Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Webroot updates coverage on large corporate hacks; biggest danger to ordinary users still seems to come from phishing

Well, what’s my own security news?   Last week, a Metro machine cracked my Bank of America debit card as I tried to update my Smart card.   Sorry, I had to use cash.  I went into a branch in downtown Washington and the employees thought it was still OK, since it still worked.  I insisted on replacing it, and indeed the replacement came to by business box (which is a safer delivery option than a home address) in a few days (with a temporary).  No sign that the Bank has started the European chip technology to make debit cards harder to forge.  (I’ve had trouble with Metro machines twice now.) 
Then, on a day trip last week, I stop at a restaurant in Marshall, VA and notice this is a “cash only business” only when ready to pay.  Fortunately, I had the cash.  But more small businesses are obviously petrified of the security risks right now with cards.
Igor Piatniski has an update on all the big corporate hacks on the Webroot Threat blog, link here.  I still use my debit card at a local grocery store, drug store, and hardware store with no problems.  But I do watch all bank and financial statements online regularly.  Not everyone does this.  And I don’t bank with the cell phone.  I still use the laptop, because I need it for my “work” even when I travel anyway.  I still think security on a PC is a little easier to manage.   On credit card statements, yes, I look, but I admit there is a possibility for small charges to slip by.  I think a couple times, charges disguised as “annual fees” for something obscure might have been slipped onto a bill, for a card.  Oh, yes, Target got around to replacing my regular Visa  credit card, finally.  Maybe I was on the list after all. 
The anecdotal evidence is that very small fraudulent charges and debits may be much more common with compromised accounts than wholesale attempts to drain bank accounts.  I keep seeing a few small charges that I can't explain, randomly. 
One other item:  I've noticed some phishing emails recently offering to a "restore your Facebook account". And I still laugh at the obvious "Nigerian" scams and very obvious fake charities that I see (as in the movie "Believe Me", reviewed Nov. 3 on the Movies blog).  

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