Charles Leaver – Vishing Scams Are On The Rise So Take Steps To Protect Yourself

Written By David Shefter And Presented By Ziften CEO Charles Leaver

I was enjoying TV in August, 2015 and I had a call from a 347 area code phone number. I believed that it was a business associate of mine who lives in the external districts, so I answer the call.

The call was a total surprise, “Roy Callahan from the New York City Police Department” threatens me with a warrant for my arrest within minutes, and mentions that I need to turn myself into the regional police department. So, I talked to my buddy Josh Linder. He says that it’s widespread in the area where he lives and similarly happened to him, however they threatened him if he didn’t comply by buying a $9000 Green Dot prepaid card.

If You Believe This Sounds Embellished …

This occurs thousands of times every day. Law enforcement agencies (LEA’s) ranging from local towns to the FBI, and everything in between are under immense pressure. They cannot compete – poor actors are speedy, smart, and ahead of the curve.

These lawbreakers likewise understand how budget, skill and resource constrained the LEA’s are. The local ones are best at capturing thieves and pulling over speeding vehicles, not tracking terrorists to their origin across federal or state borders. With little coordination or interest and an absence of tools, over 99% of these rip-offs go unsettled.

How Did They Find Me?

First, social networking has created a treasure trove of info. Individuals trust their name, address, phone number, work history, educational background, and social circles to the public domain. This is where the threat lies, not the much promoted hacks at federal government agencies, banks, health care companies and merchants.

However, the large exposures at merchants like Home Depot, Target and Michael’s along with the more recent hacks at the United States Office of Personal Management (OPM), United Airlines and Anthem should be of remarkable concern. This information enables perpetrators the ability to triangulate data, and build an abundant persona of people like you and me.

Putting this into context, 10s of millions of records were exposed, which could be utilized to go far beyond extortion payments, and move towards the exploit physical susceptibilities in military personnel, executives and even regular people.

How Rapidly Will I Be Exposed?

According to a 2014 FBI scam alert, victims reported having cash unlawfully withdrawn from their bank accounts within ten minutes of receiving a vishing call, and another of having hundreds or thousands of fraudulent withdrawals in the following days.

What Can You Do About It?

As a citizen, it is best to be vigilant and utilize sound judgment. Despite what a “vishing” caller ID states, the U.S. IRS will not demand cash or account numbers. Don’t succumb to Vishing’s wicked cousin Phishing and click links in e-mails which might take you to a malware site – invest an extra 2 seconds confirming that the e-mail is really who it is from, not simply a familiar name.

Second, it’s sensible to protect your social profiles online. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the trove of other tools have most likely currently exposed you. Carry out a simple Google search, then move to tidy up the public elements of your online persona.

Third, act like an enterprise to safeguard your staff members as if they were your family. Large companies have invested greatly in anti-viruses, drive encryption, e-mail security, and next generation firewall programs. None of this matters – phishing and vishing rip-offs go right around these. You require training, ongoing education, watchfulness, and technology which is smarter. A key technique to this is carrying out continuous endpoint visibility on your devices. At Ziften, our software plugs security gaps to form a more durable wall.

The fight for cyber security defense is consuming your resources, from your individuals to your budget. Dangers are faster, more intelligent, and more focused than ever before, and working their way around traditional avoidance services and getting straight to the point; your endpoints. As soon you have been breached you have less than an hour before the attack discovers extra victims within your company. Time is of the essence, and considering that we cannot produce more of that, we concentrate on maximizing continuous intelligence so your group can make the correct decision, right now.

In Closing

Today, people are so concentrated on deceitful credit card charges, and organizations are locking down endpoints at a record pace.

More needs to be done. The bad guys are much faster, smarter, more equipped – and outside the bounds of the law. While news will continue to come concerning the success of capturing massive scammers and untouchable foreign nationals in China and Russia, there will be countless small-scale exploits every day.

At Ziften, we have one mission, to make endpoint security fast and easy for the end user to not just implement, but manage and drive day-to-day value. By integrating real-time user, device, and behavior monitoring with effective analytics and reporting, Ziften instantly empowers any organization to see, check, and respond to the very latest attacks.

My thanks to Josh Linder for his conversations on this topic.