7 Key Ways Cybercriminals Commit Cyber Attacks


Cyber attacks and hacking scams

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Information and Communication Technology Education

Cyber attacks & hacking crimes


7 Key Ways Cybercriminals Commit Internet fraud and Cyber Attacks


Online criminals have a plethora of weapons to hack your account

Call them scammers, hackers, conmen, internet predators, online identity thieves, online criminals, internet fraudsters, cybercriminals, or cyber crooks they all work towards achieving a common goal – carry out cyberattacks and commit hacking crimes. These cyber or online criminals have a plethora of weapons in their arsenal, from phishing emails to password hacking to get access to others’ personal and corporate data and steal their properties.

Frequent instances of Internet fraud include business fraud, credit card fraud, internet auction fraud, investment schemes, Nigerian letter fraud, and non-delivery of merchandise, among others

Cybercrime is any criminal activity carried with a computer, a networked device, or a network.  Internet fraud is the use of Internet services or software with Internet access to access others’ personal details and defrauds their victims. Internet crime schemes steal millions of dollars each year from victims and continue to plague the Internet through various methods. Cyber attacks & crimes are estimated to inflict global damages totaling $6 trillion in 2021.


High-profile methods used in cyber attacks and hacking crimes

Several high-profile key ways cybercriminals use in internet fraud include the following


1. Phishing and Spoofing

Phishing and spoofing
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Phishing and spoofing is a cybercrime through which victims are lured into providing sensitive data via email, telephone, or text message by internet identity thieves. Image by Tumisu from Pixabay


The most prominent social media crimes include identity theft and “phishing”.

Phishing is a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone, or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking, and credit card details and passwords. It is the act of sending an e-mail falsely claiming to be an established legitimate business in an attempt to deceive the unsuspecting recipient into divulging personal, sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and bank account information after directing the user to visit a specified fake website up only as an attempt to steal the user’s information.

Spoofing, much related to phishing, is the act of disguising a communication from an unknown source as being from a known trusted source. It means that phishing hackers use spoofing to attract their victims. That is, phishing also referred to as vishing, smishing, or pharming, is often used in conjunction with a spoofed e-mail. Spoofing generally refers to the dissemination of e-mail that is forged to appear as though it was sent by someone other than the actual source.

Spoofing and phishing both deal with forged or faked electronic documents.

Hackers are hungry for intimate information like your social security number, bank account number, and passwords.

 Preying on vulnerabilities — in this case, the desire to protect an investment — is a tried-and-true tactic for siphoning personal data, including payment information, or forwarding phishing links laced with malware. Most phishing and virus activities are found in porn and torrent sites.


2. Malware and Scareware

Malware and Scareware
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Malware and Scareware are malicious software hacking criminals use to disable computers systems and networks; damage files, steal sensitive data, and even take a computer device hostage. Image by kalhh from Pixabay


Malware or Malicious software is another high-profile way hackers try to commit cybercrime. Malware is used intentionally to damage or disable computers, computer systems, and networks. Malicious software can damage files, steal sensitive data, and even take a computer device hostage. Sometimes scare tactics are used by the perpetrators to solicit funds from victims.

Malware can crack weak passwords, bore into systems, and spread through networks. Other types of malware can lock up important files, spam you with ads, or redirect you to malicious websites. Malware attacks can result in anything from data theft to the destruction of entire systems or devices.

Malware is at the root of most cyber attacks and crimes, including the large-scale data breaches that lead to widespread identity theft and fraud. Hackers aim for malware attacks against individuals, companies, and even governments.

Scareware is malicious software that tricks computer users into visiting malware-infested websites. Also known as deception software, rogue scanner software, or fraudware, scareware may come in the form of pop-ups. That appears as legitimate warnings from antivirus software companies and claiming your computer’s files have been infected.


3 Data Breach

Data breach
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Data breach: Cybercriminals access unauthorized information through a data breach. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


Online crime is a real threat to anyone on the internet and one of the key ways internet fraudsters carry their identity theft is through data breaches

A data breach is a security incident in which information is accessed without authorization. It is a leak or spill of data that is released from a secure location to an untrusted environment.

Data breaches can occur at the personal and corporate levels and involve sensitive, protected, or confidential information that is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen, or used by an individual unauthorized to do so.

Data breaches can hurt businesses and consumers in a variety of ways. They are a costly expense that can damage lives and reputations and take time to repair.


4. Ransomware


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Ransomware encrypts files on computer devices and makes them unusable until decryption ransom is paid. Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay


Ransomware is a form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable. When the victim organization determines they are no longer able to access their data, the cybercriminals demand the payment of a ransom

It is a form of malware targeting both human and technical weaknesses in organizations and individual networks in an effort to deny the availability of critical data and/or systems. Ransomware is frequently delivered through spear-phishing emails to end-users, resulting in the rapid encryption of sensitive files on a corporate network.

Malicious scammers and hackers demand ransom (some money) in exchange for decryption, typically in virtual currency such as Bitcoin, at which time the actors will purportedly provide an avenue to the victim to regain access to their encrypted data.


5. E-Mail Account Compromise (EAC)

Email Account Compromise
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Email Account Compromise: Hacking crimes are carried out to gain unauthorized access to email accounts. Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay 


What Is Email Account Compromise (EAC)? In an Email Account Compromise (EAC) scam, attackers use various tactics such as phishing, malware, and purchasing info from the dark web to gain unauthorized access to email accounts. EAC is also known as email account takeover or email hijacking

Similar to Business E-mail Compromise (BEC), this scam targets the general public and professionals associated with, but not limited to, financial and lending institutions, real estate companies, and law firms. Internet thieves of EAC use compromised e-mails to request payments to fraudulent locations.


6. Business E-Mail Account Compromise (BEC)


Business Email Account Compromise
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Business Email Account Compromise. Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay


Business email account compromise/email account compromise is a sophisticated scam that targets both businesses and individuals who perform legitimate transfer-of-funds requests. It is a sophisticated scam targeting businesses working with foreign suppliers and companies that regularly perform wire transfer payments. The scam is carried out by compromising legitimate business e-mail accounts through social engineering or computer intrusion techniques to conduct unauthorized transfers of funds.

Cybercriminals carry out BEC Scams either by spoofing email account or website or sending spearphishing emails or use malicious software (malware)

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received an increase in the number of BEC complaints requesting victims purchase gift cards.


7. Denial of Service (DoS)

Denial of Service
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Denial of Service: Hackers use DoS to disrupts its normal internet services and prevent other users from accessing them. Image by clickschool from Pixabay


A Denial of Service (DoS) is a type of cyber attack and hacking scam on a service that disrupts its normal function and prevents other users from accessing it.  It is an interruption of an authorized user’s access to any system or network, typically one caused by malware with malicious intent.

The most common target for a Denial of Service (DoS) attack is an online service such as a website, though attacks can also be launched against networks, machines, or even a single program.



This blog content on ‘Cyberattacks & hacking crimes: 7 Key Ways Cybercriminals Commit Internet fraud’ is categorized under Information Education.

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