on 04-05-2017 06:44 AM
Welcome to today's Discussion Topic related to the upcoming Cengage Computing Experience (CCE) event in Minneapolis on April 7. I know that it will be a great experience. I'm excited to be participating in the CCE in the area of security, so that's what we'll discuss today.
How many security records on those living in the U.S. have been exposed? The number might surprise you. From 2005 through early 2017, over 907 million electronic data records in the U.S. had been breached, exposing to attackers a range of our personal electronic data, such as address, Social Security numbers, health records, and credit card numbers. Considering the total population of the U.S. (as of this morning) is 324,811,957, that means attackers have been working overtime on us! Wow!
This is data from a very interesting website called the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. Not only can you see the total number of breaches but you can also create your own customized lists. For example, suppose you wanted to create a customized list of the data that will only show data breaches of educational institutions. On the site under Select organization type(s), check only EDU- Educational Institutions and then click Search Data Breaches. Or if you wanted to see the breaches that were a result of lost, discarded, or stolen equipment that belonged to the government and military you can do that, too. Under Choose the type of breaches to display, check Portable device (PORT) - Lost, discarded or stolen laptop, PDA, smartphone, portable memory device, CD, hard drive, data tape, etc., and then under Select organization type(s), check GOV – Government & and Military. You may not like what you see! But if you're interested here's a link that I created for you to the site that you can click on: it's https://goo.gl/GArnDx
Did you know that you could have just been hacked?
One common trick of attackers is to use URL shorteners like Goo.gl or TinyURL to hide a website behind a clickable link. When I click on a URL shortener I can't see where I might end up, and a malicious attacker can use that to direct us to her web site where all sorts of bad things could happen, like malware instantly being download to our web browser and even into our computer. And as icing on the cake, these URL shortener sites can gather analytics about those of us who click on the links.
But don't worry: I did NOT hack you! This is a legitimate link to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
And just so you know, I have fallen for this type of attack before.
The bottom line: resist the urge to click on a URL shortener link. You may never know where you'll end up!
Have you been the victim of this type of attack? Or have you or someone you know been hacked recently? What's your experience? Post about your unfortunate hacking experiences as get the conversations going in our countdown to CCE Minneapolis!
on 04-05-2017 02:59 PM
Fortunately no. I try very hard not to be on any sites that link me 2 or 3 times to 'see the next BIG event'. I do not go to celebrity sites at all or other such media. I try to limit my use only to research. Of course, my grandkids want to use my computer and so far have only gotten their hands on the iPad.
on 04-05-2017 03:40 PM
I'm glad that you have not (yet!) been the victim of an attack.
But did you know that trying to avoid an attack by skipping risky (and tacky!) celebrity sites and instead only going to known websites won't provide protection? Why? That's actually one of the things we'll be talking about on Friday.
on 04-05-2017 03:37 PM
No ... I have not been attacked or hacked before ... I too am very careful about those extra clicks on websites ... I am constantly reminding my family to be careful ... oh, and students too! Oh, how many have ended up with a virus or attack on their computer ... I can usually tell by the pop-ups and advertisements on their SAM screen
The university runs regular phishing schemes on campus to be sure we are all paying attention to what we click on ... Just like the example you gave, it's nice that there is not a hack, but provides for some training.
on 04-05-2017 03:45 PM
Glad that you, too, have not been a direct victim of an attack. Unfortunately, I've been on the receiving end of these attacks and it's not easy to get everything cleaned up and back to normal. And the TV commercials that make it look like a simple phone call to your bank will immediately take care of any attacks on your account are simply not accurate. It's much, much more involved and may take a long, long time. That's why I emphasize prevention over cure!