In case you are not aware, cybercrime is a billion-dollar business. In 2019, the FBI recorded an estimate of $3.5 billion total losses to individuals and firms from cyber-attacks, and that’s in the United States alone. There was a study that predicts that cybercrime will cost the world around $6 trillion by 2021. That is why hackers, criminal organizations, and even terrorist groups resort to cybercrime for easy money and funding despite the risk of getting caught.

You might be wondering how they get that much. The figures given tells us that cybercrime is, first of all, rampant and everywhere. It’s happening as you are reading this. The FBI reported that they received an average of 1,300 complaints every day last year, let alone all the unreported attacks. Let’s take a look at a summary of how they get this much.

Scams

It is not new, but billions of dollars were lost through scams. Cybercriminals use digital resources to trick targets to send them money. They do this by posing as a legitimate individual or firm. Hackers first identify their targets and would gather as much information as they can from their target’s social media account or through surveillance. Then they will use this information to set the perfect trap for their prey. You should limit the information you post online.

Malware and Ransomware

Hackers use malware and ransomware to infect their target’s PC or network. Malware infected systems will function abnormally. Malware can lock you out of your system, show annoying ads, almost impossible to remove, and slow your computer significantly. If you want to get rid of it, they will prompt you to pay a certain amount to get the ‘antidote’ that can eliminate the malware—easy money for them. Ransomware, on the other hand, is also malware, but instead of asking money for a killswitch, ransomware will encrypt all your files, and they will ask you payment for the decryption key. Take note that they would ask from a few dollars to a hundred, but collectively, a few dollars can be millions.

Phishing

In phishing, they target your personal information and login credentials like usernames and passwords to get access to your system, social media accounts, or bank accounts. When they get into your bank account, you’ll wake up with your balance swept clean. When they get access to your cloud storage or personal device, they can get access to private info, photos, or videos that they can use to extort money from you.

Stock Market

Believe it or not, hackers “earn” money from the stock market. They use their hacking skills to manipulate market prices on certain degrees. For example, they can hack a company’s website, which can cause their stock price to drop. They can also spread false information to stock market players which can lead them to buy or sell stocks for the hacker’s benefit. I know it’s confusing, but believe me, it’s happening.

These are just the most common ways they get their dollars. There’s a lot more ways money is earned in cybercrime. That is why it is crucial for us to be aware about this. The next time you received a suspicious email, report it right away and you may help save millions of dollars from being lost. The less money cybercriminals earn, the less people will engage in such.

TrinSecurity is a team of a highly cohesive team skilled in data protection and vulnerability service. Visit our office at 2162 Electra Avenue
Rowland Heights, CA 91748 for a free consultation.