daring online scams

Hackers and daring online scams | Cybersecurity

The Most Daring Online Scams 

At Soteria we work around the clock to help companies secure their data and prevent cyberattacks, and we will be the first to say that data security is no laughing matter.

Except when it is.

Hackers may be our sworn enemies, but we have to admit that some of the tactics and tricks they use to fool internet users, including some of the smartest people in the world, can be inspired and hilarious.

In this article, we take a lighter look at the world of cybersecurity and some of the crazy lengths cybercriminals have gone to in their quest to access your crucial private data.

The first hack in history

Hacking may be the scourge of the ultra-connected 21st-century, but illegal interception of communications started over 100 years ago.

Back in 1903, the Royal Institution was getting ready to demonstrate a new telegraph technology invented by Guglielmo Marconi. Just as the demonstration was about to kick off – with the kind of excitement you’d expect from a new iPhone release back when we still cared about them – the telegraph machine suddenly sprung to life with the word “rats” being repeated over and over on the ticker tape.

Before long, a dirty poem mocking Marconi arrived over the telegraph, causing a stir in the press. When the authorities investigated, they discovered that the magician Neville Maskelyne, who had a grudge against Marconi, had managed to intercept the telegraph transmission.

This was a sign of things to come 120 years later in our own time, when hackers routinely attack unpopular public figures or execute denial of service attacks on websites that they dislike.

Ocean’s 11 –  in a fish tank

The Internet of Things has brought about a situation where smart devices are connected in almost every office in the world, and some of them are so obscure that you’d never think to secure them.

Several years ago, a Las Vegas casino suffered a major data breach when hackers took control of the electronic sensors that monitor the water temperature and mineral content of one of its fish tanks. Once they gained access to the casino’s network, they were able to identify some highly sensitive unsecured data which they transmitted to Finland –  a fitting location for such a fishy crime.

X marks the spot for a celebrity bitcoin scam

In 2022, when X was still known as Twitter, the company’s current CEO Elon musk was one of many internet users scammed by a cybercriminal who offered to double any amount of bitcoin that they sent to him.

Needless to say, not one of the countless number of people who fell prey to the scam got even a cent back. Then again, since Elon is estimated to have overpaid by $19 billion when he bought Twitter he probably didn’t let the loss of a few bitcoin get him down.

Jokes aside:  you won’t be laughing if you’re the victim of a cyberattack

The ingenuity that cybercriminals have shown in cheating internet users out of their money is only going to get more impressive in the years to come.

Securing your network, updating your firewall and antivirus, and never responding to communications from anyone you don’t know and haven’t confirmed as the sender are three simple ways to stay safe online – but you these days you will likely need more protection.

Secure cloud storage offers a powerful layer of protection for your crucial data, with automated and encrypted backup ensuring that files are sent to the cloud on a regular basis to prepare your organisation for anything the dark web can throw at it.

Learn more about our range of packages for business and home users and take a powerful step in securing your data in the battle against hackers.