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Social Engineering: A Major Threat to Your Privacy

Social Engineering

Protecting your privacy takes more than running a privacy-oriented Linux distro and using a password manager. Many security experts believe the weakest link in any system is the human that operates it. In this article, we’ll learn what social engineering is and why it is such a threat. Then we’ll look at some of the […]

Social Engineering: A Major Threat to Your Privacy was originally found on Blokt – Privacy, Tech, Bitcoin, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency.

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Social Engineering
Social Engineering

Protecting your privacy takes more than running a privacy-oriented Linux distro and using a password manager. Many security experts believe the weakest link in any system is the human that operates it.

In this article, we’ll learn what social engineering is and why it is such a threat. Then we’ll look at some of the social engineering attacks that bad guys can use against you, both online and offline. We wrap it up with a few tips for protecting yourself from social engineering attacks.

What is Social Engineering?

Merriam-Webster defines social engineering as the “management of human beings in accordance with their place and function in society.” That sounds a little creepy in itself. But in recent years, the phrase has taken on a more manipulative, sinister meaning.

Today, social engineering means something like “manipulating people to give you confidential information.” When we talk about social engineering here, this is the sense that we’re using.

Why Social Engineering is Such a Threat

Criminals use social engineering because it is easier than hacking into a computer system. Tricking someone into telling you something they shouldn’t is relatively easy. Most people are trusting of others.

It doesn’t matter how secure your computer system is. Or where you stashed your personal documents. Or how many guards are in front of your offices. Social engineering attacks sidestep all that.

Famous ex-hacker Kevin Mitnick often used social engineering attacks to get into “secure” computer systems.

“Anyone who thinks that security products alone offer true security is settling for the illusion of security.” – Kevin D. Mitnick, The Art of Deception: Controlling the Human Element of Security

Criminals use social engineering attacks, both online and offline. Now we’ll look at some of the most common types of attacks and what you can do to defend yourself against them.

Let’s start with some of the online social engineering attacks beloved by hackers.

“A hacker is someone who uses a combination of high-tech cyber tools and social engineering to gain illicit access to someone else’s data.”John McAfee

Some Online Social Engineering Attacks

Here are a few of the most common online social engineering attacks:

  • Phishing
  • Spear Phishing
  • Baiting

Phishing

According to the Department of Homeland Security website, a phishing attack “uses email or malicious websites to solicit personal information by posing as a trustworthy organization.”

You’ve seen this kind of attack. We all get emails from official-sounding organizations claiming there’s a problem with our account, or they need to verify our credit card information.

The goal is to get you to click on the link in the email. That link will take you to a legitimate-looking, but phony, website for the organization. The website will be set up to trick you into entering your credit card data, Social Security number, or whatever it is that the crooks want to steal.

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is a type of phishing attack where the attacker customizes the phishing email using personal information about the intended victim. In December 2018, the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published a warning about several spear-phishing scams.

These scams were meant to gather the information that goes on IRS Form W-2. The target for these scams was small businesses. The bad guys would use the information to open credit card accounts, file fraudulent tax returns, open lines of credit, and so on.

Spear phishing attacks rely heavily on Pretexting attacks. We cover Pretexting attacks in the next section.

Baiting

Baiting attacks are somewhat similar to phishing attacks. The difference is that baiting attacks offer the target something they want instead of resolve a problem. In these kinds of attacks, you might get offered free music, copies of new movies, or any other kind of prize. To get the prize, you would be required to enter whatever type of personal information it is that the crook is after.

Baiting attacks can also occur offline. One such attack involves leaving USB sticks lying around somewhere employees of a target company might find them. The chances are good that someone will pick one up and plug it into their computer, letting whatever malicious software it contains loose inside the organization.

Some Offline Social Engineering Attacks

Here are some common types of offline social engineering attacks:

  • Pretexting
  • Tailgating/Piggybacking
  • Vishing (Voice Phishing)

Pretexting

Pretexting is using some form of a lie to trick someone into giving up information they should not share. Pretexting attacks can be run both online and offline. They are often used to get the personal information needed to set up Spear Phishing attacks.

An offline example might be someone who calls you, pretending to be from a lawyer’s office. You’ve just inherited a lot of money from a distant relative. All you need to do is provide certain information to prove your identity, and the lawyer will wire you the money. The pretext for the call is the phony inheritance.

Tailgating/Piggybacking

Tailgating usually involves passing through some sort of electronic security system using someone else’s access. Someone following close behind you when you pass through electronic security might not be a fellow employee at all. Instead, they might be someone tailgating on your access to go somewhere they don’t belong.

Vishing (Voice Phishing)

Vishing, or Voice Phishing, is the offline equivalent of a Phishing attack. There are several versions of this attack, but all use the telephone system. They aim to get the victim to divulge a credit card number or some other personal information in response to an official-sounding phone call.

These scams usually use VoIP (Voice over IP) technology to simulate the automated phone system that a real company might use. Phone systems used to be considered safe and trustworthy, making people more vulnerable to Vishing scams.

How to Defend Yourself from ONLINE Social Engineering Attacks

We’ve looked at some of the more common online social engineering attacks in use today. But what can you do to protect yourself from them?

Here are some practices that will reduce your chance of getting scammed:

  • Don’t open unexpected email attachments. If you receive an unexpected attachment, the chances are good that it is malicious. Contact the company IT department (if at work). If not at work, contact the sender (if you know them). Find out why you received it before opening any unexpected attachment.
  • Look up websites on your own. Remember that phishing-type attacks usually direct you to a fake website. You can avoid their trap by looking up the website address yourself rather than clicking on a link in an email message or attachment. If you do find yourself on a website you are unsure about, check out the URL (the address) that appears in the browser address box. While it is possible to make an exact duplicate of a legitimate website, no two sites can have the same URL. Looking up the company in a search engine should get you to the real site.
  • Never reveal your password to anyone online. No legitimate organization is going to ask a user for their password.
  • Use a VPN for additional privacy when browsing the web.

How to Defend Yourself from OFFLINE Social Engineering Attacks

We’ve also looked at common offline social engineering attacks. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself from offline attacks:

  • Don’t give personal information to callers. This may have been safe many years ago, but is not now. If someone calls you and says they need you to confirm some personal information, hang up on the creeps!
  • Don’t let anyone tailgate you to get past security. Regular criminals or ex-employees have been known to use this technique to get back onsite and steal things or exact vengeance.
  • Always demand an ID from anyone who shows up asking you for information.
  • Never plug anything into your computer if you don’t know where it came from!
Blokt is a leading independent privacy resource that maintains the highest possible professional and ethical journalistic standards.

Source: https://blokt.com/guides/social-engineering

Blockchain

EGLD Technical Analysis: Breakout of Price Beyond $240.83 Seen, Bullish Day Ahead

EGLD Technical Analysis: Breakout of Price Beyond $240.83 Seen, Bullish Day Ahead

Rate this post Elrond is described as a part of the technology ecosystem for the new internet, including, fintech, decentralized finance, and even the Internet of Things. Elrond platform is capable of performing 15,000 transactions per second, with a latency of six seconds. Let us look at the technical analysis of EGLD. Past Performance On September 16, 2021, EGLD started trading at $241.89. As of September 22, 2021, the closing price of EGLD was $230.51. Thus, in the past week, the EGLD price has decreased by roughly 4.90%. And, in the last 24 hours, EGLD has traded between $202.34-$241.99. https://www.tradingview.com/x/iqVxlFYS/ EGLD Technical Analysis The EGLD price is in a regression trend, which is trading in an upward direction. The price takes support from the support line of the trend and bounces back to the mid-range level. Currently, the price is trading near the mid-range and its long-term resistance level. As per the Elrond market behavior, we can expect it to give a breakout from this range.  Let us see what the indicators are indicating: Currently, EGLD is trading at $240.83. The price has increased from the opening price. Thus, we can witness some bullish momentum in the EGLD token. However, on the chart, we can see that the price is trading in an upward direction. A breakout can be on the horizon. On the daily chart, the MACD and Signal lines are in the positive zone. Moreover, by forming a bearish crossover by the MACD line over the Signal line. Thus, the overall market momentum is bearish, and we can expect the EGLD price to fall. However, both the lines are close to the zero lines and may change signs soon. Thus, there may be a trend reversal on the horizon. The RSI indicator is at 57%. It is currently resisting itself to move upward. Thus, the buying pressure can be seen mounting slowly. Hence, we can expect the price to rise again after a few hours. Day-Ahead and Tomorrow The EGLD price has fallen below the Fibonacci pivot point of $250. As some of the oscillators have shown bullish signals, we can expect the price to rise above the Fibonacci pivot level of $249.35 soon. A breakout from this level will highlight the next resistance at $273. The price has tested and fallen below the 23.6% FIB retracement level of $249.37. If the price falls below the 23.6% FIB extension level after some time, this implies that the price downtrend is strong. In that case, the price downswing is likely to continue tomorrow as well. Furthermore, the price can retest the support level at $202.87.

The post EGLD Technical Analysis: Breakout of Price Beyond $240.83 Seen, Bullish Day Ahead appeared first on Cryptoknowmics-Crypto News and Media Platform.

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Elrond is described as a part of the technology ecosystem for the new internet, including, fintech, decentralized finance, and even the Internet of Things. Elrond platform is capable of performing 15,000 transactions per second, with a latency of six seconds. Let us look at the technical analysis of EGLD.

Past Performance

On September 16, 2021, EGLD started trading at $241.89. As of September 22, 2021, the closing price of EGLD was $230.51. Thus, in the past week, the EGLD price has decreased by roughly 4.90%. And, in the last 24 hours, EGLD has traded between $202.34-$241.99.

TradingView Chart

EGLD Technical Analysis

The EGLD price is in a regression trend, which is trading in an upward direction. The price takes support from the support line of the trend and bounces back to the mid-range level. Currently, the price is trading near the mid-range and its long-term resistance level. As per the Elrond market behavior, we can expect it to give a breakout from this range.  Let us see what the indicators are indicating:

Currently, EGLD is trading at $240.83. The price has increased from the opening price. Thus, we can witness some bullish momentum in the EGLD token. However, on the chart, we can see that the price is trading in an upward direction. A breakout can be on the horizon.

On the daily chart, the MACD and Signal lines are in the positive zone. Moreover, by forming a bearish crossover by the MACD line over the Signal line. Thus, the overall market momentum is bearish, and we can expect the EGLD price to fall.

However, both the lines are close to the zero lines and may change signs soon. Thus, there may be a trend reversal on the horizon.

The RSI indicator is at 57%. It is currently resisting itself to move upward. Thus, the buying pressure can be seen mounting slowly. Hence, we can expect the price to rise again after a few hours.

Day-Ahead and Tomorrow

The EGLD price has fallen below the Fibonacci pivot point of $250. As some of the oscillators have shown bullish signals, we can expect the price to rise above the Fibonacci pivot level of $249.35 soon. A breakout from this level will highlight the next resistance at $273.

The price has tested and fallen below the 23.6% FIB retracement level of $249.37. If the price falls below the 23.6% FIB extension level after some time, this implies that the price downtrend is strong. In that case, the price downswing is likely to continue tomorrow as well. Furthermore, the price can retest the support level at $202.87.

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Source: https://www.cryptoknowmics.com/news/egld-technical-analysis-breakout-of-price-beyond-240-83-seen-bullish-day-ahead/

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Blockchain

Bitcoin.org Hacked, Showing Sign of “Double Return Bitcoin” in Gift Scam


Bitcoin.org, an open-source and peer-to-peer platform focused on bitcoin development, was hacked this Thursday morning by showing bitcoin’s giveaway activities. (Read More)

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Bitcoin.org, a peer-to-peer (P2P) and open-source platform focused on bitcoin development was hacked this Thursday morning by showing bitcoin’s giveaway activities.

Starting at about 05:44 UTC on Thursday, a sign of “This website cannot be accessed” displayed on the Bitcoin.org website.

After that, an aside window popped up on the Bitcoin.org homepage, asking users to deliver Bitcoins to a dedicated address with an attached QR code and address, and claimed that it would be returned in double in the future.

The news stated that the campaign was targeted at the bitcoin foundation to give back to the user community that it has always supported and was limited to the first 10,000 users.

Bitcoin.org is not affiliated with the Bitcoin Foundation, but the site often appears when users search for bitcoin on search engines.

At present, the direct URL of the website cannot be accessed, and other subpages cannot operate normally.

The user is promised a doubled false promise through false gift fraud after transferring encrypted assets to this wallet address, causing the user to lose the transferred bitcoin.

According to the data on the chain, the receiving address has received 0.4 BTC in the past few hours, with a total value of more than $17,700.

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Source: https://Blockchain.News/news/bitcoin.org-hackedshowing-sign-double-return-bitcoin-gift-scam

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Bitcoin, Ether, or XRP – The crypto of choice for terror funding is…

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It has been a tense time for Coinbase. The crypto-exchange recently felt the regulatory squeeze when the United States SEC reportedly threatened to sue if Coinbase launched its high-interest crypto product – Lend.

These developments, however, haven’t stopped the exchange from highlighting its efforts towards compliance. A recently-released Twitter thread is a case in point.

The crypto-exchange yesterday shared statistics about cryptocurrencies’ link to global terrorism, and what it is doing to combat the threat.

Coinbase investigates

Cryptocurrency’s “links” to terrorism are a major reason behind the FUD among international policymakers and regulators.

And yet, a report by Coinbase’s Special Investigations Team found that “illicit activity” made up less than 1% of all activities in the crypto-space in 2020. This was an observation arrived at after looking at the BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, and XRP blockchains or ledgers.

About terrorism, the report stated,

“Further breaking down illicit activity, we find that transactions associated with terrorist financing (TF) in 2020 made up less than 0.05% of all illicit volume. As such, terror funding in cryptocurrencies remains extremely low in overall terms.”

It’s worth noting, however, that the report identified the Palestinian militant group Hamas as having raised the most funds among terrorist organizations.

Do terrorists have any preferences?

According to the said report, Hamas has collected more than $750,000 in Bitcoin since 2018. After Hamas, the Saudi-led jihadi activist movement has raised more than $250,000 in Bitcoin and altcoins. In third place, came an Al Qaeda-related exchange service.

Source: Coinbase Blog

Bitcoin was the most prominent crypto in terrorism financing, but the report also identified the growing popularity of altcoins such as XRP and Ether.

Bitcoin’s popularity could be due to its status as the biggest crypto and the coin’s relative stability. Meanwhile, XRP’s use case is similar to the cross-border hawala remittance practice common in Middle Eastern and South Asian cultures.

In order to stop terror funding campaigns, Coinbase claimed it would “blocklist” crypto-addresses related to such institutions, use its analytics, and work with agencies like the FBI.

Analyzing Hamas

Put simply, the Palestinian organization aims to destroy Israel. It has two main components – A military force and a social welfare arm.

In 2020, Chainalysis reported how the organization’s Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades (AQB) launched multiple campaigns to raise Bitcoin donations. Their tactics included instructional videos for both basic and experienced tech users, as well as unique payment addresses for every donor.

While crypto-terror funding is a small part of the vast DeFi sector, traders can expect to see more exchanges and companies keeping a watch on organizations classified as terror groups.

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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-ether-or-xrp-the-crypto-of-choice-for-terror-funding-is

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