Free Dark Web Report from Experian – Part Two

On Monday we started an investigation into the free dark web scan that is being offered by credit agency Experian.  Again, this is NOT Equifax, who breached our information last year.  This is a different credit agency.

When we ran the free scan on Experian, they found three results.  But I knew there was more to find, because I had already ...

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Free Dark Web Report from Experian – Part One

I caught an ad on TV the other night that made me curious.  Experian is offering a “free dark web report,”  ostensibly to see if any of your personal data is for sale on the Dark Web.  Well I don’t really need a test to tell me that.  Since the Equifax breach, I am pretty sure all of us have information for sale ...

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How Hard Is It To Become A Cyber-Criminal?

According to a recent article on Naked Security, not at all hard.  While at Black Hat in Las Vegas, researchers from Sophos gave a presentation that dissected the “Philadelphia” ransom software as a service (SaaS) model.

Anyone can buy the Philadelphia ransomware kit on the Dark Web for $400.  And for this nominal investment, the would-be attacker gets a simple executable file that sets up the whole system automatically. ...

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What Can I Do With A Hijacked Email Account? Part 2

On Monday we opened this discussion about hijacked email accounts, and showed some examples of the phishing tricks that attackers use to get you to reveal your email password.  Today we will explore the many useful and profitable exploits that a compromised email account offers a cyber-criminal or other attacker.

I consider email account compromise to be one of the most personally harmful cyber-exploits.  When another person has access to your email ...

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What Can I Do With A Hijacked Email Account? Part 1

Let’s say I just hijacked your email account.  What can I do with it?

First thing, a hijacker would not announce his or her presence in your account.  Staying undetected is important so you do not change your password.  Depending on what the attacker is doing with your email account, there is a significant probability that you would not know your account was compromised for several days, weeks, or even years!

In order ...

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Keeping Your Personal Information Secure

Certain personal records are a gold mine for cyber-criminals and identity thieves.  Highly targeted personal information include your medical records, tax information, social security number, driver’s license, and even odd bits such as utility bills, and retail or airline loyalty rewards points.  Any of this information can be sold on the Dark Web, or used directly to get free health ...

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Passwords Are On Life Support

Passwords are not dead – not yet.  But they are on life support.  They are no longer enough to truly secure anything on their own.

I just read an sobering, eye-popping article on NetMux that discussed easy ways to crack passwords that are longer than 12 characters.

What makes this so disheartening for me is that I have been telling everyone to increase their password length ...

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Credential Stealing Malware in PDF Attachments

On Wednesday we talked about a phishing exploit that used malware to provide remote access and steal the personal information of the victims.  Today we continue the story with a similar exploit, called “Fareit” to “ferret out” the user credentials and other personal information the victims.

This exploit uses a phishing email to send the target either a PDF attachment or a Word attachment.  The PDF variant uses Windows Powershell to install.  The ...

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