We often hear about cybercriminals and the attacks which they can make but what is it that they are able to achieve through doing this? We spoke to cybercrime expert to find out more about why these attacks happen and what exactly it is that people are looking to gain through such an attack. Cybersecurity is an industry worth billions of dollars and when you see what people are able to do you will get an understanding as to why so many businesses, governments and private individuals spend so much money on cybersecurity.
One attack which we have seen a lot of in recent years is a DoS attack or Denial of Service attack. The essence of this type of attack is that it bombards a system or a server with thousands of requests at once, causing the system to be utterly overwhelmed and crash as a result. We have seen this take place with industry giants like Visa and the Sony Playstation Network and the results are absolute chaos. These companies will lose money as a result of such an attack but it seems quite clear that those who are responsible for the attacks are not doing it so that a company loses money. The main reason why criminals may do this is either to show what they are capable of on the biggest stage, or to simply cause as much disruption as they possibly can.
One of the main reasons why so many different types of cyberattacks exist is in order to obtain sensitive information from the victim of the hack. Cybercriminals can be in their own home, hundreds of miles away and they can hack into a certain company’s database, gaining access to customer details, employee information and swathes of sensitive information which can be dangerous in the wrong hands. The criminals can then sell this information on to the highest bidder, alternatively they can use the information themselves for identity fraud. Many times we have seen people getting caught with fake passports and IDs, and these details have usually been obtained following a cyberattack.
We have seen evidence in recent years of cybercriminals who look to attack companies and individuals not necessarily for the information which they can obtain, but rather for a straight up money theft. Some years ago there was a young man who hacked into the bank account of thousands of people, taking a small amount of money from each one. Naturally those small amounts added up and over the course of the year this individual had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not all hacks are abut the information which they can get their hands on, a great many of them are just about stealing money, an old crime done in a new way.
This is why so many companies and individuals spend a huge amount of money on cybersecurity.