Cyber Security Explained: Baiting

Baiting involves a piece of portable electronic storage media like a CD, laptop or USB stick drive left at or close to the target’s workplace in order to tempt the curious victim into seeing what’s on it. In effect, the CD, stick drive, etc. is the worm on the fishhook. You’re the fish.

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Posted in Fraud & Scams, Network Security, Security Tip of the Week

“Sanitize” Your Computer Before Disposal

Image: Stephen Swintek/Stone

Image: Stephen Swintek/Stone

When the time comes to throw away, give away, sell or otherwise dispose of a computer, you should be sure to permanently erase the data on it. Otherwise, the new owner – or someone who has fished it out of the trash (yes, this actually happens) – will be able to read any financial, business, personal, or other sensitive data that was on the hard drive when you stopped using it. Often this will also include data that you may have thought was deleted but is actually still on the hard drive. Pressing “delete” doesn’t actually erase a file or program permanently and even a moderately skilled hacker will be able to retrieve it. This begs the question: how do you permanently delete the data that you don’t want lingering on the computer once you are ready to dispose of it?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology publication related to data disposal is SP 800-88 rev. 1. It details three levels of “media sanitization” – clear, purge and destroy. Data is considered cleared when it’s not readily accessible on the computer or device in question, though someone with digital forensic tools (like that moderately skilled hacker noted above) can still get at it. Purging involves removal of the data to the extent that it is “infeasible to recover” using state of the art forensic lab methods and destroying is pretty much what it sounds like. NIST SP 800-88 references a number of destructive methods relating to computer data. Here are a few common ones:
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Posted in Laptops & Desktops, Network Security, Privacy Issues

How Do Vulnerability Assessments & Pentesting Protect Your Computer Network?

“How Do Vulnerability Assessments & Pentesting Protect Your Computer Network?” is an excerpt from Introduction to Information Security LiveLessons (Video Training).

Introduction to Information Security LiveLessons provides technical professionals with a relatively brief, high-level overview of information security concepts, including the fundamental steps needed to secure a system, the types of threats and vulnerabilities they may encounter, and what steps can and should be taken to mitigate those threats and vulnerabilities.

Description

Information security directly impacts virtually every type of business. While related issues appear in the media more and more, it’s typically in a fragmented fashion that really doesn’t help give the people tasked with protecting organizational data and other assets a “big picture” view of what the real threats and vulnerabilities are, or what steps should be taken to mitigate them. In this video training, Scott offers a relatively brief, coherent high-level overview of the various types of threats and what steps can and should be taken in response.
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Posted in Network Security

Phone Spoofing – Yes, It Can Happen to You

A screenshot of an early spoofing app (they've gotten better)

A screenshot of an early spoofing app (they’ve gotten better)

By Scott Aurnou

Not so long ago, a senior executive at Insurance Thought Leadership received a phone call on his smartphone in which the caller said that they were calling him back. He politely let the caller know that he hadn’t called them and then came another… and another. Each one said that they had received a call from his mobile number and that the caller hadn’t left them a message. All told he received about a call a day for about a week. Naturally, he called his mobile provider to find out what was going on. They said it sounded like phone spoofing

How It Works

Spoofing is effectively falsifying a piece of identifying information, like a bogus return email address. “Phone spoofing” relates to the number that shows up on caller ID. It’s used to trick people into picking up calls they otherwise wouldn’t (and get around the National Do Not Call Registry). For a shady caller from outside the area – and often the country – a local number is less likely to raise suspicion.
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Posted in Fraud & Scams, Smartphones & Tablets

What is Trojan Horse Malware?


Computer Security Tip of the Week

Scott Aurnou – A Trojan horse (or Trojan, for short) is the security world’s version of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Learn more about them – and what you can do to protect yourself – here.

Helpful websites referenced in this video include:
Secunia
FileHippo
AppFresh for Mac

If you enjoyed this video, you can see more on TheSecurityAdvocate YouTube channel.

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Posted in Fraud & Scams, Laptops & Desktops, Network Security, Security Tip of the Week