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Stop cell phone spam

Give credit where credit is due, the bad actors are nothing if not resourceful. Take for example the newest delight appearing on cell phones around the world, spam, phishing, and other nonsense designed to trap the unwary and create problems for those unlucky souls.

PCs can be readily protected with a wealth of software tools and safe practices by users. You are using a current anti-virus/malware/firewall app and following safe online and email practices, right? Good, that’s what we thought. If you’d like a little primer on malware and safe online practices, check out our earlier blog post.

Teach a person to fish, and they can feed themselves, teach a hacker to Phish, and they can trap the unwary. Okay, poor metaphor using the old text, but phishing remains one of the most dangerous forms of cyberattack and one of the most lucrative. Unfortunately, the bad actors never rest and have recently launched a sophisticated new attack that can snare even seasoned and prepared veterans.

There’s an old saying generally used to say someone is special. That saying is, “You’re one in a million.” Sounds rather sentimental and sweet, doesn’t it? However, when it comes to data breaches, being one in however many have been stolen is not at all sentimental. It is unsettling and can lead to identity theft.

The new Coinmine One Rig

In the early days of cryptocurrencies, a person could mine to their heart’s content with a basic laptop. Boy, has that changed. Today, a coin mining rig costs in the thousands; sucks electricity like a vampire in a feeding frenzy and generates tons of heat and noise. Coming from the electric utility business, I found the power appetite of these monsters appalling. One article reported 13% of all power use today is going to coin mining! 

Gone are the days of slipping your PC online to grab a bit of the gold rush, er, coin rush bounty. With one company even designing and selling self-contained mining operations in 40’ shipping containers. Just plunk

Apple users have long enjoyed a more secure position in the digital world. Since Apple had a substantially smaller share of the personal computing market, hacks of its products had seemed less profitable. Not there haven’t been bugs, viruses, hacks, and other nasty elements that inflicted damage on Apple users; therejust were not as many of them.

The bad actors are at it again, this time taking their phishing schemes to text messages. Just this week, I received my first two. And just this week, Digital trends posted an article about this very subject. It seems that the decline in using traditional email in favor of cell phone alternatives is cutting into the bad guys’ revenue. So, they have taken their black arts to text messages.

 The American National Security Agency (NSA) apparently will be offering one of its specially developed cybersecurity tools to anyone with interest. Named GHIDRA, it is a reverse engineering tool. According to an articlein the Hacker News, the NSA is planning to release it at the RSA security conference in March.

Do You Have a Tip or a suggestion for an interesting topic? Tell Us About It.

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