These attacks continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, using artificial intelligence and stealth methods to infiltrate a network.
Making it important to have network security tools that are designed to detect and eliminate advanced threats.
Part of a smart cybersecurity posture is knowing what industries hackers are focused on and what types of attacks have been on the rise.
So, we’ve taken a look at some of the latest hacker targets to give you a primer on threats to be aware of so you can adjust your IT security strategy accordingly.
Hackers Have Been Busy! Here are Their Latest Targets
From popular types of attacks on the rise to threats to specific industries, hackers can spread both wide and narrow nets in their efforts to breach networks and gather as much valuable information as possible.
Here are some of the latest victims that hackers have been going after.
20 Countries Attacked via WhatsApp
In October of 2019, a spyware was discovered that was used to target senior government. and military officials in no less than 20 countries for hacks via a vulnerability in the popular messaging app WhatsApp.
Other WhatsApp users have also been targeted by exploiting a vulnerability in the app which can allow hackers access to everything on your phone.
Best practices for any type of mobile app and operating system is to ensure you’re applying updates in a timely manner and that you have a strong anti-malware software on your phone.
Macy’s Customers Hit Twice in the Past Two Years
In October of 2019, the large department store chain Macy’s was hit with another data breach, the second in the past two years.
It exposed the credit card numbers, names, addresses, and phone numbers of likely thousands of customers.
One way that hacks like these can be done is through credit card skimming malware installed on e-commerce sites.
There are a couple of ways you can protect yourself when shopping online. One is to use a pre-paid payment card that’s not tied to your bank account.
The other is to use PayPal where possible so your card numbers aren’t shared with the purchasing website.
Hackers Targeting Industrial Control Systems
An alarming shift away from IT networks to industrial control systems have manufacturers working to secure their internet connected infrastructure. A group of Iranian hackers are the culprits and their targets include U.S. manufacturing plants.
Energy grid operators, and oil refineries. The goal is to cause disruption in critical processes and widespread damage.
This type of attack that is on non-computer internet-connected devices. Is a wakeup call to others in non-manufacturing industries as well that use equipment or controllers that are connected to their network.
These types of devices need to have just as much scrutiny when planning your IT security strategy.
Ransomware Continues to be a Threat to Everyone
Ransomware has become such a big threat to just about any type or business or government organization that the FBI issued a public alert in October 2019 warning. That ransomware was a “high impact” threat to U.S. businesses and organizations.
During the first half of 2019, there was a 77% surge in ransomware attacks.
A recent example of a ransomware attack that impacted businesses throughout the U.S. was one reported in November of 2019 that targeted 400 veterinary hospitals.
It cut off access to patient records and payment systems. And made it impossible for pet owners to do online bookings until the systems were recovered.
Another popular target of ransomware attackers are cities. In December of 2019, the City of New Orleans had to declare a state of emergency. And shut down all computers after it was alerted to suspicious ransomware and phishing activity.
The best protection against the costly downtime and disruption of a ransomware attack is to ensure you have all your data being backed up daily in a reliable application that has fast restoration capabilities.
A multi-layered security approach that includes security awareness training along with scanning. And detection tools is the best way to defend against ransomware and other types of malware.
Security Cameras & Smart Gadgets Being Used Against You
In December 2019, there was a big news story about a Ring security camera set up in a child’s room got hacked. And the hacker actually speaking through the system to the child.
This isn’t the only report of smart home devices, like cameras and baby monitors. Being used as a way to infiltrate a network and potentially undertake other malicious activity.
Every year, there are more connected devices in our homes and offices and hackers are increasingly targeting these IoT devices. And smart gadgets because they don’t always have strong security and can mean easy entry into a protected network.
It’s important to ensure you’re changing default passwords on these devices, updating their firmware and software regularly. And are aware they’re a prime target of hackers.
“Juice Jacking” through Charging Stations
Most of us are very familiar with USB charging stations in airports. And many of us have had an experience of searching one out when our phone was low on battery power.
These same types of charging stations have begun showing up in other public places like shopping malls and restaurants.
The typical user sees them as a convenience but they may actually be a huge risk. Hackers have begun targeting phone charging stations as a way to quickly download everything on a person’s phone while it’s plugged in.
All they have to do is take off the faceplate and install a chip in the outlet. Then an unsuspecting user plugs in and doesn’t realize their data is going to be stolen.
The best way to avoid becoming a juice jacking victim is to avoid these types of public charging stations at all costs. And instead look for non-USB outlets where you can plug in when needed.
Set Up Your Free IT Security Consultation Today
RCOR can help you ensure that your network. And device security is strong enough to handle any new threats coming your way. Hackers never rest, and neither do we when it comes to keeping our customers safe!
Schedule a free IT security consultation today by calling 919-263-5570 or contacting us online.