Monday, September 19, 2016

Unflattering cyber-tolls

If you have a job related to any IT activity you should reject anything that has to do with pirated software and unofficial access. We know that, unfortunately, it is NOT that way, but it should be. Because if you are working with something you shouldn’t, some of your tools may come with a “present” and your computer can get infected. But that is the lesser evil. The real danger is what you represent to your partners, employees, clients, and suppliers. Anybody who is in contact with you.

In our look back to Mondays, we find out that September 2015 was a perfect date to learn this basic lesson in cybersecurity. Some Chinese iOS developers, who were used to worki in an unofficial platform, started to use resources that were infected, and they ended up introducing 39 apps with malicious code in the Apple Store, apps such as WeChat. The curious thing is that this is the sixth time that something like this happens.
This advice can be useful not only for developers but also to those who want to write a blog and talk to the world on a daily basis. They just sign in Wordpress, create the blog and that’s it, without any protection or precaution! The result? One day you forget about it and then your blog gets infected with malware that will affect your visitors, unless they have an updated browser.

If you work in the trade market you need to be even more aware of this. You are dealing with sensitive data and other people’s information. ‘Target’ has been one of the most notorious cases in the past few years. It’s alarming, because, after the incident, an audit revealed that there were still basic flaws. And that’s what Verizon did a year ago, with a harmful report in which they showed jut a figure, and researchers broke 17 out of 20 user domain accounts.

Of course, we always find some exceptions to those who are passionate to do wrong: researchers who warn about critical flaws instead of using them for their own good. That’s what Netanel Rubin did in the middle of September 2015, when he told Mozilla that their failure data repository for their browser Firefox was vulnerable, and anyone could enter and see the flaws, and therefore, exploit them.

And if moving around official circles is required, it is also recommendable when large institutions join forces to see what happens outside their organizations and how they can use it. One year ago, nine big banks got together to study the incorporation of Blockchain (the technology behind Bitcoin cryptocurrency) to the financial world.

This doesn’t mean that we should be afraid of the digital world, it means we must be aware and suspect (at least) that behind any “quick” solution to avoid costs or other discomforts, we could probably find an unflattering cyber-toll. And this is useful for everybody, especially for those who try to earn a living with figures.

Original image source: freeimages.


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