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The only way to keep yourself safe from hackers | TICKER VIEWS

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Hackers

By Dimaz Wijaya, PhD in Cybersecurity and blockchain security engineer. Ticker News crypto contributor. Edited by Keira Wright.

The recent cyber attack on the US’ largest fuel pipeline has shown how we are all vulnerable to hackers. The attack involved almost 100 gigabytes of data and forced the US government to declare a state of emergency. But how can we keep ourselves safe from hackers in the future, and what do we know about the breach?

Darkside hacking group

Darkside is a unique yet professional hacking group. They run their ransomware as a service business. The FBI released a statement that Darkside (or their client) was involved in the most recent hack in Colonial Pipeline.

Darkside claims to donate a portion of their bounty to charity and say they don’t want to cause problems for society. Recently, they released a statement saying they’re apolitical.

Has cryptocurrency made it easier for hackers?

The rise of cryptocurrency makes it easier for ‘bad’ hackers to extort their victims. This is because the anonymous nature of crypto decreases the probability of getting caught.

Hacking has shifted into a profit-oriented activity with ransomware (encrypting the victim’s data and asking for ransom) becoming one of the main tools.

Their choice of cryptocurrency has also shifted from Bitcoin, to privacy coins such as Monero and ZCash. These are much harder to track compared to Bitcoin.

In short, it means the ‘bad guys’ are more likely to get away without anyone prying into their financial transactions.

Is hacking on the rise?

We now hear news about hacking more often than ever. Everyone is a potential target.

Any modern infrastructure connected to the internet can be hacked. That includes most of us who work from home.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution to avoid hacking completely, other than shutting down all network communication from our homes.

But of course, that is not a viable option in our increasingly digital world.

How can we avoid being hacked?

However, as a society, we should be more aware of cybersecurity. We must educate ourselves to quickly identify threats and potential vulnerabilities. Here are some practical tips to avoid being hacked:

  • Firstly, be more careful when clicking suspicious links
  • Remove unexpected or suspicious emails from your inbox
  • Check everything before sharing your credit card details
  • Ask for identification for suspicious visitors
  • Always verify incoming information
  • Update your computer and phone software to include the most recent security patches
  • And lastly, but most importantly: backup important files

Although these efforts don’t completely erase the risk of being hacked, they make their job a lot more difficult.

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