Robert Siciliano's Blog (321)

Parents Beware of Finstagram

You have surely heard of Instagram, the photo sharing social network, but what about “Finstagram?” If you are like most parents, you have rules about the social media practices of your kids. However, once you learn about Finstagram, those might all go out the window.

When you combine the words “fake” and “Instagram,” you get Finstagram. Essentially, these are fake, or alternative, Instagram accounts that are created by teens, for the most part. These accounts can be…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on April 25, 2017 at 2:19pm — No Comments

Study Shows Millennials Choose Convenience Over Security

To those of us consider Tom Cruise the movie star of our day or even Grunge as the music we grew up with, looking at millennials, and the way they view life, is fascinating. These “kids” or young adults, many are brilliant. They really do define “disruption”.

However, that doesn’t mean that this tech savvy generation is always right. In fact, a new study shows just the opposite when it comes to internet safety. Though, they can also teach us a few things and are…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on April 18, 2017 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Hey Kids, the Internet is FOS

The internet is a beautiful place. It is the way we communicate, the way we create, and the biggest business platform that has ever been generated. However, it is also a hazard, as anyone can put anything on it, and it’s extremely difficult to tell fact from fiction…especially if you are a kid.

A Stanford study looked at the ability, or inability in this case, of almost 8,000 students to tell fake news stories from real ones. The results, to be blunt, are terrible.…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on April 2, 2017 at 4:38pm — 1 Comment

Researchers Say Office of Personnel Management Hack Leads to Ransomware

In June, 2015, it was revealed by an anonymous source that the Office of Personnel Management was hacked. This office, which administers civil service, is believed to have been the target of the Chinese government. This is one of the largest hacks in history involving a federal organization.

Slowly, the motivation behind the hacking is being understood. At first, it seemed obvious, the stolen data being personally identifiable information, which is what was taken can…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on March 27, 2017 at 5:15pm — No Comments

How to Digitally Secure The Remote Teleworker

If you employ remote workers, your IT staff has a unique challenge keeping your organization safe. Fortunately, using a combination of best practices for cybersecurity, user awareness campaigns, and a strong policy will help to keep data safe.

New advances in mobile technology and networking have given remote workforces a boost, and while policies for most remote workers generally depend on manager or company preferences, most businesses must accommodate a mobile…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on March 22, 2017 at 3:18pm — No Comments

Remember This: Hackers Like Strong Passwords, Too

In late 2016, a huge data breach occurred. More than 412 million accounts were affected when hackers got into FriendFinder Networks.

According to sources, approximately a million of those accounts had the password ‘123456,’ and approximately 100,000 has the password that was simply, ‘password.’ This, of course, is despite the efforts from pros about password management and the importance of a strong password.

Complex Passwords are…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on February 22, 2017 at 2:51pm — No Comments

How to Make $5 Million a Day in Cybercrime

This post isn’t exactly a “how to” but if your current employment isn’t bringing in the bacon, I’m sure your criminal mind can figure it out. In the biggest digital advertising fraud in the history of the U.S., it was recently found that a group of hackers is bringing in from $3 million to $5 million a day from media companies and brands. That’s some scratch!

White Ops, an online fraud-prevention firm, uncovered this campaign, which they have called “Methbot,” and…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on February 8, 2017 at 3:05pm — No Comments

Consumers Have Given Up on Security

According to a recent study, online security for most people is too bothersome. The US National Institute of Standards and Technology published the study, which shows that most people who use the internet have just given up and don’t follow the advice given to them about online security.

The result of this is that consumers are engaging in risky online behavior, and according to one survey participant, if “something happens, it is going to happen” and “it is not the…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on January 30, 2017 at 3:40pm — No Comments

Your Hacked Mobile Phone Number is Like Your Social Security Number

If you have a cell phone, and you use it in any way associated with accessing online accounts (and many do), you are putting yourself at risk of getting hacked. With only a phone number and a bit of information, which is easy to get through social engineering, a hacker can break into your personal and financial accounts.

This works by getting information about you, such as your birthday, address, or even the last four digits of your…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on January 24, 2017 at 3:32pm — No Comments

Fake News is Becoming Too Real

Fake news is a problem that is taking the internet by storm, and it ran rampant during the 2016 Presidential Election. In fact, many believe that fake news stories had a strong impact on the outcome of the election. In a survey following the election by the Pew Research Center, a whopping 64 percent of polled Americans said that fake news has given them a “great deal of confusion” about current events.

All of us have been fooled by fake news, and it doesn’t seem to…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on January 17, 2017 at 3:11pm — No Comments

Top 3 Social Engineering Scams

Think about hackers breaking into accounts. If you think they need top-notch computer skills, you would be wrong. These days, instead of requiring skills behind a keyboard, hackers generally rely on strategy…specifically a strategy called social engineering. This means that hackers don’t have to be technical, but they DO have to be clever and crafty because they are essentially taking advantage of people and “tricking” them into giving information.

There are four…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on January 12, 2017 at 3:11pm — No Comments

The Switch to the Chip Card – One Year Later

The October anniversary of the liability shift has passed, and anniversaries are an excellent time to look back on progress…this is no exception. The U.S. EMV migration plan was set four years ago as a way to fight card fraud and to protect both consumers and merchants.

Back in the day, we had one choice when we…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on November 2, 2016 at 3:23pm — No Comments

What is the Signaling System No. 7 Network?

The iPhone has a vulnerability called the Signaling System 7 (SS7) that allows crooks to hack into the device.

This was demonstrated on a recent “60 Minutes” episode in which a U.S. congressman (with his permission) had his iPhone hacked by German cybersecurity experts. The white-hat hackers got his phone number and eavesdropped on the conversation.

Penetration of the flawed SS7 makes it…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on September 22, 2016 at 4:58pm — No Comments

How to digitally detox on Vacation

Many years ago when you were on vacation, before Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were invented (assuming you were an adult then), you had a great time, right? You weren’t “connected,” because there was no social media to be connected with.

If today you can’t imagine being disconnected from social media while on vacation, ask yourself how this can be, if years ago, you never missed what had not yet been invented.

And what about constantly checking e-mail while…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on September 15, 2016 at 4:32pm — No Comments

Predators use Emojis to target Kids

Who’d ever think those silly little yellow circular faces and other such cyber symbols would become such a worldwide smash? I’m talking about emoticons, also known as emojis. Five years ago Apple put an emoji keyboard on its mobile devices. Six billion of these doggone things are sent every day.

But a story at kdvr.com says this isn’t as innocent as it seems.

The story mentions Sheila Allison…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on September 13, 2016 at 4:02pm — No Comments

Another Successful Ransomware Attack

Ransomware thieves sure know how to pick their victims—institutions that store loads of highly critical data that they need on a daily basis, that without—even just 24 hours without—can have crippling effects. This form of cybercrime is growing by leaps and bounds.

Recently a ransomware attacker struck the network of the University of Calgary. An article at arstechnica.com says that the institution’s IT experts have made some headway in isolating the…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on September 8, 2016 at 4:16pm — 2 Comments

You need Two-Factor Verification for your Amazon Account

If you have a strong password for your Amazon account, you may still want to consider beefing up the security with two-factor verification (or authentication), which will prevent a thief from accessing your account (which is possible if he gets ahold of your password and username somehow).

2D

  • Log onto your Amazon account.
  • Have your mobile phone with you.
  • Click “Your…
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Added by Robert Siciliano on September 6, 2016 at 4:19pm — No Comments

How to protect your Mobile Phone from Hackers and Thieves

Let’s cut to the chase:

  • Regularly back up the phone’s data! If this is done every day, you won’t have to worry much about losing important information if something happens to the phone—such as a ransomware attack.
  • Keep the phone’s software and applications updated.
  • Delete apps you no longer use, as these can reveal your GPS coordinates and garner data about you.
  • Never post about your vacation while you’re on…
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Added by Robert Siciliano on September 1, 2016 at 4:16pm — No Comments

Fake Realtor scams Children and their Parents

Ever peruse Craigslist for a new home? Nothing against Craigslist for doing that, but that’s where Coty Houston and David Yost happened to find a very alluring four-bed home for sale; looked perfect for their five young kids.

Then they all got squashed by a bomb: The man who sold it to them was not a licensed Realtor. Matthew Boros, however, used to be a real estate agent, but he never renewed his license. But this time, he had climbed through the house’s window…

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Added by Robert Siciliano on August 30, 2016 at 4:12pm — No Comments

Beware of these 4 Scams

IRS

  • The e-mail (or phone call) says you owe money; if you don’t pay it immediately, you’ll be put in jail or fined.The scammer may know the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number.
  • Caller ID will be spoofed to look like the call is from the IRS.
  • The e-mail will include an IRS logo and other nuances to make it look official.
  • The scammer…
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Added by Robert Siciliano on August 25, 2016 at 4:24pm — No Comments

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