Yesterday, United States law enforcement officials announced charges against six Estonian nationals and one Russian national for engaging in a massive and sophisticated internet scheme that infected more than four million computers with malware – including half a million computers in the U.S.
Lots of OnGuardOnline.gov visitors appreciate our practical, plain language tips for securing computers, avoiding fraud, and being smart online. But what about the tech savvy users – IT professionals, cybersecurity specialists, and other super computer users? OnGuardOnline.gov has something for you, too, and you can find it on our new Techies Page.
If you’re part of the military community, take a look at OnGuard Online’s new page for military members and their families. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is well underway, and it’s a great time to take stock of ways you can get in the habit of securing your computer, protecting your personal information and avoiding fraud online.
It’s the second week of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and this week, the Department of Homeland Security highlights the importance of maintaining a strong cyber workforce. Visit DHS’s new webpage, Shaping the Future of Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development, to learn more about their efforts to enhance formal cybersecurity training and ensure a highly qualified workforce of cybersecurity professionals.
Chairman Jon Leibowitz today gave the keynote speech at an online privacy event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. He explained that the overall common privacy goal is to protect consumer privacy while ensuring a cyberspace that generates the free content we have all come to expect and enjoy. Chairman Leibowitz likened the paparazzi, who expose private moments, to invisible online data collection practices, which he called “cyberazzi.” He also highlighted FTC staff’s proposed framework for safeguarding consumers’ personal data and recent FTC privacy enforcement actions.
What would you think of millions of people having the ability to download the pictures and videos on your smartphone, or copy documents from your tablet computer, without your even realizing it?
If that sounds like a problem, you might want to take a look at the FTC’s just-announced settlement with a peer-to-peer (or P2P) file-sharing software developer. The company, Frostwire, offers free P2P file-sharing applications for Android devices and desktop and laptop computers.
Senior Internet Policy Advisor, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Hackers use software programs to search the internet for computers that aren’t protected by up-to-date security software. When they find unprotected computers, they try to install malware that allows them to control the computers remotely. Many thousands of these computers linked together make up a “botnet,“ a network controlled by hackers to steal people’s personal information or send spam. Millions of home computers are part of botnets.
On Monday, the White House issued a Presidential Proclamation to recognize National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The White House Blog featured a post by Howard Schmidt, Special Assistant to the President and White House Cybersecurity Coordinator, that highlighted a few government websites – including OnGuardOnline.gov – that everyone can use to help protect themselves online.
Assistant Director, Division of Consumer & Business Education, FTC
The digital revolution has enabled us to connect to the internet virtually anywhere at any time. Even when we are not directly connected, the internet supports our everyday lives through our financial transactions, transportation networks, emergency response systems, personal communication and more. This reliance on the internet will only continue to increase as technology advances and access to the internet expands. To maximize the potential of a digital society, we must protect the resources that make it possible.