Each week I will highlight some of the most interesting developments in the cybersecurity space to both enlighten and encourage each of us to maintain our personal cyber hygiene.
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(1) Banks Adopt Military-Style Tactics To Fight Cybercrime
Just how much pressure is cybercrime exerting on our existing financial system, and more broadly, our economy? Enough to warrant a military-style approach to threat network detection and prevention within the walls of our larger financial institutions.
However, just because they are taking a military-style approach does not mean that these networks and services are secure. In fact, this may be evidence to the contrary, a broken arrow situation.
“Former government cyberspies, soldiers and counterintelligence officials now dominate the top ranks of banks’ security teams.”
“Cybersecurity has, for many financial company chiefs, become their biggest fear, eclipsing issues like regulation and the economy.”
(2) Cyberwar: How Nations Attack Without Bullets Or Bombs
“The traditional form of international conflict – between armies firing bullets and bombs – is guided by rules of war that date back centuries and are meant to reduce civilian suffering. Terrorist attacks meant to kill and scare civilians could be considered the polar opposite of that. Cyberwarfare sits somewhere in the middle.”
War is a messy matter, and as history as proven, the only rule of war worth remembering is that there are no rules. Cyber is clearly the next domain of dominance that the world’s superpower(s) will have to control.
(3) Teen Hacks School To Chang Grades
It’s easy to fall down the cyberwarfare rabbit-hole, and I will continually encourage you to do so on your own. Let’s lighten things up a bit, shall we?
What the article below describes is how a high school student gained access to his school’s administrative network, where he manipulated grades (raising his, of course) of 10-15 students.
All it took:
- 5 minutes
- One phishing email
“It was like stealing candy from a baby,” he brazenly told reporters.
What a move! This kid has a bright future (hopefully). I know that all our critical institutions are actively hiring cybersecurity talent (see CIA, NSA, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, et. all) so finding employment should not be an issue.
(4) Hackers Siphon Hundreds Of Millions Out Of Mexican Banks
Another piece of evidence that supports the thesis of blockchain and distributed ledger systems being the future.
Seriously, how anyone still entrusts all of their personal capital to large, immobile, and bureaucratic institutions is beyond me.
This sort of news flow is only going to increase. Best to have some assets outside of the system as a hedge – as an insurance policy to our time’s greatest threat.
“Organized criminal gangs have taken advantage of SWIFT to steal large amounts of money. Banks have been targeted with bespoke malware that exploits the SWIFT system, as in the case of Bangladesh Bank where criminals successfully made off with $81 million.”
(5) Comcast Website Leaks Xfinity Router Passwords
Security researchers uncovered a vulnerability on the Comcast website that allowed them to gain access to all kinds of user data, most importantly of which is router passwords.
With your router password, a complete stranger can wreak havoc on your digital life because your router is essentially your gateway to the digital world. With access to your router, said stranger has the ability to send you to fraudulent websites, track every move you make, and log your credentials for every ancillary service you use. It’s a big deal, to say the least.
Reportedly, the security flaw has since been squashed, but it goes to show how third parties increase our odds of falling victim to cyber theft.
"A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed at some indefinite point in the future." – George Patton Jr.