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Cyber Awareness Alert
Brought to you by Find Me Cyber

Here is your dose of Cyber Awareness, hopefully supporting your journey to improved Cyber Protection 


This is our last newsletter for the year!  Happy Holidays and Happy New Year :) !

How do you protect your data and online security?  Drop us a line and maybe we will highlight your answer in our next newsletter!

Here is some knowledge for the week

Sextortion is becoming more common among cyber criminals. "Sextortion" is a term that comes from "sex" and "extortion," and is used by IT security experts to describe a type of blackmail or ransom demand people receive via email. 

Security researchers at Proofpoint have seen a variation of a sextortion scam campaign that included a link at the bottom of the blackmail message.  The scammers claimed to have a video of the user pleasuring himself while visiting adult sites, and they urged the user to access the link and see for himself. But Proofpoint says that instead of a video, users received a ZIP file with a set of malicious files inside. Users who downloaded and ran these files would be infected by the AZORult malware, which would immediately download and install the GandCrab ransomware.

This is proof that nothing is sacred anymore.  Be careful out there :) 

Have you heard of Doxing? Its always been an issue but seems to be increasing in use.  Doxing is when someone publicly distributes your personal information online - including details such as home addresses, names of children and family members, email addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, driver’s licenses and a bottomless well of other sensitive data points. 

As this threat grows, this article has some tips to stay safe - such as:
--Audit and monitor your online presence and social media
--Keep up with social media privacy settings
--Don’t use the option to log in with Facebook or Google
-- Avoid using personal email for website registrations, forums and online shopping
Privacy and security are not always aligned - and this proposed Australian law demonstrates that.  First off - have you heard of the "Five Eyes"? Its an intelligence-sharing alliance composed of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  Starting in 2013, these nations have participated in a “Five Country Ministerial,” which has evolved into an annual convening on strategy and information sharing regarding law enforcement and national security issues. 

In this alliance, if one country can gain access to information through whatever means it is authorized to do so, all countries in the alliance benefit.  So if this law in Australia enacted, these new powers could provide the United States access to "encrypted" areas they did not previously have access to. The U.S. government cannot ask the Australian government to collect and hand over data that the United States is legally prohibited from collecting on its own, but some data may be shareable under the secret terms of the Five Eyes alliance. Beyond that, if Australia gains the tools to force providers to undermine the security of their products, the United States and other governments could exploit those same tools. 

This is a important read for those that care about security AND privacy. 
You are probably aware that Apps are tracking your location and selling your data, but did you know the extent of it?  Excellent NYT article on this topic with some key applications to be aware of that do this often. A big issue is that privacy and data sharing policies are not easy to understand or read if you really want to know what a Company is doing with your data.  And while the data sold is anonymous, according to NYT, "Several people in the location business said that it would be relatively simple to figure out individual identities in this kind of data, but that they didn’t do it."  The app developers can make money by directly selling their data, or by sharing it for location-based ads, which command a premium. Location data companies pay half a cent to two cents per user per month, according to offer letters to app makers reviewed by The Times.

Takeaway: This is a growing industry and that means more and more Apps will try to leverage their Location data for profit.  Its important we are all aware of what data is shared and if its really anonymous.  
Did you learn something new?  Or maybe this was just a helpful reminder?  Let us know if you find this newsletter informative.  We are always looking to improve the content!  

Have you considered using a low-cost Virtual Private Network (VPN), Password Manager, Anti-Malware scans and general training on how to stay safe online?

As always, if you need some help getting acquainted with cyber security, contact Find Me Cyber to find out how we can help.

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Neil Rekhi, Founder 
Find Me Cyber

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