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It was going to be an affair fit for Nashville royalty: a party at Robert’s, a ceremony at the historic Ernest Tubb Record Shop and a reception at Marathon Music Works, an automobile factory cum music venue. Manuel Cuevas, who’s outfitted Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and three generations of Hank Williamses, designed the outfits, and Robby Klein, who has shot celebrities ranging from Ryan Reynolds to Billie Eilish, was the photographer.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has become a sobering experience in many ways. We are witnessing firsthand the negative impact that a fragmented national public health system has on our safety, health and economy.
Social isolation has become a stark reality and necessity for people around the globe, including here in the United States. While social distancing has become the operational approach to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus (or at least flatten the infection curve), this isolation has ripple effects across other components of our lives. A vast number of people will telecommute and work from home. Schools at the K-12 and university levels are instructing students to stay away from campus and suspending face-to-face teaching. Faculty are moving all classes online. The entertainment and sports industries are canceling events and premiers, and restaurants and bars are closing. Major studios are rushing to push content to streaming services; the list will continue.
While these responses are prudent, the result is that more of our daily routines are dependent on the internet, internet technologies and telecommunications. This strategy to move to the online cyber and virtual realm, at least in the interim, is happening with no real thought about the cybersecurity implications.
Historically, cybercriminals have used crises to increase criminal activity and scams related to stealing personally identifiable information, as well as financial and personal health Information to defraud victims. Foreign actors have spread disinformation and attempted to disrupt recovery operations as a means of causing more chaos. The same thing is happening and will continue to happen with the COVID-19 crisis.
We already see cyberattacks against the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, and similar attacks in Europe. Scammers are sending fake emails and setting up fake COVID-19 health information websites, trying to phish user IDs and passwords. Other scammers are pretending to raise money to assist with replacement lunch programs for students or the isolated elderly. No one should be surprised to see a jump in cyber-criminal activity, as these people are opportunistic. We find ourselves in the perfect storm for cyberattacks.
Increased cyberattacks are not the only ripple effect we could see. The telecommunications and mobile network operators’ critical infrastructure must absorb an exponential increase in demand, with little or no ramp-up time. Similar to the public health system, these industries are fragmented and equally unprepared or capable across companies and regions. Internet and mobile network operators will find their resources pushed to the maximum.
We need only to look at recent natural disasters such as floods and tornadoes to see how fragile this infrastructure is. The ability to communicate either via email or mobile phone with emergency services, loved ones or the media to get information disseminated is essential during a crisis and the ensuing recovery period.
Social isolation will put a significant burden on the telecommunications and mobile network infrastructure. We will now have millions of people working from home using local or regional providers to connect to company networks. K-12 and university students are trying to resume their studies online using e-learning, placing more burden on networks and the infrastructure. People will increase their use of streaming media for news and entertainment purposes, including on their mobile devices.
This increased demand will also not follow the regular demand cycles, at least in the foreseeable future — school time, the typical workday and leisure activities no longer have rigid schedules; they will be somewhat blended together. This lack of regular routines could potentially magnify the demand and further negatively impact bandwidth and availability.
We must understand that with our increased dependence on technology and cyber, there are increased risks that we need to be aware of and plan for. Governments, businesses and schools need to provide some direction and advice to the general public on how to follow not only appropriate “anti-COVID-19 hygiene” but also “cybersecurity hygiene.”
Since networks will now be extended to homes during this time, similar cybersecurity policies, practices and standards that someone would adhere to if they were physically sitting at work or school need to apply.
We may also need to consider metering our online behavior to essential activities such as those related to our work, education or critical communications, or at the very least following the more regular rhythm of the day — routine work or school hours.
We will learn many lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the cost will be high in terms of lives and the economy. Hopefully, when we come out on the other side of this crisis, we will also have a better understanding of how to protect our critical infrastructures and the real risks of living even deeper in cyberspace.
Dr. Marcus Rogers is a professor and executive director of cybersecurity programs at Purdue University; he has over 25 years of experience in public- and private-sector consulting in the area of information technology security, and has consulted for the military, law enforcement and for some of the largest financial and health care providers in the world.
The post #cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Could fighting coronavirus compromise cybersecurity? appeared first on National Cyber Security.
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Consumers and businesses alike have been scrambling to take steps to protect themselves from the coronavirus, from flocking to stores to buy out supplies of hand sanitizer, to encouraging workers to avoid large gatherings and work remotely. While we hope our customers are taking the necessary steps to stay healthy (check out best practices from the World Health Organisation here), in addition to health risks, there are increased cybersecurity risks, too. The European Central Bank recently issued a warning to banks about the heightened potential for cybercrime and fraud, as many users are opting to stay at home and use remote banking services during the coronavirus outbreak. At a time of uncertainty and vulnerability for many, hackers and fraudsters are taking advantage of fear surrounding the virus as it continues to spread across the globe. We pulled together the following tips to help you improve your cybersecurity hygiene during this time:
1) According to recent PCI Pal research, almost half (47%) of Americans use the same password across multiple sites and apps. We all know this is a big cybersecurity no-no, but it’s especially important during times of heightened risk that we ensure our passwords are unique and secure. Consider updating your passwords and using a password manager tool to improve account security.
2) In addition to varying passwords, consider adopting two-factor authentication for accounts – most services offer some sort of two-factor authentication, yet 23% of Americans report they have never used these tools to protect passwords or payments! Take advantage of these tools – especially if you’re going to be engaging with more digital services while you stay home to wait out coronavirus.
3) In addition to online fraud, there’s also an increased risk for phone fraud – whether you’re engaging with a customer service agent from your bank over the phone or simply ordering takeout. When speaking with a customer service representative, make sure you double check their credentials and only use the phone number provided by the company’s website.
4) For businesses looking to protect customer data during this time, consider PCI compliance, the strongest standard for payment security. PCI compliance standards can help protect your customers from data breaches and hacks – even when they ignore the above steps to protect themselves!
5) Phishing scams relating to Coronavirus will be prevalent, including emails pretending to offer advice from governments and the World Health Organisation. Scammers will use such techniques to infect your laptop/PC and gain access into your systems. Every care should be taken before opening such communications.
Contact us today to learn how PCI Pal’s solutions can help ensure your customers’ sensitive payment information is safe from opportunistic fraudsters.
The post Coronavirus and cybersecurity crime appeared first on PCI Pal.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Knowledge Centre – PCI Pal authored by Stacey Richards. Read the original post at: https://www.pcipal.com/en/knowledge-centre/news/coronavirus-and-cybersecurity-crime/
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Photo: File Photo / Hearst Connecticut Media
In response to the coronavirus and its impact on local communities, municipal leaders are making changes to their town hall schedules. Some remain open with signs on the door asking residents to consider their own health before entering; others are closed.
City Hall and its offices remain open, with a warning sign posted on the front entrance asking people to consider their health and the health of others before entering.
Residents can find information on all boards and commissions online at www.torringtonct.org/
The Sullivan Senior Center is closed, and all park and recreation activities are canceled or postponed. An Easter Egg Hunt, set for April 4, is “on hold.” Check the website for details.
The Torrington Historial Society also announced this week that it is closed. Residents can visit www.torringtonhistoricalsociety.org/ or call 860-482-8260.
Town Hall remains open with regular hours, including the town clerk, first selectman, assessor, finance office and tax collector. Residents are being asked to put off non-urgent business at Town Hall, or call ahead before they visit, at 860-567-7561.
Probate Judge Diane Blick said Friday that probate court operations in the Litchfield town hall and Canaan are continuing, but no passport applications will be processed until further notice. Anyone with questions can call the court in Litchfield at 860-567-8065 or in North Canaan at 860-824-7012.
The Litchfield Community Center, Oliver Wolcott Library, Litchfield Historical Society, public schools and the Forman School are closed. The recycling center is closed until March 21, and park and recreation programs are suspended.
“We are taking a proactive approach in dealing with this COVID-19 event and setting up our Community Emergency Response Volunteer Team in case we need to deploy,” said First Selectman Denise Raap in a statement. “I urge residents to check on their elderly neighbors via phone calls, social media messaging or email. In the meantime, we urge you to continue social distancing, to follow the guidance of CDC guidelines (www.cdc.gov) the CT State Dept of Public Health (portal.ct.gov/coronavirus) and will continue to work with Torrington Area Health.”
According to the town website, the Morris town hall, senior center and the library are closed until further notice.
New Hartford First Selectman Dan Jerram said this week that Town Hall and the public works department are open. The town garage is open to employees only. Residents are being asked to call Town Hall if they need help.
“If you have business that can be conducted by phone, email or snail mail … we prefer that method for now,” Jerram said, adding that residents can still come to town hall if necessary, but to keep their visits brief.
Jerram reminded residents that the senior center is closed “to protect our ‘at risk’ senior population,” he said, adding that all exercise classes and social programs are canceled until further notice. The senior van will be used to transport resident seniors to scheduled medical appointments only. All other social trips are canceled.
Jerram also said that board or commission meetings that are not required to meet to conduct business required by state statute are canceled until further notice, including the Commission on Aging, Conservation Commission, Economic Development Commission, Historic District Commission, Recreation Commission and the Open Space Preservation Commission. Boards required to meet, including the Board of Assessment Appeals, Board of Education, Board of Finance, Inland Wetland Commission, Planning & Zoning Commission, Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) and Zoning Board of Appeals, will be assessed case-by-case.
For more information, visit www.newhartfordct.gov/ or call 860-379-3389.
“We are going to post signs at Town Hall requesting that anyone with symptoms or who has returned from travel outside the U.S. in the previous 14 days not come into the building and that everyone use .
Purell (which we will have available) before engaging with Town Hall staff,” wrote First Selectman Don Stein, in a town website message.
The Board of Finance meeting, scheduled for March 17, will be moved to the Community Room. Stein said he is maintaining the spring budget hearing/meeting schedule, with a budget hearing on April 7 ,and town meeting May 5. These dates are subject to change.
The Barkhamsted Senior Center is closed for the next two weeks. A decision to remain closed or reopen the week of March 29 is pending.
The Highway Garage Community Room is closed for non-town functions until further notice.
Residents can always call Town Hall, 860-379-8285, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.barkhamsted.us/
Goshen First Selectman Robert Valentine sent a letter to residents Monday, outlining the town’s plans to keep the coronavirus in check.
Those who need building or land use permits or have business with the town clerk should visit the online application portal at www.goshenct.gov
“If you have documents that need to be filed, we ask that they be sent to the Town Clerk via FedEx UPS or USPS. For those needing hunting and fishing licenses please use the DEEP web site to purchase them,” Valentine said.
Board and commission meetings are moving to “electronic means” in the near future, Valentine said, either online or by a conference call, and all residents and members will be notified. “We’ll make sure that those interested in attending meetings are allowed to attend electronically and have the ability to see documents being discussed by boards and commissions,” he said.
The town hall is open for business, and residents are asked to limit their visits by going online or calling 860-491-2308 ext. 221 or administrative a ssistant Virginia Perry at ext. 228.
The Goshen Library is closed, and all recreation activities are canceled through March.
Town hall is closed to the public starting Tuesday, March 17. “Staff will be on hand to assist you in any way we can,” officials said. Call 860-868-7881 for assistance.
Land records can be found at https://www.searchiqs.com/ctwar/Login.aspx. Forms and applications are available on individual department pages. Anyone in need of assistance can call 860-868-7881.
Winsted is following a similar protocol, keeping town hall and the public works department open, and asking residents to limit their visits unless it’s urgent. Residents are asked to call ahead to make an appointment at 860-379-2713 or visit www.townofwinchester.org/
Board and commission meetings have been postponed. “All visitors are expected to maintain a “social distance” and may be asked to cleanse their hands. If you are sick, please stay home,” officials said in a statement online.
Recreation activities are canceled, and the senior center is also closed. The Senior Van is available to senior citizens for doctor appointments by calling 860-379-4252.
Refuse disposal center open
Regional Refuse Disposal District One, 31 New Hartford Road, Barkhamsted, which serves Barkhamsted, New Hartford and Winsted, is open and can be reached at 860-379-1972.
Residents are welcome to drop off trash and recyclables. Employees cannot help unload cars because they have been instructed to stay three feet away from others. “You will need to remove (trash) from your vehicle yourself and dispose of it properly. This includes televisions, air conditioners, appliances, garbage, etc.,” according to a statement.
RRDD1 also asked residents who have tested positive for coronavirus to put used paper products (tissues, paper towels) in a plastic bag and to place it in the facility’s trash compactor.
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It was Sunday, February 23, 2020, and I was packing my bags for an early morning flight from Detroit to San Francisco for another week at an RSA Conference covering all things related to cybersecurity. The conference theme this year was “The Human Element,” which became an ironic choice of words.
While reading-up on the best sessions, pre-conference news and other hot cyber headlines, I noticed that several large companies had pulled out of the conference because of coronavirus fears.
Here’s an excerpt from the Business Insider article that grabbed my attention: “Verizon pulled out of the RSA Conference on Friday, joining competitor AT&T and IBM as large sponsors with coronavirus concerns abandon the cybersecurity trade show that was expected to draw more than 40,000 to San Francisco next week. …”
The RSA Conference website offered this webpage with coronavirus updates; however, the information was sparse and seldom updated. No new updates were added after February 25, which started with this less than comforting news, “Today, the City of San Francisco declared a State of Emergency to begin preparations around any future coronavirus outbreaks. The City stated that residents and visitors remain at low risk for becoming infected with the coronavirus and that the number of cases within the City remains at zero. …”
My Delta flight was overbooked, and the airport seemed packed on Monday morning as I traversed through TSA security lines in Detroit. Several TSA officials wore face masks, and most of them were wearing plastic gloves, which I had not seen before.
Thankfully, my flight arrived early, and I was able to attend most of the RSA Public Sector Day at the San Francisco Hilton by Union Square. There was an excellent agenda of topics and federal, state and local government speakers on issues (Read more…)
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Security conference was due to open its doors in Singapore next month
The upcoming Black Hat Asia security conference has been postponed due to ongoing concerns surrounding the latest coronavirus outbreak, event organizer Informa has confirmed.
“After careful consideration of the health and safety of our attendees and partners, we have made the difficult decision to postpone Black Hat Asia 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak,” read an announcement, issued via the official Black Hat Events Twitter account.
Black Hat Asia was due to take place at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from March 31 to April 3.
The Asian edition, one of three Black Hat security conferences that take place around the world each year, celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019, with infosec luminary Mikko Hyppönen delivering the keynote.
Security expert Mikko Hyppönen delivering the keynote at Black Hat Asia last year
With its origins being traced to Wuhan, China, the coronavirus outbreak in question refers specifically to the novel strain of pathogen now known as COVID-19.
According to a situation report (PDF) from the World Health Organization yesterday (February 13), there have been nearly 47,000 confirmed cases of infection globally, with more than 1,300 deaths.
News of the Black Hat Asia postponement follows a similar announcement earlier this week that Mobile World Congress 2020 would not go ahead in Barcelona this month due to concerns surrounding the virus.
DEF CON China, a hacking event that was slated to take place in Beijing in April, was also postponed last month due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.
“Our sympathies are with those affected during this difficult time,” an announcement on the Black Hat Events website read.
“Please know we are planning to host Black Hat Asia 2020 in the fall this year. We hope you are able to join us and will provide an update with the new event dates as soon as possible.”
The announcement as it appears on the Black Hat Asia website
RELATED The next arms race: Cyber threats pulled into stark focus at Black Hat Asia 2019
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Cyberattackers are barraging businesses with phishing lures touting fake info about the Coronavirus. And although the lures may be fake, the security and business continuity threats that some IT departments are preparing for are quite real. One big question: If workers are sequestered in physical quarantine zones, will IT and SecOps be able to continue?
Initially, businesses may dismiss this risk until the virus reaches their regions. However, the risk is more prevalent as the IT supply chain becomes more global and organizations rely on overseas IT services — from help desks to 24/7 SOC-as-a-service. The concern is not just that workers themselves may get infected by the virus; the concern is that employees, contractors, and service providers’ workers who are not infected could nevertheless be quarantined for being in physical proximity to the infected individual.
“If you’ve got 200 workers working in one place and one of them presents themselves with the illness, it’s pretty likely the government is going to quarantine everybody,” says Edward Minyard, senior consultant at IP Architects, who was an Accenture consultant working with Mexico City on pandemic prevention during the H1N1 virus spread in 2019. “And the current [quarantine] protocol is for 14 days. So that can have a material impact on folks’ planning.
“If you’ve got a large outsourced facility, for example, for your security management, or any facilty with a large number of people in it, you probably don’t want to bring 100 people together and put them in a small room unless you yourself have some evidence that they have not been affected. … And the second part of the challenge is they may not be able to get there. Or even want to go there.”
Minyard says his American clients are beginning to consider the secondary impact they may feel if the virus further expands in, for example, India, a source of so many IT services. (Although India shares its norther border with China, it has thus far experienced only three confirmed cases of the virus, according to the World Health Organization, all of which are in Kerala, a western coastal state that does not border China.)
Nevertheless, Indian businesses have reported disruptions because of the stoppages in shipments from China, where over 45,000 confirmed infections and over 1,000 deaths have been reported, and many millions are in quarantine. All the way over in Barcelona, Mobile World Congress — the world’s biggest trade show for the mobile phone industry — was canceled just one week before it was set to start.
Ths same challenges also apply to telecoms, electric companies, “and all the others that maintain the networks that are supposed to be supporting the rest of us,” Minyard says.
“From the perspective of business continuity and continuity of operations, this is a real thing,” he says. “This is not speculation. This is going on, and we don’t know how bad it’s going to be. Should you have all your eggs in one basket … I’d be thinking of a different plan.”
IT security departments, already short-staffed, could be stressed even further than most other teams. And that’s something about the coronavirus that cyberattackers will surely capitalize on — just as they have already.
Cybersecurity companies have been spilling over with detections and reports of phishing messages that use coronavirus-related lures. The messages include malicious links and attachments and download a variety of malware, from Emotet to wipers to remote access Trojans (RATs).
The World Health Organization issued a warning about such scams.
Trustwave reported an Office 365 credential-stealing attack, which used a lure appearing to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (complete with CDC logo and legitimate display address) and the subject header “New case confirmed in your city.”
Proofpoint discovered a credential-stealer that capitalized on panic with a lure claiming that a secret cure existed and that the government was using the disease as a government bioweapon.
Proofpoint, as well as Cisco Talos, reported messages purporting to provide tips for virus protection; these appeared to be sent not only by official government organizations, but by businesses’ upper management. These messages were used to steal credentials, drop malware like Emotet and — in lures specifically targeting the manufacturing and shipping industries — the Nanocore RAT.
Sara Peters is Senior Editor at Dark Reading and formerly the editor-in-chief of Enterprise Efficiency. Prior that she was senior editor for the Computer Security Institute, writing and speaking about virtualization, identity management, cybersecurity law, and a myriad … View Full Bio
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#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | MAS reminds of vigilance against cyber threats taking advantage of coronavirus situation
Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) reminded financial institutions to remain vigilant on the cybersecurity front amid cases of “cyber threat actors” taking advantage of the coronavirus situation to conduct email scams, phishing and ransomware attacks. In a media release on Sunday (Feb 9), MAS said […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com