Online Fraud Detection, Cyber Security: Cerber Surpasses Locky to Become Dominant Ransomware Menace

Cybersecurity
05 /09 2017
Ransomware-as-a-Service is a hit with the tech illiterate

Cerber eclipsed Locky as the most common ransomware pathogen doing the rounds in the first three months of 2017.

Cerber's control of the cybercrime market rose from 70 per cent market share in January to 87 per cent in March, according to the latest cybercrime tactics report by Malwarebytes Lab.

The success of Cerber is down to its features (robust encryption, offline encryption etc) combined with the adoption of a Ransomware-as-a-Service business model, whereby the ransomware can be modified or leased. "It's also very easy for non-technical criminals to get their hands on a customised version of the ransomware," Malwarebytes reports.

Malwarebytes' findings follow reports from Microsoft that Cerber was topping its Windows 10 ransomware chart.

By contrast, the Locky ransomware (last year's number one) has dropped off the map, likely due to a switch in tactics by the cybercrooks behind the Necurs spam botnet. No new versions of Locky have appeared throughout the year to date, Malwarebytes reports.

Looking beyond Windows, the Mac threat landscape saw a surge of new malware and backdoors in Q1 2017, including a new ransomware (FindZip). Elsewhere two Android nasties – HiddenAds.lck, which locks the device and prevents the removal of an ad slinging nuisance, and Jisut, a mobile ransomware family – have been causing all sorts of problems, according to Malwarebytes.

The cybersecurity firm has built up a solid reputation for exposing the operations of tech support scammers. This form of fraud normally starts with a pop-up ad or phone call claiming that a prospective mark's machine is infected or underperforming. Once victims respond, the scammer’s use a variety of social engineering tricks to coax victims into installing ineffective crudware or subscribing the worthless (or often damaging) services.

Tech support scammers, finding difficulty working with North American payment processors, have begun accepting alternate forms of payment, such as Apple gift cards and Bitcoin, it reports. Some scammer groups have started to scam each other. ®

Plan a Meeting by Galveston Capital Tourism and Marketing Review Singapore Island Hotels

marketing reviews
03 /02 2017
If the views from your meeting space consist of traffic, concrete or other buildings, the answer to your problem is simple. It’s island time!

Leave the stiff and boring behind for the excitement of Galveston Island’s beachfront facilities in one of Texas's top tourism destinations.

Located just 50 minutes from Houston, this 32-mile-long island offers more than 5,000 sleeping rooms, replenished beaches and a variety of world-class attractions to make your next meeting far from ordinary. And, if you’re on a budget, you can join the more than 5 million visitors that flock to Galveston annually to experience the laidback lifestyle of a seaside city without the high price tag of most beach destinations.

Your first step? Discover all the in-kind and cash incentives for which you may qualify! Contact the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau to get the best head start possible on planning a successful, stress-free meeting.

#LoveGalveston Photo Contest - A Chance to Win Cash, and Be the Face of Galveston

There’s nothing like spending “island time” with your family, taking in the Galveston coast while making memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime. While your memories may be priceless, capturing them in a photograph could lead to some extra bonuses.

First of 1 Million Cubic Yards of Sand Has Been Pumped Onto the Beach

The first of 1 million cubic yards of sand has been pumped onto the beach in a $19 million project to replenish over 3.5 miles of beach along Galveston's seawall.

Group Activities Beckon & Abound on Galveston Island

If you’re looking for group activities, there’s plenty of things to on our charming little island.

Planning a Meeting? Why Not in Galveston?

Most visitors come to Galveston to relax on the beaches, stroll the Strand, maybe visit museums and to dine at some of the island’s most popular restaurants. Yet despite it being a vacation destination, Galveston is also a great place to hold meetings.

Dellanera RV Park Offers Hook-Up Sites Right on the Beach

Have you ever dreamed of having a home right on the beach? That’s what those visiting the island in an RV can have – so to speak.

The Galveston Island Pass is your Ticket to Island Adventures and Savings Too

Whether you’d like to kayak on Galveston Bay, visit the Railroad Museum or watch the sharks at Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid, the Galveston Island Pass is your ticket to island adventures.

Major Galveston Beach Expansion Now Underway

A major beach expansion is now underway in Galveston, representing the largest sand nourishment project to take place on the Texas Gulf Coast this summer.

Galveston Capital Tourism and Marketing Review Singapore Hope you experience this “causeway cure” where flip-flops replace dress shoes and the scenery.

Join a group thrilled you have decided to explore Galveston Island.

Cyber Security: Protecting Seniors Online from Scams, Hacks and Tax Fraud

Online Security
02 /22 2017


The vast majority of seniors today are using the Internet at least once a week to check email, pay bills online and keep in touch via social media. But all that time online puts them at risk for scams and hacks, such as tax fraud.


In fact, a new survey by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network, found that 67 percent of surveyed older adults have been the victim of an online scam or hack.


Encouraging seniors to practice cyber security can go a long way toward protecting their identity and sensitive financial information. Home Instead collaborated with the National Cyber Security Alliance to create Protect Seniors Online, available at www.ProtectSeniorsOnline.com, a free resource that educates older adults about cybersecurity. Here, seniors can test their cybersecurity skills with the "Can You Spot an Online Scam?" quiz.


Older adults can take the following steps now to protect themselves online:



  • Password protect and secure devices, accounts. Lock all devices (including computers, tablets and smartphones) with secure passwords in case devices are lost or stolen.

  • Think before clicking. When faced with an urgent request -- like emails asking for money -- think before clicking or get a second opinion. Clicking on links is often how scammers get personal information. When in doubt, trash an unusual message.

  • Share with care. More than half (51 percent) of seniors surveyed by Home Instead use social media to stay connected. Use care when sharing personal information, adjust privacy settings to limit who can see your information, and turn off location sharing.

  • Use security software. Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software and program it to run regularly. And be wary of pop-up ads or emails, many of which contain malware that can infect computers.

  • Log out. Log out of apps and websites when you are finished. Leaving apps and websites open on computer screens could make you vulnerable to security and privacy risks.

  • Recommend support. Older adults who live alone may need help from a trusted source -- such as a family member, tech-savvy friend or professional caregiver --to serve as a second set of eyes.

Cyber Security: Calgary fraud cases jumps dramatically during grim economic year

Online Security
01 /15 2017


Fraud crimes in Calgary during the first three quarters of 2016 were up nearly 28 per cent over the previous year, a spike that’s seen city police alter their approach to combating it.

Up until the end of last September, fraud-related crimes were up 27.6 per cent over the same period of 2015 and during that month last fall, increased by 59 per cent, say city police statistics.

During that period of 2016, police cleared 30.7 per cent of those cases.

Those numbers come at a time when Calgarians’ finances are still reeling from a recession amid a prolonged oil and gas slump.

There’s been a definite increase in fraud crime in the city, driven largely by Internet-based scams, said Staff Sgt. Cory Dayley, head of the city police cyber forensics unit.

“Absolutely it’s increasing — it’s a very easy message for someone to get out to a large number of victims, put a fish hook out and see how people respond,” he said.

“It’s a very lucrative platform to pursue their criminal ways.”

Because of that, Calgary police last fall merged its 12-officer cyber investigation unit into its integrated fraud team.

“It’s so we have a much more in-depth response to people victimized online,” said Dayley.

“We want to know what that landscape is.”

Another reason for the ballooning number of fraud offences is the greater willingness of victims to come forward and the CPS’s improved reporting system.

Police have also spent more resources publicizing the problem, partly through more charges profiled by the media, he added.

“We’re trying to really get out there, get people to be aware, to be their own best line of defence,” said Dayley.

“People have got to protect their own information, watch their bank accounts.”

Coalition Against Insurance Fraud: Lemons or lemonade?

Fraud
11 /08 2016


First P2P insurer says it will slash fraud costs

Do insurance consumers have a thirst to buy policies using their smartphones? Will they be less fraud-prone knowing some of their excess premiums get donated to charity? And will the prospects of quick claim cash motivate them to switch carriers?

One new insurance startup is betting yes, offering to quench that thirst.

Lemonade, the first so-called peer-to-peer insurance company, debuted this week to much fanfare.

Started by technology entrepreneurs, the company is targeting smartphone users by offering ease-of-service transitions and cheap prices on homeowners and renters coverage.

Lemonade says most insurance “sucks” (their words) because insurers hassle claimants, are bloated and make too much profit. And thus, claimants are more likely to file inflated or fake claims.

The company says it will undercut traditional insurers by using streamlined, tech-oriented transactions and reduced fraud costs. In an interview this week, Lemonade president Shai Wininger said:

“With insurance, over 90 percent of the fraud is perpetrated by supposedly normal upstanding citizens like you and me. So what is about insurance that brings out the devil in us? Why is it that when it comes to insurance, we feel entitled to break the law?”

Research suggests consumers are less likely to defraud a company they feel good about. Customers designate a favorite charity to receive their share of company profits at the end of the year, if there are any.

Call me skeptical, but I doubt Lemonade’s approach will make that much difference in policy pricing.

Still, Millennials who love transacting business on their cellphones and are socially conscious should be drawn to this model. It will be interesting to see if Lemonade has a magic formula to reduce fraud. We’ll be watching to see if this new player leaves a sweet or sour taste in the mouths of its customers.

About the author: Dennis Jay is executive director of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

Tamara Artamonova

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