This week in review: cyber security awareness month, modern mobsters, phishing and data breaches

This week in review: cyber security awareness month, modern mobsters, phishing and data breaches

By Don Dobson

In our weekly roundup, we want to draw your attention to news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data: problems that Dodoname can solve. Catching our attention this week were posts about a yearly event for which Hallmark doesn’t yet make a card, the lengths we’ll go to for cookies, how the underworld is keeping up with the times, phishing trips, data breaches and a reminder that common sense goes a long way. 

Acknowledging the problem is the first step to solving it

October 1st marked the start of National Cyber Security Awareness Month in the U.S. and Canada. Follow it through the #NCSAM hashtag on Twitter or through various organizations in both countries promoting a more cyber security aware public, including @GetCyberSafe on Twitter, or their website, the @STOPTHNKCONNECT or @StaySafeOnline Twitter accounts or their respective websites at and

Cookies may contain personal data (and nuts)

We loved this story about a performance art project that had people in Brooklyn thinking about personal information, privacy and data collection. Artist Risa Puno traded a cookie, a real one, not the cyber kind, for personal data that included their address, driver’s license number, phone number and mother’s maiden name. Very clever and cheeky, Risa!

It’s hard for most folks to believe that there is actually a website where a criminal can go and buy a stolen credit card. Not only is that true,  so many stolen cards have become available that the criminals are dropping their prices in order to move inventory!

The underworld goes high tech

‘Commercialization’ of cybercrime has been identified as a new trend in a report released by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre. The Mirror notes traditional organized crime gangs are getting in because they can now easily find people selling tools and services that allow them to carry out illegal activities such as data theft and password cracking without the need for specialist skills. Surely this phenomenon is not limited to Europe?

Phishy tales

There is never any shortage of phishing scams in the news: organizations as diverse as the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Virginia Department of Transportation EZ pass program have been impacted recently. It’s no wonder that cyber risk insurers are doing a brisk business these days.

World leaders: they’re just like us! 

It was reported that financial giant JP Morgan suffered a significant data breach, with reports that hackers grabbed contact information for 76 million households and 7 million small businesses, including names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, as well as “internal JPMorgan Chase information relating to such users.” Even President Obama may have been impacted as Business Insider noted a White House press pool in July mentioned him using his JP Morgan card at a Texas barbecue restaurant.

An ounce of prevention…

Blogger Chrysler Summer’s post on personal responsibility for privacy and security on the Web struck a chord. She suggested that “the biggest problem is that most people are just not as cautious as they should be on the Web.” Although we can’t protect ourselves from all cyber threats just by being careful, it is a point worth noting. We think using a Dodoname is a great tool for being more careful.

Posted in: Blog, Data breach, Fraud, Phishing, Privacy, This week in review

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