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Social Engineering Before and After the Attack

It’s Monday morning and Ajay is at his desk going through his emails. One of the emails is from Visa. It says, “There was a problem with the transaction that happened on Sunday on your Visa Credit Card. Please check the details in the attachment”. He did recollect a transaction he made at the mall the previous evening. Worried and curious about what could have gone wrong, he opens the attachment. He could not understand or make any sense of the junk data that appeared on his screen. He thought for a moment that somebody’s played a prank or there is some system error, shrugged his shoulders, deleted the email and moved on for the day’s work forgetting completely about it.

A week later on the following Monday when he reached his office he sensed a lot tension on his floor where half of the IT team and some senior executives were moving around swiftly with faces as if they had witnessed an apocalypse.

“What happened?” he asked his colleague. “We got hacked”, came the reply from someone who worked in the back office team and was not exactly sure of the details. A little more digging and he came to know from one of his IT Helpdesk friends that “the bank got hacked”. Obviously he had no idea how one of the best banks in Asia with millions of dollars spent on IT Security could get hacked. So, how did the presumably secure bank get hacked? Here’s how: By Social Engineering. But first let’s look at the technical details. The attachment that Ajay got contained a malicious code. The code travelled through the network exploiting unpatched Java installations on the desktops and servers. While doing so it managed to evade detection by the specific anti-virus, intrusion detection system and other security technologies deployed by the organization.

What makes a hacker a successful one is not the ability to script a brilliant piece of malicious code but the ability to successfully carry out the hack!! So apart from the intelligent program there is something called social engineering required to hit the target. Visa is a popular credit card company, people shop on weekends and people in general are little concerned about their credit card bills. The hacker used all the three things to get the victim to open (double-click) the attachment. And the rest happened as per the malicious intentions.

The story does not end here. There was more social engineering attack done by the attacker. After they got the details they mailed the sensitive data to the Business Heads and not the CIO or CISO. That was the worst part. They hit it where it hurts more! Business Heads ran to the CEO. CEO called in CIO. CIO was not aware about the attack until Business informed which made the matters worse for him. Now the CIO is guilty of not only the attack but also not having any clue about the damage done. Business, apparently scared, corners CIO and has his way and blames him for not providing a secure platform for business. In a single hack the attacker scared the business, gave nightmares to IT and shook the reputation of the financial institution that was painstakingly built over a few decades. Had the attacker had informed the CIO, the matter would have been under wraps, done the damage control and life would have been normal again after a few added controls to tighten the security. And the internal blame game would reflect at the annual bonus!!

Lesson to be learned: Social Engineering is evil and User Education, Training and Awareness are the definite tools of trades to fight it.

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When To Use An Audio Hire

A good and clear audio is crucial during special events, corporate sessions, educational functions, and parties. Having an impressive sound and music can create a reliable and successful event. With clear speeches, great sounding audio presentations and lively music any event or party will be memorable and amazingly beautiful. For a high quality sounds and music, a credible audio hire is extremely important. A credible audio supplier can make any event successful by providing clear sounds through the latest and modern audio equipment, tools, and gadgets.

A reliable audio hire is usually a team of professionals who are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills in setting up, operating, handling, and troubleshooting any audio equipment. This qualified production team can assist their clients in creating a big or small event. This team of specially skilled individuals can turn any venue into a smashing one through clear sounds and lively music which is most suitable for your event’s mood and environment. Below are just some of the most common event which needs a credible audio hire:

• Personal and social events- These are occasions which are mostly attended by families and friends, it could be a huge event or an intimsate one. This includes birthdays, debuts, thanksgiving, weddings, anniversaries, rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, proms, and many more. The success of these social events relies on the good quality of the program which may include speeches, audio presentations, singing, dancing, etc. which requires reliable audio system and operators.

• Corporate gatherings and events- These are social events which are mainly organized and attended by huge companies for a variety of purpose. Company parties like Christmas parties, Acquaintance parties, and Thanksgiving parties are most common among employees of the same company. Meanwhile, formal gatherings may also be organized like promotional events, corporate galas, exhibits, and fairs.

• Concerts- This is a musical event done in a public area like an arena, gym, or theatre. A musical performance may be done by a single musician, a band, a group, or an orchestra. This requires highly sophisticates audio equipment and tools to deliver high quality music and clear voices.

• Meetings and functions- Important meetings and appointments involving special people in the corporate world may need special audio equipment to deliver impressive speeches and presentations. The quality of the audio may break or make any appointment or meeting.

• Contests- Several competitions may require the use of a great audio system to deliver high quality speeches, sound, music, and other forms of audio presentations to show off skills and talents. Some of the most common types of contests may include quiz bees, pageants, tournaments, and many more.

• Public events- It is not uncommon for people who are in a public post to organize events or conferences to deliver a public speech or host special events like festivals. A huge audio system operated by skilled technicians is required to create a stunning audio presentation to please a large crowd of attendees.

A reliable audio hire is definitely one of the most important thing in any event, huge or intimate. The quality of sound and music can make or destroy any social event. For a stimulating and lively party or event make sure to hire the best audio service provider in town.

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Enjoy A Safe And Hassle-Free Christmas – Keep Electrical Hazards At Bay

Yes, Christmas fills our hearts with joy. While you bake the huge plum-cake and decorate your home with lights, consider taking note of your home’s safety quotient. According to statistics, almost 12,000 people end up in the hospital, thanks to electrical hazards and accidents. Christmas means decorating your houses with attractive ornaments, glowing bulbs and lights. Generally, people become engrossed in the holiday fervor and forget about the possible dangers of electrical ornamentations.

Your house is the safest place on earth – a place to unwind and spend some good time with your dear ones. Sadly, there are some hidden hazards behind the decorations, threatening the lives of your friends and family members. According to surveys, almost 30,000 domestic fire breakouts are the results of faulty electrical set ups and defective wiring. Nevertheless, there are a few things that you can do to guarantee the safety of your property. So, take help of the following tips and enjoy a safe and exciting Christmas.

Avoid burdening the extension wires with switches

If you fix a number of switches on a single extension wire, it may cause electricity overload. Due to overheating, this excess burden may cause short-circuit. Sometimes, it may also set your connected gadgets and decorations on fire. So, consider using multiple extension wires and enjoy a safe vacation without tears. Never use more than four plugs on a single extension wire.

Keep the switches and extension wires out of reach

Make sure that all the electrical wires and switches do not interrupt the walkway, including the rugs and carpets. Remember, anybody can fall over the wires and hurt himself. This is a huge possibility in families with kids, toddlers and elderly people. Whenever you step out of your house or go to bed at night, consider disconnecting the wires from the wall sockets.

Go through the user education guide

Any celebration is incomplete without ornaments and decorations. When you buy decorative items like bulbs and lights, make sure that you follow the user instructions on the box or container. This helps the user with a step-by-step guide on installing and uninstalling the electrical items. Go through the hazards, warnings and user instructions on the carton. This way, you make sure that your holiday decorations stay safe and hazard-free.

Words of advice

These days, a lot of people use LED lights for their home adornments. Besides being bright and energy-efficient, they keep lower temperatures in contrast to standard bulbs. However, make sure that it’s within the prescribed wattage limit; otherwise, you may experience a massive fire hazard.

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