“The Misfortune Cookie”


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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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“Beware of the Facebook Notification Virus”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

You are on your Facebook account, answering messages, liking posts, watching videos, and commenting on your friend’s photos. Suddenly, you receive a message from your friend Sam. The message contains a link to a funny cat video in which a cat in a hat is dancing with a maraca in its mouth. The message below the video says “Hilarious video. You NEED to check it out!”. Without giving it a second thought you click on the link to view the video. But, instead of viewing the video you get redirected to a site that you don’t recognize or trust. Naturally, you exit out of the browser thinking that maybe Sam has attached the wrong URL. But, it is too late. Your device has already been infected.

 

Security experts have identified a form of adware that targets social media users tricking them into infecting their own devices. It is known as the “Facebook Notification Virus”. This virus displays messages saying that they are from Facebook. The “Facebook Notification Virus” creates many different forms of messages, including:

  • Friend Requests
  • Chat Messages

 

Some of the notifications that the user received are real copies of notifications that users would see on the real social media site (making the fake notifications seem legit). While other notifications are presenting new features. The purpose of this adware is to redirect users to specific websites, most likely malicious websites, so that the user’s device becomes infected with malicious software. This virus does not just lead users to malicious websites, it also:

  • Monitors User Activity
  • Collects User Information
  • Records Browsing History
  • Tracks Cookies
  • Tracks Keystrokes
  • Tracks IP Addresses
  • Tracks Geographic Location
  • Tracks Zip Codes
  • Tracks Demographic Profiles
  • Tracks Emails
  • Tracks Telephone Numbers
  • Tracks Usernames
  • Tracks Passwords

 

After all this information is collected, the collector, hacker, will then attempt to sell your confidential information on Darknet Markets, then falling into the hands of much more malicious cyber criminals.

 

So, how does this virus spread?

 

The “Facebook Notification Virus” can be spread a few different ways, including:

  • Freeware
  • Shareware
  • Pirated copies of paid utilities.

 

Another way that it can spread is through spam emails. The sender of the spam emails wants you to open the so that his or her tool can get inside your system and infect it.

 

To protect your data and system from the “Facebook Notification Virus”, if you receive any suspicious messages from “Facebook”, you should:

  • Check your system, because you may have been infected.
  • Be careful of the software that you allow in your machine.
  • Verify the email addresses of the “companies” that have messaged you (visit the contact page on the official website of the “company” to verify the email address).

 

If you have any questions relating to the “Facebook Notification Virus”, 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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“How The Hacker Stole Christmas”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

With the holiday season, rapidly approaching, more U.S. households are turning to online shopping to meet the ever-expanding myriad of how-the-hacker-stole-christmasconsumer goods being requested. With news media amplifying the anxiety surrounding Black Friday sales and companies providing an alternative, Cyber Monday, the amount of online shopping following Thanksgiving has dramatically increased. As Online shopping increases so does the amount of credit cards being used on the internet. Opportunity is the mother of innovation, meaning that with more people using credit cards online there is an opportunity for cyber criminals to steal this information and sell the credit card information.

 

But where do cyber criminals sell credit card information?

 

The answer is the dark web. Outside the reach of the average computer exists a more insidious side of the internet. On the Dark web users can obtain many illegal items ranging from drugs to weapons to stolen credit card information.

 

To prevent yourself from being a victim, and your information ending up on the dark web follow these guidelines for safe Online Holiday shopping:

 

1.     Never enter your credit card information on Pop-ups, often these pop-ups are not what they claim to be.

2.     If you receive an email offering deals that seem too good to be true, do not click on the links. Independently research these offers.

3.     Never buy items from third party distributors, unless you have used or heard of this distributor before.

4.     If you are ordering items from overseas, carefully research the websites you will be ordering from.

5.     Use PayPal to generate a temporary credit card number. This will mitigate the damage of having a card number stolen.

 

If you want more information on the Dark Web, any of the guidelines for safe Online Holiday shopping, or you have been hacked contact FDS Global. FDS global has a trained team of Hacking investigators who frequently perform investigations on cybercrimes and the dark web. Our Phone number is 954-727-1957. We can be reached by email at rmoody@FDS.global. Our website is www.FDS.global.

 


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“Hack-A-Boo”

Dear Blast Readers,

As children most people loved the idea behind Halloween, unlimited candy, jokes and a reason to dress up and scare/shock your friends and neighbors. What if you were the victim of a trick designed to trick you into buying and installing potentially dangerous software. This trick is called Scareware. It has become evermore common in the age of constant computer use. This malignant software is made to create shock, anxiety, Hack-a-boo- Blastand/or the idea of a threat. Usually, it begins with a pop up or email that informs the user that his or her device has been compromised by cyber criminals. There are two types of Scareware. The difference between the two types of Scareware is that one actually contains malware and the other does not.

The first type of Scareware targets users who are more likely to believe pop ups or emails. This type of Scareware targets the elderly, or is sent out in mass. The hope of this type of Scareware is to convince the computer user that his or her computer has been ”infected” by a harmful program. The Scareware then prompts the user to buy and download a “critical antivirus” to remove the software. In reality if the user buys and downloads this “critical antivirus”, he or she has infected their computer.

So, what should you do if you experience one of these pop-up ads or emails?

Continue using the Internet or your email, but don’t disclose any of your personal information. Avoid clicking “download’ on any suspicious messages or pop up ads.

The second type of Scareware is much more malicious. This type of Scareware affects users by first infecting them with malware. This malware can include Ransomware. Ransomware encrypts a users computer. This encryption is unauthorized and can prevent further use of the computer. Once the computer has been fully taken over a message prompt appears on the computer. This message directs the user to pay a “ransom” to unencrypt the computer. Paying this “ransom” is not a guarantee, a lot of the time cyber criminals will take the payment and never be heard from again, leaving the user locked out of their computer possibly forever.

So, what should you do if your computer becomes infected and starts encrypting your files?

Turn off your computer immediately. The less time the program has to work the more likely the infection can be quarantined. Next, leave the computer off and contact a computer forensic specialist. This form of Scareware is especially nasty. Do not connect this infected computer to USBs, hard drives, or your home network; this can lead to more devices becoming compromised.

Some tips to help avoid becoming a Victim:

1.       Don’t put off buying and installing anti-virus software, as well as other Internet security software.

2.       Research the anti-virus software before purchasing it.

3.       Do not click on any links or pop-ups from unknown sources.

4.       Do not open emails from an untrustworthy source.

Scareware is designed to trick users and has the potential to be devastating. For more information on Scareware and how to protect your system feel free to contact FDS Global by visiting our website at www.FDS.Global or give our office a call at (954) 727-1957.