Today Magazine Winter 2020 - Page 11

work on research and hands-on projects, and socialize with both peers and faculty members in the CIS labs.” Casey fosters a collaborative learning environment among students, as well. “It is not unusual to see five to 10 students in the lab socializing and working together or huddled around the 3D printer at any given time,” she said. “This atmosphere of working together and putting students first is not limited to the CIS Program, but can be experienced campus-wide. GMercyU is student-centric and we believe that the students’ voice is central in learning.” More About Cindy Casey • Member of: Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP), Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA) • US Cyber Challenge Finalist and Scholarship Recipient 2013, 2014, 2015 • Philadelphia Area Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 2016 Scholarship Recipient • Associate of Science in Digital Forensics, Philadelphia Community College • Bachelor of Science in Computer Security and Technology, Drexel University (magna cum laude) • Drexel University 2011 Research Day Winner, Computation and Modeling (Non-Bio) Category: Thinking Outside the Box – A Practitioner’s Guide to Xbox Forensics, with Co-Authors Dr. Ashley Podhradsky, Dr. Rob D’Ovidio • Masters of Science in Economic Crime Forensics, LaSalle University • Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics, DeSales University • Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity, La Salle University *According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics By: Cindy Casey 7 Ways to Protect Your Home Security System from Hackers Smart security systems provide consumers with an affordable and convenient way to secure their homes and keep an eye on their children, parents, and pets. However, users need to be aware that these devices are vulnerable and need to take some extra security measures to avoid becoming potential victims of hacking and other crimes. In December 2019, a class-action suit was filed against the parent company of popular home security devices for alleged negligence, invasion of privacy, and failing to correct known vulnerabilities. The lawsuit was filed after several hacking incidents involving their cameras went viral. In one incident, a family in Mississippi reported that their camera security system was hacked by a man who identified himself as Santa Claus. The intruder taunted the family’s eight-year- old daughter, calling her racial slurs and encouraging her to behave naughtily. Even more disturbing is that the family did not know how long the hacker had access to the camera, which was installed in their daughter’s bedroom. In another incident, the home security camera of a family in Texas was compromised. The camera was installed so the parents could keep an eye on their children after school while they were still at work. However, a hacker accessed the device and began threatening the children’s lives. In yet another security camera breach, a hacker live-streamed a child’s bedroom over the Internet. These incidents are not limited to home security cameras – any device that connects to Wi-Fi is at risk of being exploited by malicious actors. Last year, a hacker took control of a family’s digitally controlled thermostat and camera. The victims of the attack heard a man’s voice talking to their baby and discovered it was coming from the camera. The intruder also turned the smart thermostat up to 90 degrees. These types of incidents are not new. In fact, last spring at GMercyU’s Research Conference, CIS Student Joshua Reimel '20 presented research on “Ring Doorbell Vulnerabilities and Exploits.” If you own or are considering buying a smart home security system, here are some ways to help secure your device: 1. Register your device right out of the box so you receive security advisories and update notifications immediately. 2. Assign your device its own email account so that if your personal email account is breached, hackers do not have access to your security cameras. Do not name the email account something that indicates it is for a home security system! 3. Power down your equipment at least once a month. When the device turns back on, it will automatically add recent security patches and updates. 4. Change default factory passwords and device names. Hackers can Google search the name of a device and easily obtain the device’s default password. 5. Turn on two-factor authentication in your device settings. This will require both a password and a code sent to your cell phone to access the device. 6. Never share footage on social media and delete shared footage regularly to avoid providing information about your home and family to strangers. 7. Use a secure password and change your password regularly. Remember to treat your password like your toothbrush. Don’t let anyone use it and replace it every six months! TODAY 9