Cyber Security, Data Breach, Education, Identity Theft, Tip of the Week

Identity Theft

According to a Consumer Report, there are millions of Americans becoming victims of identity theft.

Identity Theft
Javelin Strategy & Research, in 2017 & Federal Trade Commission

Identity theft Video: 7 Ways to protect yourself from cybercriminals

Types of Identity Theft and Fraud

  1. Driver’s license theft: most common
  2. Mail theft: oldest ways for criminals to steal your information
  3. Debit Card fraud or Credit Card fraud: called “card-not-present fraud”
  4. Online shopping fraud: purchase items using stolen card and shipped to their own address mostly overseas called “eCommerce fraud”
  5. Social Security Number theft: usually occurs from a data breach or tax id theft
  6. Account Takeover fraud: criminals gain access to your bank or credit card from data breach, phishing scams, malware attacks then starts using the credit card for their own gains
  7. Senior Citizen identity theft: very common since checking financial accounts or credit report is not important for most of them, scams happens when they trust the wrong person (Scam Video)
  8. Child Identity theft: not as common but their Social Security Numbers (SSN) can be use to apply for government benefits, take out a loan, etc. often the child does not realize this theft until they are of age and applying for a student loan or car loan
  9. Tax Identity theft: Bad guys will file your income tax before you do and use a fax address to receive the funds
  10. Biometric ID theft: Fingerprint or voice recognition are the best example such as when “Alexa” (Amazon’s hands free speaker controlled with your voice) can be copied and recorded, but it doesn’t end there (parks such as Six Flags and Disney are using fingerprint to identify who you are for easy access to the park!)
  11. Criminal Identity theft: happens when criminals would provide your own data (stolen or lost ID) when arrested/ you would not know until you need a background check for a new job or a warrant is issued for you arrest
  12. Synthetic Identity theft: fastest growing type of ID fraud – real and fake information is merged to create a new identity using SSN, names, addresses, birthdays bought from the “dark web”
  13. New Account Takeover: criminal opens a new account with your information and have the ability to impersonate you to access a higher credit limit
  14. Medical Identity theft: more difficult to discover, but usually used to obtain medical services in your name/check your statement of benefits often
  15. Loan Stacking fraud: multiple loans are taken out by borrowers who slide through today’s automated approval process from loopholes in online lending marketplaces
  16. Mortgage Fraud: borrower, broker, or an appraiser lies about information on the application for a mortgage loan/it’s done to get approved for a bigger loan or to get the mortgage approved!
  17. Auto Lending fraud: similar to mortgage fraud and occurs when consumers, dealers, auto lenders submits or accepts a fraudulent (falsified information)application for credit
  18. Employment Identity theft: criminal applies for a job using your SSN or ID, the employers reports the income to the IRS under your name and expects you to pay taxes on all income earned in your name/review credit report regularly
  19. Bust-Out Fraud: first party fraud scheme and a deliberate form of fraud or ID theft “sleeper fraud”/ happens when a consumer applies for credit and uses their own name with the intent of maxing out all available credit for the purpose of disappearing
  20. Internet of Things (IoT) Identity theft: occurs when your smartphones/tablets are paired with consumer products such as cars, heart monitors, and household appliances that are connected to the internet which creates an opportunity for hackers to steal your data usually from a security flaw

Identity Theft and Fraud Complaints from 2014-2017

Identity Theft and Fraud Complaints 2014 to 2017

Prevention is the best route

Use Strong Passwords that is unique to you

  • Make it easy for you to remember but hard to guess
  • Use KeePass to store all your passwords securely in an encrypted file (database)
  • Change it as often as you can (routinely)
  • Don’t ever reuse passwords
  • Do not write them and leave them on your desk (put away inside your wallet/inside your purse)

Review Bank statements and Credit Card statements thoroughly each month

  • Check for suspicious transactions

  • Notify bank or card issuer immediately

Check your three credit reports (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) often for any signs of identity theft

  • If you discover unauthorized access to your credit reports notify the credit reporting agency right away
  • Place a fraud alert, a credit lock, or a security freeze on all three if you suspect your personal information has been compromised


  • This is where you might be tricked into revealing sensitive information via email or text
  • Messages would be created to look like it is from a company you have an account already or someone (person or organization) you know well
  • When you click to the link from the message and attempt to log into your account, you have now handed over your login and password to the “bad guys”
  • Now you are vulnerable to many types of identity theft

Recovery Steps to help limit the damage if you become a victim to Identity Theft

  • File a Report immediately (get copies of the report for your insurance, medical provider, credit bureau, etc.)

  • File with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for their Recovery Steps

  • Call the Companies Where the Fraud Occurred (let them know it was not you and ask to work with you)

  • Communicate With Each Credit Bureau and place a freeze or fraud alert on your credit report

  • If it’s a medical fraud call your insurance company and medical providers (get a copy of your medical files and ask to have them corrected/file with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) as well)

  • If you become a victim of Tax ID Theft contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Safeguard Against Future Problems

  • Stay up to date by reading and learning continuously (read ways to protect your information)

  • Learn about the warning signs

  • Learn how to reduce your risks

  • How to avoid Identity Theft/How to avoid Frauds & Scams (read)

  • Be persistent by monitoring your accounts and reviewing your personal information to stay on top of looming threats

For more information read: Security Awareness For Taxpayers

Cyber Security, Data Breach, Disaster Recovery, Education, Identity Theft, News Events, OCR HIPAA Audits, Tip of the Week

The National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is over, but your work securing your home and business systems and networks is not

It is the perfect time to follow some security tips for both your home and work. RISC Management and Consulting put together some publicly available tips and tools. Our goal is to bring awareness and assist in building a Culture of Cybersecurity through training and providing resources. To view our solutions from vulnerability assessments to workforce training visit our site.

  • Lee Kim had an inspiring talk on “Sharing with Care: The Key to Healthcare Cybersecurity is You” at the ISC2 Security Congress 2018.

  • 75.7% said they had a recent security incident based on the 2018 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey.

The Importance of Technology Research and Findings

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Enhanced Cybersecurity Services (ECS) program is an intrusion prevention capability that is available to U.S.-based entities and State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial (SLTT) organizations. DHS partners with service providers that build and maintain classified systems capable of protecting ECS customer networks against unauthorized access, exploitation, and data exfiltration.

The two statistical findings below came from two national studies – a national survey on online behaviors and attitudes for the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and a two-phase national survey on messaging surrounding online privacy for NCSA.

In addition, Keri Pearlson, MS, DBA – MIT Sloan School of Management and her team shared research from MIT’s Sloan School on components necessary to build a culture of cybersecurity and provide managerial mechanisms to enable every employee’s ability to increase cybersecurity. 

Techniques used by smart phone ransomware based on data analysis from Nokia’s Threat Intelligence Center.  The Nokia Threat Intelligence Lab focuses on the behavior of malware network communications to develop detection rules that identify malware infections based on command-and-control communication and other network behavior.

Don’t be part of the growing cyber incidents, BE INFORMED!

Read  on, View the Good, the Bad, and the Worse!

2018 Data Breach Investigations Report states that  92 percent of malware is still delivered by email.

Facebook says millions of users who thought they were sharing privately with their friends may have shared with everyone because of a software bug.

Hands off my data! 15 default privacy settings you should change right now.

Are you creeping on my DNA? When it comes to privacy, stakes are high for the relatively new field of consumer genomics.

“They frequently go through online platforms like Google and blogs, to hide themselves and give investigators the impression it is a normal platform or tool, and thus to ignore its background actions,”.

Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks. In a social engineering attack, an attacker uses human interaction (social skills) to obtain or compromise information about an organization or its computer systems. An attacker may seem unassuming and respectable, possibly claiming to be a new employee, repair person, or researcher and even offering credentials to support that identity. However, by asking questions, he or she may be able to piece together enough information to infiltrate an organization’s network.

Report Incidents, Phishing, Malware, or Vulnerabilities.

Chinese Intelligence Officers and their recruited hackers and insiders conspired to steal sensitive commercial aviation and technological data for years.

June 2018 OCR Cybersecurity Newsletter – Guidance on Software Vulnerabilities and Patching.

Georgia man has been arrested on federal charges he carried out an e-mail spoofing scheme that cost Sedgwick County $566,000, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.

Want more online privacy? Brave, the ad-blocking browser, has a new way to get it on the web.

Anthem Pays OCR $16 Million in Record HIPAA Settlement Following Largest U.S. Health Data Breach in History, Anthem, Inc. has agreed to pay $16 million to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and take substantial corrective action to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules after a series of cyberattacks led to the largest U.S. health data breach in history and exposed the electronic protected health information of almost 79 million people. The $16 million settlement eclipses the previous high of $5.55 million paid to OCR in 2016.

Several security research teams recently announced a vulnerability in most computer processor chips sold for at least the previous 10 years.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) providing how to socialize online, protect your own computer at home including your children’s privacy while online, advice for parents for different ages, under their STOP.THINK.CONNECT.TM Chatting with Kids About Being Online.

How To Survive A Ransomware Attack — And Not Get Hit Again

Email is still the problem. Are you tired of sending out nagging notes to company staffers insisting that they not just click on any old email attachments? Well, we’re afraid you’re going to have to keep at it, because according to Verizon’s 2018 Breach Investigations report, 92 percent of malware is still delivered by email.

Publicly Available Tools Seen in Cyber Incidents Worldwide

This report is a collaborative research effort by the cyber security authorities of five nations: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. See highlight from the five publicly available tools, which have been used for malicious purposes in recent cyber incidents around the world. The five tools are:

  1. Remote Access Trojan: JBiFrost
  2. Webshell: China Chopper
  3. Credential Stealer: Mimikatz
  4. Lateral Movement Framework: PowerShell Empire
  5. C2 Obfuscation and Exfiltration: HUC Packet Transmitter

SIMPLE TIPS from the Department of Homeland Security

Cybersecurity is present in every aspect of our lives, whether it be at home, work, school, or on the go. Regardless of one’s technical ability or background, there are simple steps everyone can take to stay safe online.

Protect yourself online and help to make the Internet safer and more secure by following these simple tips from the Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign:

  • Enable stronger authentication. Always enable stronger authentication for an extra layer of security beyond the password that is available on most major email, social media and financial accounts. Stronger authentication (e.g., multi-factor authentication that can use a one-time code texted to a mobile device) helps verify that a user has authorized access to an online account. For more information about authentication, visit the new Lock Down Your Login Campaign.
  • Make your passwords long & strong. Use complex passwords with a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters. Use unique passwords for different accounts. Change your passwords regularly, especially if you believe they have been compromised.
  • Keep a clean machine. Update the security software, operating system, and web browser on all of your Internet-connected devices. Keeping your security software up to date will prevent attackers from taking advantage of known vulnerabilities.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Links in email and online posts are often the way cyber criminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious (even if you know the source), delete it.
  • Share with care. Limit the amount of personal information you share online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.

Excerpts from the Stay Safe Online by the National Cyber Security Alliance

“When dealing with cybercrime, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure. Cybercrime in its many forms (e.g., online identity theft, financial fraud, stalking, bullying, hacking, email spoofing, information piracy and forgery and intellectual property crime) can, at best, wreak havoc in victims’ lives through major inconvenience and annoyance. At worst, cybercrime can lead to financial ruin and potentially threaten a victim’s reputation and personal safety. Having your identity stolen can be scary and invasive and have damaging effects on your finances, medical records and reputation. If you become a victim, knowing how to respond and report the incident is vital.” Visit their site for some tips and resources to help you recover.

Provided by RISC Management and Consulting and the Privacy and Security Institute (PSI)