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Hacktivism Explained – CoverLink Insurance



Hackers exploit virtual vulnerabilities to gain access to networks and devices illegally. While most people engage in this activity for financial gain, others, called hacktivists, have different motives. These threatening actors usually engage in disruptive or harmful virtual activity on behalf of a political, social or religious cause. Individual or group hackers often work to expose fraud, expose corporate misconduct or greed, draw attention to human rights violations, protest against censorship, or highlight other social injustices.

To spread their message, hacktivists resort to various tactics, such as leaking sensitive information about and / or belonging to organizations, destroying websites and taking organizations offline. Hacktivists often target government agencies, multinational corporations and powerful individuals to expose an alleged injustice. The following are some of the motivating factors for hacktivism:

  • Political—This motivation drives malicious actors to promote or break a political agenda.
  • Social—This motive causes threatening actors to highlight social injustices.
  • Religious—This motivation encourages hacktivists to discredit or promote a religious ideology.
  • Anarchist—This motive inspires malicious actors to cause social distress by hacking entire populations.

Types of hacktivist attacks

Activism is a protected activity, but not hacking. Although hacktivists may have noble intentions, hacktivism is still categorized as cybercrime and is illegal regardless of motivation or outcome. In fact, hackers often use the same tools and tactics as regular hackers. Some common types of attacks include:

  • Denial-of-service (DoS) or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks̵
    1; DoS and DDoS attacks usually target large organizations and shut down machines or networks by flooding them with fake requests and making them inaccessible to the intended users.
  • Doxing– This tactic leaks confidential information from public figures, organizations or government agencies to the public.
  • Destruction—Hacktivists use defacement to change the appearance of a website, usually to spread activist agendas on government websites.
  • Data theft—Hacktivists can steal data, intellectual property or other proprietary information.

Prevent hacktivist attacks

Because hacktivism aims to draw attention to one thing, hacktivists often reveal their goals and intentions in advance to gain attention, recruit new supporters, or help fund their efforts. Because financial gain is not the goal, any business of any size can be at risk of being attacked and subjected to service interruptions, financial losses, data theft or damage to reputation. The following are ways to combat hacktivist attacks:

  • Educate all employees in best practices for cybersecurity. According to the IBM Cyber ​​Security Intelligence Index Report, 95% of cybersecurity intrusions are mainly caused by human error. Therefore, organizations must teach their employees about best cyber hygiene practices, including using strong password protection, only connect to secure Wi-Fi and be aware of phishing scams.
  • Keep all operating systems and other software up to date. Hackers typically gain access to networks and devices by exploiting holes and backdoors in operating systems and software. Organizations should keep their systems up to date with the latest security updates.
  • Use software that can prevent threats. Antivirus software can protect systems against unauthorized code or software used by hackers. It can detect real-time threats to ensure data security, and some antivirus programs provide automatic updates to further protect against new viruses.

We can help with Cyber ​​Insurance.

Hacktivists often believe that they are acting justly to promote their cause. However, their actions can cause serious injury, so it is important to take appropriate precautions to prevent such attacks. If you want additional information and resources, we are here to help you analyze your needs and make the right coverage coverage to protect your business from unnecessary risks. You can download a free copy of our e-book, or if you are ready to make Cyber ​​Liability Insurance part of your insurance portfolio, request a suggestion or download and get started with our Cyber ​​& Data Breach Insurance Application and we will work for you.




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