Credentials of senior figures of the United Kingdom, including ministers, ambassadors, and police have been sighted on the Darknet marketplace for sale. The passwords and emails which are believed to have been hacked by a group of Russian hackers are sold at cheaper prices for individuals who need them for their frauding activities.
According to reports, the stolen credentials include thousands of government related accounts and contain Russian language descriptions on the Darknet marketplace.
Cyber crime has been severe for the past years, and stolen data sold on the Darknet has called for an intensive security of data. Information says that over 1000 British MPs, 7000 police employees, and several other senior figures had their personal data stolen and are on sale on the Darknet marketplace.
The security surrounding the passwords to credentials of many people in the UK is weak, and there has been a security scare since the passwords of some renounced systems were reported to have been hacked.
Among the Passwords and Emails sighted on sale on the Darknet market were Justine Greening, an Education Secretary, Greg Clark, a Business Secretary, and also the head of the Foreign Office’s IT department.
A cyber security expert, founder, and CEO of Identification management company Trusona, Ori Eisen, believes that irrespective of one’s status in the country, everyone is vulnerable to attack. He said to reporters that “You can be a minimum-wage employee or the prime minister of the UK—it does not matter when it comes to passwords. We are all vulnerable to static passwords.”
Mr. Eisen then advised people to be cautious and ensure that all static passwords are submitted to change: “If you knew that the keys to your home could be purchased, would you still be using the same lock?” He added that “The same can be said about using static passwords. They are not secure and need to be completely removed from protecting online accounts.”
Before February this year, Britain had recorded three successive cyber attacks by Russian hackers. 188 high-level attacks were launched on the Britain in three months. The Russian hackers get into systems to obtain information from the UK government policy. The information they extract ranges from energy to diplomacy to information on a sector in question according to Ciaran Martins.
Most of UK attacks are backed by Russian state sponsor hackers, and there has been a step change in Russian aggression in cyberspace. “Over the last two years there has been a step change in Russian aggression in cyberspace,” said Ciaran Martin. He further said a part of”that step change has been a series of attacks on political institutions, political parties, and parliamentary organizations.”
Cyber crime has been predicted to increase in the coming years as some experts believe that the recent global attack was not the first, and it will not be the last either. Authorities in the UK have therefore focused on hunting down the WannaCry hackers.
Cyber Attack Is Rising In the United Kingdom
The main finding of the 2017 Cyber Security Breach Survey states that the proportion of cyber attacks on websites and the various social media pages has risen by 8% and 9% respectively since 2016 in the United Kingdom.
According to the survey, all the businesses in the United Kingdom which were considered in the survey are exposed to cyber security risk.
As individuals and businesses find ways and means to protect their data under a reliable security, cyber criminals or hackers are also coming out with a new method of hacking.
According to a report, cyber attack doubled in the UK last year. Most of the firms in the UK also detected a breach of data. A cyber attack in the UK is commonly an email fraudulent. The chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre, Ciaran Martin, stressed on the fact that the less sophisticated attack causes the most damage, and should be prioritized for basic security.
“The majority of successful cyber attacks is not that sophisticated but can cause serious commercial damage. By getting the basic defenses right, businesses of every size can protect their reputation, finances, and operating capabilities,” said Ciaran Martin.
Cyber crime after outshining traditional crime in the UK is still predicted to increase in the future. The managing director at Cylance, Anton Grashion said: “This is probably an underestimate if anything. Firstly, this assumes they even know they have been hit. Secondly, people are more likely to under-report.”
Phishing method is usually employed by these hackers. Fake emails are sent to victims, and once they click on them, their passwords and other credentials are sent to the hackers. Businesses and individuals are therefore advised to be sure of the kind of links they click on the internet.
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