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Cyber crime in 2017

Hackers are consistent in their efforts to steal information. They work continuously trying to break through barriers to get sensitive information.

Hacking is nothing new nowadays, but it is still a top concern when it comes to cybersecurity. How hackers obtain and steal data is getting more sophisticated and complex each year. Just in the last few years, huge security breaches have been noted, and unfortunately, this trend will continue.

Here are the security threats we think will be most significant in 2017.

1. Extortion

Online extortion

After the Sony hacking that occurred in 2014, hackers increased their attacks in this direction. It became imminent that hackers are going to do more than just the typical ransomware attacks which prevent victims from accessing their computers until hacker’s demands are met.

Companies could be ruined by this even if they’ve backed up their systems: if data is sensitive enough, it can hurt their customer base or business relations.

2. Data manipulation hacks

Data manipulation

Our next cyber security nightmare could be the act of hackers accessing sensitive material and making changes to it without companies knowing it. This may be considered worse than sharing or deleting stolen information.

Data manipulation can be a serious threat since companies wouldn’t be aware of someone getting into their system and making changes. The details could look the same, but changes may go unnoticed for a while.

3. Hacking chips and PINs

Hacked PINs

When technology advancements go through changes, hackers change their methods of hacking to keep up. Retailers used to keep information about their shoppers using a specific type of database that included transactions and credit card numbers. At one point, hackers could access this information as it was collected by retailers to learn bank information.

The malware was tapped through card readers; a customer would swipe their credit card and the system would send numbers back to hackers. To stop this, credit card companies created chip-and-PIN cards.

4. Zombie botnet increase

Internet bots

The internet of things saw an increase of cyber attacks during 2015. This is when everyday items such as medical devices, toys, and even vehicles had their computer systems hacked.

2016 saw more of this, and it seems it is a new reality. Hackers can use smart TVs or closed circuit surveillance (CCTV) to get into a network, with DDoS attacks against financial institutions and companies as a result.

5. New backdoors

Online backdoor

Hackers are getting sophisticated with the installation of backdoors on various types of computer systems. The backdoor lets hackers decrypt a website protection by influencing its traffic. Usually, government agencies related to national intelligence would have this kind of software, but it could also be the work of someone considered a nation-state attacker.

6. Hacking retailers data

Hacked retailers

2014 saw an increase of retail hacking with Target being the subject of a massive hack that compromised information of 40 million customers and their debit and credit cards.

Cybercriminals steal information from these cards and sell it on the black market. Retailers have a responsibility keeping security measures up-to-date, but consumers should also track all activity in their bank accounts and credit card statements.

7. Hacked smartphones and mobile devices

Hacked phones

Private data on mobile devices can be exploited by cyber criminals who manage to get their hands on it. Malware can be attached to the app, and it can track what you do through keystrokes or snap screenshots without you knowing.

Mobile users can protect themselves by being cautious with their downloads and suspicious towards emails from unknown recipients.

8. Phishing

Phishing

Phishing occurs when victims give sensitive information like account numbers, social security numbers or passwords to cyber criminals. Usually via email, when sensitive information is requested from what looks like a legit company.

Hackers take sensitive information and use it for personal gain. Don’t become a victim and fall for it! Anytime someone asks for personal information via email, be skeptical, especially if it is from an entity you don’t know. Legitimate organizations will not ask to verify personal details in an email. Contact your bank or organization directly to confirm.

9. Identification fraud or ID theft

Identity theft

Many forms of fraud mentioned previously lead to identity theft. Data such as postal mail, resumes, photos, and videos shared via social media, and personal finance records can open the door to identity theft.

If this information gets into the wrong hands, financial accounts could be opened in your name. There are ways to protect your identity, including shredding documents and limiting how information is shared with others.

10. Hacked healthcare systems

Hacked healthcare systems

Close to 80 million people were victims of a data breach in 2015 when Anthem had their systems broken into. During the same year, UCLA Health System experienced a data hack affecting close to 5 million patients.

Cyber criminals will use personal information in healthcare records to commit identity theft and insurance fraud. Keep an eye on your local news to learn when such breaches occur.

11. Sexual predators exploiting children

Kids online and dangers on the internet

Lewd photos and videos are common acts of sex predators seeking to connect with vulnerable children on the internet. Law officials suggest staying away from questionable sites, and if you think someone you know is in danger, contact authorities immediately.

Parents should know of internet dangers that children may face and be aware of websites their child visits. Children should not engage with strangers online and know not to share personal information with them.

12. Attacks on financial institutions

Cyber attacks on banks

Robbing a bank has gotten easier for robbers, thanks to the digital age. Cyber criminals can use stolen information to complete bank transactions like transferring funds, filtering money, and making payments to themselves.

Bottom line

What can you do to protect yourself as the cyber world continues to change? Learn about your bank and their history before trusting its services. Avoid clicking links in emails you don’t know. Destroy documents with financial details. Monitor your accounts regularly for unauthorized activity. Use security tools to track personal information and transactions. Use common sense when protecting yourself and your computer.

Was this article helpful? Feel free to share your opinion below and check out our top 13 security tips for Windows in 2017 and learn what you should not do online.

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