Black Friday, Blue Monday

Don’t know about you lot, but this American Instigated Black Friday plague that now has a similar foothold over here as the Halloween and St Patricks day consumer exploitation madness really gives us the heebie-jeebies (also an American import from the 1920s, so they aren’t all bad).

From the consumer side (the silly ones at least) the opportunity to grab a real bargain seems irresistible to many. From the vendor side it is clearly an opportunity to get more feet in store and get rid of old stock that will be on a downwards price trajectory any time soon, especially tech stock.

But there is another side – we all remember the Target data breach in which something like 40 million credit and debit card details were compromised in 2013 don’t we? Very good. But do you remember the day that breach started? —correct, Black Friday.

The ‘Holidays’, another toe curling import from our American friends, are a season of consumerism and hedonism like no other. The stresses on retailers to satisfy demand and make a few dollars, twinned with head in the clouds purchasing fuelled by need, greed, booze or all of the above is a target rich environment for the bad guys.

Be on the watch-out for unusual activity on your bank accounts, there is quite a lot of contactless card scanning going on in busy places like outside Primark on Oxford Street and on tube trains – especially the new straight through Circle Line jobs, the opportunity being to walk the length of one copying cards the whole way.

We do have some cards that you can put in your wallet that do a reasonable job of blocking scanners – contact us if you would like some and we will see what we can do. Christmas (that being what we used to call it) is coming after all.

Obviously Black Friday is followed by Cyber Monday or Blue Monday as you would have to call it if you were the victim of a drive by infection, phishing attack or some such, by being over eager to grab a NETGEAR R9000-100EUS Nighthawk X10 AD7200 wireless router (phwoar) for a tenner. Please be careful.

The lovely folks at Sophos’ Naked Security have written a nice Black Friday safety pamphlet here.

In other news, it was reported this week that Uber failed to ‘fess up to a monster data breach a year ago and paid the perpetrators 100 thousand dollah to keep it zipped. Obviously this news has totally ruined Uber’s already totally sullied reputation. It looks like the breach was through Amazon S3 buckets (surprise!) which were accessible using keys stored on GitHub. Ouch.

Our very own Gareth Lindahl-Wise made his thoughts public in the Insurance Business Magazine here, punditry of the finest quality.

If you fancy an ITC Christmas (contactless card protection) card, a festive beverage or just a chat about anything security related, do get in touch with our elves at: [email protected] or call 0207 517 3900.

Happy Holidays. Ho Ho Ho