Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We'll keep on fighting till the end


“We’ll keep on fighting till the end”, sang Queen in his ‘We are the Champions’. This well-known song will become the soundtrack of the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League to be played today and tomorrow.

Millions of Europeans will be watching their TVs waiting for the victory of one of the four semifinalists, Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid among them. However, the vast majority of people are not aware that a far more important event for their daily life was held yesterday. This is the Cyber ​​Europe 2014 (CE2014), a cybersecurity exercise which involved 200 organizations and 400 cybersecurity professionals across Europe.

Why is it so important to conduct such tests? Because Internet threats and cyber attacks are progressively growing in number and sophistication. Training and coordination between the different subjects of the industry is more necessary than ever.

For instance, to prevent security breaches as the one reported by AOL. Indeed, half a million of its users’ email accounts have been hacked and used for a phishing campaign that distributes malicious links afterwards. Apple also has been affected by a flaw on its website that allowed attackers to access personal data of its developers.

However, spam may be one of the most visible problems for the average user. In Spain, it is estimated that each email user invests between 15 and 20 minutes a day to clean up their inbox, because 70% of emails sent are spam, according to email marketing company Mailify.

By contrast, most citizens do not know anything about the techniques used by cybercriminals to steal their credit card’s data at ATMs. But these practices are very common and, sometimes banks manage to record them with their surveillance cameras. In fact, we saw one of these videos on the Internet on which you can see how an individual places a fraudulent device at an ATM. Police of Evesham (USA), the town where the incident occurred, is seeking him.

Who knows! Perhaps this search turns in one of those dangerous car chases we've seen many times in the movies. However, in many cases, they are not the best way to pursue a suspect since these races leave 700 deaths per year in the U.S. For this reason, several police departments are testing a system that shoots the chased car a GPS bullet from the police vehicle. Thus, it is possible to follow the fugitive via satellite without putting police officials or other drivers at risk.

As we see, sometimes the bad guys win and other times those who are on the cybersecurity side do. The important thing here is that "we’ll keep on fighting till the end."

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