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Ransomware not going away?

I was catching up on Ransomware coverage from the program Security Now. This show is hosted by Steve Gibson and the Twit Network. Steve’s got show notes in PDF as well as a transcript available on his Security Now page on GRC. I was very interested in the ransomware epidemic, because I’ve been following it as of late. This is going to get interesting, because everything I’ve read, and what I’ve also heard from this show indicate that Ransomware will not be going away. Everyone I’ve read and listened to indicate its going to stay for awhile.

As disabled people, this can really be a problem if our businesses or even personal computers get hit. I don’t know how the computer would work with our assistive technology applications if files start to get encrypted. I got to thinking about this when hearing this episode. Episode 730 of the podcast talks about the epidemic, and 731 talks about a ransomware author getting way too gredy and didn’t even get a dime. SN 730 and SN 731 are here for you to peruse and listen to.

SN 731 talks about fake things too, including how someone modified their voice to sound like the boss, and someone wired money as instructed by the boss in one story. What the landscape is having. This is going to get interesting, and Steve’s site has transcripts so you can read what he’s saying if it is too confusing to you, or you have a hard time.

What do you think will happen for the ransomware epidemic? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Comments (0)

I just love these fake emails

So, I’ve been going through my email on White Cane Travel. I’ve not checked that account in awhile, and decided to pay it a visit. I just love these emails that claim I’m hacked, and that if I don’t pay a ransom, that my information will be given out to all my contacts. Its too bad that nobody has contacted me, now hasn’t it?

Here’s one such email.

White Cane Travel’s contact form for a comment or question
Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by
(
martinhennef@aol.com)
on Monday, May 27, 2019 at 12:04:15
—————————————————————————
name: RobertFex
phone: 88357582874
method: Phone
to: Jared Rimer
bug: No
additional_bug_info: Your computer, email and smartphone are hacked. We have all your photos, personal correspondence and access to bank accounts.
On June 3, we will post on the Internet and send to all people who you have in contacts and social networks all your photos, correspondence, access to
bank accounts and payment systems.
You will be sued and the police will be interested in your person.
A ransom is worth 1 Bitcoin.
Pay 1 BTC until June 3 to our bitcoin wallet: 1LNcUGLunEpDMo4sxNAgAKAGk8eAddTGW
comment_or_question: Your computer, email and smartphone are hacked. We have all your photos, personal correspondence and access to bank accounts.
On June 3, we will post on the Internet and send to all people who you have in contacts and social networks all your photos, correspondence, access to
bank accounts and payment systems.
You will be sued and the police will be interested in your person.
A ransom is worth 1 Bitcoin.
Pay 1 BTC until June 3 to our bitcoin wallet: 1LNcUGLunEpDMo4sxNAgAKAGk8eAddTGW
—————————————————————————

HTTP_USER_AGENT: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/67.0.3396.87 Safari/537.36 OPR/54.0.2952.51
REMOTE_ADDR: 31.13.191.107

Notice that they put the same message in the bug reporting portion and the comment section? This isn’t the only email. 6 out of the 8 emails I checked through the account indicate that I should be paying ransom. One of the other emails is saying I can earn bitcoin as shown below.

White Cane Travel’s contact form for a comment or question
Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by
(
ramn_12@hotmail.com)
on Monday, June 03, 2019 at 04:03:47
—————————————————————————
name: Marlonjurgy
phone: 86116487977
method: Phone
to: Jared Rimer
bug: No
additional_bug_info: Forex 1000 To 1 Million вРâ Turning $10,000 into $1 Million in Forex:
http://box9.ru/get-35-btc/?p=31574

comment_or_question: Forex 1000 To 1 Million вРâ Turning $10,000 into $1 Million in Forex:
http://box9.ru/get-35-btc/?p=31574

—————————————————————————

HTTP_USER_AGENT: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/66.0.3359.170 Safari/537.36 OPR/53.0.2907.99
REMOTE_ADDR: 185.112.82.237

Here’s the one that really gets me out of all of the ones I’ve seen.

White Cane Travel’s contact form for a comment or question
Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by
(
eugdf@uhfeif.com)
on Monday, June 03, 2019 at 04:03:47
—————————————————————————
name: Williamadara
phone: 89552811158
method: Phone
to: Jared Rimer
bug: No
additional_bug_info: Hey. Soon your hosting account and your domain whitecanetravel.com will be blocked forever, and you will receive tens of thousands
of negative feedback from angry people.

Here is a list of what you get if you donâ t follow my requirements:
+ abuse spamhouse for aggressive web spam
+ tens of thousands of negative reviews about you and your website from angry people for aggressive web and email spam
+ lifetime blocking of your hosting account for aggressive web and email spam
+ lifetime blocking of your domain for aggressive web and email spam
+ Thousands of angry complaints from angry people will come to your mail and messengers for sending you a lot of spam
+ complete destruction of your reputation and loss of clients forever
+ for a full recovery from the damage you need tens of thousands of dollars

Do you want this?

If you do not want the above problems, then before June 1, 2019, you need to send me 0.3 BTC to my Bitcoin wallet: 19ckouUP2E22aJR5BPFdf7jP2oNXR3bezL

How do I do all this to get this result:
1. I will send 30 messages to 13 000 000 sites with contact forms with offensive messages with the address of your site, that is, in this situation, you
and the spammer and insult people. And everyone will not care that it is not you.
2. Iâ ll send 300 messages to 9,000,000 email addresses and very intrusive advertisements for making money and offer a free iPhone with your website address
whitecanetravel.com and your contact details. And then send out abusive messages with the address of your site.
3. I will do aggressive spam on blogs, forums and other sites (in my database there are 35 978 370 sites and 315900 sites from which you will definitely
get a huge amount of abuse) of your site whitecanetravel.com. After such spam, the spamhouse will turn its attention
on you and after several abuses your host will be forced to block your account for life. Your domain registrar will also block your domain permanently.

My bitcoin wallet:19ckouUP2E22aJR5BPFdf7jP2oNXR3bezL

I have a lot of experience. Here are just getting blocking and angry letters my sites that I tried to promote, now it’s time to earn on the skill of blocking
sites))
If before June 1, 2019 you do not send 0.3 BTC, I will start a massive aggressive spam of your site for tens of millions of other sites and email addresses
and your site will be definitely blocked and will receive a lot of negative reviews.
Transfer 0.3 BTC to my wallet and sleep peacefully without worrying about your site.

My bitcoin wallet:19ckouUP2E22aJR5BPFdf7jP2oNXR3bezL
comment_or_question: Hey. Soon your hosting account and your domain whitecanetravel.com will be blocked forever, and you will receive tens of thousands
of negative feedback from angry people.

Here is a list of what you get if you donâ t follow my requirements:
+ abuse spamhouse for aggressive web spam
+ tens of thousands of negative reviews about you and your website from angry people for aggressive web and email spam
+ lifetime blocking of your hosting account for aggressive web and email spam
+ lifetime blocking of your domain for aggressive web and email spam
+ Thousands of angry complaints from angry people will come to your mail and messengers for sending you a lot of spam
+ complete destruction of your reputation and loss of clients forever
+ for a full recovery from the damage you need tens of thousands of dollars

Do you want this?

If you do not want the above problems, then before June 1, 2019, you need to send me 0.3 BTC to my Bitcoin wallet: 19ckouUP2E22aJR5BPFdf7jP2oNXR3bezL

How do I do all this to get this result:
1. I will send 30 messages to 13 000 000 sites with contact forms with offensive messages with the address of your site, that is, in this situation, you
and the spammer and insult people. And everyone will not care that it is not you.
2. Iâ ll send 300 messages to 9,000,000 email addresses and very intrusive advertisements for making money and offer a free iPhone with your website address
whitecanetravel.com and your contact details. And then send out abusive messages with the address of your site.
3. I will do aggressive spam on blogs, forums and other sites (in my database there are 35 978 370 sites and 315900 sites from which you will definitely
get a huge amount of abuse) of your site whitecanetravel.com. After such spam, the spamhouse will turn its attention
on you and after several abuses your host will be forced to block your account for life. Your domain registrar will also block your domain permanently.

My bitcoin wallet:19ckouUP2E22aJR5BPFdf7jP2oNXR3bezL

I have a lot of experience. Here are just getting blocking and angry letters my sites that I tried to promote, now it’s time to earn on the skill of blocking
sites))
If before June 1, 2019 you do not send 0.3 BTC, I will start a massive aggressive spam of your site for tens of millions of other sites and email addresses
and your site will be definitely blocked and will receive a lot of negative reviews.
Transfer 0.3 BTC to my wallet and sleep peacefully without worrying about your site.

My bitcoin wallet:19ckouUP2E22aJR5BPFdf7jP2oNXR3bezL
—————————————————————————

HTTP_USER_AGENT: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/68.0.3440.84 Safari/537.36
REMOTE_ADDR: 185.104.217.66

This character indicates that he’ll get the domain closed if I don’t pay ransom as well as the fact they will spam millions of people pointing them to my site where I don’t sell any iphones. Hey! If he wants to claim I sell iphones, and I get email, then I can tell them that I don’t sell iphones, and I can thank them for visiting. I hope that his visitors to my site read what its about before sending angry email. Its also well known that the several emails I’ve given you as samples of what I’m getting are fake names, and probably fake phone numbers.

By the way, I am making it very clear that I do not have any bitcoin, nor am I interested in having any. I now have to buy it, and its expensive. Should’ve gotten in many years ago. Sorry guys, you lose.

I would report all of these things, but honestly, I know it won’t go away. I think there are sites out there that can tell me who owns an IP, and where to send reports, but these types of messages are more annoying, although I’d love to turn these people in. I tried to block IP’s from visiting the site, but thats of no value. What ideas do you have to get these people not to use the forms for spam?

I’ve even gotten email claiming I could go to a site, fill out some details, and my message could be sent to millions even while solving captchas just like they did with mine. Pay $49 instead of $99 for this service.

All of these have fake names. No wonder I’ve not bitten on any of these. Have fun reading this post.

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Patch Tuesday is come and gone, are you patched to the best of your ability?

Are you patched to the best of your ability? Articles around the web talk about patch tuesday in different ways.

I recently went through a reboot to clear up some issues, and I noticed it wanted to update so I let it do it. It took two reboots for it, so let it do its thing.

Cyberscoop also had an article of interest, you can go to their site to see if there is something of interest besides that article.

Comments Off on Patch Tuesday is come and gone, are you patched to the best of your ability?

Equifax is at it again, bad security gone wrong?

OK, so we all know that Equifax had a very big breach. We probably are finding out that it is more targeted than we think, as none of the data is in the underground. We also know that they’re scrambling to get this right because they screwed up. However, I have a very bad feeling, and I read MyEquifax.com Bypasses Credit Freeze PIN and this is not good. They can’t verify you based on info you provide, they don’t ask for the pin which is required once a freeze is put in place, and its just all bad.

Brian does a great job covering this, and I put my thoughts on board 295 on Live Wire, but I also will cover this on the next podcast. This can’t start the year right for the company, can it?

Comments Off on Equifax is at it again, bad security gone wrong?

Senate panel accuses Equifax of neglecting cybersecurity ahead of 2017 breach

You aught to nbe kidding me, right? 8500 vulnerabilities that weren’t patched in 90 days? Holy crap.

An institutional neglect toward cybersecurity contributed to the massive 2017 data breach at Equifax that compromised sensitive information for

Source: Senate panel accuses Equifax of neglecting cybersecurity ahead of 2017 breach

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Apple Releases iOS 12.1.4 and Updated Version of macOS Mojave 10.14.3 with Fix for Major FaceTime Bug

This Apple Vis post Apple Releases iOS 12.1.4 and Updated Version of macOS Mojave 10.14.3 with Fix for Major FaceTime Bug posted to Apple Vis is something we all should take an opportunity to read. I’ll be tryng to apply the update over the weekend so that I’m as secure as possible. I want to pass this along.

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Strange looking emails for bitcoin

Hello all,

For the last few days, in multiple addresses that belong to me across my network, I’ve been getting email claiming that I’ve been doing some questionable things. There is only one problem that whoever sends these emails don’t know, and that they can’t use to their advantage.

The email claims that I’ve visited adult web sites and viewed teen material. If I were to view material, I would look for adult material.

Next, the message claims that I installed software which turned on my camera and they have video of me doing things while watching the video.

Next, they want bitcoin, which is a form of crypto currency. Its been around now for several years, and Security Now has talked about it in depth if you wish to learn more.

Whomever is sending these emails just wants payment. They claim to have my address book. Problem is, one of the addresses is a shared address and therefore doesn’t have an address book, so if they want to share something, they can, cause the mp4 which is a video file, would be blank.

As I’ve indicated, I’ve gotten several of these messages, and I believe all have gone to forwarders. Luckily, those addresses don’t have address books, right?

I would copy and paste the email in question, but i’ve decided that I don’t want to do that. What I want you to know, is that this is more than likely a scam. Even if they claim to hack your facebook like my various emails did, I know that I have two factor on my facebook, and it has not bothered me about potential log ins.

Stay safe out there, know what you have, and remember that this is just to get you to pay money you may not even have. Bitcoin can only be gotten in certain ways, and a search engine may not nevcessarily tell you where in your part of the world you can get bitcoin. I know of no place in which to get bitcoin, and I honestly haven’t invested any type of money to get coin. Its mainly used for illegal stuff anyway, although you can now use it at some places to buy, but its very few.

Thanks for reading, make it a great day.

Comments Off on Strange looking emails for bitcoin

Password Manager Users Exposed After Privacy Snafu

If you are a user of this service, it is important that you see this. I’m going through twitter, and saw this. I’ve never heard of the service, so I can’t comment on its use, but boy, this can’t be good.

Albine admits millions of Blur customers may have been affected

Source: Password Manager Users Exposed After Privacy Snafu

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6 year old girl opens phone, types in credit card to shop

Hi all, I am looking at twitter, and I just saw the following retweet by one of my followers:


Kevin Jones, RT @squidslippers: i went to a christmas party with my parents’ rich friends and their families where i witnessed a 6-year-old girl use her iphone x to type in her father’s credit card information FROM MEMORY to buy herself some makeup. i haven’t stopped thinking about it since 14 hours ago, Twitterrific for Mac


This little girl used an iphone to type in a credit card by memory, which is great for security, but do we know if any of the parents were there to supervise this transaction and approve it? If not, I would be scared too, just like the person who tweeted this which caused the retweet. Welcome to the new age of technology. Wow!

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This week’s patch tuesday articles

Hello to everyone, I’m here to pass along a couple of articles per usual in regards to Patch Tuesday. For those who don’t know, patch Tuesday was developed in the security industry as a day where people doing the work to fix computer bugs have a day where they can release patches, and IT people can have a day where they can test out the patch to see if it will cause any type of problems before they deploy the patch company wide. Krebs On Security and Trend Micro have respective articles on the subject. Trend Micro has more detail because they have the technology and resources to have to go more in depth, however, both articles are good and well written. Krebs On Security hhas one post covering the basics since Adobe started papatch Tuesday some time ago, and 2020 can’t come soon enough for Flash. Trend Micro stays on the Windows side, but yet, the article is detailed and linked to CVE’s for people who want that info. The ZDI is also part of their toolkit, and they talk about that if my memory is not failing me.

I hope that the article here is of value, and thanks for reading!

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Mariot updates for Dec 6, 2018

Hi all,

Since my last post on the Mariot breach which included several different articles including one timely article from Trend Micro about the subject of breaches, Krebs on Security penned an article that I thought was pretty interesting. What the Marriott Breach Says About Security is the name of the article. It talks about companies having the idea that criminals, miscrients, or anyone with access who is angry can now get in to networks and cause havoc. It is not safe anymore for the bare minimum.

As for individuals like you and me, Bryan has something very interesting to say, and sadly, we now must accept this fact or be doomed.

TO INDIVIDUALS

Likewise for individuals, it pays to accept two unfortunate and harsh realities:

Reality #1: Bad guys already have access to personal data points that you may believe should be secret but which nevertheless aren’t, including your credit card information, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, date of birth, address, previous addresses, phone number, and yes — even your credit file.

Reality #2: Any data point you share with a company will in all likelihood eventually be hacked, lost, leaked, stolen or sold — usually through no fault of your own. And if you’re an American, it means (at least for the time being) your recourse to do anything about that when it does happen is limited or nil.

The article goes on about what Mariot is offering, and I say this in my podcast segment which will be released soon. Its better to take the service given, than doing nothing. I think this might be a better service than just credit monitoring, as we have someone watching the underground for us to alert of trouble. That might be a step in the right direction.

On the 4th of December, a user who is effected by this breach sent me the email from Starwood and Mariot which is very generic. It will include your member number as well as a generic greeting, according to the individual who sent me the mail message.

A copy of the email, excluding the person’s name and address are below.


Fwd: Starwood Guest Reservation Database Security Incident
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Starwood Hotels

Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2018 17:51:30 +0000
Subject: Starwood Guest Reservation Database Security Incident
To:
(address removed)

Notice of Data Security Incident
[image: SPG | Starwood Preferred Guest]

California Residents | California – Español

??????? | ???? | ???? | Deutsch

Español (España) | Español (Latinoamérica)

Français (Canadien) | Français | Italiano

??? | Português (Europeu) | Português (Brasil)

??? | ???????

Dear Valued Guest,

Marriott values our guests and understands the importance of
protecting your personal information. We have taken measures to
investigate and address a data security incident involving the
Starwood guest reservation database. The investigation has determined
that there was unauthorized access to the database, which contained
guest information relating to reservations at Starwood properties* on
or before September 10, 2018. This notice explains what happened,
measures we have taken, and some steps you can take in response.

Starwood Guest Reservation Database Security Incident

On September 8, 2018, Marriott received an alert from an internal
security tool regarding an attempt to access the Starwood guest
reservation database. Marriott quickly engaged leading security
experts to help determine what occurred. Marriott learned during the
investigation that there had been unauthorized access to the Starwood
network since 2014. Marriott recently discovered that an unauthorized
party had copied and encrypted information, and took steps towards
removing it. On November 19, 2018, Marriott was able to decrypt the
information and determined that the contents were from the Starwood
guest reservation database.

Marriott has not finished identifying duplicate information in the
database, but believes it contains information on up to approximately
500 million guests who made a reservation at a Starwood property. For
approximately 327 million of these guests, the information includes
some combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email
address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) account
information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information,
reservation date, and communication preferences. For some, the
information also includes payment card numbers and payment card
expiration dates, but the payment card numbers were encrypted using
Advanced Encryption Standard encryption (AES-128). There are two
components needed to decrypt the payment card numbers, and at this
point, Marriott has not been able to rule out the possibility that
both were taken. For the remaining guests, the information was limited
to name and sometimes other data such as mailing address, email
address, or other information.

Marriott reported this incident to law enforcement and continues to
support their investigation. The company is also notifying regulatory
authorities.

Marriott deeply regrets this incident happened. From the start, we
moved quickly to contain the incident and conduct a thorough
investigation with the assistance of leading security experts.
Marriott is working hard to ensure our guests have answers to
questions about their personal information with a dedicated website
and call center. We are supporting the efforts of law enforcement and
working with leading security experts to improve. Marriott is also
devoting the resources necessary to phase out Starwood systems and
accelerate the ongoing security enhancements to our network.

Guest Support

Marriott has taken the following steps to help you monitor and protect
your information:

Dedicated Call Center

Marriott has established a dedicated call center to answer questions
you may have about this incident. The call center is open seven days a
week, and is available in multiple languages. Our dedicated call
center may experience high volume initially, and we appreciate your
patience.

Email notification

Marriott began sending emails on a rolling basis on November 30, 2018
to affected guests whose email addresses are in the Starwood guest
reservation database.

Free WebWatcher Enrollment

Marriott is providing guests the opportunity to enroll in WebWatcher
free of charge for one year. WebWatcher monitors internet sites where
personal information is shared and generates an alert to the consumer
if evidence of the consumer’s personal information is found. Due to
regulatory and other reasons, WebWatcher or similar products are not
available in all countries. Guests from the United States who complete
the WebWatcher enrollment process will also be provided fraud
consultation services and reimbursement coverage for free.

The section below provides additional information on steps you can
take. If you have questions about this notification and to enroll in
WebWatcher (if it is available in your country), please visit
info.starwoodhotels.com.

* Starwood brands include: W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels &
Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Element Hotels, Aloft Hotels, The
Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts,
Four Points by Sheraton and Design Hotels. Starwood branded timeshare
properties are also included.

Best wishes,
[image]

Arne Sorenson

MORE INFORMATION ON STEPS YOU CAN TAKE

Regardless of where you reside, below are some additional steps you can take.


Monitor your SPG account for any suspicious activity.

Change your password regularly. Do not use easily guessed passwords.
Do not use the same passwords for multiple accounts.

Review your payment card account statements for unauthorized activity
and immediately report unauthorized activity to the bank that issued
your card.

Be vigilant against third parties attempting to gather information by
deception (commonly known as “phishing”), including through links to
fake websites. Marriott will not ask you to provide your password by
phone or email.

If you believe you are the victim of identity theft or your personal
data has been misused, you should immediately contact your national
data protection authority or local law enforcement.

If you are a resident of the United States:

We remind you it is always advisable to be vigilant for incidents of
fraud or identity theft by reviewing your account statements and free
credit reports for any unauthorized activity. You may obtain a copy of
your credit report, free of charge, once every 12 months from each of
the three nationwide credit reporting companies. To order your annual
free credit report, please visit
www.annualcreditreport.com
or call
toll free at 1-877-322-8228. Contact information for the three
nationwide credit reporting companies is as follows:

Equifax, PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374,
www.equifax.com,
1-800-685-1111
Experian, PO Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013,
www.experian.com,
1-888-397-3742
TransUnion, PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016,
www.transunion.com,
1-800-916-8800

If you believe you are the victim of identity theft or have reason to
believe your personal information has been misused, you should
immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission and/or the Attorney
General’s office in your state. You can obtain information from these
sources about steps an individual can take to avoid identity theft as
well as information about fraud alerts and security freezes. You
should also contact your local law enforcement authorities and file a
police report. Obtain a copy of the police report in case you are
asked to provide copies to creditors to correct your records. Contact
information for the Federal Trade Commission is as follows:

Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania
Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20580, 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338),
www.ftc.gov/idtheft

If you are a resident of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, North
Carolina, or Rhode Island, you may contact and obtain information from
your state attorney general at:

Connecticut Attorney General’s Office, 55 Elm Street, Hartford, CT
06106,
www.ct.gov/ag,
1-860-808-5318

Maryland Attorney General’s Office, 200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD
21202,
www.oag.state.md.us,
1-888-743-0023 or 1-410-576-6300

Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General, One Ashburton Place,
Boston, MA 02108,
www.mass.gov/ago/contact-us.html,
1-617-727-8400

North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, 9001 Mail Service Center,
Raleigh, NC 27699,
www.ncdoj.gov,
1-919-716-6400 or 1-877-566-7226

Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, 150 South Main Street,
Providence, RI 02903,
www.riag.ri.gov,
1-401-274-4400

If you are a resident of Massachusetts or Rhode Island, note that
pursuant to Massachusetts or Rhode Island law, you have the right to
file and obtain a copy of a police report. You also have the right to
request a security freeze.

If you are a resident of West Virginia, you have the right to ask that
nationwide consumer reporting agencies place “fraud alerts” in your
file to let potential creditors and others know that you may be a
victim of identity theft, as described below. You also have a right to
place a security freeze on your credit report, as described below.

Fraud Alerts: There are two types of fraud alerts you can place on
your credit report to put your creditors on notice that you may be a
victim of fraud—an initial alert and an extended alert. You may ask
that an initial fraud alert be placed on your credit report if you
suspect you have been, or are about to be, a victim of identity theft.
An initial fraud alert stays on your credit report for at least 90
days. You may have an extended alert placed on your credit report if
you have already been a victim of identity theft with the appropriate
documentary proof. An extended fraud alert stays on your credit report
for seven years. You can place a fraud alert on your credit report by
contacting any of the three national credit reporting agencies.

Credit Freezes: You have the right to put a credit freeze, also known
as a security freeze, on your credit file, free of charge, so that no
new credit can be opened in your name without the use of a PIN number
that is issued to you when you initiate a freeze. A security freeze is
designed to prevent potential credit grantors from accessing your
credit report without your consent. If you place a security freeze,
potential creditors and other third parties will not be able to get
access to your credit report unless you temporarily lift the freeze.
Therefore, using a security freeze may delay your ability to obtain
credit.

There is no fee to place or lift a security freeze. Unlike a fraud
alert, you must separately place a security freeze on your credit file
at each credit reporting company. For information and instructions to
place a security freeze, contact each of the credit reporting agencies
at the addresses below:

Experian Security Freeze, PO Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013,
www.experian.com

TransUnion Security Freeze, PO Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016,
www.transunion.com

Equifax Security Freeze, PO Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348,
www.equifax.com

To request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following
information:

1.
Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.)
2.
Social Security number
3.
Date of birth
4.
If you have moved in the past five years, provide the addresses where
you have lived over the prior five years
5.
Proof of current address such as a current utility bill or telephone bill
6.
A legible photocopy of a government issued identification card (state
driver’s license or ID card, military identification, etc.)
7.
If you are a victim of identity theft, include a copy of the police
report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency
concerning identity theft

The credit reporting agencies have one business day after receiving
your request by toll-free telephone or secure electronic means, or
three business days after receiving your request by mail, to place a
security freeze on your credit report. The credit bureaus must also
send written confirmation to you within five business days and provide
you with a unique personal identification number (“PIN”) or password
or both that can be used by you to authorize the removal or lifting of
the security freeze.

To lift the security freeze in order to allow a specific entity or
individual access to your credit report, or to lift a security freeze
for a specified period of time, you must submit a request through a
toll-free telephone number, a secure electronic means maintained by a
credit reporting agency, or by sending a written request via regular,
certified, or overnight mail to the credit reporting agencies and
include proper identification (name, address, and Social Security
number) and the PIN number or password provided to you when you placed
the security freeze as well as the identity of those entities or
individuals you would like to receive your credit report or the
specific period of time you want the credit report available. The
credit reporting agencies have one business day after receiving your
request by toll-free telephone or secure electronic means, or three
business days after receiving your request by mail, to lift the
security freeze for those identified entities or for the specified
period of time.

To remove the security freeze, you must submit a request through a
toll-free telephone number, a secure electronic means maintained by a
credit reporting agency, or by sending a written request via regular,
certified, or overnight mail to each of the three credit bureaus and
include proper identification (name, address, and Social Security
number) and the PIN number or password provided to you when you placed
the security freeze. The credit bureaus have one business day after
receiving your request by toll-free telephone or secure electronic
means, or three business days after receiving your request by mail, to
remove the security freeze.

Fair Credit Reporting Act: You also have rights under the federal Fair
Credit Reporting Act, which promotes the accuracy, fairness, and
privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies.
The FTC has published a list of the primary rights created by the FCRA
(
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0096-fair-credit-reporting-act.pdf),
and that article refers individuals seeking more information to visit
www.ftc.gov/credit.
The FTC’s list of FCRA rights includes:


You have the right to receive a copy of your credit report. The copy
of your report must contain all the information in your file at the
time of your request.

Each of the nationwide credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian,
and TransUnion – is required to provide you with a free copy of your
credit report, at your request, once every 12 months.

You are also entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse
action against you, like denying your application for credit,
insurance, or employment, and you ask for your report within 60 days
of receiving notice of the action. The notice will give you the name,
address, and phone number of the credit reporting company. You are
also entitled to one free report a year if you’re unemployed and plan
to look for a job within 60 days; if you are on welfare; or if your
report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft.

You have the right to ask for a credit score.

You have the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information.

Consumer reporting agencies must correct or delete inaccurate,
incomplete, or unverifiable information.

Consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information.

Access to your file is limited. You must give your consent for reports
to be provided to employers.

You may limit “prescreened” offers of credit and insurance you receive
based on information in your credit report.

You may seek damages from violators.

Identity theft victims and active duty military personnel have
additional rights.

If You Are A European Union Data Subject, you may contact or obtain
information from your Data Protection Authority at:


That completes the email. Other languages were removed.


The email here is right on providing lots of information and what people can do. With the GDPR now in effect, notification of a breach will now be the key, and this is great to see. As soon as you know of an issue, notify everyone effected. Thanks for reading, leave those thoughts.

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Should we be telling people to look for the lock symbol or the HTTPS in URLS? Articles say no

Hi all, I was doing some reading on my RSS feeds, and came across a few items that may be good for some discussion. To start, we’ve advised in various circles to look (if visual) or determine (if blind) if the site was secure either by a lock symbol in your tool bar or the HTTPS in the URL to symbolize the URL is safe. According to Krebs On Security, an article that is entitled Half of all Phishing Sites Now Have the Padlock and this can’t be good. This article talks about something called Unicode, and the domain system is allowing this. Firefox is the only browser that will happily go to these pages and will convert these in to characters it understands. What jumps out at me is the fact that we’re going secure, and the people who pedle these wares know this. To seem legitiment, they will of course get their site secure. With services like Lets Encrypt, it is now free to encrypt any domain as long as it is hosted somewhere.

The other article which is not too late to post, talks about shopping online. This article was posted the 23rd, and it has some great tips. While Amazon is mostly safe, there are people who could come on to their platform to sell things, or compromise an existing merchant account with Amazon. While Amazon refunded the money in this instant, checking the who is directory is a great idea if you know where to look.

I did have two sites in my bookmarks, but it seems like I’m having trouble with these particular URL’s. <a href=”http://www.ultrahost.usUltrahost has a domain lookup tool, which works quite well. The first box is for the portion of the domain, the second is a combo box asking for the top level (tld) such as .com, .org, .net, etc. How to Shop Online Like a Security Pro is the article that I read in regards to checking domains as well as making sure you’re on a reputable site.

The reason Brian indicates to look at the registry is simple. New sellers will have their domain up within recent months. If you’ve been around selling things awhile, your domain will show this, as it records when the domain was first baught, and when it is set to expire.

My web site for example, was baught in 2008, and white cane travel in 2014. While neither of my sites sell anything, I’m using them as reference points so you understand how valuable this could be.

Most people may not go through this trouble, but as has been demonstrated, your common merchant could be compromised, although it has happened in store, and not necessarily online. The point here is to be as careful as possible, and trust your gut.

Please have a happy and safe shopping season, and thanks for reading the blog!

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Security now podcast 655 is up!

I haven’t done this in awhile, but Armando gave me some information that security now is covering. Please go to security Now’s RSS feed to pick up your copy. Please feel free to find the notations from the RSS feed below. More importantly, Armando talked about and braught to my attention the fact that a vehicle that is driverless killed someone. I’m not sure what the story is, however, I’m willing to find out.


This week we discuss the aftermath of CTS Labs’ abrupt disclosure of flaws in AMD’s outsourced chipsets, Intel’s plans for the future and their recent
microcode update news, several of Microsoft’s recent announcements and actions, the importance of testing… in this case VPNs; the first self-driving
automobile pedestrian death, a SQRL update, a bit of closing the loop feedback with our listeners, and a look a the outcome of last week’s annual Pwn2Own
hacking competition.

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More Russia news in regards to metaling in our election

Hi all,

On an earlier post, we linked to a news article with a link to news in regards to Russia’s involvement in the United States Election. I’d like to take this opportunity to give you a couple of more articles that may be better to read.

I hope that these articles may help to shed the light on the serious problem that we had in the elections. We’ll of course keep you up to date when we learn more, as social media, and other aspects of technology was used.

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Robert Mueller charges 13 and one company for interfeerence

Read Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russian nationals for election meddling is the story dealing with the potential issue of the elections and how they were messed with. It does link to another page, and the article here is quite short. I downloaded the video that was found on you tube, and you can get to Special Counsel Mueller’s video by using this link to go there. Thanks so much for listening and participating.

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Have you started the process of filing taxes? Do it soon for 2018

Just saw this article from Krebs entitled File Your Taxes Before Scammers Do It For You which was dated today. Have you started to do your taxes and get them ready for filing? If not, do look to see if you’re ready to do so. The criminals are waiting or not waiting for you. Thanks for reading.

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New years predictions for tech

Hi all,

I’ve been thinking about this and wanted a post done and posted when the new year happened. I ended up changing my mind about that, because I didn’t quite think thi over very well. My thoughts kept changing, and it wasn’t making sense. Here are some things that come to mind we may see this year as it will probably be another mega breach year for us.

  • We will see a potential breach somewhere, where personal information of the disabled will be taken.
  • The health industry isn’t done yet, I think we’ll see something bigger than the blue cross 80 million this year.
  • Government will have a bigger problem keeping their sites updated, and time only tells us how secure they really are.
  • As we continue to test self driving cars, my hunch indicates that hackers may get in to the testing frey as well. If successful, these test cars will feel the brunt of a successful hack attack. It may be on the low side, and the attack won’t be big, but it’ll be eye opening.

There may be more major stories that I haven’t thought of as of yet, but this may give us a start to discuss activity for the coming year. Leave those thoughts.

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This can’t be good: Equifax or Equiphish?

I just read this article entitled Equifax or Equiphish? and I’m personally not convinced that a freeze is the answer to all of these issues with Equafax and its continuing issues on letting us know about their breach. The more I read about what they’re doing, the more I don’t want any of what they’re offering.

  • Charging consumers to put a freeze on their file because they didn’t update their software
  • Having everyone sign up for credit monitoring which is fine, but then saying you’re not effected
  • When the breach first occurred, telling people to come back at a certain date but the site doesn’t work
  • Having Experian which I understand they control being part of the data breach problem as they had their own issues

When I first got the letter from the OPM breach, and entered my information that I was given, I talked to an agent. The agent was very nice, and explained who they were, as I had no idea. I know that fingerprints are needed as part of getting a job in some cases, but we do not have any idea on who is offering the service for the company. I’m really wondering if we’re losing control of our information. There will be no way for us to have control of it come the next 5 to 10 years.

Have thoughts? Please feel free to sound off in the comments, and let us know how you have credit checked if you apply for a credit card or loan. This can’t be good.

Comments (2)

Security Now 629 is up

Hi ll,

On security now 629, it will bring out something Shaun sent me something about via Email. Here are the show notes for this particular episode.


This week Padre and Steve discuss what was up with Security Now’s recent audio troubles, more on the Equifax Fiasco, the EFF & Cory Doctorow weigh in on
forthcoming browser encrypted media extensions (EME), an emerging browser-based payment standard, when 2-factor is not 2-factor, the CCleaner breach and
what it means, a new Bluetooth-based attack, an incredibly welcome and brilliant cookie privacy feature in iOS 11, and a heads-up caution about the volatility
of Google’s Android smartphone cloud backups.


To get to security now, go to its show page on twit or its RSS feed. You can also see a complete index of shows through GRC’s Security Now page where you can also find transcripts.

Thanks for your continued support.

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The article on Vocal: my thoughts on the Equafax breach

Hi all,

I posted the article and the sub title reads: Why You Should Be Worried After the Latest Breach. It posts all of the articles and my thoughts from the last few days, as well as some updates from two new articles, one of which I have posted. The site that it is on is called 01.media. That is where their technology articles are going, although some of my other work was moved to futurism, which was rebranded from omni.media’s branch. The article was updated before publication with two new articles in the same fassion I wrote it in. I’d like to thank my editor at vocal.media for her work with this article, and for getting it out quickly. I have others in the works, one will now be worked on, and so I’m happy for that. Thanks for your continued support of my work.

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