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Researchers Feels Cyber Attacks Are Outpacing Physical Terror Attacks

Holt's research also examined physical and cyber terror attacks committed by these far-left groups between 2000 and 2015 in the US, UK and Canada

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Cloudhopper, cyberattacks, internet
The picture shows a warning sign for "cyber threats ahead".

With increasing cases of data breaches and information loss happening on the Internet, cyber attacks are outpacing physical attacks among far-left groups and can cause greater destruction, researchers say.

According to lead author Thomas Holt, Professor at the Michigan State University (MSU), the high-profile nature of the internet — on which the ideological groups can manipulate traffic — is the ideal platform to attack.

The ideologically motivated attacks are devised to have an emotional and economic impact on groups that go against their beliefs.

“Little work has been done around the use of the internet as an attack space,” Holt said.

“The bottom line is that these attacks are happening and they’re overlooked. If we don’t get a handle understanding them now, we won’t fully understand the scope of the threats today and how to prevent larger mobilization efforts in the future.”

Cyber Attacks (Representational image). Pixabay

To understand these attacks, Holt analysed the scope, growth and impact of ideological cyber terrorist incidents from far-left groups, such as the Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front and the hacker conglomerate group, Anonymous.

These groups, do not necessarily want to physically harm humans; rather, they are motivated by animal and environmental activism and feel passionate about attacking companies, organisations and government entities that go against their beliefs, Holt explained, in the paper published in the Terrorism and Political Violence journal.

Also Read- A Bad Phase Must Not Be Considered as an Unsuccessful Period: Manisha Koirala

Holt’s research also examined physical and cyber terror attacks committed by these far-left groups between 2000 and 2015 in the US, UK and Canada.

“These groups might strike domestically, but their damage on the web can be widespread and a concurrent risk for companies and consumers alike. It could be even greater,” Holt said. (IANS)

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43 Percent Increase in Social Media Frauds in 2018: Study

According to researchers, fraud in the mobile channel has grown significantly over the last several years, with 70 per cent of artifice originating in the mobile channel in 2018

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social media frauds
With one out of five cyber attacks attributed to rogue mobile apps in 2018, RSA identified an average of 82 rogue mobile applications a day last year across popular app stores. Pixabay

In a sign that platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp are emerging as new public square for criminal deception, a study has found that social media fraud increased 43 per cent in 2018.

The results suggest that cyber criminals are increasingly relying on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and other legitimate social media and messaging platforms to communicate with each other and sell stolen identities, credit card numbers and other ill-gotten gains.

social media
According to researchers, fraud in the mobile channel has grown significantly over the last several years, with 70 per cent of artifice originating in the mobile channel in 2018. Pixabay

Given the ease of use, absence of fees and other benefits of these platforms, continuation of this trend in 2019 should come as no surprise, said “Current State of Cybercrime – 2019” white paper, released by RSA Security.

Trade in stolen identities would gain greater momentum with more stores likely opening on legitimate platforms to sell this type of data, the study said.  According to researchers, fraud in the mobile channel has grown significantly over the last several years, with 70 per cent of artifice originating in the mobile channel in 2018.

social media
With one out of five cyber attacks attributed to rogue mobile apps in 2018, RSA identified an average of 82 rogue mobile applications a day last year across popular app stores. Pixabay

In particular, fraud from mobile apps increased 680 per cent between 2015 and 2018, said the study, adding the use of rogue mobile applications to defraud consumers was on the rise.

ALSO READ: Fixing Algorithms Won’t Curb Fake News on Social Media

With one out of five cyber attacks attributed to rogue mobile apps in 2018, RSA identified an average of 82 rogue mobile applications a day last year across popular app stores.

“We expect the popularity of the mobile channel for fraud will continue through 2019, especially as cyber criminals keep finding ways to introduce tactics and technologies such as phishing and malware to the mobile channel,” the report said. (IANS)