attack. A new illegal market now sells “cybercrime on demand” to allow the greatest number of people to perform any type of online attack through some infrastructure that replicates such models used in large companies.
You can thus rent or buy lists of e-mails for a very low price or get for $2 per hour a denial of service. There you can find different types of malicious actions, such as crimeware demand (purchase of equipment and technology required to propagate an attack) or research on demand, such as personal data purchase. Finally, one can opt for cyber infrastructure on demand (such as DoS attacks or send spams)
With this security report we learn that even if the target of data theft is shifting, the methods are not evolving. Cyberattacks have become more technical and sophisticated. Besides more frequently leverage information are gleaned from social media to enhance their believability, but the top threat actions have been the same for years. Hacking, malware, and social attacks are the leading methods for cyber breaking and entering, and continue to grow fast. Getting the data out remains surprising physical, with 40% of incidents involving items such as laptops and especially USB drives. Web protocols, file transfers and email are the top three electronic exfiltration methods.
In February 2016, a California hospital was hit by a ransomware and the hackers were asking a ransom of 9,000 Bitcoins, about US$5.77 million dollars. The hospital reportedly paid $17,000 in ransom to restore its files and systems, suffering a downtime of five working days. Although multiple hospitals have been hit with ransomware, this attack, as well as several other hospital attacks during the same period, was uncommon because the hospital was a victim of targeted ransomware.
It is said that ransomware is usually delivered by phishing, using emails with topics such as “Failed delivery” or “My resume” and specific attachments that download the ransomware. Another popular method is the use of exploit kits. This means that anyone opening a scam mail may affect his/her own device and also affect other people, i.e. sending spam mail to friends and relatives.
These methods were not used in this hospital case. Instead, the attackers found vulnerable circumstances to exploit. It may have taken time to observe and analyze how IT works in this hospital. They may have been several attempts before breaking in. But cybercriminals were very wel informed and efficient then when they launched the final attack.
Online security is a must.
So beware of IT security, whereever you are and whatever device you use.
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