Underground Hacker Communities: Dangerous Game of Cat “Phishing” and Mouse

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Web Security Experts, IT New York, offer tips on how to prevent becoming prey during holiday season.

2013 has definitely been a year of introductions to many new technologies including the latest Apple gadgets, social media platforms and integrations, video game consoles, and many others. There is no doubt that in order to remain competitive and up-to-date in today’s society that technology is an integral part of daily life. Widely popular shows such as MTV’s hit reality based dating show, “Catfish” where unsuspecting people are unaware that whoever is on the other end of the computer is pretending to be someone they are not have spawned new conversations about internet safety.

However, unlike the cultural phenomenon “Catfishing,” a much older “Phishing” scam has been around for several decades throughout what is known as Underground Hackers Communities. “Phishing” has become more prominent in recent years. The dangerous of game of “cat” and “mouse” should be taken more seriously than ever with the ease of shared information. But, just what is the difference between a “Catfish” and Cat “Phish?” Webopedia describes “Phishing” as, “The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.” Web security experts, IT professionals, and cyber consultants such as the Big Apple based firm IT New York warn how “Underground Hacker Communities” that are ready to take advantage of unaware shoppers can protect themselves during the retail season both online and offline.

“If someone were to “Google” themselves he or she would be surprised at how much publicly available information there is about themselves,” said Michael Good Founder and CEO of IT New York. This kind of access to new technology has produced a variety of different individuals and collective groups that set out to change entire industries and thus the emergence of “Underground Hacker Communities” has soared to the forefront. Young IT moguls like Good, leader of the emerging global information technology firm believes both personal and identity safety should be a top priority especially during the busy holiday seasons. “People are vulnerable both online and offline. While people can take measures to protect themselves online and offline, there is no way to protect yourself 100% from criminals who want to steal your financial information because sometimes they are not stealing it from individuals; they're stealing it from the databases of the websites you visit,” explains Good.

Good offers a few helpful tips to help unsuspecting shoppers from hacker frauds and scams.
1)There are some scams involving search engines where a person is directed to sites that offer low cost products or services. When the person tries to buy the product by entering the credit card details, it’s collected by the fake malicious website site. Never click a link to your bank’s website. Always type the URL manually into your browser’s address bar.

2)When shopping offline, use cash if possible. Whether you are paying with a credit card for a taxi ride or buying a shirt from a high end retail store, it is possible for an employee to set up a "skimmer," which is an electronic device that collects your credit card information. Skimming is more prominent around shopping season because people are buying more products and services, and are less likely to be diligently checking their credit card information.

3)With busy holiday season approaching, phone phishing (fraudulent phone calls to collect personal information for the intent of stealing your money, identity, or both) is happening more often. Phone phishing is when a criminal calls a person and asks the person to provide financial details for the refund of money to an account, to help a relative who is in danger, or some other scenario where the hacker can get you to wire them money or provide your financial information. The phone call may come from a number which appears legitimate but the area code in the phone call can be modified using VOIP technology. Never give out financial information over the phone no matter how legit it may seem.

4)Use 2-step verification, if possible. 2-step verification helps protect your account by making it more difficult for a hacker to sign in, even if they've somehow learned your password. If you turn on two-step verification, you'll see an additional page every time you sign in on a device that isn't trusted. The additional page prompts you to enter a security code to sign in. The website will send a unique security code to your phone or your alternate email address. Websites such as Google, Facebook, PayPal, Yahoo, Microsoft, and DropBox offer 2-step verification.

Michael Good is willing to give the “goods” and share many helpful tips that will ease and alleviate many of our frustrations, fears, and questions all while assisting businesses with helpful information regarding online activity on social media platforms, online shopping, and simply making it harder for a hacker to steal, sell, and share your identity. A short video can be found on the IT New York blog http://www.it-newyork.com/blog/. He is currently available for interviews on a variety of topics as an expert in web/cyber security, and also has a team comprised of Certified Ethical Hackers (CEH), Computer Hacking Forensic Investigators (CHFI), Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSP), and Certified Information Systems Auditors (CISA).

For all media, interview, features, or special contributor opportunities please contact Royal Kingdom PR at 206-203-1818 or contact via email at royalkingdompr(at)gmail(dot)com. You can also visit IT New York’s website at http://www.it-newyork.com.

About IT New York: IT New York formed in 2011 with offices in New York City, the D.C. Metro Area, and internationally in India was founded by serial entrepreneur Michael Good. IT New York is a full service information technology firm that provides tailored round-the-clock support software designing and development, web security, SEO services, marketing, and remote administration. IT New York boasts high profiled and lucrative clients such as software companies, hedge funds, venture capital firms, and marketing agencies. For more information on IT New York, please visit http://www.it-newyork.com. Please direct all media/press inquiries to Royal Kingdom PR Agency, Inc. at royalkingdompr(at)gmail(dot)com or by phone at 206-203-1818.

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