Written By David Shefter And Presented By Ziften CEO Chuck Leaver
I was watching TV in August, 2015 and I had a call from a 347 area code phone number. I thought that it was a business associate of mine who lives in the external boroughs, so I answer the call.
The call was a complete surprise, “Roy Callahan from the NYC Police Department” threatens me with a warrant for my arrest within minutes, and states that I have to turn myself into the regional cops department. So, I talked with my friend Josh Linder. He says that it’s widespread in the area where he lives and likewise happened to him, but they threatened him if he didn’t comply by purchasing a $9000 Green Dot pre-paid card.
If You Believe This Sounds Embellished …
This happens thousands of times every day. Law enforcement agencies (LEA’s) varying from regional towns to the FBI, and everything between are overwhelmed. They cannot contend – bad actors are speedy, smart, and ahead of the curve.
These crooks likewise know how budget, talent and resource constrained the LEA’s are. The regional ones are best at capturing shoplifters and pulling over speeding automobiles, not tracking terrorists to their origin throughout federal or state borders. With little coordination or interest and a lack of tools, over 99% of these rip-offs go unsolved.
How Did They Find Me?
First, social networking has produced a treasure trove of information. Individuals trust their name, address, phone number, work history, educational background, and social circles to the public domain. This is where the danger lies, not the much publicized hacks at federal government agencies, banks, health care companies and merchants.
However, the large exposures at retailers like Home Depot, Target and Michael’s together with the more current hacks at the United States Office of Personal Management (OPM), United Airlines and Anthem should be of incredible concern. This info enables perpetrators the ability to triangulate data, and develop a rich persona of individuals like you and me.
Putting this into context, 10s of millions of records were exposed, which could be used to go far beyond extortion payments, and move towards the exploit physical susceptibilities in military personnel, executives and even normal individuals.
How Rapidly Will I Be Exposed?
According to a 2014 FBI rip-off alert, victims reported having cash unlawfully withdrawn from their bank accounts within ten minutes of receiving a vishing call, and another of having hundreds or thousands of deceitful withdrawals in the days that followed.
What Can You Do About It?
As a citizen, it is best to be watchful and utilize common sense. Despite what a “vishing” caller ID says, the U.S. IRS will not require cash or account numbers. Don’t succumb to Vishing’s wicked cousin Phishing and click on links in emails which could take you to a malware website – spend an additional 2 seconds confirming that the e-mail is actually who it is from, not simply a familiar name.
Second, it’s sensible to protect your social profiles on the Internet. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the trove of other tools have more than likely already exposed you. Perform an easy Google search, then move to clean up the public elements of your Internet persona.
Third, imitate a business to secure your employees as if they were your relatives. Large companies have invested greatly in anti-viruses, drive encryption, e-mail security, and next generation firewall programs. None of this matters – phishing and vishing frauds go right around these. You need training, ongoing education, vigilance, and innovation which is smarter. A crucial approach to this is implementing continuous endpoint visibility on your devices. At Ziften, our software plugs security gaps to form a more resistant wall.
The fight for cyber security defense is consuming your resources, from your people to your budget. Threats are faster, more intelligent, and more focused than before, and working their way around standard avoidance services and getting straight to the point; your endpoints. Once breached you have less than 60 minutes before the cyber attack discovers extra victims within your organization. Time is of the essence, and given that we can’t develop more of that, we concentrate on making the most of continuous intelligence so your group can make the correct choice, immediately.
Today, people are so concentrated on deceitful credit card charges, and companies are locking down endpoints at a record rate.
More has to be done. The wrongdoers are much faster, more intelligent, more equipped – and outside the bounds of the authorities. While news will always arrive regarding the success of capturing large-scale scammers and untouchable foreign nationals in China and Russia, there will be countless small-scale exploits on a daily basis.
At Ziften, we have one objective, to make endpoint security quick and easy for the end user to not just deploy, however manage and drive daily worth. By integrating real-time user, device, and habits tracking with powerful analytics and reporting, Ziften immediately empowers any organization to view, inspect, and respond to the very latest attacks.
Thanks to Josh Linder for his discussions on this subject.