What Are Your Kids Doing On Social Media?

Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Computers, has a daughter who was suspended from Twitter for revealing too many family secrets on the platform.  Providing too many personal details, such as current locations and activities, can be an open invitation to criminals and stalkers, cyber and otherwise.  Here are some suggestions for safe online behavior to share with your children, and consider for yourself.

  1. Geolocation services – these should be turned off or restricted to immediate family members only.  I know ...
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How to Report Phishing to Facebook

If you get a fake email that looks like it is from Facebook, you can report it to Facebook simply by forwarding it to a new email address that was just set up by Facebook. Forward your suspicious email to phish@fb.com. That is all there is to it.

We have warned people that they should never click on a link in an email without first confirming where the link goes, or that the email is genuinely from the sender, or ...

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Near Field Communications (NFC)–A New Attack Vector?

Many devices including smartphones and tablets are shipping now or will be available soon with a feature called NFC or Near Field Communications.  We have seen this already in contactless credit card products such as PayPass and PayWave.  Soon you will be able to use your smartphone to make purchases as well.

Charlie Miller, a researcher at this years Black Hat convention in Las Vegas took a look at exploiting the NFC feature, and although NFC in and of itself is ...

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Is Every Android Device Malware Ridden?

A claim was made by the Jill Knesek, BT’s (British Telecom) Chief of Security, that 3 in 10 Android applications contain some sort of active or dormant malware payload.  Can this be possible?  Wouldn’t this mean that if you have installed 3 or more apps, it is likely that at least one of them infected your phone?

The situation is not likely to be quite that grim, but it does pay to be careful, and follow a few simple rules.

  1. Stick to ...
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Your HP Scanner Just Sent You Malware?

Malware designers are sending out bogus emails that appear to come from an HP scanner device on your network. They contain an attachment contained in a .zip file, and when the file is expanded it turns out to be an executable for a Trojan horse.  So be on the lookout for this type of email and keep yourself safe.  The full story is on Sophos.

Example of malicious email

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New Versions of IE, Firefox, Chrome Tout Security

On the Internet there are two main ways of getting a malware infection – links or attachment on emails, or from visiting fake, rogue, or compromised websites.  So browser security has become an important consideration, perhaps the most important consideration, when deciding what browser to use.

Microsoft will be releasing Internet Explorer 10 with Windows 8 in the fall.  IE 10 will be available for Windows 7 users by download.  Several major changes in the browser will improve its overall security.  ...

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A Really Scary Hacking Story

This story is very very freaky.  Here is the link to the original article in Wired.  Exploiting security flaws on Amazon’s and Apple’s web sites, Mat Honan’s Google account, Twitter account, and Apple ID accounts were breached, and and with it his email accounts.  The hackers then erased all the data in his MacBook and iPhone.  None of this information was backed up, and Mat lost everything, including every picture he had of his newborn daughter.

This was possible ...

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Is Security Training Worthwhile?

In an article on Sophos, the question was posed “Is security training a waste of time?”  There were some examples of training with poor outcomes.  80% of West Point cadets given 4 hours of computer security immediately fell for a test phishing scam.   Employees at internet security firm RSA opened an infected XML attachment to an email that allowed their “secure” network to be breached by real-life hackers.  At the end of the article, it is suggested that ...

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Software Upgrades Avoided by 60% of Users

I recent survey by several leading software manufactures found that only 40% of users accepted alerts requesting them to download an install an upgrade, update, or security patch, even when the updates are free of charge.  The reasons given most often were:

  • The end users didn’t know if the alert was valid or not, were concerned the alert was fraudulent, and that they risked downloading malware or some else as bad.
  • There was no perceived or explained benefit to the end ...
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Mom Hacks Kids Grades

Here’s a fun story from Sophos of a Pennsylvania mom who hacked school district computers in order to improve her children’s grades.  She did this while working as an employee of the school district, so this in not quite the feat you might think it is.  Nevertheless, she was able to access a lot of other secure personal and payroll records for the district, using the Superintendents user ID and password.  Point being that you never know who ...

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