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The Trials and Tribulations of Paying Ransomware Hackers
October 23, 2020
There's no question that hackers are getting increasingly ambitious -- the average ransom demand increased from about $29,000 in 2018 to more than $302,000 in 2019. U.S. law doesn't prohibit paying ransom per se; but when victims pay monies to people or organizations who have been sanctioned by the U.S. government...they get into more trouble.
Whom Can We Trust to Safeguard Healthcare Data?
October 20, 2020
Healthcare records were digitized to help prevent medical errors such as misdiagnoses and mistakes with medication, but electronic health records have made it easier for bad actors to steal patients' highly personal information. Cybercriminals are further motivated by the fact that patient medical records are worth up to 10 times more than credit card numbers on the Dark Web.
Microsoft Squelches Trickbot Ransomware Network
October 13, 2020
An outlaw online network that's been used to infect millions of computers with ransomware has been disrupted by Microsoft. The company announced Monday that, together with telecommunications providers around the world, it was able to cut off the infrastructure used by the Trickbot botnet so it could no longer be used to initiate new infections or activate ransomware already planted on computer systems.
Controversial Plan Urges DoD to Recruit Tech Pros to WFH
October 2, 2020
The United States Defense Innovation Board has recommended that the Pentagon hire civilians to work from home who can handle classified information as a way of attracting people with technology expertise. The individuals sought "will have technical degrees and/or highly specialized skills in digital technologies and innovation needed across the U.S. Department of Defense," which is undergoing digital transformation.
The Risks and Consequences of Lax Patch Management
September 29, 2020
Earlier this month, a woman with a life-threatening condition passed away after hackers crashed the IT systems of a major hospital in the city of Dusseldorf. Incidents like this raise the question of why corporations do not patch vulnerabilities as soon as software manufacturers issue a fix.
Cybersecurity Conundrum: Who's Responsible for Securing IoT Networks?
September 24, 2020
Surely spurred by the work-from-home necessities of 2020, people have connected a multitude of non-business devices to their corporate networks, making it progressively difficult to implement cybersecurity because every device is a potential weak point. So, who will ultimately be responsible for cybersecurity of an IoT network?
How to Protect Mobile Apps Against Sneaker Bots
September 16, 2020
Automated purchasing bots, also known as "sneaker bots," "click bots," "Instacart bots" and other names, are ruining the online shopping and gig economy experience for both consumers and workers. These bots can cause considerable damage to a mobile business' reputation and bottom line. There are a number of measures that e-tailers should take a to protect their mobile apps from sneaker bots.
Tech Job Market Hot for the Near Future
September 15, 2020
Computer systems design and related services added 13,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's August jobs report. IT employment in July was up by more than 203,000 positions since the COVID-19 outbreak; and there were more than 235,000 job postings by U.S. employers, according to the Computing Technology Industry Association.
TikTok Enlists Oracle to Evade Trump's Executive Order
September 14, 2020
A proposal to avoid the banning of the popular social media app TikTok was submitted to the U.S. Treasury Department over the weekend. The plan submitted by ByteDance, which owns TikTok, calls for the company to enlist Oracle as a "trusted technology provider" in order to address national security concerns raised about the video-sharing software by the Trump administration.
US E-Commerce Companies in the Dark on European Privacy Rules
September 11, 2020
The U.S. Commerce Department is attempting to negotiate an agreement that would help thousands of U.S. companies comply with policies designed to protect the personal privacy of European citizens. Until the issues are resolved, U.S. companies will be operating in a twilight zone over how to ensure the privacy of personal data they collect and process electronically from European sources.
Google's New Phone App Feature ID's Legit Business Calls
September 9, 2020
Google has taken a step toward controlling spam voice calls on Android devices with a new addition to its phone app. The "Verified Calls" feature will display a caller's name, logo, reason for calling and a verification symbol indicating a business has been verified by Google. The service will initially roll out in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Spain and India, with more countries to follow.
Reported Data Breaches Decline in H1 2020
September 3, 2020
Data breaches were rampant in 2019, occurring at an unprecedented pace. However, the first half of this year has seen a reduction in the number of reported events. Reported being the operative word. In all, more than 15 billion records were exposed in nearly 7,100 data breaches last year. This year however, the number of publicly reported data breaches has decreased.
Software Piracy Spreading With the Virus
September 1, 2020
Software piracy involves much more than businesses and consumers using illegal copies of computer programs. What lurks within the pirated copies is often rogue code -- malware -- that can be just as deadly to computers and users' finances. Software companies are reporting that piracy has increased 20 to 30 percent due to COVID-19.
Best Practices to Improve the E-Commerce Checkout Process
August 28, 2020
To deliver exceptional customer experiences at-scale, retailers need to have their finger on the pulse of changing consumer expectations. Modern consumers expect checkout to be seamless and safe, no matter the digital channel or their geographic location. Let's look at best practices that retailers are using to revamp their checkout experience.
Credential Harvesting Attacks Take Aim at Video Meeting Apps
August 27, 2020
Users of video conference tools should be aware of the growing risk of impersonation attacks. Cybercriminals are capitalizing on the exponential increase of users turning to Zoom and other platforms to collaborate across work and friend networks. Researchers have identified attacks stemming from Australia, Germany, the U.S. and elsewhere.
Online Business Scams Decline as Consumer COVID Fraud Rises
August 26, 2020
Online bandits are decreasing their schemes against businesses but increasing COVID-19 scams aimed at consumers, according to a report released Tuesday by TransUnion. Suspected fraudulent digital transactions against businesses worldwide dropped nine percent from the lockdown phase of the pandemic to the reopening phase.
Pandemic Gooses Stolen Credentials Prices on Dark Web
August 25, 2020
After crashing in 2019, Dark Web markets for stolen credentials rebounded during the first half of 2020, largely due to major shifts in consumer behavior caused by the global pandemic. Hacked accounts for delivery services and physical fitness brands are some of the highest priced items on the market, according to a recent report.
Summer Stats Show a Frenzy of Sales and a Flurry of Fraud
August 21, 2020
Despite the struggles the pandemic imposes on the economy, consumer activity gives both retailers and e-tailers hope for continued growth as the recovery persists. Though fraud continues to escalate as criminals take advantage of card-not-present payment methods, including buy online pick-up in store (BOPIS), or click-and-collect.
How to Protect Data From Natural Disasters
August 19, 2020
With hurricane season in full bloom and the additional prospect of natural disasters, the importance for companies to have disaster data plans in place is paramount. TechNewsWorld discussed disaster preparedness with a panel of IT experts. Check out their recommendations -- and make sure that you have not forgotten that one key thing that many companies forget to protect but regret afterward.
More Consumers Buying Into Digital Payments
August 17, 2020
As consumers get more acquainted with shopping and banking digitally, it seems logical that more people would be inclined to pay their bills online. A recent survey of more than 3,000 adult consumers shows that nearly 70 percent prefer digital payment options, such as website and mobile app channels, to pay their one-time bills.
5G Rollout Includes Challenges to Supply Chain, WFH Value
August 13, 2020
The growing work-from-home movement amid the coronavirus and its likely continuing challenges has created the need for additional broadband capacity in more places. Mobile telco and other service providers are rallying around 5G wireless as the most promising solution for reliably faster Internet connectivity. But the path to rolling out 5G has been rocky and spotty.
California's Early Warning Quake Alerts to Be Standard on Android Phones
August 12, 2020
Earthquake alerts are being incorporated into Android, Google's mobile operating system. The feature will be included in a refresh of Google Mobile Services, so a full operating system upgrade won't be necessary. That means the new addition will be available to most Android users -- except those in China, which doesn't use GMS.
Google Bringing Cash, Nest to ADT
August 4, 2020
Google's Nest line of smart home products will be combined with ADT's security services in a partnership announced Monday by the two companies. As part of the agreement, Google will invest US$450 million into ADT to acquire a 6.6 percent interest in the security and smart home solutions provider. The deal gives Google access to an important channel for its smart home products.
Digital Sales Boom Puts Spotlight on Fraud Control Systems
July 30, 2020
The move by retailers to online and mobile selling to survive the pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in digital fraud activity. The "2020 True Cost of Fraud Study: E-commerce/Retail Edition" by LexisNexis Risk Solutions found this to be partly because some fraud control systems are outdated, and partly because of increased transaction volume.
New Security Hole Puts Windows and Linux Users at Risk
July 29, 2020
If you are a Windows or Linux user, brace yourself for a long siege of vulnerability nightmares. The fix will be long and treacherous and could brick your computers. Eclypsium researchers have detailed a set of newly discovered vulnerabilities dubbed "BootHole" that opens up billions of Windows and Linux devices to attacks.
Garmin Confirms Services Upended by Ransomware Attack
July 28, 2020
Garmin on Monday confirmed that many of its online services have been disrupted by a cyberattack on its systems that occurred on July 23, 2020. Services disrupted by the attack, which encrypted data on the systems, included website functions, customer support, customer facing applications, and company communications.
Rancher Labs and Fujitsu Form Kubernetes Partnership as Suse Readies Merger
July 21, 2020
Rancher Labs and Fujitsu on Tuesday announced an alliance to hasten the adoption of Kubernetes container orchestration technology industry-wide, starting within public sector institutions in the U.K. and Ireland. The alliance was forged partly in response to the growing requirement by the U.K.'s Government Digital Service for public organizations to embrace a 'cloud first' policy.
The Past, Present and Future of Attribute-Based Encryption
July 21, 2020
Encryption is an obscure but critical part of everyday life. That padlock in the address bar of the website you're visiting represents the 's' after 'http' -- which stands for the latest version of Transport Layer Security. Together with Secure Sockets Layer, which TLS replaced, these digital security technologies allow encrypted communication between two parties, such as web sites or servers, and web browsers.
Google Clamps Down on Ads for Spyware, Stalkerware
July 14, 2020
Advertising for software and hardware designed to stalk and spy on people will soon be banned on Google. Promotion of products or services that are marketed or targeted with the express purpose of tracking or monitoring another person or their activities without their authorization will be prohibited on the platform starting Aug. 11.
Digital Fraud Flourishing During Pandemic: Report
July 9, 2020
If you conducted e-commerce transactions since the pandemic struck, you have probably been the target, or even a victim, of online fraud. A report from Sift titled "Q2 2020 Digital Trust & Safety Index" details a 109 percent increase in content abuse and growth of the fraud economy from January through May 2020.
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How will the pandemic influence your holiday shopping habits this year?
I will shop online exclusively, for my own safety and to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
I will do some shopping online, and some in-person because I want to support merchants in my area.
I will shop online definitely, and I will consider local retailers -- but only if they provide curbside service.
I will only shop in-person because the risks associated with e-commerce outweigh my chance of catching COVID-19.
I will not do any holiday shopping this year due to circumstances related to the pandemic.
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