Category Archives: Internet Connected


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“In A Day Where Everything Is Getting Smarter, It Might Be Smarter To Play Dumb”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Did you know that 6.6 million people in the US are stalked every year*? Only 1 in 5 victims are stalked by strangers*. 85% of stalking victims know who their stalkers are*. Did you know that there are 78% of stalkers use more than 1 approach when it comes to stalking their victims*?

 

We live in a day and age where technology is continuing to get smarter. With technology getting smarter so are the cyber criminals. Today Cyber criminals are always looking for vulnerabilities and back doors to provide access to his or her next victim.

 

Recently, vulnerabilities in cyber security have been found hiding and lurking in the shadows of smart appliances. Some examples of smart appliances include:

  • Smart Refrigerators
  • Smart Slow Cookers
  • Smart Dish Plates

 

Smart Refrigerators can have 3 built in cameras, that allow you to see inside of the Refrigerators from where ever you are. They also can have the capability of streaming music, streaming videos, as well as sharing calendars, notes, memos and pictures. The Smart Refrigerators can also have voice activated features. If these refrigerators fell victim to a hack attack, then hackers would have total control over all the features.

 

By hacking the Smart Refrigerators, hackers can then peer into your life. Watching you, your spouse, and even your children with the help of the video feed that comes from the Smart Refrigerators cameras.

 

Also, they can listen to every conversation going on inside your home because of the voice activation speakers (the speakers that help to refrigerator listen and respond to your commands).

 

The Smart Refrigerators can also share calendars, notes, memos and pictures. If a hacker was to gain access to this information, it could be sold on the dark net to someone with malicious intent. But, you could also be stalked. With this information, a stalker would know your schedule, know what your family and friends look like, where your favorite places are, among other things.

 

A Smart Slow Cooker is another smart device that cyber criminals and/or hackers could use to their malicious advantages. Being a Bluetooth connected device allows the Smart Slow Cooker to connect to smartphones (both Android and iOS devices), and tablets that have the Smart Slow Cookers application. From this application, you can control all the features, including:

  • Adjusting the temperature
  • Turning the Smart Slow Cooker on/off

 

With access to the Smart Slow Cookers, hackers would be able to get into the application and mess with the settings. They would be able to turn it on and off as they pleased, they would also be able to control the heat settings, possibly being able to blow the power source creating a fire. Hackers would be able to do all of this without the consent or knowledge of the device’s owners.

 

Do you wear a fitness tracker on your wrist consistently? Do you monitor your caloric intake with said device? Did you know there is a Smart Dish Plate that can help you track your eating habits and calorie intake? The Smart Dish Plate is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connected. It connects to your smartphone, via application, and your fitness tracker. It also has 3-mini built in cameras.

 

If hackers and/or cyber criminals were to gain control over this device, then it is likely that your phone and its data will be targeted as well. This leads to the possibly that this data could be sold on the dark net.

 

With the 3-mini built in cameras, hackers would also be able to spy on you through the camera feed.

 

By gaining access to the smart kitchen appliances, hackers can do many things without your knowledge or consent. They can control the device and all its features and they can also gain access to any other internet connected device connected the same network, including:

  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Computers
  • Alarm systems

 

If you have any questions about hacking 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.

 

 

 

*(The statistics represented in this blast were identified from: Stalking Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.)*


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“How Your Anti-Virus Can Turn On You”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Imagine, you are sitting at your computer knowing that you did everything that you could to protect the files that are on it. You bought the best anti-virus software on the market, thinking that this would be your last line of defense. Now imagine the day you find out that your anti-virus software has been flipped and now works for the hackers. No one wants to believe that something that protects them could also be used against them. It is a nightmare when you find out that your anti-virus software is a double agent working for the hackers.

 

An Anti-Virus software is a computer program that is used for scanning, identifying, and removing viruses from your computer. Primarily, they are used to protect your computer. Now, image that this program that has access to all your files has gone to “the dark side” and has provided unfettered access to hackers. This type of attack used by hackers is called a “Double Agent” attack.

 

A “Double Agent” attack is an attack that takes over the anti-virus software of PC computers running Windows. This type of attack is performed by hackers. Once in control of the anti-virus software the hacker converts the anti-virus software into malware. The malware then acts on the hacker’s behalf to encrypt the files on the computer holding them for ransom.

 

A “Double Agent” attack can compromise the 14 major anti-virus software available. This type of attack can easily be executed by someone working out of their parent’s basement or a 13-year-old script kid. The way in which these individuals would infect a computer with a double agent attack can include having the user:

·        Access Malicious URLS

·        Download Malicious Attachments

 

To prevent the “Double Agent” attack from occurring, organizations and businesses should:

·        Monitor for spoofed emails.

·        Set up administration controls to prevent downloads from unknown sources.

·        Regularly update anti-virus software in all systems.

 

If you have any questions relating to “Double Agent” Attacks or Computer Forensics and Cyber Security contact FDS Global. You can reach us at your 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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“Is Your Next Lawyer Going To Be A Person or A Computer?”

Dear Blast Readers,

Every day, Technology is becoming increasingly smarter, and a more integrated part of our everyday life. Our refrigerators can now tell us when we are running low on eggs. We live in an age that some refer to as “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” or “Technological Revolution”. This fourth industrial revolution has brought the following to fruition:

  • Effectively unlimited computer power
  • Artificial Intelligence that is gaining more knowledge every day.
  • Artificial Intelligence communicating with unaware people on social media.

A combination of these aspects will challenge the definition of being a worker, as well as what it means to be a human.

Warnings have been coming for centuries about this revolution and what it will bring our society. Albert Einstein once said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”

Albert Einstein’s quote should give most of you an uneasy feeling. In Japan there is a phenomenon in which cyber-girlfriends are replacing many human-to-human relationships.

This revolution has promised that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation will indeed remove the need to work, and/or (a less favorable option) take away people’s jobs.

There is currently AI that is starting to replace Lawyers. Currently this AI is filling out some of the more mundane and simple forms, but it’s developers are committed to add more advanced functionalities.

There are two categories of skills in which most everyday actives both professionally and personally fall into. Those are hard skills and soft skills.

Hard Skills, include: Cognitive and Mathematical reasoning and are things that machine learning and AI technology will find easy to do.

Soft skills, such as: motivation, teamwork and social skills are much more difficult for a machine to recreate. These are the type of skills that play a vital role in the economy (they are not skills that are just “nice to have”).

If you have any questions on anything mentioned in this week’s Blast please, feel free to contact us by email at rmoody@fds.global or give our office a call at (954) 727-1957. Please visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


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“Year of the Hack!”

 

Dear Blast Readers,

 

From everyone here at FDS Global we would like to wish you a Happy New Year. But as the New Year begins we are in the most tumultuous point in history when it comes to Cyber Security. Many new threats that have arose at the end of 2016 and many more will arise in 2017. With claims of the United States Government being HACKED by foreign entities such as Russia and China companies and the lay person has much to fear, but as an old saying goes prepare for but pray for peace. With this saying in mind, the best strategy to counter possible attacks is to prepare your company with the best defenses.

 

Here are some helpful tips that will keep you ahead of the Cyber Criminals and their attacks.

1. Change, if there is one thing that both IT professionals and Cyber criminals have in common is that fact that they both do not like change (but for different reasons). IT professionals do not like change because they want to keep the systems and processes static to:

  • Make their lives easier and
  • To keep their work organized.
    • Cyber Attackers on the other hand thrive off static networks. This is because if these networks do not change than they can study them, learn all the ins and outs (using that knowledge to compromise your data.
    • If you want to make the life of a cyber-criminal difficult, create & environment that prospers with change (meaning move your data and change the networking design & changing passwords regularly).

2. Use Antivirus and Antimalware software. Antivirus and Antimalware software are critical to any company in the defense of Cyber-attacks. The most important key to using Antivirus and Antimalware software is regularly updating them, this help prevents from zero-day attacks. Zero-day attacks use viruses and malware recently created.

3. Monitor for irrelevant information usage. It is important to watch for activity that does not make sense for your company/organization. Cyber criminals do their homework before they attack a company/organization, meaning they know how to slip through the cracks. Spotting suspicious activity, like an employee who no longer works with the company doing something inside the network is an example of suspicious activity. Being vigilant can be help stop data breaches.

4. Back Up your IT Environment. Did you know that one of the leading causes of Data Loss is human error? To help prevent data loss back up your IT environment, so that if something happens you have a recovery point to start from. Having a recovery point will help mitigate the amount of information lost and decrease the amount of time until your company is back up and running.

5. Train your Employees in Cyber Security. Cyber Security education and training is important for employees to learn. It teaches them why it is important to watch for suspicious activity, as well as the importance of changing passwords. Teaching employees this will help you have a more vigilant work force.

 

If you have any questions on Strong Passwords, Good Antivirus and Antimalware software, what constitutes “irrelevant network usage”, the proper way to back up your IT Environment, or are interested in FDS Global’s Cyber Security Training and the CLE credits that coincide please contact us by phone at 954-727-1957, or contact us by email at rmoody@forensic-data-svc.com. Also, Visit our website at www.FDS.global. `