Thursday, January 22, 2015

The most effective low-tech techniques for cybercrime

"Hey buddy! Watch out for pickpockets!" It is likely that you have heard things like this lots of times at home.  Along with the creation of urban centers, dangers arising from our relationships with other human beings increased. But today pickpockets are not only on the street, but behind a screen.

You should be very careful with ATMs in particular. At Kaspersky’s blog they collected several common techniques used by these new pickpockets. And most of them are not high-end technology tactics. For example, they cover some pieces of cash machines with electronic parts which are sometimes created with same materials and finish to make them look as original ones. So the pickpocket only has to buy this pieces on the black market and wait for a banking customer who doesn’t notice the trick.

However amateur pickpockets do not even need such devices. They can hide an iPod Nano under one of the posters above the ATM. Even some dare to embed another card reader into the ATM’s one. in fact, these "low cost" tricks could be effective on unsuspecting customers.

Low-tech techniques are attracting new followers since advance technical skills are not usually required. Surely many people have ever felt like a real hacker when they achieved to get into a friend’s email account or Facebook profile using one of the 25 worst passwords of 2014. They are very similar year by  year... "123456" or "password" are among the handiest ones. You're not using any of these, right?

Anyway it seems that 2015 will give us a lot of headaches. Computer risk diversification gets wider, relying on social engineering (incidentally, another low cost technique) to steal to our data or money.

Microsoft presented its new operating system yesterday, and also acknowledged that its Outlook mail service was broken by a Man-in-the-Middle attack in China. Some voices point to the China Administration of Cyberspace (CAC). Yes, it sounds like a science fiction film from the 80’s, but that is the name given to one of the legs that hold the censorship in the country. As usual, its spokesmen have denied it.

In the end, Ocham's Razor makes it clear: The simplest answer is usually the solution. In fact, simple things are more likely to succeed in cybercrime. That’s why Flash Player is still one of the most used vectors for Internet attacksIt still works! As a matter of fact, it was recently demonstrated by the French security expert Kafeine.

Taking all this into consideration, should we complicate our life a bit more? : D


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