A cyber attack is aimed at maliciously targeting computer information systems, infrastructures, networks or personal computer devices by stealing, altering or destroying them. The most common types like malware, phishing and spear phishing have put those in charge of security especially in organizations on their toes trying to ensure secure cyberspace. Even so, these are the garden variety threats that you will easily find when browsing through any computing guide. The real trouble makers emerge with novel technology.
The conception of sentient machines, artificial intelligence and software processes developing in the near future may release untold destruction and chaos to businesses, crucial computer systems and organizations. Once the machines develop a sense of autonomy, the security incidents aptly dubbed Ransomware in March 2018 in the United States will be a blur in retrospect. The amount of chaos that can be raised by malicious software being able to “think” on their own should be a serious cause for concern.
Recent Cyber Hacking Incidents: Is This Really Happening?
Dunkin Donuts and CheapAir have had recent hacking incidents which may have be termed as some of the biggest of hacks of all time. They led to antivirus companies such as Symantec and McAfee carrying out investigations on the future in the face AI cyber-based attacks. Their findings were very worrying. In November 2018, the masses were cautioned that the full wrath of these attacks may be faced in this year moving forward. These cyber security attacks statistics have led the cyber-based attacks to move from being mere theories to actual facts that need to be taken to full consideration for future security.
How Bad Is It?
Hackers are now able to use automated software tools and processes to occasion attacks. Unlike human hackers, automated cyber-attacks can track and intrude even most secure company networks and within an even shorter time frame. The damage caused will not be on a small scale but is exacerbated and replicated to ensure that a single breach will cause serious mayhem.
The evolution of cyber attacks is not to be taken lightly. Ignorance is no defense when your system is under attack. Cyber attacks have mutated in different ways. Below are some of them:
Recent Hacking Incidents You Should Be Aware Of
#1 Password Guessing
Password guessing is one of the most prevalent security issues with cloud computing. Most people have been known to use the same password across different cloud accounts. Credential stuffing, where third parties steal log-in credentials, has been known to make use of this loophole. The innovation has been used by hackers to predict passwords that allow access to online accounts. The end of a cloud computing business could be ignited by an unsuspecting employee who uses a hacked password delivered through a targeted advertisement or bait email.
The dark web also presents concerns with different cyber attacks. Stolen databases of passwords on which are put up for sale on the dark web could potentially harm a plethora of networks. These password databases can store information for a long time. In the event that the passwords remain the same, the stolen information could wreak untold havoc in the coming years.
Researchers are also concerned that machines now have password learning programs which provide another angle of complexity to this grave matter. Most modern browsers, for instance, can store user passwords to ease accessibility of log-in accounts. Cyber constructions such as cookies and targeted advertisements could be used to gain access to such stored information. It is of common parlance that some unscrupulous companies sell data collected by cookies to third parties exposing oblivious users to the risk of unwarranted invasion of their data.
#2 Hacker Bots
Despite their notoriety, hacker bots have morphed into sneaky and undetectable ailments. The villainous intruders have been used before by hackers to send spam and scam internet users. They work fast and silently. A recently conducted research through a honey pot experiment shows that the evolution of hacker bots has significantly reduced damage time to a meager 15 seconds of disaster. The researchers set up an online company decoy and deployed a hacker bot to one of the computers on the company’s network. The bot managed to completely take over the network, run a scan of workstations and acquire all the data it could in a mere 15 seconds. Moreover, the small pirate worked in the shadows to the dismay of the oblivious company staff.
In the event that such a malicious scheme is discovered, its effects would already be felt since 15 seconds is such a short time to respond appropriately.
#3 Bot Extortion
Hackers have found an easy way to extort companies is through attacking the brand. A thriving market for them is the use of bots to create bad reviews and posts to undermine a company’s reputation. The hackers ask to be paid and if not they release the bad posts and reviews. CheapAir, a price comparison website, was a victim of such an attack when the hackers asked to be paid and the company refused the bad reviews was released. This cannot be good for any brand. This is what is called “review bombing” and it may be a constant headache since it is easy to accomplish.
Bolder hackers have used bots to forthwith demand ransom. Revelations of the recent hacking incidents in the USA, Germany, and Canada indicate that Ransomware, a bot created to stifle company operations indefinitely, was used by hackers to demand huge sums of money from blue-chip companies. The bot would deny any access to the company data or accounts unless such monies were paid.
#4 Shapeshifter Malware
The transformation of malware may be the most dangerous thing we are yet to see. Traditional malware is already a serious problem as at now so imagine any improvements or upgrades to make them harder to remove from a network will bring untold catastrophe.
Automated cyber attacks are the next big threat without a doubt. Companies, organizations, and individuals should take all necessary precautions to ensure that they do not fall victim. The truth is that once the attack happens, reversing the effects may be a tinge too complicated. In the future, it may be impossible to have secure cyberspace at any one point.
Which do you think are that biggest hacks of all time?
Catherine Wiley is an expert in writing about travels and technology. Getting an experience in writing about such topics, Catherine found herself as a freelance writer who provides readers with best reviews at GearExpertGuides