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Cybercrime is Getting Worse

cybercrime on the rise thanks to magicians

Corporations and businesses face many challenges in modern times. Global competition has advanced, and companies must stay abreast of international trends. Likewise, technological advances continue at record pace, demanding up-to-date investments. Yet, along with these innovations and developments, there come specific risks. And among the most notable ones in recent years relate to cybersecurity attacks. Not only is cybercrime on the rise, but it is also constantly evolving. From ransomware to vishing attacks, ongoing vigilance is required to stay ahead of the threats. Even the most notable and sizable corporations have found themselves to be quite vulnerable in this regard.

cybercrime on the rise on someone's computer
Cybercrime on the rise means greater threats to you.

(Are we losing the war against ransomware? Read this Bold story to find out.)

In recent weeks, some pretty reputable companies have become prey to some pretty sophisticated cyberattacks. Some of these have impacted household products and foods. Others being targeted include major players in the hospitality and casino sector. There’s no question that such companies have invested tremendous resources in protecting themselves. But unfortunately, with cybercrime on the rise, their efforts have fallen short, resulting in losses in the millions. With this in mind, the following showcases some of these recent events and new strategies involving vishing attacks. Knowing the latest scams is critical in developing a more effective defense.

Evolution of the Hack

Over the course of the last couple of decades, most of us have become familiar with hacking and cybersecurity approaches. Phishing campaigns use emails to lure individuals and employees into giving them access to privileged data. Ransomware introduces encrypted codes into existing computer systems that freeze operations. Once such data or actions are accomplished, a ransom is demanded before the hack is reversed or removed. Of course, there are various versions of these strategies as well as a few not mentioned. But the typical technique used to date has been one involving coding and IT access. However, these are not areas today that account for the degree of cybercrime on the rise.

One new strategy when it comes to hacking using traditional coding techniques involves AI. A number of AI programs can write code, and in the wrong hands, can help hack into corporation systems. But AI hacks do not necessarily improve the odds of success. They only allow hackers to do their tasks more efficiently. The more productive cybercrime strategies today involve social engineering tasks. Social engineering refers to cybersecurity breaches where hackers impersonate a trusted individual to access data. Vishing attacks are the most popular forms of social engineering, which is short for voice-phishing. With vishing attacks, hackers mimic IT vendors or employees via phone calls to entice people to volunteer information. And compared to older strategies, vishing attacks appear to be about three times more successful on average.

someone hacking a system
If it feels like more big systems are being hacked, you’re correct. Hacking is worse than ever.

(What role can AI play in cybercrime? Read this Bold story to find out.)

Recent Vishing Attacks of Note

Some of the most noteworthy vishing attacks have occurred recently within the hospitality industry. In fact, two major events occurring in Las Vegas made national news. The first such attack targeted Ceasar’s Entertainment in early September. Reportedly, someone profiles one of Ceasar’s IT support vendors and then called Ceasar’s requesting information. Once the information was acquired, the hackers stole a significant number of SSNs and driver license numbers from Ceasar’s loyalty program. With the data in possession, the hackers demanded a ransom in the millions. By some accounts, Ceasar agreed to pay the price.

These weren’t the only vishing attacks to hit Sin City. Las Vegas has been a hotspot with cybercrime on the rise involving other hotels and casinos. MGM Resorts was also recently targeted with vishing attacks causing notable disruptions in operations. Guests’ digital keys would no longer work, and room ordering was shut down. Ultimately, this led to the hackers demanding a ransom from MGM as well. Their first hope was to affect the slot machines in their favor, but this failed. Whether or not MGM also paid the ransom is not yet known. But it’s clear from these vishing attacks that there’s a significant amount of cybercrime on the rise.

It’s Not Just Casinos and Hotels

someone doing vishing attacks
Don’t fall for vishing attacks!

Certain hackers, especially those who are adept at vishing attacks, have been preying primarily on hotels and casinos. Specifically, a group called Scattered Spider, composed of mostly teens and early 20-year-olds, are suspected of most. But many other hackers exist internationally that seek out other major corporations. One major cyber-attack affected Dole causing it to shut down most of its North American plants. Once the breach was found, Dole shut down its computers. But it could not resume production and operations until a ransom was paid. Naturally, Dole products could not make it to the shelves as usual. And this negatively impacted sales in the process.

With cybercrime on the rise in essentially every sector, all companies are vulnerable. That includes those making household supplies as well. Clorox is another corporation that recently suffered a major cyberattack. It is not yet known if it involved vishing attacks or some other strategy. But it brought operations to a halt as Clorox was forced to shut down its IT systems to contain the breach. Days later, Clorox was still using manual order processing and fulfillment, expecting a week’s delay before a return to normalcy. Clorox announced this would negatively affect quarterly earnings. And with that news, its share price fell by 2%. With cybercrime on the rise, companies like Clorox are caught between a rock and a hard place.

Staying Ahead of the Hackers

There’s no doubt corporations like Clorox, MGM, and Ceasar’s spend millions in cybersecurity protections. But keeping pace with new strategies and hacks is challenging no matter how much money is spent. For example, new training measures and procedures must be put into place to prevent vishing attacks. Many businesses are just now realizing this, which is why many are vulnerable to social engineering techniques. The best companies can hope for today is to minimize their exposure and risk. And partnering with an experienced, knowledgeable, and current cybersecurity firm is essential. With cybercrime on the rise, these investments have now become a routine expense in business. And failing to appreciate this imposes a risk on firms that they may well not survive.

 

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