Defense Against Crime

August 19, 2014

How your House got Hacked!


Many of the top out of the box home security systems sell high-end systems designed to look as if they will provide you with the best security to protect your residence and family if 13_hai_panelsomeone decides to target your home.  Many of these new systems allow you to control and monitor your system remotely. While statistically homes with a home security system are less likely to be targeted by robbers than those with one, don’t think your new high-end system is perfect.  As someone said if you build a better mouse trap, nature will build a better mouse.

You see all those fancy electronics have inherited flaws. For example two researchers say that some of the top-selling home alarm setups can be easily subverted to either suppress the alarms or create multiple false alarms that would render them unreliable. False alarms could be set off using a simple tool from up to 250 yards away, though disabling the alarm would require closer proximity of about 10 feet from the home. Thieves can walk up, pick your lock, suppress your alarm, do what they want, and then leave without so much as a peep from your alarm,

The underlying technology of many of these wireless alarm systems rely on radio signals between the various wireless components and depending on the setting on the alarm panel and the sensors the alarm system will interpret an event.  With the right equipment you can pick up and decrypt those signals and do what you will.  Now mind you most burglars don’t have this type of equipment, but high-end neighborhood will attack high-end crooks.

 

Additional Resources

 

PepperEyes.com is dedicated to providing you with the best personal protection products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for yourself, your home or your business, buy our high quality discount personal protection products and arm yourself with the knowledge of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.

August 7, 2014

Protect Your Online Account With Multi-Layered Authentication.


Yesterday I tweeted (@PepperEyes), and posted on the Defense Against Crime LinkedIn page the latest cyber-breach story about the Billions of Stolen Passwords from the Russians
(http://news.msn.com/science-technology/report-russian-hackers-steal-12b-passwords). Communications connectivity

So just to keep count and to bring you up to speed,  here is a list of cybersecurity issues that we know happened in 2014.

  • There have been over 447 in 2014 according to the idtheftcenter.org
  • There was the heart bleed virus threat of 2014
  • There have been reports of fake mobile banking apps that are stealing sensitive data
  • There are always new viruses/malware being released to exploit security breaches.
  • Cyber Thieves can now hack many wireless Security Systems
  • China and Russia Hackers are continuously cyber attacking US Computer networks.

Have your heard enough?   Are you scared yet?

One IT Security specialist I know says he doesn’t even leave his home computer plugged into the network or turned in to prevent any kind of attack.  What about the rest of us who live on the net? Is there a better way to secure your computer accounts without having to create new elaborate passwords every month?

One of the methods I use to secure many of my on-line accounts (PayPal, Google, Facebook, Bank..etc) is 2 key authentication or what is called Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). The device that serves as my second key receptacle is my cell phone

What is Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a cyper security approach to security authentication which requires the presentation of two or more of the three independent authentication factors: a knowledge factor (“something only the user knows like a password“), a possession factor (“something only the user has like a fob or cell phone“), and an inherence factor (“something only the user is”). After presentation, each factor must be validated by the other party for authentication to occur. You have probably seen system used in many movies where the person types in their security password (knowledge) and then either has to have a palm scan or retina scan (possession) and a certain terminal (inherence).  For example to access on-of my online accounts I enter my user name and password (knowledge), their system then send me a text message (possession) and the system will let me in.  So if someone in China steals my user name and password and sells them to someone in Nigeria, without my cell phone, the information is kinda useless and they move on to their next victim.  Google actually monitors where you long in and will question if all of a sudden you try to log in from France when your last login was in New York City.

PayPalFob

PayPal Provides FREE MLA Devices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cyber-thieves are really clever

According to many security advocates, MFA could drastically reduce the incidence of online fraud, online identity theft, and other cybercrimes, because the victim’s password would no longer be enough to give a would be thief permanent access to your information.  However given the persistence and cleverness many cyber-thieves, many MFA approaches remain vulnerable to Phishing, man-in-the-browser, and/or  man-in-the-middle attacks. Think about all those movies or TV Shows where the criminals got access by to cleaver bit of technology or hacking.

In addition to such cleaver direct attacks, three additional aspects must be considered for each of the factors in order to fully realize the potential increase in confidence of multi-Factor authentication:

  • The inherent strength of the mechanism, i.e. theentropy of a secret, the resistance of a token to cloning, or the uniqueness and reliability of a biometric. For example  the new IPhones added a finger print security system. Within a week someone figured out a flaw.
  • Quality of provision and management. This has many interesting aspects, such as the confidence you can have that a token/fob or password has been securely delivered to the correct user and not an imposter, or that the correct individual has been biometrically enrolled, as well as secure storage and transmission of shared secrets, procedures for password reset, disabling a lost token, re-enrollment of a biometric, and prompt withdrawal of credentials when access is no longer required. For example some of the online system have a link that allows the user to bypass the MFA by saying that they don’t have the key. The hacker only has to know some of the other information about you like mother’s maiden name of last 4 of your driver’s license to access your account, change your mailing address and have another fob mailed to them.
  • Proactive fraud detection, e.g. monitoring of failed authentication attempts or unusual patterns of behavior which may indicate that an attack is under way, and suitable follow-up action. Many systems only allow you three login attempts and then it locks you out. You either have to call their 800 to have your password reset or hit the I can’t remember my password which will usually links to your email account that I hope you have a MFA for.

The Bottom Line

In the age of continuous data breaches and cyberattacks, just changing your password on a regular basis is not enough, you are going have to add extra layers of security of your cyber life. Many of us have two locks on the doors of our residence, plus an alarm system and perhaps a dog. We are going to have to take steps to secure our cyber homes against cyber-robbers. Multi-Layered in a great st

Related articles

PepperEyes.com is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high quality discount self-defense products and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.

August 6, 2014

They Prey on Your Ignorance


Every now and again I will receive a phone call from some company that wants to help put my business PepperEyes.com on the front page of Google.  By coincidence many of these calls come 101112_1801_TheEnemyWit1.jpgfrom California, and it is also strange that all the companies that want to help me do business with the Federal Government come from Florida. Could there be something to that?  However, the Federal Government angle is a whole separate issue.  Back to the Google ordeal!  Anyway what these companies are trying to sell me is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  service. The sales person will use all of the correct  term and buzz words, and make the offer of their services sound extremely valuable to you. They are in the business of selling you their service, and trying to get your money for something you can probably do yourself.

If you don’t know what SEO is let me explain.

Night of the Spiders

Every moment of every day the search engines (Bing, Yahoo, Google, Ask, AOL..etc) crawls the world-wide web via web links and at all times gathers information about every page and bits of information that is on the web including personal, private, social media, and business pages and brings it back to the nest (Their server). This information is then massaged, organized, analyzed , indexes, and/or put through some every changing formula and placed in their database/storage unit.

Getting Search Result

Let’s say you search on  Discount Pepper Plants. The search engines then go through their database of current results and bring back the results that have been calculated that best fit your search criteria going for most relevant to least relevant based on the content of those site. You would see sites that contain images and text related to Pepper Plants, Gardening etc. listed first.  Those items that are on the first page are deemed most relevant to what you typed in. So if you were actually looking for Discount Pepper Spray, you will not get the results you want.  Also depending on what you type in you can get different results on the front page of Google (or Bing, or Yahoo). For Example, Pepper Spray, Best Pepper Spray, Pepper Spray for Women, Discount Pepper Spray, and Where to Buy Pepper Spray, will all get you different front page results as a web site can only get optimized for only a few search terms.

The Never Ending Process

As you can imagine competition among companies for a position on the first page on Google, Bing or Yahoo (top 4 Search Engines) is fierce. SEO is based on lots of factors such as site content, name of images, relevant back links to your site, how readable your website is (to keep you from stuffing it with key search terms), and many other factors that the Search Engine Companies use and constantly change.  So as you may imagine many companies are always tweaking their websites on a CONTINUAL basis to be the ones on the first page, and trying to stay ahead of the competition. Some of these large companies have a while division that do nothing but maintain their website and fight to remain in the top spots for key search term. But again these spots are driven by the search terms and other relevant search factors.  Again using my previous example, if your do a search on ‘Pepper Spray’, ‘Discount Pepper Spray’, ‘Best Pepper Spray’, and ‘Pepper Spray for Women’ you may not always see the organic results in the same order, only every engine, and companies like Amazon or Wal-Mart will most likely be in many of those spots.

Making Money from You Ignorance.

As I said SEO is a continual process as some search engines companies change their ranking formula from time to time (Google is well-known for this), and your competition is trying to make their Pepper Spray Web sites rank higher than yours.   So in comes the Sylvester McMonkey McBean Company  (see Dr. Seuss) to sell you services to put you on the front page of Google for a price, and they may offer you other internet listing services to help your visibility.  You may be thinking this is great and will get you lots of business so that you can recoup your cost from the profits. This is often one of their selling points by the way.  So you foolishly pay your $2000 (I have no idea what the going rate is) to have this service.  Now there is nothing wrong with this if they actually deliver what the promise. However, being on the front page does not necessarily mean lots of new business.  However, let’s just say they actually do what they promise and you get the #1 seat on Google, Bing and Yahoo for Discount Pepper Spray, or Zombie Repellent (what ever you are selling).  What is to stop this same company from going to one of your competitors and show them they are not #1 position on Google, and promise them the same services they sold you. (Just like in the Dr. Seuss Book) Over a course of months, you may see your ranking slip, as they may move to every one of your competitors,  but so long as you are on the first page, you still feel OK that is until you find yourself on page eight or nine of the search results.  Remember all your competitors are constantly tweaking their SEO.  As I stated SEO is a continual process, you have to keep your business relevant to what people are searching for. At this point I’m sure one of their related partners or perhaps the same company will call you a year later asking to put you back on the first page of Google.  The process will begin again.

 What You Can Do

As a mentioned above, Website SEO is a continual process.  There are LOTS of online resources and schools like Social Media University or other site that will teach you about the topic of SEO and some of these resources are free. For the most part is stuff you can so yourself, by just investing a few hours a week.  Once you have the knowledge, and know how to access many of the free online tool you do it all yourself.  If you can’t do it yourself, then you may want to SHOP AROUND for someone who can do it at a reasonable price, just make sure you see a sample of their work and talk to some of their clients. What you want to do is grow a quality business, and in doing that try to be to tortoise and not the hare. If you are  small company don’t try to compete with the big guys (Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon…etc) they have much more money ans resources that you do.

There are lots of companies out there that prey on your internet ignorance. For example one of the Federal Business companies charges almost $500 to set your company up in the database that the Federal Government uses.  This process takes about 1 hour or maybe an hour in a half if you do it yourself.  They also charge a service fee for migrating your data from the old service to the new one. They count on the fact they you are not aware that you can do this on the new system by just entering your username and password from the old system and hitting the migrate button. So just be careful when dealing with these companies and do your research before BUYING or AGREEING to anything.

PepperEyes.com is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high quality discount self-defense products and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.

 

July 23, 2014

Facts about Alcohol and College Sexual Assaults


collegedrunk

Once Young Adults leave home from the watchful eyes of their parents, it seems that for many the ability to make wise choices is often something they leave home as well. Once they are in college they begin to experiment with alcohol.  Unfortunately for many, this is when things don’t go as planned.

Conservative estimates of sexual assault prevalence suggest that 20 to 25 percent of American women have experienced sexual assault, including rape. Approximately one-half of those cases involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim, or both parties. Alcohol contributes to sexual assault through multiple pathways, often escalating existing risk factors. Beliefs about alcohol’s effects on sexual and aggressive behavior, stereotypes about drinking students, and alcohol’s effects on cognitive and motor skills contribute to alcohol-involved sexual assault. The lines of Consent become blurred in the minds of one or both parties

Here are some interesting findings

  • Alcohol use can contribute to an atmosphere where anything goes, including rape by individuals or groups of Males.
  • Perpetrators use many forms of coercion, threats and manipulation to rape their victim including alcohol and drugs. Alcohol, Rohypnol and other drugs are often used to incapacitate victims.
  • Alcohol slows reflexes and can impair the victim’s ability to recognize a potentially dangerous situation
  • Alcohol impairs judgment and lowers inhibitions, making some people more likely to force sex on an unwilling partner.
  • Males who have committed sexual assault also frequently report getting their female companion drunk as a way of making it easier to talk or force her into having sex. (Abbey, A., McAuslan, P. & Ross, L. Sexual Assault Perpetration by College Males: The Role of Alcohol, Misperception of Sexual Intent, and Sexual Beliefs and Experiences. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 17, 167-195. 1998.)
  • An incapacitated person does not forfeit his/her rights. In Michigan when someone is drunk, she or he is unable to give consent. If you have sex with someone who is passed out or incapable of giving consent, it will be considered SEXUAL ASSAULT
  • Males are more likely than Females to assume that a woman who drinks alcohol on a date is a willing sex partner. Of Males who think this way, 40% also believe it is acceptable to force sex on an intoxicated woman. (Journal of American College Health, 1991)
  • Under the influence of alcohol, Males are more likely to interpret a woman’s smile, laughter, clothes or body language as evidence that she wants to have sex.
  • Alcohol use at the time of the attack was found to be one of the four strongest predictors of a college woman being raped. (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology)
  • Although the new reports has labeled drugs such as Rohypnol and GHB as the date-rape drugs of the present, these are only two of the many drugs used to incapacitate a victim. Of the 22 substances used in drug-facilitated rapes, alcohol is the most common. (LeBeau, M., et al., Recomendationss for Toxicological Investigations of Drug Facilitated Sexual Assaults, Journal of Forensic Sciences. 1999.)
  • At least 80% of college students who had unwanted sex were under the influence of alcohol. (Core Institute, University of Southern Illinois, 1995)
  • Alcohol is many times a common factor in most cases of dating violence. Of campus sexual assaults, 75% involved the consumption of alcohol by the victim and/or the perpetrator. (Caponera, 1998)
  • Of those involved in acquaintance rape, 75% of Males and 55% of Females had been drinking or taking drugs prior to the incident. (Caponera, B, 1998)
  • In 55% of campus sexual assaults, the offender and/or victim were drinking or using drugs (“The Rape Victim: Clinical and Community Interventions,” Sage Library of Social Research, 1991)
  • 60% of Sexual Assaults are never reported and legal agency.
  • 97% Of rapist never spend one day in Jail.
  1. com is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high quality discount self-defense products and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.

 

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July 22, 2014

How To Prevent Thieves From Breaking Into Your Garage


Crime-Prevention-TIPS-LogoWhen I moved into my house many years ago one for the first things I did was have all my locks re-keyed.  This is always recommended.

Some people will change their locks, however as reported in a previous post, and several news sites you may want to carefully shop for door locks. Many of the big home repair stores (Home Depot, Lowes, etc)  purchase their locks in bulk and many of the lock have the same key. So you may end up re-keying your lock anyway.

Our house has a typical manually-operated garage-door. The garage door has a locking T-handle in its horizontal center. At the back of the handle is a cam. Inside the door, a spring-loaded latch is mounted on the left side and another on the right, each locking to its respective rail.  A single cable attached the two latches and runs through the handle-cam. When the handle is unlocked with a key and rotated counter-clockwise, it rotates the cam to pull the two latches, releasing the door so it can be lifted.

The locksmith told me that I will need to be careful with the garage door as it is one of the easiest ways to enter the house.   The other day one of the local news channel did a story about this and I’ve included a link to their story here.

AN EASY FIX TO FEND OFF THIEVES FROM BREAKING INTO YOUR GARAGE

figure3The lock smith advised me to just get a lock and put it in the hole of the door bar once it is closed and it will prevent the garage from being opened from the our side.

We also recommend that if you have a home alarm and an attached garage, then place an alarm sensor on the house door.

 

 

PepperEyes.com is dedicated to providing you with the best and most affordable self-defense products, and safety products on the market to meet the security needs of you, your family members or your business, by assisting anyone who is unwilling to become a victim of crime.  If you want to take personal responsibility for protection, home security, business security, purchase our high quality discount self-defense products and arm yourself with the knowledge about self-defense and security products and information of the best way to stay secure in an ever-increasing violent world. In today’s society, being equipped mentally and physically is no longer an option.

 

 

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