Covr are excited to announce that our Chief Revenue Officer, George Fraser, and the team will be attending Seamless 2023 in Riyadh ! It takes place from the 4th to 5th September at Riyadh front, and is a fantastic opportunity to connect and discuss the latest in cybersecurity trends. We are looking forward to meeting industry peers and sharing insights. If you’re attending and would like to meet, please feel free to reach out to George and the team on LinkedIn. Let’s connect and explore collaborative possibilities !

The dark web is home to some of the most criminal activities known to man. It’s not just about buying and selling drugs or weapons – it’s also where people do nasty things with your personal data, like stealing passwords, banking information, etc. Online scams have become a real work of art, leaving unsuspecting victims in their tracks. From identity theft and financial fraud to elaborate phishing schemes, digital deception is both mind-boggling and concerning.

But – the dark web has both good and bad sides. Come join me on a (short) journey as I delve into the dark side of cybercrime, the chilling reality of online scams, and the crafty tactics these modern-day tricksters use.

What is digital deception, and why is it on the rise?

Heard of digital deception? It’s basically when people use sly tactics online to trick people and organisations. It’s becoming more common because we’re all using technology so much, and it’s easy for scammers to get our personal info. Plus, everything’s so connected in the digital world, it’s hard to keep track of everything, right? Wrong.

Beneath these scams, the human factor is the real secret to their success. Cybercriminals take advantage of our vulnerabilities, using fancy techniques to manipulate us. They play on our emotions – fear, greed, curiosity – to trick us into giving away sensitive info or doing things that compromise our security. Uh, oh. Let’s see what we’ve got:

The dark web: a breeding ground for cybercriminals.

So, everyone has their idea about the dark web, right? With a name like “dark web,” it’s hard not to get a bit spooked. The dark web is actually just a small part of the [deep] web. Web search engines don’t index it, and sometimes people mistakenly use the term deep web to specifically talk about the dark web, are you with me? The dark web is not dangerous or dodgy – it’s encrypted, and people who use it sometimes call the regular web Clearnet because it’s not encrypted. Now that we’ve got that sorted, let’s move on!

The dark web has a good side and a bad side. On the not-so-savoury side, you’ll find hackers doing their thing. They use the dark web as a platform to sell their services and make a living, just like any salesperson. It’s all about marketing their skills and services to make that sale. It’s where they trade stolen data, sell hacking tools, and share info on the latest vulnerabilities.

Now, you might wonder, what do these websites look like? Like any other online store, can you browse them and find reviews, mission statements, guarantees, and customer service? It’s an interesting question to ponder, isn’t it?

The answer is yes.

It’s pretty fascinating how regular people with normal jobs have their counterparts in the world of hackers. You’ll find folks from various fields like marketing, sales, cybersecurity, and banking, all with their dark counterparts active on the dark web. Anyway, let’s move on.

Types of online crimes

Online scams come in all sorts of forms, each one cleverly crafted to exploit different vulnerabilities and achieve specific objectives. Understanding these scams is important to protect ourselves and reduce their risks.I will write a post about it in the future, but for now, you can indulge in this article.

The Guardian talks about the growing trend of online scams in 2023. It really highlights the need to be extra careful when doing things online, especially when it comes to money and personal info

The worst cybercrimes in history

Throughout history, cybercriminals have pulled off some seriously audacious and high-profile attacks that have had a massive impact on society. We’re talking about governments and multinational corporations here – nobody is safe from these sneaky and malicious individuals. So, let’s dive in and look at some of the most notorious cybercrimes that have sent shockwaves through the world. Ready? Let’s go!

Adobe Cyber Attack 2013

Back in 2013, Adobe Systems experienced a major cyber attack. Hackers managed to get their hands on customer data, including credit card details, of around 38 million users. Needless to say, it caused quite a bit of financial and reputational damage.

Instagram Hack 2018

In 2018, cyber criminals hacked into Instagram accounts of famous celebrities like Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber. They were able to access user data, including phone numbers, email addresses, and even private messages. This breach of trust was significant for the social media giant.

Equifax Data Breach 2017

The Equifax data breach, which happened in September 2017, is one of history’s biggest and most significant hacks. Cybercriminals managed to access the Equifax database, compromising the personal information of over 143 million users. They got hold of sensitive data like Social Security numbers and birth dates. The impact of this attack is still being felt even today.

Sony Pictures hack of 2014

Back in 2014, many hackers managed to infiltrate Sony Pictures’ servers and get their hands on some seriously sensitive information about their employees. And what did they do next? They went ahead and released a bunch of embarrassing emails, exposing all sorts of personal stuff like salary talks and private chats. Talk about leaving a lasting mark! This incident was a wake-up call for the entire industry, proving that no company is safe from cyberattacks.

The WannaCry Ransomware Attack: Global Disruption 2017

Back in 2017, the whole world was left in shock when this super advanced malware called “WannaCry” wreaked havoc by shutting down over 200,000 computers across 150+ countries. It specifically went after vulnerabilities in outdated operating systems, causing major chaos in hospitals, government agencies, and private companies. It caused billions of dollars in damage and really showed how vulnerable organisations are to cyber-attacks. Talk about a wake-up call for the importance of keeping your software updated and being cyber-savvy!

LinkedIn scams: making threats personal

Unfortunately, LinkedIn, our beloved (?) professional networking platform, has also become a hotspot for scammers. They create fake profiles and post deceptive job offers, tricking unsuspecting users into sharing personal information or becoming victims of financial fraud. It’s disheartening to see these scammers taking advantage of our trust in our professional connections, and it undermines the platform’s integrity.

If you’re looking to delve into the latest LinkedIn scams and want to stay on guard, check out these resources.

Cybercriminals target job seekers on LinkedIn (BBC News, 2022): This article elaborates on a sophisticated scam where cybercriminals target LinkedIn users with fraudulent job offers, leading to substantial financial losses.

LinkedIn Scams: The Rise of Fake Profiles and How to Protect Yourself (The Guardian, 2023): This piece focuses on the surge in the creation of fake profiles on LinkedIn, offering advice on how to identify and protect oneself from these scams.

Dating scams: matters of the heart

In online dating, scammers target those looking for companionship and love. They create fake profiles, build emotional connections, and trick victims into giving money or sharing personal info. These heartless actions lead to financial loss and leave deep emotional scars that are hard to heal.

The troubling rise of the romance scam – How digital grifters are bilking the lonely out of $1.3 billion a year. This article sheds light on the rising trend of online dating scams, particularly emphasising the psychological impact on victims. It also provides practical tips to safeguard oneself from such malicious practices.

Well, yes, humanity.

Digital deception is a constant battle between criminals and security experts. And while it may seem like the bad guys have the upper hand, we can protect ourselves and each other against digital threats in several ways. By raising awareness, boosting education, and staying vigilant, we can effectively fight against cyber criminals and ensure our online safety. Let’s make sure the good guys come out on top!

About me

I’m 🌱 Annika Englund, the Head of Brand Marketing at Covr Security. Thanks for checking out this sort of spooky article. 😅

Have you ever stumbled upon the mysterious dark web, maybe frequented it regularly or had any not-so-pleasant experiences online? I’d love to chat about it. Feel free to get in touch!