In 2016, a group of hackers calling themselves “The Impact Team” hacked into Ashley Madison dating website and exposed the personal information of 37 million users. The hackers claimed to have done this to expose the company’s use of “fembots,” or fake female profiles, to lure male users into paying for the service.
The incident was widely covered in the media and led to a great deal of embarrassment for many of the users, including some public figures. Many also found it quite amusing because Ashley Madison’s slogan was “Life is short. Have an affair.” Better be careful when you try a dating site next!
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Cybersecurity Ventures, a global researcher and publisher covering the global cyber economy and a source for cybersecurity facts, expects global cybercrime costs to grow by 15 per cent per year over the next few years, reaching $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015. This represents the most significant transfer of economic wealth in history and risks the incentives for innovation and investment.
Cybersecurity threats can cause certain dangers to individuals, businesses, and governments. Some of the potential dangers include:
Data breaches: Hackers can access information such as financial data, personal information, and confidential business information.
Ransomware attacks: Hackers can encrypt a victim’s files and demand a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key.
Distributed denial of service attacks: Hackers can overload a website or network with traffic, making it unavailable to legitimate users. It’s very common in telecom, and in my last job, we experienced it.
Phishing scams: Hackers can trick individuals into providing sensitive information through fraudulent emails or websites.
Malware: Hackers can install malicious software on a victim’s device, allowing them to control it or steal information.
Industrial control system attacks: Attackers can target control systems for critical infrastructure such as power plants, water treatment facilities, and transportation systems.
Overall, cyber security threats can lead to financial loss, reputational damage and even physical harm in some cases.
The field of cybersecurity is evolving as new technologies and threats emerge. Some trends and developments that may shape the future include:
Increased adoption of cloud computing and Internet of Things devices: As more businesses and individuals adopt cloud services and connect more devices to internet, the number of potential attack vectors will increase.
Greater use of artificial intelligence and machine learning: These technologies can detect and respond to cyber threats in real time, but they also raise new concerns about the potential for malicious actors to use AI to launch more sophisticated attacks.
Growing focus on supply chain security: As more companies rely on third-party vendors and partners, the potential for supply chain attacks will increase.
Quantum computing: As quantum computing matures, it will become a more viable tool for cyber attackers to break encryption and other security measures.
5G and 6G: As the world moves to 5G and 6G networks, the number of IoT devices will increase, bringing new challenges to security at the edge, device security, and network security.
Overall, the future of cybersecurity will involve a continued emphasis on technological and human-based solutions, a greater focus on collaboration between public and private sectors, and up-to-date education.
True that cyber security is preparing us for what is next and not last. While Bangladesh is transforming itself from a digital to a smart country, its cyber security will be the critical enabler. When you get smart, the government also gets smart and vice versa. Here, smartness without security is like a headless chicken.
The author is a telecom and management expert