Each day, more and more cybercriminals are tapping into computers and networks across the globe and stealing information for financial gain. Each day, approximately 1 million potential cyber attacks are attempted. Why? Cybercrime is arguably the perfect crime. There is often little to no trace of the individual or group responsible, plus cybercrime often goes unreported. It’s becoming a very low-cost, high-reward global industry. With global cyber crimes on the rise each day, it’s becoming increasingly important that these criminal organizations are brought to justice before more people fall victim to their crimes.
Who are Cyber Criminals?
A cybercriminal is anyone who attempts to commit crimes using the computer either as a tool, as a target, or both. They can target a specific computer or device to extract information or install malware that damages the system. Cybercriminals also use computers as weapons to carry out fraud, theft or spam. Cybercriminals can take on many different forms, including:
- Identity thieves: These cybercriminals hack into individual computers and extract personal information like social security numbers, credit card information, etc. They often use this information to make fraudulent financial transactions or simply steal the victim’s money. Today, many of these criminals are more advanced, hacking into large social media platforms, governments and businesses, extracting mass amounts of user data at one time.
- Phishing scammers: Phishing scammers lure victims in with fake websites, emails or advertisements that appear to be legitimate businesses, government organizations or profiles. Once they obtain an individual’s information, they can either use it themselves to commit identity fraud or sell it for profit on the dark web.
- Internet stalkers: Internet stalkers fixate on one or more victims for a long period of time. These individuals use social media platforms and malware to track the online movements of their targets with extraordinary stealth and detail. They typically seek to obtain information that they can use against you in the form of bribery and/or slander.
- Cyber terrorists: These are well-developed, often politically motivated attacks against large organizations or governments. Cyber terrorism attacks often attempt to steal data or corrupt networks on an extremely large scale including hacking into power grids and large databases.
How They’re Caught
With cyber threats growing in strength and becoming more frequent with each passing day, it’s becoming more important than ever to develop task forces and processes that bring these criminals to justice. The Federal Bureau of Investigation for the United States of America has developed a set of ever-changing strategies and task forces to combat these crimes around the globe. These include:
- A Cyber Division at the FBI Headquarters with the primary goal of creating a coordinated approach to addressing cybercrime;
- A growing collaboration amongst other federal agencies—including the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, among others—which share similar concerns and resolve in combating cybercrime;
- A complete network of Computer Crimes Task Forces nationwide, combining state-of-the-art technology and the resources of our federal, state, and local counterparts;
- A team of specially trained cyber squads at the FBI headquarters and in each of their 56 field offices. These groups are “agents and analysts who protect against and investigate computer intrusions, theft of intellectual property and personal information, child pornography and exploitation, and online fraud”;
- New Cyber Action Teams that “travel around the world on a moment’s notice to assist in computer intrusion cases” and that “gather vital intelligence that helps us identify the cyber crimes that are most dangerous to our national security and to our economy”.
The FBI also recommends that organizations take certain precautions against malware, specifically ransomware. With malware and ransomware attacks getting increasingly sophisticated, more organizations are falling victim and paying ransoms for information that is never returned. The FBI does not recommend paying the ransomware but rather recommends getting prepared and protected ahead of time. The easiest way to do this is by implementing a system of security and prevention efforts and by having a plan on-hand just in case your organization is ever attacked.
The Internal Computer Services team can provide the first line of defense against cybercriminals for your business. If you have any concerns about your cybersecurity or the cybersecurity of your organization, contact Internal Computer Services. Our team of professionals can offer around-the-clock monitoring and support to help ensure that you and your business are well-protected against cyber threats. Contact us today at 804-672-1057.