Posts Tagged ‘#hack’

LinkedIn Data Breach

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis June 8th, 2012

I noticed a lot of spam in the last few days that was making it to my Inbox.  This is unusual; most of the time my spam filters catch this junk and remove it.  It turns out that LinkedIn got hacked recently, along with eHarmony and Lastfm.com.  If anyone on those sites had your email address, you may have gotten the same deluge of crap mail.  Most of those were “phishing” mails, trying to get credit card or other financial info so they could steal from you.  What to do?  First of all DO NOT CLICK LINKS IN ANY EMAILS you receive.  Go straight to the sites, if you have an account, and CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD.  Make sure you follow rules for strong passwords; 8 characters or more with a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters.  This is a storm of data theft that probably isn’t over yet.  Stay Tuned!   (Thanks to the Agence France-Presse for the great article)

Passwords

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis October 6th, 2011

There’s an exception to the double entry rule I talked about last time.  Any time you enter a new password, you should have to enter it twice.  I know it’s a pain, but there’s a really good reason for it.  It makes sure that you didn’t typo the password, and be locked out afterwards.   To help you keep things straight, I recommend you choose a strong and weak password for all your sites/programs, and just use those two, changing occasionally.  You can use the weak one for stuff that’s not worrisome (the Betty Crocker Recipe site, for example), and strong ones for sensitive or critical accounts.  A fun way to create a strong password is to use a word that means something to you, but replace letters with characters.  For example, use @ for a small letter A, ! = i, zero = letter O, etc.  This can help you be creative, and prevent what are called DICTIONARY attacks.  Any system that will allow multiple login attempts can be hacked this way, given enough time.  The hacker just uses a program that rotates through every word in the dictionary.  After dictionary attacks, they can simply use a BRUTE FORCE method and send every possible combination until they HIT.  But this can take a LONG time, depending on the complexity of password.  This is why most accounts LOCK OUT automatically after a few misfired attempts.

Phone Hack technology

Helpful Hints, News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis July 23rd, 2011

Ya just never know...The Murdock scandal in the UK has a lot people asking HOW?!  There are four different technologies involved here ; 1) Voicemail Hacks are relatively easy if your phone supports checking with a 4-digit PIN.  (there just aren’t that many possible combinations so patience pays off)  2)  Random Air-wave Pirates can sit around, with the right equipment, and scan/listen to any and all cell phone calls emanating from a given tower.  This is difficult and yields very random results  3)  TAPPING is using a device or station to intercept your conversation or text, etc..  These are typically illegal without a warrant.  WARNING:  Smart phones can be SOFTWARE hacked within 5 minutes of being in someone else’s hands!  See an article here 4)  Cell Phone PINGS are GPS locators that are built in to phones, and required by the FCC since the 9/11 attacks.  The US Supreme Court is reviewing a case to decide if it should be legal for law enforcement to track people this way without a warrant.  (See more details here.).  NOTE :  These are all about privacy hacks.  There’s a whole ‘nuther topic about breaking into your phone’s operating system that is also referred to as a hack.  Anyone interested?  :-)

HACK ALERT

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis December 20th, 2010

WARNING!  If you have email with ATT.net, SBCGLOBAL.net, or a YAHOO account, CHECK IT and CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD to a strong one (at least 8 characters with a mix of letters, numbers, caps, etc).  There have been a rash of hacks in the last two weeks.  They break in to the account, then SPAM everyone on your list with sites that are likely delivering viruses (at the minimum they are selling Viagra).  More as this story develops.

Hackers

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis October 17th, 2010

Did you know that hackers from all over the planet are trying to get in to your equipment almost CONSTANTLY? If you don’t believe me, check your router logs. Fortunately the service providers do a fair job of monitoring, but there are lots of things you can do to keep from getting hacked. 1) Anti-virus 2) Firewalls 3) Updates 4) Strong passwords just to name a few.