Category Archives: Computer Forensics

  • 0

“The Travelers Guide To Wi-Fi Hacking”

Dear Blast Reader,

Do you stay at hotels when you travel? Do you ever use the hotel internet? Did you know that there may be someone spying on you while you are in your hotel? Did you know that hackers target hotel Wi-fi? Did you know that the hackers that target hotel wi-fi also target traveling business professionals?

 

Hotel wi-fi is targeted and compromised to assist in the delivering of the malicious payload to the selected victims. A ­payload is the part of the malware that performs the malicious action. Those behind the attack continually evolve the malware’s tactics and payload. It is believed that the attackers are exploiting the vulnerabilities in the server software, either by:

  • Gaining remote access.
  • Physically gaining access to the hotel and the hotel’s servers.

 

Now, attackers are using a new form of malware known as the “Inexsmar Attack”. This attack starts with a phishing email.  To make the email look real, the message is tailored to you. This email address you by name, and has real looking documents attached.

 

But, looks can be deceiving. Within this email there is a self-extracting archive package. This is a package that begins the trojan downloader process. A trojan downloader process is a malicious program, usually installed through an exploit or some other deceptive means. Using email attachments the malware is installed onto your computer. Once you are convinced to open the attachment, hackers will then initiate their malware attack.

 

How does the malware go un-detected?

To prevent being detected, the malware is downloaded in stages. These stages include:

  1. Hiding malicious codes and strings by linking malicious code to otherwise unrelated code.
  2. The malware then runs an operation to download the second part of the payload, the trojan malware.

 

So, as your defences improve, it is believed that the multi-stage download for the trojan malware is an evolutionary way to keep the trojan viable.

So, how do you protect yourself?

To protect yourself against this new form of advanced and evolutionary trojan malware, here are a few tips:

  1. Use public wi-fi as little as possible. Hackers exploit public wi-fi in places like coffee shops, restaurants, and hotels.
  2. Use a Virtual Private Network, also known as a VPN. VPNs are encrypted web browsers that hide your IP addresses & your location.

 

If you have any questions about Hacking, Malware, Cyber Security, or Computer Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit out website at www.FDS.Global.


  • 0

“How Clean Is Your PC?”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

When it comes to your PC’s Cyber security do you do everything possible to prevent Cyber-attacks and data breaches? Do you use strong passwords? Do you know what constitutes a strong password? Do you avoid any suspicious emails that could lead you into a phishing attack? Do you use two-factor authentication on the accounts that allows you to do so? Have you ever wondered if that is enough? If that is really all it takes to secure your digital information?

 

When you hear the phrase “spring cleaning” you automatically think of cleaning your home. Doing the dishes, sorting cloths, and scrubbing every inch of your home. But, “Spring cleaning” can also refer to cleaning up and separating your digital junk from your valued digital information.

 

If you think that you do not have digital junk, you do. Whether it is old and forgotten email accounts, forgotten thumb-drives, or years’ worth of information in the download folder, everyone has digital junk

 

All unwanted and forgotten files are considered liabilities, a danger to you and your valuable digital information. In the event your digital devices are hacked, stolen, and/or lost, holding onto accounts and files you do not want and/or need opens you up to all kinds of risks. So, cleaning your digital devices is important when securing them.

 

So, where do you start your digital “spring cleaning”?

  1. Address your physical devices. Devices should be cleaned, destroyed, and disposed of properly. Only after you go through all the data and back-up what you want to keep.
  2. Go through your desktop and all your documents. It is important to go through and get rid of any old documents containing personal information, such as: medical and banking information.
  3. Delete any emails you don’t need or want. With your email being the data center of your online life, secure the emails you want to keep and delete the ones that you do not want.
  4. Cancel any account you no longer use. Before deleting any software, clean out and close the account. By doing so, this makes sure the company retains the smallest amount of information as possible about you. It also prevents any more information about you from being collected.
  5. Cancel any email account you no longer use.

 

If you have any questions about Data Security, Cyber Attacks, Cyber Security, or Computer Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


  • 0

“Every Post You Make, Every Status Update, I Will Be Watching You”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Do you ever feel like someone is watching you? Even when you are just sitting behind your computer? Feeling like someone is taking account of every keystroke that you make and every website you visit? This is the type of feeling that sends shivers down your spine. You don’t know who, or what, is giving you that feeling. This is a feeling that cannot be remedied. Whenever you go online, whenever you sit behind your computer you feel like there are eyes on you.

Cyber stalking is when you are being constantly frightened and/or harassed by someone through electronic means, such as the internet. Some of the forms that Cyber stalking take on, including:

  • Harassing a victim.
  • Embarrassing and/or humiliation of a victim.
  • Gaining financial control over a victim. Usually, by destroying their credit or by draining their bank accounts.
  • Harassing friends and family members of the victim.
  • Frightening a victim, using scare tactics and threats.

 

Within the United States of America, there are 14 out of 50 states that have laws against cyber stalking and cyber harassment. Under the “American Anti-Stalking, Slander & Harassment Law”, Cyber stalking is considered a criminal offense. The results of being convicted include:

  • A restraining order
  • Probation
  • Criminal Penalties (including prison time)

 

If convicted, the sentences range from a fourth-degree charge to a second-degree charge. A fourth-degree charge means 18 months in prison with a fine of $10,000. A second-degree charge means 10 years in prison with a $150,000 fine.

 

So, how do you protect yourself, your family, and/or your PC from Cyber stalkers?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Maintain caution over the physical access to your computer, and any other web-enabled device, including your cellphone.
  2. Make sure you ALWAYS log out of computer programs when you leave the computer. Also, remember to lock your computer when stepping away.
  3. When it comes to online calendars or itineraries, delete them or make them private.
  4. Use privacy settings on any, and all online accounts.
  5. Use trusted and updated security software to stop spyware from getting onto your computer through an infected web page or phishing attack.
  6. If you do suspect that someone is using spyware to track your day-to-day activities, seek help.

 

If you have any questions about Cyber stalking, Spyware, Computer Forensics or Cyber Security contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


  • 0

“Your Medical Records Are Next

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Have you ever worried about your credit/debit card information being stolen by hackers? Did you ever think that by visiting your doctor’s office your identity could be stolen? Did you know that, when it comes to protecting customer information, the healthcare system is behind the financial sector by about 10 years?

 

As more hospitals, doctor’s offices, and healthcare facilities go from paper records to digital records more hacking issues are expected. More personal information can be accessed by hackers because more is accessible online.

 

One of the challenges of protecting patient data is that the data is stored digitally. By storing patient information digitally, all devices that have access to this information have access to the internet. With internet access, these devices and the information they have access to can be breached by hackers. Also, data breaches can potentially occur when the patient data is being transmitted over the internet to the cloud. Many hospitals and doctor’s offices utilize cloud servers to store patient data without the patient’s knowledge. Hackers can exploit a vulnerability on the devices, with access to the cloud, compromising millions of patient files.

 

What makes health records so valuable to cyber criminals is the personal nature and its shelf life. Health records contain information such as:

  • Policy Numbers
  • Medical History
  • Billing Information
  • Social Security Numbers

 

Even though some patient data, such as Credit/Debit card information, can be shut down when fraudulent activity is detected. Other data cannot be changed that easily, such as Social Security numbers. So, it is important to protect that information so data breaches do not occur.

 

How can Doctor’s offices, hospitals and healthcare facilities protect patient data?

There are multiple ways that patient data can be protected. Some ways include:

  • Encryption Platforms. Encrypting data makes sure that all data that is being exchanged is done so safely.
  • Back-up patient records. By backing-up patient records this gives hackers less motivation to go after those organizations and their records. All back-ups should be kept in a secure environment.
  • Employ biometric authentication. This helps control and limit access to labs and records to only authorized personnel.
  • Device Management. Device management protects devices in case of theft.

 

If you have any questions about Hacking, Data Security, Cyber Security or Computer Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


  • 2

“The United States of Chatbots: How Chatbots Are Crawling Into Your Everyday Life”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Have you ever communicated with a Chatbot? Do you know what Chatbots are?  Did you know that Siri, Cortana, and Alexa are considered Chatbots? Did you know that Chatbots are running rampant through social media, such as Twitter? Did you know that Chatbots are therapists and lawyers?

 

Chatbots are computer programs that mimic human conversation through Artificial Intelligence, also known as AI. These computer programs can respond to text messages and/or digital chats, such as Facebook messages, carrying out conversations with the people on the other end of the chat. Those receiving the messages would not know that the account they were communicating with was controlled by a robot rather than a person.

 

So, how many types of Chatbots are there?

There are 2 categories of Chatbots today:

  1. Rule-Based Chatbots. Which are Chatbots that can respond to a specific command.
  2. Artificial Intelligence Chatbots. Which can respond to natural language.

 

A Chatbot is a form of software that has a few layers that make it work:

  • Database: To store product information, customer data, and customer transactions.
  • Application Layer: A set of instructions that gives the app its functionality.
  • Application Programming Interface: Also, known as a API, connects the app to other services to get things like shipping quotes or process payments.
  • User Interface: How the users tell your app what he/she wants or what he/she is interested in.

 

Chatbots use these layers to work in the same way as a human manning a help desk. If a someone asks Chatbot a question, The Chatbot will use the information to respond in the same manner as a human would. The more a Chatbot communicates with people, the better understanding of human interaction the Chatbot acquires. This is because the Chatbot has more information archived in its database to refer to when conversing with a human.

 

So, what is the big deal about Chatbots?

Chatbots are extending their spider like reaches into many aspects of life. In New York City and in London a Chatbot is acting as a Lawyer. This program has helped thousands of people with traffic citations. More accurately it has successfully contested 160,000 citations.

 

The cost of this help?

 

FREE!

 

Attorneys working in this field of law should be concerned about being replaced, by a significantly cheaper solution.

 

It is not just attorneys that should be worried. A Chatbot who goes by “Woebot” is now acting as a therapist. This Chatbot was created by Psychologists from Stanford. This Chatbot uses common therapeutic techniques daily to assist individuals in managing mental health.

 

The concerns regarding Chatbots extends farther than replacing humans in the work force. Chatbots have a much more sinister use. This use is disseminating false information in mass. On Twitter, there are thousands of fake accounts controlled by Chatbots. These Chatbots were created for the sole purpose of spreading partisan directed fake news. This dissemination of false information is a problem because it creates distrust for those reading the information. What is worse is that the way in which these Chatbots are disseminating Fake News on Twitter.

 

This dissemination has intensified because the thousands of Chatbots are posting the same fake information, and using the same “Trigger Words”. By using the same “Trigger Words” this fake news trends on Twitter. This manipulation of the “Trending Algorithm” for Twitter forces unsuspecting individuals to view the Fake News on the trending section of Twitter.

 

In the Future, these negatives associated with Chatbots may outweigh the helpfulness these algorithms offer.

 

If you have any questions about Chatbots, Cyber Security, or Computer Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at out office at (954)727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.