Fraud Edge

They're attacking you

Learn the three types of hackers

I met guest columnist, Jonathan Nichols, a cyberintelligence consultant at ZeroFox, during an Institute for Fraud Prevention ( conference where he was a panelist and spoke on bitcoin and money laundering. I was impressed by his five years in building cyberthreat intelligence teams within the U.S. Department of Defense. Also, in the private sector, Jonathan worked for 10 years in psychological operations for the U.S. Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. In this column, he describes hacking in three different configurations — knowledge that all academics can pass on to their budding fraud examiners. — Pat Johnson

You have to tell your students that the good guys are losing the battle to hackers. Organizations are vulnerable, and criminals are perpetrating vast amounts of online fraud daily. Here's what you can teach them.

Let's start with three types of hackers with different motivations: (1) cash (2) governments and (3) ideas. We call these three groups, respectively, "carders," "APTs" (short for "advanced persistent threats") and "hacktivists." Although there's some overlap (a hacktivist might decide to dabble in more lucrative activities) these distinctions are fairly rigid. (Note I don't distinguish terrorists from hacktivists. Hacking for political aim is the same even if you're willing to kill for your ideals.)

Let's talk about how each type of hacker can attack organizations and their clients.

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