WARNING, SCAMMERS/HACKERS ARE RAMPANT…OR ARE THEY?
The Security Minister is reporting that Jamaican scammers are on the rise and that they are using sophisticated ways to carry out their criminal activities. My questions to the Minister are:
- What methods are we using to arrive at the above assumption?
- Which areas are these individuals operating from?
I ask these questions due to the fact we are in a technologically advanced age which allow computer users to cloak and clone IP addresses and individuals use these disguises to hide their true online identities. One can stay from anywhere in the world and carry out cyber crimes.
Do We Know The Difference Between a Scammer and Hacker?
Are we able to make a proper distinction between a SCAMMER and a HACKER? I am sure that most of our worries are scamming and not hacking. Hackers use sophisticated ways to get information from their victims while scamming does not require codes and software hacks. Scammers are street smart individuals with some, little or no knowledge of coding and Information technology. They simply retrieve sensitive information from the public in various forms. The danger in all of the above is that scammers can also be hackers!
The scammers get information from legitimate workers of private and government departments. They also source information as they garner personal details from fellow hoodlums, gang members, burglars, pickpockets, thieves and car hijackers. Stored data on unused smartphones and other computer devices (hard drives) may also be a medium through which personal data is retrieved. This wealth of data information is normally bartered for money, guns or drugs.
Access to this information now unearths a plethora of cyber crimes such as identity theft, lotto scamming and other illegal online activities. There is no doubt that we do identify this type of behavior in Jamaica but hacking and other highly sophisticated cybercrimes are rarely synonymous among Jamaicans.
The captioned individuals are fortunate enough to equip themselves with the requisite knowledge of I.T or they are graduates of tertiary institutions or dropouts who majored in the field of computer studies or I.T. Some hackers work professionally for money while some just carry out their acts for the fun of being in control.
Some are hired by people in high places while there are others who are employed in strategic places in our organizations. Jamaican hacking has a very low threat level and there is no empirical data which supports the allegations that the cybercrime is rampant in the country.
Let’s Tighten Our Grip
After visiting some of our private and government websites in Jamaica, I see several loopholes for cyber attacks. The absence of an SSL certificate and Virus protection software would increase the risk of hacking to a great extent. In addition, even our Facebook account becomes vulnerable to hacks when we leave our account unattended. Some use public computers to transact business instead of using their personal devices.
While we speculate who are the actual perpetrators of the above cyber crimes, let us pull ALL stops to compete with the rest of the world in terms of beefing up our security. Should we review the compensation given to digital marketers and IT specialists since their sills are currently in high demand?
Let us also invest greatly in the information technology and digital marketing in Jamaica. When we know who are our real enemies in the cyber world, he can then be as effective as our predators. Think on these things…
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