Collections 1-5 – Is This The Biggest Data Breach Ever?

Troy Hunt, of HaveIBeenPwned fame, on January 17 reported what may be the biggest data breach ever.  Collection #1 is a set of email addresses and passwords totalling 2,692,818,238 rows.  That’s right, 2.6 billion rows.   773 million records, from over 12,000 files, with a total size surpassing 87 gigabytes.  That’s a lot of personally identifiable information ...

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Watch Out For Social Security Scammers

Your phone may be ringing soon with a fraudulent call from the “Social Security Administration” about problems with your social security number.  The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers about this fraud.  A transcript of a typical call is below.

“…law enforcement agencies to suspend your Social Security number on an immediate basis, as we have received suspicious trails of information in your name. ...

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The Old is New Again – Return of the Trojan Horse

Trojan horse, backdoor, and spyware exploits are back with a vengeance, according to a recent report by cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes.  These exploits may seem like old and out-of-date attack vectors, but these tools have been updated and revamped, and are appearing at an alarming rate.  Last year, Trojan horse deployments increased by 132%, backdoors increased by 173%, and spyware exploits increased 142%.

Crypto-ransomware and crypto-jacking exploits have been the hot and sexy ...

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Phishing – Not Just For Email Anymore

You know those surveys, games, and “like and copy” messages that your Facebook “friends” share with you?  Would you be surprised to learn that many of these “fun with friends”  activities are just cover for a new form of phishing exploit?  In the last few years phishing attacks have evolved from a primarily email-based attack into attacks using other vectors including surveys, games, gifts and prizes, and social networks.

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Data Privacy Day

Next Monday Jan 28 is Data Privacy Day.  According to StaySafeOnline.org, “Data Privacy Day began in the United States and Canada in January 2008 as an extension of the Data Protection Day celebration in Europe. Data Protection Day commemorates the Jan. 28, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection. Data Privacy Day is observed annually on Jan. 28.

The ...

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Recovering From A Cybersecurity Incident

Ever feel like there should be a 12-step program for your cybersecurity career?  “Hello, I’m Bob and I’m a recovering cybersecurity professional.”  Doing the same old “defense in depth” stuff and still the barbarians get onto your network and wreak havoc.  Remember the definition of insanity?  “Doing the same thing and expecting different results.”  As with any 12-step program, the first step would ...

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It’s Income Tax Fraud Season Again

Every year about this time, cyber-criminal groups start to ramp up for the annual income tax fraud season.  If you would prefer to receive your own tax refund, as opposed to letting some scam artist get it instead, the basic solution is to file your returns as early as possible.  Here are some things to be watching for.

  • W-2 reports phishing scam – This phishing scan usually targets company HR department personnel, ...
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Securing Your Social Network Accounts

One of the worst things that can happen to you online is when someone hijacks one of your social network accounts.  When unauthorized bad-actors get your Facebook or Twitter password, they can use your account to impersonate you, and to send all sorts of friend requests, share requests, spam, and posts with click-bait links that can lead your friends to web pages that will steal their information or silently download and ...

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Irainian Phishing Campaign Attempts to Bypass 2FA

A new phishing campaign by the Iranian state-sponsored group known as “Charming Kitten” is using new tactics to trick users out of their passwords and both SMS and app generated two-factor codes.  Charming Kitten is tied to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.  This campaign has been ongoing since October 2018.  Information on this attack was released on December 18, 2018 by Certfa Lab.

Targets of these attacks are high-ranking individuals in the financial ...

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Your Location is For Sale

I have written before about how our smartphones are ratting out our location, using GPS and even just cell tower location information.  The New York Times recently published a story that followed a woman throughout her day and discovered that her location was collected over 8000 in a single day.  From the location database they purchased from a location data broker, they were ...

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