Businesses have been taken for at least $1.2 billion in fraud-related losses from October 2013 until August 2015, with cybercriminals targeteing businesses that interact with international suppliers, according to the FBI Internet Complaint Center (IC3).
Fraud ring operators typically say they are lawyers or some type of representative from a law firm - and claim they are responsible for addressing confidential and time-sensitive manners. Once contact has been made, they try to rely on pressuring a victim to send payments quickly.
"The scam has been reported in all 50 states and in 79 countries," according to the FBI memo. "Fraudulent transfers have been reported going to 72 countries; however, the majority of the transfers are going to Asian banks located within China and Hong Kong."
Six teenagers have been arrested, and are now out on bail, suspected of using the Lizard Squad's Lizard Stresser distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack tool, according to the UK National Crime Agency. The arrests were part of "Operation Vivarium," and included coordination between the NCA and several police agencies.
The arrested men include one 15-year-old, a 16-yearold, one 17-year-old, and three 18-year-olds. Earlier in the year, officials arrested two other teenagers for allegedly using the Lizard Stresser.
"By paying a comparatively small fee, tools like Lizard Stresser can cripple businesses financially and deprive people of access to important information and public services," said Tony Adams, senior operations manager of the NCA national cybercrime unit.
Avid Life Media was unable to find a willing suitor for Ashley Madison, and trying to generate new funds proved extremely difficult.
Avid Life sent a letter to investors that it was interested in purchasing $10 million worth of shares, amid pressure to improve the company's liquidity. Any aspirations for an IPO would be crippled in a "doomsday scenario," according to bankers speaking to Reuters prior to the massive data dump.
"Over the last couple of years, we have not been successful in exploring various alternatives including a sale of the business and seeking debt from third parties," a letter from the board of directors confirmed.
Julian Assange knows a little something about trying to avoid extradition, and urged former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to select Russia over Latin America. Not only was reaching Latin America a difficult journey, but Snowden's personal safety would have been at risk, Assange noted.
Assange urged Snowden to disregard "negative PR consequences" about choosing Russia, where his physical safety has been provided by the Russian government - a guarantee that would have been significantly less likely if he ended up somewhere in Central or South America.
Sarah Harrison, one of Assange's most trusted senior staff members, actually met with Snowden while the American was in Hong Kong - at a time when it was unknown where Snowden would end up.
Before former NSA contractor Edward Snowden fled to Russia, the FBI demanded the immediate arrest - and extradition - of Snowden if he went to any Scandinavian nations. Snowden applied for asylum in Norway, but once FBI officials heard he would try to head to a Scandinavian country, they began pressuring Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Trying to leave Moscow, however, wouldn't be an easy task:
"The US Department of Justice is prepared to immediately draft the necessary paperwork to request the extradition of Snowden to the US from whichever country he travels to from Moscow," according to the letter. "The FBI expresses its gratitude... for any assistance that can be provided on this important matter."
It's likely the FBI and other government officials sent similar requests to many other European nations, which prevented Snowden from traveling outside of Russia.
Avid Life Media announced that CEO Noel Biderman has stepped down, following the company's embarrassing public data breach.
Senior management will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the company, until a permanent replacement can be identified. It's going to be a confusing time for Avid Life Media, after a "criminal intrusion" that reportedly occurred over years by unknown hackers.
"This change is in the best interest of the company and allows us to continue to provide support to our members and dedicated employees," Ashley Madison noted in a statement. "We are steadfast in our commitment to our customer base."
Almost 45 percent of Americans have suffered from a cyberattack targeting sensitive health information, according to a recent iSheriff white paper.
It has been an absolutely atrocious year for healthcare data breaches, with the likes of Anthem, Premera, CareFirst, and UCLA Health Systems suffering breaches - totaling a whopping 143 million patient records.
"When more than forty percent of the US population has been a victim of a data security breach, we must recognize this is an epidemic that can and will hit any healthcare provider," said Paul Lipman, CEO of iSheriff. "These breaches not only cost time and money, they risk compromised medical records that could impact health diagnoses and outcomes. Cybercrime is the new healthcare crisis."
Avid Life Media, the operator of Ashley Madison, is facing multiple lawsuits following a massive data dump that included around 37 million records.
"I'd be surprised if you get a lot of traction here," said Scott Vernick, partner and head of data security and privacy at the Fox Rothschild LLP law firm, in a statement published by the Associated Press. Even with the data finding its way from the dark web to the regular Internet, trying to win lawsuits against breached companies doesn't tend to end up well for plaintiffs.
A Canadian law firm recently filed a $578 million class-action lawsuit on behalf or Ashley Madison users, and there are at least four active lawsuits against Avid Life in the United States. One was filed in Missouri, one was filed in Texas, and two others were filed in California - and all have anonymous plaintiffs listed.
Text passwords are a thing of the past, or at least they should be, according to recently released findings from a LaunchKey survey. whil 46% of users stated that they had more then 10 passwords to keep track of, a massive 84% further claimed that they would rather remove passwords all together.
Obviously some form of protection must be added, with experts pointing towards authentication-style security being the way to go. This will help eliminate user-centered issues such as 77% of the surveyed population stating they often forget passwords, followed by a common trend of constantly changing passwords being a serious annoyance.
LaunchKey CEO Geoff Sanders agrees, stating in a recently issued press release that "the future of authentication is free from traditional passwords," adding "We must remove the vulnerability and liability that passwords have created while implementing more secure authentication methods that account for an evolving and diversiﬁed landscape of use cases, end users and threats."
Cybersecurity firm Symantec has stepped up and announced it is keeping more than one billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices secure, providing enhanced security for connected TVs, vehicles, critical infrastructure, smart meters, and more.
The Symantec Unified Security Strategy utilizes its Embedded Critical Systems Protection for device security, IoT roots of trust and device certificates, and code signing certificates and secure app services. It's an important goal as there are expected to be more than 25 billion 'Things' by 2020, with that number increasingly growing.
Even though more manufacturers are interested in IoT, trying to keep these newly-connected Things secure will be difficult. Cybersecurity experts have shown concern related to lax security practices that could open up new avenues of cybercrime by hackers.