The Government Is Not Immune to Account-Takeover Fraud, and That Could Be Trouble for You and Me

Asia's Tech News Daily

Government agencies (and their customers) aren’t immune to cyber-attacks. In fact, they’re often a more tempting target with an extensive network of compromised personal data available for sale, or provided by a consumer unaware of a scam. The pandemic only exacerbated an already serious problem with cybersecurity in the public sector. Now, government agencies are faced with scams and fraudulent claims in addition to typical cyber-attacks, and the problem needs real attention.

Account takeover and other threats

One of the most significant threats facing government agencies at all levels during the pandemic is account takeover (ATO). ATO was accompanied, to a lesser degree, by fraudulent account creation, fraudulently filing for benefits or filing under a false identity. The numbers are still being tallied, but costs to U.S. taxpayers from Covid-related fraud totals in the billions.

ATO occurs when a bad actor gains control over a person’s benefits account. First, they will gain login details, then change seemingly insignificant PII data on the account slowly. Successful ATOs can unlock a host of benefits for the attacker, who is then free to make fraudulent claims and assume the online identity of the victim.

Gaining access to an account isn’t too difficult. Examples of Covid-19 scams abounded over the past year, with scammers calling to “verify benefits,” sending phishing text messages or asking people to take part in “Covid-19 surveys.” These scams would target personal information that, in some cases, would get the scammers just the info they’d need to execute an ATO.

According to a recent study by TransUnion, government agencies at all levels recognize that ATO is a significant threat to their customers, and that threat has been growing over the past two years. Unfortunately, a corresponding rise in security to combat this threat has not occurred. Mobile devices are one of the most significant vectors for ATO fraud, but government agencies have been slow to respond, which leaves the door to fraudsters wide open.

Beyond ATO, agencies face threats from scammers filing false claims using a real identity or creating a fake identity to make claims. Although neither of these threats are as pressing as ATO, they’ve cost taxpayers millions. Although noble, the rush to issue benefits to Americans in need created an irresistible opportunity to unscrupulous fraudsters. Some of these were even committed by organized crime rings. There’s no question that government agencies need to take steps to improve their security protocols, reduce fraud and ultimately get the funds to the people who need them the most.

Government agencies face implementation barriers

Unfortunately, public sector agencies face different implementation barriers for risk-mitigation strategies than private-sector organizations. Changes often move slowly through bureaucracies, and government agencies are often hampered by more restricted budgets. Furthermore, as in many industries, senior management may have been slow to recognize the risk presented by increasingly sophisticated online attacks. However, there is hope for potential solutions to be simple, effective guards against these problems.

Government employees working to fight against this fraud recognize that it’s a problem, and they also recognize solutions are out there. In many cases, some simple security measures would help immensely. Technology has offered several convenient and effective ways to mitigate these threats and help government agencies better protect their constituents and taxpayer resources. Private-sector businesses can also apply these same methods to better combat ATOs.

Two-factor authentication

One of the simplest ways to help mitigate ATO is through enabling two-factor authentication for sign-ins. The simple step of texting or emailing a one-time password could help government agencies add a second layer of identity proofing to online transactions and give constituents additional peace of mind to securing their accounts.

Behavioral analytics

Behavioral analytics are also a promising technological solution to a complex problem. Using huge data sets, several identity-verification services can create an online picture of a person’s behavioral patterns (including the device profile they typically use). In the event of an ATO, those services can flag behaviors that are out of character for the individual or the device. In the event of questionable behavior, those services can then trigger an online transaction platform to seek additional information from the constituent to authenticate them. This can happen in real-time, with minimal to no friction for the constituent.

These are just a couple of the tools available to government agencies as well as the private sector. Threats like ATO are a real problem, and all reports indicate they will increase in prevalence so government agencies need to develop and implement risk mitigation strategies to protect their constituents. As more and more constituents use mobile devices to access online benefits, it is incumbent upon government agencies to offer higher levels of security.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

MI6 boss warns of cyber threat from China

© Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images Richard Moore Richard Moore will say terrorists, organised crime gangs and hostile states are wreaking havoc in both the physical and digital worlds. The Chief ... Read more »

Want Your Charitable Donation to Actually Help Someone? 4 Questions to Ask Before You Give

U.S. wealth grew by $19 trillion since the start of the pandemic. Simultaneously, the pandemic pushed 150 million more people into poverty. This was the first increase in over two decades. ... Read more »

6 key actions to focus a team

Sometimes it is believed that the attitude is enough or that the desire is enough to achieve the results that are proposed. Thus, more than one leader trusts that having ... Read more »

'It's Just Human Nature:' A New Book Examines Why Our Work Is Better When We Work Less

In 2017, reporters Anne Helen Petersen and Charlie Warzel moved from New York City to Missoula, Mont., and started asking some existential questions. The couple — who both wrote for ... Read more »

3 Ways to Supercharge Your Time and Be More Productive Than Ever

Everyone has 24 hours in a day, but some people work harder at maximizing their time than others. Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld, for instance, changes clothes in his car. Inventor ... Read more »

The Man Running Govt's Own Startup

Starting Invest India was the most satisfying part of Deepak Bagla’s professional journey. The nodal agency which began in 2015 started functioning in 2016 effectively. In the words of Bagla, ... Read more »

Best identity management software of 2021

The best identity management software makes it simple and easy to implement and manage user authentication with Single Sign-On (SSO) apps. The best identity management software Click the links below ... Read more »

These Google Pixelbook Go Cyber Monday deals are brilliant...and end today

Out of the many Chromebooks you can currently buy, the Google Pixelbook Go is easily one of the best out there, and showcases what can be done with ChromeOS. It’s ... Read more »

Why open source makes enterprises more secure and innovative

Open source software is everywhere. It is pervasive, in every sector, with 99% of software projects containing an open source component. And the reason is that open source is an ... Read more »

AWS re:Invent 2021 keynote live blog

Refresh 2021-11-29T17:22:56.100Z (Image credit: Future / Mike Moore) This is of course the first in-person AWS re:Invent since 2019, and thousands of attendees, customers and AWS employees have flocked to ... Read more »

Many workers were stuck with barely functional laptops during the pandemic

Poorly performing laptops and an often unresponsive IT department were some of the toughest challenges facing remote and hybrid workers during the pandemic, new research has found. Polling more than ... Read more »

Why I call bullshit on “the Apple Car's” rumored 2025 release

If you’re a fan of “allegedly,” “people close to the source,” and other rumor-inducing phrases — any coverage about the Apple iCar should be your cup of tea. This week, ... Read more »

Entrepreneurial Burnout: 6 Ways to Avoid And Overcome It

Burnout became an especially painful issue during the pandemic when the majority of people worked from home, finding it difficult to draw the line between work and private life. However, ... Read more »

Elizabeth Holmes testifies alleged sexual assault by former partner influenced her to mislead investors

The former CEO of Theranos, who is charged with falsely claiming to investors that her company had invented a revolutionary blood test, is on trial in the US. Read more »

Twitter suffers outage for web users in India

Twitter on Tuesday faced an outage mostly for its web users in India as they reported problems in gaining access to its website. The outage came as the micro-blogging platform ... Read more »

Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal trolled over this 11-year-old tweet

Parag Agrawal’s appointment as Twitter CEO, which makes him the youngest CEO on S&P 500, means Twitter will have a full-time CEO for the first time in years. Parag Agarwal, ... Read more »

Google to buy power from Orsted's offshore wind farm

Danish offshore wind developer Orsted on Tuesday said it has secured a 12-year power purchase agreement with Google, which aims to power all its data centres and offices using solely ... Read more »

Facebook-owner Meta told to sell Giphy as British regulator blocks acquisition

A panel found that Facebook would be able to increase its already significant market power in relation to other social media platforms. Read more »

Samsung set to compete against TSMC with new foundry in US

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, speaks with reporters upon arriving at the Seoul Gimpo Business Aviation Center after completing his business trip to the United States, Wednesday. Korea ... Read more »

Hyundai Oilbank, Haldor Topsoe team up for eco-friendly fuels

Hyundai Oilbank and Haldor Topsoe, a Danish company specializing in carbon reduction technologies, signed a memorandum of understanding in early November to develop eco-friendly fuels. Courtesy of Hyundai Oilbank By ... Read more »

BMW iX lineup to upstage Tesla in luxury EV market

The BMW iX / Courtesy of BMW Korea BMW iX pre-orders exceed 2,000, beating out Tesla in luxury EV market By Kim Hyun-bin BMW Korea has launched its flagship EV, ... Read more »

Net regulator hints action against Netflix

Netflix Vice President of Public Policy Dean Garfield speaks at a press conference held at the JW Marriot Hotel Dongdaemun Square Seoul, Nov. 4. Yonhap By Kim Bo-eun Korea’s broadcasting ... Read more »

Philip Morris creates designated vaping areas

Philip Morris established a vaping room at Parc.1 in Seoul. Courtesy of Phillip Morris By Kim Hyun-bin Philip Morris Korea announced that it has created an outdoor smoking area for ... Read more »

Lenovo retains lead in global PC market after surprise withdrawal of Shanghai listing

Lenovo Group, the world’s largest personal computer maker, maintained its market leader position globally and at home in the third quarter despite a cancelled blockbuster IPO in Shanghai and a ... Read more »

Linux Foundation launches quantum computing alliance to drive interoperability

The Linux Foundation has announced a new joint effort to help facilitate interoperability within the quantum computing ecosystem. Dubbed Quantum Intermediate Representation (QIR), the alliance is part of the Linux ... Read more »

GOG.com goes back to its roots with ‘handpicked' library of DRM-free games

We’ve just heard that GOG.com is losing money and has decided to change tack as a result, going back to its roots. The digital store, which is owned by CD ... Read more »

Forget the "New Normal." There's No Normal in Marketing.

Over the past 18 months, companies navigating the pandemic have dealt with numerous changes to seemingly every facet of work. Beyond shifts in daily routines, work lives, and social behavior, ... Read more »

This Crypto-Fueled Internet Collective Raised More Than $40 Million to Buy a Rare Copy of the Constitution

The United States Constitution is more than just another document: It’s the foundation upon which this entire country has been built. In the most significant possible sense, it’s what attempts to ... Read more »

Grab this Bose QuietComfort Cyber Monday deal while you still can

Cyber Monday is drawing to a close, but there are still some fantastic headphones deals to take advantage of – and this excellent Bose discount has caught our eye in ... Read more »

Susanna Reid wows viewers with jaw-dropping look – as co-stars make cheeky comments

Susanna Reid wowed viewers on Tuesday morning's episode of Good Morning Britain with her festive look – and even her co-stars had some comments to make! MORE: Susanna Reid recalls ... Read more »

These Are The Symptoms Of The Omicron Variant We Know So Far

Though the Omicron variant has dominated news stories this week around the world, little is known about its implications on the individual so far in the UK. But a doctor, ... Read more »

Labour Set To Back Call To Dock Boris Johnson's Pay By More Than £40,000

Ian Blackford claimed Boris Johnson was ‘not fit for office’. (Photo: House of Commons – PA Images via Getty Images) Labour will support an SNP no confidence motion in Boris ... Read more »

Late Cyber Monday deal knocks $250 off a HP Chromebook at Best Buy

HP has a great selection of Chromebooks, especially if you’re planning on using one for college work, and this one is no different at Best Buy, as part of this ... Read more »

Best Usenet providers of 2021

The best Usenet providers help you better connect with the sites and groups and files that you need. Usenet newsgroups have been around since the dawn of the internet as ... Read more »

Your Top 4 Questions About 2022, Answered By the World's Top Superforecasters

You may have read our story about the forecasting company Good Judgment and its worldwide team of superforecasters. We wanted to put their expertise to use for our readers, so we asked ... Read more »

You Can't Do Everything. So Do the Best With What You Have.

Repeat after me: “I will do the best work with the resources available.” Nigel Parry This has become my mantra. It isn’t sexy. It doesn’t make for a great motivational ... Read more »

Why Jim Cramer Thinks Small Business Owners Can Do More Hiring Than Firing In 2022

When I look at small, private businesses,” says Jim Cramer, “I love to hear expansion plans. It is so exciting to me to hear expansion plans.” He believes the future ... Read more »

A ‘Bitcoin City' in El Salvador inspired by ancient Greeks? Here's a reality check.

From the risk that cryptocurrency lead to "a paradise for money laundering," experts say, to the difficulties of building a city from scratch. Read more »

Meet the Elite Team of Superforecasters Who Have Turned Future-Gazing Into a Science

Before January 1, 2022, will the United States Olympic Committee announce that it is boycotting the 2022 Olympics? Nicolás Ortega I am in a virtual workshop that will test my ... Read more »

5 Things the Future Holds, According to the World's Most Elite Superforecasters

You may have read our story about the forecasting company Good Judgment and its worldwide team of superforecasters. Now it’s time to put them to the test. Nicolás Ortega Their crystal ball ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic