Tech and Science

The very first thing hackers do as criminals

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the mind of a cybercriminal? How do they plan and execute their attacks on unsuspecting victims? What tools and techniques do they use to break into computers and networks and steal data?

Knowing these answers could get you off a hacker’s target list. Cybercrime is a serious and growing threat that affects millions of people and businesses around the world — not to mention cybercriminals are always finding new ways to attack us.

So that you know what you are dealing with, I would like to explain the four steps that a cyber criminal often takes when planning a cyber attack. Then, get stronger with some essential tips on how to protect yourself from becoming their next target.

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Hacker is typing on her laptop.

Cyber ​​criminals are constantly finding new ways to carry out cyber attacks. ( )

How cyber criminals plan a cyber attack

These are the four steps a cybercriminal will always take when planning a cyberattack.

1. Find your destination

A cybercriminal needs to find a specific person or organization to attack before they can do anything else. To do this, they use various methods; However, they usually target whoever seems to be the easiest and most vulnerable target. Here are some ways they can target an individual or business.

Social media: Cyber ​​criminals can use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Threads to find personal information like location, occupation, hobbies, interests etc. which can help them to better target their attacks or scams.

The Dark Web: Cyber ​​criminals can too Leverage the dark web to buy or sell stolen data like credit card numbers, passwords, usernames, etc. which can be used to access online accounts or for identity theft.

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Information broker: Cyber ​​scammers use information brokers to obtain data collected from public sources such as vehicle records, court reports and voter rolls. This deeply confidential information can reveal personally identifiable information, such as your full name, address, and phone number, which can be used to target or impersonate you.

Network scan: Cyber ​​criminals use network scanning tools to scan the Internet for devices or systems that have vulnerabilities or weak security. They exploit these vulnerabilities to gain access or launch attacks.

This first step is perhaps the most important in a hacker’s game of manipulation, as it determines success or failure. You can’t commit a crime without a goal.

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2. Researching their goal

After finding a potential target, a cyber criminal will likely investigate to gather as much information as possible in order to steal your login credentials. To do this, they use various tools and techniques, such as:

Recon Tools: They can use reconnaissance tools to scan the target’s network and find out their IP address, open ports, operating system, services, etc. This can help them identify any vulnerabilities that they can later exploit.

Social Development: This is used to trick the target into revealing sensitive information like passwords, security questions or personal details. They do this by impersonating something or someone the target trusts, such as a friend, colleague, or customer service representative from a trusted organization. These tools include Phishing Emails or phone calls to trick the target into clicking malicious links or attachments or download dangerous malware.

keyloggers. This popular sneaky technique is secretly used by cyber criminals Record the keystrokes of the target and capture credentials, messages, and emails. They often install keyloggers on the target’s device using malware or physical access to continue spying and stealing bank account numbers, credit cards, and other valuable data for extended periods of time.

By examining their target, a cybercriminal can gain a better understanding of their habits, preferences, and vulnerabilities. This can help them plan and execute a more effective and customized attack.

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Visibly angry woman looking at her police officer.

Woman finds out she was hacked. ( )

3. Breaking into the network

Then the hacker starts to get really creative. The most common method used by a hacker to gain access to a network is phishing.

Phishing emails and websites

It can be a phishing email scam with malicious links attached, or even a phishing website designed to look like a legitimate company so that the victim falls for it and reveals their information.

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This is one of the most popular attacks because hackers use phishing-as-a-service tools that basically do all the dirty work for them. By giving these hackers a bulletproof template that they could use to trick anyone, they simply have to sit back and allow the victim to fall for the trick.

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Person looking at their computer screen.

Cyber ​​criminal hacks into another person’s computer. ( )

Digitized human hair follicle

Among the other clever tools a hacker could use is the creepy way of displaying a digitized human hair follicle on a victim’s phone or tablet screen so that removing it immediately downloads malware.

Fake Ads

Hackers could use it fake ads and post them on social media sites like Facebook, hoping the victim will fall for them. Instead of going to a real company, you and I are going straight into the hands of criminals. The possibilities for a good hacker are truly endless.

MORE: Avoid these scammers’ sneaky tricks

4. Take control of the network

This is the final phase of the hacking attack and the most rewarding for him. After gaining access to a system, they exfiltrate whatever valuable information they can as quickly as possible using post-exploitation tools like AdFind and Cobalt Strike, which are designed to collect data from compromised networks and transferred to. Depending on the aim and motive of the attack, they either disappear with the stolen data or use it to extort money from their victims.

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What can I do to protect myself from these hackers?

Luckily, there are precautions you can take to avoid becoming the next victim of these cyber criminals.

Invest in moving services

A hacker can’t easily target you if they can’t find your information on the internet. Data brokerage sites run by scammers are fed the personal information a hacker steals from you, including email addresses, social security numbers, and more. They do this so that they can sell the information to third parties and make a profit.

While no service promises to remove all of your data from the internet, subscribing to a good removal service is the most effective way to constantly monitor and automate the process of continuously deleting your data from hundreds of websites.

Check out my tips and best web removal tips by going to CyberGuy.com/Delete.

Have good antivirus software

Installing strong antivirus software can help keep hackers away from your phone, tablet, and computer. It also prevents you from clicking malicious links to install malware, giving hackers access to your personal information.

Check out my expert rating of the best antivirus for you Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices by going to CyberGuy.com/LockUpYourTech.

Use protection against identity theft

Identity theft companies may monitor personal information such as your residential title, social security number, phone number, and email address, and alert you if it is being sold on the dark web or used to open an account on your behalf. They can also help you freeze your bank and credit card accounts to prevent further unauthorized use by criminals.

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The big advantage of some identity theft companies is that they often provide up to $1 million in identity theft insurance to cover losses and legal fees, as well as a white-glove fraud resolution team that has a US-based case manager to assist you in recovery any losses helps.

Check out my tips and top tips on how to protect yourself from identity theft by visiting CyberGuy.com/IdentityTheft.

Kurt’s key insights

Cybercriminals typically follow a four-step process when planning a cyberattack, which includes finding a target, investigating the target, breaking into the network, and taking control. To protect yourself, I strongly recommend that you erase personal information from the Internet, have good antivirus software, and use identity theft protection services.

Why do you think Americans have become the number one target for hackers? Do you think you are ready to protect yourself from cyber criminals who are constantly looking for ways to attack you? Let us know by writing to us Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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