Issue #104 – Digital Cover

Published on May 18th, 2017 | by David Morales

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Cyber Crime Watch with Symantec

New research suggests that the tools we use every day may be exploitable to hackers. Not too many people know that anything you put online is hackable. That is why Kevin Haley, Norton Director of Security Response at Symantec, joins the Hype magazine to discuss the latest targets for a cyber-attack. Malware is a thing of the past. Hackers are using new tools and old school methods to gain access to your computer. Today’s cyber criminals are politically motivated and their goals have shifted to focus on undermining and deliberately damaging targets.

Data from Symantec’s 2017 Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) including: The reality of cyber banking heists, (North Korea successfully stealing $94 million). That 64 percent of Americans are willing to pay ransom demands once confronted with hackers. Hayley goes on to discuss cyber criminal’s new weapon of choice (email) and how business emails scammed more than 43 billion people in 2016. Learn what you should do if you have been hacked, or your information has been stolen.

Kevin, tell us about some of the new findings from this year’s Internet Security Threat Report.

We saw everything this year from Botnets that took down the Internet to our political parties being targeted and attacked by hackers to cyber criminals continuing to encrypt our files and hold them hostage. They make us pay extravagant ransoms to get our family photos and personal documents back.

What is the cyber criminal’s newest weapon of choice?

What’s interesting is that cyber criminals are going old school. They’re going back and using email. That’s the most predominant way that they’re attacking us today. So, they send you a message, get you to click on a link or attachment and once you do you’re infected.

How are attackers using Microsoft Word documents to fool their victims?

Yeah that’s one of the documents that they’re putting in this email. In general, it’s harmless, but the attackers are going to try to fool you into enabling certain features in that document and once you do, that malware can get launched. So, you need to be very suspicious even if you get a word document. Don’t let the bad guys talk you into enabling some feature that’s going to infect you.

Ransomware continues to be a problem. What are the latest trends you’re seeing?

Well, we saw a 36 percent increase in the number of attacks against people last year, and the ransom itself that shot up from $300 to over $1000. On average, bad guys have discovered that we’re willing to pay that ransom to get our files, family photos back and they keep increasing their prices.

Is there a big issue in terms of vulnerabilities for IoT devices?

These IOT devices, you know, those are the things that we’re connecting to the Internet that nobody ever thought would be Internet connected. It’s your TV’s, webcams; those sorts of things. They’ve got an operating system in them, and once you connect them to the Internet, bad guys know how to attack them. In fact, we’re seeing these devices attack within two minutes of being placed on the Internet. It’s important that these devices are password protected and that you don’t use the default password. Bad guys know what the default passwords. They’re using that to break into these devices

Finally, where can our viewers at The Hype magazine go for more information?

You should go up to Symantec.com. We’ve got a full copy of the report. There’s a lot of good information on how to protect yourself and some information on our products.

 

 

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About the Author

is the Executive Editor of The Hype magazine. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, David has a background as a writer, blogger, drummer, and in the human services industry. He is passionate about helping others, learning and has a deep empathy for the creative process. You can follow his social media @dcypherstudios



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