There is no doubt the internet is a dangerous place as cybercrime becomes the fastest growing type of crime in the US. Cybercrime is increasing in volume, taking more time to resolve and becoming more costly to organizations, according to the Ninth Annual Cost of Cybercrime study published by Accenture and the Ponemon Institute. Cybercriminals are evolving in their approach, what they target and how they impact the bottom line of organizations.

Data breaches have increased by 67% over the course of five years, according to the Cost of Cybercrime report. While data is still the prized possession, data theft is not only the compromise. Hackers are finding ways to destroy or modify data to cause disruption within an organization. For organizations, cybercrime can have a negative impact not only from a strictly financial perspective, but also have a substantial effect on the public’s trust and opinion.

To protect your organization from cybercrime, it is important that you first understand what cybercrime is and the types of cybercrime you should be aware of. If you’re looking for the latest and fastest growing types of cybercrime, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll break down what cybercrime involves and look at some of the most noteworthy cybercrime types.

What is Cybercrime?

Cybercrime is a “criminal activity (such as fraud or theft … committed using a computer especially to illegally access, transmit, or manipulate data.” This is a very broad term and symbolizes a comprehensive selection of illicit online activities. As the digital world evolves, cybercrime becomes more and more serious. Cybercrime now consists of practically any type of electronic devices. Some examples of cybercrime include ransomware attacks, attacks, crypto mining, cryptojacking, identity theft, violating privacy, etc. Read on to explore the fastest growing types of cybercrime today and how to protect yourself from it.

Top Seven Fastest Growing Types of Cybercrime

  1. Scams

Hackers are finding new ways to target the human element, through manipulation and an understanding of human emotional response. Scams are the most common type of cybercrime that doesn’t stop growing. According to the FBI, internet fraud occurs when a malicious actor uses the internet to defraud or otherwise take advantage of its victims. Cyber scams result in the theft of millions of dollars each year and continue to plague the internet.

As we know, cyber scams come in all sizes. Many of them share the same message, communicating an attractive deal that in many cases fools users into giving out private information such as financial data. Clearly, those offers are unsubstantiated, and can even result in a victim sending money.

Users should be aware of unbelievable situations where they’re presented with easy money or other prizes in exchange for a subscription or one-time payment. They should look at said e-mails as promotions created exclusively to take their money.

  1. Malware

Malware attacks are pervasive and take many forms. Some of the most common forms of malware outbreaks can include phishing attacks and infected software as delivery techniques. When a victim opens a corrupt file, e.g., a Microsoft Word document attached to an email, the malware is installed. Hackers can use the malware to monitor and detect any online activity, while stealing private data. Malware is quickly becoming one of the largest and fastest growing threats, as it has been used in some of the world’s biggest data breaches.

There are many ways to prevent a malware attack if organizations take the right approach to protect their data. Users can protect themselves against malware by implementing security measures when logging into their accounts:

  • Keep your software updated with the latest bug fixes and improvements
  • Don’t click on links or download attachments from unrecognized senders.
  • Use strong passwords that can’t be recognized by hackers using Dictionary and Brute Force cyberattacks.
  • Use a pop-up blocker.

Learn more about how to prevent cyberattacks click here

  1. Identity Theft

Cybercriminals can manipulate user’s data as they please. They can take control of a targets’ financial transactions, get a new banking account, steal users’ money, the list goes on. Hackers only need scraps of data about you to persuade a bank or a customer service representative that they’re you. Protecting against identity theft doesn’t have to be complicated if you follow the right procedures.

Do not reveal too much personal information online, especially on social media. Another essential tip is to not send personal info such as Social Security or credit card numbers through text messages or emails.

Learn more about the collateral damage of a social security number breach here

  1. Cryptojacking Mobile Devices

Cryptojacking a cell phone will result in a severe damage to the device’s life. As the world moves from traditional computers to laptops and mobile devices, the chances to steal information from a cell phone become higher. Hackers are now able to target your expanded attack surface, which includes your mobile devices. Cryptojacking involves embedding malware on frequently visited websites that get thousands of hits per day. The infected devices will continue to mine cryptocurrency. Unfortunately, cryptojacking is difficult to detect.

Companies can defend against cryptojacking campaigns by having their operating systems protected. A threat modeling tool will allow organizations to have full visibility across their entire ecosystem and address potential threats and risks.

  1. Formjacking

Formjacking happens when cybercriminals have cracked external web servers and installed JavaScript or another kind of computer-generated code to gather credit card information entered by users. This virtual code can stay on unsecured sites for a long time and is hard to find because it’s just a one-line code.

Although formjacking usually refers to stealing credit card information, it can go beyond that. Whatever information is entered in websites can be retrieved by hackers. Even when interaction between a cyberattacker and its prey is encrypted by using https, hackers can still gain access to sensitive data via formjacking when connecting to the target’s web server.

Any organization that accepts online payments can become a victim of formjacking. Participate in threat modeling to understand the areas where potential threats can compromise you. Conduct penetration tests to detect malicious code and bugs, informed by the data you receive through threat modeling.

  1. Phishing and Ransomware

Phishing is a form of attack where cybercriminals try to fool innocent users into doing something they wouldn’t normally do, such as clicking on a malicious link or email attachment. Ransomware on the other hand, is a subcategory of cybercrime that in most cases targets victims through phishing attacks or a malicious campaign. When infection occurs, the ransomware usually encrypts the user’s data. Hackers will require some kind of ransom payment in return for the data. In more malicious cases

Users can safeguard themselves against phishing by being cautious around questionable links or email attachments. They should also be aware of signs of a phishing scam, like repeated grammar or spelling errors in fake emails from financial institutions. It is also important for users to have a data recovery plan for their systems as it would help ransomware victims to recover their data after an attack.

  1. Remote Desktop Protocol

Cybercriminals still use remote desktop protocol to get into their prey’s system, and from there, move into the system they’re most interested in abusing. Remote desktop protocol is the crucial component in how cyberattackers hack computers, making it feasible for them to either immediately implement their code in remote systems or gain access to other computers in the web. Hackers can use the network for whatever they want from extracting cryptocurrency to more directed attacks,

ThreatModeler Protects Your Business Against Cybercrime

As you can see, cyber threats are as pervasive and real as they ever were. From social engineering to insider threats, organizations are hard-pressed to ensure their IT systems and applications are protected from cybercrime and data breaches. ThreatModeler enables organizations to defend themselves against cybercrime by taking a proactive rather than a reactive approach. Plan and design your IT ecosystem with security embedded as far left as possible. Your business will save time, effort and money while making sure your applications and systems are protected. ThreatModeler’s Threat Intelligence Framework contains guidance and best practices, including security controls, selected from authoritative resources, including CIS, AWS and OWASP.

ThreatModeler provides businesses with a holistic view of their attack surface. Now that your organization’s attack surface is expanding, for example by way of remote workers, it is important to know the potential threats that each component brings to your IT infrastructure. ThreatModeler helps businesses to scale by expanding on threat models built and saved in our Toolbox. i ThreatModeler not only provides an accurate visualization of the attack surface, it also informs other security processes, such as penetration testing.

To learn more about how ThreatModeler™ can help your organization build a scalable threat modeling process, book a demo to speak to a ThreatModeler expert today.