The changing nature of cybercrime
New trends in cybercrime are emerging all the time, with costs to the global economy running to billions of pounds.
In the past, cybercrime was committed mainly by individuals or small groups. Today, we are seeing criminal organizations working with criminally minded technology professionals to commit cybercrime, often to fund other illegal activities. Highly complex, these cybercriminal networks bring together individuals from across the globe in real time to commit crimes on an unprecedented scale.
Criminal organizations turning increasingly to the Internet to facilitate their activities and maximise their profit in the shortest time. The crimes themselves are not necessarily new – such as theft, fraud, illegal gambling, sale of fake medicines – but they are evolving in line with the opportunities presented online and therefore becoming more widespread and damaging.
US Military gets hacked
The US military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) has said that there was “no operational impact” on military networks from a hacking incident carried out by people claiming to be working on behalf of of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Central Command confirmed on Monday that its Twitter and YouTube sites were compromised for about 30 minutes, but said that its “initial assessment” was that no classified information was posted by the hackers.
“Additionally, we are notifying appropriate DoD (Department of Defense) and law enforcement authorities about the potential release of personally identifiable information and will take appropriate steps to ensure any individuals potentially affected are notified as quickly as possible,” the command said in a statement.
Hackers had filled the CENTCOM social media site on Monday with threats that said “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back”.
Other postings appeared to list names and phone numbers of military personnel as well as PowerPoint slides and maps.
The White House said it was monitoring the extent of the hacking incident.
And closer to home – has your email account been hijacked? It seems quite innocuous to have your contacts and friends receiving an email from you saying that you are stranded in a foreign country and have had all of your money stolen and you need help – has this happened to you? But it seems that it is happening all of the time to someone you know or even yourself. And then your website starts acting strange and posting pages that don’t make sense or emails from your company name are sent out asking for money to be paid into a spurious PayPal account.
A solution to minimising the risk
One possible solution is to use a utility on Mac, Windows, IOS and Android called 1Password by Agile Bits a Canadian company that very effectively manages and remembers very strong passwords.
It may seem expensive, which it is, but when you compare this price to the cost of losing one of your passwords, it’s worth it. Because odds are, you use the same password for almost everything, right?