Like a pandemic, the largest computer attack on record to date spread in just a matter of days, putting companies and entities around the world on high alert.
The dangerous WannaCry virus caused historical damage such as the closure of hospitals and schools in the United Kingdom and China and Renault, in France.
This is only one example of an attack and how devastating it can be for anyone from companies to individuals. There are numerous cyberattacks a day that hackers exercise in order to get their hands on some valuable information.
Let’s see how hackers can get hold of your data.
This malicious code usually reaches computers via email attachments. When opened, the information on the hard drive is encrypted, you can’t open it and the attacker asks for a ransom in exchange.
Once a PC is infected, the virus tries to spread to other computers and devices connected through the network.
However, the payment of the ‘rescue’ of the information does not guarantee its recovery. Some people and even companies never receive decryption keys after making millions of transactions.
Ransomware is one of the most common forms of computer security vulnerability, accounting for 85% of malware attacks, according to an IBM report that monitored more than 8,000 security clients in 100 countries.
Also Read: Top 5 Notorious Hackers Of All Time
This technique captures personal data through fake web pages and emails in which attackers copy the design elements of an entity or platform almost identically.
So, many users and companies end up being victims and giving their details such as emails, logins, and passwords – on many occasions the banking ones – to a cybercriminal.
Talking about the business level, cybercriminals are able to copy web pages that pretend to be access to, for example, corporate mail. Or they get info through attachments with names related to the activities of the corporation.
The intervention of corporate networks:
Hackers can determine whether or not the corporate networks of any organization are vulnerable. And then they attack by finding any holes in security by sending a command or data to the server that will cause the network to crash and then execute a malicious code.
By accessing the network, they will have access to all the information stored on it, so the damage could be enormous. A critical point is that the attack will move to all computers that are also linked such as mobile devices and other computers.
In general, small companies are the most affected by this modality, since they do not have the relevant security systems to mitigate this type of attack.
Wi-Fi network access:
Hackers can also access your devices through Wi-Fi wireless networks, so having strong passwords is no longer enough.
At work, one of the most frequent vulnerabilities occurs when using the simple WPA2 security key sharing mode, in which the same access key is applied throughout the Wi-Fi network for everyone.
Experts recommend using the PSK business mode, with which different passwords can be set and encryption is used to encrypt traffic.
On the individual level, your data can be stolen when you access free wi-fi in public places. Those coffee shop and airport networks are among the most vulnerable ones.
Thus, there are many techniques that hackers use to steal your money and online data. They rely on a huge underground cyber economy, eased by dark websites.
It doesn’t only provide ready-made platforms for hackers to sell out their stolen data to basically anyone. But they also provide them with several hacking tools and cybercrime services.
Do you know how to protect your information?
– Use a firewall. This server will allow you to protect your computers against threats that could put your information at risk, lock your computers, or even steal your passwords or sensitive data.
– Constantly update operating systems, applications, and software (including antivirus): The origin of most security incidents is a lack of update or security patch that serves as an entry hole for cybercriminals, as happened with WannaCry: computers with an outdated version of Microsoft Windows were affected.
– Make regular backup copies of the information: This process must be constant and accompanied by a specific definition of the information restoration procedures in the event of an attack.
– Check security policies: When using a new service, always check what security policies they have in place, how they take care of your data, and if they sell it to anyone.
More tips to consider:
– Always use a unique, long, and strong password for every website and app. For this, you can use a password manager for storing and retrieving these logins when required.
– Make sure to change the password immediately when you are asked to do so by your provider. Receiving such a request may mean that some hacking incident has occurred.
– It is recommended to use multi-factor or 2-factor authentication if available for increased login security.
– Only enter into sites that start the address with “HTTPS”.
– Do not click on any suspicious links or do not open any attachments in unwanted emails or messages.
– Be careful when sharing any financial and personal data on any social media with any unknown person. Use Nuwber to check the basic details of a new person you met online before getting too close with them.
– It is recommended to download only apps from official application stores such as Google Play or Apple App Store.
– Do not retrieve any sensitive and important accounts such as email, banking, etc through public or general Wi-Fi networks. Or if you want to use it, make sure to first connect to VPN.
– Always buy good and established antivirus from a popular service provider for all devices. Must include anti-spam and anti-phishing.
– Make sure to keep all types of operating systems and applications on the latest version.
– Monitor all types of financial transactions. So that you can spot quickly if you’ve been impersonated by an ID fraudster.
The message is clear: consumers and companies must take urgent action to protect their identity and most sensitive financial data from online attackers. And there are many ways to do so. Implement the points above in order not to become a hacking victim.