The History of Cyber Security

The term cyber crime is all the same as any other kind of crime – there is a culprit and also a victim. For the cyber crime to become successful, it needs the same component of other crime; the motive, the opportunity and the means. When one can view the brief history of cyber crime we could see that the elements for the motive, opportunity and means are few, thus computer crime is less prevalent. Indeed, profit is one of the reasons, but there are some reasons like revenge for cyber crimes like DDoS attacks as well as ego in creating malicious viruses.

However, as the accessibility and connectivity has increased, the means and the opportunity have also increased. Back then, only a few people know how to use computers and there is no reason in assaulting them; the companies during those times weren’t even connected online. Since the internet nowadays is almost everywhere, the means and the opportunity has greatly increased. Now, anyone can use a computer and there are many ways to use them like networking, online gaming, and banking and money transactions

When we look back, cyber criminals were almost always more sophisticated than those individuals who are trying to deter them. And even if companies have IT security, there are only few security professionals and ms information security graduates and much fewer security tools available against threats. Today the story is almost the same, criminals may have grown more dangerous and has many ways to accomplish their dark deeds, but for some reasons the threats they pose have been greatly reduced, compared to as before.

The vulnerability in cyberspace has been greatly reduced thanks to the increased numbers of security professionals and graduates of master’s degree in information security as well as many products and methods that can be used to mitigate threats. All of these can provide better security in the cyberspace for companies.

Another possible reason would be is that the laws against cyber crime have also changed; more cyber criminals are being brought to justice. Cyber crime is treated the same as any crime, any culprits caught are punished and are locked in behind bars. However, there are some skilled criminals who can escape justice from both worlds – the virtual and physical world.

Even if companies will muster all their resources just provide the best IT security by hiring security experts and employing the use of technologies and best methods; the threat of cyber crime is still present. If the criminals are barred in one way, they will still seek other ways of entry. In the past, cyber criminals grew tired of directly attacking hosts and networks, they shifted their attention into other ways like attacking the more vulnerable applications. If the application is blocked, then attackers would target the end users of those companies via phishing, XSS or other attacks targeting the clients. They become the most suitable target because they are unaware of IT security and on how to keep every transaction safe and secure.

Any financial institution with weak IT security will fall prey to cyber criminals in just a matter of seconds, but banks with advanced security will be much more difficult to confront. But that doesn’t stop criminals; they could easily trick the clients and steal their credentials and important information needed for banking transactions. Often times, attackers would send Emails masking as security mails asking to verify important data; once the clients make the mistake of supplying the information then his account will be compromised. Employees of companies can also fall victim to the same method. Emails, phone inquiries and other techniques are used just to get the necessary data that can be used to penetrate the systems of the company. We can simply put it this way; the surest way to go through security is have someone else’s login ID as well as password.

Sometimes, the most common reason why individuals fall prey to these vile criminals is their ignorance. Some of these individuals are still making use of computers with ancient operating systems which are more prone to cyber attacks. They didn’t know that computers are not like appliances and that they needed to be updated from time to time.

The ware against cyber crime is still not won. And each side is getting better and better as years go by. Many security experts and master’s degree information security graduates would agree with this statement, “It is much better to protect the individuals and company’s information network rather being the cause of their downfall.”

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Increasing Dangers of Cybercrime

Companies should stop telling themselves that their network security systems are enough against any cyber threats looming in the Internet’s horizon nowadays. In fact, they should stop waiting for these threats to happen in their systems before they take any action against it. The risk of these cyber crimes isn’t a laughing matter and imminent doom is the only thing that awaits irresponsible and reckless companies.

Because of the constant change in our world today, the threats in the network systems of companies are further evolving and it may come from any kind of vector – mobile phones person to person networks, social media, Emails, web applications and so much more. To make matters worse, the security defenses and methods the companies employ like the regular penetration testing and anti virus software is being left behind. The technologies and skills these cyber criminals employ are sometimes far more superior than any other IT experts working as security administrators in different companies.

Due to their superiority when it comes to skill and tools used in hacking, creating sophisticated codes for malware, spear phishing and bot nets, committing cyber crime nowadays is as easy as pie. As a matter of fact, some cyber criminals don’t even need to lift a finger to do a thing; everything he wants to be done will be accomplished by the software he an unwilling victim downloads.

Aside from that, cyber criminals who are expert in writing different sophisticated software used in cyber crimes can even sell their software on a certain price to other criminals who lack the sophistication, skills and knowledge to make their own code. Thus, anyone who wants to hack a certain establishment will be able to use sophisticated software to accomplish everything he needs to be accomplished. The best example of sophisticated malware that is being sold in the Internet nowadays is the ZeuS malware. This dangerous malware is highly sophisticated and can be programmed to do different task depending on the type of attack a ZeuS user may want; ZeuS can also be used in building a much potent threat – bot nets.

Many security experts are getting more and more concerned about the evolution of cyber crime. Furthermore, the integration of these cyber crimes into an organized crime has created a greater scope of threat in many industries today. Criminals in cyber underground can share the sensitive information they have or work together to build a team to take down the tough security systems of some company. It’s an A-team of criminals adept in making codes, decrypting encrypted files, intelligence gathering deploying malware and scanning company systems for vulnerabilities they can exploit.

Nowadays, cybercrime has become a profession to some individuals and the levels of professionalism they have can be amazing. Potential clients will approach cyber criminals in these underground forums where clients can hire them to initiate attacks to specific targets – of course on a certain price. They will pay these crooks to launch DDoS attacks, steal or destroy sensitive information or others. But before clients hire these crooks, clients would often ask them to show their skills and how good they are in their trade.

Still, not all cyber criminals assemble teams to work together for a single purpose; individual cyber criminals can work on their own because of their bot nets. And what motivates them in making these crimes is the cash they could acquire from different companies like banks and other financial institutions. But some of those criminals aren’t focusing on financial institutions only; why would they hack on banking networks where there are securities that are tough to break or circumvent. They would rather hack the networks of some large scale businesses and institutions like restaurants, universities and hospitals. They can still get the needed information of their target without having to face difficult security systems.

These threats aren’t only used in stealing or making profit from different companies, sometimes these threats are used in attacking different governments. Espionage has become easy because of the Internet; any country could steal important information or make any destabilization plots against the target country.

Indeed, whether it is the government or other private industries, it is important to strengthen their defenses against cybercrimes. They should explore the vulnerabilities of their systems which can be exploited; it is easy to identify the vulnerabilities of network by completing a simple pen test. It can only be done by an expert in network security who has completed penetration testing training.

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