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4 days ago

Security and Risk Online: The rising threat of mobile malware

Cath's day was like any other - until she picked up her phone. It was dead except for a spinning penguin on its screen. 

 

Her phone was locked and trapped inside was a year's worth of irreplaceable photos, messages, appointments and contacts. 

 

For Cath this proved devastating: "I thought I had everything saved to the SIM, but that had been completely stripped of all information, photos, contacts, and texts. The photos in particular were the hardest loss to bear."

 

Sending her phone to her telco proved fruitless - they were unable to fix it. It wasn't a hardware failure. The only option that made any sense was malware, malicious software that is used to disrupt devices.

 

Mobile malware is becoming more commonplace both in New Zealand and overseas. 

 

Mark Gorrie, Symantec's Australasian manager, said ransomware attacks (which sees PCs smartphones and other devices encrypted and locked until a fee gets paid) has increased by 163 per cent in the last 12 months.

 

Our part of the world is the third-most targeted region for ransomware attacks.

 

According to Symantec, cyber-crime is also growing. Identity thefts happen on average every two seconds. 

 

Cybercrime affected 668 million people from 21 countries this year. Phishing attacks and other cyber-fraud cost US$126 billion globally last year.

 

Phones are increasingly targeted by cyber criminals as more people use them for online shopping. 

 

The trouble is, it can difficult to tell if a website is genuine with a mobile browser and it can be easy to click an innocent-looking link or advert that then installs malware on your phone. 

 

Vodafone offers six tips to avoid malware.

 

•    Only install applications from official app stores: If you own an Android device, you can set it to only allow authorised apps to be download from the Google Play store. Apple devices only allow apps from its store.
•    Do not jailbreak/root your device as this exposes it to threats.
•    Do not use the same username/passwords across all your apps or sites.
•    Ensure your device has a  password or PIN enabled. If it has a fingerprint scanner, use it
•    Keep the operating system up to date. Doing so ensures your device gets protected against any current vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malware.
•    Install mobile a security app (it'll detect and block malware) as well as a cloud-based photo app which will back up photos so they're not lost should your phone be stolen/broken or hacked.

 

One option as a security app is Symantec's latest version of Norton Mobile Security.

 

It can protect up to five devices so it should cover an entire household's PCs, smartphones and tablets.

 

The app offers basic malware protection at no cost but to get more advanced protection if you pay an annual fee of $99.

 

The free version includes antivirus/malware/spyware detection and removal, anti-theft capabilities, web protection plus call blocking.

 

The paid version features App Advisor which checks out apps installed on your phone and vets apps before you install them.

6 days ago

Online Security: ‘No refund if you lose money to cyber fraud through your fault’

Losing money to a cyber fraud may not earn you a refund from your bank if proven that you were at fault in the transaction, a consumer forum ruled recently.

 

The Additional Thane District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum last week dismissed a complaint by a Navi Mumbai couple, stating that they had not taken due care in handling their bank account.

 

The couple had filed the complaint against a multi-national private bank, alleging that it was responsible for fraudulent transfer of money from their account. The complaint stated that the couple was deceived by a fraudster who used the bank’s name. When they brought this to the attention of the bank, they did not receive a positive response, which constituted a deficiency in service, they claimed.

 

According to the complaint, the couple, who had a joint NRI account, received text messages from the bank informing them of four withdrawals from their account, which they did not make. When they tried to log in to their account to change the user ID for Internet banking, they found the password changed. The couple immediately informed the bank and asked them to disable their net banking facility and debit card. A complaint too was made with the bank and an FIR lodged with the cyber cell of the Mumbai police and the local Rabale police station. The cyber police investigated and found who the money had been transferred to, the plea stated. The bank, however, did not give a positive response to their complaint, it added.

 

“On perusal of the complaint, it appears that the complainant received a mail allegedly from the opposite party and he clicked on the link mentioned in the said mail and furnished details about his user id and password and other details as were asked in the email. Thereafter, the fraudster carried out fraudulent transactions,” the order states.

 

“It is apparent that the complainant has not been diligent in his operations related to banking and has given his user id and password to the fraudster/hacker on his own. The opposite party, the bank, always reminded its customers never to share user id and passwords of their bank accounts with anyone to prevent any unauthorised access to bank accounts,” the forum states, adding that the complainant had therefore given up protection to his bank account by giving the details to the fraudster. The forum dismissed the plea stating it was not maintainable.

2 weeks ago

Tyre&Auto Southbourne Group: Properly taking care of your car is beneficial

Keeping the good condition of your car requires regular maintenance, and if repair is needed, it should be done correctly to make sure of the safety of everyone concerned. Tyre&Auto Southbourne Group suggests that you maintain the safety standards of your car and ensure that it is always in perfect running condition.

 

Knowing how to brake a car properly usually comes first before learning how to move it forward or backward, which indicates that a person should be responsible for his or her own protection as well as of other people. Tyre&Auto also views this as an essential aspect of driving a car.

 

The local residents of South Coast of Hampshire trust the automobile services of Tyre&Auto Southbourne Group – a family-operated company that has a great background in trading car accessories and parts. They offer services such as car servicing, tyres, brake checks, MOT’s and free seasonal tune-ups and check-ups.

 

Need quick tyre fitting? Tyre&Auto caters online transactions that can deliver fast tyre quotation. They can provide local collect and delivery of your car with high-quality maintenance and repair. How about an MOT test? Tyre&Auto also has it wherein it involves checking the safety of your car and the amount of exhaust emission.

 

The company also provides necessary assistance to your annual MOT certificate requirements through their regular reminders, which includes the due of your test, to ensure that you will renew your road tax and car insurance at the right time.

 

Ease, mobility, personal comfort as well as financial returns are some of the benefits of owning a car, but such vehicle can also provide emotional or psychological benefits to an individual or a family. With this in mind, Tyre&Auto Southbourne Group will continue to provide trustworthy services to their customers and will make sure that they will only deliver the best automobile services to them.

2 months ago

Security and Risk Online: Fake Retail Apps Are Surging Before Holidays

Hundreds of fake retail and product apps have popped up in Apple’s App Store in recent weeks — just in time to deceive holiday shoppers.

 

The counterfeiters have masqueraded as retail chains like Dollar Tree and Foot Locker, big department stores like Dillard’s and Nordstrom, online product bazaars like Zappos.com and Polyvore, and luxury-goods makers like Jimmy Choo, Christian Dior and Salvatore Ferragamo.

 

“We’re seeing a barrage of fake apps,” said Chris Mason, chief executive of Branding Brand, a Pittsburgh company that helps retailers build and maintain apps. He said his company constantly tracks new shopping apps, and this was the first time it had seen so many counterfeit iPhone apps emerge in a short period of time.

 

Some of them appeared to be relatively harmless — essentially junk apps that served up annoying pop-up ads, he said.

 

But there are serious risks to using a fake app. Entering credit card information opens a customer to potential financial fraud. Some fake apps contain malware that can steal personal information or even lock the phone until the user pays a ransom. And some fakes encourage users to log in using their Facebook credentials, potentially exposing sensitive personal information.

 

The rogue apps, most of which came from developers in China, slipped through Apple’s process for reviewing every app before it is published.

 

That scrutiny, which Apple markets as an advantage over Google’s less restrictive Android smartphone platform, is supposed to stop any software that is deceitful, that improperly uses another company’s intellectual property or that poses harm to consumers.

 

In practice, however, Apple focuses more on blocking malicious software and does not routinely examine the thousands of apps submitted to the iTunes store every day to see if they are legitimately associated with the brand names listed on them.

 

With apps becoming more popular as a way to shop, it is up to brands and developers themselves to watch for fakes and report them, much as they scan for fake websites, said Ben Reubenstein, chief executive of Possible Mobile, a Denver company that makes apps for JetBlue Airways, the PGA Tour and the Pokémon Company, among others.

 

“It’s important that brands monitor how their name is being used,” he said.

 

Apple removed hundreds of fake apps on Thursday night after The New York Times inquired about the specific app vendors that created many of them. Other apps were removed after a New York Post article last week drew attention to some of the counterfeits.

 

“We strive to offer customers the best experience possible, and we take their security very seriously,” said an Apple spokesman, Tom Neumayr. “We’ve set up ways for customers and developers to flag fraudulent or suspicious apps, which we promptly investigate to ensure the App Store is safe and secure. We’ve removed these offending apps and will continue to be vigilant about looking for apps that might put our users at risk.”

 

In September, Apple also embarked on a campaign to review all two million apps in the App Store and remove “apps that no longer function as intended, don’t follow current review guidelines or are outdated.” The company says that a significant number of apps have been removed and that the review is continuing.

 

Despite Apple’s efforts, new fake apps appear every day. In some cases, developers change the content of an app after it has been approved by Apple’s monitors. In other instances, the counterfeiters change their names and credentials, and resubmit similar apps after one round of fakes is discovered.

4 months ago

Moss Adams Business Consultants: Public Company Audits

Independent perspective for your audit committee—whether you’re preparing an IPO or maintaining your compliance.

INDEPENDENT PERSPECTIVE

Moss Adams is the independent auditor of record for public companies across industries—including entities with market capitalizations exceeding $3 billion as well as those working to register their equity and debt securities with the SEC.

Our dedicated partners and professionals are well qualified to address the full spectrum of your accounting and regulatory reporting requirements, and five of them have completed two-year terms as SEC Professional Accounting Fellows in Washington, DC. This direct involvement with the SEC and relevant committees—namely, the SEC Regulations Committee and Center for Audit Quality committees—provide us with extensive insight that we’ll put to direct use when we conduct your audit.

As your independent auditors, we’ll work directly with your audit committee and management team to develop a detailed and efficient audit plan that will provide an objective and independent perspective in an increasingly complex regulatory environment. To do this, we assemble an integrated audit team made up of accountants, corporate finance professionals, tax advisors, technology consultants, and professionals fluent in your industry, drawing on their individual expertise so we can deliver an audit solution that’s tailored to your organization and its particular needs.

With offices throughout the Western United States and support from Praxity AISBL, our international alliance of independent accounting firms, we’re equipped to handle your multistate and international business needs with ease. And the breadth of services we provide to public companies means we’ll be able to step in quickly and effectively to help your organization in other ways, including:

•    Private debt and equity offerings
•    Mergers and acquisitions
•    Valuations
•    Reorganizations
•    Consolidations
•    Leveraged capitalizations
•    Divestitures and disposals
•    Management buyouts
•    Leveraged buyouts
•    Corporate governance consulting
•    Outsourced internal audits

Moss Adams is registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), which oversees audit services provided by CPA firms to SEC issuers and broker-dealers. Read our most recent PCAOB inspection report.

Contact us today to learn more about our public company assurance services or arrange a complimentary consultation.

4 months ago

Pacific Associates Limited Minato-ku Tokyo Japan: Our Business

About Pacific Associates Limited

The business methodology of Pacific Associates Limited is quite simple. We conduct face-to-face consultations with each candidate and then introduce excellent companies with the best matched positions to these talented candidates. We value our candidates and client companies and this attitude naturally leads to the best conclusions.

PAL is always in favor of talented candidates as these relationships are one of the greatest assets of the company. We know that our job can have a great impact on the lives of many people. Although client companies are also important to us, candidates with special skills, expertise and great personalities are rare in this industry. We do not just pick candidates from our contact list, we carefully choose them, fully utilizing our expertise and extensive experience in the recruiting business. We value and focus on our candidates and at the end of the day are successful in placing highly qualified professionals to our valued client companies.

PAL strongly believes that the consulting is the most important step in the recruiting business more so than any other recruiting company. We handle each and every case with sincerity and care. We are willing to takes months to foster trust with candidates, always staying in close contact, because we know that we are helping people to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives.

Not many Japanese business people are accustomed to job change, and usually they need good advice about how to find new positions and which positions can advance their career. We are determined to make every effort to support our candidates and bring about changes for the better.

About Clients

90% are foreign-capitalized companies

90% of our clients are capitalized either in the United States, Europe, India, or China. The remaining 10% are Japanese companies with good spirits of entrepreneurship. We have more than 100 clients including small business firms and large-scale enterprises with thousands of employees in pharmaceutical, technology and many other industries. They are all engaging our services to find highly-motivated personnel who want to continuously develop their skills and make great contributions to their employers.

Our service is focused on mid-carrier recruiting. We introduce candidates from their twenties to sixties to positions such as managers, doctors, regional executives, sales reps and engineers. Although not many female workers change their jobs for career improvement, approximately one third of our successful engagements involve mid-carrier recruiting of female candidates. We take pride in making contributions to the career improvement of female workers.

Besides the pharmaceutical and technology industries, we welcome candidates active in financial, bookkeeping, accounting, human resources and legal industries. With excellent achievements in your business field, you have a good chance of finding rewarding positions through PAL regardless of your industry.

4 months ago

Fraud Labs Pro: How to Automatically Reject the High Risks Order?

Fraud Labs Pro Fraud Detection – Sometimes you may want to automatically reject the orders that, based on your previous experiences, tend to be fraudulent orders. This could save your precious time by removing the number of orders that you need to review.

1.       Login to the FraudLabs Pro Merchant Control Panel.

2.       Click on the Rules menu.

3.       Add the rule that you are confident will flag a fraudulent order based on your experiences. For example, Credit Card BIN not exist in our record.

4.       Select the Reject action.

5.       Click on the Save button.

FraudLabs Pro helps merchants to protect their online stores from malicious fraudsters. It screens all orders transacted using credit cards, PayPal, and so on for online frauds (also known as payment frauds or CNP frauds). As a result, it increases e-commerce merchant profits by reducing chargeback, improving operation efficiency and increasing revenue. Merchants can investigate all complex, high-risk orders in a simple way by using merchant administrative interface.