There’s no Moore’s Law for hacking innovation, but anyone who follows cyber security knows that techniques get bolder and more sophisticated each year. The Next Wave of Cyber-attacks will not steal data but will change it. It is about the direct manipulation data in order to change perceptions of what is real and what is not.
Hackers manipulate for some sort of tactical or strategic effect, mainly data that affects critical infrastructure is their target.
What is data manipulation attack?
Referred to as data manipulation, the practice of altering digital documents and other information could mean disaster for corporations, health care providers, national security agencies and individuals around the world. In essence, hackers can infiltrate networks via any attack vector, find their way into databases and applications, and change information contained in those systems, rather than stealing data and holding it for ransom. It is the latest technique in the “art of war in cyberspace.”
Why everyone should care
By just manipulating data instead of stealing it, hackers could be more successful in these practices than if they stuck to data theft. With the abundance of breaches occurring on a regular basis, it is only a matter of time before organizations discover that their sensitive information and possible intellectual property has been significantly changed. Even worse, some cyber-attacks could merely be reconnaissance missions. Once inside systems, hackers can slowly collect data and analyze information, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike.
Imagine this scenario: Cybercriminals steal intellectual property in a typical data breach, yet remain undiscovered on corporate networks for months. When the breached company goes to launch a product, it could find that all its data has been altered. Now, not only did hackers make off with trade secrets and product ideas, but they made it impossible for a business to recover the original documents.
Is data manipulation already occurring?
The big attacks that have been disclosed so far in 2015 involved the theft of data, and a lot of it. Some 21 million personnel records were taken from the Office of Personnel Management, likely by China, while 4,000 records, some with “sensitive” information, were stolen from the Joint Chiefs civilian email system.
- Entities must find solutions that secure data and ensure its integrity at all times.
- CloudMask is a data-centric protection solution that leverages tokenization technologies to secure data in all its stages. It provides users with control over encryption keys, ensuring that all data is authentic whether it is sent via email or storage in the cloud.