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Beware! Hackers Are Watching Your Every Move As You Shop Online

Be wary of clicking on emails from unknown sources or deals that look too good to be true.

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Cyber criminals use look-alike spam to lure in victims with links to bogus websites. Businesses should train employees on how to "spot a phish". VOA

With more and more Indians going online and generating never-heard-before kind of data, hackers have turned their focus on a country with over 450 million smartphone users and more than 550 million Internet users.

The country has 366 million Internet subscribers in urban locations and 194 million in rural areas, says the latest report by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

According to Sophos Senior Security Advisor John Shier, organisations are struggling with phishing and other user-focused attacks in India.

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Cyber criminals use look-alike spam to lure in victims with links to bogus websites. Businesses should train employees on how to “spot a phish”.
Pixabay

“Most people don’t believe that computer-based training (CBT) is effective and are looking for ways to improve their defenses against users being tricked into inviting malicious attackers into their network,” Shier said in a statement.

A KPMG report in April revealed that nearly 86 per cent of the consumers in India are concerned about eavesdropping of their conversations or theft or misuse of their messages through their devices.

“The proliferation of connected and IoT devices will have a cross-sector impact on areas around data security and privacy. In response to this, regulators will need to establish mandatory data security requirements,” said Atul Gupta, Leader-IT Advisory and Cyber Security Leader, KPMG in India.

Around 87 per cent of the consumers are concerned that retailers will misuse or improperly distribute their information.

According to Gauri Bajaj, Director, Cybersecurity (APAC), Tata Communications, the adoption of cyber security remains a key challenge.

“The recent spate of cyber attacks only highlight the security risk that takes place both within and without the organisation. It is imperative that employees are sensitised to the risk of security breaches and trained to respond in such a scenario,” Bajaj said.

Not just phones, wearable devices like smartwatches are the next frontier for cyber security.

“The future of wearable tech in the world of AI and predictive technology will be highly individualized, data driven and analytics intensive. One of the bigger applications of this will continue to be in the healthcare and fitness sector.

“However, what is key to make this happen is also building a holistic ecosystem that tracks, guides and designs individualized plans for each individual, at a low cost,” said Vishal Gondal, CEO and founder GOQii.

It isn’t enough to have an IT security team and having a strong culture around security is the next step in maturity for security awareness programmes, say experts.

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According to Sophos Senior Security Advisor John Shier, organisations are struggling with phishing and other user-focused attacks in India. Pixabay

“Use a unique, complex password for banking and other financial online accounts. For others, use a password manager to keep them organised and readily available. Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) when available to provide an extra layer of security on accounts,” Shier said.

Be wary of clicking on emails from unknown sources or deals that look too good to be true.

Also Read: Social Media Giant’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg Rejects The Claim ‘Time To Break Up Facebook’

Cyber criminals use look-alike spam to lure in victims with links to bogus websites. Businesses should train employees on how to “spot a phish”.

“Use a layered business security strategy to provide protection at multiple levels to avoid attacks from different angles. Be wary of IoT devices on any network. Change factory default passwords immediately out of the box,” the Sophos executive added. (IANS)

Next Story

US Lawmakers Seek Probe to Control the Spread of Hacking Tools Sold Globally

The bill is expected to be voted on by the full appropriations committee in the coming weeks before going onto the full House

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A man takes part in a hacking contest during the Def Con hacker convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 29, 2017. VOA

U.S. lawmakers are pushing legislation that would force the State Department to report what it is doing to control the spread of U.S. hacking tools around the world.

A bill passed in a House of Representatives’ appropriations subcommittee on Tuesday said Congress is “concerned” about the State Department’s ability to supervise U.S. companies that sell offensive cybersecurity products and know-how to other countries.

The proposed legislation, released on Wednesday, would direct the State Department to report to Congress how it decides whether to approve the sale of cyber capabilities abroad and to disclose any action it has taken to punish companies for violating its policies in the past year.

National security experts have grown increasingly concerned about the proliferation of U.S. hacking tools and technology.

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National security experts have grown increasingly concerned about the proliferation of U.S. hacking tools and technology. Pixabay

The legislation follows a Reuters report in January which showed a U.S. defense contractor provided staff to a United Arab Emirates hacking unit called Project Raven. The UAE program utilized former U.S. intelligence operatives to target militants, human rights activists and journalists.

State Department officials granted permission to the U.S. contractor, Maryland-based CyberPoint International, to assist an Emirate intelligence agency in surveillance operations, but it is unclear how much they knew about its activities in the UAE.

Under U.S. law, companies selling cyber offensive products or services to foreign governments must first obtain permission from the State Department.The new measure was added to a State Department spending bill by Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat from Maryland and member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Ruppersberger said in an emailed statement he had been “particularly troubled by recent media reports” about the State Department’s approval process for the sale of cyberweapons and services.

CyberPoint’s Chief Executive Officer Karl Gumtow did not respond to a request for comment. He previously told Reuters that to his knowledge, CyberPoint employees never conducted hacking operations and always complied with U.S. laws.

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Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md. questions U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2017. VOA

The State Department has declined to comment on CyberPoint, but said in an emailed statement on Wednesday that it is “firmly committed to the robust and smart regulation of defense articles and services export” and before granting export licenses it weighs “political, military, economic, human rights, and arms control considerations.”

ALSO READ: Huawei Warns Ban on 5G Technology would Harm American Workers

Robert Chesney, a national security law professor at the University of Texas, said the Reuters report raised an alarm over how Washington supervises the export of U.S. cyber capabilities.

“The Project Raven (story) perfectly well documents that there is reason to be concerned and it is Congress’ job to get to the bottom of it,” he said. The bill is expected to be voted on by the full appropriations committee in the coming weeks before going onto the full House. (VOA)