Big Brother

big brother watchingRemember George Orwell’s 1949 book titled 1984? And it’s catch phrase “Big Brother is Watching You?” Well, it’s 69 years later and Orwell’s Big Brother is here and he’s watching all of us. CNBC published an article about Google and Facebook and the impact they are having on our privacy. It’s a must read – it’s huge!

The article states that the Princeton Web Transparency & Accountability Project study showed that 76% of websites now contain hidden Google trackers and 24% have hidden Facebook trackers. Next in line was Twitter with 12% hidden trackers.

What does this mean to you? It means that these companies have huge data profiles on most of us who have engaged in social media. The files contain our interests, purchases, search, browsing and location history, plus much more. This information is golden for invasive online target marketers. Read more at CNBC and be prepared to be alarmed.

Speaking of Spying – Do you or anyone you know swipe on Tinder?

It’s another case of we’re being watched and recorded. If you use Tinder, your photos and actions may be exposed! Why? Tinder isn’t a secure network – it lacks HTTPS encryption and it uses predictable responses where HTTPS encryption is used. This turns out to be a great case study in how not to use SSL. Tinder does use encryption, but it doesn’t use it correctly.

HTTPS is an important upgrade for anyone who wants their website to be safe. The “S” in “HTTPS” stands for “secure”. What happens when using HTTPS is that any data-in-transit gets encrypted. For Tinder users that means their photos would be safely and privately transmitted. Unfortunately the Tinder app doesn’t allow users to send photo requests to their image server via HTTPS, instead they go to a port on HTTP. Until this is fixed, users beware as hackers can see your actions by intercepting your traffic!

To read the full article, click here.

Cybercrime and Its Big Payoff

California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Virginia are predicted to lose the most money to cybercrime in 2018. New research estimates that the state of California will lose $329-million to cybercrime in the coming year. That figure puts California over $190-million ahead of the next closest state, New York.

Website Builder Expert conducted a research study using publicly available data from the FBI and the Insurance Information Institute. The amount of money at stake is sure to shock you. Following are the top ten states that will be affected and how much they stand to lose.

  1. California – $329 million
  2. New York – $139 million
  3. Florida – $112 million
  4. Texas – $96 million
  5. Virginia – $64 million
  6. Illinois – $42 million
  7. Colorado – $40 million
  8. Pennsylvania – $33 million
  9. Georgia – $32 million
  10. Washington – $32 million

The conclusion is that cybercrime is stronger than ever.

What is a Bitcoin?

TechSling has written a great article with everything you need to know about Bitcoin.

“Bitcoin is a virtual currency that was brought to the public’s attention in 2009, and it is the brainchild of an unknown developer working under the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is completely decentralized i.e. transactions are completed without middlemen – this means, no banks or governments are involved. The virtual currency or often referred to as cryptocurrency can be used for anything from buying computer games and furniture to booking hotel reservations or simply transferring money across the globe. Bitcoins are bought through exchanges with traditional currency.  Once purchased, you store your Bitcoins (BTC) in a digital wallet that allows you to transact.”

In a nutshell, a Bitcoin transaction can simply be described as the exchange of digital information that is encrypted and sent via a peer-to-peer network that works in a similar way to a file-sharing system like BitTorrent. Still, a lot of the hype that surrounds the cryptocurrency is the possibility of getting rich by earning Bitcoin, trading the currency or gaining more coins through a process known as mining. Click here to read the full article.

ATM’s and Malware

ATM’s have been in the news a lot recently. It’s the latest hacker ploy with really big payouts. Hackers trick ATM’s into dispensing millions of dollars via sophisticated malware and a couple of accomplice’s “on the ground”.  Read more about this at Forbes online.

This information is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice.  Should you have any questions or would like to discuss your risk exposure with your company’s cyber insurance, please contact the insurance pros at ARCW Insurance.  We are here to help.