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Microsoft Squelches Trickbot Ransomware Network
October 13, 2020
An outlaw online network that's been used to infect millions of computers with ransomware has been disrupted by Microsoft. The company announced Monday that, together with telecommunications providers around the world, it was able to cut off the infrastructure used by the Trickbot botnet so it could no longer be used to initiate new infections or activate ransomware already planted on computer systems.
The Risks and Consequences of Lax Patch Management
September 29, 2020
Earlier this month, a woman with a life-threatening condition passed away after hackers crashed the IT systems of a major hospital in the city of Dusseldorf. Incidents like this raise the question of why corporations do not patch vulnerabilities as soon as software manufacturers issue a fix.
Google's New Phone App Feature ID's Legit Business Calls
September 9, 2020
Google has taken a step toward controlling spam voice calls on Android devices with a new addition to its phone app. The "Verified Calls" feature will display a caller's name, logo, reason for calling and a verification symbol indicating a business has been verified by Google. The service will initially roll out in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and India, with more countries to follow.
Reported Data Breaches Decline in H1 2020
September 3, 2020
Data breaches were rampant in 2019, occurring at an unprecedented pace. However, the first half of this year has seen a reduction in the number of reported events. Reported being the operative word. In all, more than 15 billion records were exposed in nearly 7,100 data breaches last year. This year however, the number of publicly reported data breaches has decreased.
Software Piracy Spreading With the Virus
September 1, 2020
Software piracy involves much more than businesses and consumers using illegal copies of computer programs. What lurks within the pirated copies is often rogue code -- malware -- that can be just as deadly to computers and users' finances. Software companies are reporting that piracy has increased 20 to 30 percent due to COVID-19.
Online Business Scams Decline as Consumer COVID Fraud Rises
August 26, 2020
Online bandits are decreasing their schemes against businesses but increasing COVID-19 scams aimed at consumers, according to a report released Tuesday by TransUnion. Suspected fraudulent digital transactions against businesses worldwide dropped nine percent from the lockdown phase of the pandemic to the reopening phase.
Pandemic Gooses Stolen Credentials Prices on Dark Web
August 25, 2020
After crashing in 2019, Dark Web markets for stolen credentials rebounded during the first half of 2020, largely due to major shifts in consumer behavior caused by the global pandemic. Hacked accounts for delivery services and physical fitness brands are some of the highest priced items on the market, according to a recent report.
Summer Stats Show a Frenzy of Sales and a Flurry of Fraud
August 21, 2020
Despite the struggles the pandemic imposes on the economy, consumer activity gives both retailers and e-tailers hope for continued growth as the recovery persists. Though fraud continues to escalate as criminals take advantage of card-not-present payment methods, including buy online pick-up in store (BOPIS), or click-and-collect.
Digital Sales Boom Puts Spotlight on Fraud Control Systems
July 30, 2020
The move by retailers to online and mobile selling to survive the pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in digital fraud activity. The "2020 True Cost of Fraud Study: E-commerce/Retail Edition" by LexisNexis Risk Solutions found this to be partly because some fraud control systems are outdated, and partly because of increased transaction volume.
New Security Hole Puts Windows and Linux Users at Risk
July 29, 2020
If you are a Windows or Linux user, brace yourself for a long siege of vulnerability nightmares. The fix will be long and treacherous and could brick your computers. Eclypsium researchers have detailed a set of newly discovered vulnerabilities dubbed "BootHole" that opens up billions of Windows and Linux devices to attacks.
Digital Fraud Flourishing During Pandemic: Report
July 9, 2020
If you conducted e-commerce transactions since the pandemic struck, you have probably been the target, or even a victim, of online fraud. A report from Sift titled "Q2 2020 Digital Trust & Safety Index" details a 109 percent increase in content abuse and growth of the fraud economy from January through May 2020.
Twitter's Security Blunder: More Dangerous Than You Think
June 29, 2020
Twitter had a data security problem last week that might sound trivial. Email addresses, phone numbers, and the last four digits of the credit cards used to buy ads on Twitter were left in browser cache after the transaction, and that cache was not secured. This may seem trivial, but the consequences could be far more significant than you might think. Let's explore how.
Thunderbolt Flaw Opens Door for 'Evil Maid' Attack
May 12, 2020
A Dutch researcher has revealed a novel way to crack into a PC through a Thunderbolt port. The method, dubbed "Thunderspy" by researcher Björn Ruytenberg, sidesteps the login screen of a sleeping computer, as well as its hard disk encryption, to access all its data. "Thunderspy is stealth, meaning that you cannot find any traces of the attack. It does not require your involvement," he explained.
How to Stay Safe on the Internet, Part 3: Drive the Black Hatters Mad
May 1, 2020
Like conventional criminals, criminal hackers choose easy, lucrative targets. One group in the crosshairs is made up of companies that have data on millions of users, such as private sector entities with a Web presence. Why go after one user at a time when data is collected in one place? Criminal hackers also like to hunt small organizations that have modest capital but weak information security.
Zoom Boosts Security With Pick-Your-Route Feature
April 15, 2020
Zoom's paying customers will be able to choose the region they want to use for their virtual meetings. Paying customers will be able to opt in or out of a specific data center region, although they won't be able to change their default, which for most customers is the United States. Zoom has data centers in the U.S., Canada, Europe, India, Australia, China, Latin America, and Japan/Hong Kong.
The Pandemic's Toll on Privacy Laws
April 6, 2020
Life as we knew it before the coronavirus is gone forever, and many changes will manifest in the pandemic's aftermath. How will it impact privacy laws around the globe? No one knows for sure, and we will not know until after the coronavirus is behind us. Cybercriminals long have been taking advantage of the Internet, and now the spread of COVID-19 has sped up their evil work.
Risk Assessment: Buttress Account Security and Foil Fraudsters
March 30, 2020
Under ordinary circumstances, the average consumer can order a latte on the way to the coffee shop, book a last-minute trip to the coast, and come home to find groceries delivered -- all with the click of a button. What makes these transactions so smooth and effortless? It starts with account creation. Consumers increasingly are willing to create accounts with sites they interact with regularly.
Report: E-Commerce Account Takeovers, Shipping Fraud on the Rise
March 25, 2020
E-commerce account takeovers increased 347 percent and shipping fraud jumped 391 percent from 2018 to 2019, a fraud and identity solutions company reported. Fraudsters are gaining access to accounts using credential stuffing, romance scams, social engineering, phishing or hacking. The three-digit rise in account takeovers is connected to the rash of data breaches over the last decade.
COVID-19 and Computer Security, Part 2: Shoring Up Systems for Remote Workers
March 19, 2020
As companies send employees home in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, cybersecurity experts are warning that telecommuting could be putting company assets and data at risk. There are a number of precautions that employees working from home should consider to ensure that sensitive data isn't compromised by cybercriminals taking advantage of the health crisis.
Microsoft Leaves Necurs Botnet in Shambles
March 13, 2020
Microsoft and partners have disrupted the Necurs botnet group blamed for infecting more than 9 million computers globally. There are 11 botnets under the Necurs umbrella, all apparently controlled by a single group, according to Valter Santos, security researcher at Bitsight, which worked with Microsoft on the takedown. Four of those botnets account for about 95 percent of all infections.
COVID-19 and Computer Security, Part 1: Telecommuting Risks
March 12, 2020
The United States Office of Personnel Management last week urged agencies to prepare to allow federal employees to telework -- that is, work remotely.This came on the heels of the Department of Homeland Security closing its facilities in Washington state, after learning an employee had visited the Life Care facility in the city of Kirkland, which is ground zero for the state's COVID-19 outbreak.
Shop Safe Act Targets E-Commerce Counterfeiters
March 4, 2020
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced legislation that aims to protect online shoppers from purchasing counterfeit goods. The proposed Shop Safe Act would establish trademark liability for companies that sell counterfeits that pose a risk to consumer health and safety. It also would impose requirements online platforms to curb counterfeiting.
The Dark Art of Turning Mountains of Stolen Data Into Cash
February 28, 2020
We're only two months into a new year and already hundreds of millions of personal records have been compromised, including 123 million records from sporting retailer Decathlon and another 10.6 million records from MGM Resorts hotels. These announcements followed fuel and convenience chain Wawa's revelation that it was the victim of a nine-month-long breach of its payment card systems.
Extortion Artists Prey on AdSense Users
February 19, 2020
A new extortion scheme targets users of Google's AdSense program. The scam threatens to flood a website with bogus traffic until Google suspends the site's AdSense account, unless the owner pays $5,000 in bitcoin to stop the attack, security blogger Brian Krebs reported. The grifters appear to be exploiting a click-fraud crackdown Google launched last summer.
The Clear and Present Ransomware Danger
February 12, 2020
Ransomware hit at least 966 U.S. government agencies, educational establishments and healthcare providers in 2019, at a cost possibly exceeding $7.5 billion. The victims included 113 state and municipal governments and agencies; 764 healthcare providers; and 89 universities, colleges and school districts. Operations at up to 1,233 individual schools potentially were affected.
Philips Hue Vulnerability Shines Light on Possible IoT Security Nightmare
February 6, 2020
A vulnerability in Philips Hue smart lightbulbs and their controller bridges could allow intruders to infiltrate networks with a remote exploit, Check Point Software Technologies has disclosed. The researchers notified the owner of the Philips Hue brand about the vulnerability in November, and it issued a patched firmware version through an automatic update.
Bridging the IoT Innovation-Security Gap
February 4, 2020
There is a problem with the Internet of Things: It's incredibly insecure. This is not a problem that is inherent to the idea of smart devices. Wearables, smart houses, and fitness tracking apps can be made secure -- or at least more secure than they currently are. The problem, instead, is one that largely has been created by the companies that make IoT devices.
Feds Seek Restraining Orders in Robocall Cases
January 30, 2020
The DoJ has filed complaints in two landmark cases calling for temporary restraining orders against five companies and three individuals alleged to have carried hundreds of millions of fraudulent robocalls to American consumers. "This is the first time the DoJ is taking legal action against anyone for facilitating fraudulent robocalls," said Liz Miller, principal analyst at Constellation Research.
Feds Plan Crackdown on Online Counterfeit Traffic
January 29, 2020
The United States Department of Homeland Security last week released a report outlining its plans to combat online counterfeit product sellers. The value of counterfeit goods traded internationally rose from $200 billion in 2005 to $509 billion in 2016, according to DHS. Infringing goods valued at $1.4 billion were seized at U.S. borders in 2018, compared with $94 million worth in 2003.
Saudi Hack of Bezos' Phone Shines Bright Light on Security Challenges
January 24, 2020
A digital forensic analysis conducted by FTI Consulting concludes with "medium to high confidence" that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' smartphone was hacked through a malicious file sent from the WhatsApp account of Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. The malware was in an MP4 file attached to a WhatsApp message. UN special rapporteurs released technical elements of the report.
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Digital River - Sell Like a Local
How will the pandemic influence your holiday shopping habits this year?
I will shop online exclusively, for my own safety and to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
I will do some shopping online, and some in-person because I want to support merchants in my area.
I will shop online definitely, and I will consider local retailers -- but only if they provide curbside service.
I will only shop in-person because the risks associated with e-commerce outweigh my chance of catching COVID-19.
I will not do any holiday shopping this year due to circumstances related to the pandemic.
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