The Kavalan Newsletter

Cyber security and cyber hygiene spoken simple

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May 2023 Edition

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In this month's edition, we attempt to do our best David Attenborough impression as we talk about things that happen in the wild in the Cyber Serengeti. Jake the Pedantic, the imaginary cyber reporter, who is NOT on Nandi's staff, makes his debut on the newsletter by expounding about cyber hygiene from his mom's basement. We then give you a chance to chuckle about the latest scams that only happen to 'other' people. Lastly, we bring you up to speed on some of the latest threats and breaches that the bad guys were busy creating instead of playing Wordle.
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The Cyber Serengeti

Watering Hole Attacks

Imagine the scene that plays out in the dry season on the serengeti. Imagine the familiar sound track of Attenborough narrating the behaviors of the pride of lions that lies in wait for the wildebeest that come to quench their thirst. Stealing an idea from Mother Nature, a 'watering hole attack' is used by an online predator to target a group of people with a common interest or activity. Here are some examples of such attacks from both the cyber world and the real world.

  • EXAMPLE 1: Hackers may Infect a highly popular website at a specific time knowing more people will be visiting that site for a reason e.g. during a world cup or right after an earthquake or even the site of a major news outlet.

  • EXAMPLE 2: Watch out who bumps into you at that crowded bar or venue - some place like a real watering hole. Scammers may have card skimmers that capture details of your credit card even if it is in your wallet. Protect yourself with an RFID blocking wallet or handbag.

  • EXAMPLE 3: Scammers may post QR codes at crowded venues or public areas. The QR codes may point to malicious website or cause a malicious app to be downloaded to your phone. Avoid scanning QR codes in public spaces.


Cyber Hygiene with Jake the Pedantic

7 Themes of Cyber Safety in the Home

7 whole themes that we can all slap our foreheads about and say, 'Why didn't I do this before?'. Yes, these tips are free too. Our grandchildren might be joking about us 50 years from now recalling how they knew some humans for whom this was NOT part of their muscle memory.


Emerging Scams

Phone rings and a mom hears her son's voice. “Mom, I have been in an accident and hit somebody. I have been arrested and need to post bail. My friend will come home in a few minutes. Please hand him $5000 in cash. It is urgent!”

Personalized AI Powered Scams

Big earthquake in Turkey! Disaster news clogs social media channels. Ads for disaster relief pop up on social media feeds as well as banner ads on websites. Should you click on them and process payment with your credit card?

Donation or Charity Scams

'Sha Zhu Pan' meaning Pig Butchering. Find, fatten and slaughter the pig. A chance online encounter, a pretend 'mis-dialled' number to start. These  are individually targeted and leave a trail of financial and emotional distress.

Pig Butchering Scams

Threats and Breaches

Well, it is not always our fault. The companies that we do business with get breached too. The apps and devices that we use get targeted with new attacks.

Russian Snake Malware

A creepy name, Russian intelligence, 50 countries, thousands of businesses, the take down (maybe ...). An NSA advisory makes this news the talk of the town.


Western Digital Breached

Bad guys may have stolen your information (again!) and now maybe coming for that storage device in your home that has all your precious photos and documents.


Indian Data Brokers

Yet another example of why we hate data brokers and why  there can be no security in the home without privacy. Data is the new oil. Data brokers are the new OPEC