Archive for the 'Identity Theft' Category

Risky Surfing

On a regular surfing day we all come across a few questionable sites tempting us to click the link with enticing keywords. We’ve all learned our lesson in one way or another but statistically some domains are more riskier than others. A recent study rated sites based on their risk level and exposure to malware and guess who came out on top?

Vietnam domains (.VN) supposedly are the most prone to risk at 29% That number may not be surprising but the increase over last year’s number (0.9%) should be concerning. A significant increase over last year has to make security experts wonder, what the heck is going on with .VN domains? Russia (.RU) is down at number 5 with 10% of sites deemed to be risky.

So what was the most safe? Think of tentacle porn and go to your happy place. Japan (.JP) with 0.1% of sites deemed risky. Although content originating from Japan is already NSFW but you already knew that. Cyber criminals are opportunistic as ever and sites can go up and down in the blink of an eye. Happy surfing!

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RIM wins reprieve

To ban or not to ban. Well for UAE mobile users it looks like you are in the clear for now. The Oct. 11 deadline to ban all RIM based phone communications has now been called off. According to sources an agreement has been worked out to satisfy both sides. My guess is that a temporary solution is working as a proof of concept and putting the necessary hardware in place is in the works. So looks like the 500,000 Blackberry users will be able to continue to happily message away with the UAE government/RIM monitoring conversations. Governments accessing corporate data is going to open a whole new can of worms. Get ready for a few months of economic instability once a few corrupt government employees get their hands on inside information and start making big stock market bets. Let the data leaks begin!

Lawyers get hacked

Over in the UK data loss isn’t a new problem, actually quite a common occurrence. So let me recap the chain of events for this particular law firm. Collect personal data from ISP for lawsuit, then get hacked, have data distributed on said Internet available for all to see, prepare to get sued by angry porn addicts. Not quite the standard plan but let’s see how this works out. ACS: Law suffered a major data breach exposing the tawdry details of some 5,300 Sky broadband customers. Apparently the firm was targeted specifically and their database and contents pilfered from under their noses. Privacy proponents argued that the data was not secured, not even encrypted thus leaving the data exposed for cyber criminals. The Information Commissioner is investigating.

Latest virus targets corporate America

Check your email box lately? Perhaps you saw something with “Here you have” in the subject line. Many employees at big name companies did as well. In a seemingly targeted attack, Comcast, ABC and Coca-Cola and others received the peculiar email. So tempting that many simply clicked the attachment and unknowingly installed the virus. The virus reportedly spreads using the victims address book and then attempts to steal passwords. McAfee Labs has been investigating the latest virus and released an update. The originating email address are no longer active and the attacks have since moved on as quickly as they started. So please do not click on any attachments in any emails you receive, and if you absolutely have to, save the file and scan it before opening or running it.

Toshiba HDs with Wipe Technology

Data security is always on the minds of corporate America, especially when it comes to top secret trade information. Encryption not good enough for you? Let me introduce you to the new line of Toshiba hard drives. A new quick wipe technology built in to Toshiba Self Encrypting Drive (SED).

“Wipe is a technology that can automatically invalidate an HDD security key when its power supply is turned off, instantly making all data in the drive indecipherable.”

Meaning? The data is scrambled into pieces using an algorithm. The algorithm is locked in a box. The box needs a key to open. If the security senses a breach, the key is destroyed. No key = no box = no algorithm = no data. That’s taking security for the regular joe to a whole new level. Now just be sure to remember your login password.

Keeping a tab on your tabs

Are you a multitasking short attention spanned surfer like me? Or perhaps like the masses of web surfers it might be a good idea to un-check that java script option in your browser. A new phishing tactic is relying on your absent mindedness to gain access to your precious accounts. The phishing site appears to be harmless until it attempts to run a time delayed java script. The script alters the appearance of one of your tabbed browser screens (ie. from your gmail account login page to a fake gmail login page). Thus when you return to that tab you wrongly assume it is safe to enter in your account information.

Crafty indeed. I hardly check URLs in tabbed screens when I return to them but I certainly will from now on. This attack can be used on any website you visit so be sure to keep tabs on your tabs.

Bill aims to cut down the spam

Perhaps some relief is in sight for your email inbox. Canadian Industry Minister Tony Clement has proposed two bills aimed at protecting web surfers from identity theft and spam. Unfortunately spam has just become a part of everyday life and for the most part attempts to reduce or eliminate it have been futile. It’s estimated that spam costs Canadians over $3 billion in network security and lost productivity costs. It’s certainly a step in the right direction. Now if we could only get other countries on board we could free up some bandwidth and make the Internet fast again.


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