Telling you when the first cybercrime was committed, why cybersecurity engineers are needed today, and what are the main purposes of this field.
The Melissa virus
On March 26, 1999, the rapid spread of a virus, which programmer David Lee Smith named Melissa in honor of a stripper from Florida (who said romance is dead?), began on the Internet. The Melissa virus was launched when users downloaded a file which, as Smith promised, contained free passwords for premium access to sites with adult content.
Predictably, there were no passwords in the file, but there surely was a virus hacking Microsoft Outlook mail and sending emails with attachments to the first fifty contacts. In order for the recipients to open the letters and download the infected file, the subject of the email sounded like "Here is the document you requested… Don't show it to anyone :)", and the attachments were called "sexxxy.jpg" or "your naked wife.jpg ".
Despite the fact that the virus was not used to steal personal or financial data, it was still able to cause great damage: many servers were overloaded, Internet connection speed dropped critically in some regions of the United States, and more than 300 large corporations, including Microsoft, had technical problems.
The first two cybercrimes
In April of the same year, the FBI managed to reach Smith, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 20 months in prison and had to pay a fine of $ 5,000.
This was the second cybercrime incident in history — the first one was a major cyberattack made by a student of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1989 (the first cybercrime in history), which infected the computers of many students and teachers of completely different American colleges.
Both cases prompted the special services to organize a separate cybercrime department within the FBI.
Cybercrime is developing rapidly: even today, not only hacker attacks occur regularly, but also the theft of data from individual companies.
Yahoo has been hacked several times and the consequences were very serious — as a result of one of them, which occurred in the midst of negotiations between Yahoo and a potential business partner, the damage to the company's reputation amounted to several thousand dollars and negatively affected further negotiations.
In 2014, Sony Pictures also suffered from cyber attacks: the Guardians of Peace (or simply GOP) group stole more than 300 terabytes of important confidential data.
The situation was further complicated by the fact that the US intelligence services suspected North Korea of involvement in the organization of the attack: according to them, the motive could be discontent caused in Korea by the film "The Interview" (it humorously mentioned the leader of the Korean state), which was preparing for release — the cyber attack was designed to prevent the release of the film.
Cybercrime in South Korea
Recently, new types of blackmail related to cyber attacks have also appeared: for example, Korea became the leader in the number of digital sexual crimes last year.
Women regularly complain not only to the disclosure of their intimate photos (including blackmail), but the illegal use of photos and videos — for example, one of the women who received a watch as a gift from her boss, found that they had a video surveillance system, and everything happening in the room was broadcast on someone's computer.
Experts believe that the development of cybercrimes in Korea was caused by advanced technologies, including high-speed streaming data transmission.
Cybersecurity today: in-demand IT professions
Taking into account the intensive development of technologies and the storage of huge amounts of data in digital format, concern for security and safety is now becoming one of the main priorities for corporations.
This also explains the increased demand for cybersecurity engineers: in our article on IT market trends for 2022, we wrote that this profession will remain one of the most popular in the near future. In addition to cybersecurity engineers, companies need IT specialists such as:
Security software developer;
Information security analyst;
Information security architect.
The field of cybersecurity is now developing rapidly, so many IT specialists of different levels are required: thanks to this, even junior candidates have the opportunity to find a suitable option for themselves and gain experience in the right profile.
Do you like reading our articles about different IT industries? Earlier we wrote about digital forensics and told how modern technologies help special services solve crimes. If you haven't read it yet, it's time to get acquainted :)