September 15, 2016

Alert Number


Questions regarding this PSA should be directed to your local FBI Field Office.

Local Field Office Locations: www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field

Ransomware Victims Urged to Report Infections to Federal Law Enforcement

The FBI urges victims to report ransomware incidents to federal law enforcement to help us gain a more comprehensive view of the current threat and its impact on U.S. victims.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware installed on a computer or server that encrypts the files, making them inaccessible until a specified ransom is paid. Ransomware is typically installed when a user clicks on a malicious link, opens a file in an e-mail that installs the malware, or through drive-by downloads (which does not require user-initiation) from a compromised Web site.

Continue reading

Fighting iOS Calendar Spam

Tech Tip

By J. D. BIERSDORFER NOV. 25, 2016

Q. I have been getting spam invitations to my iOS calendar recently. They come from Chinese accounts and their subjects are for super-discounted Ray-Bans and the like. Is there any solution to this?

A. Many iCloud users have recently reported an influx of spam in the form of iOS calendar events and iCloud Photo Sharing invitations. While the delivery mechanism is different, the calendar and photo-sharing invitations traffic in the same old suspect offers for cheap goods as the junk mail and text messages that came before. Unlike those older forms of spam, which can be filtered, blocked or deleted, invitation spam usually offers Accept, Decline (or Maybe) as your options — all of which notify the spammer that your account is live and ready for more unsolicited offers.

Continue reading Fighting iOS Calendar Spam

iPhones vulnerable to yet another lockscreen bypass

Image courtesy of Naked Security

18 Nov 2016 7 Apple, iOS

iPhone aficionados at iDeviceHelp and EverythingApplePro have discovered yet another way for someone who has physical access to your phone to access your messages, photos, and contacts, even if the phone is locked with both a passcode and properly configured TouchID.

EverythingApplePro and iDeviceHelp published full proof-of-concept videos of this bypass on YouTube, in case you’d like to follow along at home.

The demonstration shows the bypass on an iPhone 7 using the iOS 10.2 beta 3, as well as an iPhone 4 using iOS 8 and even on an iPad, showing that this flaw affects any iDevice that can receive Facetime or phone calls.

Continue reading iPhones vulnerable to yet another lockscreen bypass

How to back up your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

If you back up your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you’ll have a copy of your information to use in case your device is ever replaced, lost, or damaged.

Choose a backup method

Before you get started, learn the difference between making backups with iCloud and iTunes and choose the method that’s best for you. In case you ever need an alternative backup, you can make one in iCloud and another in iTunes.

Continue reading How to back up your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

The best messaging apps with end-to-end encryption

These apps can help keep prying eyes away from your conversations

Credit: Yuri Samoilov 

By Derek Walter

Greenbot | Nov 10, 2016 12:27 PM PT

There is a growing desire to keep one’s messages private. Some users are concerned about hackers, or worry about foreign or domestic government surveillance, but most people just agree with the general principle that what you say in your chat conversations ought to stay between you and the people you chat with.

It’s not a pleasant idea to think that your messages could be archived for perpetuity on a large company’s server or analyzed by some algorithm. The quest for privacy has birthed a whole generation of apps that promise to give you exactly that. Services like Telegram and Signal have turned the phrase “end-to-end encryption” into a popular discussion. We’re here to help you figure out what this is all about and which apps to try.

A little background on encryption

Continue reading The best messaging apps with end-to-end encryption

Why people ignore security alerts up to 87% of the time

19 Aug 2016

8 Security threats


by Lisa Vaas

Developers, your security warnings are messing with people’s brains, and not in a good way.

In fact, given the poor timing of security warnings popping up, most people – we’re talking about up to 87% in some cases – ignore them.

Ignore, as in, researchers have found that scarcely any brain activity shows up when they measured test subjects via FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) as security warnings interrupted those subjects while they were trying to do other things, such as input their login or enter a validation code.

Continue reading Why people ignore security alerts up to 87% of the time

SSA: Ixnay on txt msg reqmnt 4 e-acct, sry

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 at 11:58 am

The U.S. Social Security Administration says it is reversing a newly enacted policy that required a cell phone number from all Americans who wished to manage their retirement benefits at ssa.gov. The move comes after a policy rollout marred by technical difficulties and criticism that the new requirement did little to prevent identity thieves from siphoning benefits from Americans who hadn’t yet created accounts at ssa.gov for themselves.

In an announcement last month, the SSA said all new and existing ‘my Social Security’ account holders would need to provide a cell phone number. The SSA said the numbers would be used to send recipients an 8-digit code via text message that needs to be entered along with a username and password to log in to the site.

But sometime in the past few days, apparently, the SSA decided to rescind the cell phone rule.

Continue reading SSA: Ixnay on txt msg reqmnt 4 e-acct, sry

Identity Theft Hits Home


Image courtesy of www.invincea.com

In lieu of several recent incidents of identity theft affecting various members of The School of Law and The University of South Carolina’s community as a whole, we felt it extremely important to remind you to take every precaution to protect your identity and that of your family’s. Continue reading Identity Theft Hits Home

FBI: $2.3 Billion Lost to CEO Email Scams

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) this week warned about a “dramatic” increase in so-called “CEO fraud,” e-mail scams in which the attacker spoofs a message from the boss and tricks someone at the organization into wiring funds to the fraudsters. The FBI estimates these scams have cost organizations more than $2.3 billion in losses over the past three years.

In an alert posted to its site, the FBI said that since January 2015, the agency has seen a 270 percent increase in identified victims and exposed losses from CEO scams. The alert noted that law enforcement globally has received complaints from victims in every U.S. state, and in at least 79 countries.

A typical CEO fraud attack. Image: Phishme

Continue reading FBI: $2.3 Billion Lost to CEO Email Scams

Microsoft is putting Windows 10, Cortana at the center of smart homes

A display for the newly formed Open Connectivity Foundation at Mobile World Congress 2016 shows a model smart home, in a file image captured on Feb. 25, 2016. Credit: Stephen Lawson

Windows 10 will be able to support more IoT devices with new standards coming in 2017

By Agam Shah

IDG News Service | Apr 1, 2016

Are you too lazy to open the door or switch on a light? Let Windows 10 and its Cortana voice-activated digital assistant do the job for you.

Microsoft’s vision is to make home automation a breeze in Windows 10, and the company featured several related Internet-of-things announcements at its ongoing Build conference.

Windows 10 will work with a wider range of devices and appliances by integrating new Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) protocols, scheduled to be released in 2017. Additionally, Cortana will allow users to easily automate tasks using a Windows PC, mobile device, Xbox console or Raspberry Pi 3.

Continue reading Microsoft is putting Windows 10, Cortana at the center of smart homes