Kindsight Blog

Discussing Identity Theft and Current Online Threats

2010 in Review: The Year of the Botnet

While “Year in Review” blog posts are common around this time, we thought it would be valuable to give a network-based perspective on the most common malware of 2010. We took a look at the threats found in the security trials of the Kindsight Service in 2010 and the following observations stood out.

Bots

Many of the serious malware infections in 2010 were associated with bots and botnets. Botnets are collections of infected computers that are controlled remotely by cyber-criminals. Originally botnets were created for a specific purpose such as sending spam, identity theft or DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks. However, in 2010 we saw bots that were designed to provide the cybercriminal with the ability to build designer botnets that were “rented out” to other cyber-criminals for specific purposes (spam, identity theft, DDoS, etc).

Threats in the News for December

Happy New Year everyone from Kindsight. Our first post of 2011 will be a look back at December 2010 as part of our ongoing Threats in the News series, where we summarize the more interesting articles we find about online threats. This post is by no means exhaustive and you can find more articles in our Industry News section. Next week we’ll also look back at 2010 in a subsequent post.

The rise of mobile malware has made the prediction lists of previous years, but will 2011 be the year this becomes realized. Renewed support for this prediction was given when a mobile botnet called Geinimi was discovered targeting Android-based devices late last month.

Security Misconception 5: Facebook is safe enough; no need to worry

When Kindsight took to the streets, we found five key misconceptions about cybersecurity including the one in this video: Facebook is safe enough; no need to worry.

Security Misconception 4: I’m safe because it’s easy to recognize fake sites

When Kindsight took to the streets, we found five key misconceptions about cybersecurity including the one in this video: I’m safe because it’s easy to recognize fake sites.

Security Misconception 3: I’m safe because the website is secure

When Kindsight took to the streets, we found five key misconceptions about cybersecurity including the one in this video: I’m safe because the website is secure.

Security Trial Reveals Nearly One Third of Home Networks Successfully Hacked

Types of Attacks from Kindsight Security Trial

Today, we released the results from a security trial of more than 200,000 subscribers in North America that reveals 30 percent of homes have been infected and are at serious risk of online identity theft, cybercrime and other threats.

Security Misconception 2: I’m safe because I have anti-virus protection

When Kindsight took to the streets, we found five key misconceptions about cybersecurity including the one in this video: I’m safe because I have anti-virus protection.

Threats in the News for November

As part of our ongoing Threats in the News series, each month we summarize the more interesting articles we find about online threats. This post is by no means exhaustive and you can find more articles in our Industry News section.

A number of studies were release in November and a trend definitely emerged. Most were reporting a drop in spam, which is the good news, but at the same time malware was on the rise, which is the bad news. This is a trend that we need to watch carefully as it shows the increasing sophistication of cybercriminals.

Security Misconception 1: I'm safe because I never shop online

When Kindsight took to the streets, we found five key misconceptions about cybersecurity including the one in this video: I’m safe because I never shop online.

Kindsight Responds to Wall Street Journal and Other Articles

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On Wednesday, November 24th, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled Shunned Profiling Technology on the Verge of Comeback. The “shunned” technology is known as “deep packet inspection” and the article reviews some of the controversy surrounding earlier uses of this technology for advertising.

About two years ago, DPI was surreptitiously used by some companies to track consumers’ online behaviors. Consumers were not given a choice to opt-in, they were not even notified of the use of the technology, and they were given nothing of value. Not surprisingly, the technology generated a backlash when its use came to light.

The WSJ article goes on to discuss the evolution of this technology and features Kindsight as an example that offers a significantly different approach. As noted in the article, Kindsight offers users a “free, always on, always up-to-date security service” that is completely opt-in and repeatedly offers users the ability to opt-out of the service at any time.