Blog

Posts Tagged credit card

The week in review: Dodoname goes mobile, U.S. president proposes privacy protection, plus data breach updates

The week in review: Dodoname goes mobile, U.S. president proposes privacy protection, plus data breach updates

In our weekly roundup, we draw your attention to selected news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data, including problems that Dodoname can help solve. This week, Dodoname went mobile, Obama’s privacy proposition draws cheers and jeers, and data breaches and settlements for same continued to make news. For all our privacy, security and personal data related posts follow @MyDodoname on Twitter.

Protecting your online privacy: there’s an app for that

‘Round Dodoname HQ, this was a big week. After months of slaving over a hot app store, this week the free Dodoname iOS app was made available on the Apple App Store. Got an iPhone? Like privacy? Then head over to the App Store and download the on-the-go version of our platform.

From the news release:

Whether you’re shopping online, visiting a retailer’s physical store, working or browsing, the situation often arises where you are asked to provide an email address. Perhaps it’s to receive an electronic receipt, take advantage of a special promotion, or sign up for a newsletter.

But providing that email address can easily lead to a flood of annoying and unwanted email solicitations. In some instances, giving out your email address can lead to malicious spam and phishing attacks.

Dodoname puts an end to this privacy abuse.

Imagine going shopping with all your coupons and offers in one convenient app. Use Dodonames to register with your favorite stores or online merchants. The next time you go shopping the old-fashioned way, all your coupons are right there on your mobile device for merchants to scan at checkout. It’s the single best way to interact with any merchant or vendor to get the stuff you want – and only the stuff you want – without giving up your privacy and anonymity.

Early media reports peg the company as “one to watch in 2015” and we’re already getting some great user reviews on the App Store. Want to know what all the fuss is about? Download the app now!

President proposes privacy protection

Last year was a record year for data breaches globally; the U.S. government is not taking this fact lightly. This week, President Obama proposed legislation that would protect consumer privacy and demand disclosure from companies who fail to protect consumer data.

The proposed legislation has been subject to virtual reams of coverage, naturally, and there are proponents and detractors.

The pro side says:

Now, the government may step in, at least to ensure consumers are protected. President Obama on Monday proposed a new law called the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, which would create a basic set of rules for how companies handle their customer information. It also would criminalize international trade in stolen personal identity information.

Aside from one specific rule that would require companies to notify customers within 30 days of the discovery of a data breach, there aren’t many other details available yet about Obama’s proposal. The president is expected to outline more specifics in his State of the Union speech next week.

In the mean time, tech industry executives and privacy advocates are excited at the prospect of a renewed effort to create a national standard. They say the bills that succeed are typically aimed at the government and how it handles information, rather than corporations.

Now that could change.

“This is a huge shot in the arm to a much-needed advancement for our legislative protections,” said Scott Talbott, who heads up government relations for the trade group Electronic Transactions Association. – From Cnet’s article, “Obama’s data-breach initiative has privacy advocates optimistic, cautious

The con side says:

But the reality is that even if implemented, the proposed legislation and other actions would likely do little to make American companies or individuals safer. The only real benefit is likely to be raising the overall awareness of online vulnerabilities, just as the TSA’s airport security rigmarole may not actually catch weapons or terrorists, but still makes it abundantly clear that aviation is a risky business that needs to be approached with appropriate caution. – From Network World’s article, “Unfortunately, Obama’s new cybersecurity measures won’t help much”

Only time will tell whether this gets passed into law and what impact it will have. In the meantime, savvy consumers can use tools like Dodoname to protect their privacy when interacting with merchants.

Zappos settles for data breach; AMResorts customers report unusual credit card activity

Another week, another slew of data breach news. After suffering a 2012 data breach, Zappos this week settled lawsuits about same, resulting in a modest payout and a commitment to do better in the future. Perhaps a future vision of what AMResorts may need to prepare for given news that consumers who used credit cards on that site reported unusual activity on their cards afterwards.

 

 

Posted in: Blog, Privacy, This week in review

Leave a Comment (0) →

This week in review: U.N. pushes for digital privacy rights, Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams, Target data breach one year later

This week in review: U.N. pushes for digital privacy rights, Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams, Target data breach one year later

In our weekly roundup, we draw your attention to selected news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data, including problems that Dodoname can help solve. Catching our attention this week were posts about the United Nations recommending digital privacy rights, Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams, and lessons learned from the Target data breach last year. For all our privacy, security and personal data related posts follow @MyDodoname on Twitter.

United Nations pushes for digital privacy rights

The digital rights cause had a bright light shone on it this week when the United Nations adopted a resolution to protect citizens’ digital privacy.

The resolution recommends that “all countries to protect the right to privacy in digital communications and to offer their citizens a way to seek “remedy” if their privacy is violated.” Germany and Brazil led the charge, with notable holdouts Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Britain and Australia notably absent from the resolution’s 65 co-sponsors.

The German co-sponsor name checked Big Brother’s inventor in his appeal to the U.N.

“Without the necessary checks,” said the German ambassador, Harald Braun, “we risk turning into Orwellian states, where every step of every citizen is being monitored and recorded in order to prevent any conceivable crime.”

Deals! And Scams! Black Friday and Cyber Monday are finally here!

The Monday after Thanksgiving is the most important online shopping day in the United States. Dubbed Cyber Monday, the first business day following Thanksgiving, Dec 2, 2014, is expected to exceed the record of $1.74 billion spend on Cyber Monday 2013 – the biggest online spending day of all time. Prime conditions as online scammers target holiday shoppers. Watch out for scams as you’re filling your online carts.

Lessons from the Target data breach

This week, Target’s CEO hit the PR trail, appearing on network television to address the retailer’s Black Friday plans but also discuss the huge data breach that Target suffered in 2013. Chalking it up to an “industry problem” he stressed that the company is doing everything it can to protect customers’ privacy. Cold comfort for those who had their credit card information stolen, and the banks that suffered tremendous losses in the breach. Thos banks filed lawsuits against Target looking for reparations, but Target claimed in court this week that they had no legal obligation to the banks that claimed tens of millions of dollars in losses.

On that data breach, whodunit? This article posits that foreign gangs are the culprit in a data breach that compromised the data of more than 40 million consumers.

Posted in: Blog, This week in review

Leave a Comment (0) →

This week in review: Cybersecurity as child’s play, travel advisory, and fresh phish

This week in review: Cybersecurity as child’s play, travel advisory, and fresh phish

In our weekly roundup, we draw your attention to selected news and articles that highlight issues relating to invasions of your online privacy and threats to the security of your personal data, including problems that Dodoname can help solve. Catching our attention this week were posts about cybersecurity being child’s play, travellers targeted by cybercriminals, and plenty of fresh phishing news. For all our privacy, security and personal data related posts follow @MyDodoname on Twitter.

Reading, writing and cybersecurity

The hot ticket these days isn’t to InfoSec Taylor Swift, it’s to see eight-year old cybersecurity expert and startup CEO Reuben Paul. This pint-sized infosec phenom is in high demand, speaking at numerous infosec conferences, sharing his message that cybersecurity is an important skill set to be teaching younger generations. To learn more about his perspective – and his busy speaking schedule – read this Q&A.

Travelers get more than free continental breakfast

Several stories in the news this week may prompt you to opt for a staycation rather than travel next time you’re contemplating leaving home. From booking your trip to logging on when you’re at the hotel, cybercriminals are one step ahead.

Booking.com, a highly trafficked online travel booking site, admitted that more than 10,000 of its users had been targeted in an email phishing scam. That booking confirmation email you received, seemingly from Booking.com or the hotel itself, and its request for a deposit to hold the reservation? It’s a scam. The site’s PR team went into defence mode, stating that “this was no data breach and that phishing is an industry-wide phenomenon,” while an infosec blogger posited another, more frightening possibility: “Maybe nobody knows how this happened.”

Meanwhile, business travelers in Asia have been targeted in another type of cybersecurity attack. And I mean targeted. Security advisors suspect that the attacks were targeting specific travellers and may have even had those targets’ itineraries. That’s how it started, but the attacks appear to have broadened and vulnerabilities may have impacted anyone connecting to hotel wifi. As is so often the case, phishing appears to have been a primary vector for delivery of these attacks.

It pays to be hypervigilant when booking and using wifi at hotels; give them your Dodoname instead of your email address!

Fresh phish

This week’s phishing news includes a bleak Outlook, a Google report shining a light on just how effective these scams are, and the full extent of the Home Depot breach that brought Christmas early for potential phishing scammers.

Bad news: Your Microsoft Outlook has been infected with a Trojan virus! At least that’s what the phishing scam in inboxes this week declared. Just click on the link in the very legitimate-looking email from Windows Microsoft to run the Norton antivirus software and eliminate the c93 virus from your mailbox; failing to do so will result in the deactivation of your mailbox. What is actually happening is that by following the steps in the email, you’re handing your Outlook credentials to cybercriminals. And recipients are clicking on these nefarious links much more frequently than you’d think, according to a recent report by Google.

Phishing scams are wildly successful, which is why they continue to plague our inboxes. Google has conducted some fascinating and terrifying research into what they’ve dubbed “manual hijacking,” a primary vector for which is phishing. The results are staggering – phishing emails were effective between three and 45 percent of the time. Of those who clicked on phishing links, 14 percent entered personal data like login credentials or credit card information. These stats are very alarming when you consider the number of personal records taken in some of the recent data breaches.

Listen closely. Do you hear it? That faint sound you hear is that of countless hackers thanking their lucky stars for the phishing bounty they’ve received from the likes of Home Depot. Home Depot has been on the PR campaign trail, trying to clean up the mess of the much-publicized data breaches that company has experienced. One consumer and journalist who had her details exposed in the breach shared the contents of an email that Home Depot sent out to those affected. In that email, the director of corporate communications for the company threw its loyalty program partners under the bus as the weak link in the data security chain, and let recipients know that theirs were just one of 53 million – more than the entire population of Canada! – email addresses compromised, followed by some tips and tricks for avoiding phishing scams.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say. Should have used Dodoname!

Posted in: Blog, Phishing, Privacy, This week in review

Leave a Comment (0) →

Top five online privacy concerns

Top five online privacy concerns

By Don Dobson

In epidemiology, the means for the transmission of disease is termed a “vector.” In the world of online privacy, your personal email address is one of the prime vectors by which your privacy can be compromised. If you’re not using a Dodoname to interact with merchants, you’re leaving yourself open to these top five privacy concerns (which can have some very scary repercussions!)

1. Phishing

Wikipedia defines phishing as the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

Although not the only means, email is one of the main vectors for phishing. At Dodoname, we like to keep up to date on the latest developments in cybercrime through email phishing scams. We see that the scammers are relentless and that anyone can be a victim: criminals shamelessly exploit the latest news, such as recent attempts linked to the Ebola scare gripping the world or even attack children. It also a big problem for businesses as employees can be fooled and surrender corporate information or provide a pathway for hacking of retailer systems.

Phishing still thrives because it remains a simple game and the power of easily sending millions of emails every day allows the bad guys to fill their quotas. Old scams are still making the rounds and claiming victims. And the fact is, email remains a very popular communication channel. Unfortunately, it’s true that real dangers can place themselves in your inbox. Here’s a start on some help to stay out of trouble and also some advice if you have taken the bait.

2. Data breaches

Retailers in particular have shown themselves to be vulnerable to hacker attacks which result in a “breach” of security measures protecting customer data, as have financial institutions.

You may think “that’s their problem” but it could also be a problem for you. Depending on the nature of the data breach, personal information you have shared with companies, including credit card information, may become available for use by criminals and/or be re-sold in criminal markets. Ironically, this can result in even more effective phishing emails as criminals use information already stolen to become more credible to email recipients in what is known as “spear-fishing.”

There is nothing you can do to prevent these breaches, but they are the top of the list of concerns for company executives. Customers are striking back. Many consumers will stop patronizing companies who have had a data breach while some victims of these attacks  have joined lawsuits against retailers like Home Depot.

3. Malware

Email phishing can have many consequences. One of those is the installation of malware on your device. There are many varieties of malware “in-the-wild,” some malicious, some not so much, but none have any business on your device. Among the types of malware that can impact you are “key-loggers,” which send back everything you type online to criminals. This information would include details of all your online activity including banking website passwords.

And the thing is, you don’t always even need to click on anything. Just visiting some sites exposes you to these sneaky downloads through “malvertising.” You might think that staying away from seedy corners of the Internet would protect you, but the truth is even reputable sites can be hacked in these ways through ad exchanges.

4. Identity theft

Identity thieves have many different ways to strike: over the phone or through something as low-tech as criminals sifting through your trash, or through email phishing attacks. Online theft of personal identity and it has become a major problem worldwide. Criminals can use your identity and credit card information to make purchases, take out loans or conduct any illicit financial transaction.

Identity thieves can be individuals at the local level or international organized criminal operations. Even using free wi-fi at a coffee shop can open you up to identity theft. It’s clear that these types of cybercrime enterprises are a growth business.

5. Data brokers

A much broader concern for personal privacy than the vector of phishing emails and malware criminals is an industry that operates “legitimately” but without much regulatory protection for consumers. Testimony by Pam Dixon, Executive Director, World Privacy Forum appearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, suggests that somewhere around 4,000 companies in the U.S. gather identity information left by the “digital exhaust” of your online activity. Dixon cites real harm to individuals resulting from these activities and notes “Despite the large and growing size of the industry, until this Committee started its work, this entire industry largely escaped public scrutiny. Privacy laws apply to credit bureaus and health care providers, but data broker activity generally falls outside these laws. Even a knowledgeable consumer lacks the tools to exercise any control over his or her data held by a data broker.” 

(Image: Flickr, Sebastien Wiertz, link)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Blog, Data breach, Email, Fraud, Identity, Phishing, Privacy

Leave a Comment (0) →

This week in review: malspace, old phishing tricks, ransomware, identity theft and more

This week in review: malspace, old phishing tricks, ransomware, identity theft and more

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 malspace, the oldest phishing tricks in the book, hack attacks, the weakest link and identity crises.

Word of the week: malspace

A new-to-us word this week, “malspace” was introduced by Steve Durbin in Wired who describes it as an online environment inhabited by hacker groups, criminal organizations and espionage units. Cybercriminals working from malspace are a growth industry where the returns are great and the risks are low, costing the global economy more than $400 billion, according to McAfee. They will grab any target of opportunity, as illustrated in a growing number of attacks on children under 18, which can cause a lifetime of credit problems for the child, as it may not be discovered for years.

Oldies but baddies

Some of the oldest and simplest email phishing scams are still circulating and creating new waves of victims, even though it would be fair to assume that users would be wise to these scams. A blog post from ScamOfTheDay.com claimed that around 156 million spam emails make it through spam filters globally everyday and phoney links are clicked by around 5% who get them. Around 10% of that group are tricked into surrendering info. But consider their report on a “mock scam” security exercise by Canada’s Department of Justice where half of the 5,000 email recipients were lawyers. That test resulted in 1,850 or around 37% clicking a bad link. It’s not easy to tell what is legit and what’s a scam, even when the law is your livelihood.

We are not alone

We learned of a brave volunteer Sophie Curtis who set out to answer just how vulnerable we are. Her article in the Guardian reveals the anatomy of a hacker attack. Curtis summarizes; It’s a salutary tale, mitigated only slightly by the fact that it’s apparently something that could happen to all of us, with precious little that can really be done to prevent it.

Scams range from simple to handsome 

Threats can come from many sources including the advertising we view online, but simple email phishing cybercriminals can certainly wreak some serious havoc. It could be as simple as preying on hopeful job seekers through a “mystery shopper” scam. Or it could be a more elaborate scam, such as detailed in this update on “ransomware” from Bernie Lambrecht via the Solutionary blog, who notes; Ransomware is like Clark Griswold’s crazy Cousin Eddie in the movie National Lampoon Vacation. It just won’t go away, no matter how hard you try to get rid of it.

It’s not you (the credit card companies); it’s me (the retailer) 

Many U.S. consumers might be surprised to hear the U.S. credit card system described as a global “weak link”. Home Depot is feeling the pain as its recent retail security breach has already produced at least 21 class action suits. Unfortunately, retailers can also shoot themselves in the foot: take well known chain Aaron’s Rent-To-Own, which reached a settlement with the State of California this week. Attorney General, Kamala Harris said “Aaron’s concealed its illegal privacy and business practices from customers in a deceptive attempt to avoid California’s robust consumer protection laws and increase its profits.” It’s harder all the time to know who to trust with your personal information when stories continue to emerge like LinkedIn being sued for alleged illegal marketing of member data to employers for their own secret snooping.

Can I see some ID?

Million are victims of identity theft every year. In a case that is a combination of striking back and turning lemons into lemonade, artist Jessamyn Lovell mounted a solo exhibition this past week, based on ID theft, which she titled, “Dear Erin Hart”, after the perpetrator. “I base all of my work on a fact that I experienced,” says Lovell.

Posted in: Blog, Phishing

Leave a Comment (0) →

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 http://www.stopthinkconnect.org/ and http://www.staysafeonline.org/

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!

www.stolencreditcardsforcheap.com

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

Leave a Comment (0) →