Cyber crime is a major problem worldwide, and in the United States, it cost the economy over 16 billion dollars in 2014 alone, according to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research. Incidents of cyber crime happen almost daily, and can include identity theft, credit card fraud, bank fraud, hacking and denial-of-service attacks, among other crimes. Here are some of the latest updates on the fight against cyber crime:
Cybersecurity Bill Passed
On Friday, December 18th, the United States Congress passed an Omnibus government funding bill, which included the Cybersecurity Act. According to the House Security Committee, the bill is designed to protect both federal and private business networks from foreign hackers and cyber-terrorists. It encourages sharing information about security threats between private and public entities, and it authorizes defensive measures that could prevent or counter certain cybersecurity threats. Opponents of the bill are concerned about its privacy implications, since private companies will be providing personal information to the government, and they are worried that it would encourage businesses to report certain internet activities to local authorities.
Suspect in VTech Hack Arrested
On December 15th, police in the United Kingdom reported that they had arrested an unidentified 21-year old man in connection with the VTech hack that occurred in November. During the attack, the personal data of over 11 million people was stolen, including the personal data of more than 6 million children. Some of the records included email addresses, mailing addresses, gender, age and photos.
Google is Increasing Rank for HTTPS Sites
On December 17th, Google announced that it is changing its indexing system to favor sites that are protected by HTTPS encryption. The changes will help protect personal information and encourage a wider use of encryption on popular websites.
To help keep your personal or business computer safe from cyber crime, keep your operating system and antivirus software updated, and install a firewall to prevent unauthorized access to your system.