Why messaging bots are a looming security threat

From Mashable:



[U]nlike the web, which often provides at least a few signals that an interaction is secure (for instance, the lock icon in your browser, the security certificate, or even simply the URL), there’s no obvious way to tell a good bot from a bad bot.

What’s more, bots haven’t been around long enough for users to be savvy enough to distinguish between those from legitimate sources and potential bad actors. Think of email phishing scams: While it’s not uncommon for a scammer to send an email purporting to be from, say, your financial institution, most email software has gotten pretty good at flagging these types of messages so they’re accompanied by a warning or go straight to your junk folder.

But there’s no analogous mechanism for bots. Hypothetically, you could begin interacting with, say, a shopping bot and have no idea that it’s a fake meant to steal your credit card info or other personal information.


Source: Why messaging bots are a looming security threat

Ransomware and the new economics of cybercrime

From The Atlantic:

Cybersecurity is often framed as a matter of keeping up with the rapid evolution of online attacks—patching software vulnerabilities and identifying new malware programs. But cybercriminals’ most crucial adaptation in recent years has little to do with their technical tools and everything to do with their business model: They have started selling stolen data back to its original owners. To keep cybercrime profitable, criminals needed to find a new cohort of potential buyers, and they did: all of us.

Source: Ransomware and the New Economics of Cybercrime – The Atlantic

Mark Zuckerberg tapes over his webcam. Should you?


Yes, you probably should.


From The Guardian:

Photo: Facebook

While Zuckerberg probably does have any number of advanced persistent threats trying to break his digital security, normal people shouldn’t be too complacent either. Installing backdoors on compromised computers is a common way for some hackers to occupy their time.

Source: Mark Zuckerberg tapes over his webcam. Should you? | Technology | The Guardian

Examining the cybersecurity landscape of utilities and control systems

From TechCrunch:

According to government officials’ disclosure, the attacker was able to obtain information about the dam’s operations … and could have sent water pouring into the city of Rye if the gate had not been disconnected for maintenance when the intrusion occurred …

The … dam incident illustrates a growing and disturbing reality: while online breaches such as Target, Home Depot, the IRS … have grabbed the spotlight the last few years, and understandably so, attackers are extending the threat from the online and virtual to the physical world, in which damage could be even more severe.

Source: Examining the cybersecurity landscape of utilities and control systems | TechCrunch

Terrorists gearing up for a cyber fight, security firm says

From NBC News:

An example of the sort of conversation that takes place on … dark web forums involved a cleaner in Berlin who worked the overnight shift and wanted to know how they could help … Others chimed in, explaining how the janitor could load malware onto a USB device and plug it into a computer to allow them to remotely hack into the network.

“That is the kind of insider threat that we are going to be facing …”

Source: Terrorists Gearing Up for a Cyber Fight, Security Firm Says – NBC News