Understanding Hacker Motives

Not all cases are clear-cut. Even when you know how something happened, there’s usually more than one way to interpret the events. Cyber crime is a good example. Investigators often spend a lot of time trying to understand why the crime occurred in the first place. They ask questions like “why did the perpetrator do it?” And “what was their motive?” Even when you can’t answer these questions, trying to understand the why is still useful.

In the digital age, protecting networks from hackers have become a top priority. What do hackers want? To steal data by any means possible. If businesses understand why criminals commit crimes, they can better protect their networks from being hacked.

Personal Identifiable Information

Known simply as PII, this data includes a long list of items that can specifically identify an individual, such as full names, home addresses, and national ID numbers (to name just a few).

ID Theft

Identity theft ranks near the top as one of the most common crimes worldwide. by stealing your ID, criminals can act in your name. They can leverage your credit score to open accounts, file fraudulent insurance claims and basically do anything you can do with your information.

Usernames and passwords (Online Accounts)

Although login credentials fall under the PII umbrella, criminals want them for more than just ID theft. your usernames and passwords unlock a world of opportunity. 

Cash Money

Graining unauthorized access to any account, like email or social media, may lead to gaining access to other, more important accounts such as banks and credit cards. In this situation, the attacker can steal directly from you, or even sell your information on the dark web.

Usernames and passwords (Internet of things)

Everything we connect to the internet, from routers to dishwashers (Internet of Things) opens another door for criminals.

DDoS Attacks

Distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attacks take down major servers by flooding them with more “hits” than they can handle. The results crash the servers and destroy all internet traffic that goes through them for extended periods of time. The easiest way to launch a DDoS attack stems from hacking smart devices, turning them into a botnet-often made possible by lax security settings of smart devices, especially those using default usernames and passwords. 

Email Addresses

Also considered PII, email addresses by themselves may not seem all that threatening. But when criminals gather thousands of them, the results can lead to disaster. 

Phishing Campaigns

Phishing is the most successful social engineering tactic to date. Phishers launch campaigns aimed at specific companies or people know as spear phishing in hopes of spreading ransomware or other forms of malicious software. 

I hope this article was helpful, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me. If you would like to be notified of when I create a new post you can subscribe to my blog alert.

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Patrick Domingues

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