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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". Pixabay

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.

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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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Here’s How Cyber Attackers Compose BEC Attacks

Cyber criminals execute business email compromise attacks during business hours

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Cyber attacks on BEC
Over 90 per cent of business email compromise (BEC) cyber attacks take place on weekdays. Pixabay

Over 90 per cent of business email compromise (BEC) attacks take place on weekdays, with many being sent during typical business hours for the targeted organisation to make them more convincing, says a new study.

The research by US-based cyber security firm Barracuda Networks showed that 85 per cent of business email compromise attacks are urgent requests designed to get a fast response.

The average BEC attack targets no more than six employees, and 94.5 per cent of all attacks target less than 25 people, titled “Spear Phishing: Top Threats and Trends Vol. 3”.

“Attackers continue to find new ways to make business email compromise attacks more convincing, ultimately making them more costly and damaging to businesses,” Don MacLennan, Senior Vice President, Email Protection, Engineering and Product Management, Barracuda, said in a statement.

Cyber crime
The average BEC cyber attack targets no more than six employees. Pixabay

“Taking the proper precautions and staying informed about the tactics cybercriminals are using will help organisations defend themselves more effectively against these highly targeted attacks,” MacLennan said.

The report noted that business email compromise makes up a small percentage of spear-phishing attacks, but it has cost businesses more than $26 billion in the past four years, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US.

Also Read- OnePlus Notifies People About Data Breach

Business email compromise attacks have high click-thru rates. One in 10 spear-phishing emails successfully tricks a user into clicking. That number triples for BEC attacks that impersonate someone within the organisation.

In the past 12 months, the average amount lost per organisation due to spear-phishing attacks was $270,000, said the report. (IANS)