Have you ever encountered a sudden malfunctioning of your computer’s systems? You find your system is strangely full, your friends and family keep receiving funny emails from you, weird ad pop-ups on your screen, or even worse, your bank account runs dry? These are just but common signs your computer has been hacked and you need to do something about it.
Cybersecurity threats are one of the major challenges faced by many companies, organizations as well as individuals worldwide. This is because such cyber crimes lead to serious data breaches, exposure and tampering of sensitive information, and identity theft.
This article aims to outline common tactics used by hackers to get your personal information, what they do with the information, and what you can do in case they’ve hacked your credentials.
What Kind of Personal Information Can Hackers Get From You and Which Sites Do They Commonly Use?
Hackers try to steal your credentials and log into your online account for many reasons. The chief being monetary gain. Others do it for the sheer fun of exploring people’s personal information and learning the tips and techniques of how to hack such. Some go ahead and spam customer services, businesses, and governmental operations as a way of protesting against them.
The list below outlines five of several hacker sites used to unscrupulously fetch data:
This is one of the most popular sites used by hackers to find premium accounts for Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, adult websites, etc. By creating an account on the site, hackers create fake email accounts then crack premium VPN credentials to get such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
This site is a rather hidden but popular site where hacked accounts and passwords for paid services like Neltflix, Hulu and Spotify can be accessed for free.
Hackers use this site to retrieve leaked usernames and passwords for subscription services like Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, Amazon Prime Videos, SlingTV, and Hulu.
In this site, users get into a hacker’s page, create an account then buy stolen premium accounts for various subscription services. For instance, online games, paid streaming services, and VPNs.
This site is a pool flooded with hacked accounts along with their usernames and passwords. Hackers use this site to find ready-made neat accounts.
You can check out more sites here that hackers use to retrieve people’s credentials and log in to your online accounts. These sites are commonly used to steal people’s premium account credentials for popular sites such as Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.
Some hacker sites used for cracking software, obtaining illegitimate licenses, usernames and passwords include cracked.to, cracking.org, cracking portal, and cracking soul.
The above video is intended for educational purposes only, to demonstrate how easy consumers personal info can be obtained online. We don’t condone any type of cyber crimes under no circumstances.
Techniques Hackers Use
Phishing is a technique used by hackers intending to retrieve personal data from unsuspecting individuals via email, text message or telephone.
In this method, hackers pose as legitimate institutions or organizations like Amazon, eBay, and Facebook, then send you a link which after clicking asks you to provide your credentials. Giving out your credentials means the hacker is free to access your personal information and finances. He can also commit fraud or make an illegal purchase using your identity.
The best way to prevent phishing is by understanding how it works. You can read more about phishing techniques here.
A man in the middle attack is where an imposter intercepts the communication system between the end-user and a legitimate host the person is exchanging information with. This means that the hacker receives all information transacted between the two parties and can easily access sensitive data.
Hackers usually take advantage of unencrypted wireless access points (WAP) like open WiFis that don’t apply WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) and WPA (Wireless Protected Access) to execute this.
You can protect yourself against this cyber attack by using encrypted WAP and constantly checking the security of your connection. Also, make sure your browser or website has an HTTPS connection to enhance its security. You can also install VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) which effectively encrypt your IP address thus securing your connection while browsing.
Sending Malware to Your PC
Malware is a collective term that defines malicious software variants that aim at breaching data, damaging devices, and interfering with the normal functioning of computer systems.
Malware can manifest in many forms such as viruses, worms, ransomware, trojans, adware, spyware among many others.
Factors that may contribute to malware in computers include a vulnerable operating system, weak passwords, leaked sensitive information, and disabled security systems in the computer. This can happen after downloading illegitimate software and corrupted email attachments.
To remove malware from your computer, you need to first identify which type of malware the computer is infected with. This is because each malware affects the computer differently.
The most effective method of preventing malware is refraining from downloading attachments from sources that cannot be trusted. You can install a firewall to enhance this prevention. It works by preventing the transfer of large files over a network in an attempt to stop malware from penetrating your system. Also, always ensure the security updates in your operating system are up to date.
DDoS – Distributed Denial of Service
Distributed denial of Service as the name suggests is the denial of service to a network. In this attack, hackers flood the network system using several computers that overload it with data and disable its normal functioning. The hacker may launch this attack through an unsuspecting user’s computer. Several individuals have done this in an attempt to protest governments and organizations.
The best way to prevent Ddos attacks is by maintaining regular software updates and monitoring data flow and your security online. This will help you identify any unusual activities in your data network and nullify them before they become a problem.
It’s essential you also monitor your physical connections since unplugging cable connections can disrupt your network.
With the evolution of cybercrimes over time, malicious codes, viruses, or software can now be downloaded in the background with a simple click to a webpage. This is unlike before when such codes were only downloadable after installing i.e. an illegitimate software. Users that fall victim to this tactic are those with out-of-date operating systems and have porous security systems.
You can avoid this attack by avoiding sites with dangerous and malicious content. For instance, adult websites, file sharing sites, and ads that offer huge lottery offers.
To further upgrade your internet security, always update your internet browser and operating system, and use safe protocols that warn you of navigating through suspicious sites. You can also install security software like McAfee and All-access to enhance your internet security and keep it up to date.
Malvertising as the name suggests refers to infecting genuine online advertising networks using malicious codes. This means that clicking an ad will redirect you to malicious websites that will quickly intercept your computer and infect it.
Hackers can also extract the details of the user’s computer, locate it then send malware that infects the system and subsequently infect other computers within the user’s network.
Some common sites hackers use for malvertising include The London Stock Exchange, Spotify, The New York Times Online, and The Atlantic.
One of the effective ways of stopping malvertising is using ad blockers. You can install them as extensions in your web browser to help block ads. Maintaining your software security updates can also help. Also, keep watch over fishy ads such as those of lucrative lotteries. These are common baits you shouldn’t find hard resisting since it’s common sense that anything promising you a large sum of ‘easy’ money is 99% scam.
These are software that manipulate people into believing that their computers are infected with viruses and entice them to install the software to remove them. These software can come in many forms such as ads that offer free or trial version security programs. Some which, unfortunately, mimic legitimate antivirus software.
A common characteristic they possess is taking you through a series of complicated procedures that keep redirecting you to ads or links for downloading the software. In reality, as you keep clicking these ads and links, embedded malware enter your system through background downloads and corrupt it. You’ll notice an unusually slow response of your computer, the appearance of duplicate files, and sometimes, the disabling of your system’s security updates.
To stop this malware, install an updated firewall that will protect your system from unprecedented cyberattacks. You can also install an antivirus program or spyware software to help monitor and detect such threats.
How Much Do Hackers Steal Online Annually?
Cybercrimes are one of the leading causes of financial losses incurred on companies, organizations, and the government. According to Comparitech’s Cybersecurity Statistics and Trends (2021) edition, damages inflicted by cybercrime operations have been projected to cost the world up to $6 trillion per year. By the end of 2020, $3.86 million was lost through data breaches.
The coming of the Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated this situation as many companies are now heavily investing in online security programs to protect their data. This is because most businesses have shifted their operations online. This has caused an upsurge in cybersecurity crimes placing many businesses at the mercy of opportunistic hackers.
Who are These Hackers?
Hackers could be anyone. That tech-savvy colleague at work, your close apprentice, your bully in college, or any anonymous person who hacks for the fun of it or intends to steal information from your system.
History has also recorded some of the most notorious hackers online, of which some, their identities are still anonymous. Some well-known hackers documented by Kaspersky include Adrian Lamo, Mathew Bevan, Richard Pryce, Kevin Mitnick, Jonathan James, and Anonymous.
How Can I Find Out If I Have Been Hacked?
If you’d like to find out if your passwords have been leaked over the internet, go to haveibeenpwned.com and enter your email address. You may be surprised to find your password lying in the public domain. If this is the case, change all your online passwords immediately.
Here are fifteen other sure ways to know if you’ve been hacked:
– Your passwords are on the dark web.
What To Do If You Have Been Hacked?
Anyone, whether great or small can be a potential target of malicious hackers online. If you have fallen victim to such online data breaches, take the following actions accordingly to help fix your system or retrieve important information.
Backup all your data in a separate storage. This is an effective preventive measure that will help you recover your data in case your system is damaged beyond repair.
Open your antivirus program and run it. Run a “full scan” or “deep scan” in your computer so your entire system is searched for all kinds of malware. A quick scan may be faster but some viruses may bypass it.
Keep changing your passwords. Regularly update your passwords on your computer and throughout the internet. Ensure it has a mixture of alphanumeric characters with special characters inserted in between to make it complex and hard to decode.
In case of any unusual activities on your premium accounts, be it Amazon, Spotify, Netflix, eBay, etc, contact your service provider and report any kind of spamming. Also, keep changing passwords to reinforce the security of your online accounts.
– Add security questions in addition to passwords on your online accounts.
– Keep your operating system and windows security programs up to date.
Hacking is a common cybercrime committed globally whose nature keeps evolving over time. It happens both at small scale and large scale levels which means you are not an exception. It’s, therefore, important to stay vigilant of hackers who can breach your online data and tamper with your system operations.
Disclaimer: The articles and videos posted on Ario1.net are only intended to educate users online about how hackers use their personal information for malicious gains and is in no way intended to harm anyone. We condemn any sort of online attacks of any kind that may bring harm to a persons’ well being due to cyber crimes.