Five New Ways You Can Be Hacked

04/14/15

Think that when it comes to hacking, you’ve heard it all?  Sadly, this is never the case.  Here are some new attacks to keep in mind:

1. When apps attack.  Malicious apps are a real and growing threat—and the attacks are going to get much worse, experts say.  Researchers have found that apps could potentially jump out of the security  “sandbox” that Apple, Android, and others use to protect smartphones from hackers and viruses.  Once out of the sandbox, a malicious app could infect other parts of the phone to steal information and spy on you.

2. No such thing as safe Wi-Fi.  Public Wi-Fi hotspots make users extremely vulnerable to hackers, which is why consumer advocates have been suggesting 3G mobile hotspots instead.  However, researchers have recently found that 3G mobile broadband modems could also be vulnerable.  Hackers don’t even have to be within range of the wireless signal to launch an attack.

3. Thumb-drive malware.  While it’s been known for years that removable USB drives can easily spread viruses, a new type of thumb-drive malware is even more alarming; it hides in the drive’s controller chip and can’t be detected by current antivirus or anti-malware tools.

4. Digital home invasions.  Experts report an alarming trend in which hacker techniques are used to help with traditional crimes like burglary.  This trend will grow.  In particular, several popular home alarm systems have been found to be vulnerable to such hack attacks as remote disabling, creating false alarms, intercepting the user’s passcode, and tracking people in their homes. 

5. “Bricking.”  This high-powered hack renders all of a company’s computers completely inoperable (like a brick, hence the term).  It’s a rare attack, but that may not be the case for long.

The 10 Worst States for Cybercrime

Which states do you want to avoid if you’re worried about cybercrime?

Every year, the FBI and its partners in the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) publish a report detailing the number and type of complaints the center receives.  The list includes everything from non-delivered merchandise to bank account-clearing fraud.

The most recent report was based on complaints in the year 2013.  That year, there were 262,813 consumer complaints to IC3.  More than 45% of these complaints involved financial loss, adding up to $781,841,611.  That’s 48.8% higher than the amount of loss reported in 2012, $581,441,110.

What follows is a list, in reverse-countdown format of course, of the 10 states with the most complaints documented by IC3.  Where does your favorite state stand?   

10. Georgia.  2.58% of all complaints.  Average loss: $3,039.

9.  Ohio.  2.75% of all complaints.  Average loss: $1,888.

8.  Virginia. 2.84% of all complaints.  Average loss: $3,004.

7.  Illinois.  2.95% of all complaints.  Average loss: $2,265.

6.  New Jersey.  3.21% of all complaints.  Average loss: $1,753.

5.  Pennsylvania.  3.32% of all complaints. Average loss: $1,819.

4.  New York.  5.29% of all complaints.  Average loss: $3,015.

3.  Texas.  6.74% of all complaints. Average loss: $3,521.

2.  Florida.  7.45% of all complaints.  Average loss: $2,750.

1. California.  12.13% of all complaints.  Average loss: $3,639. 

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