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An Overview Of Sharking In Cybersecurity

By Tom Seest

What Is Sharking In Cybersecurity?

Sharking is a cybersecurity term used to describe an approach attackers use to monitor and control computer devices remotely. It is similar to hacking but much more aggressive.
Computer penetration testing involves invading a system with malicious code that exploits an exploit before software vendors have time to patch it. This type of attack is most often carried out on laptops but can also be conducted on desktop machines.

This photo was taken by Elgin Renz Rocili and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/whale-shark-in-water-6530409/.

What Is Exploitation In Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity exploitation is the practice of exploiting software bugs (vulnerabilities) to launch an attack against computer systems and hardware. This may involve delivering malware or giving the hacker control of a system, as well as granting privilege escalation or causing denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.
Today’s most widespread exploits in cybersecurity revolve around browsers and unpatched software. They’re often employed in social engineering attacks that use malicious websites or email attachments to install vulnerable software or browser plug-ins on a device.
Cybercriminals utilize exploits to gain access to personnel and physical sites, with the potential of compromising entire networks.
One of the most infamous exploits, EternalBlue, exploits an unpatched flaw in the Windows Server Message Block protocol. Initially designed by the National Security Agency and stolen and publicized this year by the Shadow Brokers group, this exploit was later utilized in WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks.
Exploits are becoming a major threat in the cybersecurity industry, potentially leading to data breaches and malware infections. Organizations must ensure their devices have up-to-date software installed as well as implement virtual patching, which scans network traffic for protocols that could be exploited to communicate with vulnerable software.

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What Is Exploitation Prevention In Cybersecurity?

Exploit Prevention (EP) is a feature of Kaspersky Lab’s multi-layered, next-generation protection that specifically blocks malware that takes advantage of software vulnerabilities. This technology offers an effective yet non-intrusive method for blocking exploits in real-time.
Cybercriminals often circumvent security measures and avoid detection by calling an unmonitored, non-sensitive function at an offset instead of the sensitive one. Modern cybersecurity solutions now possess the capacity to monitor and intercept API functions that address sensitive kernel services.
Early Bird code injection is a technique cybercriminals use to sidestep anti-malware programs by loading their malicious code during thread initialization. Additionally, this helps them circumvent Windows’ built-in data execution prevention feature.
Exploits are an integral part of the security landscape, capable of attacking a system’s confidentiality, integrity, or availability (CIA triad). A common exploit used by cybercriminals is a zero-day attack, where cybercriminals take advantage of an unknown vulnerability that has not yet been patched by its provider.
Businesses must install all patches as soon as they become available and ensure employees receive cyber security awareness training. Furthermore, companies should utilize security software like antivirus and automated leaked credential discovery to detect when a system has been compromised.

This photo was taken by Graham Henderson and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/school-of-fish-and-shark-in-water-7169287/.

What Is Social Engineering In Cybersecurity?

Social engineering is a type of cybercrime that involves manipulating people into sharing sensitive information or taking illegitimate actions. It often involves tactics like impersonating someone the victim knows or making contact with them via phone, email, or direct communication in order to coerce them into handing over passwords and other confidential details.
Criminals are increasingly employing social engineering techniques in their attempts to break into computer systems or networks. This is because gaining access to information through personal connections is much simpler than through malicious viruses or online scams.
To avoid such mishaps, never share sensitive personal information on social media or any other digital platform. This information could include your name, address, birth date, and even your pet’s name!
Social engineering can be tricky to detect, but it’s essential for understanding your life circumstances. If someone requests sensitive information from you, they are likely trying to extort money from you.
Hackers can employ both traditional social engineering techniques and more straightforward tactics for gaining network or computer access. For instance, they could scout the public food court of an office building and “shoulder surf” users working on tablets or laptops to uncover usernames and passwords that may not have been secured.

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What Are Sockpuppets In Cybersecurity?

Sockpuppets are online identities that can be utilized for malicious activities. This includes spreading disinformation, manipulating public opinion, or obtaining sensitive information from others. Furthermore, they enable access to restricted content and circumvent limitations placed on the use of social media accounts or websites.
Attackers and OSINT investigators frequently employ sock puppets to gather data on targets. These characters are typically created with a false persona and backstory to give the appearance of legitimacy.
These sock puppets are often created to spread negative information about a subject and manipulate others’ opinions in an effort to advance a particular point of view or agenda.
Sockpuppet accounts tend to have a relatively short lifecycle, as platforms are usually diligent at tracking them down after being inactive. By contrast, bot accounts tend to stay active for longer periods of time than sockpuppet accounts do.
Before creating a sock puppet, take into account who you plan to interact with and the level of detail needed to construct a convincing persona. This may vary based on the scope of your investigation and desired outcomes.

This photo was taken by Walter Torres and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-diver-near-the-shark-under-water-11533264/.

What Is Spam In Cybersecurity?

Spam refers to any unsolicited bulk message sent in various forms of communication, such as email, social media, or instant messaging. Spams often contain malicious software or phishing links, which can damage your device if clicked upon.
There are several ways to prevent spam. The most effective solution is spam filters, which most email services provide. These filters block all unwanted messages based on certain criteria and also alert you when someone sends you messages that shouldn’t be in your inbox.
Spam typically consists of marketing messages offering unsolicited goods and services, adware, viruses, and phishing scams. Cybercriminals use spam to gain your personal information, such as social security numbers, usernames, and passwords.
If you’re worried about spam, one way to combat it is to set up a separate personal email account and use it only for certain online transactions. Some email providers even offer temporary “throwaway” email addresses designed to catch spam but lack all other features available in regular emails.
Another way to reduce spam is to be aware of popular news topics. In 2020, for instance, some scammers sent spam emails based on the Covid-19 virus pandemic – an example of how hot topics could be leveraged to encourage people to click on a link or download malware.

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What Is Malware In the Wild In Cybersecurity?

Malware, or malicious software, has become the new norm in cybersecurity. It can take over devices, networks, and even mobile phones with ease. A variety of malware has surfaced over time – from crypto miners to phishing scams and annoying advertising schemes – but no single method exists that guarantees protection from this threat. Nonetheless, there are steps you can take to minimize damage while increasing your odds of surviving an attack.
One of the more daunting challenges is categorizing and assessing all malicious software currently wreaking havoc online. Thankfully, there are some helpful tools and technologies that can help identify what’s good software, bad software, and in danger. Combining heuristics, sanity checks, and other helpful devices will allow you to detect an impending attacker before any harm can come your way. As with any security measure, being proactive rather than reactive is key; one way of doing this is creating a layered defense with an automated multi-tiered response system that is regularly monitored and updated.

This photo was taken by Valeriia Miller and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/grayscale-photo-of-shark-in-water-5135160/.

What Is Whaling In Cybersecurity?

Whaling attacks are similar to phishing in that they target specific targets rather than mass emails. Whaling attempts typically target high-level executives within organizations with the aim of stealing information or money through social engineering techniques.
Cybercriminals use email and website spoofing techniques to imitate an executive’s legitimate correspondence. These malicious emails are designed to manipulate the recipient into clicking a link or opening an attachment, which then downloads malware onto their device.
The success of an attack relies on making emails appear legitimate, so cyber actors often put in extra effort to research their targets and the companies they work for. They may search through social media or other public sources for details about people’s personal lives, interests, and work history.
Once a victim’s email address has been forged, a threat actor may send them a fraudulent message requesting wire transfers or sensitive data. In extreme cases, they could even take control of an employee’s account and make requests on their behalf.
Companies can prevent whaling attacks by educating their employees about best practices for identifying and avoiding phishing emails. Furthermore, companies should implement data security policies to guarantee all incoming requests are thoroughly verified before approval.

This photo was taken by Leonardo Lamas and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-shark-inside-a-sunken-ship-7001608/.