The development of internet technology has given way to a parallel threat spreading across the online world: Cybercrime. Such methods of criminality are generally concerned with privacy issues, and the spreading of false information. This can be achieved through hacking, which usually aims to steal a user’s confidential information, such as passwords and other sensitive information, or to maliciously promote misleading advertisements. Perpetrators of cybercrime are commonly known as hackers. It should be noted, though, that cybercrime is not a specific ‘type’ of crime; it is a concept that encompasses a wide range of criminal behaviors, and methods of execution. This article will look into some of the more common methods employed.
Malware is the shortened moniker of ‘Malicious Software’, and is considered a type of computer virus which can break into and damage software on one’s computer. Overall, Malware consists of any type of software that seeks to damage systems, steal data, or engage in unethical advertising. There are a wide variety of malware currently in circulation. Some of these include Worms, Trojan Horses, Ransomware, Adware and many more. Traditionally, this type of hacking is remedied through anti-virus programs.
Spamming is the act of sending unsolicited messages through the internet or any other electronic means. These messages usually come in the form of advertisements, and, if it is done through Email, the ‘Spam,’ as it is commonly known as, is usually automatically place into the Spam folder by the Email system. A spammer is known to regularly send the same or similar emails to their victims numerous times, and usually over a lengthy period of time. There are various kinds of Spam messages. They commonly come in the appearance of a Gift or lottery prize with the victim’s name posted on the email.
This type of cyber-attack works by changing the visuals of a site’s web page. Altering the appearance of a site can be done through the work of a ‘system cracker,’ a type of hacker that breaks into a web server and replaces the host website with one of their own. The effects of website defacing usually spans the entire webpage. Further, there have been several examples of defacing occurring on government sites. Fortunately, the effects of this type of hack can be repaired quite quickly.
Phishing seeks to deceive internet users through tricking them into providing the hacker with sensitive information. This type of crime is very deceptive, and, on a more serious scale, is directed at electronic banking users. Typically, phishing hacks contact a person through email, telephone or text message, claiming to be an authentic organization or person with legitimate credentials. Through these means, they can then potentially convince their victims to give their sensitive information by typing it into a fake log-in interface, if done online, or by getting their victims to divulge said information through the telephone.
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