Project #59111 - week 7 discussionboard

 

Instructions: reply to the three different posts (Post1, Post 2, and Post 3) by saying if whether or not you agree with the post by discussing it. Also, you should use in line hyperlink cititation in each reply for each post. Dont use work citied.  Also, Please refer to which post you are responding to by writing ex. Reply for Post 1. These reply posts can be short. The reply of each post should be between 200-350 words.

Post 1 by Katherine: How do Hackers actually obtain our information?

 

According to our textbook, a hacker is someone who gains unauthorized access to computers and computer network. Hackers have all sorts of ways to get personal information out of people. Many times, it starts with a fake donation.

USA Today states that phishing scams are in the top ways for hackers to trick people. The catch is telling the person you won a contest or got a job interview. One then is asked to send in personal or banking information. This information and money is going straight to the hackers. Another way hackers get information is a virus called Trojan horse. This virus can record everything you type and send it back to the hacker (5 Ways Hackers Attach You). It can send out spam email or attack other computers.

One way a computer encounters a Trojan Horse is through an email attachment. Generally, the email will say you won something or there is problem with a transaction. This then requires the person to open up that attachment. Once the attachment is open the Trojan Horse is installed on your computer.

A third way to hack someone is through a drive-by download. Although computers may have security software, it still may not be enough to stop hackers. Programs will have weaknesses and hackers will find them. Hackers set up websites embedded with viruses (article). These embedded links are most often in legit websites or links. Therefore, ultimately tricking the user. USA Today says one of the top ways to get a drive-by download is to have older versions of Adobe Flash and Reader. The advice USA Today gives is to always have updated programs.

The fourth way hackers can obtain information is by guessing account passwords. USA Today states that hackers might get a password from a data breach at a company or website you are on. The tips they give are using different passwords for different accounts. That way, if the hacker guesses one, they only have access to that one account versus more. A hacker can put a virus on a system and have the passwords recorded and sent back to them. Also, the hacker could guess the security question on your account.

Lastly, using open Wi-Fi can connect to your network from outside. If it is not password protected, they can see and record every move you take on the network. A few things they can do on your Wi-Fi is download illegal files or go to bad websites.

Post 2 by Lucia: Made-up Question: What about Biometrics?

 

Made-up Question: What about Biometrics?

Biometrics are the creation and usage of a microchip that contains your uniquely identifying biological personal information, such as a scan of your retina or fingerprint. They can be used instead of passwords. Basically, you are scanned, a chip is created and then optimized programmatically to fit like a key, into a lock that has been programmed to accept your "key" (such as your laptop or iPhone).

First off, they are not easy to use. ASUS has been providing fingerprint laptop entry for years and I bought one about 6 years ago. Unfortunately, my own fingerprints are not that clear due to many years of piano and violin "fingerprint erasure," so entry into my personal laptop can take 8 or 10 tries. 

"Ethical Hackers"  hacked into the Samsung Galaxy's fingerprint module to make their point about the hackability of fingerprint scans being used as passwords. In this (linked) article, PayPal supports fingerprint scanning stating that it is the most secure method for entry. PayPal is our most trusted online payment transaction company, so this is a bit upsetting to me that they aren't even questioning the technology and its implications for security breach.

Our textbook mentions a fingerprint misidentification issue that happened on March 11, 2004, when the FBI linked a partial fingerprint to an attorney from Portland Oregon. The FBI on behalf of the Spanish police entered his home numerous times, took whatever documents and possessions they wanted from him without a search warrant, took DNA samples, and arrested him for bombing trains in Spain. It turned out he had nothing to do with it. It was the partial fingerprint which was used to completely devastate his life, possessions, and personal records.

I personally do not like personalization when I go to online stores such as Amazon.com, and see all the things their analytics engine thinks I might want to buy. I am much more interested in seeing new, different things, or specifics about which I went shopping. In the future, it is predicted that Biometrics will be used the way they were shown in the movie Minority Report, wherein Tom Cruise walked into a Gap store, was greeted electronically by name, and then shown an array of clothing in his size and according to his taste. Is this the convenience of a personal valet, or is it an intrusion? What if your data is stolen - it is far more personal than a wallet. 

I have also been reading about the risks of hackers getting access to biological devices such as fitbits and pacemakers that report out to websites and recording devices. They could cause malicious heart attacks and stokes. The lesson here is that anything you wear or use, that is on the grid, can be hacked, including your identity. Biometrics creates an entirely new set of ethical and personal risks from hackers, commerce, and from all governing authorities just getting too much info about who we are, and what we do, 24/7.

Post 3 by Michael: Made Up Question: How are companies improving log-in security protocols?
 

How are companies improving log-in security protocols?

People don't like coming up with complex passwords and this is one of the biggest security holes that cannot be easily patched purely in software. Game companies like Blizzard have been working on making logging in a two step process that gives a second layer of security. In late 2009, Blizzard released an authenticator that works in a similar way that the remote key works for a car. The account and algorithm are paired and generate a unique number every time the player pairs them. There are problems with this such as losing the authenticator. This idea of two-step authentication has led to more secure methods that involve cellphones. When a user logs into google they have the option of using two-step authentication that just sends the user's cellphone a code. These codes only last for a few minutes. The whole process is described in Add 2-Step Verification. I say that this method is more secure because most people now check their cellphones enough times a day that they will know when they have misplaced it or lost it. Obviously this isn't foolproof, but it is a huge step in making log-in more secure without requiring users to remember a 28 character password that involves accents and symbols. Many companies now don't worry if you are logging in from the same IP, but may send an email to the user when the company gets a log in request from an unknown IP. The Guild Wars 2 E-mail Authentification has saved my account from being hacked a few times. Back when I was playing the first Guild Wars, there were hack attempts on my account that were generated over in China. Knowing I had not been in China, Arenanet was able to flag those IPs. Sometimes we find the second step of a log-in process to be tedious, but we are always thankful when they help protect our accounts.

The main thing to note from all these processes is that they are require the user to put forth very little effort compared to the amount of added security that in this day and age of powerful computers and dictionary or bruteforce hacks, can allow a user to have a memorable password but still be secure. So why is it so important for this 2nd step? Jimmy Kimmel shows us why in "What is Your Password?"

 

 

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Due By (Pacific Time) 02/22/2015 07:00 pm
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