Cyber crime is a scary thing, but what are the attackers really after? What do you have that they might want to take? On this page we will explain what cybercriminals are after and how it affects you.
They want your money. Cybercriminals are generally in the business of making money. They would like to steal your money or sell your information on the black market. When they scam or trick you, they will get your user ID and passwords. They will use these passwords to try and gain access to your accounts, taking your money.
User-Id’s and Passwords
Thieves want your passwords. They add them to a large list of passwords perform password stuffing attacks. These attacks are very basic, they just try all the passwords they know on as many accounts as possible. They often are able to get into accounts doing this. They will also sell your user-ID’s and passwords to others on the black market.
Your identity can be used to open credit cards, bank accounts, and more. Even just your email address can be used to reset your passwords and then get all your bank details. Your identity should be kept as yours.
It’s OK to share your Aadhaar card number, but you should not spread it widely. In order for an attacker to use your Aadhaar number, they would also need access to your biometrics in order to completely steal your identity. This is why Aadhaar is so well protected. However, we don’t need to make things easier for attackers! In order to steal your identity attackers would need to get access to many things and this is possible. Cybercriminals are patient and they will continue to collect information about you.
When is it safe to share information?
You should always be alert sharing your personal information. If you have even the smallest doubt about why someone is asking you information – take a pause. Who are you talking to? Did they call you? If they called you, then hang up and call the bank / institution back from a publicly listed number. This way you can be more sure that you are actually speaking with the bank or institution.
If you aren’t sure why someone is asking for information (your password, street address, mothers last name), then don’t give it. It’s ok to say “I don’t feel comfortable sharing that information, is there another way we can do this?” If there is no other way, then you should find a way to verify the identity of the person you are speaking with. If they called you, then you should hang up and call back using a publicly available number
Sometimes cybercriminals aren’t stealing anything but your electricity. Sounds confusing right? How can a cybercriminal steal my electricity? What they do is install malicious programs (viruses or malware) that use your computer to do their bidding. The criminal will have access to certain parts of your computer, your computer becomes a slave or bot, part of the criminals network of evil computers. They can use your computer to mine bitcoin or take part in attacks on other computers. This extra computing time will cause your computer to wear out faster and run longer. It will also slow down the performance of your computer (and cost you money to run it all).
If you see frequent bugs/ crashes of your computer, then it’s possible you have a virus or malware. Just like a physical virus, a computer virus will infect the host (computer) and cause all kinds of harm. This final asset is something we don’t often think of, but our computer itself is something attackers want access to.