Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Stop Paying Ransomware and Increasing the Payoff for Cyber Pirates

For the love of all things Internet, just stop it. Stop being so damned naive and dumb about cybersecurity and paying off ransoms. Just frigging stop it!

I just posted a blog entry on this a few months ago.

Ransomware payments solve diddly squat. Sure, the cyber pirate hacker may release your computer after you fork over thousands of dollars, but guess what. HE/SHE IS STILL INSIDE YOUR COMPUTER! What is to stop this hacker from just locking up your system again tomorrow? Nothing, nada, because you were too dumb and lazy to find a cybersecurity expert.

Cybersecurity and business cyberbullying is hard enough without compounding a crime with a bad decision and rolling out the red carpet for another pirate to say, hey, this idiot paid Hacker 14's ransom, he'll probably pay mine, too.

According to Lloyds of London, cybercrime costs businesses $400 billion a year. $100 billion of that is in the U.S. and the victim count is upwards of 556 million. It is expected that the global cost of cybercrime will net $2 trillion by 2019. Two trillion. At this rate, every gang banger is going to learn how to code. It's a better return than the drug trade.

Why? Because companies don't want to spend money on IT, and by the time they do, the hacker has been in their system for years. (See Sony.) How sad is it that even our educational institutions are set up for failure when it comes to this stuff. Case in point, the University of Calgary. Instead of paying ransomware, maybe the curriculum needs to include and force its administration to attend Cybersecurity and Information Technology courses. Oh wait, it does have a Business Technology Management course.

Look, I don't mean to be mean about this, but seriously, when the hell are businesses and organizations going to take this shit seriously? For every dollar you don't spend on IT, for everything you don't know about basic cybersecurity, updating software/apps, or just basic common sense, you put everyone who is connected to you through the Internet at risk.

Sure, companies don't really want to admit their mistake, but saying nothing and hoping it will go away just means all your employees, suppliers, family members, customers, and golf buddies just had their identities stolen and sold to the black market. Then to add icing to the hacker's cake, you just willingly gave him $20,000 top up the money he will earn from selling the credit cards and social security numbers because instead of finding a security expert, you chose to pay ransom instead.

Please, just stop it.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How to Know if You've Been Defamed Online or If You've Been Guilty of Defaming Someone Else

Who are you going to call when you've been defamed online? The Electronic Frontier Foundation is one resource that will help you figure out how to defend yourself.

The EFF is a non-profit organization that defends civil liberties in the digital world. Everyone needs to bookmark this site right now.

It's a membership-driven organization. It was founded in 1990 by Mitch Kapor (former president of Lotus Development Corporation), John Perry Barlow (Wyoming cattle rancher and lyricist for the Grateful Dead), and John Gilmore (an early employee of Sun Microsystem) to respond to an unwarranted government raid that ruined the business of a games book publisher.

This website is filled with case studies, white papers, news updates, events, and all sorts of advice as to what your rights are as a blogger, coder, and more.

For example, under Bloggers' Rights, it describes what a blogger is and what he or she is able to talk about. The site describes what online defamation is, opinion versus fact, and reporting on public or private individuals.

Bookmark this for your superhero cyber crime fighting folder.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hacking Law Covers Act of Corporate Computer Sabotage

Disgruntled employees that try to knowingly and intentionally permanently delete corporate computer files are committing a federal crime.

Illegally deleting files falls under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, otherwise known as the hacking law.

If a person accesses a computer without authorization or oversteps the authorization they do have to access confidential files, such as financial records, government documents, and protected information -- it falls under this law. If that person causes transmission of files they do not have authorized access to, try to change the records in any way, or delete them, it falls under this act.

Here are some examples of people who have been charged under this Act:

IT administrator Michael Thomas deletes files before leaving his job.

NFL Twitter hacker tweets Commissioner's death.

Journalist accesses content management system and defaces file.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How to Piss off Your Trolls

How dare you.

What were you thinking? You know when you post an opinion about anything, some troll is going to crap in your space. It might even be someone you like.

There are other Internet trolls whose mission from their perceived god is to make life as miserable and ugly as possible for others. Why? Because they have nothing better to do. They'd rather get all up in your space than find a life of their own. All you have to do is be breathing.

Some trolls are outright cyberbullies. They don't just post contrary and negative opinions or get personal and tell you you're ugly, fat, nobody loves you, or whatever. They've got to take it a step further and cross that line to cyber-crime and purposefully try to destroy your online reputation and business.

The universal response for all three types of trolls is ignore. Do not respond. They live for that. If you do, the conversation will escalate and you will have dug yourself an impossible trench. However, if the comment is really ugly, or if it is a cyberslur, delete it and block that person from being able to post in your space again.

But do you want to know what really pisses off a troll? Ignoring their existence, for one. Going about your business as if nothing ever happened, for another. What this does is two things. One: it allows you to take control of your own Internet, regardless of what others may say about you. Two: You absolutely can't let them win.

Any response or acknowledgement you provide to an ugly post means they win. So stop it. Don't do it. If you have to sit on your hands, scream at the ceiling, and chisel the block button -- never let them see they have got your goat. It isn't easy. It may hurt like hell, but your only hope of sanity is to piss them the hell off.