Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Reducing Your Digital Footprint with Disposable Emails

As the recent NSA leaks have revealed, our digital lives make it very difficult to maintain anonymity and protect our privacy — especially since we tend to make it especially easy for those who would track us. But despite how it may seem, there are ways to minimize your digital footprint that necessarily go beyond curbing the amount of personal information you share through social media.

One way to do that is to use disposable emails and logins. The more accounts you have, the more traceable you are on the Internet. But using anonymous accounts limits your footprint and reduces the amount of spam you’ll get from those accounts.
Alternate Emails: Once minimized Websites that solicit user comments are increasingly requiring people to identify themselves through Facebook or email logins, but never give either your real name or your real email address, even if you only plan to visit that site once. One login can stay with you forever. Instead, use a disposable email address like those offered by mailnator.com specifically for this purpose.
Use a disposable email address as an extra precaution in protecting your personal data.
Shared Logins: Similarly, services like bugmenot.com offer shared logins and passwords that are free to any and everyone to use. These should get you wherever you want to go and, logically, don’t require you to give any personal data to get them.
Timed Accounts: If you’re logging into a site you’re confident you’ll never come back to, try using an email address with a very short lifespan. Guerrilamail.com offers addresses that lasts for 60 minutes and 10minutemail.com, as the name would suggest, has accounts with a 10-minute lifespan.
Browser Plugins: Firefox and Chrome both offer a lot of plugins to secure your Internet privacy, including programs like MaskMe (for Chrome) that can anonymize your email address for login purposes.
Of course, minimizing your footprint also requires knowing it. Perform an in-depth analysis of all of your digital data by listing all of the social media sites you use, any website of any kind you’ve ever had an account on, and compile all of the usernames and logins you’ve used. Close old accounts, delete personal information from social media sites you don’t wish to share and continue to be vigilant about what you share and what others share about you. If you want or need help, services like DeleteMe will take up the charge of removing your personal information from various sites for a fee.

Energy industry warned over threat of cyberattacks, alarm raised by UAE

The energy industry continues to be a privileged target for cyber attacks of hacktivists, state-sponsored hackers and cybercriminals. The alarm from UAE

Oil and gas companies are considerable privileged targets of cyber attacks, cybercriminals, state-sponsored hackers and hacktivists daily menace security of infrastructure in the energy industry.
The number of attacks worldwide against Oil and gas industry systems is constantly growing for both  sabotage and cyber espionage, it is increased also the monetary loss caused by the theft of intellectual property and damages caused by malicious agents such as malware.
The GCC’s oil and gas sectors is considered too vulnerable to cyber attacks due the high penetration level of technology for control of critical processes. One if the most popular incidents occurred in the energy industry is related to Shamoon malware, a virus that infected nearly 30,000 computers in the network of the petroleum producer Saudi Aramco.
energy industry
Security experts believe that Shamoon malware was in reality a cyber weapon designed by Iranian cyber units to hit energy industry.
Saudi Aramco wasn’t unique energy company hit by a cyber attack, Qatar’s RasGas was also attacked by hackers.
“Every major computer system of consequence most likely has malware in it, placed in by an adversary,”  “So much of the world’s oil production happens here and the pursuit of technologies to make it more efficient.” “When you increase that level of automation and use of IT [information technology], it only increases the vulnerability.” “There are 180 plus nations in the world and 150 to 160 have exploit capabilities,” “Nation states exploit each other to understand threat levels. Most are looking at their sphere of influence and the countries around them. The Pakistanis are most interested in exploiting and attacking the Indians and Afghans.” said Mr McConnell. said John McConnell, the former director of national intelligence in the US, today vice-chairman of Booz Allen Hamilton.
Between July and September, Kaspersky Lab researchers detected 1.2 million internet-borne malware incidents on computers in the UAE, affecting 26.4 per cent of users.
Protection of energy infrastructure is a shared problem, a cyber attack could have serious repercussion on the environment, let’s think to a damage into nuclear facility or to a refinery.
In July US ICS-CERT issued a new Monitor report that revealed a surge of brute force attacks against control systems mainly belonging to the energy sector. Data collected by the CERT revealed that 53% (111) of attacks hit the energy industry mainly targeting control systems, the hackers adopted various techniques including watering hole attacks, SQL injection, and spear phishing.
ICS-CERT Monitor Report Energy sector

Just a month before Anonymous conducted a campaign dubbed OpPetrol to protest against the West’s domination of the world’s resources. The hacktivists protested against the energy sector for the adoption of US dollars as currency for oil exchange, fortunately the attacks haven’t has serious consequences.
The majority of cyber attacks against energy sector could be undetected, in many cases the attackers could spy on victims for a long period collecting precious information for further attacks. Malicious code used to compromise networks belonging to energy industry are designed to go undetected, the majority of the instances targeted companies working in the Middle East to steal intellectual property and exploiting information.
Chinese hackers are considerably the most dangerous persistent threat against energy sector, especially under the cyber espionage profile.
Targeted attacks can cost a firm up to US$2.4 million in damages, according to a report issued by Kaspersky Lab, despite the alarming scenario companies still consider security as a cost to reduce, Mr McConnell revealed that about 5 to 10 per cent of a company’s IT budget should be spent on cybersecurity.
“Local threats – usually offline methods that involve spreading malware via USB drives, CDs and DVDs – caused 17.4 million malware incidents, affecting more than 40 per cent of computers in the UAE.”
Russia, US and UK have the most robust cybersecurity systems in the world, but their governments are aware of the risks related to cyber attacks and the need to continue to invest to protect energy sector and in particular critical infrastructure.