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Persona (non) grata

Persona (non) grata

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How to tarnish a reputation

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intends to expand the system it uses to collect data about immigrants, including naturalised Americans. Now each person’s dossier is to include information about their search queries and social networking activities.

The DHS plan indicates that the gathered information will include social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results—all this data will be incorporated into each immigrant’s individual profile.

Communications involving ordinary American citizens interacting with immigrants will be monitored too. If a certain immigrant is under surveillance and agents go to review that individual’s Facebook or Google+ page, the agents are authorised to read private correspondence that may involve other people, even though those people are not formally under scrutiny.

Like it or not, but more and more of our Internet activities are being monitored. Naturally, this is done to counter terrorism, foreign influence, etc. So you may wonder: how is the Anti-virus Times connected with all this? Meanwhile, there is a direct connection.

On September 28, 2017, the movie Crimea was released in Russia. The film, rated 2,094, wouldn’t have garnered any public interest had it not been for the efforts of the attackers who managed to manipulate its rating on a popular Russian movie portal.

To increase the rating, they used compromised accounts of actual users. Before the movie hit the big screen, some users had noticed that Crimea was on their profile’s expected list, even though they had never added it there. At least 53,000 votes proved to be fake, which means that tens of thousands of accounts were compromised.

Criminals will never expose their real addresses and the computers they actually use. They need real people on whose behalf they will be acting. For example, they can deploy a Trojan on your computer and use your system to mount an attack on an organisation in Europe or the USA. They can also hijack your account and use it to communicate with somebody. The options are many.

Would you like a SWAT team to pay you a visit? No? What about falling under the spotlight of secret services because your reputation was tarnished by attackers who compromised your accounts? Don’t fancy that either? Then protect yourself!

#security_update #anti-virus_updates #Internet #hack #hacking

The Anti-virus Times recommends

You are mainly responsible for preserving the integrity of your reputation. Sometimes you can't change what people are saying about you, but it is within your power to make sure no one speaks on your behalf. Install an anti-virus, use strong passwords, apply security updates and exercise caution on the Internet—following these rules is not that difficult.


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