Oct 21 2008

12 Phishing Threats and Identity Theft

Category: Email Security,Identity TheftDISC @ 7:22 pm

Have you ever thought of losing something and you cannot live without it? Yes, that something can be your identity. Phishing is a practice of luring unsuspecting Internet users to a fake Web site by using authentic-looking email with the real organization’s logo, in an attempt to steal passwords, financial or personal information. In daily life people advise to retrace your steps when you lose something. The question is how you retrace your steps on cyberspace where some uber hackers know how to erase their footsteps to avoid detection. It is difficult to find phishers in cyberspace, and jurisdictional issues make it even harder to prosecute them. Then there is an issue of trust that phishers dupe people to believe that their web site is not fraudulent to collect personal/financial information.

Amongst the financial crisis, phishing might be on the rise because for many organizations information protection might be the last thing on their mind. The FDIC has created a webpage to inform and warn consumers about “phishing.” These days phishers have targeted social network organizations LinkedIn and Facebook where their members have been duped into revealing their sensitive data.

Mainly phishing attacks are targeted to steal the identity. Now the question is, how easy it is to steal somebody’s identity? Let’s say a phisher has your name and address, and then he/she can get your Social Security number with the search on AccurInt or other personal database website. A Social Security number is not the only bounty a fraudster can find on these websites, other personal/private information is available as well at minimal cost.

In the table below are the 12 threats to your online identity which can be manipulated in phishing scams, and possible countermeasures to protect your personal and financial information. Some threats are inadequate or no security controls in place. The last row of the table is a monitoring control to identify the warning signs of identity theft.

[Table=7]

Organizations should take necessary steps to protect against identity fraud and apply whatever state and federal legislation applies to your business. Organizations which are serious about their information security should consider implementing the ISO 27001 (ISMS) standard as a best practice, which provides reasonable due diligence to protect and safeguard your information.

US Bank phishing attack exposed
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2QKQkuSB4Q


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Tags: accurint, countermeasure, cyberspace, due diligence, equifax, experian, facebook, fdic, financial crisis, fraudster, identity fraud, information protection, isms, iso 27001, jurisdictional, legislation, linkedin, phishing, prosecute, safeguard, social security, threats, transunion, uber hacker


Oct 13 2008

World Bank security breach and financial crisis

Category: Information Warfare,Security BreachDISC @ 1:56 am

The World Bank controls the World’s banking system, creates plans and strategies to develop economies to protect countries from financial turmoil. This information is a treasure trove of data which can be manipulated for huge monetary or political gain.

Amongst the financial crisis, a major security breach has been reported at World Bank that might tell us a story that protecting consumers’ data during these crisis might not be the first priority for many suffering financial institutions.

World Bank Under Siege in “Unprecedented Crisis

“It is still not known how much information was stolen. But sources inside the bank confirm that servers in the institution’s highly-restricted treasury unit were deeply penetrated with spy software last April. Invaders also had full access to the rest of the bank’s network for nearly a month in June and July.”
“In total, at least six major intrusions — two of them using the same group of IP addresses originating from China have been detected at the World Bank since the summer of 2007, with the most recent breach occurring just last month. ”

The World Bank’s technology and security expert states that the incident is an “unprecedented crisis.” Some security experts are saying that this might be the worst security breach to date at a global financial institution. The hackers controlled around 18 servers for more than a month and World Bank admits that sensitive data could have been stolen but they are not sure about the total impact of the breach.

Alan Calder wrote about “Data protection and financial chaos” and mentioned that “When financial markets appear to be in free fall, many organizations might think that data protection is the least of their worries. Who cares, they might wonder, about protecting personal data if tomorrow we might not exist anymore?”
I concur with Alan on this point, in the midst of this chaos, our personal data might be at great risk and we have to be vigilant and carry the load to protect our data. At the same time, this might become another reason for the financial institutions’ demise if they let their guards down now and do not make a priority to protect customers’ data.

During this turmoil, some financial institutions’ upper management doesn’t have to worry about their responsibility of securing the customers data adequately when they already know that eventually the taxpayers will be paying for their mistakes and their bonus plan will stay intact. Unprecedented crisis are sometimes the result of unprecedented greed.

Glassner “I don’t know that the captain of the Titanic got a bonus for driving the boat into iceberg. They at least had the decency to go down with the ship” [quoted in ‘Wachovia’s Golden Parachutes” story in S.F. Chronicle of 10/10/08 pg. C1].

Bill Gates “I’m quite worried about the fiscal imbalances that we’ve got and what that might mean in terms of financial crisis ahead.”

Chinese hackers: No site is safe
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovNVhk1rVVE&feature=related


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Tags: china, consumers data, data protection, deeply penetrated, financial chaos, financial crisis, full access, hackers, inicident, monetary gain, restricted treasury, Security Breach, sensitive data, spy software, treasure trove, unprecedented crises, unprecedented greed