What are hackers after anyway?

By Martin Quinn (Principal Consultant) 1 October 2013

So you think you may have been hacked, you engage a specialist (like Intact) to detect, clean up and eradicate any type of malicious code or backdoors that a hacker may have put on your systems. Your systems are given a clean bill of health but the question that lingers is, what were the hackers after and what did they get?

Many businesses think firstly that they aren’t targets of hackers, they believe that they are too small or don’t have anything of value that a hacker wants (i.e. we’re not a bank), but this is not true. The reasons a hacker will attack is because you aren’t a bank!

The hacker’s modus operandi (MO) is an easy target, that had little no security or security resources and again a business that operates with a mentality that they aren’t a bank. That way the chances of successfully getting in and being undetected are greatly increased. And for them do collect and extract what they are after.

So, once they have identified your business as a target, they poke and prod your business for an way in, the most common is to forge or impersonate an email with an attachment and send this to a bunch of employees, with the hope that someone will click and open it…..and sadly someone will. This gives them their entry point. From here the hacker then goes about searching and accessing local files and then share drives looking for personally identifiable data or anything that resembles credit card details (e.g. that share folder with expense claims is usually a gold mine)

So now they have identified the information, and begin to extract it from your business, what next?

Depending on the amount of information and the hackers motivation, they will either use the data locally (buying items on the internet, etc.) or place it on the underground market and sell the information. One might think that this information is sold at a premium and to the highest bidder….wrong, it becomes a cheap commodity, some credit card details can be sold for as little as 20 cents each.

Hackers view these as victimless crimes, with banks and insurance companies bearing the brunt of damage. However identity theft can cause long term credit problems for individuals and in extreme cases have criminal implications (in recent times a victim of identity theft was wrongfully associated with a paedophile syndicate).

If you believe that you have been hacked, are worried you may have been hacked or your systems are acting unusually strange you may have been the target of hackers. Intact Security can check if you have been the victim of an attack and assist in responding and recovering from hackers to get your business back on track and protect you from further attacks.

If you would like further information on how we can help you secure your business and/or website, please contact Intact Security on (02)8070 0083.

Relax. Your security is Intact

Author: Intact Security
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Posted on by Martin Quinn in Security Blog