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Cybercrime Glossary and Statistics

Cybercrime may be on the rise, but so is our knowledge of how to protect against it. Educate yourself to stay ahead of cybercriminals. The terminology in the cybersecurity world can sometimes sound strange, from malware injections and phishing scams to ransomware & hacking! Below is a list of cybersecurity glossary terms.

Arm yourself with information. Awareness is first step towards increased privacy and security.

Cryptojacking: An act of hijacking a computer to mine cryptocurrencies against the user’s will through websites or while the user is unaware. One notable piece of software used for cryptojacking was Coinhive, which was used in over two-thirds of cryptojacks before its March 2019 shutdown. (Source: Wikipedia)

Cyberbullying: Using technology such as social networks, email, instant messaging, and text messages to harass someone online – usually anonymously – by spreading harmful content about them or harassing them directly with threatening language or images.

Data Breach: A security violation in which sensitive, protected, or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen, or used by an unauthorized individual to do so. Other terms are unintentional information disclosure, data leak, information leakage, and data spill. (Source: Wikipedia)

Denial Of Service Attack (DoS): An attack that floods servers with requests until they crash, rendering them unavailable for legitimate users; this is done using malicious code, which can corrupt databases & render websites inaccessible at times when there is high traffic/visitor activity on them.

Identity Theft: The unauthorized use of another person’s personal information, such as name, address, social security number, and credit card details to commit fraud or other criminal activities without the individual’s knowledge or consent.

Malware: Short for ‘malicious software,’ this is any program designed to damage or disrupt a computer system or steal data from it without the user’s knowledge or consent. It includes viruses, worms, and Trojan horses that can cause serious harm if not stopped. Malware Statistics in 2022 show that 560,000 new pieces of malware are detected each day. (Source: DataProt)

Man-in-the-Middle Attack: A cyberattack where attackers intercept communication between two parties to gain access to information sent over the network or modify it while remaining undetected by either party.  According to IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, 35% of exploitation activity involves man-in-the-middle attacks. So it’s safe to say that a MITM attack can cost your business greatly. (Source: Secure W2)

Password Spraying Attacks:  An attacker tries to gain unauthorized access to many accounts by attempting to log in with a common password, such as “password” or “123456,” across many accounts. The attacker tries a single password against many different accounts, hoping to find one using the same password. Digital Shadows research has exposed an alarming number of security threats endangering consumers, with a staggering 15 billion stolen usernames and passwords across over 100k data breaches. (Source: Computer Weekly)

Phishing: An attempt to acquire personal or financial information by a hacker pretending to be a legitimate entity. Examples include scammers sending fake emails or setting up fake websites to steal data.

Ransomware: A type of malicious software that hackers use to encrypt user data on the victim’s computer and then demand payment in exchange for access to the files again.

Spam: Unsolicited bulk messages sent out over the internet to advertise products/services without recipients’ permission and disrupt their regular activities by occupying ample amounts of their time & resources (iTunes / CPU power-consuming ads).

Social Engineering: The art of manipulating people into performing desired actions through persuasion techniques or deception tactics, often done to gain access to confidential information from unsuspecting users over the internet or via other means (phone calls, emails).

Spyware: Malicious software explicitly designed for covertly gathering user data & tracking browsing activities without their knowledge.

Zero Day Exploits:  Refers to any vulnerability in hardware/software systems that hackers could exploit before the vendor even knows about it. According to Security Intelligence, 40% of Zero Day Exploits from the last decade happened in 2021. (Source: Security Intelligence)

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