Wednesday, December 16, 2009


In a recent excellent report, security solution provider Trusteer Inc. details how data collected from “successful” phishing attacks on the banking sector over a three-month period could help cyber criminals pocket a staggering $9.4 million per 1 million bank customers if they took advantage of all the fraudulently obtained information at their disposal.
Trusteer’s report looks at phishing from a slightly different perspective that the one taken by the well-known Anti-Phishing Work Group (APWG), which twice-yearly publishes numbers on detected phishing Websites.
The APWG figures show that 49,084 unique phishing Websites were found in June 2009, the second-highest numbers since their data collection began. This data is based on the number of phishing sites found by the group, whether or not the sites have been accessed by Internet users.
This info comes from INTERNET EVOLUTION. And was posted by Jart Armin.
The long and short is: Your info, personally identifiable info; things like Name, SSN, Bank Account and Pin numbers, and your home address, are now the target of an organized crime syndicate, located in Russia.
It used to be that the Christmas and other holiday seasons were big times for internet insecurity. And the security world wondered WHY? Was it because the hackers new creations would have the extended off-time to spread world wide before the good guys could get a handle on it? Or was it because they simply wanted to spoil the holidays for the IT departments? While these elements may have credibility. It was the Ebenezer Scrooge syndrome at work.
Rather than go home from school to be with family, smart kids, really smart kids, were not going home. Abandoned, lonely and bored, these kids were left alone with the university's state of the art computer labs and no adult supervision. This phenomenon has not changed. But something new has been added. Rather than just taking control of you computer for fun and bragging rights. It has now become an operation, funded to give control to a powerful and serious multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise. And what is more important to know is that internet connectivity has increased exponentially. But personal computers make up less than half of those connections. Google estimates that computers account for only 30%. The other 70% are made by portable devices. Smart phones. And all those little applications that make your smart phone, so smart, were created with no thought towards security. A fact that has not been lost on the bad-guys. Add the fact that all the defenses you have erected to protect your PC, are not in place to protect your phone. And you have a recipe for disaster.
The only defense you have is your common sense. Artificial Intelligence is trumped by Natural Stupidity. Read your email on the phone. But wait to get home to your protected PC to view the new video that was attached.
If you get an email from your bank, asking you to verify information you know they already have. IGNORE IT. Also, set your PC's anti-virus to scan your smart phone as if it were any other removable storage device. There are no fail-safes for your not so smart phone. Be curious. Ask yourself Why? WHY did I win the European Lottery? I never knew the had one! They don't and you didn't enter it.

Why is my bank asking me to send them info I know they already have? It wasn't from your bank.
Why is a guy dressed like a thug giving me security advice? Because this is what the good guys look like.
Be well. Be safe. And enjoy your Christmas, or whatever you call your time off during the winter solstice.


Blasé said...

Sum'in all the time!

I bet this time of year you have lil' kids coming up to you and wanting to sit on your knee...

Dutch Sugar Babe said...

Biker Santa *giggle*

"The only defense you have is your common sense."

Very true, but common sense is not so common.

Edie said...

You mean I'm NOT a good guy??? :o

Excellent advice! These are things I had never considered before but then, I don't use all those gadgets to access the internet or my computer. I'm a one PC kinda gal with lots of protection! :)

Merry CHRISTmas to you my friend! :D


Heart2Heart said...


As always timely and great advice! The more advance technology gets, we forget that there are those out there to take advantage of those time saving devices we use more and more.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Just telling it like it is said...

I'm having visions of Berny Maddoff again...

Heidi said...

Several years ago (1993) I read a couple of books- fiction- about the author's (Paul Meier) version of what the end times might look like, based on his interpretation of Revelation. I think it was in the first book, The Third Millennium, he describes a system whereby all peoples of the world are connected somehow, such that when the antichrist comes, it is easy for him to locate and take out(or whatever) millions at a time- or something like that. Anyway, it reminds me of how things are now w/all of us "linked" up via internet and its many social networkings. Wonder if this favorite American pastime will be the downfall of the entire world?


Thanks for that knowledgable post.KW. I have been a victim of hacking and credit card fraud online and I know how frustrating it can be.