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Data Security

The latest on data breaches and cybersecurity and data security by Adam K Levin.


  • phishing

    Study: Phishing, Not Data Breaches Most Likely Cause of Account TakeoverData Security, Technology

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    A recent Google study found that phishing exploits are far more likely to be the cause of account takeovers than the information compromised by data breaches. “Data Breaches, Phishing, or Malware? Understanding the Risks of Stolen Credentials” was conducted in cooperation with the University of California, Berkeley and the International Computer Science Institute gathered data from March 2016 through March 2017. Sampling more than 1.9 billion stolen usernames and passwords exposed by past data breaches […]

  • 5 Ways to Keep Your Personal Health Information SafeData Security, Privacy, Identity Theft

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    Did members of the royal family go under the knife at an upscale London plastic surgery clinic? A recent hack at London Bridge Plastic Surgery may reveal the answer to that—and many other questions you never thought to ask. Setting aside the obvious follow-up questions (Do you care? Is it any of your business?) and regardless of your curiosity about seeing the picture proof of royal rearrangements, you should be paying attention. The hack speaks to our […]

  • Spam

    Why Spam Is More Dangerous Than EverData Security, Technology

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    Spam is supposed to be a thing of the past, but it’s not—and today it comes weaponized with manifold data-grabbing threats—from ransomware to keystroke recorders and beyond. Your email has never been more dangerous. There was a time in the early 2000s when email spam and malicious botnets were viewed as mere nuisances. A confident Bill Gates waved it away at the 2004 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland: “Two years from now, spam will […]

  • Markets, GPS could be first to go in the event of global cyber conflictData Security, Technology

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    The announcement of a sixth subterranean nuclear test has the world talking about how to contain the threat of a nuke-ready North Korea, but there is another concern getting insufficient attention: the potential for full spectrum cyber war. Just what that might look like is known, but seldom discussed. Remember the NASDAQ flash crash? It happened on May 6, 2010, at 2:32 pm and lasted for more than 30 minutes. Still not ringing any bells? […]

  • Are Your Connected Devices Safe?Data Security

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    The number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in use is forecasted to hit 8.4 billion this year. That’s more than the human population on planet Earth. And with successful attacks like Mirai (which was the malware used in the 2016 Dyn cyberattack) already a part of the IoT story, there’s plenty to worry about. It’s crucial we give this latest market exuberance a brief time-out. Unfortunately, the chances of that happening are fairly unlikely. So, what to do […]

  • What Equifax Teaches Us About the Dangers of ‘Breach Fatigue.’Data Security, Identity Theft

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    From mid-May to July, 143 million U.S. consumers were more vulnerable to hackers than usual. Or rather, they were actively vulnerable. Equifax, one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies, reported that the company had suffered a massive data compromise that exposed their customers’ Social Security numbers, drivers license numbers and other sensitive personally identifiable information. In a statement, they noted that the compromise was not limited to U.S. consumers. There were some customers […]

  • Alabama ransomware attack: think before clicking on emailData Security

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    Last week, if you wanted a vehicle tag or a license in Montgomery County, Alabama, you were out of luck. Hackers request bitcoins Hackers knocked many county computers offline with a ransomware attack, local officials say. The probate office took the worst of the attack, which hit late Monday, so business licenses, marriage licenses, and vehicle tags were all unavailable. (Driver’s license systems were not impacted.) So was the county sheriff’s website. “We noticed the system was acting up at about 4:55 […]

  • Credit lockdown

    Post Equifax: Will Free Credit Freezes Help?Data Security, credit, Identity Theft

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    When Equifax announced the historic data compromise that exposed the sensitive personal information of up to 143 million consumers, the company said victims would have access to credit freezes for a month free of charge. This was not exactly a solution to the fresh hell it had just announced. Frankly, it seemed like a relatively cheeky move considering the staggering number of people who had just learned that they will be looking over their shoulders for a […]

  • The Equifax Breach and the Cybersecurity Silver BulletData Security, Cybersecurity, Technology

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    Some time ago, the popular show Mythbusters wanted to find out if the Lone Ranger was right about silver bullets being better than lead ones. Turns out silver bullets are actually slower and less accurate. When it comes to cybersecurity, quick-fix silver bullets are also less effective than tried-and-true approaches. The most effective cybersecurity strategies begin with two certainties: mistakes will be made, and breaches like the one that hit Equifax will keep happening. The 143 million consumers exposed […]

  • Equifax Data Breach

    Consumers must demand answers on Equifax data breachData Security, Consumer Protection

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    Until murky details are cleared up, follow best practices for protecting personal information Equifax needs to start answering questions, fast. And this better be a turning point in consumer rights around use and storage of their personal information. It’s not even clear from the PR-worded statement that 143 million Social Security numbers were stolen, though that’s the clear implication. All we know is most Americans are “potentially” impacted. A bunch of driver’s license numbers were stolen, too. Really, all we […]

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