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What is a Data Breach

Data breaches aren’t threats or attacks in themselves. A data breach occurs when hackers gain illegal or unauthorized entry to a computer system or network and steal personal, sensitive, private, or confidential personal and financial data. Common data breach hacks include: 

  • Spyware 
  • Phishing 
  • Malfunctioning access controls 

Most fraudsters seek names, email addresses, usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers. Cybercriminals will steal any data that can be sold, breached, stolen, or utilized to make fraudulent purchases. These breaches make us think about data encryption for financial services

Hackers may take data to prove they can. In 2015, VTech’s data leak exposed 5 million adults and 200,000 children. The hacker claimed to have no plans for the data and did not release it.

Cybercriminals employ exploits to get unauthorized access to a system’s data by exploiting software faults or vulnerabilities. Criminals and cybersecurity researchers strive to identify these weaknesses in the system’s code. 

Criminals seek to misuse vulnerabilities, whereas researchers want to expose them so problems may be addressed. Operating systems, browsers, Adobe, and Microsoft Office products are often attacked. Cybercriminals package many vulnerabilities into automated exploit kits to make them easier to use. 

SQL injection (SQLI) exploits flaws in the SQL database management software of untrusted websites to extract data from the database. I’ll explain. A cybercriminal puts malicious code into a retail site’s search area, where buyers regularly look for “best-selling shoes” Instead of headphones or sneakers, the website will return clients’ credit card data. SQLI is a simple attack that requires little technical understanding. SQLI placed third in Malwarebytes Labs’ Top 5 Dumbest Cyber Threats That Work Anyway. 

Spyware attacks your computer or network and takes personal and Internet-related data. You may download malware unknowingly (aka bundleware). Spyware can also be spread by Trojans like Emotet. Emotet, TrickBot, and other banking Trojans have been repurposed into spyware distribution methods. Once on your PC, spyware delivers personal data to attackers’ C&C sites. 

Phishing attempts harness our emotions, such as greed and fear, to induce us to give sensitive information like usernames and passwords. A classic phishing attempt starts with a spoofed email that seems like it’s from a trustworthy organization or coworker. This email will be pushy or demanding, asking you to verify payments or items you never made. The URL leads to a fraudulent login page that steals usernames and passwords. Cybercriminals can hijack your account if you don’t use MFA. SMS text messages and social media messaging services are also used for phishing. 

Misconfigured or broken access restrictions can render private website sections public. An online apparel retailer’s website administrator may keep specific back-end files private, i.e. those storing sensitive client and payment data. Web admins may neglect to make subfolders private. A cybercriminal may utilize Google to locate misconfigured subfolders and steal their data. Like a thief crawling through an open window, this assault requires no expertise.