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Cyber Security


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Many of you are luddites, so I feel I should give you some information on cyber security. I am not a hacker, but I do have a degree in engineering. Even though I can program, most of the computer coding for hacking and cracking is beyond me. Much of the network and operating systems functions that hackers exploit are beyond my understanding. That being said, I will still try to give you a crash course.

Everyone can be aware of keeping your data safe and trying to use safer techniques. If a hacker really wants to crack your accounts, then that would eventually happen. The best you can hope for is to not make yourself a soft target.

Passwords

Every site and object needs one now. People who recycle the same password are at risk. People that use simplified passwords are also at risk. People that used simplified tokens or memory systems (like letting Microsoft handle your password) mean that only 1 system must be cracked to reveal ALL your data.

Most of your risk at having your password stolen is when hackers crack into a website and steel them in bulk. That is the same for credit card details. The websites and systems where you login or use your credit card are most likely to be cracked. Even the Australian government has been cracked, because a reporter managed to buy his own Medicare number off the dark web from a cracker that had ALL of them.

Brute force is an older method to enter an account. This method uses a login name and then starts at 0 and continues until it manages to log into an account. The frequency of logins and amount of time they are willing to spend will determine how long that will take. A faster attack is a dictionary attack where words and phrases are used to try to brute force an entry.

Modern cracking algorithms will not scoop up your information from social networking sites like Facebook and Linked-In. Then they use that data to try to combine likely numbers and words like date of birth or first pet names. This social engineering approach to cracking passwords means that the information you share online can be used against you.

The best passwords, that are easy to remember, are long like song lyrics or lines of poetry. These usually have sufficient letters to make brute force take too long as well as sufficient number of letters to make a dictionary attack difficult. As you don`t need to write it down, then having your work space compromised will still ensure that your data is enact. You can use capitalizing, shifting or other methods to make such passwords even safe.

For example, using Charlie Daniel`s Band song The Devil Went Down To Georgia:

Straight up: thedevilwentdowntogeorgia

Caps Used: THEdevilWENTdownTOgeorga

Caps and a shift up & left on Georgia: TheDevilWentDownToT#($T*Q

Social Networking

Some people like to ruin many of their personal relationships with social networking. Studies have shown that it polarizes societal belief systems and leads to conflict. However, it is also a way to compile a "known associates list" for every government agency in the world. You might be on a watch list and not even know it, just because you are somehow linked to a troll threatening people online.

Social networking is also being used by courts to determine guilt. Prosecutors in Australia have pulled images of people partying and using drugs to increase sentencing on young offenders in cases where those offenders have claimed "It was a freak event."

Everything posted to the internet exists FOREVER. So a minor amount of caution will serve you in the long run.

Search Engines

Google remembers everything you type. This is how it anticipates your needs based on what other people are typing. However, sometimes you want to look up information and don`t want it to remember what you are seeking. For that, use a search engine like DuckDuckGo:

https://duckduckgo.com/

Web Browsers

Everyone knows that Internet Explorer is rubbish. Firefox is the best option for faster browsing. Chrome is forced upon you when Google places it on your android. However, Torr is the best choice for securely looking online.

https://www.torproject.org

Torr is an onion browser, which means torr sends traffic to multiple nodes before release (opening the onion layer by layer). Torr uses encryption to ensure that your information passes through the internet unmolested. They also use 3 different network nodes to pass your traffic, so that when it comes out of the nodes it is hidden within other traffic. This means that it is very difficult to track back to the initial user. The more people that use Torr, the harder it is to track individual users. So using this system for casual browsing can increase the internet security for others, like dissidents fighting government corruption.

The traffic on Torr is not inviolate. There have been host nodes that have sniffed at unencrypted data leaving the node. This turned up classified information that probably shouldn`t have been seen. So keep that in mind when using Torr.

Torr is also used to access the dark web. The dark web is the collection of websites that are generally not easy to visit by the public. Onion browsers are used because it hides the digital signature of the person accessing those sites. For sites like Silk Road or Alpha Bay, this helps hide users from government.

Wireless Networking

Using public wifi is a good way to have data stolen. Wifi without encryption means that every packet you send online can be grabbed out of the air by another computer. For that reason, don`t send your credit card and banking details over unsecure wifi. Avoid logging into sites like FB and email while on open wifi because passwords can be stolen, too.

There are two kinds of secure wifi signals used: WEP and WPA (WPA2). WEP is an older system that is now relatively easy to crack. WPA can also be cracked, but it requires finding a user address and then a brute force attack. Both are time consuming.

If you want to see all the wifi networks around you, and find out what your system is broadcasting, then there are really good tools for that that. An easy to use one is Wifite:

http://resources.infosecinstitute.com/wifite-walkthrough-part-1/#gref

Generally, these hacking tools are made to be used on Unix/Linux based operating systems.

Of course, the safest wifi for nefarious purposes will ALWAYS be someone else`s network. So if you don`t want dodgy people doing dodgy things at your address, it is best to secure your systems.


Operating Systems

Most coders use a Unix based system because it is easy to run simple scripts. It is also easy to compile code in real time from diverse sources. However, if all of that is over your head, some of these operating systems are designed for ease of use. Most can be run from a USB stick and tested on a junk computer.

Ubuntu - https://www.ubuntu.com/

If you are looking to play around with Linux, Ubuntu is an easy one to use. It can be installed onto a USB stick and run on the same commuter that your run a windows system.

Kail - https://www.kali.org/

If you would like to learn about cracking, the best operating system is Kali Linux. Kali comes with many sophisticated tools installed, like Wifite. This means that once it is installed, you can mess around with the tools it provides.

Tails - https://tails.boum.org/

For the paranoid, Tails is the best system. The newest version Tails 3.1 comes out in August. However, their newest version (3.0) is very good. You should download a copy and test it out on a laptop. This system is very useful if you want to remain anonymous on the internet because it also comes with Tor installed.

Tails is an operating system that you run from a USB stick (go into bios on your laptop and change the start order to begin with a USB disk). It ONLY runs from the USB stick.

This system is an "amnesia" system. That means that the system forgets EVERYTHING and leaves no trace on the host computer. There is the option to store information (persistent storage), but you must specifically ask it to do so.

The other use for this system is a secure way to store bitcoins because it is highly encrypted. Nobody can get into this system without the pass phrase, so nobody will ever be able to pilfer your bitcoins.

Ultimate Security Doesn`t Exist

Be aware that the biggest treat to your systems if government. If the government wants to crack your systems, then they will because they have the resources and manpower to do so.

If you are scared of the government attacking your data, then your best option is to use a clean laptop ($100 bucks for a used one with x64 chip) on an amnesia system - Tails- with Torr browser while on someone else`s wifi.

Improve Security For Everyone

If you would like to improve online security for everyone, it doesn`t take much.

Run a Torr Node

From Torr: The Tor network relies on volunteers to donate bandwidth. The more people who run relays, the faster the Tor network will be. If you have at least 2 megabits/s for both upload and download, please help out Tor by configuring your Tor to be a relay too. You can run a Tor relay on pretty much any operating system.

https://www.torproject.org/docs/tor-doc-relay.html.en

Host Torrent Files

Tails and Torr rely on torrents for clean downloads. To ensure fast downloads in dodgy places, wide adoption ensures speed. The more people that host these torrents, the less likely that some dodgy government has inserted malicious code into the software.

Or Just Donate

It should be said that projects like Torr and Tails rely on donations. So if you have made a killing in the crypto currency market and want to give back, then support these projects:

https://tails.boum.org/contribute/index.en.html

https://donate.torproject.org/

DISCLAIMER:

YOU ARE AN ADULT and must make your own decisions. ONLY YOU know what level of experience you possess. ONLY YOU know what level of risk you are willing to take. ONLY YOU know what your financial goals are, and to what lengths you are prepared to go to meet those goals. You will be the one to wear your losses, so trade with caution and do your own research.

Henry Ledyard is an independent trader. He has NO affiliations with banks, brokerages, funds, trading houses or markets. He trades for himself and posts trading ideas merely to share information. He does NOT want your money, advice or opinions. He does NOT want your unsolicited emails. If you require further financial advice, seek it elsewhere. Henry`s opinions should be considered as addled as his blog site:

www.addlepated.com.au

If you like the information I provide, feel free to donate via Bitcoin:

http://www.addlepated.com.au/images/Images/BitcoinDonateQR.png

Bitcoin: 1AibrSths1D7GC1qEjeoDWLwq8TinjWgg2



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About the author


Henry Ledyard is a futures and options trader with over 20 years of trading experience and over 10 years of experience in trading futures. Henry Ledyard holds multiple degrees: BE Electrical Engineering, BS Physics, and BA Visual Arts. He has worked as a prop-trader (AU bonds, USA bonds) but found the bond market not conducive to his trading style. He currently trades for himself, and has no associations with any brokerage or firms. He has no boss and seeks no money for his information and trade ideas.

Henry’s trading focus is primarily on futures with longer term trades (hours to days) in tangibles (commodities and equities) with a real world bias. This is because high frequency trading algorithms are in control of much of the arbitrage trades and short term volatility.

Henry is predominantly a chart reader who looks for direction changes to enter and exit markets and is not a trend follower or scalper (much). His trade ideas are based on broader market forces creating opportunity while focusing on over-sold or over-bought moves. To make money in markets, he has to combine timing, direction and risk which can be a challenge (and may not suit your trading style). He is not an FX trader, nor stock trader (mostly) and tries to avoid bond markets except as a spread for other trades. He also avoids ETFs and many derivative products because of exaggerated leveraged moves.

Henry is based in Sydney, Australia and normally trades EU pre-market through the USA session with the occasional eye to Asia trade for indicators of direction.

The trade ideas expressed by Henry are places he sees potential for profit and may be as addlepated as his blog site: www.addlepated.com.au

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