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by Taylor Mullins

(Part 3) The Hacking Business: Why Do Criminals Hack?

If you've missed our other discussions on hackers, take a look here and here.

Whenever you're watching the news and descriptions of crimes come up, do you ever sit and wonder "Why? Who does that?" For those who tend to walk the straight and narrow, it can be difficult to ever fathom why an individual would commit a crime. When it comes to the digital world, hacking can stem from a variety of motives. Generally, hackers will fall under one of these 4 categories. 

Script Kiddies

As the name suggests, Script Kiddies are essentially at the bottom of the totem pole. They have the least technical knowledge and usually don’t cause much damage. However, at the turn of the new millennium, the Love Bug virus created by a Script Kiddy caused reportedly around $10 billion in lost productivity and digital damage. So while these hackers shouldn’t be underestimated, most of the time it’s a bored youth who do it for thrill or bragging rights.  

Hacktivist

These are generally a group made up of various hackers with a mission. Usually politically motivated, they aim to reveal information, embarrass targets, or disrupt the normal flow of business. Hacktivists most often use DDoS attacks or steal sensitive information to expose. Even if you are a small or mid-sized business, you aren’t totally off of the radar for a Hacktivist disruption. If you’re associated with, or have a partner who can be targeted by Hacktivists, you can be at risk.

Cyber Criminals

This nuisance has one thing on the mind: money. Essentially everyone can consider themselves a risk for an attack from a Cyber Criminal, from individuals and small businesses to large corporations, banks, and organizations. Some of the most talented hackers in the world fall under this category, using various tactics such as social engineering, ransomware, and other forms of malware. Targets for Cyber Criminals typically have a very valuable resource or a weak security system.

Insiders

These can be the scariest hackers because they are lurking within your company. Insiders are already privy to more information than the general public, and if their trust or loyalty in a company is damaged, they can be motivated to hack their own organization. Even a disgruntled former employee can pose a huge risk to a business. Think Edward Snowden, but on various scales.

When you know what motivates your enemy, you can protect yourself against them. In the final installment of the Hacking Series, we'll let you know ways to protect yourself and your data.