If you’ve been reading the news lately and getting caught up in all the fuss about hacking some of the big guns like Google, Yahoo, and Adobe, you might be feeling a pang of concern about the security of your own business. You may have believed your network was invincible, so this news might make you tremble. You have good reason to think so – such an article in the Sydney Morning Herald The number of hackers manipulating private financial information of Australian companies is on the rise. Obviously, using the Internet and intranets has become a viable solution for businesses to achieve corporate goals, but on the other hand, the criminal faction sees just as many opportunities.
Australia is a common target for cybercrime
Symantec, a data security company, reported that Australian and New Zealand companies experience 75% more security breaches than the global average, with 89% of surveyed companies admitting at least one breach in the past 12 months. Hackers don’t necessarily target the big companies where they can steal large sums of money. Like any other thief, they go where the risk is low and they can get in and out of a system quickly and undetected. The fact is, you don’t have to be at a certain level of profitability to be targeted. Smaller companies tend to use less comprehensive IT security, making them more vulnerable. In general, hackers are interested in easy money.
Google and other big companies are no exception
The threat isn’t always about banking information or sensitive intellectual property. As Google noted in December 2009, issues such as human rights are at stake in cyberattacks. The advertising and search giant was appalled that a highly organized attempt dubbed Aurora had been attempted to hack into the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. They were only able to infiltrate two accounts and were unable to see the actual correspondence of the account holders. The action enabled Google to warn the Chinese human rights community about the attack and prepare to withdraw business ties with China. Google officials didn’t directly accuse the Chinese government of being the culprits, but decided to investigate doing business with the country based on its attempts to restrict free speech online. Google has expressed concern for the safety of Chinese citizens and the possibility that they will be interrogated and imprisoned.
At least 20 other major internet, media, finance and technology companies were involved in the attack: Yahoo, Adobe, Symantec, Dow Chemical and Northrop Grumman to name a few. This was achieved using a technique called “spear phishing”. This is similar to an attack on 100 IT companies in July 2009, in which company employees were targeted with infected email attachments.
Small and medium-sized businesses have minimal protection
Most companies are completely vulnerable to these sophisticated attacks. They use instant messages and emails that initially appear innocent because the senders appear to be friends and trusted co-workers. The messages are fine-tuned to bypass the antivirus programs designed for these applications. Apparently, the best practices for IT security that attackers have been successfully keeping at bay for many years are no longer sufficient. An innovative caliber of attacks are circulating around the world using custom malware written specifically for individual organizations. The hackers don’t seem to mind if it takes longer to bypass the antivirus software of the big corporations. They continue to meticulously tweak their malware until it is effective. Smaller businesses that don’t have the budget for large-scale security don’t stand a chance. The hackers have the ability to control just one employee’s laptop, turning it into a gateway for full administrative access to the entire company network.
the security company, iSec partner who investigated the attack on Google, and subsequent companies recommend that we make fundamental changes to the way we protect our networks. They say we’re just not prepared for the level of sophistication that the new cybercriminals are demonstrating.
Hacker stories on Australian news
Internet news sites are reporting on the direct impact of cyber hacking on Australia. Online today Published a news article about a hacker dubbed “Ghostbuster” targeting Melbourne businesses in response to anti-Indian violence. The person behind the attacks has sent out threatening emails saying Australian servers will be hacked until racism against Indian nationals ends. The action follows the murder of a 21-year-old Punjabi student in January 2010. Several Melbourne businesses fell victim as their entire networks were thrown into chaos.
In the technical part of Age is a report detailing the impact of hackers on government websites linked to the group Anonymous, known for its attacks on Scientology. This is the same group that temporarily blasted pornography through Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s website. By the morning of February 10, 2010, a number of government sites were down. The attack ran counter to government plans for internet censorship. Communications Secretary Stephen Conroy was unhappy that Australian citizens could not get the services they needed online and felt that this was irresponsible on the part of the hackers.
In the Sydney Morning Herald A journalist mentions the statistic that there are now more mobile devices in the country than Australians. It is not uncommon for a person to own two or three. The increasing use of wireless broadband provides subscribers with accessibility and convenience, but also expands the territory for cybercriminals. Currently, there are more barriers to cyber hacking of wireless devices than terrestrial networks, such as B. the cost of a phone call. However, with advances in mobile device technology to the point where they can replace owning a laptop, there is a chance of being targeted by hackers. Actual devices may be secure, but the Wi-Fi network, which is often free and faster for users in public places, is a temptation for cybercriminals. You may think you’ve connected to a website operated by an airport, hotel, or coffee shop, but there’s no way to know for sure who controls the IP address that is now accessing anything in your computer or mobile device has. It’s not that difficult for hackers to present a fake website that they can trust and use to steal your network at any time in the future.
Every day, millions of dollars are stolen from individuals and businesses using the internet. We’re frequently warned about viruses, worms, and phishing scams, but somehow we still get caught. The situation is getting worse as hackers become more adept at breaking through the unique systems designed to keep them out. If you’re still uneasy about your network’s vulnerability, it pays to listen to your gut.