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Criminals are constantly looking for new ways to implement their plans. Unfortunately, the peculiarities of cybercrime are clear only to specialists.
The average person only knows that you need to use an antivirus. It is worth debunking some of the myths about this phenomenon in order to better understand it.
Cybercrime is data hacking. The main stereotype about hackers is inspired by the world of cinema. We imagine a person sitting in front of a monitor and quickly pressing keys. At the same time, hundreds of lines of code run on the screen so quickly that an ordinary person cannot even read what is there. As a result, the hacker solemnly presses the "Enter" key, after which the coveted window appears on the screen with the inscription "Access granted." It seems that this is how all cybercriminals operate. In fact, most crimes do not directly involve criminal activity. Hackers just need to wait for the mistakes of their victims, who will do all the dirty work for them. There are quite popular types of scams - phishing, infected emails. But usually everything happens thanks to the actions of users. Little is known about how the Internet is becoming a robbery weapon. Do not be afraid that robbers are hiding somewhere behind the monitor screen and strive to enter the house. The real story will debunk the myth. The police in the city of Nashua in the US state of New Hampshire have identified a group of criminals who managed to steal property worth 200 thousand dollars. And the scammers acted very simply. They on Facebook identified those users who reported an imminent departure for a trip. It remained only in the absence of the owners to climb into an empty house. No one even thought to leave the light on in order to somehow scare off the robbers. So, when using the Internet, one must remember that antivirus and firewall software may not stop the criminal. The main thing is to have your head on your shoulders and not help scammers.
Illegal downloads can be easily controlled. It seems that all illegal downloads of movies, games and music can be easily stopped. You just need to find those who initiate this process and stop it. But is it possible to solve the problem in this way? And here the first difficulties begin. A duplicate file can be easily created on another server by creating a "mirror". Even if the main server is blocked, criminals will simply use a copy of the file. You can try to block in general all websites that link to illegal mirrors. But this approach will not solve the problem with cyber pirates either. For example, the famous torrent tracker The Pirate Bay has been legally blocked in many countries. But people still have access to it using proxy servers. They do not care about blocking, so the prohibited content still gets to the user. It's easy to block a site, much more difficult to keep it that way. This is a serious job that requires resources and 24/7 attention every day.
Antiviruses can successfully resist any threat. It is believed that the Internet is teeming with viruses and malware. But the computer is saved from infecting the computer with special tools that automatically block the intruder and protect user data. It really was like this before. But today, virus developers know the classic algorithms for antivirus software. They require a catalog (database) of virus definitions. With its help, files and processes are scanned. Then the virus creators took a different path. They are not trying to plant one long-lived virus that can be detected and blocked by the defense system. In order to avoid detection, a whole spectrum of short-lived viruses is spreading. And it really is one-day. Fireeye estimates that 82% of modern viruses live for just an hour. This allows one third of attacks to go unnoticed even by commercial anti-virus programs. Do not rush to turn off the Internet and hide your computer away from the network. It should be understood that the best anti-virus strategy is knowledge. We need to understand how to behave online and stay safe. And it's worth starting with free screensavers with touching pictures downloaded from incomprehensible sites. Most likely, "Trojans" are hiding inside such programs.
Viruses attack only Microsoft Windows, they do not exist on other operating systems. When the Internet was just starting to develop, this was a commercial statement. It helped improve Apple's sales. When many viruses existed for Windows, other systems did not encounter them at all. It seemed much safer to use Mac OS or Linux. It is no coincidence that such a myth appeared. A virus is usually created for one family of operating systems. It is logical to assume that the most common option is chosen, with the largest number of users. The operating system is selected in which personal and corporate data are processed. Since Windows has achieved the greatest distribution, it has become a desirable target for hackers. And at the heart of the same Mac OS is the UNIX platform, which guarantees the system additional security. But Apple products are not at all the pinnacle of safety. The popularity of this operating system, like iOS, has forced criminals to look at their priorities differently. And now there are high-profile scandals with data leakage from Apple services. Thanks to Celebgate, many people have been able to see pictures of naked stars. But this information was stored in a secure iCloud cloud service. That is why you should not unequivocally assume that Mac OS is more reliable than Windows. In any case, the owner of a computer needs to take care of the security of his data. And it is clearly not worth uploading your personal and intimate photos to the Internet.
Big business is protected from virus attacks. It seems that the largest companies are investing millions in ensuring their security and that nothing threatens them. However, the celebrity photo theft scandal sounded a wake-up call. It became clear that hackers are able to overcome even serious defenses. A large company is an impenetrable firewall wall, behind which everything is password-protected, and the security service keeps order. While the scope of the security measures is respectful, that doesn't mean they can't be circumvented. Not so long ago, Sony got into a scandal. Attackers were able to break into legacy software. Hacking the Sony Playstation database led to the publication of information about user payments. The authorities were forced to fine the company $ 400,000 for security negligence.
Passwords must be complex. For authorization on sites, users usually try to come up with complex passwords. It is believed that they will be difficult to pick up. For this, a large length is selected, characters in different registers, special characters. True, users themselves sometimes find it difficult to remember their own complex password. But the time for choosing tricky passwords has passed. According to research, a password with a length of 8 characters is cracked in 60% of cases, but the chances of cracking a password with 16 characters is 12%. In other words, a short password itself, even with additional characters, will be more vulnerable than a long, limited character set. It is the length of the password that is almost the determining factor. It is better to choose an easier to remember and simple long password than a complex and short one.
Only criminals become hackers. We think of hackers as gifted lone criminals or a group of them breaking the digital gateway to a world of valuable information. Sometimes it seems that these are just virtual robbers, but sometimes there is reason to assume that governments or special services are behind their actions. And a cyber war is already underway between the world's largest countries. In 2013, American hackers broke into the website of a university in Tsinghua, China. It remains a mystery what they were looking for there, but certainly not advertising information. And this is just one example of many where it was possible to identify the persons involved. And right under our noses, similar actions can unfold. But most users spend time chatting or watching YouTube videos, unaware of their involvement in the big game.
Criminals need access to a server to harm them. Often times, the real security failures are related to gaining access to websites and servers. But there are types of attacks when internal security measures are followed. A method called Direct Denial of Servise (DDoS) is often used. Such attacks involve bombarding a website with requests. As a result, it cannot withstand the flow of requests, which is why the site freezes. This situation resembles the arrival of thousands of visitors to a restaurant at the same time, each of whom will make a large order, and then apologize and refuse everything.
DDoS attacks are very popular among those who just want to harm the company. There are a couple of well-known hacker groups - LulzSec and Lizard Squad, which are doing exactly this, bringing down the largest services for a while for their own pleasure. But if such attacks are aimed at online store sites, then they can bring financial damage to the company. Which customer would want to place an order on a "hanging" site? But the authorities sometimes even punish such hackers with real terms, some representatives of the above groups are serving prison sentences.
If the link was sent by your friend, it is safe. At the dawn of the development of the global network, there was a popular advice not to trust messages and links from strangers. It was believed that only close people can send trustworthy links on which you can click. But the criminals turned this conviction to their advantage. They know that a message from an unknown person, and even with a link, is sure to be blocked or deleted. Then hackers began to simply hack people's accounts and send letters on their behalf to persons from the contact list, inviting them to download a certain file or follow a link. The victim, trusting his friend, does what she is asked to do. And soon the virus gains control over the new account. One of the viruses gained control over many Facebook accounts by sending messages to users' friends. They were asked to follow a link to watch a YouTube video featuring the sender. During the transition, people were asked to download a plug-in to watch the video. In fact, under his guise was a virus. He stole Facebook and Twitter accounts and sent himself out on behalf of new users. The stream of suspicious letters was revived again and again. So it is worth understanding that if you received a suspicious letter, even from your friend, if he starts throwing strange phrases and throwing links in the chat, then this may not be a temporary insanity, but a real hacking.
Criminal sites are easy to spot. We often hear on the news how the authorities arrest members of hacker organizations. And it seems easy to catch them. You just need to enter the words about criminal activity in the search engine and all sites related to it will be displayed immediately. Unfortunately, most criminals, at least the most prudent, cannot be found in a search engine. To find them, you will have to use the Deep Web. We are talking about those pages of the Internet that are not indexed by search engines. Do not be afraid of the Deep Web, it is not so bad, it just contains those pages that the search engine ignored for some reason. And its size is 90% of the entire Internet. True, most of this volume is service pages. The Deep Internet is used by people who try to keep their activities secret from everyone. For criminal sites here you need more than a username and password. Sometimes you even need a special browser to handle connections to the page. The information is encrypted to make it impossible to trace the connection. So users get access to sites where they can, for example, buy weapons, drugs. And it is very difficult for the authorities to deal with such resources, which are immediately resurrected after the closure in a new guise.