Thieves, crooks, robbers, and manipulators all have one thing in common – their prime mode of operation to take away what belongs to others. As we advanced in technology, most of our information is stored online where we believe it is safe. This includes sensitive financial information, personal emails, and other web accounts that are of importance. Sometimes all that separates them from your information is a user ID and a password.
Thieves no longer need to physically hold up innocent bystanders to take their money. Savvy hackers can take entire bank accounts along with personal information, and identities from across the world. This new breed of cyber criminals are better known as hackers. They use sophisticated strategies such as phishing, pretexting, baiting, social networking and social engineering.
They utilize fake pop-ups or websites masquerading as authentic ones and the bait is usually some catchy phrase or offer to catch the victim’s attention who out of curiosity may click on it. This fake website will usually ask for a user’s ID and password. Once the information is submitted, the bait is swallowed and the information can be used by hackers to access private information from email applications such as a contact list and even make money transfers from bank accounts.
Hackers are very unpredictable as it’s impossible to predict where and when they will strike next. There are some staggering statistics in regards to hackers here in the United States and around the world. The following are just a few examples:
1. Recently in May of 2011 the FBI National Press Office issued a report citing malicious malware on a site featuring the death of the infamous Osama bin Laden. Users who clicked onto the link will had their computers infected, as the malicious software aimed at stealing important individual information became imbedded in the software. This was passed on to infect everyone on the users contact list.
2. At the beginning of the year 2011, the PlayStation Network was hacked causing a loss of vital information for approximately 70 million users. This placed any credit information given by customers to PlayStation Network or Qriocity (its music streaming service) at risk and possibly in the hands of the cyberspace pirates. As a result the Network had to close operations temporarily as investigations were conducted. This along with the cost of investigations will cause serious loss of revenue for Sony and fear and uncertainty for the customers.
3. The security firm Trusteer a leader in web fraud detection, issued a report that 73% of users on the web uses the same password for all their internet sign in purposes. Hackers are well aware of this and by utilizing one of their strategies, mostly phishing, can extract that ID from one of their fake pop-up sites and apply it to other online accounts to gain valuable information on that individual. This accounts for the rapid increase in identity theft and web fraud currently.
Hackers have also developed expertise in extracting information through the social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and any other sites people are using to connect with friends and family. Users of the internet must now be doubly vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their information on the web. The best method is to practice basic safety precautions such as making sure your computer is up-to-date with antivirus, antispyware, and antimalware protection. Never click on a pop-up site or give out your web information to people you do not know and use different ID and passwords for different sites.
This post has been from our friends at NetQin, learn more about their Mobile Security solutions below: