In our time, there are a lot of rumours about cybercriminals (hackers). That, they hack any computer — just spit. Few people know that this current originates in the distant eighties. Basically, hackers were engaged in writing special programs (viruses), the purpose of which was to complicate the life of an ordinary PC user. But gradually this fun began to escalate into something more.
The burglar gained control of the American sky (2000)
Perhaps, in the place of the FBI you would also be very upset to find in the public domain on the Network top secret information. And to be more precise – all the source codes of the innovative computer program OS/COMET, which was created specifically for the secret system NAVSTAR GPS. With the help of the latter, the staff of the space Department of the US Air force set the coordinates for spacecraft, strategic missiles and satellites. So what was their surprise when in December 2000 on a free mail server Freebox.com the attacker under the nickname Leaf as if nothing had happened posted such valuable information.
It is worth mentioning that nine years ago this program was considered one of the most progressive and was installed only on one of the six American ground tracking stations (the rest had to be updated only during 2001). If the code fell into the hands of terrorists – and nothing would prevent them, in the presence of certain equipment, to take control of all airspace over America. By the way, the mysterious criminal is still not caught.
The hacker searched the computers of NASA data on aliens (2002)
Not all system administrators are equally indifferent to superstitions. British worker from the world of high technology Gary McKinnon hacked the unfortunate NASA computer system in search of information about UFOs. The villain says that he opened the archive of the secret “Project Discovery”, which contains hundreds of photos of strange objects and thousands of eyewitness accounts of contact with extraterrestrial civilizations.
14-year-old blind boy blackmailed FBI (2005)
Matthew Weigman, perhaps, can be recognized as the best telephone burglar of our time. Blind from birth the boy was 8 years old I realized that it has the unique hearing. The outstanding abilities of the student allowed him to commit his first telephone crime at the age of 14. The young man very fond of voice chat, which met with the girls, and even managed to earn the reputation of “guy who can’t say no”.
If one of the ladies did not agree to continue to communicate with Matthew, the annoyed teenager invaded the telephone network and get access to the victim’s number. Using such a reliable cover, he called home to the unfortunate special unit of the FBI. It should be noted that the young man often imitated the voice of the offender so the police had no doubts that she made a false call. For more than five years, a teenager named Little Hacker led a criminal group of their own kind.
Only this year already 19-year-old Weigman was behind bars. The “talented” guy was sentenced to 11 years in prison for 60 calls to the police through the 911 service to the addresses of his victims and physical threats to the specialist who collected evidence in his case. In an interview from prison, Matthew repented of using his gift for such malicious purposes.
Three, seven, hidden camera: the secret combination is not in the cards (2004)
To “inflate” casino Ritz, as it turned out, you can not be a brilliant mathematician, calculates all three moves ahead. You only need to have friends hackers who will install on your mobile phone a scanner program that determines the speed of the roulette in the London fashionable gambling house and after an outstanding combination of the most likely winning numbers. A million pounds in one evening – such a deafening jackpot could not but alert the casino staff. The scammers were successfully exposed. But what a pleasure they managed to get from the game – there is something to remember behind bars.
High technology in the service of illegal migrants (2005)
Perhaps one of the most amusing “punctures” happened to hackers who earned their bread in a relatively honest way. Quite by chance in one of the English yards policemen found a van stuffed with high-tech equipment and all sorts of technical “gadgets”. Noble servants of the law were incredibly glad – still, prevented the next “theft of the century” with the participation of cunning IT-guys, and perhaps even a major terrorist act. But the truth of life was much more prosaic. In fact, computer scientists in a cordoned-off van were only trying to help non-language immigrants pass the cultural test “Life in the UK” – the last stage on the thorny path to the coveted British citizenship. All the sophisticated equipment was designed only to deceive the state Commission.
How to protect yourself from cyber crimes?
Whatever the causes of cybercrime, they are still crimes. In the age of modern technologies, protection against such malicious actions becomes almost the main item in the cost list of modern companies. But still, there are craftsmen, bypassing these levels of protection, no matter how much they are not put in front of them.
So how to protect your PC laptop or smartphone from cyber crimes?
Why is it important to have antivirus software?
Have a good Antivirus
Antivirus software is essential for every PC. If you don’t install it, you risk losing your personal information, your files and documents, and even the money from your bank account.
We call it antivirus, but in truth, it’s unlikely you’ll get hit with an actual computer virus. Malware these days is about making money, and there’s no easy way to cash in on spreading a virus. Ransomware and data-stealing Trojans are much more common, as are bots that let the bot-herder rent out your computer for nefarious purposes. Modern antivirus utilities handle Trojans, rootkits, spyware, adware, ransomware, and more.
Why is it important to have antivirus software?
Antivirus products distinguish themselves by going beyond the basics of on-demand scanning and real-time malware protection. Some rate URLs that you visit or that show up in search results, using a red-yellow-green colour-coding system. Some actively block processes on your system from connecting with known malware-hosting URLs or with fraudulent (phishing) pages.
If you want to read more about Antiviruses and to know which antivirus is the best, press HERE.
Beyond Antivirus: VPN
A VPN, or virtual private network, is one of the smartest ways to protect your online privacy and maintain your data security.
To say simpler, imagine a tunnel — between your computer and a server operated by the VPN service. While you’re connected to a VPN, all your network traffic passes through this protected tunnel, and no one—not even your ISP—can see your traffic.
What to do with VPN?
Using VPN you will be protected from the interception of usernames/passwords in an insecure or public WI-FI access points, the story of your visit to the sites will not be available to anyone, and the blocking of sites you will be forgotten like a bad dream. This applies to torrents and any other allegedly prohibited sites.
- VPN allows you to unblock content from anywhere
- VPN hides your IP address to ensure anonymity
- and VPN keeps no logs, your details are never shared with third parties
If you use VPN you may find better prices for everything: hotels, tickets, goods. You may ask why. The answer is simple – a lot of companies offer different prices to customers from different companies.
What to do with VPN?
Do you want to read more about VPN? Press HERE!
Security and reliability of your passwords
What is specialized software?
Every password can be a key for hackers, so it is critical that your IT-professionals can monitor the strength of passwords across the company. Especially if your company has a lot of stuff. Secure every password-protected entry point to your business.
With LastPass you can set master password requirements, allow access only from certain devices and locations, oblige users to use the necessary features, and use several other features. Moreover, it allows you to store digital records: WiFi logins, software licenses, employee IDs, and more.
Simply and securely connect employees to work. From authentication to access to passwords, LastPass manages every entry point to your business so you can mitigate risk while improving employee productivity.
Remember that your security begins in your head!
Michael Herskowitz is a co-founder and partner of the law firm “James&Michael La…