As 2020 plods along, new tech challenges I never thought we’d face are becoming realities. First of all, as I’m sure many of you who share living spaces have noticed, home internet connections have become less than ideal during the 8AM – 12 noon timeframe. My kids’ virtual learning via video hogs so much bandwidth that my own video calls for business are cutting out (fortunately, virtual school is only half a day).
In these strange economic times, impostors have identified an overworked company department. With Human Resource (HR) departments handling a new onslaught of employee concerns and issues, staffing changes, and remote work policies, email imposters have inserted themselves stealthily into their world. And, they have struck gold!
It was only a matter of time. Fresh off their latest exploits at trying to phish for sensitive financial account information, scammers have set their sights on people’s actual jobs. With jobless claims now topping 30 million and the unemployment rate headed for new highs, cyber criminals now have fertile ground for a brazen new scam.
The company travel agent, Leah, sometimes gets some really insightful inside information about her client company – sent to her accidentally. Fortunately, she is a trusted outside contractor and politely replies to her client, “I think you did not intend to send this to me.”
Killer whales occasionally hunt sharks. When they do, it can be ugly. In a recent whaling attack (This is not a nature article. We are referring to the very tricky type of email “spear-phishing” impostor email attack), the poser sent an email to one of the most famous sharks (from the Shark Tank TV show); an email with an invoice for a real estate renovation.
Given the popularity of our piece on whaling last week, we thought we’d follow this up by looking back on a piece we ran in the early days of whaling about a fake CEO email that cost a company nearly half a million dollars (Tech Essentials recommended reading).
It’s an election year, so it should come as no surprise that Russian military hackers are ramping up their efforts to wreak havoc on US elections. The NY Times reported on Jan 15 that hackers from a shadowy intelligence unit called GRU have been trying to gain access to Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company at the heart of the current impeachment trial. While it is not yet clear what the hackers found, it is likely they were trying to dig up potentially damaging info on Joe Biden and/or his son, Hunter. Very similar tactics were used during the last presidential campaign with regards to the hacking of DNC emails.
The FBI Elegantly Asks You to Stop Sending Money to Internet Criminals.
We are now in the 16th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a collaborative effort by the US Government and participating industry groups to educate all computer users enough so that they stop clicking those pesky links that download viruses and stop sending personal, health, employment, and tax information unencrypted.
Hollywood Sim Swappers are the New Posers.
Your mobile phone is often the second key to your life. When you forget your password at key accounts like your email or bank, you may be prompted to enter a code that appears by text message to your phone. Perfect security, multi-factor authentication.
Harpooning whales is (in most of the world) a thing of the past. This is good for the kind-hearted. But in the cyber world, harpooning “whales” is a thriving and fantastically profitable criminal profession.