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#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Tips to help you outsmart scammers in 2020

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – A new year, a new push to protect your privacy. Consumer First Alert wants to help you outsmart scammers in 2020. The Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin has released its list of New Year’s Resolutions for a Consumer-Savvy 2020. Here’s the […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com

#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Business Bulletin: 10 New Year’s resolutions to help you avoid scams

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Q: What advice and resolutions may BBB offer to consumers in 2020?

A: As the New Year begins, it’s an important time to think about simple changes we can make to ensure that this New Year is better than the last. The Better Business Bureau offers 10 New Year’s resolutions to help you avoid scams, and prevent identity theft and be a smarter consumer in 2020.

Remember, being a savvy consumer is ultimately about staying one step ahead of scammers. The way to do that is to take your time and do your research before making a decision. The scammers are counting on you to be too busy to take these simple steps to protect yourself. By taking a few minutes to implement these tips, you can outsmart scammers and fraudsters.

 

BBB’s Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions for a Consumer-Savvy 2020:

1. Implement a credit freeze. A credit freeze is the best way to protect yourself from financial identity theft because it restricts access to your credit file, making it impossible for identity thieves to apply for a new line of credit in your name. Best of all, it’s now free to freeze and thaw your credit when required.

2. Use technology to block robocalls and other telemarketing calls. Nomorobo, a call blocking feature, can disconnect known telemarketers or scammers from your VoIP landline after one ring. It’s free for landlines; a nominal fee for cell phones. Go to www.nomorobo.com to begin. Also, make sure you register your phones with www.donotcall.gov.

3. Review your permissions and privacy settings on social media. If you’ve signed into an app or website using your social media credentials or taken a fun quiz on social media, you may have unwittingly given permission to third-party apps to access your personal information and contacts. On Facebook, go to “settings” and “apps and websites” to review.

4. Warn others and stop fraudsters by reporting scams to the BBB Scamtracker webpage. www.BBB.org/Scamtracker is a crowd-sourced website where you can report if you’ve been contacted by a scammer. Since reports are plotted on a map, you can also use Scamtracker to find out what’s happening in your area. Please report new scam activity that is not posted. In turn, Scamtracker reports help BBB educate the public with more in-depth reports. You may view these studies at www.bbb.org/scamstudies.

5. Check out businesses and charities first. Conduct research before you buy or donate to make sure you’re working with a reputable company or charity. Check out companies at bbb.org and a full report on charities at give.org. BBB accredited businesses and charities have been evaluated by BBB, and meet and promise to maintain standards.

6. Use secure payment methods. A scammer’s favorite way to steal your money is by asking you to pay with either a gift card or a money wire transfer, such as Money Gram or Western Union. Why? Because these payment methods are irreversible. Credit card payments are more secure and recommended. If fraud is suspected, the charge can be disputed. If you receive a request from someone claiming to be from the IRS, Social Security or a debt collector, it is a scam. If anyone request that you pay with a gift card or a money wire transfer; it is a red flag of caution.

7. Use a unique and complex password for every online account. Consider a pass phrase, which is simply a long password made up of from a collection of multiple words, making them both easier to type and remember. Poor, easy-to-guess passwords are one of the most common ways cyber attackers can hack into your online accounts. If it’s too difficult to remember multiple passwords, consider a password manager. Then, you’ll only have to remember one unique and complex password instead of many.

8. Enable multi-factor authentication whenever it is available. Multi-factor authentication is when you are granted access to an online account only after you have successfully provided two or more pieces of evidence, such as your password and a unique code generated by your smartphone, emailed or texted to you. With multi-factor authentication, if hackers do steal your user name and password, they still can’t access your account.

9. Monitor your existing financial accounts. Gone are the days when you waited for your credit card statement to come in the mail for you to review. Sign up for online access so you can review your financial accounts periodically. Also, take advantage of free text message alerts to notify you of activity, remind you when payments are due, etc.

10. File your taxes early. One common fraud during tax season is identity theft. Scammers use stolen identity to file taxes and redirect refunds. Protect yourself and file early when possible. Visit bbb.org to find accredited tax preparers in your area.

Jim Winsett of the BBB.

Jim Winsett is president of the Better Business Bureau in Chattanooga

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#cybersecurity | #hackerspace | Gaining an accredited training can help one to become successful in your occupation.

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

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The post Gaining an accredited training can help one to become successful in your occupation. appeared first on Phoenix TS.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – Phoenix TS authored by Ashley Wheeler. Read the original post at: https://phoenixts.com/blog/gaining-an-accredited-training-can-help-one-to/

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#hacking | Online tools help consumers protect against Magecart

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Trustwave researchers outline free card skimmer detection techniques Online shoppers and merchants can detect whether websites are infected by Magecart with easy to use techniques provided from researchers at Trustwave. In a blog post published yesterday (December 19), security researcher Michael Yuen outlined how to determine […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com

#nationalcybersecuritymonth | IRS Publishes Guidance to Help Taxpayers Fight Identity Theft

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Security Summit partners including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the US tax industry, and several state tax agencies published security guidance and updated content to highlight identity theft precautions to be taken during the incoming holiday shopping season.

Individual and business taxpayers, as well as tax professionals, are advised to boost their security defenses against potential identity theft attempts that will soon surface during the holidays.

“While people are shopping online, identity thieves are trying to shoplift their sensitive information. As the holiday season and tax season approach, everyone should remember to take basic steps to protect themselves,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said. 

“The Security Summit has made progress in fighting back against tax-related identity theft, but we need people to watch out for common scams that can put their financial and tax data at risk.”

Identity theft safeguards and protection measures

The US tax collection agency provides businesses with an updated ‘Security Awareness For Taxpayers’ PDF document during this month’s National Tax Security Awareness Week, ready to share with employees, clients, and customers

The Security Summit members also recommend taking the following measures to protect personal and financial information online:

• Use security software for computers and mobile phones – and keep it updated.
• Protect personal information; don’t hand it out to just anyone.
• Use strong and unique passwords for all accounts.
• Use two-factor authentication whenever possible.
• Shop only secure websites; Look for the “https” in web addresses; avoid shopping on unsecured and public WiFi in places like shopping malls.
• Routinely back up files on computers and mobile phones.

As part of the Tax Security Awareness Week, the IRS will also provide basic steps for easily recognizing email and phone scams, detecting identity theft attempts, and creating strong passwords for online accounts.

Videos with Easy Steps to Protect Your Computer and Phone and on how to Avoid Phishing Emails are also provided by the IRS and its Summit partners with additional information for taxpayers on how to augment their security.

Security plans and malware warnings

In July, the IRS issued a joint news release with the Security Summit partners to remind professional tax preparers of their obligation to have a data security plan in place with appropriate safeguards to protect sensitive taxpayer information from data theft attacks.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) also provides a Safeguarding Your Data Security Tip issued through the National Cyber Awareness System.

One month later, an IRS warning alerted taxpayers and tax professionals of an active IRS impersonation scam campaign that used spam emails to deliver malicious payloads.

The security guidance the IRS will share during the National Tax Security Awareness Week is designed to help both taxpayers and tax pros to defend against attacks such as those that are targeting the tax season with realistic phishing emails bundling malicious attachments.

Attackers are also known to use phone scams as observed in 2016 when they posed as IRS representants and asked their targets to extinguish outstanding debts of thousands of dollars via gift card payments.

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#cybersecurity | #hackerspace | Fortress Information Security Strives to Help Protect Critical Infrastructure

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

The agencies and businesses that make up the backbone of our critical infrastructure have a larger bullseye on their backs than an average company. When it comes to the electric utility providers that manage the power grid, the exposure to risk is exacerbated by the fact that much of the equipment, software, and services come from a limited set of vendors. Fortress Information Security just launched the Asset to Vendor (A2V) Network to mitigate these risks and improve the security posture of the power grid.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recognizes the unique threats posed to the power grid and understands that it’s crucial to address these challenges and protect the critical infrastructure. FERC has issued requirements for standardized risk assessments and mandated that electric utility providers prioritize supply chain vendors based on their relative risk. The problem is that many of the 3,000 or so electric providers are small, regional companies that don’t have the budget or resources to do this effectively on their own.

The A2V Network was launched as a joint venture between Fortress and AEP (American Electric Power) to address this challenge and help all electric utility companies collaborate to comply with the FERC regulations and improve protection of the critical infrastructure more efficiently and effectively. Organizations that join the A2V Network will be able to purchase completed vendor assessments for significantly less than it would cost them to conduct a redundant assessment of their own, and participating companies can also contribute completed assessments to build out the A2V Network library.

Reluctance to Share

I had an opportunity to chat with Alex Santos, CEO of Fortress, about the A2V Network and some of the challenges it addresses. He described the supply chain like streets in a community. Just as each person is responsible of their own home and property, but share the roads and pay taxes to share the burden and ensure the roads are taken care of, each company is responsible for itself, but they share risk exposure from the supply chain and it makes sense to collaborate and share the burden to mitigate the risk and secure the critical infrastructure.

I asked Santos for his thoughts on why businesses in general—not just electric power providers—seem so reluctant to engage in this sort of sharing and collaborative effort. The two main issues, according to Santos are that some information is very proprietary, and some information is not very good. Companies want to maintain the privacy of intellectual property and sensitive information. In some cases, there is a competitive advantage associated and sharing it is just bad for business. In other instances, organizations are reluctant to engage in sharing information because what they receive is not useful. If the information is not properly vetted and curated to ensure it is correct and relevant, it creates more problems than it solves.

Santos explained that the A2V Network strives to address both of those challenges. The A2V Network takes information about supply chain risk assessments and provides a platform to easily share it while anonymizing it and protecting the privacy of proprietary data. Part of what the A2V Network also does is to validate the information and make it actionable.

Gaining Momentum

Santos was especially grateful for having AEP as a partner for the launch of the A2V Network. He noted that even though there are 3,000 electric utility providers, only about 150 of those are large enough to be regulated by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)—and that the top 15 largest deliver power for 75% of consumers. That leaves nearly 2,900 companies that must comply with the FERC regulation but lack the resources to do it effectively on their own.

He said that having AEP on board is huge because any new movement or initiative requires a first big company to get the ball rolling. AEP showed leadership in taking that initiative and having a company with the size and prestige of AEP involved creates a snowball effect that will entice other electric utility providers to jump on board.

The more companies get involved, the more momentum the A2V Network will have and the greater value it will provide to every participating organization. That, in turn, will attract more companies. It becomes a self-feeding cycle of momentum that will ultimately lead to a more secure critical infrastructure.

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Cybersecurity #policymaking is #out of #focus. Bureaucracy #hackers can #help.

Source: National Cyber Security News

The cybersecurity industry is in desperate need of more “bureaucracy hackers” — individuals within federal and state governments who are authorities on the intricacies of policy creation and the nature of today’s rapidly-evolving technology and threat landscapes.

To understand why, look no further than Georgia State Bill 315: Introduced in the Georgia state senate earlier this month, the bill has the entire cybersecurity community shaking its head in disbelief. In short, the bill is modeled after the highly-controversial Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which makes accessing a network or computer without authorization illegal – even if there is no theft or damage. While many parts of the U.S. government are advancing cybersecurity by adopting industry’s best practices, such as allowing security researchers to identify and disclose vulnerabilities that make us all safer, Georgia is closing the door to these folks.

Sen. Mark Warner’s IOT Improvement Act is another clear example: Drafted and supported by a bipartisan group of senators, the bill aims to protect increasingly “connected” citizens and their homes by introducing a baseline security standard for all internet-connected devices.

In principle, this is exactly the type of legislative action we want to see from lawmakers.

Read More….

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5 #Reasons Why a #Credit Freeze Isn’t Enough to Help Protect #Against #Identity Theft

Source: National Cyber Security News

When a data breach happens, it’d be great if you could simply prevent identity theft with a credit freeze. The truth is, nothing can prevent identity theft, although there are things you can do to help protect against it.

Still, with identity thieves taking aim at everything from tax refunds to bank accounts, it’s worth asking the question: “Is a credit freeze a good idea?

It can be. But it may not be enough. Here’s why.

When your personal information is exposed in a data breach, you could face a greater chance of becoming a victim of identity theft. More of your information could be out there. And if it is, it might be for sale on the dark web for criminals to acquire.

Consider this statistic: You are 11 times more likely to be a victim of identity fraud if you are notified of a breach. That’s according to the 2017 Identity Theft Study by Javelin Strategy & Research.

No one wants their personal information stolen in a data breach. But if it happens to you, you’ll probably want to do whatever you can to help protect yourself against identity theft.

Read More….

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Cyber Security #breakfasts to help #businesses deal with #security #threats

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Cyber security is to come under the spotlight as police demonstrate a live hack to encourage businesses to protect themselves.

The safety of the online world is a hot topic with threats from hackers, criminals, activists, terrorists and even disgruntled employees who target vulnerable firms.

Now the North East Cyber Crime Unit (NERSOU) has teamed up with local police forces to host ‘cyber breakfasts’ in a bid to urge businesses to protect themselves against the growing menace of cyber-crime.

Detective Sergeant Martin Wilson from NERSOU, said: “North East businesses are underprepared when it comes to cyber threats, with many having no contingency plans in place for a crisis.

“Whilst it is easy enough to recognise an insecure window or an unlocked door, it is not always as easy to spot that your computer system has been compromised.

“The purpose of these breakfasts is simple, we want to show businesses how they can be vulnerable to a cyber-attack by demonstrating a live hack with the help of Waterstons, an IT consultancy based in Durham.

“This may all sound like doom and gloom but it is not, we can give you the support to defend against these hacks and are offering a free vulnerability assessment service, which can give you an overview of your ICT weaknesses so you can fix them before cyber criminals find them.”

The free events will take place across the region in Durham City, Darlington and Barnard Castle and it will be a chance for businesses to speak to experts in cyber-crime and enable organisations in the North East to come together to share their experiences and learn from best practice.

“Cyber-crime has been on people’s radars for a while now but it is still an evolving global threat and attacks are incredibly disruptive. It is a growing part of the workload of policing in UK,” said DS Wilson whose team has recently expanded to deal with these type of crimes.

“We are a dedicated team of detectives here to protect businesses and members of the public,” he added.

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Wall #Street Teams Up to Help Save #Client Data in #Cyber Attack

On Wall Street, backing up data now comes with a code name.

Nearly three dozen banks are leading a group called Sheltered Harbor that’s designed to protect consumers’ access to their data in the event a financial institution is hacked. Banks, credit unions and brokerages representing 400 million accounts — or 70 percent of U.S. retail accounts and 60 percent of U.S. brokerage accounts — have signed up to be part of the effort, which went live earlier this year.

Sheltered Harbor requires members to encrypt their customer account data and store it in a vault that is both survivable and accessible in case of a cybersecurity incident, according to the group’s website. If a breach does occur, the affected bank must retrieve and transmit its data to another financial institution, which can load it onto its core platform. That way customers of the hacked bank can still access their account information.

“The focus is on really trying to protect the consumers’ access to their assets,” Steve Silberstein, chief executive officer of Sheltered Harbor, said in a telephone interview. “We have to continue to make the system safer, and it continues to require some amount of sharing and some amount of cooperation to do that.”

For large global banks, it costs $50,000 to participate in Sheltered Harbor, which helps the firms coordinate responses to a cyber attack. For everyone else, fees are based on the amount of assets each one has and can range from $250 to $25,000, according to the group’s website.

The group was formed in November 2016 and its recent progress was reported Sunday by The Wall Street Journal.

Hamilton Series

Sheltered Harbor is a subsidiary of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center — or FS-ISAC. Phil Venables, chief operational risk officer at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and James Rosenthal, former chief operating officer at Morgan Stanley, are co-chairs of the project, according to a press release from FS-ISAC.

The group was formed after banks participated in an exercise in 2015 that was run by FS-ISAC and the U.S. Treasury Department called the Hamilton Series. The exercise exposed how data breaches could hurt consumer confidence in the financial system, even if the incident occurred at a regional or community bank.

Sheltered Harbor does not hold any of the bank account data. Instead, it has created the standards for joining the group and monitors banks’ adherence to those standards, said Silberstein, who was previously the chief technology officer at Sungard Data Systems Inc.

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