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Bits & Bytes e-zine, Vol2 #6: Commentary of the Jamaican perspectives in the Latin America + Caribbean Cyber Security Trend report, June 2014)

Globally, Cyber Crimes are on the rise and estimated proceeds from these activities are at records levels.

For the Jamaican consumer, social network user, Point-Of-Sale (POS) user and techno-buff, there is a relevant highlight; that lax end-user attitude towards social media and increased adoption of mobile devices has led to an escalation in scams and provided greater opportunity for cybercriminals. This is particularly true with Jamaicans, as like so many others worldwide, mobile-based social media use plays a greater role in our lives. Fake offers and Likejacking (using a fake “like” button to trick user into clicking a website button that installs malware and may post updates on the user’s newsfeed, spreading the attack.) are the popular methods that are employed.

The rise of Ransomeware, where often, the attackers pretend to be local law enforcement, demanding a fake fine typically between $100 and $500USD to unlock a computer that was ostensibly locked and used by authorities during an investigation is notable and Jamaicans need to be aware of these threats as well as the frequency of zero-day vulnerability in watering hole attacks. Considering how many websites by Jamaican organizations have exploitable vulnerabilities with many of them being critically vulnerable, this should be of concern.

Spear-phishing continues to be the main method of attack and Jamaica’s performance with 3.2 attacks per 10k domains in the country’s Top Level Domains (TLDs) ranks among the lowest. There were no attacks from within. The work done toward training the country’s investigative authorities (Communication Forensic and Cybercrime Unit (CFCU) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force) as well as government CIO’s is notable. Of note that there are several cyber-security courses being offered by recognized tertiary institutions. The steps to establish a national Cyber Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) and the progress on a comprehensive cyber security strategy are worth mentioning.

Jamaica is by no means immune and while activities here largely go unreported, “national authorities report a 15 percent increase in cyber incidents in 2013 as compared to the year prior. The most prevalent activities reported included third party transaction online fraud, cyber defamation and cyber extortion. Despite increased reporting of such incidents to government authorities, only about 5 percent of the perpetrators were found, due mainly to the minimal level of support received from entities in other jurisdictions.” There is much more that needs to be done even so as there is a diversity of threats and sophistication of delivery.

For the full report: visit: http://www.symantec.com/page.jsp?id=cybersecurity-trends

Category: Bits & Bytes