How hackers steal money

How hackers steal money online

Scandals surrounding problematic hacker attacks - we all know them or have heard of them. Time and again, individual hackers or entire hacker networks manage to gain access to private data and protected networks. And the most threatening attacks online now also go hand in hand with the theft of money.

But how do hackers actually get hold of someone else's money?
The possibilities are seemingly endless. The scandals range from password theft and tampering with remote control software to compromised software from large companies and the data stored in it.

Hacker attacks against the end user

The biggest problems regarding security on the Internet are still buried in the behavior of the users. Many internet users do not protect themselves adequately, are too naive or too negligent and thus represent the greatest security risk of the system. So you can do something for your own security and thus the risk of becoming the target of hacker attacks and the associated money theft, minimize:

  • Use current virus software:
    One simple thing, modern anti-virus programs. They often come pre-installed on the device and should always be kept up-to-date. Make regular updates and make sure the software is always up to date.
  • Choose secure passwords:
    Another essential point is the passwords that are used online. They should not only be as safe as possible, i.e. not contain any information that can be easily deduced such as dates of birth, names or the like, but should also be changed regularly. Also, avoid using the same password on multiple websites.
  • Keep passwords and sensitive information secret:
    Never give your passwords to anyone, especially not via email or messaging systems. Also, be careful with received emails! Even if these look official, they could come from hackers who attempted phishing with them.
  • Check the reliability and security of the websites used:
    Money transactions and transfers should only be made on secure and reputable platforms on the Internet. Regardless of whether it is about online shopping or leisure activities. Make sure that you only buy in reputable online shops, play in reputable casinos and generally only pay online where secure encrypted data transmission is used.
  • Only use online banking on secure devices:
    Use your online banking and the option to pay online, preferably only on your own devices and avoid freely accessible devices and networks as well as unsecured WiFi connections.

So there are a lot of ways you can do something for your own security and protection from hackers. Even if there is no such thing as complete protection, the more you take care of security on the Internet, the less likely it is that you will be a victim of a hacker attack.

Steal money through online banking

In addition to the procedures already mentioned (phishing mails, insecure passwords or unencrypted data transfers), the most common money thefts by hackers occur in online banking. The TAN process is therefore trying to protect customer accounts as well as possible. Nevertheless, there have been some security gaps in the TAN procedure in the past. Does that mean that you should stay away from online banking and that despite the TAN procedure, there is a risk of financial transactions on the Internet?

Not necessarily. The safety precautions are constantly being improved and the focus on customer safety increased. A new EU directive (revised PSD2 directive) also recently came into force. It provides even more protection for online banking and, in addition to the password, also requires a biometric element and the possession of a registered device when logging in. In the future, an additional security step must be carried out with the transfer and a password must be entered.

Hackers will probably continue to try to gain unauthorized access to third-party systems and steal money online. With a little caution and thanks to the increased security measures, however, you can now protect yourself comparatively well against such thefts.

Source of contribution image: Thinkstock by Getty-Images