Global News Recap: Cybercrime Education Takes Off in the UK

Cyber SecurityWe’ve seen some exciting initiatives underway internationally that encourage important cyber security education.

Just this past month a Scottish secondary school implemented a groundbreaking new course on cybercrime that gives students insight into real-world cybercrime cases. The program is the first of its kind and The Daily Record reports that it has attracted widespread attention from police forces and schools around the UK.

Kyle Academy in Ayr offers this ten-week program to first year students that want to learn about cybercrime. “We worked with police to create a Police Scotland Cyber Security Open Badge – much like you would get in the Scouts,” described Scott Hunter, principal computer science teacher at Kyle Academy. “The police supplied us with real case studies – like extortion on the web – so pupils could relate to what goes on rather than me just saying, ‘This is dangerous’. This had a great impact.”

Continuing Scotland’s focus on cybercrime education, Andrew Denholm of The Herald Scotland reports that Police Scotland has recently increased its collaboration with educators to boost young people’s interest in cyber security. These efforts are to combat a decline in student participation in computer science programs.

Martin Beaton, from Edinburgh University’s School of Informatics said, “The subject is withering and we need to establish why the number of pupils taking it and the number of teachers teaching it are in decline when it is such an important growth area.”

Detective Superintendent Stephen Wilson, from Police Scotland, added, “Crime is going down, but cyber crime is on the increase and it is something of which we all need to be aware. We are now seeing businesses of all different sizes being hit by various forms of cyber crime and there is a desperate need for experts in this field in the future.”

Cybercrime educational initiatives aren’t limited to Scotland. Cyber Security Challenge UK, a series of national competitions and learning programs, has also made headlines over the past few months. In a recent competition finale, amateur cyber security enthusiasts raced to stop a simulated cyber-terrorist attack against London City Hall.

“Both government and business need skilled and talented people to feed the demand for better cyber security in the UK,” said Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for the Cyber Security Strategy and National Cyber Security Programme, whose department was one of the original founders of the Challenge.

“This competition is the biggest and best yet and events like this play an important role in helping provide the next generation of cyber professionals.”

Should other countries create similar programs for students? Will programs like these help foster the next generation of InfoSec professionals? Let us know what you think on Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to check out our Tumblr for the latest industry news stories.

By |July 2nd, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Digital Wallets in the Crosshairs

Digital WalletsDigital wallets have been a hot topic for us lately. Their use is growing and like all things when it comes to cyber security, online criminals always follow the money. Kaspersky Labs said it best:

“Enthusiasm over this new payment platform (Apple Pay) is going to drive adoption through the roof and that inevitably attracts many cyber criminals looking to reap the rewards of these transactions.”

This “follow the money” mentality was exhibited this week after news came to light of a brute force attack against individual Starbucks mobile wallet accounts. Thieves have been taking advantage of two things to hack in to Starbucks app accounts: consumers’ bad password habits and the ability to try different passwords on the Starbucks app without being locked out. Thieves have been purchasing email addresses and passwords on the underground black market and then using programs to try out these passwords on high-value sites like the Starbucks app. These programs can try hundreds of login combinations in a matter of seconds, and they only need one consumer that has reused credentials to cash in.

We saw a similar process happen to Jomoco – a fictitious small business we created to see just how quickly a small business can be brought down by hackers. Fictional Jomoco employee, Rachel, was guilty of reusing email addresses and passwords across multiple accounts. When we leaked her email address and password for her personal email account on the online black market one of the first things the hackers did was try it out on other sites. They quickly discovered that they could also access her business email account, which happened to host sensitive business information. Long story short, Jomoco was compromised in every way possible in less than an hour – all because Rachel reused passwords. You can read more about Jomoco on our website.

If you use a mobile wallet – whether it’s the Starbucks app or Apple Pay – always use a unique, secure password and turn on two-factor authentication if it is offered. Similar to how we saw a rise in POS breaches in 2013 and 2014, we fully expect to see a growing number of incidents and breaches involving mobile wallets in 2015, especially as consumers and businesses continue to figure out best security practices for this new technology.

Are you hesitant to use digital wallets? How do you combat reusing passwords across multiple sites? Let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

By |May 15th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments
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