Types of Cyber Crime

Cyber attacks are mostly motivated by money1. Cyber criminals want to gain access to personal information and use it to their advantage to open accounts, make purchases, drain bank accounts. Ransomware or other malware can be used to make threats, or hold critical systems and data hostage until payment is made to hackers in cash or cryptocurrency.

Cyber insurance policies are designed to help businesses transfer risk of cyber exposure and cover the costs of cyber crime. However, the cost of cyber insurance varies widely.

Most of the cyber hacking cases could have been prevented with better information, behavior or decisions on the part of those who were hacked (learn what you can do to reduce your cyber crime risk).While cyber crime is constantly evolving, here are the most common types of cybercrime… It’s important to emphasize that these types of cybercrime are only the ones that have been discovered thus far:

  • Smart SPAM/Psychological manipulation: Smart SPAM leverages psychological manipulation to incite victims to reveal confidential information or perform certain actions that compromise them. Examples include phishing, spear-phishing, watering hole tactics, malvertising on social media.
  • Ransomware: Cybercriminals seek to extort money from victims by gaining access to valuable, personal or sensitive information and then holding that information hostage or threatening to release it to the public, unless the victim pays them a fee. Criminals using ransomware may lock devices, such as mobile phones, computers or hard drives, remotely and offer to remove the lock for a price. A type of ransomeware called “Cryptolocker” was responsible for 55% of the ransomware attacks in 2014.
  • Identity Theft: Theft of your or your customers’ personal information (thanks Equifax!) to be used by criminals to impersonate someone and open accounts in their name or access valuable accounts to steal money or property.
    Business Interruption:
  • Property Damage from a Cyber Attack: Internet of Things (IoT), Mobile and Cloud: Our devices are increasingly interconnected through the Internet. For instance, you may be able to control your smoke detector with your smartphone, which in-turn is connected to your home wireless Internet (WiFi) network, which is connected to a data center owned by Google, which monitors the device. Your phone, device and third party are connected and only as safe as the weakest link, which could be your cellphone or your home WiFi network.
  • Infrastructure Attacks: Security experts are increasingly concerned with the real world implications of cyber attacks on our physical infrastructure. Infrastructure includes our financial services systems, ATMs, banks, electrical grid and energy providers, critical infrastructure such as waste and wastewater treatment facilities, emergency services, traffic and transportation systems, government facilities, healthcare systems, nuclear and critical national defense systems.

Does your business need cyber insurance?


  1. According to information security site Hackmageddon

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