Earlier this month, federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment charging several men with bank theft on massive scale. According to prosecutors, the thieves loaded stolen account data onto magnetic stripe cards, which they then used to steal $45 million from ATMs around the world.
As financial institutions reconsider their security procedures in the wake of the breach, much of the attention will naturally fall on America's reliance on magnetic-stripe cards, instead of the more secure chip-and-PIN (also called EMV) cards used in other parts of the world.
While they're at it, though, the banks should also consider another big security black eye: The fact that it's easier to hack into your bank account than it is to crack your Facebook account.
With more than 900 million users, Mark Zuckerberg's expanding social media empire has become a seemingly irreplaceable part of the online experience. Unfortunately, a byproduct of its success is that millions of Americans are far more at risk of falling victim to a number of cyber crimes.
To be sure, cyber crime is nothing new, but the social media revolution has made such crimes much easier to commit. People have "friends" they've never met; they make personal information widely available. And Facebook's hundreds of millions of users are a rich pool of targets.
According to an infographic published earlier this year by ZoneAlarm, a leading Internet security software provider, "roughly 4 million Facebook users experience spam on a daily basis, 20% of Facebook users have been exposed to malware," and Facebook receives 600,000 reports of hijacked log-ins every day.
Malware represents another growing threat for Facebook users, Dr. Kent Seamons, assistant professor in the computer science department at Brigham Young University said. "Hackers get malware on your machine and get tens if not hundreds of thousands of these machines under their control and then they rent them out to spammers and others," Seamons explains.
These rented accounts can then be used to advertise products illicitly or to request money from unsuspecting friends.
Ultimately, all social media sites make it easier for criminals to deceive their victims. According to a study published in Communications of ACM, a journal for computing professionals, the percentage of students that responded to a phishing email increased from 16% to 72% when the email included relevant social information about the target. Quite simple, scams that make it appear that a message comes from a friend make it more likely that the target will respond.
These are nine of the ways criminals use Facebook:
Twenty years ago, you were less likely to get yourself fired for something you said or did outside the office. With the advent of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, you really have to watch your step; you never know what will make its way back to the boss.
Here are some of the social media mistakes that could get you fired.
On Thursday, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is holding an event to show off the fruits of its partnership with HTC (TPE:2498), and I can't help but be reminded of a device called TwitterPeek.
If you don't recall -- and chances are, most of you don't -- TwitterPeek was a single-purpose device that tweeted. That's it. A $100 device with a $7.95 monthly subscription that just read and posted tweets. And if paying a monthly service fee for a $100 mobile device that does something your smartphone can do for free sounds crazy, not to worry: $200 would get you unlimited service.
As you can imagine, TwitterPeek (pictured above) not only flopped, but it represented a wholly unnecessary entry into the mobile arena -- a device that takes up yet another pocket, but doesn't make calls, doesn't surf the Web, and doesn't play any games. It just does one thing: tweet. It's a tangible, bulky app you can never remove from your homescreen.
His popular image is antisocial, cold, calculating, and charmless. He's faced scores of lawsuits, accusing him of poaching ideas and tricking investors. In a 2010 Oscar-winning movie, he was the inspiration for an entirely new kind of nebbishy villain. But in addition to being the richest American under 30, Mark Zuckerberg is also the country's most beloved chief executive.
At least according to Glassdoor.com. The site collects company reviews, and says that Zuckerberg, 28, received a 99 percent approval from the nearly 400 Facebook employees who chose to rate him. That's a 14-points jump from last year.
Although Sheryl Sandberg's manifesto, Lean In, was just published Monday, it already is generating a torrent of debate -- much of it among female professionals who complain they feel left out of Sandberg's vision of success in the corporate world.
"The very blunt truth is that men still run the world," Sandberg, Facebook's Harvard-educated chief operating officer, said in an interview with 60 Minutes. "I'm not blaming women...but there is a lot more we can do." Sandberg, 43, has ignited controversy in part because she argues that women are held back their inner doubts and that they need to "lean in" to their careers, rather than worrying about how they'll juggle work and children. "Most leadership positions are held by men, so women don't expect to achieve them, and that becomes one of the reasons they don't."
So far, the backlash against Sandberg falls into three camps.
The crowd isn't terribly bright about a lot of things. With apologies to those who try to educate using the medium (a few of you are notable and exceptional), I have to say this: Facebook probably isn't the best place to get your financial planning advice.
At the start of the year there was a savings chart being shared that encouraged people to put a certain amount of money away each week. I expect a lot of people 'liked' the thing. I know a lot of people shared it with their friends.
There are things that should remain securely locked in your brain and/or safety deposit box. Apart from staying safe by heeding this list of things to never share online, you can just as easily fall into the trap of revealing too much information about yourself while away from the computer.
Here are five things you should never share in the real world.
The cost of medicines to cure what ails you can make your wallet feel poorly, too. As dollar stores expand their medicinal offerings, they are able to offer products for much less than your local drug store but you may be wondering if the cheaper prices come at the cost of quality.
You may be pleasantly surprised. Here's what I found at a Dollarama recently.
Yesteday, a brief clip of the biopic began circulating on the Internet. Vanity Fair provided a link to the video featuring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs and Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak, Apple's co-founder, in the early 1970s. In the scene, Jobs pitches to Wozniak the idea of producing a personal computer for consumers in a parking garage at Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), where Wozniak worked in the early 1970s. Wozniak dismisses the idea as absurd.
The film will cover the life of Jobs from 1971 through 2000, and is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Initially, I disagreed with Vanity Fair's assessment of the clip and thought Ashton Kutcher just acted and sounded like Ashton Kutcher, especially after viewing speeches given by Jobs. The article says the actor "summon[s] a somewhat convincing Jobs" voice relative to low expectations for Kutchner.
Source: FOUNDUPS Michael Trout
However, most of the videos of Jobs I watched showed a man with more maturity. Upon viewing a speech given by the tech icon in 1980, I changed my mind: Kutcher doesn't do a bad job playing the younger, unpolished Jobs.
Source: Jase Wolf
Josh Gad's awesome Wozniak hair does take away from Kutcher in the scene, though, as Vanity Fair also points out.
What's Wrong With This Picture?
Acting aside, there may be a problem with the scene. Wozniak described the preview as "[t]otally wrong" in an email to Gizmodo. jOBS reverses the roles of the two founders, and he described it as "embarrassing." Part of the email states:
I'm not even sure what it's getting at...personalities are very wrong although mine is closer...don't forget that my purpose was inspired by the values of the Homebrew Computer Club along with ideas of the value of such machines and Steve J. wasn't around and didn't attend the club so he was the one learning about such social impact of the future.
The moviemay throw Wozniak under the bus just to glorify Jobs.
jOBS (clearly) has no connection to the biography Steve Jobs written by Walter Isaacson. Another movie in production to be written by Aaron Sorkin -- who wrote The Social Network about the early days at Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) -- will use the bestselling biography as its foundation. Matt Whiteley wrote the script for jOBS, and Joshua Michael Stern directed it.
With the movie several months off, predications have yet to be made about the film's ticket sales. Hollywood Site Exchange may be viewed as an early indicator, though. The imaginary exchange allows any individual to trade movies and actors as individual stocks with fake "Hollywood dollars." The price of the "MovieStocks" represent how much money people believe the movie will make in its first four weeks at the box office.
It appears people may have had a favorable reaction to the clip and ignored Wozniak as the MovieStock price of jOBS has gone up 1.85 Hollywood dollars to 22.23, an increase of 5.99%.This means the traders in this fictional marketplace anticipate the movie to bring in $22.23 million in its first four weeks.
The studio Five Star Feature Films shot the movie with a budget of approximately $8,500,000. The distributor, Open Road Films, is relatively new, founded in 2011 by AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC).
It will be interesting to see if the movie becomes an inspiration for budding entrepreneurs, or if jOBS will just be remembered as an indie film featuring Ashton Kutcher. Wozniak's initial reaction doesn't bode well.