Category Archives: Cyber Attacks

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“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.

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“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.

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“A Travelers Guide To Protecting Your Data”

Dear Blast Readers,


When you hear the word “summer”, what is the first thing you think of? Vacation? Travel? Did you know that most people wont leave home without their smartphones, tablets, and/or computers? Have you ever wondered how traveling can compromise your digital security?


People tend to think of vacations as a time to get away and un-plug from the world, both the digital world and physical world. But, it is not realistic to believe that you will NEVER go online while traveling. Yes, it is fun to post pictures and status updates on your social media accounts in real time. But, did you know that by doing so, there is a possibility you are opening yourself, and your digital devices, to cyber criminals?


When traveling, public Wi-Fi might seem like a great thing. It allows you to check your email, work, and post updates to your social media accounts. But, as convent as it is, connecting to public Wi-Fi can also be dangerous. Cyber Criminals can take over public networks, and logging onto a corrupted network allows cyber criminals access to your:

  • Personal details
  • Credit card numbers
  • Passwords


The data that you, as a traveler, bring wherever you go is valuable and desired. It is important that while traveling you do everything in your power to keep your digital information safely out of the reach of cyber criminals.


How? Here are a few tips.

  • Only Use Secure Wi-Fi Networks. When connecting to a public network, consider using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. This will ensure that your confidential information stays private. A VPN will also ensure that your data goes directly from your device to the network that you are connecting to.
  • Update Your Devices. Updating the software on your devices, as well as the applications updates, is important. Even though the constant update reminder can be annoying, it is your devices way of protecting you and your data.
  • Do Not Use Public Computers. Never use public computers when logging into to banking, email and social media accounts. This means computers in hotel business centers, as well as in-room iPads. Crooks can install keylogging software to track your keystrokes.
  • Secure Your Mobile Devices. Set a PIN for your devices. Setting a PIN can protect your device from unauthorized users.
  • Use Cash Whenever Possible. Using cash whenever possible while traveling keeps your credit/debit card safe from fraudsters. But, if you are to use your credit/debit cards, be cautious.
  • Backup all your devices. Before going on your trip, whether it is for business or vacation, it is a good idea to back up your mobile devices. This allows you to be able to retrieve your information if lost, in case of emergency, or stolen.
  • Critical information should be stored in a different location. When traveling, it is a good idea to store any critical and private information temporarily in a different location. Examples of different locations are: Flash Drives, Mobile Devices, or Cloud Storage.
  • Make sure your computer’s firewall is enabled. Enabling your computer’s firewall helps stop hackers from getting into your system, as well as keeping viruses from spreading and safeguards outgoing computer traffic.


If you have any questions about Digital Security, Hacking, Cyber Security, Computer Forensics, or Mobile 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.

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“Hacker Alert: Employees Beware”

Dear Blast Readers,


Is your company open to cyber attacks? Do your employees take cyber security seriously? How can you get your employees to take cyber security more seriously? Did you know that many security breaches are caused from employee’s careless decisions and their lax attitude?


Cyber criminals gain the trust of the employees working for the targeted businesses by using social engineering tactics, but there are also other tactics that can be used.


One of the tactics that cyber criminals have been using is referred to as the “Business Email Compromise”. This is when cyber criminals target the employees that have access to the company’s finances. Some examples of cyber scams include:

  • Bogus Invoicing Scams. When a compromised employee’s account is requesting a payment information change.
  • CEO Fraud Scams. When the cyber criminal is pretending to be a CEO requesting an emergency payment.
  • A Compromised Employee’s account scam. The compromised account can send out a false invoice to vendors.
  • An Attorney’s Email Identity Scams. This email’s identity could be used to pressure immediate payments.


For the company’s safety, it is important for employees to be cautions and take cyber security seriously. Altering an employee’s behavior may seem like a challenging task. There are conditions that can be created to help reduce cyber threats, even if the threats cannot be eliminated altogether.


How can these conditions be created?

These conditions can be created by educating employees. It is important to remember, when educating employees, to make your message stick in their mind. To do this it is important to remember:

  • Do not use scare tactics. Treat cyber security awareness as a marketing campaign, with the purpose of persuasion.
  • Use videos and infographics.
  • Do not send out long memos, they will get ignored. It is important to keep it fun & short.


As important as it is to educate your employees on cyber security, it is also important to make your employees part of the cyber security process. For your companies cyber security to be beneficial it is important that your employees are trained properly first.


How does training employees in cyber security benefit your company?

Training employees in cyber security gives them the skills and knowledge to act as a firewall, giving your company a first line of defense.


Here a few steps that can help boost your companies cyber security.

  1. Make Cyber security a cornerstone in your business, and make it part of every employee’s job. By doing so, this will make your employees invested in the outcome of your companies cyber security.
  2. Create a secure log in process by: (1) Getting rid of any stick notes with usernames and passwords written on them. (2) Creating a two-factor authentication. (3) Re-set passwords monthly.
  3. Stay ahead of the everchanging security threats. Update your software & security patches frequently.
  4. Have an “onboard process” and “offboard process”. Having an “onboard process” means all new employees should be introduced to the companies cyber security policy from the start. Having an “offboard process” ensures that you can ID ex-employees that might be disgruntled and if they pose a malicious threat to your company’s data security.
  5. Make sure your company has a recovery plan & backups in place. Having daily backups offsite can help your company recovery quickly from cyber attacks. Having a recovery plan in place allows you to know the proper steps to take in the event of a cyber attack


* * Remember: Cyber Security is everyone’s responsibility * *


If you have any questions about Cyber Security Training, Cyber Security, and 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.

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“Life’s A Breach”

Dear Blast Readers,


Does your company use third-party vendors? Do those vendors make data security a priority? Does your company allow third-party vendors to access your companies network?


Third-party vendors are companies that offer services that the primary company can not support. It is considered a business necessity with most companies to outsource data management, activity processing, and storage to third-party vendors. But, did you know putting your company’s data into the hands of third-party vendors puts your data at risk of being breached?


It is common for hackers to try and use third-party vendors to gain access to a business’s data. Yes, businesses may have their own cyber security protocols in place, but access must be given to third-party vendors. When access to a business’s network spans out to a third-party, this is when possible network security vulnerabilities are created.


All businesses are responsible for the data that they collect, transmit, use and process, and they are still responsible for that data even when the data is entrusted to a third party.


If a third-party vendor gets hacked the consequences for your business varies, depending on the seriousness of the hack. A less serious hack can cause your business to lose vital data, and confidential employee information can be compromised. If the hack is a serious hack there are a few things that can happen, ranging from intense media attention to bankruptcy.


Outsourced contractors are often the primary targets of data breaches. So, it is important for the third-party vendors to takes data security seriously. But, how can you be sure if a third-party vendor is a security-conscious vendor? Some signs that a third-party vendor is security-conscious are:

  • The vendors have comprehensive security policies & disaster recovery plans in place and are updated and reviewed regularly.
  • Data Back-ups and recoveries are performed regularly. In case of hardware failure, the vendor has back-up servers to avoid interruptions.
  • Internal security audits are performed regularly.
  • Employees that have access to company data are vetted carefully (thorough background checks are performed).


But, as important as it is to make sure that the third-party vendors take data security seriously. It is also just as important to make sure that the data is secure on your end. To do that it is important to:

  • Have a strong internal security policy.
  • Know what data is sensitive & where it is located on your system. Never give one person access to more than one portion of your sensitive data.
  • Know your responsibilities and rights, as well at know those of your providers.


Another important aspect of a data breach is the reporting requirements. Reporting requirements differ depending upon the state in which the breach occurs. Additionally, if a breach involves information of clients across state or country lines, other reporting requirements will come into effect. It is vital to know your state’s cyber security breach reporting requirements.


If you have any questions about Data Breaches, Cyber Security, Computer Forensics, or Reporting requirements 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.