RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — Cyberattacks are now ranked among the top five risks of 2022 by security experts.
These attacks are up 600% and are expected to increase next year.
For years everyone had the impression that hackers were lone wolves hiding in the darkness of cyberspace. Today, hackers are becoming businesses – just ask those who track them.
“Because they’re so successful, they get more money, and with more money, they’re even more successful,” said Peter Nicoletti, director of information security at Checkpointa cybersecurity company.
It is estimated that billions of dollars land in the hands of cyber criminals, who then use it like big business by funneling it back into the business.
“With the money we give them, it allows them to become more sophisticated and get better employees,” Nicoletti said. “They pay for zero days, they have convenience ticket systems and affiliate marketing programs.”
Identity theft is not new, but it has become so common that there are now criminals who specialize in obtaining information.
“There may be a fishing group that has 500 people today and they sell that information to other people who exploit it for other scams,” Nicoletti said.
There are also scammers who specialize in creating victim profiles that they can sell.
“What they are looking for is called ‘FULLZ‘ is hacker-speak for a full briefing file,” Nicoletti said. “That means your HIPPA records, your financial records, your social security, your address, everything.”
Just like big data-collecting tech companies to compile information about us to sell to advertisers, criminal scammers do the same thing and compile profiles about us.
“They don’t have the browsing behaviors that Google and Facebook have, but they have everything else,” Nicoletti said.
You can be your own first line of defense to protect yourself from hackers. It is estimated that 90% of cyberattacks start with someone clicking on a phishing email.
The Government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has more cyber hygiene advice you can find here.