Digital Crime – Top Targets are Not Who You Think

Digital crime is a booming industry. Every day we hear of huge data breaches that have exposed the data of millions of a company’s clients. And we’re not talking of a few years ago either. Just last year, the data of 150 million users of the MyFitnessPal app where stolen.

Modern living comes with perks. We’re not likely to have to run for our lives to avoid being eaten by a lion anymore. We get to access information with the click of a mouse and possibly even a voice command. And, how did we ever learn anything before we had YouTube?

Unfortunately, modern living also comes with some downsides. We might not have to run for our lives anymore, and this could actually be a bad thing when it comes to our fitness levels. Our easy access to information and the fact that we live such a large part of our lives online means that our data is under constant risk of attack.

Data Breaches are Serious

If you check out the infographic below, you’ll see that the MyFitnessPal hack was only one of a long line of data breaches. You’ll also see exactly how much the hacks cost businesses annually. Most surprisingly, though, you’ll learn that your typical victim of cybercrime is not who you’d think.

Small Business is a Big Target

Did you know, for example, that cybercriminals target small businesses 43% of the time? That surprises a lot of people, because, naturally a small business won’t have millions of clients. Let’s look at things from the cybercriminals’ perspective, though.

Google would be a far more lucrative target to hack because you could get the details of millions of account holders. The problem is that Google knows this, so they take serious measures to stop hackers from gaining access.

Not only would it take mad skills to hack a large corporate like this, but it would take a lot of time and effort. You are dealing with a company with the resources to hire the best security experts in the world. They spend a lot of money on security products and security awareness training every year.

Now, compare that to the local plumber’s office. Maybe they have the details of four or five hundred people on record. It’s not a huge amount of data, but the security is probably not all that great anyway.

All our hacker needs to do is to hope that someone in the company clicks on the wrong link. Then they can have all that info transmitted to them. It’s an easy score. And, if the malicious software was ransomware, the hacker makes even more money when the plumber pays to regain control of his computer.

Cybercriminals are quite happy to settle for the simple score, even if it means earning less. In the time that it might take them to crack Google, they could easily have scored a similar amount of information from less well-protected systems.

Cyber security infographc


Penn State University Cyberattack Exposes Social Security Numbers

A cyberattack at the Penn State University – the third time in six months – has resulted in close to 15,000 social security numbers getting exposed. This comes just two weeks after a similar attack at PSU left close to 9,766 SSNs exposed. According to Geoff Rushton, a spokesperson of PSU, the institution is working with national and regional agencies to investigate the case. The names of these agencies have not been released due to confidentiality agreements.

The exposed individuals are noted to be students at the university prior to 2005. Since 2005, the institution has stopped using SSNs as a personal identifier. While the database of numbers have since then been removed, an archived copy of the same is reported to have remained undetected in the computer cache from where these numbers were exposed.

A similar attack in December last year is reported to have exposed close to 30,000 SSN numbers.

[via Pittsburg Live]