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As soon as I heard about today’s Pew Internet Trust and American Life Project survey that says most people surf the Internet for no particular reason—I immediately thought of our recent research showing that the leisure, or fun side of the web can often be tainted. Searching for breaking trends and current news represented a higher risk (22.4 percent) than searching for objectionable content (21.8 percent). For example, while doing research for our threat report we found that searching for breaking trends and current news represented a higher risk (22.4 percent) than searching for objectionable content (21.8 percent).
Most people get into trouble when they are busy doing something that isn’t useful—internet use included. OK, so what does this mean for you at work? Well, if you didn’t know it already, your new workforce is on the internet A LOT, and they expect to have internet access.
So, you’ve got workers wandering the net and at every moment they are just two clicks away from malware. Makes you stop and think a bit about the security defenses you have in place within your organization, doesn’t it?
The study says, “internet users of all ages are much more likely now than in the past to say they go online for no particular reason other than to pass the time or have fun. Some 58 percent of all adults (or 74 percent of all online adults) say they use the internet this way.”
“Young adults’ use of the internet can at times be simply for the diversion it presents. Indeed, 81 percent of all young adults in this age cohort report they have used the internet for this reason at least occasionally.”
And it’s not just the youngest that are wandering the internet in their spare time (at their lunch, or on a slow Friday, or Monday). More than 65 percent of those 30-49 exhibit the same behavior.
You can’t stop internet access and keep happy employees, but you can keep your organization safe.
Keep up with the latest in threats and threat research at the Websense Security Labs blog.
Websense Security Labs has found an alarming number of Facebook scams taking advantage of today’s tragedy in Oslo, Norway. Right now it seems to be infecting one user every second. The scam is a form of ‘clickjacking’ that replicates itself on users’ walls after they click on fake posts within their news feed.
This Facebook scam is unfortunate, but a very real threat. Criminals know how to take advantage of disasters and the hottest news items to get people to click on infected links. Tragedy is just one type of news that the bad guys use to exploit, compromise and infect your computer. Videos are an especially popular lure, we saw the same thing when Osama bin Laden died and during the Casey Anthony was acquitted. During times of crisis or breaking news, your best bet is to stick with the largest news organizations you trust. Avoid the potentially dangerous halls of search engines and social media sites, which are more susceptible to compromise and manipulation.
Users should also be cautious when clicking on breaking news trends and stories within search results related to the Oslo tragedy. Websense Security Labs have found that searching for breaking trends and current news represented a higher risk (22.4%) than searching for objectionable content (21.8%), including pornography.
In the first two installments in this series, I talked about getting rid of the FUD around APTs and why they should matter to you, even if you aren’t a government agency, or one of the biggest companies on earth. Now let’s get down to the controversy that is consuming a lot of bandwidth in security circles: What is an APT and how is it any different from older malware attacks out there like botnets, blended attacks, and standard binary-based viruses? So much is written about the topic, yet many people don’t really understand it and are just rehashing an old topic under a new name.
The jaded folks in the security community say that all of the talk about APTs is FUD because true APTs are very few and far between. I beg to differ. I’d say that the APT buzz is not Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt but rather Fear, Certainty, and Damage.
Let’s start with what makes a “true” APT (all examples are real)...
Cybercriminals are on the move again. And, this time, Canada is the prime target. IP addresses in China and Eastern Europe are highly scrutinized and undergoing intense evaluation. So hackers are on a quest to move their networks to countries, like Canada, that have better cyber reputations.
It's a little surprising to me as well. Previously, Canada was a place of great beer and hockey (next year, Habs!). But Websense recently conducted an analysis of Canada’s cyber security risk profile, and all trends pointed to Canada as the new launchpad for cybercriminals. For example:
Jump in Hosted Phishing Sites - Canada saw a huge increase in the number of servers hosting phishing sites, jumping 319 percent in the last year. This tremendous increase over the last 12 months is second only to Egypt in terms of the growth of sites hosting crime ware.
Increase in Bot Networks – Cyber criminals are moving their command and control centers to safer grounds. In the past eight months, Canada saw a53 percent increase in bot networks. In fact, Canada scored the second highest for hosting bot networks, when compared to the U.S., France, Germany and China.
Malicious Websites – We’re seeing a trend of malicious websites decline across the board. However, Canada’s decline is tremendously slower, when compared to the countries listed above.
Overall Increase in Cyber Crime – In Websense’s most recent Threat Report, Canada is #6 in the world for hosting cyber crime . And, this number continues to rise.
This morning I spoke with the BBC News to discuss possible explanations about why spam levels appear to be falling in recent months. Are spammers re-grouping? Are they simply moving from targeting email to social media? Click here to read the full BBC News article.
In 2010, Websense Security Labs found that 89.9% of all unwanted emails contained links to spam sites or malicious websites —an increase of 4% over 2009. However, there have been signs that spammers are turning to alternative methods other than e-mail for distributing their messages - such as Facebook and Twitter. As long as spammers can generate a profit from their activities, email spam isn’t going away, and will continue to be spread to other profitable areas, including social media. Check out our recent Threat Report, for more details.
It’s important that individuals, organizations, and celebrities protect their Facebook page and blogs from spam and malicious content. Free for individuals, our Defensio product helps brands protect their reputation and maintain their fans’ trust, by analyzing, classifying and removing unsavory user-generated content (whether it is malicious, spam, or even profanity).
Have any questions/comments? Let me know...