It's a Black Hat Christmas - Are Hackers in Your Stocking?

Courtesy of WorkingtheWebtoWin.com
By Hector Cisneros

The holidays are here! It’s almost Christmas. Your shopping for your loved ones, scoping out all the deals when you get an email from your favorite store for an incredible deal. All you have to do is log in and claim your special to win Christmas. What could be easier? Or is it? Every year at this time cybercriminals ramp up and sharpen their social engineering hacker techniques to capture your usernames and passwords. They want to gain access to your digital devices and secure the claim to your financial data. This year, it's time to shop on a smarter level. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will show you more than a dozen ways to protect your data and shopping experience to make this holiday special in a positive way. Don’t let the black hat hackers get in your Christmas stocking.

In Christmases of the past, we have written about how cyber thieves and hacking increases during the holidays. This is because so many shoppers are too busy hunting for a deal and not paying attention to their cyber security. First, we wrote about “The Byte Before Christmas” where we talked about the growing trend of cyber hacking during the holidays along with the bad behavior that goes with Black Friday shopping. Then we wrote an article called “The Grinch Goes Digital,” which covers 12 ways online scammers can steal from you this Christmas. Since then, we have written many other articles about the ever-escalating threat of hackers black hat trickery and how worldwide hacking is becoming a threat to our very way of life.

In 2016 there were dozens of major hacks that compromised the online information of hundreds of millions of Americans. Friend Finder was hacked, and information of 412 million users were compromised. I know what you’re thinking, they deserved it.  But what about Anthem Health insurance being hacked which compromised 80 million accounts, or MySpace 164 million accounts being compromised! The list goes on and on.  Don’t believe me, Read The Biggest Data Breaches in 2016 to see an incredible list of major breaches. Big celebrities were not exempt from these hacks, check out, “Hacking public figures” by Rose Leadem. Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Jack Dorsey were just a few of the big names to get hacked in 2016.  Want more.
Courtesy of  Wikipedia

All hackers and hacks are criminal acts. Anonymous, China, Russia, Terrorists and other hacker organization are all at war with governments, big business, and the world's established financial institutions. At the same time, cybercriminals are fleecing average citizens of their hard-earned Christmas money and retirement savings. They attack to cause chaos and anarchy in our somewhat orderly world. They have even attacked our infrastructure like our electrical grid. However, sometimes these criminal acts lead to useful information being leaked to the world when government officials are not behaving in the public's best interest (like when they are lying to us).

Hacking Political candidates – This year hacking and hackers played a significant role in our presidential election. What would have happened if hackers had not hacked and leaked the DNC’s email account and exposed how they had rigged the Democratic nomination win? What would have happened if we did not find out about Hillary’s secret server, that was hacked and the contents of those emails about Bengasi and other issue? What if the WikiLeaks had not received the hacked emails about the Clinton foundation and other DNC operative shenanigans?

More and more cybercriminals are using fake accounts and social trickery to gain access
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and control of your digital devices, including personal, and financial data. I personally had one of my Facebook accounts copied where a criminal set up as a fake account. He tried to capture followers trust and gain access to their financial information. The cyber criminals started out by asking for a contribution to worthy causes, which in turn would require people forking over their credit card info. Luckily I discovered it early on and got the fake account pulled down.   

You are not Immune! And don’t think you are immune because you’re a small fry user. Cybercriminals don’t know or care about targeting only big fish. In fact, you are the most vulnerable because you are the easiest to attack. The average user does not use 12 digit passwords, or have layered defenses with several antivirus/malware products or have a browser that protects their privacy and pre-warns of known malicious websites? Few use password encryption or encrypted email or data. Most don’t update their computers’ anti-malware or browsers on a regular basis.

Well, if you don’t want to become a victim of cybercrime, you need to be proactive and
Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons

educate yourself and then plug the cyber security holes in your digital life. We have written extensively in the past about the exponential growth of cyber security threats in America and the world. Now the problem is so epidemic that whole countries have been brought to their knees when their electric grids were brought down by cyberattacks. And if these were not enough, the advent and adoption of IoT (The Internet of Things) have opened a new gap in the security of your home, where hackers can turn your IoT devices into zombie bots to bring down or slow the usefulness of the internet. Again, don’t believe me, read; “
Hacked home devices caused massive Internet outage” by Eli Blumenthal and Elizabeth Weise, in USA TODAY. 

Here are some of our articles I highly recommend. It's my short list;
  1. Getting faked out on Facebook
  2. The Cybercrime Clock is Ticking
  3. Big Brother Built In
  4. Are Trolls taking over the Internet
The most important article you must read is The State of Internet Privacy & Security in America Today. It contains a huge notes section and links to more than two dozen articles that will help educate you on how to protect yourself in this Cyberwar we are on engaged in.

How to Protect Yourself during the holidays
Courtesy of  http://www.workingthewebtowin.com
  • Set up a layered defense, including a secure router with firewall, multiple antimalware products, and browsers that maximize privacy. Browsers like Tor, Comodo Dragon, and Firefox are much more private than Chrome. Think about using a VPN connection. Adding a VPN connection will make it very hard for others to track your internet usage. Don’t forget to use password protection software as an added layer of defense.
  • If you insist on using Chrome, which many users love, setup Google’s two-step authentication system. This will give you an additional strong layer of protection. This is a must use practice if you travel overseas.
  • Keep your security system up to date. This includes your OS, anti-malware products, routers, browsers, applications and password protection software.
  • Replace your passwords on all applications and system at least once a year. Make it at least 12 digits long and include letters, numbers and at least one special character. If you have Windows 10, use the photo or facial recognition system to up the stakes of anti-hacker security.
  • Minimize the use of IoT and artificial intelligence. This includes Alexa, Google Home and Cortana, Siri, and Xfinity Home. These devices keep your private information on tap in order to function. Many smart appliances also have tie-ins to these devices. They are all vulnerable at this time. If a cybercriminal breaches any of your defense’s, these will be compromised first.
  • Minimize the use of Google Search, use Duck Duck Go or other search engines that do not track your usage. The more you can be tracked online by Google, the more your digital footprints can also be tracked by cyber criminals.
  • Get and use a throwaway email address whenever possible (the one’s you get from Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.). Don’t forget to change your passwords annually on these systems as well.
  • Use data encryption on all your digital devices whenever possible. Use encryption to transmit data, and email. Encrypt data in your “dropboxes” and cloud drives and make sure you have adequate cloud backup that provides multiple revisions of your data so that you can roll back a mistake or ransomware breach.
  • Use one-time use credit cards to limit your financial exposure. This can also include
    Courtesy of  Pixabay
    non- refillable credit cards. If you're not doing this, at least use PayPal to add an additional layer of protection to your purchases.
  • Pay attention to the URL of any website you visit. Only use https addresses when browsing on the internet. These addresses are more likely to be legit, which is why Google gives them a higher ranking factor.
  • When traveling to visit family during the holidays (especially overseas) think about using a prepaid smartphone without installing any of your private info on it. Prepaid phones are cheap and can be refilled and reused anytime you travel.
  • Buy a Secure Smartphone - If you want the best security when traveling (or when using a mobile device), buy a secure smartphone like the Blackphone from Silent Circle or a smartphone that includes a fingerprint access. Also, make sure that full encryption is always turned on in case you ever lose it.
  • Tighten up the security in all of your social sites. Many now have security tools that allow you to control access and communications with other social users. Never provide any financial information over the internet. Your bank will never contact you saying they accidently over or under deposited money or your dead relatives left you money in Africa.
  • Make sure you keep a watchful eye on your elderly parents' computer usage.
    Courtesy of  Pixabay
    Setup strong security on any of their systems. Create strong backup systems and create bank account security settings that will warn you (as well as them) when passwords change, large amounts of money are moved, or any other risky transaction takes place.
  • Last but not least, refrain from risky behavior like visiting websites that are known to be associated with malware and hacker apps. These include porn sites, sites offering “too good to be true deals,” Free movie sites, black hat sites and sites on the dark web! The bottom line is there is no protection for stupid behavior.

Don’t become a victim this holiday season. Take the time to learn and understand this grave threat to our modern life. Do the research necessary to protect yourself and your family's assets. This is one of the gravest threats to our generation and our modern way of life. Click on the links in this article to read and learn as much as you can. The alternative is risking your personal and business data, financial viability and your future. Our government has been asleep at the wheel and has not come close to dealing with this looming cybersecurity threat. Roll up your sleeves and do your part. Be proactive, and you will not become a victim. 

That’s my opinion; I look forward to hearing yours.

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In this article, I have discussed how every year, cybercriminals take advantage of the holiday season and create countless victims in the United States. This article provides many examples and dozens of links to help you learn how to improve your privacy and security. Implementing these tips will keep cybercriminals at bay.

If you feel your business could use some help with its marketing, contact us at 904-410-2091. We will provide a free marketing analysis to help you get better results. If you found this article useful, please share it with friends, family, and co-workers. You can find other articles on our blog by typing in “hacker, hacking or cyber security” in the search box at the top of this blog. If you have a useful comment or opinion related to this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog.  Also, don’t forget to plus us, on Google+.



Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”

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The Magic of Using a Cloud-Based Calendar

BY Hector Cisneros

If you could find a tool that would increase your efficiency for work, add more to your play time and just make your life better.  No, it’s not your smartphone, (although you have an app for one), it's a calendar. The magic of the calendar has transformed human civilization from unorganized tribes to a civilization that builds city and nations. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore how calendars have allowed humankind to organize itself into a civilization of 8 billion souls. We will explore how a calendar can help you organize and communicate better in business and your personal life. We will look at some of the best cloud-based products and provide tips on how to make the most your calendar.  So, let’s get started.


For the most part, calendars evolved because people began recording the lunar and solar
Courtesy of  Wikipedia
cycles to track and understand when the seasons would change. The first recorded calendar goes back to the bronze age when writing and metallurgy were first developed. Over the years there have been many types of calendars including the mostly lunisolar of the Babylonian, Zoroastrian, Hebrew, Hellenic, Hindu, and Roman. Julius Caesar was first to set a calendar based on an algorithm that added a leap day every four years. Today’s calendar is based on the Gregorian calendar introduced in 1582.

So why is a calendar so important.

Without the invention of the calendar, we would not have developed many of the things we identify with modern human existence. Agriculture, commerce, seasonal celebrations. Calendars have been an important tool of humankind for thousands. It allows us to plan our time, task, events and much more.

Today using a cloud-based calendar makes it much easier to organize, share and communicate your schedule than ever before. Let’s look at some of the top players in the marketplace today.

Top Group Calendars you can use.

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Google Calendar - Google ‘s Calendar is part of Google’s G suite of Googles Cloud products. It is highly integrated with Google Drive, is feature rich and a mature product as far as cloud products can be. I am a strong proponent of Google’s G suite of products. I love Google’s Calendar because it can do so many things. It can be enhanced by many third party apps and plug-ins and is, in my opinion, the top product in its class. Having said this, I want you to know that Microsoft’s Outlook and Apple’s iCloud are both considered top of category products by many. They are also feature-rich, and both have many overlapping features and benefits. I suggest you use my list of Google Calendar features as a checklist for any calendar system you're looking to adopt. Also, make sure you take the time to vet any add-ons and that you do your due diligence by reading the additional articles linked here.  Articles I recommend reading are 16 Little-Known Google Calendar Features That'll Make You More Productive, 10 Awesome Google Calendar Features That You Should Try and  9 Google Calendar Features You Should Be Using. The last article I would like you to read is one by Melanie Pinola.  In her article “Beyond Google Calendar and Apple Calendar: The 18 Best Apps to Manage Your Schedule”, Melanie Pinola list some of the best plug-in apps for enhancing your calendar. Check it out and also look at the notes page as I have listed over a dozen articles on using and enhancing your calendar.

Short List Google G Suite Calendar Feature
  • It’s Highly integrated with Google G suite and the Google Contacts manager.
  • You can Create Multiple Calendars for different parts of your life (personal and business). View them all together or selectively.
  • You can Share Your Calendars with Others both publicly and privately.
  • You can Schedule meetings with groups using "Find a Time" or "Suggested Times."
  • You can Setup Appointment Slots so that others can get appointments with you.
  • You can set up Auto-reject meeting and appointment for non-approved timeslots.
  • You can Add a Google Hangout to your event to eliminate windshield time.
  • You can Add an event location with a Google map that works with your smartphone's GPS
  • Set up a world clock so that appointments can be set up with partners around the world.
  • You can Add attachments so that this information can be shared before and during the meeting.
  • You can set it up so that the names of those you're meeting with show up in the Calendar.
  • You can invite guests to meetings and events via Gmail, and they can confirm attendance.
  • You can Browse interesting calendars like holidays and events from other countries.
  • You can Setup a custom view of your Calendar (not just a day, week, or monthly views).
  • Email a reminder for your meeting – including the use of gentle notifications.
  • You can get apps and other plugin's to enhance its capabilities from Google and third parties.
  • Google regularly releases experimental add -on’s you can use to add features.
  • It integrates with CRM’s like ZOHO, Salesforce, and other non-CRM programs

Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
Microsoft Outlook Online – There is no doubt that Microsoft is one of the top players in the world of online computing. They have a cloud network that is second to none and their Outlook product should be considered, especially if you are an office 365 user. To review the features and benefits of their Outlook product, check out the articles and links below.
Apple iCloud Calendar Apple has one of the most loyal followings in the world. This is
Courtesy of  Pexels

because they produce some of the finest and most useful products in the world. If you’re an Apple loyalist and not using iCloud, something is wrong. If you are looking at moving to the Apple platform, then iCloud make the straw that makes that move a no-brainer for you. Check out the following links to explore the many Apple calendaring features and benefits.

Make sure that your calendar is available across all devices and platforms, as this will give you maximum flexibility and access. Also, see if it integrates with the latest Artificial Intelligence assistants like SIRI, OK Google, and the Amazon Echo.
Courtesy of  Flickr
There are a lot of apps that can plug in with your calendars. Do a search in your app store to find which one’s work with the calendar of your choice. We use Google’s G Suite calendar, and it can be integrated into CRM programs.

Tip for Managing Your Calendar

To make your calendar usage is the best it can be, make sure you follow these simple tips. Create a routine. This will get and keep you in the groove of organizing your life. Whenever possible group calls and meeting. Make sure you set up appointment slots and block out time for networking, social media posting, making calls, and to read email.  Also, make sure you setup email filters, plan your personal time, setup time slots to tackle the important tasks. Don’t forget to set priorities for meeting, events, and tasks. And lastly, break big tasks into subtask and give each a time slot.

Managing Your Social Media needs a Calendar

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Make sure you add your social media work to your calendar tasks. This will help you track performance and make sure you never miss an important date or deadline. Social media can be a black hole for time. Your calendar can help make sure you manage your social media time; help keeps you from spamming accounts because of overlapping post and make sure that your blog post gets written and published on time.

Your Networking Needs a Calendar

If you’re into face to face networking, your calendar is your friend. As a consummate Networker, you need to schedule your time to maximize your results. Make sure you block out time for network meeting and events. Make e sure your calendar time for writing and practicing your elevator speeches and short presentations. Never eat lunch alone. Invite
Courtesy of  Flickr

referral partners to lunch for 1-2-1 and get more referrals.

 If you’re not currently using an online calendaring system, you are hurting your productivity and stealing from your personal time. Take the time to try several of the calendars mention in this article. Adopt one of them and get organized. You will quickly learn that a cloud-based calendar is not only an indispensable tool, but it will also add more personal time and enhance your life.

That’s my opinion; I look forward to hearing yours.

In this article, I have discussed the importance of using a cloud-based calendar to enhance your ability to organize, share and communicate your business and personal events and tasks. Doing so will increase your efficiency and give you more time to do the things you want to do versus the things you must do. Detail and links have been provided for the top three systems, including Google’s, Apples and Microsoft calendar systems. 

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If you’d like to read more articles like this, enter the term “Success” in the search box at the top of this blog. I recommend reading How to Avoid the Stress & Burnout of Social Media Management and  Top 18 Tips That Can Maximize Your Content Marketing for starters.

If you feel your business could use some marketing help, contact us at 904-410-2091, and we will provide a free marketing analysis to help, you get better results. If you found this article useful, please share it with friends, family, coworkers and associates.  If you have something to add related to this article or have a different opinion, place them in the Comments section below. 

If you'd like a free copy of our eBook, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century," please fill in the form below, and we will give you immediate access to it. Your information is always kept private and is never sold.



Hector Cisneros is a partner, COO and Social Media Director for the award-winning, Internet-based marketing firm, Working the Web to Win, in Jacksonville, FL. You can connect with him on TwitterFacebookGoogle+LinkedIn, and YouTube. He’s also the co-host of BlogTalkRadio’s “Working the Web to Win,” where he Carl Weiss, make working the web to win simple for every business. He's a published author of two books, "60 Seconds to Success"(available at Amazon and B&N), and "Internet Marketing for the 21st Century," which you can get by filling out the form above.  He’s also the co-author of the book, “Working the Web to Win,” which is now available on Amazon.com.

Top-10 Techno Turkeys 2016

By Carl Weiss


With Thanksgiving being just around the corner, I thought I’d take the time to talk about all the techno-turkeys that gobbled up a lot of media time this year.  While they aren’t as tasty as the traditional holiday fare, they certainly left a bad taste in many of our mouths.

1.    Pokémon Go Goes Gaga - The gaming sensation of the summer was Nintendo’s Pokémon Go.  The augmented reality game was unique in that it was played outdoors via smartphone.  The game required players to capture make believe creatures at a variety of real locations around the world.  The problem became one of where did make believe and reality collide?  A number of ‘players’ were detained for trespassing, including three teens that were arrested at Ohio’s Perry Nuclear Power Plant, after trespassing in pursuit of Pokémon characters.  In another incident, two grown men had to be rescued after falling 90 feet down a cliff in California.  As if it wasn’t bad enough to risk life and limb while playing Pokémon, a 39-year-old Japanese farmer was convicted of killing a retiree by running the man over with his car while playing the game.  He was sentenced to 14-months in prison, which whipped up a firestorm of criticism as being too lenient. 

Courtesy of  Pixabay
2.    Samsung introduces the world to the fire-starting smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7.  After selling 2.5 million of the units, Samsung issued a recall for the luckless devices, many of which caught fire or even exploded spontaneously.  One Note 7 owner felt the phone getting hot in his pocket as he drove his car.  Pulling the device out of his pocket, he reported that the Note 7 exploded in his hand, causing 2nd and 3rd-degree burns, as well as filling his car with smoke.  This was hardly an isolated incident.  During a September 23 flight from Singapore, smoke pouring from an overhead compartment was traced to a bag containing a Note 7 smartphone.  As of October 10, Samsung made the decision to halt production of the Note 7.  The company also issued an apology, as well as urging owners of the Galaxy Note 7 to exchange or return the phone for a refund.  Ya think?

3.    The UK’s Beagle Lander crashes onto the surface of Mars – The Beagle 2 was the lander portion
Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons

of the European Space Agency’s mission to Mars probe.  I say was, since the fate of the lander has been shrouded in mystery since the day it was supposed to land, way back on Christmas Day 2003.  The reason the ill-fated lander made the news last year was due to the fact that the US Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spotted the lander, or what was left of it from orbit.  This touched off a technological shoving match with the Brits claiming the lander landed successfully but failed to radio back to Earth, as NASA was telling the media that they had photographic evidence of the crater that the lander had left.  Either way, the Beagle 2 is as dead as the Red Baron.  Sorry Snoopy.

4.    Not wanting to be outdone by the Brits, Elon Musk’s SpaceX had a rocket complete with satellite explode spectacularly on the pad while it was fueling.  There was no doubt about the fate of the Falcon 9 that exploded 0n September 3 of this year, taking along with it a $200 million communications satellite that was housed in the nose cone of the ill-fated booster.  If you want to see the video, click on this link http://www.seeker.com/dramatic-video-shows-moment-of-spacex-explosion-1995121183.html  That doesn’t mean there weren’t more than a few questions being asked, since it is a rarity that a rocket explodes before liftoff.  Especially since SpaceX is vying to
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
carry astronauts to the ISS in the near future. 

After a 2-month long inquiry, investigators believe that the explosion was caused when the liquid oxygen used to fuel the booster froze solid.  This in turn triggered a domino effect that caused a container of liquid helium contained inside the fuel tank to explode.  So, in essence, the fireball was caused by the rockets guts freezing to death.

5.    A power outage in a computer caused Delta Airlines to cancel 427 flights in August.  While this snafu didn’t cause the destruction of any aircraft, it did result in the meltdown of many a traveler’s itineraries.  What made the problem more painful was that while the computer problem resided in their Atlanta hub, the shutdown derailed Delta’s worldwide flight schedule.  An article by the Wall Street Journal summed up the long-term fallout from the shutdown this way:

“The meltdown highlights the vulnerability in Delta’s computer system, and raises questions about whether a recent wave of four U.S. airline mergers that created four large carriers controlling 85% of domestic capacity has built companies too large and too reliant on IT systems that date from the 1990s. These systems—which run everything from flight dispatching to crew scheduling, passenger check-in, airport-departure information displays, ticket sales and frequent-flier programs—gradually have been updated but are still vulnerable, IT experts said.  http://www.wsj.com/articles/delta-air-lines-says-computers-down-everywhere-1470647527
6.    Facebook trends false Newsfeeds – No sooner was the 2016 Presidential election over, when journalists began pointing their fingers at Facebook, accusing the world’s most popular social network of trending misleading or downright untrue news stories.  This caused political pundits to postulate that the tidal wave of fake news sources online represented not only a threat to legitimate journalists, but it could well erode the underpinnings of democracy.  Even worse, is the fact that Facebook is hardly the only guilty party.
Courtesy of Flickr

A recent article on MotherJones.com points out that the American public has no idea of the sheer scope of disinformation being passed off online as fact. 
That's where Melissa Zimdars comes in. A communications professor at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, Zimdar recently began compiling a list of "fake, false, regularly misleading and/or otherwise questionable ‘news' organizations" in a widely shared Google Doc of "False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical ‘News' Sources." It is a cheat sheet for media literacy in the Facebook age.
Zimdars' viral guide — which encompasses websites from the outright fake (nbcnews.com.com) to the ideologically skewed (The Free Thought Project) to the clickbait-inflected (the Independent Journal Review)—began as a media literacy companion for her students. She decided to open-source the list after encountering an outright falsehood at the top of her Google News feed: that Hillary Clinton lost the popular vote.
"It's a WordPress site! 70news.wordpress.com! And Google treated it like news!" Zimdars said when reached by phone on Tuesday. "That's when I decided to make this public." http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/11/meet-professor-of-fake-news-facebook
In this all too wired world, we need to take a lesson from the ancient Romans who 2,000 years ago coined the Latin phrase Caveat Emptor, which means Buyer Beware.  In our techno-mad society that seems to grow and morph at lightning speed, every web surfer needs to follow the credo of Reader Beware.
7.    Chinese hackers break into the Federal Reserve Bank of NY on their way to stealing more than $100 million.  As if having the veracity of our information sources put at risk, even more frightening is the prospect of our banking systems being put in jeopardy.  During the 1920’s & 30’s men like John Dillinger, Baby Faced Nelson, and Willie Sutton made headlines by storming into banks across the US and demanding the tellers hand over all their money at gunpoint.  While many of these crooks became living legends during the depression, the fact is that it cost more money to apprehend these desperadoes than they stole.

Courtest of  Wikimedia Commons
Today’s cyber bank robbers do their thieving with the click of a mouse.  That was certainly the case in February 2016, when hackers penetrated the computers at the Central Bank of Bangladesh.  Using this access, the cybercriminals tricked the Federal Reserve Bank of New York into transferring more than $100 million.  As bad as that sounds, it turns out the heist should have netted the thieves nearly $1 billion.  However, a fluke caused the Fed to scrutinize Subsequent transfer orders more closely.  By the time the smoke cleared, the Fed admitted that it had authorized a total of 5 transfers totaling $101 million.

In a subsequent article by Reuters, even more, astonishing was the fact that the Fed’s handling of the transfer orders was so sloppy.  Not only were the transfer orders incorrectly formatted, they were made to individual accounts.  The transfers were also notably different from those usually made by the Bank of Bangladesh.  To date, $81 million is still unaccounted for.  If that’s how well the Fed protects a bank’s assets, it makes you wonder how safe your money is with them. http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/cyber-heist-federal/


Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
8.    Hackers also disrupted service at Netflix and Twitter – Banks weren’t the only entities to face the wrath of con.  In late October, Internet users from coast to coast were surprised to find that they were unable to log into Netflix, Twitter, CNN and even the New York times when hackers targeted an Internet hub called Dyn DNS Company.  Kind of the way an air traffic control center routes air traffic; Dyn is responsible for routing Internet traffic all across the US.  Hackers using a legion of zombie bots launched a massive Denial of Service attack on Dyn, which effectively clogged the company’s pipes, bringing traffic to a crawl.  More interesting was the way the zombie bots were conscripted.  The hackers used a malware program named Mirai to infect million of IoT devices before directing them to do their bidding.  Everything from smart TVs and refrigerators to security cameras and smart homes were potential targets.  Since 7 out of 10 IoT devices have little or no security, it seems likely that we will see more and more of these attacks taking place in the near future.  Even worse is the possibility that your nannycam could have been in on the caper.  http://triblive.com/usworld/nation/11349500-74/internet-attacks-dyn

Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
9.    Hackers took down a power grid in Kiev.  (We could be next.)  Most of the world does not appreciate how fragile technology can be until it stops working.  Last year the residents of Kiev in the Ukraine got their wakeup call when the lights literally went out when hackers attacked the country’s power grid.  It turned out that the hack wasn’t an isolated incident.  It had taken out nearly a quarter of the country’s electrical capacity.  It took more than 6 hours to bring the power back on.

While the Ukrainians quickly pointed their fingers at the Russians, since the malware that brought their grid to its knees was known to belong to a known Russian hacking group, the damage was done.  While the State Department quickly pointed out that a similar attack couldn’t be carried out on the US power grid which is more sophisticated, there are those experts that pointed out that we are hardly invulnerable. In the past few years’ Chinese hackers have targeted a number of strategic elements in the US, including the grid.  They have said that we are anything but invulnerable. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-14/how-hackers-took-down-a-power-grid

Courtesy of  Wikipedia
10.  Donald is elected president and 145 tech letters penned a letter denouncing him as being “a disaster for innovation.”  No sooner was the 2016 Presidential election over when protests sprung up all around the country, expressing dislike for the incoming President-elect.  More surprising was the letter endorsed by more than 140 tech leaders in the US posted a letter to the world stating that Trump will be a disaster for innovation. The authors included such notables as Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian and Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia fame.  The authors took issue with many of the tactics that Trump used to make his successful run at the White House, including his stance on immigration reform.  They also cited his disregard for institutions threatens to upend what attracts companies to start and expand in the US.  (Have none of these guys ever heard of offshoring?)  Since this letter was penned three months before the election, it will be interesting to see how many of these entrepreneurs change their tune once the Donald takes office.

Every year we see lots of techno turkeys. This year’s flock was extensive and varied widely. With Thanksgiving, just around the corner, you need to keep an eye out for the next techno turkeys so that one of these turkeys don’t leave a bad taste in your mouth. Have a happy Thanksgiving for all our us at Working the Web to Win.

In this article, I have discussed my top ten techno turkeys for this year. This article covers the gamut
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from techno product blunders, to massive security breach, to the election of the century.  Lots of detail links, pictures and video are provided to enhance the reader experience.

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Carl Weiss is president of WorkingtheWebtoWin.com a digital marketing agency in Jacksonville, Florida that routinely works with bloggers and other online marketers. 

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