Friday, 31 October 2014

India Under Grip Of Cyber-attacks: Report

India is under the grip of cyber attacks and there is an obvious peak in the growth of malware and their modifications on mobile devices, especially on the Android platform, according to a report.

Though PC is still the prevalent target for malware authors, there is an obvious peak in the growth of malware and their modifications on mobile devices, especially on the Android platform, The Quick Heal Annual Windows and Mobile Malware Report, 2012, released by Quick Heal Technologies, a leading player in India's anti-virus segment said Mumbai.
As per the findings, there has been a persistent increase in the number of malware attacks on the Google Android platform and mobile applications have become the easiest way to compromise devices, the report said.

According to the Report, social engineering still remains one of the most coveted ways of spreading malware. Cyber criminals continue to use it as a convenient way of exploiting human behaviour and platform vulnerabilities.

The report reveals that India is under the grip of cyber attacks with increase of almost 90 percent in Windows malware and a mind-boggling increase of 170 percent in its modifications and the bad guys are also winning the war in the mobile platform.
Virus attacks in the mobile space have started soaring at a rapid pace with 30 percent growth registered in 2012 and 80 percent increase in its modifications.

Commenting on the findings of the research, Sanjay Katkar, Technical Director and CTO, Quick Heal Technologies, said "Windows is still the most attacked Operating System. 2012 saw numerous attacks that were devised for windows vulnerabilities. Cyber criminals have leveraged zero-day exploits even more effectively with new software patterns and business models".

The web is still the most conventional way of targeting victims and our efforts should be driven to educate the end users and create awareness, Katkar said.

Cyber crime has been on a tremendous increase all over the globe and especially in india. many people are getting targeted of  cyber crime and the number is going up at an alarming rate.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Identity Theft Cases On The Rise In Kovai

COIMBATORE:  The Cyber Crime cell of the city police has recorded an almost 75 per cent increase in the number of identity theft cases across the district this year.  According to statistics released by the cell, 152 cases of identity theft have been registered so far in 2014, as compared to 87 recorded last year. Majority of the victims in such cases was women, sources said. Apart from targeting women on social networking sites, culprits are increasingly hacking into e-mail accounts of victims and ‘stealing pictures and videos’.
 
“We found out that a majority of such thefts occurred in internet cafes, where users sometimes forget to log out or multiple users have access to a single system,” said an officer attached to the cell. Despite the large number of complaints, police have, until 2013, managed to achieve 95 per cent detection rate, sources said. However, the detection rate this year has been disappointing with 73 cases (around 50 per cent) yet to be solved.
 
Speaking to Express, Cyber Crime cell inspector Muthumalai said, “When we receive a complaint, we communicate the details to the social networking website, which in turn provides us with the IP address of the offender.”  Poor response time from the sites is one of the reasons for the fall in detection rate, the official said. 
 
According to CoP A K Viswanathan, “Such crimes are not easily prevented as it is almost impossible to monitor social networking activity,” he said.
 
Identity theft and Cyber crime can cause serious risk to the credit profile of the individuals and this can affect the creditworthiness of the individual.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Ensure Your Credit Report Is Free Of Mistakes

Make it a practice to review your credit history at least once a year to avoid last-minute surprises
 
For five years, Nitin Vohra saved up to buy an apartment.
 
His joy knew no bounds when he found his dream home — it was from a reputed builder and was close to his workplace.
 
But Nitin was in for a big shock when he approached a housing finance company for a home loan. The company declined his application because according to his credit information report, he had an outstanding of Rs23,000 with a credit card company, overdue for 2 years.
 
This was a shocker for Nitin, who had been paying his credit card dues on time since took the card about 10 years ago.
 
Clearly, there was some mistake in his credit report.
 
Nitin was financially literate and knew exactly what to do. So he applied for a copy of his credit report from the Credit Bureaus.
 
When Nitin received his report, he realised where the problem lay. It was in a credit card that he had applied for about three years ago. The salesman had promised him it would be lifetime-free card, but the first statement itself had an annual fee entered.
 
He had contacted the bank’s call centre and was told the fee could not be waived.  So he had informed the bank he was not interested in the credit card, cut it into two pieces and hand-delivered the cancellation letter along with the credit card pieces to the bank.
 
He assumed the matter was over and had promptly forgotten all about the credit card, especially as he had also not received any further statement from the bank.
 
The Credit report showed the original fee of around Rs1,000 had grown to Rs23,000. A long-forgotten credit card had come between Nitin and his dream home.
 
I am sure this scenario sounds familiar. Other things that have messed up credit reports include
 
unwanted insurance premium, unwanted subscription for magazines or some other schemes or offers that the credit card company has a tie-up for.Maybe you were assured on complaint that “the charges have been reversed” or you thought that by simply ignoring the problem, it would go away on its own. But it doesn’t.
 
So what do you do in a situation like this? 
 
Firstly, like Nitin, get a copy of your credit report. That will tell you where the problem lies. Then, you will need to report the error to Credit Bureaus. Provide full personal details and control number of the credit report (available on the right top-hand corner of the report) and the entry you want rectified. State your reasons for rectification and the action you require (in most cases, deletion/ correction of an entry).
 
Once Credit Bureaus receives your request for rectification, we will approach the concerned lender for confirmation of the data submitted.
 
“Updated data gets submitted by credit grantors regularly. Once the data is rectified by the lender, it will be sent to Credit bureaus for updation.”
 
Though credit bureaus are supposed to coordinate with the concerned bank, it is in your own interest to also file a complaint with the bank’s nodal officer.
 
The Credit Information Companies Regulation Act, 2005, provides for a period of 30 days for such corrections to take place.
 
Unfortunately, the Act does not provide for any procedure to be followed if this deadline of 30 days lapses. At the end of 30 days, your best bet would be to file a grievance with the banking ombudsman against the lender or credit card issuer.
 
Currently, no grievance authority is provided for against inaction from the credit information company.
 
Of course, you continue to have access to the consumer and civil courts if you so desire.
So what happened to Nitin? Taking my advice, he wrote out a strong complaint to the bank, making it clear he was suffering a huge loss due to the bank’s error and that he would file for compensation with the banking ombudsman if there was a delay in the response.
 
This, however, did not work till he actually filed a complaint with the ombudsman with a copy marked to the bank’s nodal officer.
 
After that, there was a flurry of activity from the bank’s side and it agreed to update Credit bureaus’s record and provide him with a letter mentioning that it was an error. There was a quid pro quo — Nitin had to agree in writing to drop the demand for compensation.
 
He did, and with his credit history clear, managed to get his loan approved. So Nitin (presumably) is living happily in his dream home.
 
To avoid such issues you should make it a practice to request for your credit report at least once a year and check that it is error-free. That will ensure you get no shocks like Nitin.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

Courtesy: DNA

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Cybercrime Cases Shot Up In Last 10 Years: Telecom Minister

NEW DELHI: India has witnessed a massive surge in cybercrime incidents in about 10 years — from just 23 in 2004 to 72,000 last year, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here today.
 
"In the year 2004, we had only 23 incidents (of cyber crime). Last year we had about 72,000 incidents. Media reports show as to how cyber attacks are done to completely immobilize the financial infrastructure, information infrastructure," Prasad said at cybersecurity event organized by The Observer Research Foundation and industry body Ficci.
 
As per government's cyber security arm Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In) 62,189 cybersecurity incidents were reported in just the first 5 months this year.
 
Attackers compromise computer systems located in different parts of the world and use masquerading techniques and hidden servers making it difficult to trace them.
 
Prasad expressed concern over the absence of technical and legal infrastructure to catch cyber criminals, as also the lack of mechanism to check the unhindered growth of network of infected computer systems and flow of global information to check cybercrimes.
 
"There is great imperative to have proper ecosystem where there is meaningful cooperation. It is very important that information is properly shared. It is equally important that there must be mechanism for accountability in place in respect to crimes committed in cyberspace," he said.
 
Internet, mobile phones and the new media are among the finest inventions and game changers, Prasad said, adding as to why should a few be allowed to abuse it to destroy humanity.
 
He said India will support the framework of internet governance which must be inclusive and democratic.
 
British Member of Parliament and Secretary of State for Culture Sajid Javid at the event said multi-stakeholder model, both to governance and security, is the single best solution to the challenge cybercrimes, Prasad said.
 
He said the UK government has spend almost a billion pound under its Cyber Security Strategy.
 
"It's a great opportunity for world leaders to come together and confront the criminals. I look forward to India taking part. We must ensure that the internet is safe, secure and successful, but we cannot allow that to be an excuse for further government control of cyberspace," Javid said.
 
In the United Kingdom, he added, computer-based attacks are ranked alongside international terrorism as one of the biggest threats to national security.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy: Times Of India

Monday, 27 October 2014

Credit Score Can Fall Despite Loan Repayment

Traditional wisdom says repaying loan(s) helps one get a good credit score. However, this might not always be true.
 
Consider the case of software professional Milind Deo. Recently, his application for a housing loan was rejected, as his credit score was lower than required by the lender.
 
His score, 680 two years ago, dropped to 620 this year, despite the fact that he completed the repayment of a car loan of Rs 10 lakh within the term of five years (which ended in December last year).
 
Most lenders require a score of 700-750. Lenders and credit counsellors say there are a number of reasons for such rejections. Typically, those in a situation such as Deo’s should check their repayment history, as irregular loan payments hit one’s credit score.
 
In Deo’s case, one factor might be the fact that he doesn’t have any loan to service now. If there’s no loan to be repaid, there is no case for a credit score. Experts say this could easily pull down one’s credit score by 5-10 points. Therefore, it might be a good idea to own a credit card and make small spends through it, though owning a credit card but not using it lowers one’s score.
 
Such customers are termed ‘credit-hungry’. Each enquiry could pull down the credit score by 5-10 points. As such, shopping for best loan rates online is a better idea.
 
VN Kulkarni, counsellor, Bank of India’s Abhay Counselling, says, “One should ensure she/he does not take too many unsecured loans —personal loans, credit cards, etc. One who is servicing more than one personal loan will always have a lower score than someone servicing one or more housing loans, even if the personal loans are repaid on time.”
 
Similarly, those with more than three credit cards have a lower credit score, even if their repayment history is good. Try not to repay credit card bills in equated monthly instalments, as this hits your credit score.
 
Punja says over-utilising active lines of credit could also have a negative impact on credit scores.
 
Mohan says those who have negotiated with a lender to settle loans also have lower scores. Usually, an unpaid credit card bill is considered a non-performing asset (NPA) after 90 days. Once termed an NPA, the lender can’t charge interest. Subsequently, the borrower pays only the outstanding, or principal, and closes the account. However, while it might be easier to repay such a loan, this isn’t good for your credit profile.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

Courtesy: DNA

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Effective Coordination Key To Contain Cyber Attacks: Study

PUNE: Better communication and information about cyber security, right investment in skilled personnel and enabling technologies together with adoption of security measures will minimize the risk of current and emerging cyber threats, says a Websense - Ponemon Institute US report. 
 
The report: "Exposing the Cybersecurity Cracks: Roadblocks, Refresh and Raising the Human Security IQ," has focused on challenges IT executives face in dealing with cyber risks, amid communication issues between IT security professionals and executives, a desire to overhaul current security systems and limited security knowledge among executives and employees. 
 
The findings assume importance in the wake of rise in data thefts and the eventual financial losses suffered by customers of different business organizations such as banks that are encouraging use of IT and mobile technology driven services. 
 
Based on a survey of nearly 5,000 global IT security professionals (including 545 in India), the report reveals a knowledge and resource gap in the enterprise - leading to an increased level of vulnerability and risk of data security breaches. 
 
Websense, Inc. is engaged in protecting organizations from cyber attacks and data theft while Ponemon Institute is dedicated to advancing responsible information and privacy management practices in business and government. 
 
Globally, 29% of respondents would do a complete overhaul of their current enterprise security system if they had the resources and opportunity, the survey showed. It said nearly half (47%) the respondents felt frequently disappointed with the level of protection a security solution they had procured while only 12% had never been disappointed in their security solutions. 
 
The report indicated that advanced persistent threats (APTs) and data exfiltration attacks rank among top fears for IT security professionals and 56% believed a data breach would trigger a change of security vendors. Encouragingly, 49% say they are planning to make significant investments and adjustments to their cyber security defences in the next 12 months. 
 
Despite these concerns, a high 52% of companies do not provide cyber security education to their employees and less than half (42%) the employees have undergone a cyber threat modelling process in their present role, the report says, adding that of those that did, nearly all, (94%) found it to be important in terms of managing their cyber risk. 
 
"Advanced persistent threats and data exfiltration attacks rank the top fears for IT security professionals," said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. "These fears manifest because they believe their technology is in need of an overhaul and there is a widening gap in the knowledge and resource sharing among IT security professionals and executive staff. Encouragingly, the survey revealed plans for technology and education investment in place for the future," he added. 
 
Communication roadblocks are barriers to reducing the risk of a cyber attack, the survey said highlighting that 25% of cyber security teams never speak with their executive team about cyber security. Of those that did, 25% speak once a year and 18% speak twice while only one percent spoke weekly. 
 
Creating higher awareness among employee about IT threats and investing in training to help them combat such threats however seems to be a low priority for organizations the survey noted. Only 32% of respondents believe their company is investing enough in skilled personnel and technologies to be effective in executing its cyber security objectives or mission. In fact, 45% of companies represented in the research do not provide cyber security education to their employees, the survey revealed. 
 
Cyber law expert Vaishali Bhagwat told ToI that the human dimension in information security is almost ignored, yet the first to be blamed in case of a security breach incident. "Organisations run security awareness programmes to demonstrate compliance rather than deliver genuine behaviour change in end users," Bhagwat said. "Security is never baked in as it is nobody's priority. In a market that is kind to the one who reaches there first, security is bound to go on the back burner unless some sanctions are imposed on organisations that release insecure products," Bhagwat said, adding, "Technology is pushed on to users without giving due consideration to human behaviour and no significant efforts are being made to change human behaviour so that it readily absorbs new technology to ensure its appropriate use." 
 
"This Ponemon Institute security survey highlights that a lack of communication, education and inadequate security systems is making it possible for cybercriminals to attack organizations across the globe," said John McCormack, Websense chief executive officer. "It's not surprising that many security professionals are disappointed with the level of protection their current solutions provide, as many still use legacy solutions that cannot disrupt the kill chain to prevent data theft." 

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy: Times Of India

Friday, 24 October 2014

Ahmedabad: Spear Phishing Is Hackers\' New Weapon

Cybercriminals are digging deep to research their potential victims by noting their preference of connectivity over security. And they are succeeding in it by playing on consumer emotions using advanced techniques such as spear phishing, states a report.
 
This technique of using personalised information has claimed victims in Gujarat as well, say cybercrime experts. According to the ‘2013 Report – India’ released by security solutions provider Norton on Tuesday, 55% of the respondents admitted that the convenience of being constantly connected far outweighed any security risks. Adding to this, 66% of Indian consumers use their mobile device for both work and play, giving cybercriminals the chance to access more valuable information.
 
And hackers are tapping this snag like never before. “Unlike earlier, it is no longer the corporate companies and websites that the hackers are directly targeting, but individual users. To target them hackers are using sophisticated means like spear-phishing,” Norton country manager Ritesh Chopra told dna over the telephone. 60% of cyber threats in the country are targeted attacks at victims, as per the report.
 
Explaining spear phishing, Chopra said: “Hackers target individuals by accessing their personal information and then send them phishing mails assuming the identity of a friend or accomplice.
 
Appealing to their emotional ties with someone, hackers launch a phishing attack customised to lure a particular individual. Hence, it is not just phishing, but also an identity theft that they employ to their advantage,” he explained.
 
A similar type of identity theft and phishing has been noticed in Gujarat this year too, say cybercrime experts.
 
“There are instances where the email of an executive from an import-export firm is hacked and kept an eye on it till a major payment order is received. On receiving the order, the hacker changes the email ID’s password and contacts the paying company under the guise of the export firm. He claims that the payment was not received and gives them his own bank account number to receive the ‘missing payment’,” said Kiran Patel, police inspector DCB cyber crime cell.
 
This year, an executive from a Junagadh-based company fell victim to such a case, added Patel.
 
In addition, four such cases were averted in Ahmedabad at the last moment, due to timely communication between the potential victim and the paying firm. Such identity thefts have gone up with an increase in misuse of data collected by malware apps using synchronisation, he added.
 
63% of smartphone users became victims of mobile cybercrime, the report stated.
 
Another new trend noted by the report is that of ransomware. In this technique, a file is downloaded into the victim’s device without their notice. When triggered this file locks up the device and asks for a monetary payoff to unlock it, explained Chopra.
 
India ranks among the top-five of the 24 countries covered in the international version of the report in terms of ransomware, identity theft and spear-phishing, he added.
 
The report also states that 11% each of all ransomware and identity theft as well as 9% of all phishing attacks target Indian users.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy:DNA