Security Weakness in Amazon’s Customer Service Highlighted by the Hack

December 31, 2012 2 comments

Amazon is one of US’s biggest online retail stores and customers expect it to provide top class safety standards. But sadly, the online security that Amazon has, both as a site and for users, is not up to the mark. In fact, the lack of adequate security can escalate into a potentially fatal issue with time. Synapse Studios, a web development company, was responsible for discovering the flaw in the online retail giant’s site. Chris Cardinal, the managing partner of the firm, reported this flaw. He also added that the flaw is causing more damage to the site than it is causing to the consumers. Read more…

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Security Threats to Evolve in 2013: McAfee

December 28, 2012 Leave a comment

One of the biggest hurdles that online security vendors face is the change in the techniques and methodologies that hackers use over time. With change in technologies and the increase in usage of mobile devices, hackers have adopted new methods and techniques to take advantage of the security flaws and dangerous online habits. McAfee, the world leader in online security services provider, has released a threat prediction report for the year 2013. This is the report that highlights the threats that McAfee predicts for the year 2013. This is a very important phase of providing security services. Read more…

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The Latest Children’s Privacy Policy – The Good and the Bad

December 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Online privacy is a never ending issue, and companies and authorities have always tussled over the optimum rule set for this. But both parties have failed to find a neutral ground in this issue and the tug of war continues. Children’s privacy came into sharp focus recently with apps and other websites taking advantage of the innocence of children. There was a lot of pressure on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to revise its rule set for children’s online privacy. The body has finally relented and come up with some changes that are specifically aimed at making the internet a safe place for children. Read more…

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Spyware on Rented PCs Spied and Photographed Unsuspecting Users

December 26, 2012 Leave a comment

It is a well-known fact that malicious software comes in varying degrees of sophistication in today’s world. There are some that are in the form of anonymous social media accounts that target unsuspecting users. There are others that steal your authentication codes for your online accounts, including your online bank accounts. Recently, a new type of malicious software called as ransomware was identified. This software held users’ personal information and released it only on the payment of a ransom amount. The case you are reading about today is the spyware that was planted on rental computers to get personal information of unsuspecting users. Read more…

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Facebook Helps FBI in Catching the Culprits behind the Butterfly Botnet

December 25, 2012 Leave a comment

The rise in popularity of social networking site Facebook has been unprecedented and unmatched. Consequently, Facebook has, by default, painted a target on itself for the hackers. With millions of users using the social networking site, it is attracting hackers like flies to food. The site is also very concerned about the security and privacy of its users. A number of advanced security protocols have been implemented over the years. However, time and again, hackers get the better of these protocols and score a hit. But Facebook is determined to bring them to justice. Read more…

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The ‘January Effect’ of Cyber Attacks

December 24, 2012 1 comment

Online security companies spend millions of dollars on analyzing trends, habits and signs of cyber attacks and hackers. This is one of the best and effective ways of determining when, where and how cybercriminals might strike. It gives both online security companies and users to prepare better and when the attack comes, it will not be so much as a surprise. True, sometimes the predictions are accurate and sometimes they are not. But the bottom line is that the damage can be limited and sometimes, totally prevented. One such trend is what online security experts and researchers popularly call as the ‘January Effect’.

KET Dec 24

What is the ‘January Effect’?

You might be rejoicing that the world has not ended on December 21st, 2012 but if you are not careful, you will feel like the end of the world because January is supposedly the month of cyber attacks. Jeffery Carr is a cyber warfare author and also the chief executive officer of a reputed company, said that every year, he has noticed a major security breach or a cyber warfare activity. He said that although the attack itself might not occur in the month of January, January is the month when it is detected or is revealed to the general public. This has started some warning bells in the cyber security world and even the major companies have noticed the trend that they had failed to do so till not.

Occurrences that Back the ‘January Effect’

Jeffery Carr listed four major cyber attacks in the past four years, all that occurred in the month of January or that came to light in January, as proof for the January Effect.

  • 2008 December to 2009 January: This occurrence was a part of an ongoing war between the Hamas and Israel. The operation was called as Operation Cast Lead and this war had a number of simultaneous online security breaches as a part of the attack.
  • 2009 December to 2010 January: Many leading internet based and technology companies including Google reported security breaches of their servers and networks. The reports on the severity of the breaches were not accurate but the breaches were confirmed by official statements from all the affected companies.
  • 2011 January to 2011 March: The RSA announced in the month of March that its network was breached in the early part of 2011. The details of the breach and the extent of damage remained sketchy.
  • 2012 January: Symantec was the victim this time. An anonymous hacker announced that he had obtained the source code for Norton online security system and some of the other products. This created a huge stir and many other hackers took advantage of this by selling cracked and fake antivirus systems for a relatively low price.

A Part of Online Security Experts’ Community Say They Are Coincidences

While most of the online security experts’ community agree that timing of the events are too many to be a coincidence, a small part of the community beg to differ. They still maintain that these events were just coincidences. Their reason is that hackers thrive on being unpredictable and this trend will only contribute to reducing the severity of their attack. The damage is severe only when you least expect the attack and that is what hackers depend on.

You cannot afford to leave it to Chance

 Although the attacks suggest that the damage to the common man is mild to say the least, you never know what might happen. It is always better to stay on your guard. Don’t click on posts, photos or links from anonymous social media accounts. Delete all the spam mails without opening them. Don’t click on links that say claim free bonus or discounts while shopping online. But the bottom line is that the onus is on online security service providers to ensure that we remain safe. Let us hope for a safe new year!

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Privacy Policy Changes By Facebook and Instagram Trigger Widespread Online Protests

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Instagram is a popular photo sharing app that has millions of users all over the world. Recently, the company was purchased by Facebook in a deal that reportedly cost Mark Zuckerberg $1 billion. Privacy policy changes are common but the latest change by Instagram triggered a lot of unrest among its widespread user community. Reportedly, these changes affect not only the users who are above the legal age of 18 but also kids as young as 13 years old. Celebrities and public figures were the worst threatened by these privacy policy changes. Although co-founder of the company publicized in a blog that they are working on language changes to make the privacy policy updates more clear, experts and users were still skeptical. Read more…

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