1. What a Cyber-Attack Looks Like
Who carries out cyber-attacks and for what purpose?
Is it military or industrial spies? Or is it hackers?
Spies seek to obtain useful information for their own
countries and companies, such as military secrets and
information on advanced research. On the other hand,
the cyber-attacks we normally encounter are aimed at
something that will benefit the attacker, such as personal
information or money.
Since spies must accomplish their objective, they will
attack with any and all means, and try to intrude no matter
how strong security is. They are a problem and there is no
way to completely stop them for now.
Meanwhile, cyber-attacks for profit are a business
for attackers. For example, given that they will avoid
something with strong security because it takes time and
effort (≈ the cost is too high) and attack things that take
little effort (≈ cheap), attackers will tend to go after easy
targets, so if we increase the security level of our devices,
we are less susceptible to attack to some extent. Think
of it as you making an effort to reduce the probability of
being victimized, even though it is difficult to completely
prevent an attack.
Dealing with cyber-attacks is not like in cartoons where
the hero appears to stop the bad guy, nor can they be
tightly defended digitally. First of all, we need to steadily
build up the way to secure safety.
Please keep this in mind as we continue to explain the
story about cybersecurity.
1 Who carries out cyber-attacks? How do they do it?
1 What a Cyber-Attack Looks Like
Money and information?
Attackers, Hackers, and Crackers
Newspapers, magazines, and TV, often refer
those who carry out cyber-attacks as “hackers.”
The truth is, however, this way of putting it is not
A hacker is a sort of honorific name for someone
with expert computer knowledge and skills, but it
does not mean that they are attackers who seek
to do harm. The work they do using their skills is
called “hacking” or simply a “hack,” and likewise
this does not necessarily mean that they intend to
do bad things.
However, because there are people who use their
knowledge and skills with malice, to distinguish
them from those with good intentions, they are
called “black hat hackers” or “black hats,” while
those who seek to penetrate defenses are called
“crackers,” and those who carry out attacks,
And in Japan, they are also called “bad hackers”
or “malicious hackers”. Conversely, people who
use their expert knowledge and skills with good
intent are called “white hat hackers,” “white hats,”
or “white hackers,” and in Japan they are also
called “good hackers” or “ethical hackers.”
In this book we will use these terms based on their
original meaning, so please remember them and
try and use the correct name so that it will become
widely used in everyday life.