Secret

now browsing by tag

 
 

#christiandating | The secret to stress-free dating | romancescams | #scams

When you were a kid did you ever sing that song “The wise man built his house upon the rock”? It’s the one with the disco actions that most Christian […] View full post on National Cyber Security

#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Facebook ‘Secret Sister Gift Exchange’ Is Illegal Scam, Better Business Bureau Warns

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

A Facebook post that resurfaces around the holiday season has been declared as an illegal scam, according to the Better Business Bureau.

The post discusses the “Secret Sister Gift Exchange,” where participants are instructed to send one gift in order to receive up to 36 gifts in return. However, it’s easy to see that the math just doesn’t add up.

“These gift exchanges, while they look like innocent fun, are really pyramid schemes – and are considered illegal,” the BBB warns.

The gift exchange first became popular in 2015. Users were encouraged to invite others to participate in the exchange and were told that they would receive information on where to send the gifts.

Eventually, participants will be instructed to send an email or social media invitation to send a modest gift to a stranger along with their friends, family and contacts.

“The cycle continues and you’re left with buying and shipping gifts for unknown individuals, in hopes that the favor is reciprocated by receiving the promised number of gifts in return. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen,” says the BBB.

In reality, the scam relies on recruitments to remain afloat. When people stop participating, the supply of gifts dwindles, letting down countless people who were expecting gifts.

But it doesn’t end there: the information you provide during the exchange can easily end up in the hands of cyber thieves.

“When signing up, the alleged campaign organizer is asking for personal information such as a mailing address or an email,” says the BBB. “With just a few pieces of information, cyber thieves could expose you to future scams or commit identity theft.”

The BBB recommends keeping the following tips in mind should you receive an invitation to participate in an online gift exchange with people you don’t know:

  • Ignore it. Pyramid schemes are illegal in the United States and Canada.
  • Report social media posts inviting users to participate in the gift exchange.
  • Avoid giving out personal identifying information to strangers.
  • Be aware of false claims. Even invitations that claim to be legal and endorsed by the government are false, as the government will never endorse illegal activity.

Click here to sign up for Daily Voice’s free daily emails and news alerts.

Source link

The post #cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Facebook ‘Secret Sister Gift Exchange’ Is Illegal Scam, Better Business Bureau Warns appeared first on National Cyber Security.

View full post on National Cyber Security

#hacker | #government | Russian Secret Weapon Against U.S. 2020 Election Revealed In New Cyberwarfare Report

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

The FBI has warned that “the threat” to U.S. election security “from nation-state actors remains a persistent concern,” that it is “working aggressively” to uncover and stop, and the U.S. Director of National Intelligence has appointed an election threats executive, explaining that election security is now “a top priority for the intelligence community—which must bring the strongest level of support to this critical issue.”

With this in mind, a new report from cybersecurity powerhouse Check Point makes for sobering reading. “It is unequivocally clear to us,” the firm warns, “that the Russians invested a significant amount of money and effort in the first half of this year to build large-scale espionage capabilities. Given the timing, the unique operational security design, and sheer volume of resource investment seen, Check Point believes we may see such an attack carried out near the 2020 U.S. Elections.”

None of which is new—it would be more surprising if there wasn’t an attack of some sort, to some level. What is new, though, is Check Point’s unveiling of the sheer scale of Russia’s cyberattack machine, the way it is organised, the staggering investment required. And the most chilling finding is that Russia has built its ecosystem to ensure resilience, with cost no object. It has formed a fire-walled structure designed to attack in waves. Check Point believes this has been a decade or more in the making and now makes concerted Russian attacks on the U.S. “almost impossible” to defend against.

The new research was conducted by Check Point in conjunction with Intezer—a specialist in Genetic Malware Analysis. It was led by Itay Cohen and Omri Ben Bassat, and has taken a deep dive to get “a broader perspective” of Russia’s threat ecosystem. “The fog behind these complicated operations made us realize that while we know a lot about single actors,” the team explains, “we are short of seeing a whole ecosystem.”

And the answer, Check Point concluded, was to analyse all the known data on threat actors, attacks and malware to mine for patterns and draw out all the connections. “This research is the first and the most comprehensive of its kind—thousands of samples were gathered, classified and analyzed in order to map connections between different cyber espionage organizations of a superpower country.”

The team expected to find deep seated linkages, connections between groups working into different Russia agencies—FSO, SVR, FSB, GRU. After all, one can reasonably expect all of the various threat groups sponsored by the Russian state to be on the same side, peddling broadly the same agenda.

But that isn’t what they found. And the results from the research actually carry far more terrifying implications for Russia’s capacity to attack the U.S. and its allies on a wide range of fronts than the team expected. It transpires that Russia’s secret weapon is an organisational structure which has taken years to build and makes detection and interception as difficult as possible.

“The results of the research was surprising,” Cohen explains as we talk through the research. “We expected to see some knowledge, some libraries of code shared between the different organizations inside the Russian ecosystem. But we did not. We found clusters of groups sharing code with each other, but no evidence of code sharing between different clusters.” And while such findings could be politics and inter-agency competition, the Check Point team have concluded that it’s more likely to have an operational security motive. “Sharing code is risky—if a security researcher finds one malware family, if it has code shared with different organizations, the security vendor can take down another organisation.”

The approach points to extraordinary levels of investment. “From my perspective,” Yaniv Balmas, Check Point’s head of cyber research tells me. “We were surprised and unhappy—we wanted to find new relationships and we couldn’t. This amount of effort and resources across six huge clusters means huge investment by Russia in offensive cyberspace. I have never seen evidence of that before.”

And the approach has been some time in the making. “It’s is an ongoing operation,” Cohen says, “it’s been there for at least a decade. This magnitude could only be done by China, Russia, the U.S. But I haven’t seen anything like it before.”

The research has been captured in “a very nice map,” as Balmas described it. This map has been built by Check Point and Israeli analytics company Intezer, a complex interactive tool that enables researchers to drill down into malware samples and attack incidents, viewing the relationships within clusters and the isolated firewalls operating at a higher level.

The research has been angled as an advisory ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections. Russia has the capability to mount waves of concerted attacks. It’s known and accepted within the U.S. security community that the elections will almost certainly come under some level of attack. But the findings actually point to something much more sinister. A cyber warfare platform that does carry implications for the election—but also for power grids, transportation networks, financial services.

“That’s the alarming part,” Check Point’s Ekram Ahmed tells me. “The absence of relationships. The sheer volume and resource requirements leads us to speculate that it’s leading up to something big. We’re researchers— if it’s alarming to us, it should definitely be alarming to the rest of the world.”

So what’s the issue? Simply put, it’s Russia’s ability to attack from different angles in a concerted fashion. Wave upon wave of attack, different methodologies with a common objective. And finding and pulling one thread doesn’t lead to any other cluster. No efficiencies have been sought between families of threat actors. “Offense always has an advantage over defense,” Balmas says, “but here it’s even worse. Given the resources Russia is putting in, it’s practically impossible to defend against.”

“It’s alarming,” Check Point explains in its report, “because the segregated architecture uniquely enables the Russians to separate responsibilities and large-scale attack campaigns, ultimately building multi-tiered offensive capabilities that are specifically required to handle a large-scale election hack. And we know that these capabilities cost billions of dollars to build-out.”

I spend lot of time talking to cybersecurity researchers—it’s a noisy space. And given current geopolitics, the Gulf, the trade war, the “splinternet,” there is plenty to write about. But I get the sense here that there’s genuine surprise and alarm at just what has been seen, the extent and strategic foresight that has gone into it, the implications.

And one of those implications is that new threats, new threat actors if following the same approach will be harder to detect. The Check Point team certainly think so. “This is the first time at such a scale we have mapped a whole ecosystem,” the team says, “the most comprehensive depiction yet of Russian cyber espionage.”

And attacks from Russia, whichever cluster might be responsible, tend to bear different hallmarks to the Chinese—or the Iranians or the North Koreans.

“Russian attacks tend to be very aggressive,” Balmas explains. “Usually in offensive cyber and intelligence, the idea is to do things that no-one knows you’re doing. But the Russians do the opposite. They’re very noisy. Encrypting or shutting down entire systems they attack. Formatting hard drives. They seem to like it—so an election attack would likely be very aggressive.”

With 2020 in mind, Ahmed explains, “given what we can see, the organization and sheer magnitude of investment, an offensive would be difficult to stop—very difficult.”

Cohen reiterates the staggering investment implications of what they’ve found. “This separation shows Russia is not afraid to invest enormous amount of money in this operation. There’s no effort to save money. Different organisations with different teams working on the same kind of malware but not sharing code. So expensive.”

All the research and the interactive map is available and open source, Cohen explains, “researchers can see the connections between families, better understanding of evolution of families and malware from 1996 to 2019.”

The perceived threat to the 2020 election is “speculation,” Check Point acknowledges. “But it’s based on how the Russians are organizing, the way they’re building the foundation of their cyber espionage ecosystem.”

So, stepping back from the detail what’s the learning here? There have been continual disclosures in recent months on state-sponsored threat actors and their tactics, techniques and procedures. The last Check Point research I reported on disclosed China’s trapping of NSA malware on “honeypot” machines. Taken in the round, all of this increased visibility on Russian and Chinese approaches, in particular, provides a better sense of the threats as the global cyber warfare landscape becomes more complex and integrated with the physical threats we also face.

On Monday [September 23], 27 nation-states signed a “Joint Statement on Advancing Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace,” citing the use of cyberspace “to target critical infrastructure and our citizens, undermine democracies and international institutions and organizations, and undercut fair competition in our global economy by stealing ideas when they cannot create them.”

The statement was made with Russia and China in mind, and a good working example of how such attack campaigns are supported in practice can be viewed by exploring Check Point’s Russian cyber espionage map, which is now available online.

Source link

The post #hacker | #government | Russian Secret Weapon Against U.S. 2020 Election Revealed In New Cyberwarfare Report appeared first on National Cyber Security.

View full post on National Cyber Security

Cultural change required in organisations to increase cyber security, says US Secret Service

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

The US Secret Service says current human factors are restricting the progression of cyber security Ronald Layton, the deputy assistant director of the US Secret Service, said “cultural change” is needed in organisations to cut the number of cyber attacks caused by human error. Speaking at NetEvents’ Global Press &…

The post Cultural change required in organisations to increase cyber security, says US Secret Service appeared first on National Cyber Security Ventures.

View full post on National Cyber Security Ventures

UK university hackers read up on secret military tech

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

UK university cyberattacks have doubled in the last two years alone, with hackers found to be focusing on critical information connected to national security. Areas including research pertaining to missiles, scientific developments and medical advances are among the areas that cyber adversaries have shown an acute interest in. This information…

The post UK university hackers read up on secret military tech appeared first on National Cyber Security Ventures.

View full post on National Cyber Security Ventures

Apple iOS 10.3.3 Has A Great Secret Feature

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Apple iOS 10.3.3 has problems but what appears to be an otherwise dull update on the surface, actually hides a crucial improvement (but bad news for older iPhones) if you delve deeper… ‘Great Secret Features’ and ‘Nasty Surprises’ are my regular columns investigating operating system updates for the best features…

The post Apple iOS 10.3.3 Has A Great Secret Feature appeared first on National Cyber Security Ventures.

View full post on National Cyber Security Ventures

The UK Has a Dirty Secret for Spying on Encrypted Messages: Hacking

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Members of the media and some politicians are near-constantly talking about accessing terrorist communications, but are ignoring one of the most viable solutions. After a string of terrorist attacks in the UK this year, members of the government have renewed their pressure on tech companies such as WhatsApp to provide…

The post The UK Has a Dirty Secret for Spying on Encrypted Messages: Hacking appeared first on National Cyber Security Ventures.

View full post on National Cyber Security Ventures

Cookie Johnson Reveals What Led To A Secret 2-Week Separation From Magic Johnson

Cookie Johnson has been married to basketball icon Magic Johnson for 25 years, so she’s often addressing probing questions about her relationship, but there’s one major aspect of her marriage that she managed to keep completely private: their brief separation over a decade ago.

As the wife and mother of two reveals both in her new memoir and in an interview with Oprah for OWN’s “SuperSoul Sunday,” Cookie and Magic’s marriage nearly ended back in 2001, when the couple secretly separated for two weeks without any tabloids or media finding out.

Read More

The post Cookie Johnson Reveals What Led To A Secret 2-Week Separation From Magic Johnson appeared first on Parent Security Online.

View full post on Parent Security Online

Scammers sent to the slammer for romance and secret shopping fraud

idtheft

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Scammers sent to the slammer for romance and secret shopping fraud

Seven online fraudsters who duped victims out of their money through fake checks, online dating and mystery shopper scams have been sentenced.
On Wednesday, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had sentenced 7 defendants – one from

The post Scammers sent to the slammer for romance and secret shopping fraud appeared first on National Cyber Security.

View full post on National Cyber Security

US Naval Officer with ‘secret’ clearance held on espionage charges

975218_1_0411 Edward Lin_standard

A United States Naval Officer has been accused of espionage, falsifying records, and patronizing prostitutes, among other charges that became public following a preliminary hearing last Friday.

The US Naval Institute identified the suspect as Taiwanese-born, naturalized American citizen Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin, who was arrested eight months ago, although details have only just emerged following Friday’s hearing.

Lt. Cmdr. Lin, who was profiled in a US Navy public relations article in 2008 following his naturalization ceremony, allegedly had access to materials classified at the “secret” level – one level below the well-known “top secret” classification.
A redacted Navy charge sheet shows multiple accusations of communicating secret information as well as further charges of attempting to do so to a foreign government “with intent or reason to believe it would be used to the advantage of a foreign nation.”
While the exact foreign government in question went unmentioned, Lin’s fluency in Mandarin has led to speculation that China or Taiwan could be involved. At present, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense in Taipei has declined to comment, stating only that, “The case does not involve the Republic of China [Taiwan’s official name], and the ministry has no comment on related reports.” The Ministry included, “it is also not appropriate to comment on the national defense affairs of other countries.”

According to the United States Naval Institute – a private, non-profit, professional military association – sources familiar with the case named China as the country to which Lin passed secrets.

The preliminary hearing last Friday follows a recently-developing pattern of espionage claims and accusations by the US government against China, most recently seen mere weeks ago when a Chinese businessman pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to steal sensitive military information. The man in question, Su Bin, admitted to collaborating with two co-conspirators to gather and sell military secrets attained from Boeing and other defense contractors over a six-year period.

In September, China’s President Xi Jinping denied any wrongdoing and agreed to a pact with American President Obama to abstain from hacking each other’s countries. The pact followed reports from last June that China had breached the US Office of Personnel Management’s computer network in what is now known to be a wide-scale act of cyber espionage
Following the Personnel Management breach, Joel Brenner, a former top official for the US Government in counterintelligence, stated, “these forums contain decades of personal information about people with clearances…which makes them easier to recruit for foreign espionage on behalf of a foreign country.”

No connection has been made between that data hack and the current charges against Lt. Cmdr. Lin.

Lin held a high level of clearance, thanks to his work as a signals-intelligence specialist on some of the Navy’s most sensitive intelligence-gathering aircraft, according to the original report from the US Naval Institute. He previously worked as a department head for a Special Projects Patrol Squadron based out of Hawaii, which flew highly specialized signals-intelligence aircraft.

Lin is being held in a navy brig in Chesapeake, Va. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Source:http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2016/0411/US-Naval-Officer-with-secret-clearance-held-on-espionage-charges

Related Post

The post US Naval Officer with ‘secret’ clearance held on espionage charges appeared first on AmIHackerProof.com.

View full post on AmIHackerProof.com