To start, an unauthorized user is someone who doesn’t have permission to access a computer or a system. Unauthorized access is bypassing security policies and controls to said computer or system. Here are a few ways this happens:
In Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, the FBI’s 2020 Internet Crime Report, and EUROPOL’s Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment report for 2020, the most effective way for someone to gain unauthorized access is through Social Engineering(phishing, vishing, SMiShing, etc). This would be using shady emails, text messages, phone calls, and fake websites to steal login credentials.
Stolen login credentials: This can happen either by hacking into databases or scouring the Internet and darkweb for password dumps/leaks. These usernames and passwords are then used to attempt to login to a computer and other accounts.
Vulnerabilities: Unauthorized access could be accomplished by exploiting weaknesses in certain network ports that are open, services that are running, or flaws in coding. Devices with hardcoded passwords, meaning the manufacturer has permanently set an unchangeable password, would always allow a bad actor in if they find this password. Hardware/software with default passwords that no one changes after setup are another issue. If a bad actor finds a device such as a router, for example, one of the first things they might do is test to see if any default username and passwords are used. There are lists that exist with default login credentials that help them out with this.
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