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Roundtable discussion focuses on two type of technology thieves
[April 17, 2009]

Roundtable discussion focuses on two type of technology thieves

Apr 17, 2009 (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Russ Horn says there's two kinds of technological thieves businesses face in life and both are bad news.

"There are the amateurs and organized crime funded by (international) governments who attack us when we sleep," said the chief operating officer for CoNetrix, a Lubbock-based networking, networking, security and compliance firm.

Horn, who took part in a panel discussion Tuesday at the annual Lubbock Chamber of Commerce's annual Technology Awards Luncheon, said organized crime backed by foreign governments are on the attack everyday.

Horn said one such group attempted to infiltrate a small area bank with a look-a-like Web site that was followed with calls to customers seeking their personal information just before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Horn said the effort was unwound by the bank's president who called his customers and took other measures aimed at protecting them.

"They (organized crime) will target the most vulnerable ... The threat landscape is no longer regional, but international," he said.

Horn said in some cases it's all about money and how to get at it.

In other cases, Horn and Thomas Mandry, CEO for Lubbock-based Mandry Technologies, said work by amateurs connected to social Web sites, such as FaceBook and YouTube as well as blogs and other communication forums are attacking businesses on other fronts.

"Let's just say I had a bad experience at work. That content (comments about an employer) can stay out there (on the Internet) for a very long time," Mandry said.

Horn said "angry" employees can lash out at any given time doing damage to the reputations of long-standing businesses.

Horn said in many cases it's a matter of getting back to basics.

"You have to have a firewall and you have to be able to run a scan (your system) to see what you look like on the Internet," he said.

He also suggested that companies, particularly small ones, be aware of potential problems.

Texas Tech, for example, continues to promote its Safe Computer Practices Campaign at where individuals and businesses can be warned about serious problems through its LubbockITAlert.

"Our goal is to empower people with knowledge and tools to combat Internent-based security threats," said Sam Segran, chief information officer for Texas Tech's Information Technology Division, in a recent news flier.

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