What Hackers Want

It is important to understand what cyber criminals value, so you can take appropriate measures to stop them. The things that are valued by the criminals are not what you would expect. The dollar value of data below was provided by internet content security software company, Trend Micro. The of analysis of data was originally produced for CNBC. Trend Micro found that an Uber account ($3.78 on average) or a Netflix account ($.76 on average) was trading for significantly more than a credit card ($.20 on average) on anonymous encrypted networks known as the Dark Net.

The current low price of credit card numbers is due to the improved ability of the credit card companies to detect fraud and the sheer number of credit available. This means that a hacker will be willing to spend more time trying to get your uber account than your credit card.

It is still reasonably valuable to get your social security number and other information personal information ($1 to $3.30 on average). This is because this information can be used to duplicate your identity and get loans and credit cards in your name.

Your usernames and passwords are becoming more valuable. If someone can gain control of your facebook account they can maybe trick your friends into sending them money or buying things that they believe you are recommending. Many of these services provide an additional way to protect your login, called two factor authentication. This means besides your login you need additional information to login. This might be a code texted to your phone or maybe an application you run on your computer.

Another way that criminals can earn money is by ransoming things back to you. If they take over your account they may require a payment for you to get your new login. They can also encrypt all your data and require that you pay them to be able to access any of it. If you are not willing to lose all your family photos and email and you don’t have other copies of the data, you may choose to pay the ransom.

When looking at the data you have electronically you have to determine which data is valuable to you and the data that is valuable to others. You need to make sure that the data that is of value to you is stored in several spots, to limit the risk of losing that data. The data that is valuable to others, you need to take steps to protect. Only provide that information when absolutely necessary. Try to use strong passwords for logins, different logins for things that have value, and two factor authentication when available.

This topic will be discussed further at the March 22nd Keys To Success Morning talk on Cybersecurity at the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office is located at 18900 Cortez Blvd, Brooksville. That talk will feature five speakers on topics related to Cybersecurity.

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