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Computer Security No 50: Prisoners built two networked computers used for crimes

Corporate - Private Computer Security

Prisoners in Ohio built two networked computers used for crimes

 

Two prisoners in the Marion correctional institution in Ohio built two networked computers from various parts they were supposed to disassemble as part of a rehabilitation program.

Prisoners in Ohio built two networked computers used for crimes

Upon closer forensic analysis, it was discovered they used the stolen identify of another inmate and used it in a variety of illegal ways: 5 credit card applications in the name of this inmate, research on tax refund frauds and how they could illegally file tax returns in another person's name; the computers contained hacking tools, an email spamming tool, an encrypter & decrypter and a tool to crack logins.

(source: patch.com/ohio; image source: nbc4i.com)

Microsoft issues

Prisoners in Ohio built two networked computers used for crimes

On Good Friday, the criminal group Shadow Brokers had released a large number of Windows hacking tools, allegedly stolen from the NSA that work against most versions of Windows (Windows 2000, XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Server 2000, 2003, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012). The exceptions are Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016.

The hacking tools could give the ability to any hacker to break into millions of Windows computers and servers over Internet if they are not up to date.

Microsoft released fixes to many of these exploits. However, there are three remaining exploits (EnglishmanDentist, EsteemAudit and ExplodingCan) that were fixed for Windows 7 and more recent versions of Windows or MS Exchange server 2010 or newer versions of Exchange.

Customers still running versions of Windows prior to version 7 or MS Exchange server prior to 2010 are urged to upgrade to a supported version.

To read the entire article on Technet go to:https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com

What the US public knows about cybersecurity

A recent Pew Research Institute Survey found that many Americans are unclear about key cybersecurity topics, terms and concepts.

Prisoners in Ohio built two networked computers used for crimes

* 75 percent of participants identified the most secure password from a list of four options.

* 52 percent of people knew that turning off the GPS function on smartphones does not prevent all tracking. Mobile phones can be tracked via cell towers or Wi-Fi networks.

* 39 percent were aware that Internet Service Providers can still see the websites their customer visit even when they're using "private browsing" on their search engines.

* 10 percent were able to identify one example of multi-factor authentication when presented with four images of online log-in screens.

Take the quiz to test your own knowledge at: www.pewinternet.org

Blockchain & CryptoCurrencies (Part 2)

Prisoners in Ohio built two networked computers used for crimes

We started a series about Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, We will discuss the Blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin in particular (only in the fortnightly Private Security newsletters - even numbers #48, 50, etc).

Bitcoin symbol is BTC. Its price fluctuates quite a lot making it a risky investment choice. You can buy/own/transfer smaller fractions of Bitcoin. The current value of a bitcoin is: US $1,206. The theoretical maximum number of Bitcoin that will ever exist is only 21 million. See why below:

"Every block introduces 50 new coins in the system. This quantity (50) halves every 210,000 blocks. So, getting the limit of coins it is possible to generate is quite easy : it's the sum of a geometric series.

Prisoners in Ohio built two networked computers used for crimes

Also, note that this is an upper bound ; the actual quantity will probably be a bit lower due to rounding issues (BTC has a finite number of decimals, 8)."

Blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a list of ordered records called blocks. A block, once recorded, cannot have its data altered.

Webforum.org explains the blockchain mechanism applied to payments in the following diagram.

Try to think of any transaction that requires multiple parties to approve it (contracts, health records, identity management, data origin authentication, any type of transactions, etc).

Prisoners in Ohio built two networked computers used for crimes

Cyber Security & Privacy suite for Directors and Executives

About Over 50 Prisoners in Ohio built two networked computers used for crimes

Are you prepared to discuss cyber at Board level? Are you aware of your obligations and defence as a director or officer of the company? Have you taken the necessary steps to mitigate the consequences of a cyber attack?

Are you prepared to discuss cyber at Board level? Are you aware of your obligations and defence as a director or officer of the company? Have you taken the necessary steps to mitigate the consequences of a cyber attack?

ABG offers the Cyber suite of course modules:

- Cyber threats and defences Module - Tactical plans

- Directors and Officers Module - Strategy

- Risk Management Workshop for Cyber

- Cyber Crisis simulation

Send your enquiries to admin@advisoryboardsgroup.com

Beware of the following attacks

1. Phishing attack - hard to detect on Chrome, Firefox and Opera browsers

Prisoners in Ohio built two networked computers used for crimes

A Chinese infosec researcher reported the discovery of an "almost impossible to detect" phishing attack that exploits a known vulnerability in Chrome, Firefox and Opera browser to display fake domain names like Google, Apple or Amazon and steals financial credentials. It may look legitimate:

Prisoners in Ohio built two networked computers used for crimes

How to protect yourself:

Browser manufacturers are currently working on a fix. A temporary fix for Firefox is to enable punycode. See thehackernews.com for instructions."

2. "Funny videos 2017" app

Securify, a cyber company from the Netherlands has recently discovered malware on the Google Play store in the Funny videos 2017 app. The app is stealing banking details from your other banking apps and targets ABN, Rabobank, ASN, Regiobank and Binck. Stay away from this app!

3. Eastern Europe cyber mafia is testing new spam in their UK labs:

A dangerous email spam message is dropping into Irish mailboxes (at this stage), pretending to come from WhatsApp. Its subject says “Missed voicemail” and the content of the mail just says “New voicemessage” and has a link called “Play”. Don't click it!

Jokes

Memories of jokes

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Moderated by Monica Schlesinger: www.advisoryboardsgroup.com.au

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