It's a new trend sweeping the malware community: make the virus look like an antivirus. What better way to hide, and sometimes extort money out of users? The new trend of "rogue" antivirus software is sweeping the Internet, and more than likely either you or someone you know has been bitten within the last two years.
Microsoft is offering a great quiz on their Microsoft Malware Protection Center Facebook page, which you can take for free. It will only take a few minutes, but it can mean the difference between life and death for your computer. It's absolutely worth your time.
(via ABC-13 News)
Look at this alarming report on hackers and their interest in sneaking into computers and viewing webcams. It's a definite possibility, and a real worry as webcams become ubiquitous. It's even possible to hack into a webcam without the user ever knowing. It is a real concern, and something we should all be thinking about.
What is Cyber Crime?
Cyber crime is a term that covers a broad scope of criminal activity using a computer. Some common examples of cyber crime include identity theft, financial fraud, web site defacements and cyber bullying. At an organizational level, cyber crime may involve the hacking of customer databases and theft of intellectual property. Many users think they can protect themselves, their accounts, and their PCs with just anti-spyware and anti-virus software. Cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and they are targeting consumers as well as public and private organizations. Therefore, addiitonal layers of defense are needed.
An Example of Cyber Crime
An example of one type of cyber crime is an “account takeover.” This happens when cyber criminals compromise your computer and install malicious software, such as “keyloggers” which record the key strokes, passwords, and other private information. This in turn allows them access to programs using your log-in credentials. Once these criminals steal your password, they may be able to breach your online bank account. These criminals can be anywhere in the world and may be able to transfer your money almost immediately.
What are the Effects of Cyber Crime?
The effects of a single, successful cyber attack can have far-reaching implications including financial losses, theft of intellectual property and loss of consumer confidence and trust. The overall monetary impact of cyber crime on society and government is estimated to be billions of dollars a year.
What Should We Do?
Training and awareness are important first steps in mitigating these attacks. All citizens, consumers, and employees should be aware of cyber threats and the actions they can take to protect their own information, as well as the information within their organization.
So… What can you do to minimize the risk of becoming a cyber crime victim?
Keys to Defending Against Advanced Persistent Threat
Thursday, December 13th
2:00pm -- 3:00pm (Eastern)
With the ever increasing cyber criminal activity, it is no longer enough to just detect Advanced Persistent Threats (APT). Organizations of all levels also need to actively defend the enterprise against these targeted cyber-attacks and successfully remove them from their network. In this presentation, we will review the latest cyber-threats and discuss steps organizations can take to gather actionable threat intelligence about the attackers' latest tools, techniques and more, so you can quickly and cost-effectively mitigate risk to your organization.
(by Kelley Goldblatt)
The Monday after Thanksgiving Day is known as Cyber Monday. It is a day when online retailers offer special deals and discounts to entice shoppers to visit their websites and purchase products from their online stores. More than 122 million people are expected to participate this year. The popularity of this day has also drawn scammers and cyber thieves who want to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers.
Cyber criminals are looking to gain access to customers’ personal information and computer information. Once this information is obtained, criminals can steal a persons’ identity, make fraudulent purchases with their financial information, take control of a users’ computer, and much more. The tips below can assist Cyber Monday participants in making smart decisions whenever making online purchases.
Tips for staying safe:
- Make sure that your purchasing device (computer, smartphone, tablet, etc) has anti-virus protection.
- Don’t make purchases over a free and/or public Wi-Fi
- Pause before clicking on any links from websites that are not well known to the shopper. If you do see a deal you are interested in, go to that company’s website through your Web browser, not from a hyperlink within an email.
- Do not download files. No deals will be found in a .zip or .exe attachment. Stores will not make customers download files with additional pricing information.
- Consider proactive deal-hunting. There are major aggregate sites that can help shoppers roundup and find deals from other trusted websites.
- When purchasing a product online, make sure to use a credit card and a site that uses SSL encryption. SSL encryption will be denoted by the URL starting with “https”.
- Be aware, debit cards and electronic money transfer accounts (PayPal) do not offer the same level of consumer protection as credit cards.
- Log off from the site once the order is completed.
(by Kristin Judge via AnnArbor.com)
The newest iPhone now has an added line for apps per page. Thank goodness! Not sure how I would have been able to manage without it!
It's hard to believe app management is now an issue for some mobile device users, but we are coming to rely on them more every day. I remember when I used to buy Sudoku books to take on airplanes. Now, I have three different Sudoku apps on my smartphone instead. Less hassle, and less space in my carry-on bag too.
Apps are used to get the news, communicate with friends, check flight times, share photos, get recipes, listen to music, and of course play games. The top 10 grossing apps of all time include seven games. Fruit Ninja and Doodle Jump are of course included. Current average app price is still less than $2, so they are affordable and always at your fingertips. (Apple Store Stats 2012, Impiger Moble)
For me, the lure of the app is the ability to click and use it instantly. That is also the part that concerns me. It is instant gratification, and I don’t even feel like I am spending money.
It is easy to see how someone may get into trouble with spending too much time and money on apps. But an even more dangerous risk than losing a little too much time or money on apps is losing our identity or other information if we don’t use them safely. Apps are here to stay, so we need to educate ourselves on how to use them securely.
Larry W., who attended WC4's Cyber 101 class on November 14, had this to say about his experience on AnnArbor.com:
I took this class yesterday. Exceeded my expectations. Information was presented in a manner anyone can understand. They demonstrated the risks, shared simple yet effective solutions to making my business more secure and clearly answered all of our questions.
In particular, they shared the fact that ALL wireless devices (ie. smartphones, tablets, laptops, bluetooth) are particularly vulnerable and desirable targets. Because many of us rely on them daily to in our businesses learning how to manage the risk is a good way to protect yourself and your customers information.
I was able to take what I learned in the morning and share it in the afternoon with a local non-profit. Effectively helping them to make their customer data more secure and closing an open wireless access point they didn't even know was operational!
If you don't know WHY 9-character passwords are better than 8, WHY PCIDSS compliance is important BEFORE you swipe a customers credit card in that FREE CARD READER on your smartphone. IF you don't know how EASILY credit card information can be stolen right out of your wallet or purse then do your business a favor and take a couple hours to learn how to manage the risks and protect both you and your customers data from the unthinkable.
The price is right...FREE!
PS. Even for those of us with a strong IT background, getting a quick CyberSecurity refresher is a good idea.
Thanks for the kind words, Larry! We hope the WC4 can make a difference in cyber security for everyone in Washtenaw County, MI!
The FBI has released a new game called SOS - Safe Online Surfing for children grades 3-8 to learn about how to stay safe on the open Internet. With issues of Internet security becoming so central in our daily lives, it's important that kids are education on how to be a good digital citizen. Teachers, please share this with your students; parents, your kids will love it!
The Cyber Citizenship Coalition (WC4) will be holding a class on how to protect your business from cyber-attack. "Understanding how vulnerable you are to attack and what you can do about it today is the first step to protecting your computers and data," says Ms. Quiton, class facilitator.
Led by two local cyber security professionals, the first class will take place October 29th at the SPARK East Business Incubator located at 215 West Michigan Avenue starting at 9:00 AM. (Parking at Michigan and Hamilton)
A second class will be held on November 12th located at the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce, 115 West Huron, 3rd Floor, starting at 9:00 AM. (Parking at First & Huron)
The classes will cover topics ranging from demonstrations on how easy it is for any business to become a target of a cyber-attack and what it looks like to get hacked, to providing insight on what happens when bad guys get in your system.
A question and answer session to follow. We will answer questions on what simple steps you can take to make your computers and data less of a target and what to do if you are.
The MS-ISAC has launched its second annual Cyber Pledge Contest. The pledge period opened up on September 10th and will continues through October 31st.
The purpose of the contest to promote cyber security to state and local governments. Currently, we have more than 7,300 pledges signed with California leading in the state category followed by Massachusetts and Mississippi. On the local government side, Jackson County, Mississippi is in the lead followed by Sacramento County, California and Suffolk County, Massachusetts. The importance of spreading the message about safe online behavior has never been more important. We are all interconnected, and for only a minimal investment of time, you can help to reinforce the importance about online safety among your citizens.
In the face of these online dangers it is important that we remind ourselves of the importance of following good cyber security practices. Cyber Security Is Our Shared Responsibility and by taking proactive steps every day, we can improve our ability to stay safe.