According to a popular cyber security firm, GEMINI ADVISORY, 125,000 credit card and debit card numbers are for sale on the dark web, following a Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off Fifth and Lord & Taylor breach that has caused an impact on at least 5 million shoppers.

This data has been stolen from customers while personally shopping in 3 retail stores; it is not yet confirmed whether online shoppers to these department stores have been affected.

The retail stores which are owned by Hudson Bay Company, have guaranteed to consumers that it has “taken steps to contain the breach”, and assures customers shopping at their stores, “it no longer poses a risk”.

In a public interview, cyber security expert and author Eric Cole, remarks that even though credit cards are encrypted with chips, “these retailers are still storing their data in a back end data base, which negates or takes away any of the security protection within the chip”.

It has been said by many experts that companies do not do enough to protect the consumer’s personal details as it enters a pool of public data. The system is failing individuals who place their trust in businesses to respect private information. The customer is vulnerable to fraud activity and cyber attacks.

Extra security measures need to be taken to prevent such occurrences happening again, to the individual consumers shopping at these stores. The following steps are advised:

  1. Ask credit card providers to send text to mobile phone and ask permission before any purchasing transaction is activated.

2.  Use a payment security service that holds all personal information securely.

3.  Contact financial institutions to have new cards issued, to prevent unauthorized use of  the card.

    4.  Change passwords on that service which was compromised and any other services that share same password.

5.  Change passwords on all personal social media platforms.

Investigations are underway to explore this cyber invasion, while at the same time the company is offering free identity protection services and credit and web monitoring to its customers.

 

 

 

Over fifty million users have had their data harvested through social media platform Facebook. Following the crisis of Cambridge Analytica, CEO Mark Zuckerberg admits the data scandal was a “major breach of trust”, and has publicly apologized. He has agreed to testify in front of U.S. Congress, and states in a public interview that Facebook has “a basic responsibility to protect people’s data”. He promises a full forensic audit to investigate who is improperly using private data of Facebook users.

Although Zuckerberg, has pledged to restrict access to app developers moving forward, there is still  concern regarding Android users and how data has been collected by Facebook from their mobile devices, without given permission. Fears of privacy invasion on Facebook is at its greatest, although Facebook highlights that two of the Android apps have opt-in/out features with prompts.

Apple iOS mobile devices do not allow access into the users’ calls and texts data unless a certain protocol is followed, therefore iPhones and iPads, are slightly more protected. The architecture of Android is different and not so secure.

There is a growing concern in some circles, that social media platforms could face strong government regulations in the aftermath of these incidents. There may even be a decline in activity since users are also likely to become skeptical, due to privacy protection concerns. This will in turn affect advertisers.

Facebook’s most valuable asset is the user, and the ability to follow the user track. the company monitors pages clicked on, as well as posts tagged and liked. By sharing this information, Facebook makes over 90% of profits on advertising, which according to research is in the realm of close to 40 million dollars.

Zuckerberg, has spoken of a commitment to 20,000 employees, working on security and content review, by the end of the year. In a recent public interview the Facebook guru states, “security isn’t a problem that you ever fully solve; you can get to a level where you are better than your adversaries and then continue evolving”.

Stocks and shares have already plummeted, with a loss estimated around $80 billion in market value. Consumers are now being extra cautious. After-all, no-one wants a “peeping Tom” in their phone.

To read a full report visit Ars Technica.

 

 

There is much talk about security on land, but what about safety in the open seas?

Maritime safety is an umbrella for many categories, which include: search and rescue, radio communications, fire protection, maritime security and piracy, to name a few.

Wireless radio has always been a valuable tool in communication. When a vessel is in distress, help can soon be dispatched if a call is transmitted by wireless radio. The problem is that wireless has limited distance capability. Satellites have since proven to be an improvement. Such devices evidently play a vital role in search and rescue operations at sea.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has evolved into the International Maritime Satellite Organization, (Inmarsat), with an intention to focus on emergency maritime communications. Global Maritime Distress Safety Systems (GMDSS) was established as part of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which highlights the importance of global maritime distress and safety systems.

GMDSS is an integrated communication system, which assists in protecting lives at sea. It consists of several parts that work together to function cohesively. The system consists of, determining the vessel in distress by an alert, search and rescue coordination, locating, maritime safety information broadcasts, and various types of relative communications. It is an internationally agreed upon set of safety procedures and protocols used to increase safety and make it easier to rescue vessels in distress.

The latest technologies of maritime safety systems, provide sophisticated ship-to-ship communications, as well as ship to shore.

Three significant Amtrak train incidents, resulting in deadly crashes, have occurred in the U.S.A. within the past 3 months. Red flags are up, regarding whether the safety of Amtrak is a result of the company at large, or human error.

Reports state, this morning, at 2:35 a.m. EST, an Amtrak train 91, was on its way from New York to Miami, when it came into contact with a stationary CSX freight train, in the South Carolina region. The lead engine derailed, as well as several passenger cars. It is said that more than 140 people were on board the Amtrak train. As it stands currently, there are 2 fatalities and 50+ injured. (more…)

Yesterday, people on the island of Hawaii, were aghast and shaken, by an accidental alert, sent out in error, to their mobile devices, stating, “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill”. (more…)

1. Crypto Currency for the Layman – NAC3: The North American Crypto Currency Conference.

NAC3 – the only Bitcoin and Blockchain conference designed for the “average person”.

Topics: “A Beginner’s Guide to Trading Crypto Currency”, “Investing in Today’s Crypto Market”, “Wallets and Security”, “Tax Implications”, “Legal Regulations”.

New York City

February 24-25, 2018

Eden on the Hudson (more…)

When will it ever end? What can we do to step up security in a world where hatred is oftentimes stronger than peace.

Another terrorist attack has occurred but this time in New York, USA. According to police reports, 8 people were killed, of which 6 were foreign tourists enjoying a vacation in Manhattan. US Officials have evidence to prove the perpetrator is said to be a radicalized supporter of the militant group (IS).

While 11 other people caught in the deadly strike are recovering from injuries, the question remains – how do we prevent these deadly terrorist attacks from happening in the first place. What strides as a nation, do we have to take, as far as security is concerned?

New York, is not the only city that is faced with such devastating types of atrocities, cities in Europe have also suffered multiple terrorist attacks of this kind, over the past few months. The current intention of these radical murderers is to use manuals that give detailed instructions on how to maximize devastation and death with accessible tools. The latest method is to use trucks and large vans as weapons, which can be stolen or rented. Armed with lethal tools such as sharp kitchen knives, and vehicles that are capable of plowing through crowds of innocent people at high speed, the sick intent of creating tremendous carnage is achieved.

So where do the experts start? Is it a surveillance issue? We have state of the art camera networks with large overviews and the latest technologies planted in strategic locations. We have “boots on the ground”’, in the form of active law enforcement officers patrolling the streets. Protective barriers have even been installed on many walkways, in order to defend common areas of significance. A mat with steel spikes that can be rolled out to puncture tires of speeding vehicles, has even been designed, but now we are discovering that none of these attempts of protection, are sufficient alone.

What do authorities have to do in order to prevent these threats from reoccurring in our neighborhoods? Can security agencies get their head around this horrific phenomenon and detect vehicular attack plots before they occur? Gathering intelligence is one of the most important forms of security. It has to be collected BEFORE the radical extremist groups have time to carry our their dangerous attacks.

Governments must work closely together and allow security intelligence to help find solutions that lead the way. Access to mobile devices and personal data must be allowed through cyber security. Information sharing, at high intelligence level, with respected security agencies, is probably the surest way to understand the encrypted coding and methods of communication these savage criminals exchange with one another.

In a constellation of efforts to prevent these radical extremists, from invading countries and slaughtering good, decent people, let’s emphasize the importance of allowing technology to police critical information that can prevent terrorist movement, before ruin on all levels is allowed to prevail. We have the capability to detect threats through our vast technology. In addition, the sophistication of security methods is ever evolving. This incomprehensive problem has to be solved. Our hope lies in the architecture of advanced security intelligence. One terror attack is one too many. One life killed, is one too many. It has to STOP now.

 

We are all vulnerable to crime, especially cyber crime. Everyday we read about another new hack or criminal attack in our personal space. Unfortunately, it is all becoming such frequent happenstance, as our society at large becomes more and more dependent upon technology. It is inevitable that citizens globally, need to investigate better ways to protect themselves and stay up-to-date with the latest protection mechanisms available on the market.

Governments around the world are constantly trying to combat cyber intrusion, and businesses are prioritizing themselves to a position of preventative measures; therefore as individuals, we must immerse ourselves in knowledge, to find the best strategies which will assist in combating these cyber threats.

Around the world policy makers and security leaders gather together at summits and conventions to discuss solutions. These frequent events not only offer platforms of discussion about the issues and challenges we are facing in this industry of technology – they also offer excellent networking and learning opportunities.

Countries such as the United States of America, as well as the United Kingdom, are known for hosting many respected security events, however India, is also stepping up to the plate, with a keen focus on taking security information to the next level. From Goa to Mumbai, or New Delhi to Kota and Kollam, brilliant minds congregate with pride and enthusiasm to discuss cyber security, and other security related subject matter. Security integration information on all levels can be found at these most well attended and worthwhile events.

To find some of the most talked about cyber security conferences in India 2017-2018 click on the link:

infosec-conferences.com/events/cybersecurity-conferences-india

 

 

 

Early hours of October 3 witnessed another major breach of security forces in Kashmir as four Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) affiliates ambushed Border Security Force (BSF) camps near the Srinagar airport, resulting in the demise of a BSF soldier.

The attack took place at 3:45 a.m. on Tuesday, when four members of the JeM group infiltrated the BSF’s 182 battalion camp in the army attire and opened fire at the security force. The Indian Army, CRPF, BSF and the special operations group (SOG) of the Jammu and Kashmir police joined the combat to neutralize the threat and successfully kill the four militants.

The attack becomes the latest in the string of security breaches carried out by the affiliates of Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the JeM, following the Pathankot airbase attack and Uri attack.

The intensity and audacity of these attacks have only amplified in recent years despite the government’s claims that 130 militants had been killed by security forces till 31 July, this year. While the government is attributing the reason for this increase to the growing number of youth joining these terrorist organisations, experts hold a rather different point of view over the situation.

According to the defence experts in the area, the problem is deeply rooted in the lack of adequate security appliances at the disposal of the Indian forces. While the Indian security forces showcase adequate manpower to mitigate such threats, they are often let down by gaps in security networks and surveillance systems. This renders a security parameter that is wide in nature but lacks strongly in terms of depth.

A strong security network is an efficient mix of technical and human surveillance. While the Indian forces have a strong human surveillance, they require more technical advancements that augment their efforts in securing the army areas. Equipment such as night vision glasses and infrared mapping devices can play a pivotal role in preventing these attacks and strengthening the overall defences of the Indian army. Unfortunately, any up-gradation of the technical surveillance equipment is ruled out due to lack of funds or other budgetary barriers. Without the up-gradation of these equipment, such security breaches will be inevitable, no matter how well the patrolling stations are manned.