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  • April 08, 2019 2:04 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Inovonics

    Pre-Release Notice
    EH4104R and EH1115EOL Wireless Commercial Fire Products

    What's New
    Inovonics plans to launch the EH4104R single zone fire RF receiver with relay and EH1115EOL single input fire RF transmitter.

    The Benefit
    This product will allow Inovonics to provide a commercially approved wireless fire solution that can be easily added to most commercial fire alarm systems.

    New Functionality
    The EH4104R single zone fire RF receiver with relay allows you to add a transmitter to a commercial fire application. The EH1115EOL single input fire RF transmitter with end of line resistor (EOL) allows you to connect to a fire switch with standard contacts. Both of the wireless fire products will hold a UL 864 10th edition fire alarm system listing. With the UL 864 listing, both products will also be listed with the California State Fire Marshall (CSFM).

    The Inovonics EH4104R receiver is UL 864 (Control Units and Accessories for Fire Alarm Systems) listed when deployed with compatible listed UL 864 fire alarm control panels. Please refer to the receiver's installation instructions for the complete guide on how to connect to a panel.

    Availability
    We expect the EH4104R and EH1115EOL to be available in early May, 2019.

    Doing Your Part
    Please contact your Inovonics account manager if you require additional information to begin integrating the EH4104R and EH1115EOL into your business operations.

    Have a specific question? Contact Michael today!

    Michael Um
    Senior Product Manager
    mum@inovonics.com

  • March 29, 2019 3:02 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from the Smithsonian

    It took just 81 minutes for a pair of thieves targeting Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to abscond with 13 works of art collectively valued at more than $500 million. But nearly 30 years after the daring March 18, 1990, heist, the frames that once held such masterpieces as Rembrandt’s “Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee” and Vermeer’s “The Concert” stand empty, and the case remains unsolved.

    Theories surrounding the missing works abound—as the Boston Globe’s Shelley Murphy and Stephen Kurkjian wrote in 2017, commonly cited suspects include the local mob, the 23-year-old security guard who buzzed the thieves, masquerading as police officers, into the building, and even Mafia boss James “Whitey” Bulger—but no arrests have ever been made.

    Now, Edmund H. Mahony reports for the Hartford Courant, an octogenarian mobster who authorities say could be the last living link to the heist is set to be released from prison after serving 54 months on an unrelated firearms charge.

    Robert Gentile, 82, first found himself under investigators' scrutiny in 2010, when the widow of another Boston gangster, Robert Guarente, told agents she witnessed her husband handing him two of the stolen paintings outside of a Portland, Maine, hotel a decade or so earlier.

    A bevy of evidence tying Gentile with the theft has surfaced since this initial accusation. As Mahony notes, investigators highlight telling testimony from mob associates, a polygraph test that signaled a 99.9 percent probability Gentile was lying about his connection to the theft, and a list of stolen works’ black market price points that was found during a 2012 search of the mobster’s home.

    Speaking with the Hartford Courant in 2016, longtime associate Sebastian Mozzicato posited that Gentile had enjoyed access to the works beginning in the late 1990s, when his Boston gang purportedly wrested control of the trove from the original thieves. (As Colin Moynihan observes for The New York Times, the F.B.I. made a 2013 announcement stating its agents had identified the thieves but would not reveal their names, as the two individuals in question were no longer alive.) Working with the F.B.I., Mozzicato and his cousin managed to record Gentile discussing the possible sale of several stolen paintings. The sting failed, however, after the mobster grew suspicious of his colleagues-turned-informants.

    Gentile has long maintained his innocence, describing the string of weapons charges leveled against him in recent years as an F.B.I. ploy designed to coerce him into revealing non-existent knowledge of the stolen works’ location. In a 2015 statement to the court, Gentile’s lawyer, A. Ryan McGuigan, argued that his client was guilty of nothing more than being a “braggadocio” with a need for attention. Expanding on this idea in a 2016 court filing, McGuigan said Gentile was running a “scam for all it was worth in hopes of getting some quick cash" and "proceeded to lead his merry band of informers and double agents on a merry hunt."

    Gentile’s current prison stay stems from a February 2018 trial, Mahony writes in a separate Hartford Courant piece. At the time, a judge sentenced Gentile to 54 months for selling a pistol to a known killer who had reportedly set out to “clip that fellow in Maine.” According to a 2016 Hartford Courant report, the individual in question was acting as a confidential informant for agents working on the Gardner investigation.

    Accounting for the 35 months the mobster served while awaiting trial, as well as time subtracted for good behavior, Gentile’s impending release marks the completion of this sentence. It remains unclear whether the wheelchair-bound, consistently ailing octogenarian will be permitted to return to his Manchester, Connecticut, home, which investigators have thoroughly searched on four previous occasions. (A 2012 search yielded police hats, badges, $20,000 in cash, a sizable weapons horde and the list of stolen works’ potential selling prices, but as Mahony reports, the F.B.I. found no trace of the missing art.)

    In May 2017, the Gardner Museum doubled the reward for information leading to the 13 items’ return, raising the stakes from $5 million to $10 million. At the time, NPR’s Camila Domonoske explains, the Boston institution said it would require interested parties to cash in on the prize by January 1, 2018.

    As Anthony Amore, head of security at the museum, told NPR ahead of the New Year’s Day deadline, “I am focused like a laser beam on one thing and that is recovering our stolen art and putting it back on the walls here at the museum, where it belongs.”

    More than a year later, the reward remains fixed at $10 million, and the frames still stand empty. It remains to be seen whether Gentile’s return to society will help investigators restore the missing works to their rightful place or mark yet another frustrating chapter in the decades-long saga of one of art history’s greatest mysteries.

    See Original Post
  • March 26, 2019 5:00 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Darryl Marshall was born on July 31, 1957 in Chicago, IL. He was one of two sons born to the late Hicks and Mary (Wilkins) Marshall.

    Darryl graduated from Calumet High School in 1975 and went on to attend Western Illinois University with a degree in Law Enforcement Administration. He continued his education and received his Master’s in Human Resources Management from the University of Phoenix in 2006 and a Certificate of Participation, Managers Academy, at Stanford University.

    Darry was employed by the Chicago Tribune where he worked for over 20 years. His last position there was Director of Security for the Broadcast Unit. It was there Darryl met the love of his live, Sarah Jones. After two years of dating, the two decided to marry in June 2003 at their home in Matteson, Illinois. After leaving the Chicago Tribune Darryl accepted a position as the Director of Protections Services for the Field Museum. After 6 years of service, Darryl saw an opportunity to expand his career, he was also excited about the opportunities that it would bring to his family, especially his children, so he uprooted his family and accepted a position in California working at Stanford University as Director of Cantor and Anderson Collection. During this time Darryl’s career evolved. Darryl began mentoring when time permitted.

    Darryl was professional and dedicated in all aspects of his career. He was well respected by all, and loved by many. Darryl was affiliated with any organizations such as ASIS International (the world’s largest membership organization for security management professionals), International Foundation of Cultural Property Protection (IFCPP), Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and Association of Threat Assessment Professionals. Darryl went on to participate in a leadership program with Colin Powell at Georgetown University, for the International Security Management Association (ISMA). Darryl loved what he did and the people he worked closely with.

    The most important things in Darryl’s life were his love of God and his love for his family. Darryl was a member of Victory Apostolic Church in Matteson, IL., where he served on the ABBA Fathers Ministry and the Men’s Choir. During this time Darryl become friends with many church members that touched him very much. As a young man he would visit his parents’ house every Sunday to enjoy the fellowship of family and his mother’s delicious cakes. He and his wife, Sarah, cared for his parents in their golden years. Darryl was a dedicated father who supported his children spiritually and emotionally. He generously gave of his time and talents to ensure their wellbeing.

    On February 25, 2019, at the age of 61, Darryl made his transition to Heaven to join his parents, Hicks and Mary, as well as his brother, Rickey, all of whom have preceded him in death.

    Darryl leaves a legacy of love to his wife, Sarah Jones Marshall; two sons, JaMichael and Jared; a daughter, Kayla; nephews, Nathan (Khara) and Brian; a niece, Hannah; a sister-in-law; Charanne Marshall; a best friend, Tye Stone; and a host of other relatives and dear friends.


  • March 26, 2019 2:36 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from The New York Times

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday that her department may have been founded to combat terrorism, but its mission is shifting to also confront emerging online threats.

    China, Iran and other countries are mimicking the approach that Russia used to interfere in the U.S. presidential election in 2016 and continues to use in an attempt to influence campaigns on social media, she said. Under threat are Americans' devices and networks.

    "It's not just U.S. troops and government agents on the front lines anymore," Nielsen said. "It's U.S. companies. It's our schools and gathering places. It's ordinary Americans."

    Devices and networks are "mercilessly" targeted, she said. Those responsible are "compromising, co-opting, and controlling them."

    Nielsen was speaking about the priorities of a sprawling department created after the Sept. 11 attacks. It handles counterterrorism, election security and cybersecurity, natural disaster responses and border security — President Donald Trump's signature domestic issue.

    The president on Friday issued his first veto , to secure money for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. Nielsen did not specifically mention that fight, but made clear that she sees a humanitarian and security crisis at the border because of an increasing number of Central American families crossing into the U.S. to seek asylum.

    While the overall number of migrants coming into the U.S. is down from a high of 1.6 million in 2000, the number of families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has reached record highs. The system is at a breaking point, she said.

    Nielsen said the department has introduced tougher screening systems at airports and is working with the State Department to notify other countries of stricter information-sharing requirements. She said the countries that work with the U.S. will make the world safer, and those that do not "will face consequences."

    See Original Post

  • March 26, 2019 2:32 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from StaySafeOnline

    I’m going to start this piece off with a statement that you may find a little controversial: it doesn’t matter how much you spend on cybersecurity.

    Before you bounce from the page, allow me to explain. How much you spend matters very little. It’s how you spend it that makes a real difference.

    Too often, I see businesses throwing away money on point solutions that they ultimately never use. I see them implement new technology but fail to leverage its full potential. I see them invest in protecting areas that don’t represent a risk to their data while ignoring areas that do.

    “A lot of [cybersecurity technology] gets acquired and is not leveraged,” explains Tom Parker, Managing Director of Accenture Security. “A lot of the time it’s about having organizations understanding the value of what they have already invested in…It’s easy for us in this industry to say ‘sure you need more budget and give us more money,’ but the reality is the conversation you want to have is not about how much money you have to spend, but how to spend smart money on the problem.”

    So, how do you spend smart on cybersecurity? How do you ensure your investments aren’t just wasted capital and the time and resources you expend actually protect what needs to be protected? It all starts with understanding your organization.

    Know Your Infrastructure

    What devices do your employees most frequently use in the workplace? What mobile devices are present in your organization and how do your employees use those devices? What endpoints exist both inside and outside of your office?

    How does data flow between all these endpoints? What are your most sensitive files – what does your business need to protect above all else and why? Where are those files stored and who has access to them?

    Last but certainly not least, what apps are critical to employee workflows and what potential security risks do they pose?

    These are all questions you need to answer before you can form even a partial understanding of where and how to invest your security budget. But this isn’t the only information you need to know. It’s also critical that you understand the threat landscape facing your business and that you incorporate some form of threat intelligence solution.

    Incorporate Threat Intelligence

    As you’ve probably surmised, threat intelligence should probably be one of your first investments. Threat intelligence is a way to monitor, analyze and respond to the cyber threats facing your business. Equipped with an understanding of what it is you need to protect, you can implement systems that allow you to keep track of those assets. How advanced you want these systems to be is entirely up to you.

    On the one hand, you might settle for network monitoring systems that alert your administrators whenever suspicious behavior occurs. On the other, you might employ advanced processes, tools and techniques such as machine learning, data analytics and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platforms. If you have the budget and the expertise to do so, there’s no harm in employing such tactics.

    Make sure you’ve spent the necessary time and money on establishing a good foundation first.

    Put Good Processes in Place

    You should harden your systems. You should use firewalls and anti-malware software. That’s all table stakes – it’s basic stuff you’re probably doing already.

    Ultimately, it’s not your hardware or application infrastructure that’s your weakest link. It’s your people. A good chunk of your cybersecurity budget should, therefore, go to staff education and awareness. You should have clear-cut policies and processes in place for handling everything from data access to a ransomware attack; and every employee should be aware of them.

    Speak to A Cybersecurity Specialist

    When in doubt, it’s almost always worthwhile to bring in a third-party specialist. They can help you locate weaknesses in your security posture, recommend point solutions that fit your specific use case and perform penetration tests on your existing security systems.

    Remember That Cybersecurity is Not a “One and Done” Project

    Last but certainly not least, the most important thing to remember about your cybersecurity budget is that you should treat it as something organic. Securing your business isn’t something you can ever really close the book on. You’re going to need to adapt how and where you spend your money based on how your business grows and the threat landscape evolves.

    Otherwise, it doesn’t matter where you spend the money – you’ll eventually be spending it in all the wrong places.

    See Original Post

  • March 26, 2019 2:28 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from the Independent

    A gang of thieves thought they had got their hands on a €3m (£2.6m) painting, only to learn they had stolen a fake masterpiece after some artful policing.

    Pieter Bruegel the Younger’s The Crucifixion seemingly vanished from a church in northwest Italy this week after robbers smashed open its case with hammer.

    It looked to have been a perfectly executed heist, until police revealed on Thursday they had swapped the Flemish artist’s original 1617 oil painting with an exact replica.

    After being tipped off about the planned theft last month, officers had also installed secret cameras in the church in town of Castelnuovo Magra in Liguria to catch the culprits in the act.

    The town’s mayor Daniele Montebello was also in on the bluff, initially telling the media the loss of the “work of inestimable value” was “a hard blow for our community”.

    He later admitted the real painting had been placed in secure storage weeks ago.

    “The rumour had started to circulate that someone could steal the work and the Carabinieri [national military police] decided to keep it safe, replacing it with a copy and installing some cameras,” he told Italian news agency Ansa. “For investigative reasons we could not reveal anything.”

    The mayor also thanked parishioners, some of whom had noticed the Bruegel on display in the Santa Maria Maddalena church “was not the original but did not reveal the secret”.

    The painting, a reproduction of a work by the artist’s father, Bruegel the Elder, was donated to the church in the 19th century by a family of Italian nobles.

    The thieves pulled up in a Peugeot at lunchtime on Wednesday before speeding off with the fake masterpiece in a smash-and-grab raid.

    Police are now studying the surveillance footage in a bid to identify the gang.

    See Original Post

  • March 26, 2019 2:24 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from CBS Denver

    A teenager who damaged 10 works of art at the Denver Art Museum pleaded guilty on Thursday. Jake Siebenlist was 18 when he was arrested last December.

    More than $96,000 in damage was done to the “Stampede: Art and Animals” exhibit on the fourth floor of the museum’s Frederic C. Hamilton Building.

    After pleading guilty, Siebenlist received a three year deferred sentence, meaning he will be on probation. The judge also ordered Siebenlist to pay back the $96,000 in restitution. Siebenlist also has been ordered to stay away from the museum.

    After Siebenlist’s rampage in the museum, Christoph Heinrich, the museum’s director, said he believed the works of art could be salvaged. The museum released a statement Thursday afternoon that said “affected objects are being evaluated by the Denver Art Museum’s art conservation staff, and specifics about repairs are not yet available.”

    See Original Post

  • March 26, 2019 2:21 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from Facility Executive

    Last month, Aurora, IL made national headlines for a workplace shooting that left five people dead and several police officers injured. With workplace shootings occurring at places like Aurora, the Annapolis Capital Gazette, the Washington Navy Yard and others in recent years, it may not be surprising that roughly one out of seven Americans do not feel safe at work, according to new data from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

    Nearly half of human resources (HR) professionals said their organization had at some point experienced a workplace violence incident at some level—up from 36 percent in 2012. And of those who reported having experienced workplace violence, over half said their organization had experienced an incident in the last year.

    “Companies and HR should and must do more to make employees feel safe at work,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, president and chief executive officer of SHRM. “This data shows we have a lot of work to do in terms of security, prevention, training and response.”

    Unfortunately, nearly one-third of American employees and nearly one out of five HR professionals are currently unsure or don’t know what to do if they witness or are involved in a workplace violence incident.

    “The goal for employers—and this is something we address in our toolkit—is making your workplace a ‘difficult’ target for violent offenders and being prepared to react quickly,” Taylor explained. “If you make the investment in security and preparation, your employees will feel safer and respect you for valuing their safety.”

    While the majority of HR professionals say their organization already provides training to employees on how to respond to an act of workplace violence, more than one-third do not provide such training to employees. Additionally, while almost all say their company has a process for identifying employees with a history of violence, over half are unsure whether they have a workplace violence prevention program.

    According to the research, Americans understandably feel safer when employers provide prevention and training response programs. Additionally, more employees know how to react if their organization already has a workplace violence prevention and/or employee response training program.

    “Education has to start from the top down, and often that starts with HR,” Taylor said. “There’s naturally a lot of fear when people think of workplace violence. But preparing and providing employees with hands-on training helps empower them to react and take action in the event of a worst-case scenario.”

    SHRM’s newly released online toolkit, Understanding Workplace Violence Prevention and Response, provides information and resources to address workplace violence, including:

    • Creating a prevention plan;
    • Identifying how workplace violence is defined;
    • Recognizing warning signs;
    • Implementing a response team; and
    • Responding to workplace violence incidents.

    See Original Post

  • March 26, 2019 2:16 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from BBC News

    A Frenchman has been given a life sentence for killing four people in an anti-Semitic attack in Brussels in May 2014.

    Mehdi Nemmouche, 33, opened fire with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a handgun at the city's Jewish Museum.

    Three people died at the scene and one later in hospital. 

    Nemmouche spent a year fighting in Syria for the Islamic State (IS) group before returning to Europe to carry out the attack.

    A man who helped plan the attack and supply weapons, Nacer Bendrer, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. 

    Nemmouche and Bendrer were found guilty last week after a two-month-long trial involved apparent witness intimidation and testimony from former captives of IS in Syria.

    Bendrer, who is also French, told the court: "I am ashamed to have crossed paths with this guy [Nemmouche]. He is not a man, he is a monster."

    When asked to speak, Nemmouche reportedly said with a smirk: "Life goes on."

    Nemmouche's lawyers tried to suggest that he had been framed in an elaborate conspiracy which blamed the murders on foreign intelligence agencies. But they produced no evidence to support the claim. 

    Two Israeli tourists, a volunteer worker and a receptionist were killed in the attack on the museum.

    Who is Mehdi Nemmouche?

    He is believed by Belgian prosecutors to be the first European jihadist to return from war-torn Syria to carry out terror attacks in Europe. 

    He was born into a family of Algerian origin in the northern French town of Roubaix.

    He was previously known to French authorities, having served five years in prison for robbery. He is said to have met Bendrer while in prison.

    Both have been described as "radicalised" prisoners.

    Nemmouche travelled to Syria in 2013 and stayed for one year, during which time he is believed to have fought for a jihadist group in the country's civil war.

    Investigators say that while there, he met Najim Laachraoui, who was a suicide bomber in the Brussels airport attack of March 2016, which killed 32 people. 

    Four French journalists held hostage in Syria say they were guarded by both Laachraoui and Nemmouche during their captivity.

    Nemmouche was extradited to Belgium to face charges connected to the museum shooting, but may also face trial in France over the allegations he was involved in holding the French hostages. 

    What happened during the trial?

    Security was tight, matching that of the trial of jailed jihadist Salah Abdeslam, the sole surviving member of the 2015 Paris attackers.

    Days after the trial began, a lawyer representing a witness reported his laptop and some paperwork on the case had been stolen from his office.

    A baseball bat and replica gun were left in their place – something prosecutors viewed as a threat.

    In the dock the next day, Nemmouche denounced the attempt at intimidation - and the witness, 81-year-old Chilean artist Clara Billeke Villalobos, went on to testify anyway.

    Next came the orphaned daughters of Miriam and Emmanuel Riva, the Israeli tourists killed. 

    Ayalet, 19, and Shira, 21, described a mother "devoted to her family" and an unassuming father who "loved to travel". 

    Three weeks into proceedings, jurors were shown video of Nemmouche in custody after his arrest.

    Belgian newspaper Le Soir described it as showing an "arrogant" Nemmouche in front of police with a "disdainful smile", arms folded.

    Testimony from prisoners

    Two of the French journalists held for nearly a year in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo appeared in court, pointing to Nemmouche as their captor.

    Nicolas Henin told the court Nemmouche was "sadistic, playful and narcissistic", while Didier Francois said he had beaten him dozens of times with a truncheon.

    'Ultra-radicalised'

    Summing up, prosecutor Bernard Michel told the court Nemmouche was "not simply radicalised but ultra-radicalised".

    "If attacking a museum with a combat weapon is not violent and savage then nothing will ever be violent and savage," he said. 

    "For the killer, for Mehdi Nemmouche, the identity of the victims mattered little," he added.

    "The aim was simply that there should be victims. Everything was premeditated."

    'Lebanese-Iranian-Israeli plot'

    The closing argument from the defence was described by some as "mind-boggling", as it wove a web of conspiracy involving foreign intelligence agencies and assassination.

    Sebastien Courtoy, Nemmouche's lawyer, suggested that his client was recruited in Lebanon in January 2013 by Iranian or Lebanese intelligence to join the ranks of IS. But this claim went unsubstantiated.

    According to Mr Courtoy, the Jewish Museum murders were not an IS attack, but a "targeted execution of Mossad agents" - a reference to the Israeli intelligence agency, which he claimed the Israeli couple belonged to. The killing was carried out by an unknown person, he said.

    Yet judges investigating the museum attack last month told the court there was no evidence to support any link to Mossad.

    At one pointed the defence even argued that Nemmouche could not be considered anti-Semitic because he wore Calvin Klein shoes - an apparent reference to Mr Klein's Jewish heritage.

    A lawyer representing a committee of Jewish organisations called that observation "mind-boggling and incoherent".

    See Original Post

  • March 26, 2019 2:10 PM | Office IFCPP (Administrator)

    Reposted from StaySafeOnline

    Cybercrime campaigns based on social engineering can yield better results for crooks than regular malware attacks. These hoaxes don’t require any tedious software development efforts and the “vulnerabilities” of human nature often play right into the perpetrators’ hands. Add a little bit of malicious code into the mix and you’ve got yourself a tech support scam.

    The con artists behind tech support scams impersonate reputable technology companies to interact with would-be victims over telephone, via websites or by means of rogue software. The logic of such schemes is to persuade the user that their computer is infected with viruses, generating suspicious network activity or having system activation issues. The goal is to trick victims into paying for troubleshooting services they don’t need.

    There are several variations of the modern tech support scam. Whereas the common denominator always boils down to manipulation, the specific mechanisms of achieving this objective may vary and allow security analysts to single out three main tactics of these scammers.

    • The most old-school tactic relies on cold calling the potential victims. The impostor pretends to be from the support department of a major IT company and says they have detected malicious activity emanating from the user’s computer. Then, they ask the unsuspecting person to allow then remote access of their computer so they can fix the problem. Instead, the scammer will point to harmless items in system maintenance reports and claim they are serious problems. The malefactor will then attempt to offer a remote tech assistance subscription for a fee.
    • Another variant of tech support scams involves specially crafted websites that display bogus security alerts or error notifications. People hit these deceptive pages by clicking on a fishy ad on another site, or as a result of a redirect caused by a browser hijacker. To top it off, the code embedded in these web pages triggers popup alerts and splash screens that cannot be closed unless the victim terminates the browser process altogether. The self-proclaimed support agents instruct the user to dial a specific phone number so that they can remotely rectify the issue for a fee.
    • Some tech support scams engage scareware. Scareware is a malicious program that reports nonexistent security threats, imitates operating system crashes or displays counterfeit product activation windows. Most of these deceptive applications sneak into PCs as part of freeware bundles. The nag screens provide a phone number that the user is instructed to call for assistance. Again, the “operators” on the other end will try to sell the victim worthless support services.

    Latest trends

    The evolution of tech support scams has spawned new techniques that make these hoaxes more effective and increasingly elusive.

    1. Multiple layers of obfuscation

    Cybercrooks have recently devised a method to prevent their scams from being detected by antivirus software. It revolves around hiding malicious scripts behind several layers of obfuscation – usually backed by encryption. Following this is an intricate sequence of technical processes that keeps security software from identifying the scam.

    2. Call optimization services

    Some of the newer frauds mimic the activity of legitimate call centers. The scammers employ call optimization services that normally facilitate the process of routing calls by distributing the load and generating relevant phone numbers based on the user’s location.

    When a user is redirected to a scam page, they see a stubborn popup alert that cannot be easily closed due to persistent code. This notification includes a phone number for the visitor to dial in order to take care of the issue. With automatic call optimization in place, the attackers make sure the contact details inserted in the page align with the user’s geographic location. Furthermore, the service can dynamically generate new phone numbers that haven’t been blacklisted.

    3. Causing CPU to skyrocket

    Another recent tech support scam stands out from the crowd as it disrupts computer performance via the user’s web browser.

    The scam drags the web browser into a traffic loop that uses up all CPU power of the target machine. A warning message on the page maxes out the CPU and keeps it there, thus causing the browser to crash. Naturally, this also impacts the stability of the whole computer system and makes regular applications unresponsive. This tactic is used to pressure the victim into giving the feigned support agents a phone call as soon as possible.

    Not only are tech support scams prolific, but they are also becoming increasingly sophisticated and evasive. The exploitation of legitimate services make these hoaxes look convincing. To stay on the safe side, users should treat any online warnings with a fair degree of suspicion. The rule of thumb is to refrain from calling the phone numbers listed on such pages.

    See Original Post

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