The Kavalan Cyber Safety Newsletter

Cyber security and cyber hygiene spoken simple

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December 2023 - The Holiday Edition

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Our very first holiday edition is packed with information about where hackers go holiday shopping. Maureen The Clean is back, decked in festive spirit, to share her know-how with fellow moms around the threat to kids from those fancy new gadgets and apps. It is time for good cheer, but not for Jake The Pedantic. Jake channels his inner Grinch by talking about the nastiest of malware types - rootkits! Spare a thought for Samuel The Harangued as he tries to convince Aunt Mabry that she is NOT about to get a free TV from Walmart.
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Coupon expires Dec 31st 2023. Discount applied at checkout time.

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Those Naughty Gadgets And Apps


Maureen The Clean

Those nifty gadgets, new devices and apps that kids may be getting this holiday season may have a dark side to them. Risks to children include:
  • Being exposed to online predators through social media apps or chat messages in video games. The FBI reports that there are 500,000 predators online every day.
  • Device and app makers collecting sensitive information.
  • Information being exposed or sold to third parties.
The prevalence of these threats has led to the FBI releasing a public service announcement about online predators. ParentsTogether, a nonprofit, also released 'The Naughty List', their annual report of potentially harmful toys, gadgets and apps. It is crucial to understand what information companies are collecting about you and your kids as well as to understand how kids are using these technologies. It is never too early to have a conversation with your kids about online safety.

Rootkits Have Nothing To Do With Gardening


Jake The Pedantic

Rootkits are the worst! Rootkits are a kind of malware that give an attacker full control over your computer or device. Rootkits can be used by the bad guys in various ways including: taking over your device and using it as a tool in another cyber attack, controlling your devices to spy on you or steal your data, creating a backdoor entry point into your device for future malware or data exfiltration. Some types of rootkits are not visible to tools like anti-virus or can even render tools like anti-virus ineffective because of the way they work.

5 types of rootkits to be aware of: While there are several types of rootkits and new ones emerging, there are 5 to learn about and be aware of.

How can you protect yourself?



Samuel The Harangued

Holiday Scams

The Walmart Gift Scam, Fake Shipping Texts, USAA security alert - these are all currently active scams targeting all of us but specifically the elderly this holiday season. In many cases, they trick the user into entering their credit card information citing 'shipping fees' or 'processing fees' as an excuse. The holidays are prime for scams given everyone is looking for deals or buying gifts online. Scammers know there is a very high probability that some percentage of the population is shopping at Walmart, Amazon or other large online retailers. Some tips to protect yourself:

review the FCC's latest alerts

Threats and Breaches

Wyoming shell companies are being used as an anonymity shield for global hacks. A Russian IT entrepreneur uses these shell companies to make his client's internet traffic look like it emanated from America.

Global hacks from Wyoming shells

Hackers go holiday shopping too! A new online underground marketplace, called OLVX, for hacker tools just went online. The marketplace has all the latest goodies ... er ... 'baddies' like phish kits, spam senders and more.

Hackers go holiday shopping

High interest rate loans, built in scam to empty out accounts and a dose of malware on top! A multi-layer cake of an attack is ongoing targeted at Android users in India, Pakistan and other countries with the SpyLoan app.

SpyLoan app targets South East Asia