Unfortunately, with today’s lifestyle Cyber-crime really does pay.
With the continuing development of digital goods and services, cyber-crime is estimated to reach $2.1 trillion (£1.3 trillion) by 2019.
The latest results from Juniper research finds that through the rise of ransomware, threats are becoming more serious and could potentially be spread around more mobile devices as they become increasingly connected.
“The kind of threats we will see on these devices will be either ransomware, with consumers’ devices locked down until they pay the hackers to use their devices, or as part of botnets, where processing power is harnessed as part of a more lucrative hack. With the absence of a direct pay out from IoT hacks, there is little motive for criminals to develop the required tools,” states author James Moar.
Ransomware is defined as malware (malicious software) that is installed on your computer or device without your consent. This enables the criminal to disable the device from a remote location, and then present a pop up or notification that states your computer is locked and that you will be unable to access it unless you pay the hacker a select amount. There is typically a countdown in which the user must pay this fee, or risk all their information being deleted or made public. The higher the admin permissions on the account that is hacked, the greater the damage.
The report states that cyber-crime is becoming increasingly professional, with more tools and payment methods such as Bitcoins being used to make transactions harder to trace. The report states that the average cost of a cyber-attack is around $6 million dollars, but it’s estimated to be much higher in the US and Europe.
The most publically known hack was that against Sony studios which is estimated to cost the studio as much as $100 million in damages. The hackers posted unreleased films online, along with a string of confidential emails.