What is a cyber-investigation
Cyber investigation is the process used by law enforcement officers to locate and find criminals via the computer. It may be used to investigate computer crimes or it may be to track records of criminals using computer forensics.
Cybercrime Investigation, or investigation of computer-oriented crime, is an investigation process of a crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer or any other device may have been used in the conducting of a crime, or it may be the target. Cybercrimes can be defined as "Offences that are committed against individuals or groups of individuals with a criminal motive to intentionally harm the reputation of the victim or cause physical or mental harm, or loss, to the victim directly or indirectly, Cyber and computer investigations are the collection and analysis of digital data by trained forensic investigators in order to solve a crime or resolve an issue.
What Is Cybercrime
Any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network or electronic device is called Cybercrime. Though maximum cybercrimes are carried out to generate profit for the cybercriminals, some cybercrimes are carried out against computers or devices directly to damage or disable them, get secret and confidential data or information while others use computers or networks to spread malware, illegal information, images or other materials. Some cybercrimes do both that is, they target computers to get control of them and then they use it to take control of other machines and, sometimes, entire networks or spread viruses throughout the system.
Cybercrimes often impact its targets for financial reason, and cybercrime can include many different types of profit-driven criminal activity, including ransomware attacks, email and internet fraud, and identity fraud. Cybercrimes are also done as attempts to steal financial account, credit card or other payment card information. Cybercriminals may target private personal information, as well as corporate data for theft and resale and blackmailing.
Is cybercrime a threat to your organization?
There are increasing numbers of high profile data breaches affecting corporations, governmental services, and political organizations. As technology becomes an ever more important part of the business it also offers threats from attack and human error. Data breaches have been happening for as long as companies have maintained records and stored private data. But, the proliferation of data, technological advances, and the digitization of data storage in the last decade or so have seen a sharp rise in the number of data breaches. Leveraging these developments, cybercrime is evolving. Criminals have turned their attention to the soft underbelly of corporate – stored data. Now, the risk of having sensitive information lost or exposed is greater than ever. And companies are feeling the pinch: All the largest data breaches in history have occurred since 2005 and the size and scope of these breaches are only getting larger by the day.
Types of cybercrime
The three major categories that cybercrime falls into are individual, property, and government. The types of methods used and difficulty levels vary depending on the category.
Property: This is kind of similar to a real-life crime of a criminal illegally possessing an individual’s bank or credit card details. The hacker steals a person’s bank details to gain access to funds, make purchases online or run phishing scams to get people to give away their information. They could also use malicious software to gain access to a web page with confidential information.
Individual: This category of cybercrime involves one individual distributing malicious or illegal information online. This can include cyberstalking, distributing pornography and trafficking.
Government: This is the least common cybercrime, but is the most serious offense. A crime against the government is also known as cyber terrorism. Government cybercrime includes hacking government websites, military websites or distributing propaganda. These criminals are usually terrorists or enemy governments of other nations
Common Cybercrime activities
DDoS Attacks: These are used to make an online service unavailable and take the network down by overwhelming the site with traffic from a variety of sources. Large networks of infected devices known as Botnets are created by depositing malware on users’ computers. The hacker then hacks into the system once the network is down.
Botnets: Botnets are networks from compromised computers that are controlled externally by remote hackers. The remote hackers then send spam or attack other computers through these botnets. Botnets can also be used to act as malware and perform malicious tasks.
Identity Theft: This cybercrime occurs when a criminal gains access to a user’s personal information to steal funds, access confidential information, or participate in tax or health insurance fraud. They can also open a phone/internet account in your name, use your name to plan a criminal activity and claim government benefits in your name. They may do this by finding out user’s passwords through hacking, retrieving personal information from social media, or sending phishing emails.
Cyberstalking: This kind of cybercrime involves online harassment where the user is subjected to a plethora of online messages and emails. Typically cyberstalkers use social media, websites and search engines to intimidate a user and instill fear. Usually, the cyberstalker knows their victim and makes the person feel afraid or concerned for their safety.
Social Engineering: Social engineering involves criminals making direct contact with you usually by phone or email. They want to gain your confidence and usually pose as a customer service agent so you’ll give the necessary information needed. This is typically a password, the company you work for, or bank information. Cybercriminals will find out what they can about you on the internet and then attempt to add you as a friend on social accounts. Once they gain access to an account, they can sell your information or secure accounts in your name.
PUPs: PUPS or Potentially Unwanted Programs are less threatening than other cybercrimes but are a type of malware. They uninstall necessary software in your system including search engines and pre-downloaded apps. They can include spyware or adware, so it’s a good idea to install antivirus software to avoid malicious download.
Phishing: This type of attack involves hackers sending malicious email attachments or URLs to users to gain access to their accounts or computer. Cybercriminals are becoming more established and many of these emails are not flagged as spam. Users are tricked into emails claiming they need to change their password or update their billing information, giving criminals access.
Prohibited/Illegal Content: This cybercrime involves criminals sharing and distributing inappropriate content that can be considered highly distressing and offensive. Offensive content can include but is not limited to, sexual activity between adults, videos with intense violence and videos of criminal activity. Illegal content includes materials advocating terrorism-related acts and child exploitation material. This type of content exists both on the everyday internet and on the dark web, an anonymous network.
Online Scams: These are usually in the form of ads or spam emails that include promises of rewards or offers of unrealistic amounts of money. Online scams include enticing offers that are “too good to be true” and when clicked on can cause malware to interfere and compromise information.
Exploit Kits: Exploit kits need a vulnerability (bug in the code of software) to gain control of a user’s computer. They are readymade tools criminals can buy online and use against anyone with a computer. The exploit kits are upgraded regularly similar to normal software and are available on dark web hacking forums.
Why do you need cyber investigation
The true cost of cybercrime is difficult to accurately assess. In 2018, McAfee released a report on the economic impact of cybercrime that estimated the likely annual cost to the global economy was nearly $600 billion, up from $45 billion in 2014. No matter how large or small your organization is, no one can be truly safe from cybercrimes. Sometimes attackers would intentionally target small to medium-sized companies because usually, those companies have low and poor security. While the financial losses due to cybercrime can be significant, businesses can also suffer other disastrous consequences as a result of criminal cyberattacks which includes Damage to investor perception after a security breach can cause a drop in the value of a company. In addition to potential share price drops, businesses may also face increased costs for borrowing and greater difficulty in raising more capital as a result of a cyberattack. Loss of sensitive customer data can result in fines and penalties for companies that have failed to protect their customers' data. Businesses may also be sued over the data breach. Damaged brand identity and loss of reputation after a cyberattack undermine customers' trust in a company and that company's ability to keep their financial data safe. Following a cyberattack, firms not only lose current customers, but they also lose the ability to gain new customers.
How cyber investigation is done
There are different approach and steps taken to investigate a cybercrime depending on the device and network. A key component of the investigative process involves the assessment of potential evidence in cybercrime. Central to the effective processing of evidence is a clear understanding of the details of the case at hand and thus, the classification of cybercrime in question. An investigator would look at the scene of the crime and conduct his investigation. If the case is internet-based, finding the internet protocol (IP) addresses is the first step in the investigation. An IP address consists of numbers and letter, and that series is attached to any data moving through the internet. If the crime is device-based it is important to locate the device and investigate. Extensive and rigorous documentation is done to record every evidence so that any clue or lead can be found to solve the crime. To effectively investigate potential evidence, procedures must be in place for retrieving, copying, and storing evidence within appropriate databases. Investigators typically examine data from designated archives, using a variety of methods and approaches to analyze information; these could include utilizing analysis software to search massive archives of data for specific keywords or file types, as well as procedures for retrieving files that have been recently deleted. Data tagged with times and dates are particularly useful to investigators, as are suspicious files or programs that have been encrypted or intentionally hidden. All the findings and evidence are recorded and reported.
How cyber investigation helps you
A cyber investigation will assess your computer’s risk, develop a strong security policy, train you on security measures, implement technology, and reconfigure information technology infrastructure. If you believe your computer has already been compromised, investigators can perform vulnerability assessments and penetration testing to determine the root of the problem. This allows them to detect and fix any weaknesses in your computer system. They can also suggest countermeasures you can take to protect your system in the future. Our professionals are expert in the forensic analysis of data from all Windows, Mac, and Linux computers and servers; mobile devices; and Cloud-based platforms and applications. Our specialists regularly work with investigative professionals to provide a seamless investigation.
SECUPENT is a multiple award-winning Cybersecurity company, which is recognized as a consecutively award receiving company. Our unique capabilities, relationships, and tools, coupled with professionals who convert “tech-speak” into valuable information for attorneys and in-house counsel, enhance both responsiveness and investigative efficiency to respond to the increasingly complex cyber challenges clients face – nationwide and on a moment’s notice. To truly exceed the expectations of those we work with. As their partners, we work hard to help them succeed since the only true measure of our success is their own. We focus on strategies designed to increase your performance. Moreover, we provide you the custom solution on your proper demand. That makes our cyber investigation more reliable and more perfect.