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What is attacking you?

Oct 8, 2021

Today we live in a world that is being digitized more and more with each passing day. We take photos that we share with friends, acquaintances and colleagues, both via SMS, on Instagram or at work. We share files, important information and much more via digital means. We can get hold of friends on the other side of the world. We can have meetings with other countries without leaving the office. But it’s not only positive aspects with this new amazing world. In addition, there are aspects that are not always as fun, one of these is hackers who are looking for your personal information. They are looking for information that you don’t want to get rid of and that can be devastating for you. It can happen to you privately but it can also happen when you’re at work. An email that looks credible, a link or something else can cause your or your company’s data to be lost.

To increase awareness about IT security, we will in this post address the types of attacks that you as a user need to have knowledge about and potentially be able to see signs of, before it is too late.

PHISHING

How do you know if an email is genuine or not? Today, there is a term in the IT world called phishing. This is an attack that everyone should know about, especially those who handle emails daily. One explanation for this attack is that a cybercriminal sends an email to a private person or an employee of a large company. The email is so credible that the person in question doesn’t hesitate and chooses to follow the email’s guidelines. But this leads to the cybercriminal gaining access to all the information that the person has on their computer, and sometimes even company information. Characters that you can look for are if the sender’s e-mail address is the same as the e-mail pretending to come from. You can hold the mouse pointer over links to see where the link will take you. Look for grammatical errors. Go directly to the website instead of via links in emails.

Being exposed to a phishing email happens to all of us. But it is important to stay educated and up to date, and to be critical.

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Attacking

DISTRIBUTED DENIAL OF SERVICE

. This is an attack aimed at a network, a web page, a computer system or a web service. If you are exposed to an ddos, this means that all server or connection capacity crashes. This attack is not a new attack but has been used for almost 20 years. When an attack is first initiated, the user is completely unaware of what has happened and that this person’s device is being used at that time to crash a server or a website.

An example of a company that has been exposed to this particular attack is the Swedish Public Employment Service, which was affected in 2015 when their servers were exposed.

RANSOMWARE

. This attack encrypts files or entire hard drives and then requires a ransom from the victim to be able to access their files again. The purpose of the attack is extortion by the hackers taking files hostage via encryption and extorting the user for a ransom. Most often, this ransom must be paid in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

To protect yourself against ransomwareattacks, it is important to have backup routines so that the data on your computer can be restored if you are exposed.

An example of a hostage attack was the one that hit Coop in the middle of 2021 where they had to close the majority of their stores in order to restore their data. They were also extorted for $70 million to obtain the encryption key.

ATTACKING
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TROJAN

A trojan is a computer program that claims to be useful or pleasure to deceive the user to install or run the program. But instead, the program does something completely different, spies on users, makes payments in the user’s name, sends spam or attacks other computers.

BOTNET

A botnet is a computer network of computers that are infected with viruses or trojans. A botnet can consist of thousands of computers, scattered around the world and its owners do not know that their computer is infected.

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