You’ve seen them portrayed in movies perhaps as solitary geniuses, wreaking havoc on websites and corporate networks from the dark depths of their basements. Hackers, however, operate differently than how you may have envisioned them to. They often work within criminal hacker groups that employ a variety of tactics to execute large-scale hacks. Ironically, many of the most dangerous and prominent hacker groups in the world operate under innocent and unthreatening aliases such as Putter Panda and Flying Kitten.
Regardless of the name or size of the hacker group, they all employ similar methods to break into website servers and steal sensitive and private information.
Identity Theft and Phishing Attacks
A complete takeover of someone’s online identity only requires knowledge of his or her credit card number. Hackers can attain this information via phishing, an attack in which people are tricked into divulging their usernames and passwords via counterfeit websites. Phishing starts with a simple click. This click leads victims to a website that appears to be legitimate and that they have perhaps frequently visited (e.g. a banking site or social media site). However, this site is a forged replica of the original. This means that when users enter their login credentials they are essentially hand delivering sensitive information to hackers.
A botnet is a group of computers that have been infiltrated by malware, or malicious software, unbeknownst to the users. Botnet infection can occur on instant contact with a tainted website. A hacker group infects a computer and then adds it to its botnet. From this point, hackers can use botnets to send spam, distribute phishing websites, scan PCs and websites for valuable information or launch “denial of service” attacks to stop people from using online services. Botnets are powerful and their ability to infect other computers is instant. They also allow hackers to install spyware on to victim computers, so that they can maintain stealth while consistently stealing from victims.
Through spyware, hackers maintain a veiled presence on a victim’s computer or website. Spyware is a type of software that typically hides on regular web pages. This means that it is difficult to detect without the proper security software. Spyware also allows hackers to change site content or redirect victims to false sites.
What You Can Do
Above all, never use public or foreign networks to access sites that require personal or sensitive information. A surefire way to guarantee the security of your personal information is to access these websites via a VPN using SSL or IPsec encrypted connections and accepted authentication methods.
HOB RD VPN is a prime example of technology that protects valuable information from the hands of hackers. As HOB RD VPN has attained a Common Criteria EAL 4+ certification from The German Federal Office for Information Security, users can find comfort in the caliber of security protecting their information.
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