Hackers are craftier than ever; nowadays they can defraud medical practices, steal military secrets and hijack R&D product information.
Times, when a hacker was trying to spoof a corporate or defense network just for fun, are long gone. It’s clear that hacking has become big business.
For example, China has made billions of dollars annually in intellectual property to ransomware attacks estimated to top $5 billion in 2017.
Hacker’s crimes vary from stolen IP to filing fraudulent tax rebates to the IRS to set up a phony medical practice to steal money from Medicare and Medicaid patients and providers.
There are many hacker groups scattered around the world so don’t let your guard down, installing an antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac, depending on which OS your device is running, represents a must nowadays. Besides this, every company must hire a cybersecurity firm that will lunch, on purpose, various attacks on institution’s network to reveal its flaws.
This is a list of what hackers can do with the stolen data if they wanna monetize it:
1. Create a repository of the theft data
Hackers are always making an inventory of what was stolen. Much of this data like authentication credentials, names, addresses, phone numbers or card details are later used in future attacks or sold off for more money.
2. Selling personal information
Once an inventory is created, hackers will package up and sell personal information like names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. This kind of data is sold in bulk.
3. They are looking for high-value data
From their inventory or data buys, hackers will get the list of authentication credentials that lead to potentially lucrative accounts. The most valuable kind of data is theft from the government, military and large corporations. This kind of work is profitable for hackers because users are bad at selecting passwords. For example, Dropbox was breached in 2012 using credentials stolen during the LinkedIn data breach of earlier that year.
4. Sell credit card information
Financial information such as credit card numbers is typically sold in bundles. Nowadays anyone who knows where to look can buy credit card information in groups of ten or a hundred. A credit card with a CVV2 is between $5 and $8 if it has the bank’s ID number, it goes for $15 online. Complete card information costs up to $30.
5. Offload old or used data in bulks
After several months, authentication credentials are sold in bulk at a discounted price on the dark web. Most of this data is worthless because it is already used. For example, a database containing the entire LinkedIn credentials dump from several years ago is still available, but are for the most part of little value.
6. Getting refunds on phony tax returns
Stolen identities are often used to file fraudulent tax returns, from both state government treasuries and the IRS. Fraudsters like this had made a whopping $783 million last year.
7. Open fake medical practice and file fraudulent claims
This has become a growing problem, roughly 10% of the money spent on medical systems programs is lost to fraud and waste. One medical record from a single individual is sold with $250 on the black market. Hackers set up fraudulent medical practices and submit false claims based on stolen information in order to make millions of dollars.
8. Sell intellectual property
Companies are spending millions of dollars every year on research and development. Remember how bad it was when hackers stole emails, social security numbers, and salary data on more than 50,000 Sony employees a few years ago? Intellectual property theft by the Chinese alone costs US businesses at least $50 billion annually.
Remember that the presence of antivirus gives the only protection against hacker attacks for Windows or antivirus for Mac in every system depending on which OS it is running on every device that you own. Also remember that tests like penetration test and ethical hacking tests are now available for any company that wants to tighten their security and if your business exists 100% online, we recommend the use of cyber-secured web hosting services.