Crooks employ various tools and methods, but good security procedures may keep them at bay. Like any real business today, fraud organizations require technical competence to keep computers and networks working. According to the movies, the person in charge of technology in a criminal enterprise would be a young, slightly insane computer prodigy, capable of typing 200 words per minute and breaching the Pentagon’s most secure computers in seconds just for fun.
Former cybercriminals and current FBI consultants confirm that such people exist. Consider Jonathan, a bright young guy who stole into Pentagon systems before he was old enough to vote. He was arrested after shutting down NASA computers for three weeks. Following that, he joined a gang that specialized in credit card theft. He was arrested three years into it. He afterward committed suicide.
Most cybercriminals, though, aren’t digital geniuses like Jonathan; they’re adept at fundamental abilities and eager to learn.
Contrary to popular belief, most high-tech con artists don’t get caught. What we can learn from them, however, is that cybercriminals don’t all have the same profile – other than the desire for quick money.
You can also learn from these experiences that cybercriminal tools are quite easy to acquire, buy, and utilize. Order some laptops and headsets, sign up for high-speed internet, install the necessary software, train your employees on how to use it, and your boiler room will be up and running in no time.
The Dark web
This underground section of the internet originated as a project established by the United States Navy to allow intelligence agents to connect anonymously with one another. Over time, the Navy released its Tor browser “open source,” which meant that anybody, including you and me, could access the black web for free. That has proven to be a lucrative target for crooks. Because it allows users to remain anonymous, IT professionals teach scammers how to use it to communicate, trade information, purchase stolen products and services, and arrange illegal operations.
That is the name of a secure, encrypted, private chat app owned by Russian billionaire Pavel Durov. Because Telegram is famously hostile to law enforcement, it has emerged as the new preferred gathering spot for internet thieves and scammers.
PII stands for personally identifiable information.
Identity theft is a component of all forms of financial cybercrime, and it needs advanced technology to construct a storefront for this information that law enforcement cannot easily access. Criminal websites like Robo-check, which displays millions of Americans’ Social Security numbers and birth dates, cannot be shut down easily by law enforcement. However, cybercriminals also utilize authorized websites such as AnnualCreditReport.com, Delvepoint, TLO, Intelius, and BeenVerified to collect public information about you.
Your web surfing “fingerprints.”
When you visit a sophisticated company website, it collects thousands of unique information about the device you use. Those features are distinctive enough to distinguish you from possibly millions of other users. Criminal computer gurus of today frequently attempt to steal your browser fingerprint. These fingerprints are sold on the black market to other offenders for as low as $3 per. This enables criminals to fool online stores such as Amazon and Walmart into believing they are logging in with their smartphones.
To carry out a scam, scammers may need to provide a phone number to a business (for example, setting up a new bank account in your name). While certain digital tactics might be effective, a crook will frequently utilize a real prepaid cellphone. How much does one of these burner phones cost? Approximately $40.
Tools for spoofing
Phone-Gangsta and Spoofmycalls websites allow fraudsters to fake numerous phone numbers on a caller ID. They may pose as the IRS, law enforcement, your financial institution, or even you. A phone conversation costs 10 cents each minute.
SOCKS5 proxy servers
Criminals can use this technology to conceal their physical location online. They may be in Ghana, Nigeria, or the United Kingdom, but they can appear in Florida, California, New York, or anyplace else they like. Access to the proxy costs roughly 30 cents.
Fake driver’s licenses and identification papers
Successful internet crime sometimes necessitates the crook confirming identity or address. So, much like in the movies, there are illicit enterprises that can meet these desires. Driver’s license forgeries may sell for as much as $40, and fake address documents (billing statements) frequently sell for $25.
Protocols for remote desktop access (RDPs)
A hacker obtains access to and controls a computer, and he or she can then provide such access to other criminals for illicit purposes. RDPs are used for illicit purposes to give a clean, untraceable connection. The fee for each session in which the hacker signs in remotely is approximately $5.
Expertise in cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin, Monero, and Zcash are just a few of the online currencies criminals use to launder money, pay for illegal products and services, and as a ransom payment. Using them efficiently may need technical knowledge.
How to Safeguard Yourself
Every three months, change the passwords on essential accounts (credit cards, banks, regularly used merchants, and so on). Make them “passes,” a random mix of words, numbers, and symbols that are hard to guess.
Passwords should be stored in a highly secure password management system or written in a book hidden in your house. Never maintain a list of passwords on your computer.
Take internet firms’ warnings about potential data breaches carefully. If you receive a notification that your information has been compromised, you should immediately examine your account and reset your password.
Remove any personal information from your social media sites that you would not want a stranger or thief to have. This information might include everything from your house or email address to images of trips and birthday parties.