The financial services industry view on cybercrime

I recently attended Jim Oakes’ “Cybercrime, Global Underground Economy Developments and Challenges” talk. All the hype about his 30-year service for the police, anti-fraud teams, financial services organisations yada yada made me very sceptical to begin with, but the session turned into a quite useful overview of the (depressingly many) ways you can be ripped off by criminals while doing business with/through your bank.

I let this draft lie for a few months now, as I wasn’t sure how to digest the hordes of information in Jim’s presentation into a more friendly, easily digestable message. Shall we just say it’s pretty bad out there?

Practical advice:

  • DO NOT use the same password for different websites. Use something like Oplop to generate passwords and a password manager to store them.
  • DO NOT do eBanking from your smartphone just yet. I have some reservations about the iPhone, but Android phones can certainly currently not be trusted.
  • If you need to do eBanking using a computer (laptop, desktop etc) then start the computer with a bootable CD or USB disk and then do your eBanking. Unless you are personally targeted by law enforcement or criminals, this should give you a computer you can trust. Don’t take my word for it – take Krebs‘ word for it. Computer security is in *such* a sad state.

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