Ever wonder why we're seeing more and more cyberattacks and data breaches recently? It actually makes perfect sense. Computer hacking is more profitable than ever, which is why so many people want to get in the business.
Cisco's Mid-Year Security Report found that the number of cyberattacks has been on the rise. Craig Williams, Security Outreach Manager at Cisco Systems and one of the authors of the report, says it's because of a few reasons.
"At a high level, we're seeing big changes in attack behavior," Williams told eWEEK. "Our adversaries are becoming more agile and are adapting faster to the security industry than ever before. We're seeing this with exploit kits, ransomware and others. The reason for this, we think, is that it's so much easier to monetize malware these days."
Hackers have been busy chipping away at databases, servers and online accounts in search of anything they can use to blackmail someone with. This could be personal photos, secretive documents and even bank account information.
In addition to finding ways to extort people for money online, cybercriminals have also tapped into the profitable market of ransomware. Hackers find a way to break into your smartphone or tablet and lock it remotely. Then a message appears for you to get in contact with a certain telephone number.
When you call the number, a representative (the hacker) will tell you that you need to use "service" from your cellphone service provider that costs hundreds of dollars. Victims of ransomware are tricked into paying a ransom for the hackers to allow them access to their phones again.
According to the Cisco report, the hackers are also getting pretty creative. They have started using text and other characters that the security software in the computer's hard drive doesn't pick up.
For example, the report cites an incident where malware creatures included text excerpts from the well-known Jane Austen novel "Sense and Sensibility" in their destructive coding. Anti-virus programs aren't able to recognize the malware when it's paired with "legitimate" text.
As we've told you recently, hackers are also working diligently to break down Adobe security protocols. If that's not enough to keep us busy, spam is hitting Internet users harder than ever before, the report confirms.
Even though the results of the Cisco report aren't exactly shocking, they do show us where we have room to improve. Security teams and developers can take this information and produce issue-related software to give users a little more peace of mind.
Unless we want hackers to continue to stick their fingers in our wallets, something needs to be done about this.