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Category Archives: Cybercrime

The Rise and Impact of Digital Amnesia

Kaspersky Lab – Why we need to protect what we no longer remember – “Key findings from the study include:

• Across the United States, the study shows that an overwhelming number of consumers can easily admit their dependency on the Internet and devices as a tool for remembering. Almost all (91.2%) of those surveyed agreed that they use the Internet as an online extension of their brain. Almost half (44.0%) also admit that their smartphone serves as their memory–everything they need to recall and want to have easy access to is all on it.

• In addition, many consumers are happy to forget, or risk forgetting information they can easily find–or find again- online. When faced with a question, half of U.S. consumers would turn to the Internet before trying to remember and 28.9% would forget an online fact as soon as they had used it.

• Although dependence on devices appears high, when asked, most participants could phone the house they lived in at 15 (67.4%) as well as their partners (69.7%), children (34.5%), and place of work (45.4%). They could not however call their siblings (44.2%), friends (51.4%), or neighbors (70.0%) without first looking up the number.

• Contrary to general assumptions, Digital Amnesia is not only affecting younger digital natives–the study found that it was equally and some times more prevalent in older age groups.

• The loss or compromise of data stored on digital devices, and smartphones in particular, would cause immense distress, particularly among women and people under 35. More than half of women (51.0%) and almost the same number of 25 to 34 year-olds (48.6%) say it would fill them with sadness, since there are memories stored on their connected devices that they would never get back. However, it caused the even younger participants the most fear. One in four women (27.1%) and 35.0% of respondents age 16 to 24 say they would panic: their devices are the only place they store images and contact information.

• Worryingly, despite this growing reliance on connected devices, the study found that consumers across America are failing to adequately protect them with IT security. Just one in three (30.5%) installs extra IT security, such as an anti-virus software solution on their smartphone and one in five (20.7%) adds any security to their tablet. 28.0% doesn’t protect any of their devices.”

GAO Reports – Diplomatic Security, Maritime Cybersecurity, Space Situational Awareness, USAID

Diplomatic Security: Options for Locating a Consolidated Training Facility, GAO-16-139T: Published: Oct 8, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 8, 2015. Maritime Critical Infrastructure Protection: DHS Needs to Enhance Efforts to Address Port Cybersecurity, GAO-16-116T: Published: Oct 8, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 8, 2015. Space Situational Awareness: Status of Efforts and Planned Budgets, GAO-16-6R: Published: Oct 8, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 8, 2015.Continue Reading

Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents

CRS – Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents, Rita Tehan, Information Research Specialist, September 8, 2015. “Cybersecurity vulnerabilities challenge governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide. Attacks have been initiated against individuals, corporations, and countries. Targets have included government networks, companies, and political organizations, depending upon whether the attacker was seeking military intelligence, conducting diplomatic orContinue Reading

Victims of Identity Theft, 2014

Victims of Identity Theft, 2014 – Erika Harrell, Ph.D., – BJS Statistician “An estimated 17.6 million persons, or about 7 percent of U.S. residents age 16 or older, were victims of at least one incident of identity theft in 2014, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. These statistics were similar to those inContinue Reading

GAO – Agencies Need to Correct Weaknesses and Fully Implement Security Program

Federal Information Security: Agencies Need to Correct Weaknesses and Fully Implement Security Programs, GAO-15-714: Published: Sep 29, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 2015. “Persistent weaknesses at 24 federal agencies illustrate the challenges they face in effectively applying information security policies and practices. Most agencies continue to have weaknesses in (1) limiting, preventing, and detecting inappropriateContinue Reading

Mozilla Cybersecurity Delphi 1.0: Towards a user-centric policy framework

“From compromises of some of the world’s largest corporations, to critical vulnerabilities in widely used open source software, to exponential growth in the number of connected devices and users, the need to proactively design policies and practices to secure users and Internet infrastructure has never been greater. Yet, cybersecurity public policy conversations too often areContinue Reading

UK surveillance program collected billions of records from persons in multiple countries

Ryan Gallagher, The Intercept: “…The mass surveillance operation — code-named KARMA POLICE — was launched by British spies about seven years ago without any public debate or scrutiny. It was just one part of a giant global Internet spying apparatus built by the United Kingdom’s electronic eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ…The surveillance is underpinned byContinue Reading

HHS OIG Audit of MIDAS – central system managing citizen health care insurance data

Public Summary Report: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Implementation of Security Controls Over the Multidimensional Insurance Data Analytics System Needs Improvement (A-06-14-00067). September 21, 2015. “This summary report provides an overview of the results of the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) review of the Multidimensional Insurance Data Analytics System (MIDAS). It does notContinue Reading

UNESCO calls to combat online and offline violence against women and girls

“On 24 September 2015, the United Nations Broadband Commission’s Working Group on Gender released its report on combatting cyber violence against women at United Nations Headquarters in New York. UNESCO’s Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova, serves as Co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission alongside ITU Secretary-General, Mr Houlin Zhao. The report aims to mobilize the publicContinue Reading

New research from Google: The underground market fueling for-profit abuse

Framing Dependencies Introduced by Underground Commoditization, September 2015 – via the Workshop on the Economics of Information Security 2015. “Internet crime has become increasingly dependent on the underground economy: a loose federation of specialists selling capabilities, services, and resources explicitly tailored to the abuse ecosystem. Through these emerging markets, modern criminal entrepreneurs piece together dozensContinue Reading

Google Research – Comparing Expert and Non-Expert Security Practices

“…no one can hack my mind”: Comparing Expert and Non-Expert Security Practices – USENIX Association, 2015 Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security. “The state of advice given to people today on how to stay safe online has plenty of room for improvement. Too many things are asked of them, which may be unrealistic, time consuming,Continue Reading

The 2015 Inspector General Survey

The Association of Government Accountants’ 2015 Inspector General Survey “…Our survey raised a number of concerns that continue to hamper the effectiveness of IGs and their work. Examples include: issues related to greater sharing and access to data; the IG community’s primary legislative priority; antiquated pay scales; and unfilled IG positions. Similarly, budget uncertainty, theContinue Reading