Cybercrime

Is Facebook the right place to report a crime?

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Ballarat, a country town in Victoria, Australia, has made the news today thanks to social networking.

Under the headline Police tell users Facebook takes the complaints, regional newspaper The Courier reports:

Flyers have been sent to several police stations in the region, urging residents to contact Facebook's abuse department for minor matters rather than involve police.

But breathless, if unofficial, evangelist website All Facebook has reworked this headline to make it more impressive. They’re shouting out loud thatAustralian Cops Want Crimes Reported Via Facebook.


But this isn’t at all what the cops are suggesting. In fact, it looks as though the cops are urging people to seek resolution from Facebook for all matters which aren’t crimes, so that they can have more time to deal with serious online matters which require police involvement.

Facebook isn’t a law enforcement agency – and even if it were, it wouldn’t have jurisdiction in Victoria, or almost all other places on earth. Crimes should be reported to the police. They’re empowered to investigate and to act against wrongdoers.

(Police in your jurisdiction may have online reporting systems for cybercrimes. It’s well worth checking. Examples include the FBI’s gloriously easy-to-remember IC3 – the Internet Crime Complaint Center – athttp://ic3.gov/, and the Queensland Police Service’s Advance Fee Fraud Reporting Form for dobbing in scammers.)

The Ballarat region, and the Ballarat police, are no strangers to Facebook-related criminality: almost exactly a year ago, the cops intervened over an odious Facebook page entitled “100 Biggest Sluts of Ballarat”, which allegedly named girls as young as 14.

Of course, this raises the question, “How do I know whether online anti-social behaviour, or the latest outbreak of fraudulent Likejacking, is a crime or not?”

Where does online behaviour cross from being odious and reprehensible to being criminal? And what about cases which might feel to be on the borderline?

I suspect that many Facebook users might assume that the simplest way to get rid of abusive content would be to ask Facebook simply to to knock it offline. No need for police reports, official statements and potential lengthy entanglement in a criminal court case in which you have to front up to your abuser from the witness box.

But it’s not always that easy to get Facebook on your side. Naked Security’s own Graham Cluley found that out three years ago when he returned from an overseas vacation to discover that he was being subjected to arson and death threats against his family.

The provocation for this behaviour was a fraudulent Facebook page using Graham’s identity to taunt British soldiers.

Graham was informed by Facebook that this was out of their bailiwick – indeed, they advised him to go to the police – and only took down the offending material when he came up with the master-stroke of pointing out that some of the malevolent material was violating Sophos’s copyright. That got Facebook’s attention at once!

So the Catch-22-esque problem faced by the Ballarat police is that to persuade people to stop phoning them with online behavioural complaints which are out of their remit, they’ve had to invite people to phone them to find out which complaints are in their remit.

Nevertheless, common sense can help shield you from a lot of odious on-line trouble. As Craig Pearce, a Sergeant with the Ballarat police, wryly points out, There’s no need to have 1600 friends on Facebook if you don’t like them.”

You should also consider joining the SophosSecurity page on Facebook, where you can keep on top of the latest security threats, and ask for help with Facebook issues amongst our thriving community of more than 95,000 people. No, we’re not suggesting you befriend them all. Keep friendships – both on-line and off-line – for people you actually know, and like, and trust.

LulzSec, Anonymous and other hacks – should I change my password?

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by Paul Ducklin on June 21, 2011 | Comments (6)

With all the data breaches in the news lately, it’s hard to know whether you’ve been affected.

You could just change all your passwords after every reported breach – just in case. You could insist on tokens for everything. (Of course, that might raise additional concerns.) You could stop using the internet entirely. Or you could do nothing.

Cybercrime happens to other people, right?

Another approach is to keep trawling the internet for exposed password databases, grabbing copies and checking to see if you’re on anyone’s “hit list”. Of course, it doesn’t tell you much if you’re not in one of LulzSec’s or Anonymous’s triumphantly-publicised leaks. But if youare, then you’re facing a clear and present danger.

After LulzSec’s recent spray of 62,000 passwords, Twitter came alive with LulzSec hangers-on announcing the malevolent uses to which they’d quickly put the leaked data – such as sending a large pack of condoms to a random woman using someone else’s money, or trying to break up relationships by posting fake information on Facebook. Very funny.

So a large part of the risk posed by these allegedly-amusing data leakage incidents comes not from traditional cybercrooks, but from a plethora of not-so-innocent bystanders.

Of course, continually chasing down hacked password lists and downloading them to see if you’re there is not only a hassle, but also creates a somewhat circular dependency on the hackers themselves.

The more downloads they achieve, the more notoriety; the more notoriety, the more incentive to continue; and the more positive uses which can be claimed for their stolen data, the easier their rationalisation for carrying on.

Fortunately, thoughtful Sydney infosec technologist Daniel Grzelak can help you keep track of the latest breaches, so you don’t have to.

(See how much nicer it is to hack to help, rather than to break?)

You can see if you’re in any of a number of recently-spilled leakages by simply searching for your email address at:

https://shouldichangemypassword.com/

Daniel doesn’t store your email address after you’ve looked it up – so he can’t spam you even if he wanted to, which he doesn’t – and he’s not accumulating a list of email addresses which spammers might like to break in and steal. And he doesn’t keep any of the stolen databases on his server, so he’s not offering a handy-to-hack repository for unlawfully-acquired loot, either.

As I mentioned above, a green light from Daniel’s website isn’t a clean bill of health. It just means, “You may proceed to the next intersection.” But if you get a red light about a recent breach, you should fix your passwords as soon as you can.

(And remember that the data probably wasn’t stolen from you, but from someone you trusted to keep it safe. You might want to rethink that relationship at the same time.)

FindFriendz.com, Dating Website Hacked!

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Dating Website FindFriendz hacked by an indian hacker, lionaneesh and 45,000 users data got compromised.

Proof:


Source THN.

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Cybercrime statistics show widespread phishing problem

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The top five industries vulnerable to cybercrime include travel, education, financial services, government services and IT services, according to KnowBe4.

Using the Inc.com website to obtain domain names and a free data-gathering service to find publicly available email addresses, KnowBe4 sent out a simulated phishing email to employees at more than 3,500 companies. Individuals who clicked the link were directed to a landing page that informed them they had just taken part in phishing research.


The emails were successfully delivered to about 29,000 recipients at 3,037 businesses; and in nearly 500 of those companies, one or more employees clicked the link. Because of the potential for Internet security breaches among these businesses, KnowBe4 dubbed them the FAIL500.

“Any business that provides access to email or access to its networks via the Internet is only as safe from cybercrime to the degree that its employees are trained to avoid phishing emails and other cyberheist schemes. The more employees within an organization that use email or go online, the greater the risk of exposure to cybercrime,” said KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman.

“Our cybercrime statistics should serve as a wake-up call to SMEs nationwide,” noted Sjouwerman. “Not only are these businesses at risk for financial loss through a cyberheist, but their susceptibility to phishing tactics could compromise sensitive customer data such as credit card, bank account and social security numbers.”

Sjouwerman cites a “false sense of security” as the primary reason companies are vulnerable to cybercrime. “Most people assume that antivirus software and an in-house IT team provide sufficient data security. But considering that IT is among the most phishing-prone industries, it’s clear that’s a very dangerous assumption to make.”

Cybercriminals have become very sophisticated in their tactics, and they often target businesses through official-looking emails that appear to be sent by government agencies, business partners or even company executives.

Many of the top phishing-prone industries are regulated and subject to compliance rules, so well-meaning employees can be tricked into clicking a link if they believe an email was sent by a government or law enforcement agency, or by someone they know and trust. And with just one click, malware can be instantly uploaded to a system – bypassing both antivirus software and IT firewalls. A cyberheist can be underway within minutes.

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