Airport and Hotel Wi-Fi Hacks

Connecting to public Wi-Fi gives savvy hackers easy access to your personnel information.  Too avoid these scams use your smart phone to connect to the internet more securely.  You might also invest in a virtual private network (VPN), a service that encrypts your data to keep unscrupulous hackers from stealing sensitive information online.  A VPN costs about $30 to $100 a year.

AARP Bulletin June 2021

Earl Johnson, CEO of ICI, reacts to CIA Director’s Comment

Recently the CIA Director addressed a Congressional committee on Capitol Hill. His report provided the Agency’s assessment of cyber threats and recent attacks on the United States. A key point addressed was Cyber security and the serious threats that  ISIS and other enemies of the US pose.

Business leaders, as well as the public, need to fully understand the potential problems we face as a nation due to cyber threat. Becoming educated regarding this issue and available solutions is paramount.  Earl Johnson, the CEO of International Consultants and Investigations, Inc., agrees with what was discussed at the Committee. He was quoted saying that key points were mentioned and that all businesses have to take the threats of Cyber Crime seriously. Preventative Cyber Security measures are available and need to be implemented.

For further information as to how ICI Cyber Solutions can fully prepare and protect you or your business against Cyber attacks contact: www.icicompanies.com

ATM Users – Beware!

ATM Users – Beware!

ATM users be advised, this counterfeit $20.00 bill, seen below, is one of 100 inserted into an ATM machine in one stack; this is what placed it out of order.  The perpetrators planned to recover an advance fee from the bank of $200.00 utilizing a bank account opened with a stolen identity. This is just one scam involving the ATM machines of major financial institutions as well as the smaller regional banks.

CONCERNS:

First main concern:  bad guys will intentionally place a machine out of order utilizing a jamming device to set up an armed robbery while a technician is repairing the system.  The bank customer may also be forced at gunpoint to withdraw money by an armed robber who will remove the “jam”.  This, unfortunately is more common than most expect, especially at night in remote locations.  Remember,   each ATM machine contains substantial amounts money and is, therefor, a popular target for thieves.

Second main concern: there are mutable capabilities provided bad guys via high tech to obtain your personal data including your account information even as you use the machine.  Avoid using machines not owned by financial institutions such as those found in bodegas, convenience stores, etc.

In the past, a criminal could steal the whole ATM machine.   Mega structures containing these machines have made it very difficult if not impossible to succeed at that.  More reason, therefor, for you to be concerned that you are the “soft” target.

You must be always alert, avoid late night visits to ATM’s in areas of large shopping malls; especially stand alone island machines.  Make sure you observe the surrounding area looking for individuals standing around, often under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  At drive-up machines, as you approach the kiosk, be aware of occupied cars in an overlook position within the area of the ATM.

While utilizing an ATM system: 1) maintain due diligence, make sure you’re not being watched and/or someones has not sidled up to you, 2) If you drove up to a system, once again keep your eyes open for approaching individuals during or persons loitering in a automobile or being a column, 3) avoid machines not operated by financial institutions and 4) If possible avoid late night visits to utilize the ATM system.

Emerging Cyber Security Threats, 2021 and Beyond – Part 3

Internet of Things – The internet of things is exploding. Everything around us is becoming “intelligent” and connected. From the refrigerator that tells us when we need to buy more food, to the connected thermostats and light bulbs in our homes, everything is getting a chip inside. This means that hackers have new ways to get into our homes. There have been many reports of a hacker taking control of a baby monitor and was talking to the child through the internet. Home camera systems allow for hackers to watch our every move. They know when we are home, and when we are not.

One of the major areas of concern for IoT security is with medical devices. There have been numerous recent cases of vulnerabilities with connected medical devices that lacked security to keep hackers from making changes to medication dosages.

With the internet of things, we must begin to have a standard of security before allowing these technologies in our home. We are constantly researching new “IoT” items and looking for the vulnerabilities. We work with manufacturers to plug these security holes.

Mobile vulnerabilities – There are now malware and ransomware specifically designed for mobile devices that can lock your device or steal data from it. Hackers are using smart phone vulnerabilities to track people with GPS. We have found many cases where people were surveilled by criminals after having their phone infected. Hackers are also using ransomware to lock your smartphone and ask for money to unlock it. In some cases, this malware allows the criminals to steal valuable banking data from your device which can give them access to your bank account.

With many businesses having Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, enterprises must be aware of the risks of mobile devices being active on business networks. With the lines between business and personal usage of mobile devices being blurred, there is an increase for the business that allows personal devices to be used for business purposes.

Careers in cyber security – There is a tremendous shortage of qualified candidates with cyber security skills. There is an estimated 1 million unfilled cyber security jobs across the globe. By 2025, it is expected that there will be over 1.5 million vacancies unfilled.

In the US, not a single one of the top 10 computer science universities require a cyber-security course in order to graduate. Higher education needs to begin to start cyber security education programs in order to give the workforce of the future the skills they need to succeed.

As the world becomes more connected and reliant on technology, the need for cyber security will only grow. Now is the time to start getting involved, start educating, and start securing the future.

Emerging Cyber Security Threats and Trends, 2021 and Beyond – Part 1

There is no denying that the world of cybercrime has changed the way businesses think about security. Not only do we need to consider physical security but also digital security. Everything in business is at risk if the business has an internet connection. Intellectual property, trade secrets, personal data and financial data are just a few of the things that hackers will try to steal from your business.

So let’s talk about cybercrime and the top cybercrime trends we have seen in 2020 – Part 1

Cybercrime – as-a-service – Cybercrime has gone mainstream and, like software, cloud, and infrastructure technologies, it is now being offered as a service. With the rise in computing power and the decrease in cost, cyber criminals have seized the chance to make money by offering their cybercrime skills to others who have the money to pay for their services with no technical experience required. Denial of service attacks can be launched for less than US $10 and email accounts on popular sites like Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail cost around $130.

State sponsored cyber-attacks – Hacking is no longer performed by the stereotypical teenage hacker in a basement accessing your systems. State sponsored hacking is now performed by sophisticated organized groups using every tool available to steal valuable intellectual property & critical data as well as to damage or shut down core infrastructure.

Think of the Sony Pictures or Office of Personnel Management data breaches in the US for examples of how state sponsored hackers have stolen valuable or damaging information from companies. These hackers are targeting companies and information that can provide economic or political advantages.

Recently publicized cases in the US show that state-sponsored hackers from Iran accessed critical infrastructure systems at a dam in upper New York state. In late December, alleged Russian hackers took down the power grid in Western Ukraine. Hackers have turned the fantasies of Die Hard into reality by accessing the core infrastructure of nations with direct penetration attempts. The state sponsored hackers are trying to get control of everything from oil fields, power stations, water stations, and nuclear facilities.

Hackivism – One of the emerging cybercrime threats to the world is what is termed “hactivism” or politically motivated hacking to destroy reputation, steal data, or affect critical infrastructure. Hackers such as Anonymous use their skills to forward their own political agenda. This trend began to gain traction during the US elections where people from around the world enlisted hacking as a form of speech. Businesses must have protections in place that can address the threat of hacktivism. From defacing your website to bringing down your network with a denial of service, hacktivism must be defended against.

Next: Ransomware