W e can’t possibly shy away from discussing the glaring occurrence of dangers inherent in cyber/internet activities as they threaten our economic worth on a daily basis. Cyber hacking constitutes the most recent cybercrimes.
The act, best described as a monster, has over the past decade been of great concern to the teeming cyber subscribers. Prior to the invention of the internet, criminals had to dig through people’s trash or intercept their mails to steal their personal information.
Now that all the required information is available online, criminals presently use the internet to steal people’s identities, either via trick or infecting their devices with malware. Most cybercrimes are committed by individuals or small groups, though large organized criminal groups also take advantage of the Internet. These so-called professional criminals find new ways to commit old or ancient crimes.
They treat cybercrimes like a business and form global criminal communities. Criminal communities share strategies and tools and can combine forces to launch coordinated attacks.
They even have an underground marketplace where cyber criminals can purchase and sell stolen information or identities. It’s very difficult to track cybercriminals down, because the internet makes it easier for people to do things anonymously and from any location on the globe.
Needless to say that, many computers used in various destinations have actually been hacked and are being controlled by someone far away.
For hackers who want to come clean and turn away from crime out of pretence, one option is to work for the people they used to torment by becoming their security consultants or employees.
These set of hackers are referred to as “Grey-Hat hackers”. In the past, they were addressed as “Black-Hat hackers” who used their computer expertise to break into systems and steal information illegally while posing as a friend or dedicated employee/ consultant.
But presently, some of them are acting as “White-Hat hack- Opinion ers” who specialize in testing the security strength of their clients’ information systems.
If the interest of this set of hackers is to be paid, they will attempt to hack into a company’s network and then present the affected company with a report detailing the existing security loopholes of the establishment and how those anomalies could be tackled.
The advantage of the white-hat pattern is that, they can use their skills for a good cause and help stop other cybercriminals, since keeping up with security and cybercriminals is a fulltime job and many companies can’t afford financially to have someone totally dedicated to it.
Another recent devastating aspect of internet hacking is the “social engineering” routine. Social engineering is a tactic used by cybercriminals that use lies and manipulations to trick people into revealing their personal information.
The attackers under this pattern frequently involve very convincing fake stories to lure victims into their trap. Some of these tricks include: sending victims an email that claims there’s problem with their account and has a link to a fake website, trying to convince victims to open email attachments that contain malware, pretending to be a network/account administrator and asking for the victim’s password to perform maintenance activity, as well as claiming that the victim has won a prize but must give their credit card information or bank account details in order to receive it, just to mention but a few.
The recent antics of cybercriminals, which are barbaric and inhumane, call for constant and consistent update of advanced anti-hacking computer software by software producers, and the adequate dissemination of the said software to the apt quarters.
Presently, most developing countries across the global community are less-privileged in regard to advanced antihacking or anti-malware software. In view of this, they are expected to act fast in this regard. These mostly affected nations, such as Nigeria, could boast of world class experts on software programming.
This set of professionals, especially the young ones, needs to be encouraged by the government by setting up an industry that would enable them commercialize their expertise. The Communication agency of the countries is supposed to have a thoroughly equipped internet-based communication unit comprising well experienced experts and consultants.
Such a unit, meant to function as a spy, would help to checkmate activities being carried out by every internet user at all nooks and crannies of the country on a daily basis. Legislation must equally be used to checkmate the daily ugly activities of the criminals. Hence, the legislators in the concerned nations are required to sit up towards doing the needful.
There would be need to set up special court to be made up of uncompromising judicial custodians to prosecute anyone accused of any form of cybercrime, particularly internet hacking that has hitherto countless countries a colossal economic loss. Most importantly, every computer/internet firm owner ought to endeavour to engage an expert on Ethical Hacking.
Our various schools at all levels, the tertiary institutions in particular, should on their part take teachings on internet hacking more seriously in the ongoing general studies on Computer Literacy.
The fact remains that if the relevant authorities commence from the foundation level to educate the young ones on the needful as regards the lingering Information Technology (IT) menace, when they eventually become in-charge of any enterprise in the future, they wouldn’t be taken unawares.
Above all, people either as individuals or entities are advised to set strict passwords, change them regularly as well as never endeavour to share any of the passcodes with whosoever toward averting any form of regret or trauma.
Though the cyber world has indeed tremendously helped mankind to overcome the hurdles attached to series of formal and informal activities, a thorough carefulness and diligence is seriously required from the teeming users. Think about it!