Cybercrime is way worse and more prevalent than you think, even if you consider yourself knowledgeable. Detective Jefferson Grace of Las Vegas Metro PD spoke to a continuing education class yesterday. He has thirteen years experience in Financial crimes Investigations. My wife attended. The notes she took were sobering.
The majority of cybercrime groups are state-sponsored or terrorist-sponsored. Their crimes include ransomware, skimming ATMs, cloning cell phones and credit cards, phishing, data theft, and more.
Ransomware is the primary reason for crypto currencies. In 2015 ransomware payments were estimated at $385 million. In 2017 it was $5 billion. 2018 will be higher. This is sophisticated organized crime.
Bitcoin scammers have deliberately increased liquidity in bitcoin so it could then more easily accept their bitcoin ransomware payments. This of course is also money laundering on a major scale.
LinkedIn is the #1 source of social engineering fraud because it stores so much personal information. For example, scammers spoof business email addresses and request that employees paychecks be auto-deposited elsewhere.
The Ashley Madison attack was wildly successful because it used a dictionary of common passwords. That’s all it took. Really folks, “123456” isn’t a secure password, it just isn’t.
Title companies no longer do business by email due to wiring fraud. Phony emails pretending to be from, say, a home buyer, ask the money to be transferred to a bogus account. The money then vanishes.
GandCrab is nasty ransomware and it’s also for sale on the dark web. Buy it, then attack sites on your own.
Solutions (his and mine):
Use Two Factor Authentication.
Never reuse passwords, use similar passwords, or use predictable passwords. Get a password manager.
Consider using a different email address for bank accounts.
Keep your computer updated. Windows 10 was immune from recent ransomware attacks because it has been patched to stop them. It is also has multiple levels of security baked into the OS. IMO, you are asking for trouble if you still use Win 8 or earlier.
Turn off Location Settings on photos.
Don’t post about vacations on social media until you are back. Be prepared.
Yes, it’s a jungle out there.