06 Sep 2011

Cyber criminals affecting computers occurring more often

During a presentation by security researcher Deral Heiland at this summer's DefCon 19 conference, he said internet-ready, consumer-grade multifunction printers could expose sensitive documents to a hacker, according to ComputerWorld.

Heiland demonstrated that a criminal could easily access printers due to basic coding flaws such as passwords and altering URLs.

Another from of cyber-crime, known as swatting, is puzzling law enforcement officers as well as households. Swatting is known as harassing a target by convincing police to send heavily armed officers to a home, according to the Langley Times.

"It's a reminder of how vulnerable people can be when their cyber-identity is taken over by the malevolent actor," Paul Meyer, an SFU international security expert, told the paper.

A family in Aldergrove, British Columbia, was affected by swatting when a male cyber criminal phoned 911 saying that he'd killed several people and was holding others hostage. The cyber criminal was able to make it seem like the calls came from the Aldergrove family, when it actually did not.

Meyer told the paper that to protect households from swatting, families should protect computers with a firewall, protect information by backing it up and browse the internet safely.