Top Global IT Crisis and Threats the World Faced in 2017

Cyber crime, the latest transgression of the 21st century is at its peak, and while the masses are unaware of the act that is causing trillions of dollars worth of losses to the world economy, cyber crimes are increasing and are producing some severe breaches in highly secured networking systems.

Cyber crimes will cost the world around $6 trillion annually by 2021

According to IT experts, there are three types of organizations in the world: one that has been hacked in the past, the other that will be hacked in the future and the one that is being hacked at the moment. The high risk of cyber crimes has forced organizations to spend around a trillion dollars to counter these threats.

IoT and the Internet Crisis

The Internet of things is termed as the ability of electronic devices to connect and transfer data within a network. According to latest research, 29% of organizations have opted for IoT solutions to ensure a more convenient transfer of data within the company.

Though the importance of these gadgets for faster and reliable networking is an essential need, at the same time they have made the organizations more vulnerable to cyber crimes. The reason is the lack of proper security system of the IoT devices which allow an easy breach to the network and most of the devices don’t have a firmware update so that the security of the device can be upgraded. All these factors make these devices an easy target for the hackers who are looking for digital spaces to increase their botnets.  Botnets are the malware-infected machines that are controlled by the hacker.

As of 2017, 20.35 billion devices have been installed with IoT which have become easy targets for the hackers. The security breaches of these systems eventually strengthen the DDoS attacks. In a press release, Ashley Stevenson, CEO of Corero said:

Cyber criminals try to harness more and more Internet-connected devices to build ever larger botnets, the potential scale and power of IoT botnets have the ability to create Internet chaos and dire results for target victims.

DDoS Attacks in 2017

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) is a cyber attack for making an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple malware affected sources. These attacks mainly target online banking, news websites and other major online public platforms.

Following are some of the attacks that were encountered in 2017:

  1. Melbourne IT – A domain named Melbourne IT was attacked by hackers in April. The attack lasted for one and a half hours.
  2. DreamHost – On 24th of August, 2017, DreamHost, a web providing company suffered a severe DDoS attack, forcing its servers to go offline. The attack lasted for few hours before the company successfully took back the control.
  3. Boston Globe – a news website was interrupted by heavy trafficking which disabled their telephone lines and editing systems. The effect lasted for whole day which made the employees of the organization to suffer. The website remained inaccessible before their IT team took some anti-DDoS measures and restored things back to normal.
  4. UK National Lottery – At the end of the September in 2017, UK National Lottery service became an easy target of a DDoS attack. The attack disabled both their website and app which inhibited their users from playing the lottery. The attack lasted for almost eight long hours.
  5. Electroneum – The platform of crypto-currency couldn’t even save itself from the wrath of a DDoS attack. Electroneum crypto-currency suffered an attack when they just launched their mining app back in November 2017. The authorities took back the control of the system by locking out the users from their account.

Email Spam Trends in 2017

Emails are a simple and conventional method used by the hacker to scam a consumer. According to the IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, more than half of the emails are spam.

The most common types of malicious emails are mentioned below:

  • Phishing: it is a technique used by hackers to trick a user into sharing their details through mostly emails. To do so, attackers compel the user to respond to their emails. A hacker may also provide you with a malicious link in the mail that will effect your system instantly. These emails are generic and are targeted toward a large segment of the users.
  • Spear phishing: it is a targeted form of phishing in which carefully crafted emails are sent to target a specific group of people. This form of phishing has the most success rate.
  • Malware spreading: emails are the most common ways to spread malware. Ransomware, botnet malware, and spyware are generally sent through an email. The emails are designed to attract the user and tempt them to download the given link; it can be anything from porn to software.
  • BEC: business email compromise, the type of a designed email, especially for business proposals that will tempt the user with its financial benefits.

Ransomware Incidents in 2017

Ransomware is a malware which blocks the owner’s access to his assets or the administration of their accounts and demands a ransom to return the access. This type of cybercrime has been described as the latest business model for the hackers by the United States Department of Justice.

According to the reports of FBI, the ransom amount reaches a billion dollar annually. In an article written by Reg Harnish, CEO of Grey Castle Security:

Every 40 seconds a business falls victim to a ransomware attack. This billion-dollar industry is exploding, with attacks growing at a yearly rate of 350%. And by 2021, cybercrime will cost the world more than $6 trillion annually.

May 12, 2017, marks the date when 200,000 plus computers were infected in 150+ countries by a ransomware attack. The wannacry named malware severely impacted reputable institutions like UK’s National Health Service operations, FedEx and Russian Interior Ministry.

With the rise in cyber attacks the only way to save yourself from this digital crime is to make your networking systems as secure as possible!

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.