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Blake Dowling: 2022 is in full swing — so are cybercriminals

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These attacks are happening now, and one could land on your desk any day.

Usually, cyber threats come in via email, text or phone. We’ve all seen and heard them.

Instances of “click here to verify your info,” “have you seen these pix from last night?” or “please provide your credentials to us” have been coming for years from hackers; people are starting to get pretty good at recognizing these threats.

There is one method of hacking that we have not seen in a while and is making a comeback.

All this month, the FBI is warning about a hack that involves a USB drive loaded with malware.

Like the situation in Florida a couple of years ago with alleged Chinese spy Yujing Zhang, who was caught with several electronic devices including a USB drive. She was caught and apprehended trying to sneak into Mar-a-Lago while then President Donald Trump was visiting. She claimed she was a tourist, which is unlikely, but either way, she is now deported. Did she have a drive she was trying to pass off and get someone to plug in? It would certainly appear so since it appears that one Secret Service agent was actually duped.

You would think this kind of thing would be easy to prevent and spot but the worst breach in the history of our US military went down this way. A foreign intelligence agent did, in fact, use a small USB drive to infect and establish a “digital beachhead” at one of our Middle Eastern bases.

Since that 2008 incident, USB devices are banned from military installations to make sure it does not happen again.

How about at your organization? Are staff allowed to plug in anything they come across? Hopefully not, these attacks are happening now, and one could land on your desk any day.

In this latest threat, there are no intelligence agents knocking on your door trying to infect your network with malware. Instead, cybercriminals are pressing the easy button and mailing the USB drives right to your door.

As you can see from these pictures, a nice decorative box arrives at your office one day and sits on your desk for a while. You finally get around to opening it up — it’s a gift card, letter, or USB drive appearing to be from Amazon (all fake) thanking you for your business.

I get random swag from partners all the time; would someone here fall for this? Would you?

Brief your team now in case they happen to make the mailing list for one of these ransomware gangs. Insert the drive, and some of the most malicious ransomware strains would be deployed in your office.

The FBI references two groups that are possibly involved: BlackMatter and REvil.

As a reminder, this is how it goes down. You insert the drive and WHAM (not the George Michael one), the malicious code freezes all your files and demands payment to unfreeze them.

To be clear, within a few seconds, this malware spreads to everyone in your network. Adding further insult, if you don’t pay the hackers, they threaten to post your files online.

Depending on what line of work you are in, that could make for an extremely bad day.

2022 is in full swing and so are cybercriminals. They will continue to recycle old tricks — like bogus USB drives — and they will also produce some new tricks that we have never seen before.

Be safe out there Florida and happy new year.

___

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies and can be reached at [email protected]. He also hosts the Biz & Tech podcast and is the author of “Professionally Distanced,” now available at Amazon.


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New York Governor Blames ‘Illegal Gun’ in Fatal Shooting of NYPD Officer

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) blamed an “illegal gun” in the fatal shooting of NYPD officer Jason Rivera on Friday night.

Rivera, 22, was shot and killed and a second officer, Wilbert More, 27, was shot and wounded, Breitbart News reported.

The shooting suspect, Lashawn McNeil, 47, opened fire on Rivera and More as they approached him in a long hallway, CBS New York noted. McNeill was then shot twice by a third officer.

On Saturday, Hochul tweeted, “Last night, a shot from an illegal gun took the life of a NYPD officer.” 

Last night, a shot from an illegal gun took the life of a @NYPDnews officer.

When I say we’re going to do everything we can to stop the scourge of illegal guns in our state, it’s not just talk. We are tripling funding for efforts to get these guns off the streets. pic.twitter.com/zXv0xbL4Em

— Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) January 22, 2022

“When I say we’re going to do everything we can to stop the scourge of illegal guns in our state, it’s not just talk. We are tripling funding for efforts to get these guns off the streets,” Hochul added.

New York Mayor Eric Adams (D) responded to the shooting death of Rivera by calling for more gun control, Breitbart News reported

New York has some of the most stringent gun controls in the country. Mike Bloomberg-affiliated Everytown for Gun Safety ranks New York No. 3 in the nation “for gun law strength.”

Those laws include everything the Democrats are pushing at the federal level under the guise of safety, including universal background checks, a “high capacity” magazine ban, an “assault weapons” ban, a permit requirement to buy a handgun, a red flag law, gun storage requirements, “ghost gun” regulations, and a prohibition against gun possession by felons, among other controls.

McNeil, the man who allegedly shot the NYPD officers Friday night, is a convicted felon.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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Gingrich: January 6 Committee, AG Garland ‘Lynch Mob’ ‘Face a Real Risk of Jail for the Kind of Laws They Are Breaking’

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich sees alleged abuses by the House Select Committee and the Department of Justice investigating the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol as having consequences.

During an appearance on FNC’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Gingrich suggested those who he said were misusing and abusing the process could “face a real risk of jail” for the laws they had broken during the so-called investigation.

“Well, you have, both with Attorney General Garland and with this select committee on January 6, people who have run amok,” he said. “They are breaking the rules. They are going after people in a way which is reminiscent of the British monarchy using closed-door systems that we outlawed deliberately because we’d seen it. We knew what it was like. And they’re running over people’s civil liberties. And what they need to understand is, on January 4 next year, you’re going to have a Republican majority in the House and a Republican majority in the Senate.”

“And all these people who’ve been so tough and so mean and so nasty are going to be delivered subpoenas for every document, every conversation, every tweet, every email, because I think it’s clear that this — these are people who are literally just running over the law, pursuing innocent people, causing them to spend thousands and thousands of dollars in legal fees, for no justification,” Gingrich continued. “And it’s basically a lynch mob.”

“Unfortunately, the attorney general of the United States has joined that lynch mob and is totally misusing the FBI,” he added. “And I think, when you have a Republican Congress, this is all going to come crashing down, and the wolves are going to find out that they’re now sheep. And they’re the ones who are, in fact, going to, I think, face a real risk of jail for the kind of laws they are breaking.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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CBS Host Stunned NOT ONE Participant in Face the Nation’s Focus Group Believes America is in a Better Place After One Year of Joe Biden (VIDEO)

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After Joe Biden’s first year in office, NOT ONE participant in Face the Nation’s focus group believes America is in a better place.

CBS host Margaret Brennan was stunned when the entire panel of six participants, including Biden voters, said America is on the wrong path.

“During the course of the pandemic, “Face the Nation” has been listening to Americans, through Zoom, to get their thoughts on COVID, the economy and how the government is handling it all. On Friday, we checked back in with six of them,” host Margaret Brennan said.

“Who feels like we are in a better place now than we were a year ago?” Brennan asked the panel of six participants.

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Every participant said no.

Margaret Brennan was stunned: “No one believes we are in a better spot?”

“I just don’t understand. I thought this is going to be a president for the people of the people,” said Beth, an Independent voter.

Even the Biden voters on the panel blasted Joe Biden.

VIDEO:

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