Cyber hijacking, a form of cybercrime, entails a hacker seizing control of a victim’s computer or mobile device with the intention of accessing and thieving data or other valuable information. Instances of cyber hijacking transpire when a hacker exploits an already known vulnerability within a victim’s computer system or discovers a previously undisclosed vulnerability, thereby gaining unauthorized access. The seven main types of cyber hijacking are browser hijacking, session hijacking, domain hijacking, clipboard hijacking, domain name system (DNS) hijacking, Internet Protocol (IP) hijacking, and page hijacking. 

Most of us remember, in 2020 hackers initiated a software supply chain hijack on SolarWinds’ Orion software, that harmed businesses and government agencies worldwide. They inserted malicious code, gaining access to data and networks of SolarWinds’ customers, as well as their clients and partners. This large-scale cyber hijacking manipulated Orion’s software updates to include a backdoor. The compromised updates were then sent to notable organizations like Microsoft, FireEye, and U.S. government departments. This unprecedented incident, due to the scale and impact, emphasized the importance of robust cybersecurity measures.

Lucian Constantin of CSO Online reported on the event and stated, “Supply chain attacks are some of the hardest types of threats to prevent because they take advantage of trust relationships between vendors and customers and machine-to-machine communication channels, such as software update mechanisms that are inherently trusted by users.” It’s likely that the number of software supply-chain attacks will increase in the future, especially as other attackers see how successful and wide-ranging they can be. 

According to Cybercrime Magazine, in 2021 ransomware cost the world 20 billion dollars. That number is expected to rise to 265 billion dollars by 2031. Data hijacking poses a severe threat to essential services, such as healthcare, finance, and public infrastructure. The disruption to services that affect patient care, financial stability, and public safety, would be far-reaching and have substantial consequences. In order to circumvent data hijacking businesses must prepare with robust cybersecurity measures, enhance employee awareness and training, and forge vigorous incident response plans. When deploying any new software or technology into networks, companies should be asking themselves what could happen if that product gets compromised by a malicious update?

Hacking and data hijacking on the dark web present significant risks to individuals and organizations alike. By understanding the scale of the threat we can fortify our digital defenses and mitigate the impact of cybercrime. Robust cybersecurity measures, employee education, and incident response planning are key elements in safeguarding against hacking and data hijacking. As we navigate the complexities of the digital landscape, it is crucial to remain vigilant and proactive in our efforts to protect sensitive information and preserve the integrity of our digital systems. Reach out to IQ Wired today to audit your cybersecurity measures and strengthen your ability to fight back against a cyber hijacking attack.