E-mail is not secure. Part 2.


If you are a business user who needs email at the heart of their job (and who does not), there are some things that you should be aware of, with regard to the security of your valuable and informational emails. Imagine your emails being accessed by the competitors of your business, and being used to wreak havoc to your financial life and reputation. That is not just fiction, it has happened in the past, and there is no reason why it could not happen to you, unless you are in a business that has zero competitors and zero people with an ambition to make it big by exploiting your business.

While regular hackers might have malicious intentions for the purpose of ripping you off, they are perfectly content if they are unsuccessful with their attacks on your infrastructure. But there is this group which will still be relentless: your competitors. To them, getting your information holds more value than just causing harm to you. It means a benefit for them as well. Emails are some of the most valuable assets that you need to protect, in order to maintain the integrity of your business. Here are some ways in which your emails and other personal data can be compromised from your devices:

Physically stealing/copying the device

You should know that it takes only a few minutes to copy off all the data from your handheld devices (mobiles) if hackers grab a hold of them. Turn your attention elsewhere for a bit, and you are well on your path to being ripped seriously. This has potential to reveal all your personal and business information without you ever knowing. Moreover, the deleted messages can be recovered as well. Simple screen locks won't stop a forensic analysis.

Your cloud data

Nowadays, backups mean a lot to all users. Most of your data, such as emails, images, videos, messages and the like are backed up to the cloud, and if the hackers can somehow break into the cloud storage, you can be sure that this information will be used maliciously (remember the Apple Cloud storage leak of the celebrities that ran headlines recently?).

Breaking-in/hijacking your device or email account to gain access to your email

This is also a possibility that you possibly never thought of. What information does your email account contain? What if the hackers hijack your email information? Have you ever considered the vastness of the ability of your email account to reveal every single thing that you have communicated with someone formally? What do you have in your email archives? Contacts, business partnership details, partner details, plans, prices, agreements, and customer information, and whatnot. If you have even an inkling of this information on your email, rest assured that you will be thoroughly devastated if such information is leaked into the public.

Gathering information from your service provider

Hackers are fully capable of gathering information from your service providers as well. That includes your emails as well. Apart from your mobile service providers, you must have someone whom you depend on for providing service to you. Your email provider, DNS controller, server host and the like are also service providers. Hackers are well equipped to gain access through even a tiny bit of a loophole that your service provider infrastructure might have. Lenovo faced some bad press when such a thing happened to them. Lizard Squad Hackers had gained access to webnic.cc, which managed DNS entries for 600,000 websites, which included Lenovo.com. That was when things went downhill for Lenovo. The hackers were able to modify the DNS details and redirected traffic from the main Lenovo.com website to their private servers, and were even able to change the MX records which route the emails. When this happened, all the emails that was sent to anyone with an @lenovo.com email was directed to the hackers. The hackers happily tweeted their feat, but if it were a competing business, they would possibly have silently drawn your emails in order to gain insight of your operations.

Spying on your Wi-Fi traffic

There are numerous penetration testing tools that can show you how vulnerable your wireless traffic is. A tad tricky, but still achievable, packet sniffing has caused serious havocs in the past.

The important part is that this could happen not only to you, but to someone you communicate with, and this would still get the hackers information about you. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

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