Archive for the ‘Cybercrime’ category

3G, the Future?

July 1, 2010

I have always been fascinated by technology! There is no question that technology has made life much easier. Out of all the things that have made life easier, I would have to say that the mobile phone is something I can’t live without! and to think that fifteen years ago the mobile phone as we know today was completely different. But now with the coming of 3G  its technology has been revolutionized. 

The Internet has become so much more accessable since the arrival of 3G, making banking and financial transactions more crucial. Experts say the cutting-edge 3G technology will be of great use in the banking sector and will replace internet banking. But it will be an easy target for cyber forensic experts. As faster Internet speed on the go by 3G, the number of frauds will go up too.

Identity and password thefts, phishing activities and hacking into bank accounts will increase and who knows maybe a newer type of cyber crime will emerge. In addition increased accessibility to pornography will be of great concern for all law-enforcing agencies and users. And How are they going to be tracked since there is  lack of convergence in law and cooperation around the globe?  

What’s your take on it?

Source:  expressbuz      

Advertisements

All in a day’s work!

June 28, 2010

Here is another case of unauthorized access to protected computers and gaining control over them. This time it was 23-year old  Mitchell L. Frost a student at the University of Akron. He used the University’s computer network to access IRC channels on the Internet to control other computers and computer networks via computers intentionally infected and taken over, known as “BotNet” zombies, which were located throughout the United States and in other countries.

He has been arrested and has pleaded guilty to a two-count Information filed on May 14, 2010, which charged Frost with causing damage to a protected computer system and possessing 15 or more unauthorized access devices said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

He admitted gaining access to other computers and networks through different methods which were scanning the Internet searching for vulnerable computer networks to attack or intrude by means of obtaining user names and passwords. He also spread malicious programs on the compromised computers for the sole reason of getting personal information, credit card numbers and CVV security codes. In addition, he intentionally set up Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) to attack the Internet websites. www.joinrudy2008.com, www.billoreilly.com, and www.anncoulter.com, among others were just some of his victims.

He also initiated Denial of Service against  the University of  Akron’s server computer which knocked off the line for almost 8 ½ hours, causing damages of $10,000. Well, maybe if he’d had a hobby he wouldn’t have caused so much damage! On the serious thought this is nothing new. I’m pretty sure crimes like this are committed all the time around the world but this one manged to make it into the news. Who knows how many go unheard of!  Why are the people in charge not doing anything about this serious problem?!

What’s your take on it? 

Keep your friends close, but your neighbors closer!

June 26, 2010

Have you ever been in a row  with your neighbor?! Well, be careful then! Here is the latest news from the U.S. Department of Justice. 45-year-old Barry Vincent Ardolf   has been indicted in federal court in the District of Minnesota for hacking into his neighbor’s wireless Internet system and allegedly posing as the neighbor to make threats to kill the Vice President of the United States and email child pornography.

Ardolf hacked into his neighbor’s wireless Internet connection and created multiple Yahoo.com email accounts in that person’s name. Then, he used one of those accounts to email the office of the Vice President of the United States. He signed the email with the name of the neighbor from whom he stole Internet access as well as the name of that person’s wife.  Actually he sent the email using the wireless router belonging to the neighbor, intending for the email to be traced back to that person. What a hatred to have for someone!

This isn’t the end of the story. There is much, much more! He posed as the identity-theft victim and used the email accounts he created in the victim’s name to send sexually-themed emails to three of the victim’s co-workers. Again, the he sent the emails through the victim’s wireless Internet connection, intending for them to be traced to the victim’s Internet account. In one of the emails, Ardolf attached an image containing child pornography. Ardolf also  created a MySpace page in the victim’s name, on which he posted the same image of child pornography. What on earth was he thinking?!  

At present he is being prosecuted and if found guilty and I’m sure that he will be, he could face up to 20 years just for child pornography distribution, 10 years for the pornography possession, five years for both the unauthorized access to a computer and the threats to the Vice President, and a mandatory two-year minimum prison sentence on each count of aggravated identity theft. However, all sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.

The first thing that comes to mind when you read this is that you should always protect your computer from unwanted intrusion. Keep your anti-virus software and firewall up to date. In addition, make sure your wireless router is properly encrypted using the strongest encryption standards possible.

What’s your take on it?

What’s next?!!!

June 25, 2010

The newest of all crimes has become even newer! Cyber criminals are no longer board teenage kids looking to have some fun. Cyber crime is not being committed out of curiosity any more but  has fast become a profession with sophisticated Malvare products to market.  In Microsoft’s latest Security Intelligence Report (SIP) which was conducted on 500 million computers around the globe to raise awareness on online threats world-wide.

The report states that attackers are now mostly prompted by the desire for profit and hardly ever  operate on their own.  For example, malware creators seldom conduct attacks themselves, but instead work with other criminals in online black markets to buy and sell malware kits and botnet access, says Desmond Nair, head of Microsoft South Africa’s Server business. 

Nair also added, “The report provides compelling – and chilling – evidence that cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and packaging online threats that are sold on to others. What’s more, we now see clearly that cyber criminals target enterprise and home users differently.” This report raises awareness on online threats to enterprises and individual home users and also provides some remedies on security issues.

What’s your take on it?

Source: Read more from Mybroadband.co.za   

Go Go Go! Ole Ole Ole!

June 24, 2010

The world cup fever is here! Everywhere you turn there is talk of the tournament, so you would think that this is the best time for cyber criminals to take complete advantage of the situation. I was surfing the Internet earlier and I read about an interview that IT PRO made with the senior analyst at Semantec Hosted Services  Paul Wood about a recent report from Semantec MessageLabs Intelligence.

Based on the represented figures, spam and carried virus emails had a downward slope of 0.9 and 0.11 percentage points  from May. Meantime phishing dropped to 0.26 percentage points.

According to Wood although the figures show a fall in different forms of illicit activities, it is not clear that malicious web activity has lessened over the previous month. What is evident is that the world cup related threats sharply increased in the build-up to the tournament. Spam related Football keyword reached a quarter of  global spam since March 2010 to the days leading up to the big event!

Well, the world cup is such a huge event and now it has the world’s undivided attention and of course a base for cyber criminals to attack. To me what this figures show and what happened during the opening days are quite different. Criminals have become more sophisticated in their methods and shouldn’t be underestimated.           

What’s your take on it?

Source: Read more fromIT PRO

What has the world come to?!!

June 20, 2010

There was a time that I used to think that criminals were totally different in appearance from other people but now I realized they don’t have to look like monsters, they maybe the neighbor you say hello to in the morning. The friendly bus driver you smile at or the green grocer you chat with when you go shopping. But never did I think that the person we think is sworn to protect us and is willing to give their life for our freedom would turn out to be the most dangerous of all criminals.

A 42-year-old lieutenant colonel of the Indian Army was arrested by the cyber crime investigation cell (CCIC) of the Mumbai police on Thursday for allegedly posting obscene pictures of children on an international web site. The investigation started in Germany when German police tracked an IP address to India which horrific pictures of child pornography were being uploaded from. Then they alerted Interpol, which through CBI, forwarded the issue to the Mumbai police.

He was caught red-handed, while downloading porn clippings. “Even as we questioned him at his home for four and a half hours, the downloading continued. We have also taken printouts of the pictures so that we can use it as evidence in court,” said an officer. The Mumbai police confiscated hard disks, mobile phones, print outs, etc from the government flat of the Army officer and booked him under the Information Technology Act 2000.

Well, what can I say?! 

What’s your take on it?

Source: Read more from The Times Of India

Forward!Forward!Forward!

April 24, 2010

                                            

I have a friend who sends me dozens of forwarded emails which she feels are so cool or so important that she can’t resist sharing them with everybody she knows. Finally I got fed up and asked her nicely not to!

I believe most of you have had a friend like this. It can be addictive, I know. What happens is that we end up opening the email and then we get infected. We also think the email is so cool or so important that we have an urge to forward it. And we do so to as many people as we can thinking that they’re going to enjoy it.

You may not realize it, but there are some good reasons why you should control yourself from hitting the forward button in order to break the chain. First of all, you are annoying most of your friends by passing all that junk on. It’s true. Who cares if Jennifer Aniston has bought a new hamster! I can’t tell you how annoying it was to wait for a huge attachment to download only to find out it was nonsense! There is enough spam out there already, don’t add to it by sending junk to all your friends.

Secondly, they are a hoax. So many of the “call to action” type email forwards are simply not true. For instance, Virus hoax, which are characterised by warnings of highly virulent malware with exaggerated destructive power. The thing is they’re completely untrue.

Thirdly, each of your forwarded junk email is another spammer’s treasure! Believe it or not, you’re helping spammers in a big way by exposing your email address. They get  forwarded emails easily and add everyone on email addresses to their mailing list. Yeah, that’s it, spams are on their way!

I think I’ve mentioned enough reasons for you to STOP forwarding emails.