Hi-tech criminals push security boundaries

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In bygone years, as soon as bank vault manufacturers improved the security of their designs, the ‘safecracker’ would invent new ways to break into them

In bygone years, as soon as bank vault manufacturers improved the security of their designs, the ‘safecracker’ would invent new ways to break into them.

The equivalent of the modern day ‘safecracker’ could be the E-criminal, that is someone who uses a computer or the Internet to commit crime.

Admittedly, E-criminals don’t use dynamite or thermal lances but they do take part in a similar cat and mouse game with the developers of computer security and firewalls.

Very soon E-criminals will have a new electronic banking process to target in the UK and I have no doubt they will already be working out ways to scam both customers and the bank. From April, some banks will allow customers to photograph a cheque with their smartphone and pay it in electronically.

The process speeds up the paying in process and saves the customer valuable time and money, as they no longer have to go to the bank. This reduced demand will also allow banks scope to close more branches and reduce staff numbers.

Whatever the cost benefits, it is a process that could make the original cheque more vulnerable to fraud and forgery. The photographed cheque has an increased vulnerability to manipulation by various applications, including Photoshop. Even if these concerns are unwarranted, the E-criminal will remain an issue for me.

Cyber security experts are warning internet connected household appliances such as televisions, computers and even thermostats in fridges or heating systems can be hacked and remotely monitored.

It gives E-criminals the opportunity to steal security passwords, banking information and even work out when you will be out of the house.

The experts are inferring rapid advancements in technology are being sold without the issue of security being sufficiently considered. Some are suggesting it may be time for connected devices to use a network immune system, which will make things far more difficult for the E-criminal.

I actually don’t know what one of those is, or what it does, and neither I imagine, do most people. The average person is not equipped to defend themselves against an E-criminal; we are reliant on appliance manufacturers to do that for us.