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Why It May Be More Than You Think
When your phone prompts for an update, you postpone it. When your operating system calls for an update, you ignore it. When your application requires a password update, you begrudgingly change it – all the while thinking “I don’t need a password or PIN. I’m just an average person. I don’t have anything that anyone could possibly want. Are all these layers of security really necessary? Could I really be a target?”
In a word, yes. There are many reasons you are a target, and I don’t mean of the heavy conspiracy type either.
Understanding the motives of potential attackers has long been a problem for many people. Most cannot fathom why hackers would want to attack them. In risk management we define this understanding as attack attribution. While there are infinite possible motives, I believe it’s most important to understand that no matter the situation, there is always something that another wants, an agenda that someone... read more >
Hint: Hollywood gets it wrong
If there is one thing you should know about cybercriminals, it is that they can be extraordinarily patient.
Much like an anaconda that can wait for its chosen prey for six months or more, cybercriminals are in no rush to launch into a cyberattack unprepared.
With the potential for virtually endless profits, cybercriminals organize their efforts more precisely than an air traffic controller manages takeoffs and landings.
Hollywood, though, tends to embellish what actually happens within a cybercriminal’s operations since, truth be told, hacking is boring – or at least boring to watch.
I’ve met quite a number of hackers in my lifetime, and never once did their stories contain, “And then I hacked into the bank’s servers, and ACCESS GRANTED flashed across the screen in bright green letters!”
With the way hacking and cybercrime are portrayed in movies and TV... read more >
2015 Anonymous #OpRemember Hacking Campaign
The hacking collective Anonymous originated with fights against censorship and anti-digital piracy. It has become a hacktivist group which claims to use cyberattacks as a method of protest against corruption and hypocrisy in both government and industry.
Historically, one of the Anonymous campaigns has been known as “#OpRemember” and usually climaxes with website defacements, cyberattacks and DDoS attacks on November 5, “Guy Fawkes Day.” It appears #OpRemember was originally associated with Guy Fawkes because of his opposition to the British government. In reality, Guy Fawkes’ anti-government sentiments were primarily related to his religion – so much so that he assisted with the plot to assassinate the King of England and many members of the British Parliament, simply because of their religion.
Most years, researchers can find information about planning activities related to #OpRemember as early as May. In previous years,... read more >
Typically, when it comes to gauging how a year is shaping up regarding cybersecurity, it is a straight count of breached enterprises or records exposed that contain sensitive personally identifiable information. Some years, there are more breaches than others, just as some years there are breaches involving bigger household names and other years are relatively ho-hum. Rarely do we see pivotal years in cybersecurity, but I’m convinced we are witnessing one now.
One of the biggest years, for me, was 1999. It became crystal clear that year that all of the Web applications that were sprouting up were exposing backend systems and databases to new attack vectors, and highly vulnerable endpoints never designed to be connected to the Internet were connecting in great numbers.
This year is looking like another pivotal year. It’s not that the number of breached records isn’t high – it is – and it certainly matters, especially if your record is... read more >
Hacktivism Makes Preplanning Critical
Over the past few months, the frequency of stories in the news regarding Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks due to hacktivism has grown rapidly.
Victims of these attacks range from gamers and game providers such as World of Warcraft, large corporations (Microsoft), media outlets (CNN), city and state websites and entire countries. It seems like anyone with a cause, who wants to get their point across via protest, now uses denial of service against their targets as a standard expression of their discontent.