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Extortion Artists Prey on AdSense Users
February 19, 2020
A new extortion scheme targets users of Google's AdSense program. The scam threatens to flood a website with bogus traffic until Google suspends the site's AdSense account, unless the owner pays $5,000 in bitcoin to stop the attack, security blogger Brian Krebs reported. The grifters appear to be exploiting a click-fraud crackdown Google launched last summer.
The Clear and Present Ransomware Danger
February 12, 2020
Ransomware hit at least 966 U.S. government agencies, educational establishments and healthcare providers in 2019, at a cost possibly exceeding $7.5 billion. The victims included 113 state and municipal governments and agencies; 764 healthcare providers; and 89 universities, colleges and school districts. Operations at up to 1,233 individual schools potentially were affected.
Philips Hue Vulnerability Shines Light on Possible IoT Security Nightmare
February 6, 2020
A vulnerability in Philips Hue smart lightbulbs and their controller bridges could allow intruders to infiltrate networks with a remote exploit, Check Point Software Technologies has disclosed. The researchers notified the owner of the Philips Hue brand about the vulnerability in November, and it issued a patched firmware version through an automatic update.
Bridging the IoT Innovation-Security Gap
February 4, 2020
There is a problem with the Internet of Things: It's incredibly insecure. This is not a problem that is inherent to the idea of smart devices. Wearables, smart houses, and fitness tracking apps can be made secure -- or at least more secure than they currently are. The problem, instead, is one that largely has been created by the companies that make IoT devices.
Feds Seek Restraining Orders in Robocall Cases
January 30, 2020
The DoJ has filed complaints in two landmark cases calling for temporary restraining orders against five companies and three individuals alleged to have carried hundreds of millions of fraudulent robocalls to American consumers. "This is the first time the DoJ is taking legal action against anyone for facilitating fraudulent robocalls," said Liz Miller, principal analyst at Constellation Research.
Feds Plan Crackdown on Online Counterfeit Traffic
January 29, 2020
The United States Department of Homeland Security last week released a report outlining its plans to combat online counterfeit product sellers. The value of counterfeit goods traded internationally rose from $200 billion in 2005 to $509 billion in 2016, according to DHS. Infringing goods valued at $1.4 billion were seized at U.S. borders in 2018, compared with $94 million worth in 2003.
Saudi Hack of Bezos' Phone Shines Bright Light on Security Challenges
January 24, 2020
A digital forensic analysis conducted by FTI Consulting concludes with "medium to high confidence" that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' smartphone was hacked through a malicious file sent from the WhatsApp account of Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. The malware was in an MP4 file attached to a WhatsApp message. UN special rapporteurs released technical elements of the report.
Grabbing the Cybersecurity and Privacy Problems by the Horns: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 3
January 23, 2020
Cybersecurity and privacy threats aren't confined to the tech world. They've cast their pall on the world in general. Computer viruses, malware and data leaks have become commonplace, personal privacy has become a bad joke, and cyberwar looms like a virtual mushroom cloud. What sometimes gets lost in the gloom are the many ways security professionals have been working to shore up cyberdefenses.
Is Congress Finally Ready to Take On Cybersecurity?
January 23, 2020
The United States Congress made some significant progress this session when it comes to data privacy, but cybersecurity remains a blind spot for lawmakers. Congress currently is considering a national privacy law that mirrors legislation enacted in the European Union. It would allow people to access, correct and request the deletion of the personal information collected from them.
Google CEO Adds His Voice to AI Regulation Debate
January 21, 2020
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and parent company Alphabet, called for government regulation of artificial intelligence technology in a speech at Bruegel, a think tank in Brussels, and in an op-ed. There is no question in Pichai's mind that AI should be regulated, he said. The question is what will be the best approach. Sensible regulation should balance potential harm with potential good.
Cybersecurity 2020: A Perilous Landscape
January 17, 2020
Cybersecurity is a very serious issue for 2020 -- and the risks stretch far beyond the alarming spike in ransomware. In addition to the daily concerns of malware, stolen data and the cost of recovering from a business network intrusion, there is the very real danger of nefarious actors using cyberattacks to influence or directly impact the outcome of the 2020 U.S. general election.
Business/Customer Sweet Spots: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 2
January 16, 2020
If you're a small business owner or a key member of an enterprise executive team, you want your firm to succeed. If you're a customer, you want to be treated well. Those goals are not diametrically opposed, but very often it seems that companies and customers are at cross-purposes. ECT News Network recently gathered together five technology experts who did some hard thinking on the subject.
Cybersecurity 2020: The Danger of Ransomware
January 10, 2020
Ransomware tops the list of cybersecurity threats for 2020. While there have been efforts to convince individuals, corporations and municipalities not to pay ransoms, the simple fact is that whenever one is paid, the attack becomes a success that encourages cyberthieves to try again. Ransomware attacks increased 18 percent in 2019, up from an average 12 percent increase over the past five years.
Tech Strides, Tech Worries and Tech Visions: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 1
January 8, 2020
If you're turned off by the mere thought of talking heads vying to speak the loudest or the longest in a TV "discussion" of some pressing issue of the day, read on for a refreshing dose of sanity. ECT News Network recruited five smart people with plenty to say about the state of technology, and we gave them plenty of time to say it. The result is a far-ranging intercourse.
Small Etailers: It's Not Too Late to Protect Your Holiday Revenue
December 5, 2019
As consumers start to tackle their holiday shopping lists, retailers are scrambling to finish preparations for what's likely to be a record-breaking year. Total sales could break through the $1.1 trillion mark for the first time in history. Cyber Monday alone racked up an estimated $9.4 billion in sales. Most merchants understand how significant this time of year is.
Windows 7 End of Life
November 19, 2019
Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 on Jan. 14, 2020. Windows 7 will continue to run on Jan. 14 as it did on Jan. 13. So why is it so important to upgrade to Windows 10? The answer: cybercrime. End of support means that Windows 7 no longer will receive the OS patches or security updates that keep your IT systems safe. Uusing an unpatched out-of-date system is like leaving the door wide open.
Security First: The Double-Edged Sword of Collaboration
October 14, 2019
Online tech support scams have been on the rise for the past decade, as hackers found new ways to trick consumers into providing remote access to their computers in order to steal information. This tried-and-true scam currently relies on sophisticated social engineering, fueled by detailed user information that creates enough credibility to dupe even the most savvy and skeptical users.
Setting Up Roadblocks to Social Engineering
October 11, 2019
Since the dawn of the Internet age, criminals have looked for ways to profit on unsuspecting people while they browse the Web. Viruses, malware and other schemes were invented to infect and infiltrate systems, both at the enterprise and consumer levels. One of the most successful forms of cybercrime is social engineering, also known as the con man of the Internet.
Stop Cyberattacks in Their Tracks: Secure IT
October 10, 2019
Stopping cyberattacks requires diligent behavior. One of the themes of this year's National Cyber Security Awareness Month, or NCSAM, is that all computer users should take steps to Secure IT. That means shaking up the passphrase protocol by using not just strong passwords but strong and unique passphrases. Everyone should double login protection through multifactor authentication.
eGobbler Malvertising Attack Infects More Than a Billion Ads
October 2, 2019
Two eGobbler malvertising exploits impacted 1.16 billion programmatic ads between Aug. 1 and Sept. 23, according to Confiant, which has been tracking the threat. The first targeted versions of Chrome prior to Chrome 75 on iOS. The flaw was fixed in the Chrome 75 rollout June 4. he second exploit impacted WebKit-based browsers. Confiant reported it to the Chrome and Apple security teams Aug. 7.
Spotlight on Cybersecurity Awareness: Own IT, Secure IT, Protect IT
September 27, 2019
Cybersecurity should be a concern for all businesses -- large and small. Cybersecurity also should be a concern for consumers, government agencies, and basically anyone who relies on the Internet in our increasingly connected world. Among efforts to focus attention on the threatscape is designating October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Multi-Cloud Strategy May Pose Higher Security Risk: Study
September 6, 2019
Users of a multi-cloud storage strategy may be twice as likely to face a security breach as those that use hybrid or single clouds, suggests a report from UK-based security specialist Nominet. Fifty-two percent of survey respondents who adopted a multi-cloud approach suffered a data breach over the past 12 months, compared to 24 percent of hybrid cloud users, and 24 percent of single-cloud users.
Verizon Steps Up Fight Against Rampant Robocalls
August 29, 2019
Verizon, the No. 1 mobile carrier in the United States, this week introduced a free version of its robocall-blocking app, which will be standard on all new Android devices. The company further announced that it will auto-enroll eligible Android users to its Call Filter service and block what are seen as "high-risk" calls. This includes calls from numbers that have been reported as fraudulent.
Report: Chinese Hackers Eye US Cancer Research
August 27, 2019
Hackers affiliated with the Chinese government have been making a concerted effort to steal medical research, particularly cancer research, from U.S. institutions. The step-up in medical research theft by Chinese APT hacker groups appears to be linked to China's growing concern over cancer mortality rates and increasing healthcare costs. Cancer in the leading cause of death in China.
Microsoft Exposes Russian Cyberattacks on Phones, Printers, Video Decoders
August 7, 2019
The Russian hacking group known for stealing sensitive emails from the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential election season has been cracking into printers, phones and video decoders to gain access to corporate networks, the Microsoft Security Response Center Team reported. The group is known by a number of names including "Strontium," "Fancy Bear" and "APT 28."
Capital One Discloses Massive Data Breach, Hacker Arrested
July 31, 2019
Capital One Financial Corporation has announced a data breach affecting some 100 million people in the U.S. and another 6 million in Canada. The FBI arrested the alleged perpetrator of the breach in Seattle. Capital One on July 19 discovered someone had accessed its data stored online and obtained personal information of credit card customers and people who had applied for credit card products.
Mnuchin Sounds Alarm Over Facebook's Money-Minting Plan
July 17, 2019
The Treasury Department has "very serious concerns" about Facebook's new Libra cryptocurrency, according to Secretary Steve Mnuchin. "Libra could be misused by money launderers and terrorist financiers. Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity, like cybercrime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, human trafficking."
Isn't It Time to Buy Cyber Insurance?
July 15, 2019
Every day we read stories about data breaches and cyberattacks on business and government websites, and the resulting the loss of personally identifiable information. Cybercrime is on the rise, and given the ever-evolving methods of attack, meaningful relief and reliable measures to fend off cybercriminals are unlikely in the foreseeable future. Companies need to insure against cybertheft.
E-Commerce Startup Bolt Snags $68M to Grow Checkout Biz
July 11, 2019
E-commerce checkout platform vendor Bolt has raised $68 million to help it increase its engineering team, invest in additional enterprise functionality, partner with best-in-breed e-commerce platforms, and build and expand advanced features and functionality. Bolt's platform combines checkout, payments and fraud detection to provide a better buying experience and maximize conversions.
Chinese Hackers Linked to Global Attacks on Telcos
June 26, 2019
Chinese hackers likely are responsible for a series of cyberattacks against telecommunications companies around the world, security researchers have reported. The campaign, dubbed "Operation Soft Cell," has been active since 2012, according to Cybereason. There is some evidence suggesting even earlier activity against the telecommunications providers, all of whom were outside North America.
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