taking advantage of technology

How clued-up criminals are taking advantage of technology

We’ve heard it said by politicians and cyber crime investigators – the smarter technology gets, the smarter criminals get. It’s an unfortunate reality. The proliferation of social media, keyless technology and tracking software has brought an unprecedented level of convenience into our lives, but it’s also led to a rise in tech-driven crime. In this post we look at some of the ways in which criminals are taking advantage of technology.

 

Keyless car crime

According to Oscar Quine, industry experts have reported a surge in keyless car crime since 2017. Criminals are taking advantage of technology to break into vehicles. Most drivers today will be familiar with digital fobs, which are slowly but surely replacing keys. Unfortunately, thieves are launching “relay attacks” which make use of handheld electronic devices to amplify the signal given off by a digital fob, in order to override the car’s security system and “fool” the car into unlocking. The disturbing part is that relay amplifiers and transmitters are easily available on the internet for a few hundred dollars.

 

Big data crime

If you’ve ever received an SMS or email claiming that you’ve won a big cash prize that you need to pay a small fee to collect, you’ve most likely been contacted by a big data crime syndicate. These kinds of crimes are on the rise throughout the world, although there has been a particularly high surge in Africa. Big data has opened up new doors of possibilities for companies to get to know their customers – to understand consumer behaviour and predict trends that will drive product and service innovation. Unfortunately though, when databases fall into the wrong hands, the results can be devastating. Cyber criminals traffic in massive information and sell the data to the highest bidder on the dark web. Think about it, a simple data breach at a major organisation can cause millions of records to be compromised – mobile numbers, addresses, credit records. For this reason, major companies are investing heavily in cyber security systems and coders who can help them protect their data.

 

Social media and identity theft

Social media has brought the world closer together; there are a myriad of benefits that are being derived from this social form of technology. But with people living online lives and providing information like where they are, what they’re doing and who they’re connected to, it’s become so much easier for cyber criminals to get away with fraud. We’ve all heard the horror stories – Facebook profiles being hacked, people being blackmailed with personal information and data being used to hack online banking profiles. The security threats are real. This is why Facebook in particular is investing millions into security measures and systems. As Khari Johnson explains, “Facebook has committed to doubling the headcount of its safety and security workforce from 10,000 to 20,000 in the coming years. Some of those additional 10,000 people may not be Facebook employees but rather partner businesses.”

 

Some staggering stats:

  • According to VPN Geeks, “over 24 000 malicious mobile apps are blocked daily.”

As a report by Symantec details, lifestyle apps are the main targets. Apps for romance, cooking and health hacking for example are more than likely to be used a few times each day and feature more shareable content to increase their virality, making them more susceptible to malware. These apps are built to leak phone numbers as well as device locations and banking details.

 

  • On average, companies take over 6 months to notice a data breach.

More specifically, research suggests that companies take up to 197 days to realise that they have been breached. For most consumers, this is an arresting statistic – definitely something to consider if you want to work in cyber security.

 

  • More than 60% of fraud originates from mobile devices.

According to VPN Geeks. “fraudulent transactions are now over double the value of real transactions.” Consumers have been urged to protect their mobiles using multiple passwords and forms of access control. The threat is very real.

 

Could the increased need for cyber security be an opportunity for aspiring coders? We think so. Understanding how the internet works, how websites are built and how systems work online is a great place to start if you would like to be part of the team that builds the next social network, the next online banking app or even the next newsletter database. A career in cyber security in an age where the human need for privacy and safety online is imperative, is a good prospect for any budding coder.

Connect with us – we’ve got the accolades to prove that when it comes to giving coders a boost into lucrative careers, we know what we’re doing. We promise you’ll have fun learning.

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