The link between passwords and sextortion

In recent weeks we have seen a massive increase in the number of sextortion attempts with SA’s press shining a spotlight on this increasing social media scourge.

Trusting people, looking for the perfect match, bored partners, or undercover porn viewers are being increasingly targeted by groups of people who work on insecurities, naïvety and poor cybersecurity behaviour to coerce unsuspecting victims into parting with their money in order to prevent public humiliation and embarrassment.

I have seen several versions of the attack, some via WhatsApp and other via email.

The WhatsApp variety is very common; boy meets girl by swiping right. The match is made and introductory texts are exchanged. Almost immediately the beautiful girl shares intimate pictures and asks for the same in return. There is an almost aggressive exchange to ensure that the unsuspecting victim sends compromising photos that include showing their face.

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J2 offers enterprise grade security for SMEs

Rising levels of cybercrime, and its increasing sophistication, threaten businesses of all sizes but SMEs are particularly vulnerable, says John McLoughlin, CEO of J2, a leading supplier of information security, governance, risk and compliance solutions.

“SMEs operate on tight budgets (both in terms of money and time), must manage cash flows carefully and keep overheads down. Hiring a specialised security professional is simply not an option for them—even if they could find one, given the extreme skills shortage in this area,” he says. “At the same time, modern SMEs are hugely dependent on the Internet, which gives them the opportunity to compete effectively, but of course this reliance puts them directly in the sights of cybercriminals.”

While cybercrime statistics for SMEs in South Africa are non-existent, PwC’s 2018 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey found that respondents expect cybercrime to be the most disruptive to their organisations over the next two years.

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Hackers, masters of adaption

Hackers constantly adapt and change to fit into an environment where more security measures are being put into action and cyber security knowledge is being used. They are constantly finding new ways to breach systems.

 A “text book” approach is no longer an option, just when you thought you had the system on lock down, a new hack comes on the market and its back to square one. The methods that hackers have been using over the years are morphing into attacks that aren’t as obvious.

A new hack that has come into play is called PhishPoint. This is a hybrid version of a phishing scam, it uses Office 365 to lure the target into entering their credentials and gaining access.

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Africa urged to look closer at analytics in IT security

SA cyber security company J2 Software plans to set up an office in Dubai and leverage this presence (and that of its twelve-and-a-half year operation in South Africa), to direct its interests in Africa going forward. Its expansion drive is centred on the core message that visibility in IT security solutions within the organisation equals capability or capacity to react.

Having announced 40% year-on-year growth in revenue for the first half of the financial year, Managing Director John McLoughlin confirmed the company's expansion plans.

"We are in the first few weeks of looking into opening an office in Dubai... and an office in the UK and also Australia. Dubai will be used to handle some regions in Africa, but essentially South Africa will be used to handle our neighbours ... Botswana, Namibia, maybe Zimbabwe, and a little bit of Mozambique (mainly English-speaking). Enhancing our presence in South Africa is something I am also very interested in and I am also quite keen in looking at Rwanda because of the boom there," said McLoughlin.

In South Africa the company has plans in the pipeline to establish an office in Durban and possibly in Port Elizabeth (PE).

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J2 Software reveals exceptional growth in tough economic climate, plus expansion plans

 John McLoughlin, MD, J2 SoftwareLeading SA cyber security company J2 Software has revealed the achievement of 40% year-on-year growth in revenue in the first half of its financial year.

J2 Software MD John Mc Loughlin says this is no mean feat in a zero growth economy.

"We have had some great successes during the first half of our 2018/2019 financial year, with our revenues reflecting a very pleasing 40% increase year on year," says Mc Loughlin.

Mc Loughlin reveals the company is exploring expansion opportunities aimed at extending its reach and services outside of South African borders. "This includes investigating the viability of taking our business model and replicating it not only throughout Europe, including the UK, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) markets, but also to Australia. Our time-frame for this is in the region of 12 to 24 months.

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