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During the past week, BahamasLocal.com visited Washington, D.C. and weighed in on international Internet policies. Jason McDowall, CEO of BahamasLocal.com, personally met with U.S. congressmen and lawmakers. He is also the Executive Council Member representing The...
The Bahamas is featured on a list of nations being used as a base of operation for cyberattackers.
According to report released on Wednesday, compiled by a global research team from Websence Inc., a global leader in Internet security, The Bahamas is ranked second among the top five countries in the world which host phishing sites. Phishing is an act of fraud in which persons fall victim to websites masquerading as trustworthy entities. The goal is to acquire passwords, credit card details, usernames and other types of information. Fake online payment processors, auction sites and popular social websites are typically used by these cyberattackers.
According to the report, the United States tops the list of nations which host phishing websites, followed by The Bahamas, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. The Bahamas is the only Caribbean nation on the list.
"Year-over-year, the number of malicious web-based attacks has increased by nearly 600 percent," said Charles Renert, vice president of Websense Security Labs. "These attacks were staged predominantly on legitimate sites and challenge traditional approaches to security and trust. The timed, targeted nature of these advanced threats indicates a new breed of sophisticated attacker who is intent on compromising increasingly higher-yield targets."
Every week, organizations face an average of 1,719 attacks for every 1,000 users, according to the report.
The report further noted that the United States of America, Russia and Germany are the top three countries hosting malware websites, and the top three countries hosting command and control servers are China, the United States of America and Russia.
The findings of the report are based on a year-over-year comparison of web, email, data, mobile and social media threats.
EDITOR, The Tribune.
An interesting column appeared in an Internet daily questioning whether Prime Minister Hubert A Ingraham is a threat to the national security of The Bahamas. The column was written by Nicki Kelly.
She expressed her concerns about the Hon Hubert A Ingraham allowing himself to be questioned by an American embassy official named Brian Bachman. This interview of Mr Ingraham by Mr Bachman occurred in 2003. At the time of the interview, Mr Ingraham was just a regular MP for the Opposition party, the FNM. Senator Tommy Turnquest was the leader of the FNM.
Nicki Kelly was writing about the Wikileaks cable exchanges that another prominent daily had obtained from the whistle-blow ...
Financial institutions in The Bahamas are scrambling to solve a major data breach at an international acquiring company that compromised thousands of credit cards. While details are still trickling in, Guardian Business can confirm that an entity located outside of the country was infiltrated.
The Organization of American States (OAS)
and the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry
(LACNIC) today signed a cooperation agreement with the aim of
strengthening the development of cyber security in the Americas.
Secretary for Multidimensional Security of the OAS, Adam Blackwell,
said "this agreement is another example of the commitment of the OAS
General Secretariat to create synergies with other cyber security
stakeholders in the Americas, which will have both hemispheric and
Police yesterday pointed to a worrying trend of Internet fraud, including identity theft ahead of the holiday season.
Assistant Superintendent Matthew Edgecombe of the Business and Technology Crimes Unit of the police force told The Nassau Guardian that in one instance this year an offshore bank based in The Bahamas was defrauded of $1.5 million.
Edgecombe said while incidents of that scale are not common, in the last six months alone at least 30 Bahamians have reportedly had their bank accounts hacked and money transferred in the hundreds of thousands of dollars collectively.
Sergeant Dale Strachan said this tends to occur in the form of emails requesting banking and other personal details, which are usually from other jurisdictions.
He said forwarded emails with attachments that are then forwarded or replied to often have spyware, malware and key loggers hidden within them, allowing suspects to obtain key financial information.
Although he was unable to provide statistics, Strachan said the Central Detective Unit is inundated with calls reporting claims of substantial amounts of money being scammed from savings accounts, credit cards and payments made to fake businesses.
"When companies and people do business online they have an email account that they give their banks instructions to do A, B and C -- transfer money, pay bills etc. -- and because this is a trend the bank and other financial institutions believe that this must be the [owner] as this is the norm," he said.
"What happens is those people's emails were compromised and hacked and the same instructions that they gave the bank, the hacker gave to send funds to different places on different accounts."
Strachan encouraged online users to use multiple email addresses; strong passwords; anti-virus software; to be careful using credit cards on unofficial websites and to notify their banks immediately if they notice something is wrong.
Edgecombe said it is usually around this time of year that fraudsters target unsuspecting Bahamians or tourists as they go about spending for the holidays.
He said some people come to The Bahamas around this time of year to commit credit card fraud in particular.Last December, a Brazilian woman and her American companion allegedly scammed three major Bahamian resorts and four stores of nearly $100,000 during their month-long stay in The Bahamas.
In addition to credit card and bank account fraud, Edgecombe said there is an increase in the dispersement of counterfeit currency.
Inspector Debora Thompson said a lot of the counterfeit Bahamian and U.S. dollars are being produced locally with increased sophistication.
"You want to look to see that it has all the security features, [such as] the corresponding thread for the note that the customer is presenting," said Thompson, who encouraged local businesses to be careful this season.
"What we have been seeing is that individuals have been bleaching the $1 note and printing higher denominations on them and presenting them to merchants."
Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing has responded to remarks made by Member of Parliament for Elizabeth Ryan Pinder in the House of Assembly on Monday, which suggested ways the amended Securities Industries Bill 2010 can be improved. The bill was passed in the House of Assembly on Monday. Laing mentioned that the PLP had opportunities to make suggestions in regards to the structure of the bill, saying their participation level during the draft process should have been greater.
“I just wonder where they were for the entirety of the consultation process,” Laing said. “When the draft bills and regulations were posted on the Internet and put out there, we would ha ...
The Organization of American States (OAS), the World Economic Forum, and
Georgetown University today organized a "Cyber Security Dialogue," in
which experts and government officials of the hemisphere exchanged
experiences and discussed the priorities of Latin America and the
Caribbean on the issue.
CONTRIBUTION ON A BILL FOR AN ACT TO PROVIDE COMMUNICATION SERVICES
HON. TOMMY TURNQUEST, MP
May 6, 2009
"Woefully outdated" trademark laws and insufficient safeguards in the online world could place major players in the corporate world at risk, according to a top information technology (IT) lawyer.
Rowena Bethel, a former advisor to the Ministry of Finance, is also an authority on e-commerce, information technology and telecommunications law and policy. She said crime perpetrated over the Internet is not uncommon, and despite this country's slower move into the online world, "it happens here more than we're aware of".
This week, Sunshine Holdings Limited, the parent company of Sunshine Finance Limited and Arawak Homes Limited, filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court calling for the immediate restraint of former employee Paul Shaw. According to court documents, Shaw transferred the rights to the company's websites to a third party, and has full access to hundreds of email accounts.
The defendant first joined the company in September 2000, and resigned in May of this year.
"This unlawful transfer of the plaintiff's domains is causing great damage to the plaintiff and has compromised the privacy of its employees' business correspondences," the document stated. "Additionally, the plaintiff has been
advised of the attack to the plaintiff's domains which leaves them vulnerable to pseudo-companies being established assuming the identity and emails of the employees of the plaintiff."
While not wishing to comment on this case specifically, Bethel told Guardian Business that issues concerning the registration of web domains can often be best described as "cyber squatting", rather than cyber crime.
The Bahamas has computer crime laws in the form of the Computer Misuse Act, she noted, but it does not have specific laws addressing this highly unique situation.
Speaking in general terms, Bethel explained that issues of cyber squatting can often hinge on whether the employee in question worked directly for the company or as a consultant. If the person worked as a consultant, the fine print of the contract and who owns the rights to the registered websites are crucial points to consider.
"Before you engage any IT services, seek out the assistance of a reputable IT law firm and people who specialize in advising in this type of arrangement and relationship. At some point, that relationship might come to an end, and there are sensitive issues at play," according to Bethel.
A "tight contract" is essential to ensure the safety of the corporation.
The e-commerce expert told Guardian Business that issues that deal with the online world are sometimes overlooked, especially in jurisdictions with less experience in the Internet. E-commerce "can have so much fine print", she explained, and close analysis must occur "because the risk can be so enormous".
In addition to the recent case concerning Sunshine Holdings Limited, the topic of security over the Internet is pertinent with the rise of an official e-commerce platform from Bank of The Bahamas (BOB).
Paul McWeeney, the managing director at BOB, has taken his time rolling out the platform, which is now expected to be imminent. The great concern for BOB has been testing the platform to ensure Bahamian businesses going online are protected and understand the risks.