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Ways Cyber Attackers Turn Hacking Into Profit

You’ve probably heard that hackers are out to get you, but what does that mean exactly? What types of attacks can meet your company’s expectations, and how can you defend against them? Here’s a look at the most common ways cyber attackers turn hacking into profit, from insider trading to ransomware and everything in between.

  • Stealing Personal Information

PI such as bank accounts, credit card numbers, and Social Security numbers are valuable to cyber attackers, especially if they’re combed over and sold on a dark web marketplace. That’s because hackers can use personal information to steal money or establish false identities—it can also be packaged up with other stolen info and used to commit identity fraud.

  • Selling Code For Exploits

Buying and selling exploits is big business. Unfortunately, many companies that purchase zero-day vulnerabilities want to use them for offensive purposes, such as cyber espionage campaigns or cyber warfare operations. These sellers always look for zero-day vulnerabilities to exploit and then sell to interested buyers. Sometimes, they’re willing to pay millions of dollars to access these vulnerabilities. These kinds of purchases are called bug bounties in IT security circles.

  • Ransomware

This type of cyberattack involves a hacker taking control of a computer, server, or other device and encrypting its contents. Then, they demand a ransom to regain access to said data. Ransomware attacks are growing in popularity, with over 2 million users affected globally in 2016 alone. 

The best way to prevent ransomware attacks is through regular cybersecurity software updates and proper backups. According to ConnectWise, “Armed with new insights, you’ll guide your clients’ remediation actions and prioritize preemptive measures to harden their environments ongoing.”

  • Cryptocurrency Mining

Unethical cryptocurrency miners use malicious applications that run on your systems. They use up resources, sometimes monopolize CPU cycles or bandwidth, and can even pose a security risk if they spread to other computers across your network. Cryptocurrency mining malware is one of today’s most common cyberattacks. An excellent way to protect yourself from such an attack is cyber security for MSPS, including operating systems and browsers.

  • Selling Malware as a Service

Using malware to attack corporate networks can be costly for cybercriminals. It’s challenging to take over a company’s computers and keep them running, so these criminals turn to other options. Instead of breaking into a network, they sell access to that network—and their methods are making hacking more profitable than ever before. These third-party vendors help hackers lease out botnets (enormous collections of hijacked computers) as weapons in DDoS attacks.

  • Corporate Extortion

Another method that cyber attackers use to profit from hacking is corporate extortion. Data has become an increasingly important commodity in the business world, especially for companies targeting hackers who can persuade them by exposing sensitive information in exchange for money or resources. 

As a result, companies that fail to take proper precautions with their data are vulnerable to extortion attacks. Fortunately, there are ways companies can protect themselves against these attacks by leveraging cybersecurity insurance and consulting services.

No matter how careful you are, there’s always a chance that you or your company will become a victim of cybercrime. However, there are things you can do to ensure that your data and information are safe.


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