Last week, I alluded to the suggestions by some that hackers were responsible for the 2003 blackout. This week, I'd like to pick up on that hacker and attacker theme a little more and look at some of their nasty tricks, many of which are aimed to separate you from your hard earned cash.
Back in the Stone Age (ok, not that far back, but you get my point) hackers knew a lot about computers. In fact, if you were called one, you probably wouldn&t have been too upset. They would dig deep to find out how computers worked. In fact, during that time they weren't considered “evildoers.” They were the ones contacted when something went wrong with computers. And even today, some suggest that we should be careful not to malign all hackers because without them poking around and finding security loopholes, products might not become more secure. You can ponder this last statement and note that I report, you decide.
But let's get back to those hackers who have crossed over to the dark side. Nowadays, these hackers and attackers are engaging in the same crimes committed in the offline world. Perhaps what's even more unsettling is that many of today&s attackers and hackers don't need to know much about computers. By using certain tools, these folks can carry out dangerous and sophisticated attacks and perhaps not even know the consequences of such attacks. But of course, there are those particularly dangerous ones who do know a lot about computers and put their knowledge to work in more Sithian ways.
So yes, hackers and attackers are busy. Consider this: 6 out of 10 American companies and government agencies have already been hacked. Yes, you read that correctly. Any company that accepts credit cards, allows us to view our bank accounts and/or offers products and services is vulnerable to hackers and attackers. But this isn't just an American problem. Amazingly enough, in the pre-9/11 world, one survey found that an Australian company was spending more on its coffee needs than on information security. Say what? Hope that company isn't holding any of my information! And that had better be some darn goooooooood coffee.
Since 9/11, companies have stepped up their security measures. As hackers and attackers are hunting for new victims, we must be ready to combat them.