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Compromising vital infrastructure: air traffic control

While most of us know that flying is the safest mode of transport, we still feel that sigh of relief when the plane has made its landing on the runway and we can text our loved ones that we have arrived safe and sound. Accidents may be rare, but they’re often shocking and horrific and accompanied by the loss of many lives. Unfortunately, they also tend to make the news, which only heightens … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Reduce Spam in Your Inbox

Before the invention of email, mail that arrived in your physical mailbox often contained pamphlets, sales brochures, credit card offers, and product catalogs. Much of this waste was thrown away and ended up in a landfill somewhere. Today, the equivalent and often more annoying nuisance is spam. Spam comes in many forms, and has evolved from dubious product claims, miracle supplements, conspiracy … [Read more...]

Phone spampocalypse: fighting back in the age of unwanted calls

When Nigel Guest, then president of the Council of Neighborhood Associations (CNA), sent an email with the subject line, “test,” and the small letter “x” in its message body, the city of Berkeley, CA, went into a frenzy. You see, Mr. Guest thought he sent it only to himself, but he actually posted that terse email by accident to thousands of registered voters in the area. And thus, what is now … [Read more...]

A month of giveaway spam on Twitter

We’ve observed a low level spam campaign working its way through Twitter, with just under 2,000 posts visible on public search since September 1. Click to enlarge The posts promote what appears to be CBD oil. For those who don’t know (And I was one of them—still not sure if this oil is supposed to be inhaled or consumed, but anyway), CBD is short for Cannabidiol, which is a chemical … [Read more...]

5 safe ways to get back at spammers: a guide to wasting time

Everyone hates spam (apart from the people who send it). While many people simply report spam and delete, a few look for ways to get back at the spammers wasting their time. In fact, a common question we’re asked is, “How can we waste their time?” My own opinion on this is a little loaded with caution; simply striking up conversations with spammers and scammers with no prior experience is a good … [Read more...]

Official Cardi B website plagued by spammers

We come bearing tidings of proper website maintenance and general housekeeping for singer Cardi B (or rather, for her web development team). At first glance, it appeared as though her website had been hacked a few days ago. But a look under the hood told a different story. We were surprised to see the following lurking on the official Cardi B website: Click to enlarge Ignore the privacy policy … [Read more...]

A week in security (July 30 – August 5)

Last week, we posted a roundup of spam that may have landed in your mailbox, talked about what makes us susceptible to social engineering tactics, and took a deep dive into big data. Other news: Facebook claimed to have removed accounts that display behavior consistent with possible Russian actors engaged in misinformation. (Source: The Wall Street Journal) Yale University disclosed that they … [Read more...]

What’s in the spam mailbox this week?

We’ve seen a fair few spam emails in circulation this week, ranging from phishing to money muling to sexploitation. Shall we take a look? The FBI wants to give you back your money First out of the gate, we have a missive claiming to be from the FBI. Turns out you lost a huge sum of money that you somehow don’t have any recollection of, and now the FBI wants to give it back to you via … [Read more...]

Red Hen website suffers SEO spam compromise

If you’re thinking about checking out the website owned by the restaurant that asked White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave the premises, you might want to hold off. There’s some site compromise action afoot. Although the homepage appears to be acting in a perfectly normal manner, turning off scripts so you can see what’s happening under the hood provides a … [Read more...]

Five easy ways to recognize and dispose of malicious emails

I suppose we all get our share of spam. Some more than others. But how do we differentiate between simple commercial spam and the types of emails that want to get us in trouble? The unsolicited commercial spam email is generally easy to recognize, report, and discard, but what about more dangerous types of spam? How can you determine if an email contains a malicious link or attachment, or is … [Read more...]