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  • Very interesting article

    It tells a lot about fake android apps and how scammers basically use these tools to make money or at-least steal information from others. Also, it’s been very effectively described in different ways how users can prevent themselves from falling into these traps.

    Different companies and tech giants can also ensure that their apps on play store aren’t getting into wrong hands and if they are, a proper framework should be defined to report these cases to the Google and remove them. This can be another way towards data security of the billions of the app users.

    in reply to: How does Malware Get onto Your Computer? #2502

    Your computer can still become infected with a virus even if you didn’t click on a bad link or initiate an installation. This is a rare occurrence, especially if you keep your operating system updated by installing different updates regularly, but it does happen. A virus built into a website can install itself in the background while you browse the internet. As long as you are connected to a network, your system is always vulnerable to a virus.

    The best way to protect yourself from computer viruses is by being careful. Avoid suspicious links and downloads, keep your computer’s OS up to date, and install only trusted antivirus software.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by AsadIqbal.
    in reply to: Cyber Security Threats to the Biometric Systems #2499

    Biometric security has become a preferred way to prevent companies and individuals from hackers’ intent on fraud and identity theft. Fingerprint sensors, iris scans and facial recognition systems have become mainstream, led by tech giants such as Apple.

    This technology has significant advantages in the fight against cyber crimes, but there are risks. I’ve mentioned the two main issues which individuals and organisations need to have some idea about if they want to protect themselves and the digital information they hold:

    • Individuals must understand that fingerprint or facial recognition can be ‘hacked’ as cyber criminals look to either steal or ‘spoof’ biometric data.
    • Organisations, for example hospitals which hold patient medical history, blood samples or DNA profiles, must understand the security implications of a data breach, and their potential liability.

    Biometric spoofing: The growing hacker threat

    Spoofing is the practice of ‘fooling’ a biometric security system using fake or copied biometric information. For example, a fingerprint can be stolen, copied and moulded onto an artificial silicon finger. This can be used to unlock a mobile device or payment system, allowing hackers access to the user’s bank account. Facial recognition systems, often used to secure smartphones or tablets, have been known to be vulnerable to simply being shown a photograph of the owner, thus unlocking the device.

    Companies are enhancing technology all the time to stay one step ahead of the hackers, but users leave fingerprints and DNA, such as saliva on a coffee cup, everywhere they go, opening up myriad opportunities for theft. Today, if you have your credit card stolen, you simply have a new one set up and the old one cancelled. But how do you replace a fingerprint or DNA sample that’s been stolen and reproduced?

    To stay one step ahead of cyber criminals, technology companies need to provide answers to the key security questions posed by biometric security systems, such as how to securely store this information, prevent spoofing and most importantly, verify the authenticity of the user.

    The data breach risk of storing personal medical records and DNA

    IT vulnerabilities in the Healthcare Technology and Life Science industry provide cyber criminals with huge opportunities to steal confidential patient medical records, clinical trial results and sensitive intellectual property, for example relating to drug development.

    This information is more valuable to hackers than credit card details stolen via online phishing methods because it can be used for medical insurance fraud, identity theft and in the case of drug development, for sale on the black market to counterfeit drug traffickers, an industry worth an estimated $75 billion annually.

    The secure storage of this information will be a critical element of security planning within this industry in the years to come as the potential for ‘bio-crime’ grows.

    So, with biometric security now mainstream, there are clear risks to individuals around identity theft and financial crime, should their fingerprints or DNA profile be stolen and reproduced for spoofing or medical fraud.

    Healthcare and Life Science organisations in particular need to understand just why the personalised medical information they hold is so valuable to cyber criminals and take steps to ensure they understand the security required to prevent a data breach.

    in reply to: What is Cyber Espionage? #2498

    A very interesting read

    Cyber espionage has now become more sophisticated on both domestic and international levels. I would like to add some more cases.

    Operation Aurora 

    In the beginning of 2010, Google claimed to be under massive cyber attack that originated from China. But it wasn’t just Google, there were other companies too including Yahoo and Adobe Systems. Later Google said that it’s intellectual work was stolen and  Gmail accounts were also facing persistent threats. Censoring search results in China was also considered by the company. Attacks were carried out by exploiting vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer and combining stealth programming and encryption methods.

    Night Dragon

    Night Dragon operation was reported by McAfee in 2011. It was initiated by the Chinese hackers. Largest American and European energy businesses including Baker Hughes and Royal Dutch Shell were attacked. This is considered one of the largest espionage cases where intruders had successfully acquired topographical maps with information about potential oil reserves. The attackers used a range of unsophisticated hacking tools and techniques that were found available on the Chinese hacking websites, as reported by McAfee.

    Computer Spies Breach Fighter-Jet Project

    In 2009, Pentagon said that their Fighter-Jet Project was breached by some unknown cyber attackers. This multi-billion dollar project was the victim of coordinated cyber espionage attacks during two years. Hackers stole a large amount of data about electronics and internal maintenance. Later, it was revealed that this attack was also originated from China. During the attack, the most sensitive information was offline and luckily, the attackers were unable to access it. The US officials only suspected that it was the Chinese intruders but true identity of the perpetrators remained undefined.

    in reply to: Russian Cyber Attacks and the New Cold War #2474

    A very informative piece

    It’s clear that cyber warfare is at peak between different global powers and they are trying hard to protect their regional and strategic interests. In today’s world, a direct war between them is impossible because of the weapon systems they have. So, the only option, perhaps, they left with is cyber warfare and Russia seems to be leading the way. Recent electoral interference proves the capability of Russian hackers and how seriously Russian government has invested in this area. Venezuelan Crisis is another example where Washington and Moscow are in war of words.

    Western world, on the other hand, presently seems helpless and lacks the capability to stop the data breaches. They, probably, need to invest heavily to build the army of “Cyber Soldiers”.

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