NC Fuel Company Loses $800K to Cyber-Thieves

Here is a perfect example of what I was talking about in my last post.   To read the full gruesome details go to the Sophos blog.

Basically, a small, 15 employee fuel distribution company in North Carolina suffered an $800,000 loss due to changes that their bank made to the security of the online banking system.  The old system required a user to log in from a known and approved IP address, enter a password and a ...

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Vulnerable to Cyber Crime–Survey Says Only 36% of Small Businesses Apply Security Updates

Ok, so this number is from a recent study in England, but I am willing to bet that the numbers are about the same in the U.S.

This study was reported by Sophos recently, and it supports my own observations of my own clients.  Not very many of my small business clients have a security policy that is followed by the workers in the company.  Most companies opt for convenience over security, and are using short, easily broken passwords, ...

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How to Rob Two Arabian Banks of $45 Million Dollars

You can’t pull this off with a ski mask and a gun.  A major bank heist that cleared a $45 million haul from two banks on the Arabian peninsula was pulled off by an international cyber-crime crew during two days, one in December 2012 and and the other in February 2013.  The story reads like a crime novel or Hollywood movie.

First, in December, cyber-criminals gained access to the databases of an Indian company that handles the debit card transactions of ...

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Passwords–Longer Beats Complex

I ran across an article on the PCWorld web site, that explains why longer simpler passwords are better than shorter more complex passwords.  It is basically about hacking time.  Passwords are cracked using automated programs that make thousands of attempts per second.  They are cracked from long lists of encrypted password hashes that are stolen from web servers.  The resulting clear text passwords are recorded and sold as “rainbow tables”  If I have a good rainbow table and ...

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Phone Call From Site Operator While Surfing Their Site?

My question is – has this ever happened to you?  If you were on a web site, and they called your phone, would that seem creepy? Or just super friendly? Or is super friendly kind of creepy?  I would love to here your experience or comments about this.
This is a new one for me. I got a call from a client who was on a web site for professional organizers, and while on the site she got a phone call ...
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Happy 20th Birthday World Wide Web 30 April 2013

Twenty years ago on April 30, 1993 Tim Berners-Lee, a physicist at the CERN Physics Lab in Geneva Switzerland presented the networking protocols that created the World Wide Web. (No – NOT Al Gore!!) The Internet, such as it was back then, was the child of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Arpanet, 1969), and had become a disparate mash-up of competing proprietary networks, such as CompuServe, Prodigy (remember), and the fledgling American On-Line, Gopher (see below), and others my ...

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Add a Start Menu to Windows 8

Windows 8 introduced some significant changes to the user interface, most significantly replacing the Start Menu and Start Button with the tile-laden Start Screen.

Just want your Start Button and Start Menu back?  Try the free download from Classic Shell.  I’ve used it and it works pretty well.  You can choose from the classic Windows 95-98 menu, the two column Windows XP menu, or the newer Windows 7 menu.  Download from www.ClassicShell.net

Slovenian Cyber-crooks Target Small Business Bank Accounts

Small business owners need to be on their guard for email frauds like the one described in this article on Sophos.  This is a must read, and must share with your controller, bookkeeper, or office manager.

Slovenian police on Thursday raided 12 homes and arrested five Slovenian citizens in connection with sending malware-packed email to small and medium businesses’ accounting departments.

The email was spoofed to look like it came from a local bank or, in one case, the ...

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PYDA–Passwords

Yes Virginia, you do need a password. And because passwords are being cracked by high-end machines running sophisticated password cracking programs, it need to be both long and complex, and ideally, unique to each site or device. How long? At least ten, to maybe as many as fifteen characters is ideal. A six or seven character password can be cracked in hours or days; a password of ten or more characters requires decades or centuries. A strong password cannot be ...

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