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Tricks of the Trade: Hackers, Scammers, and Cybercrime

Statistics show that the global number of internet users is passing the 50% mark, with more services and solutions going digital, a fully digital world looks to be inevitable in the future.

With so much hinging on internet connectivity, we are entering a future where the way we do things, and even how criminals operate change with the times. In the UK “traditional” crime has fallen while cybercrime now accounts for close to half the crime committed in country, with one in ten adults having been a victim.

Many more cases go unreported due to the perceived embarrassment that victims might feel, as well as a sense of helplessness in apprehending those responsible.

We discussed in a previous post by weighing the effectiveness and shortcomings of the tried and true password and biometric solutions for the future, and being aware of the possible online vulnerabilities. As we move through this transitory phase, learning how our digital security can be compromised will allow us to be better prepared, and to roll out secure solutions for everyday use.

Keystroke logging/keylogging

This is done through the installation of malicious software that allows hackers to match your keystrokes gives them access to account details and passwords. Keylogging comes in a few forms and have gone through its own evolution to keep up with increasing security measures. National Institute of Standards and Technology have listed three main types of keylogging, that work on different levels, from hardware, to software, to the kernel level.

To prevent such attacks, a combination of good antivirus and antispyware software is what first comes to mind. There are other software solutions as well, such as anti-logging software like the Zemana Antilogger that help detect keylogging software on your computer, or Sandboxie that works by running your computer in an isolated space which prevents programs from making permanent changes to your system. Tools such as KeyScrambler further scrambles and encrypts your keystrokes, for an added layer of protection.

Fake wireless access points

Ever been in a pinch for some Wifi to save some data? Be aware that certain hackers are able to use fake wireless access points (WAP) to obtain information in the process.

“What they’re doing is that rather than breaking in, they’re inviting you in,” said IT expert and private investigator Colman Ryan in an article.

With many public Wifi providers requiring a login, being on a fake WAP and for the sake of convenience, the victim might unknowingly give up details such as their email addresses and a password that is already used by another account, or in the worst case scenario, the same one for their email addresses.

By signing onto a fake WAP, the hacker has control over the victim’s device. Red flags for such attacks include finding yourself connecting to free public Wifi that allows you to surf instantly, or one with a sluggish connection.

To be safe, set your device to forget any public networks in case you’ve connected by accident or have a fake WAP, also turn off Wi-Fi when your device is not in use, or you’re in public without a trusted connection.

Phishing

We have multiple accounts for different services, and most of them are pegged to our credit cards or other online payment options. Through a series of psychological tricks, and relying on the human element and deception, these phishers prey on human gullibility, fear, curiosity, and manipulation.

These phishing scams are oftentimes disguised as either emails or as other forms of messages from a service provider that look as close to the real thing – as seen in the latest phishing same that Netflix was hit with. These scams get victims to divulge information such as billing or login details for a promotion, or to fix and maintain the service through a link that directs the victim outside of the message to a site that the scammers have created to collect the data.

Corporations are getting more vigilant against phishing attacks, with such attacks costing companies an average of 1.6 millions dollars to rectify, in addition to intangible costs such customer trust and brand value.


With these different avenues that hackers have on hand to take control of devices and accounts, we should always be vigilant and take seriously how we protect ourselves online.

Learn how GTRIIP allows you to seamlessly enjoy a keyless, documentless check-in experience while keeping your biometric information accessible, and safe through the latest encryption technology.

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