Through the years, cyber attacks have evolved from non-malicious pranks into large-scale criminal operations. While early attacks required specialized technical skills and resources, today’s cyber criminals hack with limited coding skills or knowledge of security systems. Today we’re sharing five cyber security threats you should be familiar with in 2019.
Phishing emails are fraudulent emails that appear to come from legitimate sources. Cyber criminals design these messages to trick victims into responding or clicking links that lead to malicious websites that may appear genuine. An attacker’s primary goal is to get their victims to provide private information, such as passwords and banking information.
A whaling attack is a specific type of phishing attack that targets high-profile employees, such as the CEO or CFO. Attackers try to trick their targets into disclosing personal or corporate information, or making a large payment into a banking account. We’re no strangers to whaling attempts at Digital Technology Partners; a few months ago our Operations Manager received this fraudulent email from what appeared to be his boss and DTP’s CEO. Notice the strange formatting, sense of urgency, poor sentence structure and capitalization, and of course, the sender’s email, which isn’t even a DTP email address. Had Levi responded, the next email he would have received likely would have been something along the lines of “I’m busy…please wire $10,000.00 to this account asap.”
Ransomware is a type of malicious software used by cyber criminals to extort money. Victims unknowingly download ransomware through phishing emails or malicious websites, and become blocked from accessing the files on their computers. The attacker demands a ransom in exchange for a promise to unlock their files, but the attacker has already proven themselves to be pretty untrustworthy, right? Just because they tell their victims they’ll do something doesn’t mean they’ll actually do it.
Leakware threatens to publish stolen information from victims’ computers, rather than deny the victims access to it. In cases where the information acquired may cause reputational damage to victims, attackers can easily trick victims into paying up.
Malware-as-a-Service is a subscription-based service which allows virtually anyone to hack. There’s no need for advanced coding skills or knowledge of security systems to successfully execute high-volume cyber attacks. Essentially, aspiring scammers can dive into the dark web, contact a Malware-as-a-Service organization, pay a subscription fee, get access to ransomware, then send hundreds of thousands of emails with malicious attachments. Developers create tools that they sell or rent to customers through online black markets, complete with sales, money-back guarantees, and reputation systems to provide customers with assurance they won’t get ripped off.
At Digital Technology Partners, we have a multifaceted approach to ensure the security of our clients and their data. In addition to our knowledge of the latest cyber threats, we implement the right hardware and software to ensure the protection of your assets. We’re also experienced in secure wireless networking, encryption, remote access, mobile device management, and user training to ensure you’re protected in every possible way.