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   ISSUE 11

15 June 2012

Article of the Month   Around the World

Information Security:

Main Threats to Information

Information is a very broad term and has many different meanings. But in general we can say that information is an ordered sequence of symbols or processed data. So then what does “data” means? Data is again the plural of the word “datum” and the term data refers to groups of information that represent the qualitative or quantitative attributes of a variable or set of variables.

In simple, when it comes to computers and Information Technology, we can say that data is what we enter in to a computer/information system or a database and the processed data as required by the user according to their needs given as the output from a computer is information.

Whatever the data or information we have in a computer can be either a simple file or a database or it can even be a computerized information system. Information is the most powerful tool and weapon anyone can have. So information has a price and since information will be derived from data, both data and information should be properly stored and protected. 

Therefore it is vital to understand the treats to information and how to counter those threats in order to protect your information. Mainly there can be two types of threats to information.

1. Unintentional: These types of threats are actually not meant purposely but may come as accidents. Few of the possibilities for such threats are as follows;

Human Errors: A computer user might accidentally by mistake delete an important file or a user might enter or edit incorrect information by mistake.


Environmental Hazards: An office or a computer might get caught in a fire, flood, earthquake and the computer physically gets damaged. The Tsunami that hit Sri Lanka in 2004 is an ideal example.


Computer System Failures: Due to hardware errors or technical issues a computer getting corrupted and losing all the information is an ideal scenario for such a situation.



Intentional: These types of threats are done purposefully to damage or harm or acquire information. Few of the possible scenarios are as follows;


Theft of data: Information or data can be stolen from a user or a computer without the owner’s knowledge. Even peeking over a monitor to look at information can be an example for such a scenario.


Inappropriate use/Deliberate manipulation of data: Data can be manipulated purposefully to take advantages. For an example for a payment detail a false value greater than the original number can be entered.


Theft of equipment and/or program: Rather than stealing information or data from a computer, a computer, hard disk or a server itself can be stolen.

  - Destruction from viruses: Computer viruses and other malware can be used to steal and even to erase data/information as well as corrupting or damaging a computer hard drive.

So the next time when you want to protect your valuable information, be mindful about all the aspects and possibilities of the threats.

Rangamini Werawatta

Rangamini employed at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS). He holds a Bachelor Science degree in Information Technology (BSc-IT) from the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) and he is a Member of the British Computer Society (MBCS), the Chartered Institute of IT.
He is a columnist and a freelance journalist who contributes to national newspapers and he is the author of the book “Cyber Security: 01 Byte from the Cyberspace”; ISBN: 978-955-658-253-6.



UK Cyber Fraud Gang jailed For Selling Identity Theft Kits Online

Excerpt: Six members of a UK cyber fraud organization have been jailed for selling identity theft kits online after pleading guilty at Southwark crown court.  The gang members, who provided fake identities and documents to thousands of customers, were jailed after a two-and-a-half-year investigation into their multimillion-pound operation.

Back it Up ? Own Your LinkedIn Information 


'....You've taken great care in building your LinkedIn network of connections because these are the folks you?ve known throughout your career, those friends from school with whom you?ve recently reconnected and professionals who are just plain helpful and wise because they might be excellent resources in the future.?Are you comfortable with all of that information residing on a website over which you have no control? What if you need to access contact information for one of your connections and the LinkedIn site is down temporarily? For many reasons, I strongly sugggest periodically exporting and saving your connections. How frequently you should do this depends on how often you add new people to your network.

Exporting your connections is easy. Let me walk you through this very simple process......'

To read the complete article see:

- almostsavvy

- linkedin-makeover

World map of dominating websites

By Paul Jacionis | 18 May 2012


'....If you had to guess what website is dominating the world, you would probably say it’s either Google or Facebook....'

2012 Olympics Scam May Lead Facebook Users to Malware
By: Bianca Dima | 07 June, 2012 | Posted in: E-Threats, Social Networks

'...... With so many people yearning after an Olympics ticket these days, criminal masterminds are working overtime on Facebook scams to lure people to malicious websites........'

Month in Brief

Facebook Incidents Reported to Sri Lanka CERT|CC in May 2012


  Fake + Harassment



Statistics - Sri Lanka CERT|CC



The threat from Flamer           

ENISA | Published 8 June 12


'....ENISA has published a short analysis of the threat from the Flamer spying virus. Flamer reminds us of the weaknesses in our cyber defences and underlines why ENISA's work on cyber security is so important. 

Flamer is a stealthy information stealer hitting targeted PCs across the Middle East. However, it should not be dismissed on the grounds of geography or numbers affected. Rather it should be seen as an opportunity to learn about the threats we are facing and what we must do to heighten cyber security across Europe. 

ENISA's short analysis and collation of available information about Flamer illustrates why the work that goes on across the European Union to improve cyber security is so important, and where we must come together to do more......'

The problem with oversharing: why burglars like you using Facebook


'....IT SEEMS harmless enough: announcing your holiday plans on Facebook or uploading that dinner party photo to Twitter. But according to cyber safety experts, such posts are a gift to burglars and stalkers.

''Not only are you telling me where you are, you're telling me where you're not,'' says cyber safety consultant and former police officer Susan McLean. ''And I could get that photo, run it through a program and find out exactly where it was taken.''.....'

  Notice Board
  Training and Awareness Programmes - June 2012  
Date Event Venue
- 6 Awareness Program on "Safe Use of internet" Bandaranayake College, Gampaha
- 15 Provincial and Zonal ICT  coordinators meeting National Institute of Education
- 20 Introduction  on ICT Center  hand book Ruwanpura  National College of Education
- 21 Awareness Program on "Safe Use of internet" Bomiriya Central college, Kaduwela
- 23 Mini "Infotel" St. Thomas (boys) College, Matara

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