1. Prestige/Recognition – The vast majority of “hacking” incidents aren’t a targeted attack, for the most part, it’s the badge of honour proving they could take over your home page. There’s a great story from Medium.com about a hacker who used Paypal and Godaddy to get their hands on the Twitter handle “@n”. Also the story of how a flaw in Amazon and Apple’s security led to Mat Honan’s epic hacking incident where he contacted the hackers and after agreeing not to press charges. Mat asked, “Why did you do it? Do you have something against me?” The response? “No, we just wanted your three digit Twitter handle”.
That’s all it takes sometimes, a three digit Twitter handle. You can’t keep yourself completely immune from hackers. Especially if you own something coveted in the online world (yes, some people actually do in fact “covet” a 1-3 digit Twitter handle).
2. Internet Activists – If someone doesn’t like you, and that someone is a part of the group dubbed “Anonymous” – you’re in trouble. The last people you want to have it out for you is the band of hackers that authorities have yet to find, catch, or even identify.
The good news is that they seem to be some what of an online Robin Hood group. After you read articles like Hacker Group Anonymous Targeting Negative Websites, they don’t seem that bad at all!
If you don’t want someone turning an online army against you it’s simple: be a good company, care about your community and don’t do anything malicious.
3. Financial Incentive – Cryptolocker Virus – can come from websites or email and they are looking for cash. This virus freezes your computer making it impossible to restore, unless of course you pay their $300 ransom to free your locked files. You don’t see as many hackers looking for a financial gain, that’s counter-hacker culture. What we will see in the future is more and more people migrating to the online world to commit crime.
The largest deterrent to holding someone’s website hostage is that it could be a criminal offense in whichever country they reside in. Policing the online world is only going to get more and more advanced so the smart online criminals have to stay ahead of the proverbial hacking curve. If there’s a money trail it may also make it much easier for law enforcement to find and prosecute hackers. Again making another detriment to ransom taking for websites.
How do you prevent an attack?
- Regular password changes
- More difficult passwords (with CAPITALS and Punctu@tion)
- Check your password (how secure is my password?)
- Don’t click on anything fishy, especially password resets that you have not requested or account deactivation notices. (The e-mails below are actual e-mails I’ve received)
- Some spam/virus emails look very realistic. Tip: Hover over (NOT CLICK) the link in the email. If it redirects to a random site, its not legitimate. See below:
- Effective Spam management
- Host your email and website with a reputable company
Do you have a hacking horror story?!? Or stories about messing with hackers? (has anyone received the phone calls at home from someone rWe want to hear about it! Let us know in the comments below.