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Showing posts from November, 2009

The Virtual Private Network

A colleague of mine has recently been the victim of credit-card fraud. Whilst the total sum involved is not huge we are nonetheless talking about several hundred pounds – money stolen by an electronic thief. This is an unnerving experience, but what makes it more unnerving still is the fact that as a reasonably IT-savvy professional person my colleague takes (or thought he took) every precaution when carrying out transactions online. He has a mainstream commercial virus, spyware etc package installed on his laptop and regularly updated. He is ultra careful about PINs and passwords. So how was this fraud carried out? There are several possibilities, and investigations are still ongoing. The fraud may not be IT-related at all. But cybercrime is now very big business. My attention was recently drawn to the ease with which IT crooks can (effectively) hack into a laptop by exploiting loopholes in wireless “hotspots.” A recent British TV programme graphically demonstrated this, and pointe