Cyber crime is hitting the headlines frequently with various malware affecting our daily lives. But unfortunately, there’s very little we can do about it at the moment. Except be crippled by it and come to a standstill. The recent WannaCry ransomware wave of attacks presented a perfect example of this scenario. So at a time when we should be equipping ourselves online IT security-wise, this blog attempts to explain what cyber crime is, lists its usual targets, and discusses whether there can be a security solution which will prevent cyber crimes altogether.
What is Cyber Crime?
Cyber crime is a crime where a computer or the network in which it resides is the object of the crime. This object will be used as a tool to commit the offense that the cyber criminals have in mind. It is probably the best of all types of crimes for criminals since they can be executed from a remote location. Detection of cyber crime or cyber criminals is difficult and therefore these crimes usually remain unresolved and go unpunished.
Cyber Crime: The Usual Targets
Just as the modes of cyber crimes are many, so are its targets. But the most common among them are listed below.
1. Online Banking: Ever since online banking came into existence, hackers have been after them hoping to make some easy money online by breaking into their websites. To give an example, almost 2.5 Million Pounds were stolen from nearly 9000 customer accounts of UK’s TESCO Bank when hackers broke into it last year. Therefore online banks remain the most preferred target for hackers.
2. E-Commerce Websites: Next come E-Commerce websites which deal with customer online transactions frequently. Here hackers are after the payment card information of customers who make purchases from these E-Commerce websites. This payment card information, once stolen will be used by hackers for their own benefit.
3. POS Systems or Terminals: POS systems used by various industries like retail stores, hospitals, restaurants etc., also a much-favored target among cyber criminals. The POS-System hacking of Target retail chain of stores back in December 2013 by using a POS-malware called Backoff malware is something which cannot be forgotten that easily. It is through these attacks that BackOff malware gained popularity and the dangers they pose are threatening the IT security landscape even today. So much so that BackOff malware has become synonymous with POS malware.
4. Websites without SSL Protection: Hackers love websites with security vulnerabilities. Because they can be broken into or hacked easily. Therefore any website which does not have SSL Encryption or Protection becomes the target of hackers. Because websites without SSL Certificates can be easily impersonated by hackers.
5. Those with Online Reputation: Enterprises, governments, universities and almost any organization which has an online reputation can become the target of cyber criminals who may bear a personal grudge against them. Or for the simple reason, that defaming such personalities gives them a high.
Can Cyber Crime be Prevented?
With rampant cyber crimes disturbing our everyday lives, the most relevant question with regards to IT security remains: Will there ever be a security solution which can prevent cyber crimes altogether? The main issue with detecting or analyzing Cyber security threats is that it is an ever-evolving field and your IT security solution should be equipped enough to learn and react to the malware-behaviour which is probably evolving every day.
For this to happen, you need a self-learning solution with a brain of its own. That is why cognitive security solutions employing Artifical Intelligence are gaining traction. Since the learning rate of these security solutions is much higher, IT web security experts of today feel these solutions can finally put an end to the seemingly never-ending cyber crimes.