This summer has been a season full of hacking incidents that have made major headlines. Thousands of emails from the Democratic National Convention were released to the public via WikiLeaks and hundreds of emails from the Republican Party were released via DC Leaks. Malware was also found in the payment processing systems of some of HEI Hotels and Resorts most popular hotel chains. The malware captured debit and credit card information like card expiration dates, account numbers, and the like.
When larger organizations are targeted by hackers, it negatively affects the individuals associated or registered with those entities. However, users can still take preventive measures in order to protect their information should an organization’s database become compromised. Below are five tips to avoid being a victim of hacking.
1. Users should not reuse passwords. According to Brain Krebs’ blog, Krebs on Security, password reuse is a “major problem.” It leads to multiple accounts being hacked by one individual. Users should create different passwords for each account using a unique combination of various letters, numbers, and characters.
2. Back up your information. “Typically, an attack means a loss of data,” says Bruce Schneier on his blog, Schneier on Security. “So good backups are essential.” Hacking prevention can also be reinforced with a skeptical attitude towards emails that seem odd as well as installing anti-virus software on devices.
3. Protect your email. Any time a password is forgotten, you receive an email to reset your password explains Chief Security Strategist Richard Bejtlich in his blog, TaoSecurty. Hackers with access to your email can reset any and all password accounts you have. This is why it is crucial to keep your email secure. This can be done by selecting a provider who incorporates a two-step authentication login and notifications of where and when your account has been accessed. The provider you select should also have experience with fending off intruders. Finally, be mindful of what you store in your email in order to monitor your information’s security.
4. Never click links in emails or texts from your bank. In an interview with Heimdal Security, Neil Rubenking, Lead Analyst at PC Magazine, states that while these messages may actually be from your bank, you should always login to your bank account directly in order to keep your banking information protected.
5. Never underestimate your opponent. Morten Kjaersgaard, CEO of Heimdal Security reminds us that cyber criminals are “exceptionally quick, very skilled, and very focused on the task at hand.” The key to their success is interacting with the user. Therefore, it is critical that users stay alert for suspicious activity and continue to build their own security to match hackers’ capabilities.
While larger entities and user platforms continue to implement new security measures against hacking, it is still important that individuals be attentive and remain proactive in protecting their personal information.
According to a study by PEW Research Center, in 2006, 73% of Americans owned a cell phone. That statistic excludes the use of smart phones at the time. Furthermore, 72% owned a desktop or laptop computer and 20% owned an MP3 player. Overall, 73% of Americans used the internet.
As of 2014, 90% of Americans owned cellphones, 64% had a smart phone, 32% owned an eBook reader, and 42% owned a tablet computer. As of 2014, 87% of Americans use the internet on a regular basis.
As you can see, Americans have dramatically increased their usage of the internet via smartphones, tablets, and other electronics since 2006. The modern world is becoming exponentially interconnected. While this technological growth is impressive, it has also led to more opportunities for individuals to commit or become a victim of cybercrime.
To combat this negative trend, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) hosted a Cybercrime Conference in Glynco, Georgia earlier this year. The goal of the event was to advance the knowledge of forensic tools and techniques used to understand and prevent cybercrime. As stated by FLETC on Twitter, “The purpose of the cybercrime conference is to foster education and awareness of the threats that [are] impacting LE [Law Enforcement] officers.”
Providing more training events for federal agency members and raising awareness of cybercrime threats as technology evolves is important for cybercrime prevention. The more accessible the internet becomes to users, the faster law enforcement must adapt.
FLETC customized unique training tracks for the different professionals who attended the conference. The training curriculum for First Responders centered on the impact of smart phones and how to efficiently incorporate these devices into investigations. The Legal track focused on the fine line between invasion of privacy and investigative jurisdiction. Multiple topics were highlighted as well such as an introduction to JTAG for mobile forensics and a demonstration of Blacklight Software. JTAG uses advanced data acquisition to help users bypass security features like lock screens to access necessary information and can even retrieve data off broken devices. Blacklight analyzes computer volumes and mobile devices and includes analysis of memory images with the goal of providing comprehensive and easily searchable data.
Tri-Tech Forensics is glad to have had the opportunity to attend the FLETC Cybercrime Conference this year and to be included in the cybercrime awareness and prevention conversation. The opportunity to network with individuals who share the same drive to protect the public is always a privilege.
Our mission regarding digital forensics has always been to be “leaders of custom built innovation." We actively engage with others who also value maintaining a position on the edge of leading technology in order to grow as an industry together. We will continue to search for the latest technological innovations and resources needed to support law enforcement with the ongoing task of targeting cyber criminals and bringing them to justice.
Tri-Tech Forensics Discovery is excited to announce our latest product, the LIMA Forensic Case Management Product Suite. The end-to-end case management system optimizes efficiency and auditability for digital forensics casework. TTF is excited to be an authorized re-seller of the comprehensive software solution for North, Central and South America. The system has three different levels of customization: the Lite, the Laboratory, and the Enterprise to help satisfy the needs for all clients.
Lima Lite is a low-cost option that was created for a single user. However, the software is easy to upgrade to multiple users, allowing for growth in your organization. It allows smaller agencies to provide continuity of evidence and full disclosure within a single management system.
Lima Laboratory allows for a digital forensics agency to remain organized from initial case inquiry to case completion. Features include mobile on-screen apps and a LIMA Management Console that can be integrated with other software solutions to enhance ease-of-use and adaptability. This edition offers software access from multiple locations and allows for cross-site resource management.
Lima Enterprise is the optimal solution for managing casework, investigations, and laboratory management for a variety of organization sizes. With features like evidence management, examination logging, time tracking, reporting on both cases and laboratory work, and more, this is a premium service for multi-faceted agencies.
Our Director of Digital Forensic Services, Chuck Gilpin, recently returned from the UK from a LIMA Administration and Client Use training sponsored by IntaForensics. “LIMA is a must-have for any law enforcement agency or commercial digital forensics lab,” says Gilpin, who is now an Accredited LIMA Installer and Accredited LIMA Trainer for all United States based clients who have purchased the software. “The digital chain of custody software is an all-inclusive product.”
While maintaining the ease of use and adaptability in all versions of LIMA, which is a focal point of the software’s design, the user is able to manage the entire case process from collection to final dispatch with the goal of saving time as well as administrative costs regardless of the package selected.
For more information concerning LIMA or to request a quote, please contact Troy Vasos at email@example.com.
Tri-Tech Forensics, Inc. has launched a new digital forensic services division for law enforcement agencies, law firms, and corporate professionals who need timely and professional support with digital evidence. The division will be known as Tri-Tech Forensics Discovery.
Tri-Tech Forensics, a leader in the design and marketing of digital evidence collection kits, will now complement its digital product offering by providing clients with support in the following four areas: computer forensics, mobile forensics, data preservation, and legal consultation. These resources offer a comprehensive and confidential approach for acquiring, analyzing, and reporting digital data that can be presented as evidence during court procedures and litigation.
"Our customers are increasingly seeking resources to assist with the digital evidence collection process," said Mr. James Seidel, Chief Executive Officer of Tri-Tech Forensics. "The creation of Tri-Tech Forensics Discovery is a direct result of listening to our customers’ needs. We are committed to continuing to evolve as a leading provider of forensic solutions."
Mr. Chuck Gilpin, with over 20 years of digital forensics investigative experience and as a retired Special Agent, will lead the new division as the Director of Digital Forensic Services. He has served as a Special Agent for the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division. Prior to joining the Tri-Tech Forensics team, Mr. Gilpin worked at Branch Banking and Trust Corporation (BB&T Bank) as the Information Security Supervisor for their Digital Forensics and E-Discovery Team. He is a qualified Expert Witness and will supervise all case reviews at Tri-Tech Forensics Discovery.
Tri-Tech Forensics will host an open house event on Thursday, April 21st at the main office in Southport, North Carolina. Guests will be able to meet with the Director and other team members. The new digital forensics suite used for storing and securing case materials will be open for guests to view. Beverages and light hor d’oeuvres will be available. For more information, contact Troy Vasos firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-457-6600.