Criminal activity isn’t just limited to the streets.

Oh, no –– with the evolution of the Internet, criminals have now taken advantage of this enterprise by using their technical knowledge to steal personal information, harass people online, and to steal money right out from under them.

According to Comparitech, cybercrime is the 2nd most reported crime in 2016 on a global scale. There are many ways that hackers and cybercriminals can carry out their goals, and they have an infinite number of resources and tools at their disposal to do so. Victims of cybercrimes should look into contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Tucson to recover damages and monetary losses and take preventative actions to prevent their occurrence –– like purchasing antivirus software and staying away from suspicious emails or websites.

So, what are the different types of cybercrimes, and what can consumers do to protect themselves against these sophisticated types of criminals? Well, let’s find out.

1. Dark Web

Bet you didn’t know that there was a “dark” part of the Web, huh? Well, there is, and it is not a place you want to be on. The Dark Web could be described as the “black market” of the Internet where one can find things like drugs, weapons, sexual taboo sites, and, you guessed it, stolen goods.

A great example of this is the recent surge of stolen paintings being marketed on the dark Web –– especially a rare Gottfried Lindauer painting that was taken in New Zealand and recently appeared on the dark Web with a price tag of $500,000. The painting was listed on a relatively new site called the White Shadow marketplace, and the only method of payment that was acceptable for it was BitCoin.

2. Ransomware

Ransomware, much like its name, is software that infects an organization’s computer systems with malicious software and locks them down until a ransom is paid. If the ransom isn’t paid before a specific time, then the cybercriminals can delete the vital data found within the computer systems.

A great example of ransomware is the WannaCry ransomware, which, back in May of 2016, affected over 160,000 IP addresses and collected $100,000 mainly from telecommunications companies.

3. Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking is a fairly new beast –– especially with the rise of cryptocurrencies like BitCoin. Essentially, crypto-jacking is when hackers infiltrate a victim’s computer to mine cryptocurrency. It can be done in one of two ways:

  • (a) the hacker uses a phishing technique to send the victim an email that contains a link which, upon being clicked, loads crypto mining code onto the victim’s computer.
  • (b) the hacker infects a website or ad with the crypto mining code, and when the victim visits the site –– it infects their computer.

Unfortunately, crypto-jacking is still in its infancy, and there is certainly potential for this to be a continuing problem well into the future.

4. Phishing

This cybercrime has to be one of the more common (and, unfortunately, successful) types of malicious activity that can affect Internet users. Remember those Nigerian prince emails that offered to send money in exchange for paying fees or providing personal information?

Welp, those were phishing attempts made by hackers to solicit money and steal personal information from victims. Some even place a link inside the email, which, upon being clicked, sends several nasty software that affect the victim’s computer.

5. Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking is much like real-world stalking, except that it is done online. The hacker will do whatever they can to monitor their victim’s online activity –– including infecting their computer with malware that can log such data. The hacker might also reach out to friends and family of their victims to either gain information about them or to blackmail them in some way. Also, cyberstalkers are likely to harass their victims online.

Final Thoughts

Cybercrimes are not to be taken lightly –– they have the potential to take down large-scale corporations and damage the lives of millions of people around the world. Hackers are well versed on the Internet and know exactly how to spread malware, ransomware, and malicious software for financial gain. On the other hand, if you have been accused of a cybercrime, the penalties you’re facing are severe. Contact the Law Office of Hernandez & Hamilton, a criminal defense lawyer in Tucson, for superlative legal defense.

The last thing anyone wants is to lose their trust in the Web because of hackers. Instead, make sure to surf safely and avoid any suspicious or sketchy places like specific sites, emails, forums, and more.