A NEW WAY OF DESTROYING LIVES
Hacking refers to an activity that seeks to attack digital devices, such as computers, smartphones, tablets, and even entire networks. While hacking might not be for evil purposes, nowadays most references to hacking characterise it as unlawful activity by cybercriminals. Many think that “hacker” refers to some self-taught whiz kid skilled at modifying computer hardware or software so it can be used in outside the original developers’ intent. This is a narrow view that doesn’t begin to include the wide range of reasons why someone turns to hacking.
People, not computers, create computer threats. Give a predator access to the Internet — and to your PC — and the threat they pose to your security increases. Computer hackers are unauthorized users who steal, change or destroy information without your knowledge or consent. Their clever tricks and detailed technical knowledge help them access the information you really don’t want.
HOW CAN HACKERS HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR INFORMATION?
Anyone who uses a computer with the Internet is susceptible to the threats that computer hackers and online predators pose. These online villains typically spam email or instant messages to deliver dangerous malware to your computer disturb your computer security. Computer hackers can also try to access your computer and private information directly if you are not protected by a firewall. They can see your conversations or peruse the back-end of your personal website. Usually disguised with a bogus identity, predators can lure you into revealing sensitive personal and financial information.
WHAT CAN A HACKER DO TO YOU OR YOUR INFORMATION?
While your computer is connected to the Internet, the malware that a hacker has installed on your PC quietly transfers your personal and financial information. Or, a computer predator may pounce on the private information you unwittingly revealed. In either case, they will be able to:
- Hijack your usernames and passwords
- Steal your money and open credit card and bank accounts in your name
- Ruin your credit
- Request new account Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) or additional credit cards
- Make purchases
- Add themselves or an alias that they control as an authorized user so it’s easier to use your credit
- Obtain cash advances
- Use and abuse your Social Security number
- Sell your information to other parties who will use it for illicit or illegal purposes
Predators who stalk people while online can pose a serious physical threat. Using extreme caution when agreeing to meet an online “friend” or acquaintance in person is always the best way to keep safe.
RECENT TWITTER HAVOC
Dozens of the biggest names in America — including Joseph R. Biden Jr., Barack Obama, Kanye West, Bill Gates and Elon Musk — wrote a similar message on Twitter: Send Bitcoin and the famous people would send back double your money.
It was all a scam, of course, the result of one of the most evil online attacks in memory.
The first wave of attacks hit the Twitter accounts of cryptocurrency leaders and companies. But soon after, a Who’s Who of Americans in politics, entertainment and tech, in a major show of force by the hacker.
Twitter quickly removed many of the messages, but in some cases similar tweets were sent again from the same accounts, suggesting that Twitter was powerless.
The company had disabled its service, including the ability of verified users to tweet, for a couple of hours as it scrambled to prevent the scam from spreading further. The company sent a tweet saying that it was investigating the problem and looking for a fix. “You may be unable to Tweet or reset your password while we review and address this incident,” the company said in a second tweet. Service was restored around 8:30 Wednesday night.
The hackers did not use their access to aim at any important institutions or infrastructure — instead of just asking for Bitcoin. But the attack was concerning security experts because it suggested that the hackers could have easily caused much more havoc.
At the start of April, the news broke that 500,000 stolen Zoom passwords were up for sale.
More than half a million Zoom account credentials, usernames and passwords were made available in dark web crime forums in April. Some were given away for free while others were sold for as low as a penny each. It was also found that 290 accounts were related to universities and colleges. Including, the University of Vermont, Dartmouth, Lafayette, University of Florida, University of Colorado, and others. Some accounts belonged to well-known companies such as Citibank, Chase, and more. Bleeping Computer claims that they have verified some of these accounts and that the credentials used were valid.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM HACKING
- Continually check the accuracy of personal accounts and deal with any discrepancies right away
- Use extreme caution when entering chat rooms or posting personal Web pages
- Limit the personal information you post on a personal Web pages
- Carefully monitor requests by online “friends” or acquaintances for predatory behaviour
- Keep personal and financial information out of online conversations
- Use extreme caution when agreeing to meet an online “friend” or acquaintance in person
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