Britain reopens privacy debate after attack, presses tech firms | Reuters

Bottom Line — Should companies like Facebook be allowed to create end to end encryption communication apps?  Does this become a tool for terrorist to avoid detection as they plan their next attack?

Source: Britain reopens privacy debate after attack, presses tech firms | Reuters

10 Ways Hollywood Can Thwart The Next Orange Is The New Black Cyber-Theft | Deadline

10 Ways Hollywood Can Thwart The Next ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Cyber-Theft, by Hemu Nigam, guest column

Bottom Line– Vendors are the last place the Hollywood big guns might think hackers will target, but that is exactly what makes them so much more at risk.

Source: 10 Ways Hollywood Thwart The Next Orange Is The New Black Cyber-Theft | Deadline

Trump signs order on cybersecurity that holds agency heads accountable for network attacks – The Washington Post

This is a great way to get things done – put the folks at the top on notice that if they don’t take cyber security seriously, they can get fired.

Source: Trump signs order on cybersecurity that holds agency heads accountable for network attacks – The Washington Post

Youtube Sponsors Credit Fraud?

THE BOTTOM LINE: Youtube Sponsors Credit Fraud

In the real world, when someone profits from illegal activity – gets paid to tell you where you can buy stolen property, or the like – the community and law enforcement accuse them of aiding and abetting in a criminal act.  See the DCA’s report on how Google is profiting from activity around stolen credit cards on Youtube.  What are your thoughts? Read more here.

The hacking and leaking of hundreds of naked photos

BOTTOM LINE: The hacking and leaking of hundreds of naked photos purportedly belonging to more than 100 high-profile singers, actors and celebrities has raised questions of the safety and security of digital services.

Jennifer Lawrence and other high profile celebrities have contacted authorities to investigate who stole and posted nude images of them online, part of a reported mass hacking of celebrities’ nude photos and a massive invasion of privacy. Read more…

Fourth of July means more to Internet scammers than fireworks and barbeques

The Fourth of July means more to Internet scammers than fireworks and barbeques.  Scambook, the leading consumer complaint resolution platform, published a new advisory statement to warn Internet users against a series of holiday-related scams sweeping across the U.S. this week.

Contained within three general categories, the recent Independence Day scams include phishing schemes, counterfeit tickets and misleading sales pitches.  Scammers use holiday eCards, videos and links to entice consumers to download attachments embedded with malware and viruses that damage computers or provide access to Internet activities and account information from hijacked systems, which may allow hackers to steal financial information, social security numbers and other private data.

Scambook also warns against sales campaigns aimed at driving holiday spending based on deceptive or ambiguous information.  Marketing campaigns that pressure buyers with holiday time limits and unknown no-return restrictions or contract fees may encourage holiday shoppers to spend too much and too quickly without examining all of the purchasing details.  Inauthentic retail websites also scam Independence Day shoppers through fraudulent websites that offer unbelievable savings on popular items in order to obtain financial data.

Lastly, the site alerts consumers to event swindlers who may sell fake tickets for fireworks shows and other specialty events to obtain credit card information and money.  These scammers prey upon the holiday frenzy of last-minute event seekers who miss out on sold-out offerings.

Maintaining a scam-free summer requires Internet users to stay informed about recent scamming trends and how to best protect computers and financial data from hackers and online fraud.  By following the few tips below, consumers may avoid the hazards of Internet scammers waving the all-too alluring flag of deceptive offerings this holiday:

  • Use current antivirus software from a trusted and reputable source and keep this software turned on at all times
  • Access the Internet using secure networks with stringent password settings
  • Never open emails from unknown individual and always avoid questionable downloads
  • Review all sales details before making purchasing decisions and avoid providing financial information to unknown websites
  • Conduct thorough Internet searches on events and retailers before purchasing tickets to holiday events
  • Make purchases on secure websites (sites that begin with HTTPS rather than HTTP or show the lock icon in the address bar)

60 Days of Hacker Assaults

Within the first 60 days of 2013, an alarming number of International corporations and government agencies faced serious security violations from Internet hacking.  Beyond the Twitter, Apple and Facebook invasions, a more ominous threat attacked the State Department, Federal Reserve, Department of Energy and some of the largest U.S.-based news organizations.  The evolution of Internet hacking from small-time criminal initiatives focused on individual businesses and consumers to global cyber-offenders targeting national infrastructures is well documented and represents a growing concern for governments and citizens alike.

The computer security firm, Mandiant, recently released a study focused on the activities of a Chinese hacker collective referred to as the “Comment Crew” or “Shanghai Group,” which sheds light on security risks to agencies with access to essential U.S. infrastructures such as electrical, gas and water distribution.  The study also highlights the expansive nature of cybercrime and reinforces the need to protect public systems from unlawful invasions.  The most critical U.S. agencies and structures are increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and experts emphasize growing concerns for the nation’s power systems and other vital infrastructures.

Although the average computer user has little involvement with such significant security threats, the increasing prevalence of cybercrime places greater responsibility on consumers to protect their individual identities and personal information from hackers.  Cybercrime represents a daily reality for all Americans, as hackers pursue financial data, location details, social media content and business material at staggering rates.  Fortunately, basic computer security efforts help protect most consumers from cybercrime and hacking risks.  By following the few tips below, consumers may strengthen their defenses against such crimes:

 

  • Utilize up-to-date anti-virus and anti-phishing software, as well as operating systems and application software
  • Carefully investigate the information received from any unknown user (hackers easily manipulate email addresses and contacts to appear legitimate)
  • Avoid downloading content from unknown users, especially when content was not directly requested (attachments and PDFs may contain viruses that enable hackers to access personal information or even take control of computers)
  • Operate on a secured wireless network with active firewall settings
  • Do not keep password information on computers and maintain stringent and unique passwords for all system logins

 

 

For more information on digital warfare and the evolution of the Internet hacker, see also www.huffingtonpost.com/hemanshu-nigam/digital-troops-front-line_b_2242406.html.

 

What Do Miranda Kerr, Burger King, and President Obama All Have in Common?

Twitter amounts to serious business for many celebrities and large corporations. Product endorsements, promotional details and event advertising represent a growing market in both celebrity and corporate publicity machines. Like many of its recognized users, the value of Twitter’s instantaneous mass communication abilities has not been lost on Internet hackers. Twitter fan favorites, including Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Britney Spears and Khloe Kardashian, have fallen prey to the recent trend in celebrity cyber-attacks, whereby hackers tweet fabricated content using victims’ personal profiles. Burger King became the latest victim of a Twitter attack. Hackers defaced the fast food chain’s account by making it appear as McDonald’s, and tweeting vulgar comments and false claims.

Read more on Huffington Post

 

Hemanshu (Hemu) Nigam is an online safety, security, and privacy expert and CEO of SSP Blue, an online security consultancy. He is also a frequent contributor to CNN, HLN, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, CBS, HLNTV.com, and abcnews.com.  To sign up for SSP Blue’s Weekly News & Info, please click here, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.  See also Hemu’s personal site.

How to Call a Catfisher’s Bluff

Online dating can sometimes have detrimental results.

Take Manti Te’o, Notre Dame’s star linebacker who has been at the center of a high-profile online dating scandal. His “girlfriend,” with whom he had an online relationship, allegedly died of leukemia. This news made Te’o’s story front and center during a time when college football players would give their right arm to become “the” media darling.

The details of this story have many trying to determine whether Te’o was the victim of a twisted “catfishing” scandal or if he was behind the whole thing.
 
In its simplest terms, catfishing is when a person pretends to be someone else using a social media platform like Twitter or Facebook. Typically, the person creates false online identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances. Catfishers can create pretty extensive online personas to create legitimacy around their existence.

Read more on HLNtv.com

Hemanshu (Hemu) Nigam is an online safety, security, and privacy expert and CEO of SSP Blue, an online security consultancy. He is also a frequent contributor to CNN, HLN, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, CBS, HLNTV.com, and abcnews.com.  To sign up for SSP Blue’s Weekly News & Info, please click here, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.  See also Hemu’s personal site.

Finding Love Online Safely

The recent dramatic confusion around Manti Te’o’s online love life and it’s just as heart wrenching conclusion has left many online daters wondering how to date safely online if such a public figure as Te’o was allegedly duped.  It’s tough enough to find love in the real world with all your friends and family trying to hook you up.  How does one find that true love by using the great power of the Internet without ending up the joke of the town or in utter depression from all the falsity that might arise?

Though much of what happens online mirrors reality, meeting someone in cyber space is significantly different than meeting someone in person. In the real world, your dating “site” is made up of friends, coworkers, family and acquaintances – people you are already familiar with.  Even though a dating network of “real” people doesn’t guarantee a great relationship to come and might even lead to a bad date, having that personal and human connection is critical.  Seeing the whites of their eyes might be a cliché but it is a cliché because it remains relevant.

In the real world, you might meet potential dates at parties or bars, and often go out on group or double dates. Meeting online you are in the unfortunate position of not having enough information to determine whether you should trust the information you have.  Can you trust that the picture really is of that person, that the person is even real to begin with and that all the person’s information and communications are legitimate?  And yet even without that immediate sense we get when looking into the whites of someone’s eyes, we can still find love safely online.

Here are a few tips to make your experience as real as the online world will allow:

  1. Google, Google, Google – today we all leave digital footprints.  Take the information your online friend has given you and ‘Google’ it.  The less you find, the more worried you ought to be.
  2. Watch out for the sad story that starts to develop as an excuse on why he or she cannot meet you in person — one of the more common scams is perpetrated by a lovely “woman” with a gorgeous photo looking for a new love in America.  Her story is a sad one: no family to speak of, a big heart, a desire to see the man she meets online. Eventually, this “woman” will ask for money, perhaps to help with a ticket or because she has been detained trying to leave her home country. The man will wire her money and “she” will disappear. This is disheartening, heartbreaking, and all too frequent.
  3. Treat an online friend like a stranger until you have actually met in person – meet in a public place, preferably a well-lit place that is familiar to you in an area you are comfortable with.  While these suggestions strongly apply to women, men would do well to take note as well. Predators and scammers are not limited to males so everyone needs to exercise care.
  4. Fall in love online slowly – con artists tend to fall in love dramatically and quickly so they can reach their real goals quickly.  Just like in the real world, online relationships need to develop gradually over time.  So until the first earthly encounter occurs, be cautious.
  5. Go with your gut – just like in the real world, if your gut tells you something is wrong, believe it and go with it.

Engaging in safe dating online in some ways is no different than dating safely in person.  But, because you can’t see the white’s of ‘his’ eyes online, your own eyes and ears must navigate the online world slowly and cautiously.

Much love to you.

 

Hemanshu (Hemu) Nigam is an online safety, security, and privacy expert and CEO of SSP Blue, an online security consultancy. Hemu was the former Chief Security Officer for News Corporation, Fox Interactive Media, and MySpace, and was an executive at Microsoft. He is also a frequent contributor to CNN, HLN, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, CBS, HLNTV.com, and abcnews.com.  To sign up for SSP Blue’s Weekly News & Info, please click here, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.  See also Hemu’s personal site.