“A Travelers Guide To Protecting Your Data”

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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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“Printers Beware”

Dear Blast Readers,


Did you know that 54% of employee’s say that they do not always follow the security policies put into place by their company’s Information Technology departments? * Did you know that about 51% of employees who have a printer, copier, or a multi functioning printer (MFP) at their work place say that they have copied, printed, and/or scanned confidential documents at work before? *


With cyber threats on the rise, it is not a shock that even printers are not safe from cyber attacks and data breaches. If a printer is connected to a wireless network and is unsecure, then it is open to hacking. Once compromised, other devices connected to the same network are left vulnerable.


How can a hacker gain access to a network using an unsecure printer?


One way a hacker can gain access to your unsecured printer is if the firmware is out-of-date. This allows the system to accept malicious lines of code. The hacker can then use the code to gain access to:

  • Print Jobs.
  • The user’s computer.


Another way a hacker can gain access to your unsecured printer is using a drone. Along with a drone the hacker would need a mobile phone and two applications. The two applications would do the following:

  • The first application identifies all wireless printers
  • The second application deploys malware into the printers.


So how does this type of drone attack occur?


Firstly, the hacker would fly a drone using a smart phone into position outside of an office building. Once into position, the hacker activates the two applications. Once the first application scans for open Wi-Fi printers, the second application establishes a fake access point (one that mimics the real device). Once established, the fake access point is then able to intercept documents that have been sent to the real device. With network access gained, the hacker can then in-bed malware into the company’s network.


When malware is installed within the network, hackers can gain access to your servers and documents by:

  • Accessing sensitive and/or confidential information.
  • Changing the printer’s settings or LCD readout.
  • Launching DoS attacks (Denial-of-service attacks).
  • Using the printer to receive and transmit faxes.
  • To send unauthorized print jobs.
  • Retrieving saved copies of documents.
  • Eavesdropping on network printer traffic.


To take preventative measures against attacks on your printers Some typical prevention procedures include, but are not imited to:

  • Educating Employees on the importance of security
  • Defining what constitutes a secure password
  • User identification (with PINs and other verification) for printer usage.
  • Data encryption protocols (to prevent interception of data across the network).


If you any questions relating to Firmware, Network Security, Printer 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.



*(The statistics represented in this blast were identified from: Network, C. (2013, February 07). The Hidden IT Security Threat: Multifunction Printers. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2013/02/07/the-hidden-it-security-threat-multifunction-printers/#b615affb615a )*

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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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“Is Your Phone Watching You While You Sleep?”

Dear Blast Readers,


Have you ever had the hair on the back of your neck stand up because you thought you were being watched? Have you ever wondered if you were being spied on? Imagine your every move being watched and listened to without your knowledge. Have you ever considered that maybe, your smartphone is watching and listening to everything that you say and/or do?

Usually, when someone thinks about a “Smartphone” you think about all the different things that you can do on the phone. The different applications that you can run. Applications like:

·        Gaming Apps

·        Messaging Apps

·        Shopping Apps

·        Social Media

·        Internet Browsers


Digital Forensic Analysts are worried about malware that can remotely take over features of a smartphone. With this ability, Hackers can take over, and use your phone’s camera and microphone. This lets them gain the ability to listen in to your conversations and watch you through your camera.

More times than not, these issues arise as the result of old software in need of an update. Therefore, older models of technology become out-of-date so quickly.

Security researchers have found another example on how hackers can spy on smartphone users. It might seem like a complicated process to accomplish the task of taking over a smartphone’s Camera and Microphone. This form of exploit works the same as any other form of malware. Firstly, you will be sent a message to download an app that seems real, or you could be re-directed to a secondary website. If you proceed with the download these programs attempt to gain control of the smartphone functions through security holes in the phone. Once the App is installed the hacker can collect surveillance information.

FDS’ Tips on preventing hackers from spying on your smartphone:

1.      Do not click on links sent from unknown numbers

2.      Do not click on pop-up windows with links

3.      Do not install Apps onto your phone if you are not sure who has manufactured them.


If you have any questions relating to our tips or computer forensics and 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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“Game Console Forensics”

Dear Blast Readers,


Many of us have purchased a gaming system for ourselves or for our children. These devices have exponentially increased in complexity 11-game-consel-forensicsand in their auxiliary capabilities. These auxiliary capabilities extend to applications such as Skype, Netflix, and Hulu. Both the Xbox Console and PlayStation Console have a built-in web browser. With exposure to the world-wide web comes the need for forensics on these devices.


Digital Forensics has expanded beyond the realm of phones and computers to include Gaming Systems. Game System Forensics can provide a very deep insight into the activity occurring on these devices. FDS Global has had several cases involving videogame consoles. FDS global has investigated cyber bullying through the chat functions. FDS Global has also extracted log files from these machines to investigate Skype conversations.


To perform an investigation dealing with Game System Forensics, just like the other forms of digital forensics the first step is to preserve a copy of the hard drive contained within the game systems. We are now in a time where Video-Game Consoles have 1 terabyte Hard drives and the ability to utilize external hard drives. This means that as a forensic investigator it is important to make sure you capture all data, including external drives.


Once you have a good copy of the data on the Video-Game Console you can proceed as normal with your investigation. As a parent keep in mind when buying your child one of these devices, that they are most likely asking for, you are buying them a very powerful computer that has many more capabilities than just playing video games.

For more information on Game System Forensics or about FDS Global contact us by phone at 954-727-1957 or by email at rmoody@forensic-data-svc.com. Check out our website at www.FDS.global.