It seems nothing is sacred when it comes to the activities of hackers. Not even the FIFA World Cup is immune from the unwelcome attention of bad cyber actors. One example comes from the English Football Association (FA) as they warn their players, coaches, and staff to avoid using public and unsecured Wi-Fi and other communication links while in Russia to prevent hacking and theft of team and personal information.
Let’s admit it, the lure of making a fortune in cryptocurrencies has an appeal, right? Just look at all the successes out there. And one way to get in on the action is by mining coins, or in other words, becoming an official part of the blockchain for your currency/currencies of choice. Here’s a short and sweet definition:
Bitcoin mining is the processing of transactions in the digital currency system, in which the records of current Bitcoin transactions, known as blocks, are added to the record of past transactions, known as the blockchain.
It would appear that our smart phones are listening to what we say even when we are not using them. A recent article in Vice reported this somewhat disconcerting news. Generally, the voice assistants only spring to life when they hear the trigger phrase, “hey Siri” or “okay Google.” But other apps on your phones are also listening in on what you are saying even while not actively being used.
Yes, you read the title correctly, scammers and hackers are resorting to phone calls to trick people into giving them access to their PCs. In fact, it happened to me just this week. Here is how it went down. A call came in on my land line. Being busy, I let it go to the answering machine. When I finally listened to the message a woman said that there was a problem with my Microsoft account and if I was the person who purchased Office 365, I should call back or press 1 for immediate help. Dire circumstances would occur otherwise like corruption of credentials, loss of data, inability to access accounts, etc.
Government agencies from around the world are often the first to make recommendations to individuals, groups, and companies about steps to take for the best cyber security. That advice is welcome and often can save users from falling prey to scams, hacks, and other cyber threats. In many situations, these agencies mandate levels of cybersecurity that must be achieved in industry, especially where the product or service is critical to the efficient functioning of daily life for a country. These include banking, power, and other municipal services.
Researchers have reported that a new malware called VPNFilter has infected as many as 500,000 routers worldwide. Over the last couple of days, more has come out about the malware and what it does. This is a sophisticated piece of software that has three stages. According to an article from PCMag.com, Stage 1 makes the connection back to the bad actors. Stage 2 sends the information being collected, and Stage 3 provides various plugins for Stage 2 even including the ability to use a Tor browser to communicate.
It's probably a safe bet that everyone with internet access has heard of the infamous dark web, that lawless electronic realm where all the bad actors hang out. But what is it and where is it? Why don’t dark web sites show up when we search for normal things?