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DEFCON.jpgWhat is the DEFCON Convention?

The DEF CON convention is one of the world's largest hacker conventions, held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada with the first DEF CON taking place in June 1993. Many of the attendees at DEF CON include computer security professionals, journalists, lawyers, federal government employees, security researchers, students, and hackers with a general interest in software, computer architecture, phone phreaking, hardware modification, and anything else that can be "hacked."

What does this mean for Me and You?

The meaning behind this is simple and obvious, there is a LARGE convention where hackers go and show off their new skills, new hacking technology, and even go to show off what kind of damage they can do. As this convention grows, so does the possible threat of someone going back to their hometown and using what they learned on you or your company! Just as these hackers are sharpening their tools, your company should be doing the same via cyber-security!

The Positive Side

On the positive side of this otherwise dark convention, a lot of cybersecurity professionals and software engineers also attend this event to help find loopholes in big-name companies and programs to help strengthen cyber defense. So, hackers go to show off their skills and new technology, and the “good guys” come and try to figure out how to stop it. 


What is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain is the digital and decentralized ledger that records all transactions. Anytime someone buys digital currency on a decentralized exchange, sells coins, transfers, or buys goods and services with virtual currency, a ledger records that transaction, often in an encrypted way to protect against cybercriminals. All these transactions are recorded and processed without a third-party provider or bank, which is usually the case.

Why was Blockchain Invented?

Banks almost always serve as an intermediary of currency transactions, thus taking their cut in the process. Blockchain developers want the ability to process payments without a need for this middleman. For example, when transferring money to overseas markets, a payment or transaction could be delayed for days waiting for a bank to verify it. People argue financial institutions shouldn’t tie up cross-border payments for such a long time.

Are Blockchain Transactions Anonymous?

Despite popular belief, most blockchain transactions aren't anywhere near as private or anonymous as you'd like to think. Even though you don't have to provide a Social Security number or bank account when buying or selling cryptocurrencies, an analysis of a blockchain can often be traced back to an individual sender or receiving of funds. There are however certain “privacy” coins to counteract this. 

 


 

Popcorn Time Ransomware:

This type of Ransomware gives you a “choice.” If possible, you could just pay out the one bitcoin ransom (currently $8,500-$9000), or you are able to download the virus and infect two other friends or coworkers.  Once the people you have sent it to pay the ransom, you get your data decrypted (maybe). This is one way hackers spread their viruses.

Bad Rabbit:

A type of ransomware that has impacted organizations in Russia and Eastern Europe. Bad Rabbit is passed along through a fake Adobe Flash update on breached websites. When the ransomware infects a machine, users are directed to a payment page demanding .05 bitcoin.

CTB-Locker:

With CTB-Locker, hackers outsource the infection process to partners in exchange for a cut of the profits. This is a proven strategy for achieving large volumes of malware infections at a faster rate. CTB Locker is delivered through aggressive e-mail spam campaigns.

Jigsaw:

Jigsaw encrypts and progressively deletes files until a ransom is paid. The ransomware deletes a single file after the first hour, then deletes more and more per hour until the 72-hour mark, when all remaining files are deleted.

 


 

YouTube’s most watched video, ‘Despacito’ was apparently deleted by hackers. The artist Luis Fonsi’s music video, which had over 5 billion views was deleted and replaced with a cover photo showing the apparent hackers. The hackers in the picture are seen to be wearing masks and pointing guns reported by BBC.

 

That’s not all

The hackers, referring to themselves as Prosox and Kuroi’sh, defaced more than a dozen artists’ videos. Some of the known artists include: Shakira, Selena Gomez, Drake and Adele. The hacker identified as “Prosox” also tweeted saying: “@YouTube it’s just for fun I just use script ‘YouTube-change-title-video’ and I write ‘hacked’ don’t judge me I love YouTube <3”. Vevo can confirm that several videos were subject to a security breach, which has now been contained.

 

What Does This Mean?

No matter how big the company or business is, cybersecurity is essential. Modern day hackers are not only smarter but have access to more powerful tools than ever used before. Cybersecurity is today’s top industry worry and will most likely be this way for some time to come.

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Ransomware is one of the most prevalent variety of malicious software, found in 39% of malware-related causes. Once the malware is on your computer, your data is then encrypted (essentially locked) and to get your data back, you would need to come up with a “ransom” normally in the form of Bitcoin. Even though a ransom is asked of you and even if you pay it, you STILL may not get your data back.

 

Major Findings in Summary

  • The human factor continues to be a key weakness as employees are still falling victim to social attacks.
  • Phishing attacks cannot be ignored, a cybercriminal only needs one victim to get access into an organization’s network.
  • Based on Verizon’s dataset, ransomware started impacting critical systems rather than just desktops. Due to this, cybercriminals are asking for higher ransoms for less work.
  • 72% of attacks were perpetrated by outsiders, 27% involved internal staff, 2% involved partners and 2% featured multiple partners. Organized crime groups still account for 50% of the attacks analyzed.

 

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What Does This Mean?

“Ransomware remains a significant threat for companies of all sizes,” says Bryan Sartin, Executive Director of Security Professional Services, Verizon. “It is now the most prevalent form of malware, and its use has increased significantly over recent years. With all this happening and cybercriminals becoming smarter, businesses continue to still not invest in the proper security training or professional security protection.


 

 

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