Friday, March 23, 2018

[CyberSecurity Awareness Series] The Other Side

The body did not move when touched. The police carefully placed the body on the floor after it was found hanging from the fan. There was a suicide note which gave detailed reasons as to why Siddharth (popularly known as Sid) had to take this extreme step. Sid’s mother was in a mental shock after reading the letter. She gave the letter to her husband who read it afterward. He could not believe what was written in that letter.

The police officials asked the parents if they had noticed any change in Sid’s behavior over the last month. Well, they could have answered it only if they spent time with him. Sid’s parents were working as senior managers in MNCs. They tried to spend time with him sometimes, but work pressures and delivery timelines always kept them busy. Well, at least they did not disappoint Sid with the gifts he wanted. This time too, Sid got what he had demanded. The police officials confirmed that they would investigate what was written in the letter, but everyone knew that “the other side” was like an infinite space and finding the person responsible for Sid’s death would be like finding a needle in an ocean.

Let’s Rewind

Salman understood the case after reading the letter and the discussion with the police officials. He was the best in his field and cybercrime was his specialty. Salman knew he had to rewind back 2 months to understand what drove Sid to take this step. The only thing that could help him solve this mystery was the only piece of evidence lying in front of him – Sid’s present.

Sid was a regular 10 years old kid. Just like any other kid of his age, he loved gadgets, social media and spending time on his mobile phone. Yeah, this is the new regular for kids nowadays! Sid wanted an expensive present this time and he was after his parents to get that at the earliest. His parents had promised the high-end laptop the day his 5th class exams got finished.

Sid was excited to open the present he had been demanding for the last 2 months. The day had arrived. He went home and found his present neatly wrapped with a message from his parents. Sid was super excited to unwrap the present. His brand new laptop was finally in front of him. He switched it on and logged in. He installed the latest game which everyone was talking about in the school. He opened the browser and typed in “The Bad Monkey” and got around 25,00,0000 results. He clicked on the second link which was offering the game for free.
Well, the game downloaded and installed itself. Sid clicked on the game icon and started playing. 

The Monkey was not bad

It was an everyday routine for Sid to play the game. He had in fact reached Round 2 after a lot of efforts. Today he had to clear Round 3. The moment he logged in, Sid got a pop-up message. The message was an enticing one, at least for the kid. The message read “Click here to skip Round 3 & 4 and enter Round 5.” Sid immediately clicked on it. What Sid saw was something he had never seen before. But he could not stop himself from looking at it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

[Security Awareness Poster] Think Before You Post On Social Media

What are your thoughts on sharing personal information on social media? Share your comments in the comments section below.

Download the poster for FREE from the downloads section.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

[CyberSecurity Awareness Series] The Whistle Man

It was as if a shadow was moving around trying to slip inside. It was early morning and the person knew that this was the right time to sneak inside as if he was aware that the whistle man would not have arrived by that time. The person had a mission to accomplish and no one could come in the way. The shadow moved subtly inside the work area, opened the bag and pulled out a small crude looking box. The hands trembled initially, but instantly, a burst of anger came back and the box was placed in one of the open drawers. It was time to slip outside for the deed had been done.
Akriti gave an indicator to turn right into the campus of “ILoveITSoultions”. She parked her car, took her bag from the back seat of the car and moved to enter the campus. As she was about to enter the location’s door, a usual high pitched sound of a whistle tore through the otherwise calm surroundings. She knew instantly what the fuss was all about, yet Akriti attempted to move inside.

An old figure moved immediately and with him grew the voice of the whistle. Akriti turned around and shouted at the old man. “What’s with the whistle, old man?” Mota Bhai, as if, habitual to such abuses politely said “Beta, Kindly put the ID card. It helps us.” Akriti dug the ID card from inside her bag and put it unwillingly around her neck and then ogled back at the old man.

Well, let’s talk about the old man.  Mota Bhai was no stranger to “ILoveITSoultions”. He joined the organization way back in 1970 as a young security guard. Time moved on and the campus changed, but one thing that did not change was the attentiveness and punctuality of Mota Bhai. Over time, he got a nickname too – “The Whistle Man”; because of the whistle that blew immediately, an associate was seen without an id card. The younger generation ridiculed him, made fun of him and sometimes irritated him by deliberately not wearing the ID card. Mota Bhai, however, did his duty without fail every day with pride. 

The shadow had to move out quickly. The shadow knew everything about the campus. The person looked around and was about to step outside when the whistle blew. An eagle would have missed something, but not Mota Bhai. The shadow knew that the cover had been blown. The person started running. Mota Bhai knew something was wrong. Never had he seen an associate run because of the whistle. He blew the whistle again and shouted at the other guards to apprehend the person. The person was caught, but the dangers were still lurking.

Mota Bhai signaled the guard to call the location Admin. On further interrogation, it was found that the person’s name was Mohit. He had been a part of the organization until about a month back when he was fired. Mohit felt humiliated and vowed to take revenge. Mohit had factored in the timing as to when no one would be around. He also learned how to make a crude bomb from the internet. He knew that since the organization had not put in an X-ray scanner control, it would be easy to carry the bomb inside. But he had failed to factor in the attentiveness of Mota Bhai.

The clock was still ticking when Mohit revealed his sinister plans and the placement of the bomb when slapped and at the mere mention of the police officials (Classic CID scene 😋). Mota Bhai ran to the work area where Akriti and others were sitting. He signaled everyone to quickly move outside and sounded the alarm. The bomb squad was called and the mishap averted only due to the attentiveness of Mota Bhai. Multiple associates like Akiriti later thanked him for saving their lives and also apologized to him for behaving in a rude manner every day. 

The Unsung Heroes

It is often observed that people do not respect the security guards in organizations. When a security guard points to you that you must wear your ID card, he/ she is just doing his job just like you are. Wearing an ID card helps him/her identify and differentiate an authorized person from an unauthorized person. Visible ID card helps them to recognize you whether you are a visitor or an associate. So, the next time when a security guard tells you to follow the rules, do not ridicule or mock him. Respect him for his job and attentiveness and moreover, for the efforts, he/she is putting in to ensure your safety and security.

What are your thoughts on this? Don't you think security guards are an essential first line of defense?

Share & Comment on the story on Google Plus collections too now.

10000 views , Google Plus Collection, New Downloads Section and Much More

Thank you for all the love and support which this blog has received from all the readers around the world. This blog has crossed a total of 10,000+ views in a short time all because of you -the readers. On this occasion, I m delighted to share the Google Plus collection Page which has been created to share the articles and latest updates with you. I would love if you would follow, +1 and share it extensively so that the love spreads further.

There is also a Downloads section now where I would be sharing free resources such as security awareness posters, templates, case studies and detailed articles for your perusal. 

Stay Tuned for exciting stuff which will be posted on the blog and YouTube channel in some time.

Happy Reading.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

[Cyber-Security Awareness Series] The Fault In Our Code

Today was no different. Malvika got up in the morning, as usual, took a bath, got ready for office, packed her lunch and stepped out. However, Malvika had never imagined that her life would completely change when she stepped out from her home today. 

Malvika was a regular employee in the firm “ILoveITSoultions” with around 5+ years of experience. In fact, even though her experience was quite less in comparison to other developers, yet she was the go-getter which everyone went to for solutions. Having done her bachelors in engineering in the field of computers from a well-known college, Malvika had joined the firm in 2013 and had been the star performer ever since. Her claim to fame was around 2 years back when “ILoveITSoultions” bagged the prestigious multi-million-dollar project of digitizing the “BankWithUs” bank. 

The project was a difficult one from the start. “BankWithUs” wanted to get digitized in an extremely short period of time of around 4 months. It had legacy systems which had to be migrated to the latest web components. While everyone claimed this to be an impossible feat, Malvika stepped forward to lead the project. Her confidence was appreciated and responsibility for the project handed over.

While Malvika knew the enormity of the project, she realized it when she started working on that. The coding involved complex functions and modules to be developed. While other components were taken care of, the issue of multi-platform concurrency and transactional integrity was a pain point for everyone. In simpler terms, if a person conducts multiple transactions at the same time on an ATM, phone as well as online through net banking, integrity needs to be maintained so that a person cannot dupe the bank by withdrawing more than the amount present.

Other developers declared it impossible at that time, but Malvika came up with a solution to solve the issue at hand in the shortest time after 2 days. No one ever understood as to how Malvika did it, but guess the time had come for this mystery was about to unfold.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

[CyberSecurity Awareness Series] I Will Always Remember You

Have you ever longed for a friend or a partner who remembers you always? Even though you forget him/her, he/she always remember you. If yes, this story is surely worth your time.

Well, this is a story of two individuals where one never forgets the other. Disappointing as it may be for some, however, this is not a love story, but nevertheless, it is no less than a love story.
Let’s name these individuals – A and B. The identity of these entities will be revealed in the end.
A met B sometime late in August last year. The moment A laid eyes on B, it was clear that this is the one. While A was hesitant in approaching B, it decided to give B a try. Both met each other and both felt that they had struck the right cord at that time.

A and B had understood that they were made for each other. They started spending time with each other. Whatever be the case A always decided to connect with B for any work. Day or Night, A and B were always with each other. Their friendship had gone to the next level. A and B had fallen in love with each other.

Nothing lasts forever. And so did the love and romance between A and B. "A" started avoiding "B" and over a period of time and almost forgot everything about B. No one knew as to what happened. However, B kept its promise and never forgot A.

Days passed, months went by and one day something happened. ‘A’ accidentally met ‘B’ again and was surprised that B had never forgotten about A. In fact, B had kept all the old memories of A intact.

One song that comes to my mind after reading this story is “Me phir bhi tumko chahunga” from the movie Half Girlfriend. What do you think? 

The Big Question - Who is A and B?

Well, A is an individual like you and me and B is an application or “App” available from the Google Play store or the iOS store. We fall in love with multiple apps nowadays basis the enticing cashback or reward offers from them. When the offers stop, we generally uninstall them. However, these apps always remember you. 

I will share my own experience with you. This is related to a well-known payment application. I installed it last year and even though, I never saved my card details, it saved it automatically. Later, when the offers stopped, and, yes, my love moved on, I uninstalled this application. Recently when I installed the application again, I was shocked to see that my card details were automatically retrieved by the application, the moment I logged in.  Although such features add convenience to an application, however, they also raise multiple points related to data retention, storage, misuse, and ownership.