Heavily funded, mass scale hacking operations might look impressive and expensive, but they’re not nearly as sophisticated as they’d have us believe. Recently, IBM released a study that announced most hackers use pretty common techniques to gain access to organizations and to steal their data.
A lot of what we cover on this blog is about the advancements in hacking techniques and methods, the new and aggressive ways cybercriminals are targeting individuals, organizations and countries to steal valuable information and create chaos. And it’s definitely important to stay up to date and be on the cutting-edge of technological and hacker advancements, but it’s also important to not forget about the basics. This report from IBM just goes to show that the cybercriminals certainly aren’t afraid of doing so – relying on tried and true methods and generic vulnerabilities to gain access to things they shouldn’t. Obviously it’s working; between 2010 and 2011, Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) more than doubled.
With approximately 91% of Advanced Persistent Threats involving spearphishing, it just goes to show the impact of social networks on the success of these cybercriminal campaigns. Phishing attacks are masked as a form of communication from a trusted source such as your bank, or a friend, in an attempt to gain access to personal information like your credit card number or a password. Social networks come in to play with the success of these attacks as they allow cybercriminals to better research their target before communicating with them. The fact that they can look you up on Facebook or LinkedIn means they’re better able to twist their story in a personal way that would help you fall for it.
The wide-spread use of social networks and the internet has made their tried and true methods even more effective. Giving them the reach, and mass targets like never before, whether it’s via spearphishing attacks on email, or malicious links to attack websites on Facebook – the world is their oyster.
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