Cybercrime is a booming trend in the information technology industry because is effortless to execute, contains little or no risk for culprits, and allows them to work when and how they wish, from any location in the globe. It typically incorporates many of the following peculiarities that appeal to cybercriminals:
No physical risk: Physical crime can be a treacherous issue, especially robbing and other modes of armed heist. Cybercrime requires no direct contact with victims and hence poses no physical risk to its perpetrators.
No requirement for proximity: Usually, criminals physically connect with victims to execute their crimes. In the world of cybercrime, criminals connect with potential victims from all over the world through the Internet, where real-world connection is not needed, which ensures the criminals’ anonymity.
A work-when-you-want plan: Sending email and setting up web pages need no real-time communication with victims. A victim prefers to read an email or check a web page whenever he or she wants. The criminal only needs to watch for resulting data harvests and be ready to respond quickly once the required information is available.
Enormous opportunity: The sheer extent of the Internet user community allows criminals to explore various scams. They realize that only a few emails or clicks are enough to receive considerable gains. It is effortless to develop tens of thousands to millions of email messages, and it is also simple to post tweets or Facebook content to huge audiences. Cybercriminals try all these types of frauds to bring customers to their malicious websites.
Small attempt and significant benefits: Until the Internet came along, scamming needed considerable effort and sophistication to make earnings. It also included physical risk and proximity to victims. Modern criminals want to invest only small amounts of time and effort to execute Internet scams, and in turn, reap thousands of dollars.
How Cybercriminals Learn
There is more to cybercrime than ease, little risk, convenience, and payoffs. Criminals usually learn their techniques from other criminals, occasionally through direct influence and mentoring, and sometimes through research of what type of crimes prove most successful. Along with the research curve, there is also a demand to understand the tools of the trade. Lots of lucrative scams are based on imitation and refinement. Once a cybercriminal masters how to run a scam, executing variations or refining targets contains little additional effort. Crooks listen and learn comfortably from more experienced ones, after which, they instantly get scams of their own going, too. This is definitely an attractive career option for those with a few scruples and an eagerness to make quick-and-dirty money.
For example, the Zeus toolkit, which is a malware package , combines a keylogger and a Trojan to make it easy to secure and collect accounts, passwords, and other sensitive data from unsuspecting users. Zeus is just one of many toolkits that criminals utilize to package malware downloads. These downloads then “phone home” to inform the cybercriminals on the user data that they are gathering.
By observing how others introduce and carry out scams, cybercriminals swiftly learn how to scam. They develop their own scam scripts, share emails (or Twitter feeds), and set up web pages. Then they sit back and await results so they can take a further step. This additional step usually involves disconnecting victims from their funds through illegal funds transfers, unauthorized credit card outlays, crooked ePayment collections, and other means of accessing account balances.
Variations on Scamming Themes
We have analyzed a popular and simple scam: Setting up an email to initiate user action, harvesting the data received in response, and utilizing that data to steal from victims. This scam hardly takes any computing tricks and is easy to implement. A scam appeal—be it email, Facebook page, Twitter feed, or any other—is transmitted to as many addresses as possible, and cybercriminals sit back and await feedback.
There are also illustrations in this scheme. In keeping with complicated scams from the pre-Internet time, cyber thieves may analyze a distinct group of victims. Then, they adopt a scam that is concentrated for that specific audience. Thus, for instance, Automated Clearing House (ACH) scams target financial or accounting specialists at small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
There is work associated in putting together a target list of victims, but pro association membership files and websites, and even online phonebooks make it easy to determine such people. These people are usually expected to use electronic banking for the firms where they work. Thus, they are most likely to have the account data and passwords that cybercriminals need to steal and redirect funds.
Even more complicated scams have been detailed. As a case in point, after an exceptionally successful account harvest, a group of cybercriminals ran certain electronic funds transfers against a victim firm’s accounts. At the same point, another group of cybercriminals issued a denial of service attack against the victim firm.
The second attack restricted the firm’s servers from accessing the network until after the first group transferred the ill-gotten money. Because of the lag, automatic notifications didn’t reach the intended recipients until it was too late to prevent those transfers.
The old saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.” When cybercrime is dealt with, users who do not click email, Twitter, or Facebook links bypass the possibility of drive-by downloads that can affect their systems with malware. In turn, they avoid the part where their accounts and passwords get harvested. This prevents cybercriminals from utilizing their data to steal, either from them or their related business firms.
Think before you click. It would help if you internalized this saying for yourself. If you don’t click a dubious link, there is hardly any opportunity for a scam to establish itself. Nor is there any way for cybercriminals to get their hands on your computer or to harvest your accounts, passwords, and other sensitive information.
Preventing cybercrime involves developing a culture of awareness and prevention. With the right education, tools, and processes in place, you can create a safe and secure environment for your employees’ systems as well as your organization’s infrastructure. With an expert team of security professionals certified in leading security certifications such as CISSP, ISSAP, ISSEP and more, we can help you understand, assess, and remediate all kinds of cyberthreats that may potentially compromise the security of your systems and infrastructure. Call us or leave us a message to learn more.