Cyber Scam Predictions for 2014

As the year closes, leading online security vendors are looking into their crystal balls – or rather, reviewing recent trends of trickery – to predict the top cyber scams of 2014. Some notables worth a mention: TVs watching you. Many traditionally “dumb” devices are getting “smarter” – televisions, gaming systems and even baby monitors are being connected to the Internet and often contain cameras or microphones. So, many cybercops predict them to be a magnet for attack, such as remote spying. …

Hackers Steal Target Shoppers’ Credit, Debit Card Info

Hackers have stolen confidential data from as many as 40 million credit and debit cards that shoppers used at Target stores from the day before Thanksgiving until December 15. The data breach reportedly extends to nearly all of Target’s 1,797 stores nationwide and involves the hacking of machines at checkout lines on which customer swipe their cards when making purchases. So far, there’s no indication that payment data was stolen concerning online purchases from Target, the nation’s second-largest retailer. News of the …

Vicious New Malware Steals Files Forever

It’s always a good idea to back up your computer files. But now, it’s a great idea. An especially nasty form of “ransomware” – known as CryptoLocker – was recently discovered that puts computer users at risk of losing their files forever. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter In most forms of ransomware, infected computers freeze up and are essentially held hostage until a ransom is paid. One common scheme: False messages claiming to be from the FBI, accusing you …

Adobe Announces Customer Data Breach

Software manufacturer Adobe says that hackers infiltrated its computer system, gaining access to sensitive information on nearly 3 million customers – including names, encrypted credit and debit card numbers and details of past orders. “At this time, we do not believe the attackers removed decrypted credit or debit card numbers from our systems,” Adobe said in a statement. Hackers also illegally took copies of the source code of some of the company’s widely used products, which, according to online security …

Smartphone Smarts During Trade-In

The typical cellphone user upgrades every 18 months. Trade-in programs like those recently announced by Apple and Walmart could spark even quicker stampedes for the latest-and-greatest models – with turned-in phones still full of personal data. “Most people consider a smartphone a communications device,” notes Adam Levin, former New Jersey Director of Consumer Affairs and founder of Identity Theft 911, a provider of identity management and breach-response services for businesses. “What many people don’t realize is that it’s a data …

Cybercrime Costs 508,000 U.S. Jobs

As many as 508,000 American jobs have been lost to cybercrime, the hacking of computer networks to find confidential information and disrupt service, a new report says.  Armed with stolen data, foreign companies are able to better compete in world markets against American companies, leading to job reductions in the United States. Service disruptions, lowered consumer trust and higher costs of computer security also drag the American companies down. Touted as the first-ever report that connects cybercrime to job loss, …