Even a decade ago, hackers broke down the system to gain fame or make a political statement. Today it is a business with its standards. The industry is developing rapidly and often ahead of the practices that exist on the information security market. The hackers need to implement some stages to hack into the system of any company regardless of its scale and scope of activity.
First, the attacker chooses a victim company. He finds out how much money it has and how much this attack will cost that depends on the company’s security system. A painstaking analysis of records, mutual comments, and likes can give the attacker the necessary data.
The choice of weapon
The hackers develop or select their tools and weapons to attack. Earlier they needed to have great knowledge to create the malware, implement it, and steal data. But now they can go to the darknet and find everything they need, for example:
- Exploit kit;
- A ready-made botnet;
- Utilities to modify the malware;
- Cryptographic modules.
The malware is delivered to the company’s network. This happens in two situations:
- Through infected letters opened by the employees. For example, a letter can be disguised as a message from the hotel or bank used by the employee. Such letters contain an attachment, either a document or an archive, more often with scripts.
- Through an email letter to make the user click on a link. When clicking on a link, the person finds himself on the page with the malware.
The user opens an email letter or document, click on a link, or downloads a file, thus activating a malicious program. Then the attacker gets control over the infected device. His goal is to avoid detection and download the remaining modules.
Malware installation and deployment
The computer is already under the control of the hacker who copies other modules, creates a permanent presence. Additional parts can be disguised into quite legitimate files, such as pictures or videos that will be downloaded from ordinary sources.
Infected devices are under hacker’s complete control: the attacker can send commands, send new modules to attack. He receives information about what kind of computer it is, what software is installed on it. He decides on the next steps of the attack: data theft, infecting other computers on the network, access stealing to online banking, etc.
The hacker moves on to achieve his goals, so he starts blackmailing the user, downloading the data he needs, transferring money to his account. In other cases, the hackers’ goal is to control and manage the network.
Nowadays, the most effective threat control is multi-level protection, capable of stopping an attack at different stages. The use of legal software is also an important thing for company data security.