Types of Cyber Crime: Hacking, Phishing, Malware

Types-of-Cyber-Crime-Hacking,-Phishing,-Malware

As the world grows more connected, India’s expanding digital landscape has created new opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit weaknesses, sparking an increase in cybercrime throughout the nation. 

Organisations need qualified personnel with in-depth cybersecurity knowledge and sophisticated capabilities to combat cybercrime efficiently. Professionals looking to improve their knowledge and skills in protecting businesses against cyber threats can look forward to the Executive Programme in Cyber Security for Organizations (EPCSO) offered by IIM Indore to be a beneficial resource. 

This programme provides participants access to a demanding curriculum created to address the most recent cyber crimes in India witnessed by enterprises.

Cyber Crime: The Definition

“Cybercrime” is the term used to describe the improper use of communication technology to engage in or facilitate criminal activity. People, businesses, and even governments are impacted by cybercrimes. 

Hackers and other cybercriminals often target financial gain when committing their crimes. Organisations and individuals are both capable of engaging in these illegal practices. In their pursuit of financial gain, cybercriminals often utilise computers or networks to distribute viruses, malware, explicit content, and other illegal data.

Investigators employ different methods to examine devices suspected of being involved in or targeted by cybercrimes.

Types of Cyber Crime

Cybercrime encompasses a wide range of illegal activities conducted in the digital realm. Three prominent types of cybercrime include hacking, phishing, and malware attacks. Let’s know about these in detail.

Hacking

Attempting to obtain unauthorised access to digital devices like computers and smartphones is known as hacking. It is frequently viewed as illegal and is done by cybercriminals for a variety of reasons, including financial gain, political protest, information collecting, etc.

Hacking Tools: Methods Employed by Hackers

Hacking involves technical methods like creating malware, as well as psychological tactics to deceive users into providing personal information. This is known as “social engineering.” Hacking is a broad term that encompasses various malicious activities:
  • Denial of service attacks 
  • Botnets 
  • Browser hijacks 
  • Ransomware Rootkits
  • Viruses  
  • Trojans 
  • Worms
Denial of Service (DoS) 
Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks are one of the most commonly employed malicious activities. It aims to disrupt network service by overwhelming it with excessive data traffic. A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is the most common type of attack, in which several machines are set up to attack the targeted system with traffic. People may frequently be ignorant of the infection on their machines and unintentionally support the DoS attack.

Botnets 
A botnet is a bunch of computers that are being affected infected by a bad software. It’s like an army of robots controlled by one person called the “bot-herder.” Each computer in the botnet is called a bot. The bot-herder can give orders to all the computers at once and make them do criminal actions together. Because there can be millions of bots in a botnet, the attackers can carry out these criminal activities on a large scale. 

Browser hijacks 
A browser hijacker is a hacking program that changes how your web browser works without asking you. It makes your browser go to websites you didn’t want to visit. People also call it a browser redirect virus because it sends your browser to other websites, which can be harmful.

Ransomware Rootkits
A rootkit is a malware program that sneaks into a computer and tries to hide itself and other threatening programs. It can get into a computer in two ways. Sometimes, an attacker installs it directly on the computer. Other times, they use a weak spot in the computer’s defences to install it from far away. Once the rootkit is inside, it hides itself and indulge in a malicious activity. 

Viruses 
A computer virus is threatening software that can move from one computer to another and harm data and other software just like microbial viruses do. Its goal is to make create major problems for the computers and disrupt its functioning. It also has the potential to delete data or share them without permission.

Trojans
Trojans are sneaky programs that pretend to do something fruitful but actually does the opposite. They can look like free software, videos, music, or even normal ads. Trojans can be used by attackers on their own to do malicious activities.

Worms
A self-replicating virus known as a worm, uses security flaws to spread throughout a network and exploit information theft, backdoor installation, and other sorts of damage. Unlike viruses, worms can function independently without a host computer. They consume significant memory and bandwidth, leading to system and network overload.3

Phishing

Phishing is a sort of online crime in which a targeted person is approached through email, phone call, or text message by a fraudster. They pretend to be a representative of a reliable organisation to trick people into disclosing sensitive information, including passwords, banking and credit card information, and personal identifiable information (PII).

After that, the data is used to log into crucial accounts, which may lead to identity theft and financial loss.

Understanding Phishing: Mechanics and Risks

Phishing attacks rely on fraudulent emails or communications that deceive victims into providing sensitive information or downloading malware. The dangers of phishing are twofold. 

Firstly, attackers can exploit the obtained information for financial gain, such as credit card fraud. Moreover, phishing attacks can serve as a gateway for more sophisticated cybercrimes like advanced persistent threats (APTs) and ransomware, targeting individuals or organisations by obtaining login credentials or other valuable data. 

Understanding the mechanics and risks of phishing is crucial in protecting against these malicious activities.

Types of Phishing Attacks:

Deceptive Phishing:

Attackers trick victims into revealing confidential information through fake emails by posing as a bank and asking for account details.

Spear Phishing:

Specific individuals are targeted, with attackers customising their communication based on researched information to appear authentic.

Whaling:

Attackers target high-level executives to steal their login credentials and access valuable company information.

Pharming:

Victims are directed to fraudulent websites that appear legitimate, either through infected computers or manipulated DNS servers.

Malware

The abbreviation “malware,” which stands for “malicious software,” refers to any programme or piece of code developed with the intention of damaging or abusing computer systems, networks, or other technology. Malware comes in the form of viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, and spyware.

Its goal is to cause harm or disruption, steal confidential information, get unauthorised access, or seize control of a system.

Methods of Malware Infection

Malware authors employ diverse methods, both physical and virtual, to propagate malware and infect devices and networks. Some examples include spreading malicious programs through USB drives, utilising popular collaboration tools, and employing drive-by downloads, where malicious programs are automatically downloaded onto systems without the user’s consent or awareness.

How Does Malware Function?

Malware is created to infect networks and devices with the intention of causing harm to the affected systems and their users. The impact of malware varies depending on its type and objectives. While some malware may have mild or harmless effects, others can lead to severe consequences. 

No matter what technique is used, all malware targets devices and, at the expense of the user, benefits the hackers who used it.

Thus, in order to protect yourself from the ever-evolving threats in the digital domain, it is crucial to grasp the knowledge of various types of cybercrime, such as hacking, phishing and malware, as it has now become essential for people and organisations to equip themselves with the skills and information necessary to ward off such attacks. 

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