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PUSH Security Articles - October 2021

A Monkey and a Typewriter Make a Hash with Shakespeare and a Soccer Ball, Part 2-Passwords and Hash Art Gresham (Approx. 2022 words). This discussion is a follow-up to Part 1 PASS(word) The Beef, the Hash, the Salt for Einstein, and a Dictionary, where Art introduced the process of hashing passwords and the concept of Salt. During a continuing discussion with a friend, while writing part 1, I finally realized we were looking at the same things and coming to different conclusions regarding passwords. For example, we debated whether passwords stored as a hash code are really easy to un-encrypt (decode/crack/break/hack) or really hard.

Cautionary Tale about Free VPNs Joel Ewing (Approx. 527 words). A hack of several free VPN services revealed that not only were some services collecting user activity logs in contradiction of their advertised policy, but some were also collecting email addresses, passwords that were not encrypted, IP addresses, mobile device models, and IDs.

Credit Card Fraud by Tom Burt(Approx. 979 words) Mrs. Burt and I recently experienced an unusual form of credit card fraud.

Don't Let Your Identity Be Compromised! Jeff Wilkinson (Approx. 605 words). We should all be cautious answering those seemingly innocuous questions posted on social media sites such as "What Year Did You Graduate High School," or "What City were you born in," "Can you remember your childhood phone number?" and on and on. Unfortunately, many of these answers can be used to answer or reveal security question answers you choose when you set up accounts at your bank, etc.

Don't Respond to Potential Scams Dan Douglas (Approx. 742 words). PLEASE PRINT THIS OUT AND PASTE IT NEAR YOUR PC AND READ IT BEFORE RESPONDING TO ANY POTENTIAL SCAMS. Unfortunately, Dan has seen a dramatic increase in people seeking help after being scammed on their computers. He shares some precautions we can take to minimize our exposure to getting scammed on our computers.

I Was a Fool, So You Don't Have to Be David Kretchmar (Approx. 1015 words). David doesn't necessarily think of himself as a fool, but he did a foolish thing a few years ago. He bit on one of Motley Fools' ubiquitous teaser internet ads promoting the best new emerging technology stocks that were about to "explode."

It's Called Clickbait, and You Need to Learn to Avoid It Kurt Jefferson (Approx. 322 words). Many of us are clicking on email links or Facebook postings sent to us from unknown senders. Unfortunately, this can lead to malware and trojan horses infecting our computers.

PASS(word) The Beef, the Hash, the Salt for Einstein, and a Dictionary - Passwords and Hash, Part 1 Art Gresham (Approx. 3223 words). At the September 2021 UCHUG general meeting, the two primary presentation topics were closely related in the area of Security: SMISHING and 2FA. And coincidentally, October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. There were several questions and opinions shared about ways of managing our passwords, how to build passwords, security of passwords, and the impact of losses from the frequent Data Breaches from small and large businesses, government, and anyone operating a website using Password technologies, and having sensitive information stolen.

The Anatomy of a Scam: Ransom for My Files Kurt Jefferson (Approx. 1006 words). In mid-February, I checked my Gmail account as I do several times a day. Lurking in my Junk folder was a mysterious email message that appeared to come from Germany. The email address used to send the message might be stolen or forged, but the subject was clear: Payment for your account.

The DealDash (Penny Auction) Scam David Kretchmar (Approx. 997 words). If you watch much TV or surf the Internet, you've seen ads promising products as much as 95 percent off retail at or other penny auction sites. DealDash advertises itself as offering fair and honest auctions, but is it really?

Those Pesky Car Warranty Calls Kurt Jefferson (Approx. 547 words). Nearly every other day, Kurt receives an obnoxious voice mail (don't we all): Your car warranty has expired. This is the final car. If you don't respond now, you will get no extended warranty coverage.

Tricky Spam Emails Jim Cerny (Approx. 574 words). You probably are all aware of those awful spam emails that come to you in your inbox. But recently, Jim had a very sneaky and tricky spam email that appears to come from a friend, and he needs us to learn about it.

What is a VPN, and Do I Need One? Joel Ewing(Approx. 1022 words). VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. When your computer or mobile device uses a connection to a VPN service, your device behaves as if it were connected to the Internet at the remote VPN service location, and all your traffic on the Internet appears to others as if it originates at that remote location.


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