These 5 types of hackers are a threat to SMBs

These 5 types of hackers are a threat to SMBs

Malicious hackers are motivated by different things. Some want money, some do it for fun while others just want to end your business. Understanding the different types of hackers, their behaviour, what motivates them, and the malware they use can help you identify the attacks you are most likely to face and how to defend yourself and your organization. Many individuals believe that only few or certain people can be the victims of hacking and not everyone, or that all hackers are criminals and international terrorists. These are all false misconceptions that would be debunked in this blog.

Script Kiddies:

It is a proven fact that half knowledge is always dangerous. A script kiddie is a low-skilled cybercriminal who uses scripts or programs developed by others for attacks without understanding how they work. They lack programming knowledge and use existing software to launch an attack.  Since they are unable to write malicious tools on their own, they use ready-made exploit kits or separate programs. Motivated by peer competition, their goal is often just to impress friends or other members of the hacker community. These amateur types of hackers sometimes claim authorship of a piece of malware by making minimal changes to its code. The phenomenon is most commonly seen among computer game crackers and cheaters.

Hacktivists:

Hacktivists are groups of criminals who break into a computer system for political, social, religious, or anarchistic reasons, and begin to wage a war on information. This is a form of non-violent digital activism where these hackers typically target entire industries but sometimes attack specific organizations who they feel don’t align with their political views or practices. These so-called “hackers with a cause” steal sensitive information to disrupt their target’s operations and promote a particular political agenda or to effect social change.

The motive is not personal financial gain but to achieve political, social, or religious justice in line with the group’s cause.  Even small- or medium-sized companies are not immune to such attacks especially if the company is associated with organizations that are prime hacktivist targets.

Cybercriminal:

The Cybercriminal uses computer expertise, knowledge of human behaviour, and a variety of tools and services for malicious and exploitive purposes. They use more harsh methods to achieve their goals and the proficiency of attacks is expected to advance as they continue to develop new methods for cyber-attacks. The kinds of crimes a cybercriminal may be involved in can include hacking, identity theft, spreading viruses, online scams and fraud, creating and disseminating malware, attacks on computer systems and sites, conventional crimes like spam, fraud, illegal gambling, etc. Cybercriminals usually target individuals, SMBs, and large companies that have exploitable weaknesses in their systems. These hackers are extremely difficult to identify on both an individual and group level due to their various security measures which distort and protect their identity.

State-sponsored hackers:

True to their name, these hackers are backed by governments through their militaries and government authorities. They can also fund them indirectly.  The hackers’ goal is to aid in their backer’s interests within their own country or abroad. This mostly involves swaying public opinion, taking down websites that criticize the state, cyber-terrorism, and leaking top-secret information, among others.

Because state sponsored hackers are well funded, equipped and trained, such attacks aren’t easy to detect. Even if the attack is discovered, it is very easy to deny the state’s involvement. Proving that a state was involved in a cyberattack can be very difficult. This makes cyber-attacks an effective and risk-free option for states to use.

Insiders:

An insider threat is a security risk posed by those who have access to an organization’s physical or digital assets. These insiders can be current employees, former employees, contractors, vendors or business partners who all have had legitimate access to an organization’s network and computer systems. The consequences of a successful insider threat can include a data breach, fraud, theft of trade secrets or intellectual property, and sabotage of security measures. Because insider threats are so hard to detect, they are a big problem for organizations across industries.

By now you must have had a clear idea that not all hackers are the same.  IPMC’s Cyber Security Solutions safeguard your business at every touchpoint from computers and servers to mobile and other electronic devices and networks, from attacks. We deliver customized plans that work for end-user protection built for your industry and your security needs.

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