News of Malware and patches - Stay tuned, we will bring you tips to secure your information
Are You Vulnerable to the WannaCry Ransomware - 5/15/17 Microsoft TechNet has information about the Ransomware that's infected tens of thousands of computers in 99 countries. The malware targets out of date systems running unsupported versions of Windows such as Windows XP. Windows 10 computers running Windows Defender are not vulnerable. Microsoft released an update MS017-010 in March that eliminates the vulnerability in Windows 7 systems. If you're running unsupported versions of Windows, such as Windows XP, Vista, 8, or older Server versions visit Micorosoft Download KB4012598 and download the update for your version.
Indicators Associated with WannaCry Ransomware - 5/12/17 US-CERT United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team has information about the Ransomware that's infected tens of thousands of computers in 74 countries. From the news reports we've heard, many of the infected computers are still running Windows XP. Microsoft released an update back in March that eliminates the vulnerability. Make sure you keep your systems updated and be wary of phishing emails..
Google Docs Phishing Scam Spread Rapidly - 5/4/17 Gizmodo has the story As of Wednesday evening Google had disabled the offending accounts and removed the fake pages. A word of warning to be wary of email invites. Here's info about how to check your own account, from KTLA.
Yahoo suffers world's biggest hack affecting 1 billion users - 12/14/16 Yahoo Tech has the story Yahoo has discovered a 3-year-old security breach that enabled a hacker to compromise more than 1 billion user accounts, breaking the company's own humiliating record for the biggest security breach in history.
More Than 1 Million Google Accounts Breached by Gooligan - 11/30/16 Checkpoint blog explains how Gooligan works. Checkpoint has set up a page where you can test your gmail account to see if your account was breached.
Google announces a Windows flaw that is being exploited in the wild ... or is it an Adobe Flash flaw? - 11/1/16 Google reported the 0-day flaw to Microsoft and Adobe on October 21, 2016. On 10/31/16 Google announced it to the public Google Security Blog. Though Adobe has patched the Flash Player, Micrososft is not expected to patch Windows until November 8, 2016 during their typical Security Update roll out on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. Adobe updated Flash on 10/26/16 Visit the Adobe Flash Player Help page and verify that your Flash Player is up to date, current version is 18.104.22.168. There's a different download for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome (and Chrome will update it's Flash plugin automatically).
A question I have is why does the Microsoft Security Bulletin that was released on 10/28/16 only mention Windows 8.1, 10,and recent Server versions, does that mean Windows 7 is not affected? Here's the MS Bulletin
Yahoo faces questions after hack of half a billion accounts - 9/24/16 The Guardian asks some important questions about Yahoo's hack, and offers users this advice, ... advice remains the same either way: they need to change their Yahoo password and security questions as soon as possible, and also change the password anywhere else they may have re-used that information.
Important Information Regarding the Security of Java SE - 9/10/16 Oracle releases an uninstaller for old versions of Java SE SUBJECT: Steps you should take to fix a Java SE security risk on your computer The FTC has filed a lawsuit against Oracle in regards to serious security risks in old versions of Java SE.
DressCode Android Malware Discovered on Google Play - 9/03/16 Check Point Blog has this story; The Check Point mobile threat prevention research team discovered a new Android malware on Google Play, called "DressCode", which was embedded into more than 40 apps Although all the infected apps have been removed from Google Play, some of these apps had been available since April and were downloaded as many as 500,000 times.
Illinois and Arizona voter data were targets of hacking, likely by a foreign entity - 9/02/16 CNN has this story; Illinois election roll breach smaller than thought. Records of about 700 specific voters were accessed and they will be notified soon.
Bitcoin Exchange hacked - 8/03/16 The New York Times has this story; Bitcoin Plunges After Hacking of Exchange in Hong Kong. Bitfinex, an exchange based in Hong Kong, said it had been hacked and funds stolen.
Tips to prevent Ransomware - 7/29/16 Malwarebytes has this story; How to beat Ransomware, prevent, don't react. Malwarebytes blog lists several types of Ransomware and suggests ways to prevent it.
The growing threat of Ransomware - 4/13/16 PC Magazine has this story; Ransomware can hit anyone, but hackers are increasingly going after targets that are more willing to pay up. Some security experts are calling 2016 "the year of ransomware".
Data On 191 Million U.S. Voters Was Leaked Online, Says Security Researcher - 12/28/15 Fast Company has this story; A security researcher with a knack for uncovering data breaches says he's discovered a trove of information including names, addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth for more than 191 million U.S. voters on a publicly available server..
Teen Who Hacked CIA Director's Email Tells How He Did It - 10/20/15 WIRED has this story; A hacker who claims to have broken into the AOL account of CIA Director John Brennan says he obtained access by posing as a Verizon worker to trick another employee into revealing the spy chief's personal information.
Ashley Madison CEO Resigns After Hackers Expose User's Private Information - 8/28/15 The founder and CEO of Ashley Madison has stepped down amid a hacking scandal plaguing the adultery website, its parent company announced Friday morning.
Google Patches Another "High Severity" Bug in Android - 8/18/15 More security fixes on the way for Android users after researchers find another flaw in Android mediaserver..
IRS Hack Broader Than First Reported - 8/17/15 Cleveland.com reports an additional 220,000 potential victims bringing the total number of potential victims to 334,000. In all, the thieves used personal information from about 610,000 taxpayers in an effort to access old tax returns. They were successful in getting information from about 334,000 taxpayers..
Nine Charged in Hacking Scheme To Obtain Corporate Press Releases - 8/11/15 The Irish Times has this story where authorities said that starting around February 2010, hackers infiltrated the networks of press release distributors Business Wire, Marketwired and PR Newswire, and gained access to corporate news such as financial results before it became public. Authorities said the scheme resulted in illegal profits on such companies as Acme Packet, Align Technology, Caterpillar Inc, Dealertrack Technologies, Dendreon, Edwards Lifesciences, Panera Bread and Verisign..
Jeep, Tesla Hacks Expose Automakers Vulnerabilities - 8/07/15 RCR Wireless News has this story about researchers demonstrating the ability to remotely access vehicles controls. With the access they were able to take control of steering, transmission, brakes and shut the engine off.
Adobe Flash and Microsoft Windows Vulnerabilities - 7/14/15 US-CERT, Computer Emergency Readiness Team, details vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash and Adobe Type Manager. These vulnerabilities may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code with system priviledges. Plenty of Microsoft updates this month as well, Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for July 2015.
German Parliament to Wipe Part of IT Network After Hack - 6/11/15 The speaker of Germany's Parliament said Thursday that parts of its information technology system will need to be wiped and reinstalled to deal with an ongoing hacking attack on the network used by thousands of lawmakers and aides. The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency said the attack may have been the work of foreign spies. Story from the SunHerald.
US Lawmaker says China is Responsible for Recent Hack - 6/08/15 The chairman of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, Congressman Michael McCaul, said "threat indicators" point to China being responsible for the hacking of U.S. government computers revealed last week. McCaul, appearing on U.S. television Sunday, said the hacking of computer systems at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) involving the records of up to four million current and former federal employees is the most significant breach of federal networks in U.S. history. Story from Voice of America News.
Lots of Microsoft Updates in May - 5/13/15 Microsoft releases their updates on the 2nd Tuesday of each month and they're typically installed when a user boots their computer on Wednesday. In May there were a large number of Security Updates, for products such as Internet Explorer, Office, Windows Kernel, VBScript and others Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary. Keep your systems updated to avoid viruses and malware.
What's The Difference Between Malware and Viruses - 5/09/15 This Malwarebyte Unpacked Blog story explains the difference between malware and viruses. They give the definition of malware as anything that runs on a computer with bad intentions. The distinction with a virus is that it has the ability to replicate itself. Virus or Malware?
More than 2/3rds of Electronic Espionage cases involve phishing attacks - 4/14/15 This Reuters story includes reports from Verizon Communications and Symantec: the vast majority of hacking attacks are successful because employees click on links in tainted emails, companies fail to apply available patches to known software flaws, or technicians do not configure systems properly. User mistakes aid most cyber attacks, Verizon and Symantec studies show.
Compromised Wordpress Sites Launch Drive-By Attacks Off Pirate Bay Clones - 4/02/15 The Malwarebytes Unpacked blog reports that during the last several days they've noticed the placement of the same iframe. The Pirate Bay clone is actively pushing the Nuclear exploit kit with an iframe and will infect vulnerable visitors via drive-by download attacks. Malwarebytes is assuming that it is a substantial attack.
Free Speech Advocates Should Care About Github Attacks - 3/30/15 vox.com reports that last Thursday, someone launched a massive online assault against the Github website that is still ongoing. There's no proof that the Chinese government is behind the attacks, but circumstantial evidence strongly suggests it played a role. The attacks targeted Github projects that were dedicated to circumventing Chinese censorship of Western news media.
Premera Blue Cross Data Breach Exposed Medical Data - 3/17/15 The New York Times reports that health insurer Premera was a vitcim of a cyberattack which may have exposed the medical data and financial records of 11 million clients. This includes many ressidents of Washington state and many employees of Amazon and Microsoft. The attackers may have gained acces to clinical records, bank account numbers and Social Security Numbers.
Regulator warns of "Armageddon" cyber attack on banks - 2/25/15 In the USA Today article a New York financial regulator said he is considering new rules to protect against "an Armageddon-type cyberevent" that would devastate U.S. financial markets. Ben Lawsky, head of New York's Department of Financial Services (DFS), said he fears a cyberattack aimed at the banks and other financial firms that will represent a "systemic risk" to the financial system and broader economy, not unlike the mortgage meltdown of 2008. USA Today article on possible cyber attack
Tips from the US-CERT - 2/25/15 Information from the US Computer Emergency Rediness Team. Lots of advice on identifying hoaxes and urban legends, recognizing fake antiviruses as well as recognizing and avoiding spyware. There's also information about recovering from viruses and worms. US-CERT Tips includes an opportunity to receive information via email or RSS feed.
Protecting our personal systems - 2/17/15 An interesting phone call the other day caused me to pause and then do some research into how to protect our own systems in this world full of hackers and malicious software. Of course we all run an anti-virus product and keep it updated. What else can we do? Should we be running 3rd party firewalls? Most experts agree that the built-in firewall included with Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 is excellent protection especially when paired with Windows Defender. Here's two reports on firewall tests; Anti-Malware tests outbound firewalls (July 2013), and AV-Comparitives Firewall tests from April 2014. Here's another test from AV-Comparitives Anti-Virus Performance tests from May 2014.
Kaspersky Links US to Spread of PC Spyware - 2/17/15 The Financial Times has this story about Kaspersky Labs reporting they had found sophisticated hacking tools in hard drives. It claims the Equation Group had “solid links” to the creators of the Stuxnet virus. These hard drives have been found in 30 countries. Financial Times article.
Bank Hackers Steal Millions via Malware - 2/14/15 New York Times article includes information from Kaspersky Labs which details that more than 100 financial instutions have been hit in more than 30 countries. The cybergang sent infected emails to banks employees who unkowingly installed the mailiscious software when they'd click on the links. New York Times article. For more information on this hack check out Brian Krebs story at Krebs On Security.
Obama to urge tech firms to share data with governement - 2/13/15 White House to hold summit in Silicon Valley. The president will sign an advisory executive order encouraging the setting up of information sharing and analysis organisations (ISAOs) to help firms and government to share material on potential threats. Apple's Tim Cook is set to appear, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo's Marissa Mayer and Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt all declined invitations. BBC News Technology story
Microsoft Security Bulletin for February - 2/10/15 Microsoft releases their security updates on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. This month's updates include fixes to Windows, Internet Explorer and MS Office. MS15-009 thru MS15-017
Anthem Hit by Major Cybersecurity Breach - 2/5/15 The Washington Post has this story about the nation's second-largest health insurer. While the breach did not involve health records or credit card numbers, it did expose Social Security numbers, birthdays, income data and street and email records. Investigators now suspect Chinese hackers may be responsible. The story reports that hackers currently consider health data more valuable than credit card information.
Hackers Take Over Twitter Accounts of New York Post and UPI - 1/16/15 MSN has this story about hackers taking over the Twitter accounts of the New York Post and United Press International. They write bogus messages about hostilities breaking out between the US and China, which quote Pope Francis as saying "World War III has begun". The posts also suggested financial problems by mentioning Federal Reserve decisions. The posts were lated deleted.
Google and Microsoft play childish game of "gotcha" - 1/13/15 The Register has this story about a zero-day flaw that Google publishes details about 2 days before Microsoft is set to release the patch for the vulnerability. Microsoft blasts Google Why is it that end users lose out while corporate giants squable, perhaps they should do what's right for the consumer.
Chic-Fil-A investigates hack into card payment system - 1/02/15 A story from The Guardian reveals they asked cybersecurity experts for help tracking suspicious activity before Christmas, credit card companies and banks reported the activity on December 19.
2014: The Year of the Hack - 12/30/14 A story from The Fiscal Times highlights many of the security breaches that occurred this year 2014: The Year of the Hack
2014: The Year of the Hack - Part 2 - 12/30/14 Another story from WNCT TV in North Carolina highlights several other security breaches that occurred this year 2014: The Year of the Hack - Part 2
ICANN HACKED: Intruders poke around global DNS innards - 12/17/14 A story from The Register about ICANN being hit with a spear phishing attack. The hackers managed to access a number of systems within ICANN, including the Centralized Zone Data System (CZDS) Domain-name overseer ICANN has been hacked and its DNS zone database compromised ICANN has warned that "the attacker obtained administrative access to all files in the CZDS including copies of the zone files in the system ..."
U.S. Said to Find North Korea Ordered Cyberattack on Sony - 12/17/14 Here's a story from the New York Times about the cyberattack on Sony Pictures. An attack that began by wiping out data on corporate computers had turned "into a threat to the safety of Americans" American officials have concluded that North Korea was "centrally involved" in the hacking of Sony Pictures computers even as Sony cancels the release.
Sony Pictures computer systems hacked - 12/02/14 Here's a story from the LA Times about Sony Pictures computers being hacked. Computer systems and email didn't work, and it's possible some DVD releases were stolen. Employees had to work with pens, paper and fax machines Sony Pictures returning to normal after crippling computer attack. Here's a followup story at Mashable that the FBI is warning companies after the Sony hack.FBI warns companies of cyberattack after Sony hack.
Wow! 97% of all companies are being hacked - 11/30/14 What happens when you swipe your card? 60 Minutes story about cybersecurity and how insecure your credit card information is. Bill Whitaker talks with FireEye's CEO Dave DeWalt and Brian Krebs of krebsonsecurity. Watch the story or read the transcript.
Security firms uncover sophisticated Regin Spyware - 11/24/14 BBC Techinical News has this story that an "extremely complex" and "stealthy" spying program has been stealing data from ISPs, energy companies, airlines and research-and-development labs with a "degree of technical competence rarely seen", Regin had probably taken years to develop, Symantec says.
China suspected of breaching U.S. Postal Service computer networks - 11/10/14 Washington Post has this story that Chinese government hackers are suspected of breaching the computer networks of the United States Postal Service compromising the data of more than 800,000 emmployees.
Home Depot hack also exposes 53 million email addresses - 11/7/14 Consumer Affairs reporter Jennifer Abel has the story. "It keeps getting worse. Two months ago, Home Depot revealed that hackers had stolen 56 million credit- and debit-card numbers. And now, the company says the thieves also made off with at least 53 million customer email addresses." It was already the largest data theft on record; now that record will be even harder to break.
WireLurker iOS Malware drags Apple into the mobile security more - 11/7/14 V3 the latest in UK technology news reports on what some are calling the most significant malware threat to iOS ever uncovered, WireLurker malware had been injected into 467 OS X applications.
JP Morgan data breach affected 76 million - 10/2/14 USA Today story that the cyberattack on JPMorgan Chase & Co., first announced in July, compromised information from 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.
Home Depot breach reached 56 million - 9/19/14 USA Today story that the Home Depot data breach reported earlier this month put 56 million cards at risk.
Gmail accounts and passwords leaked. Not so scary? - 9/10/14 Here's a story about 5 million Google Gmail account names and passwords being listed on the net. Should you change your password? password dump. Although Google says it's not as scary as it sounds, here's Google's security blog post. .
Home Depot Security Breach - 9/8/14 Reuters story about Home Depot confirming a security breach. Apparently hit by variant of the same malware that hit Target last year.
Russian hackers steal a billion passwords - 8/6/14 Washington Post story about Russian hackers stealing over a billion passwords. Scary stuff, here's another story about it from ABC News Channel 7 in Chicago.
Zeus Gameover Botnet disrupted - 6/2/14 CRN has a story about the disruption of the Zeus Gaemover Botnet which was tied to the CryptoLocker. Here's the alert from US-CERT Computer Emergency Rediness Team, complete with links to detection and cleaning tools.
eBay advising users to change their passwords - 5/21/14 Apparently eBay experienced a security breach in February and March. Here's a story from Tech Crunch eBay Advises Users To Change Passwords
Update 5/1/14 - Miscrosoft patches IE Zero-Day Flaw - even for XP users Microsoft has issued patches for all versions of Internet Explorer and extended this to Windows XP. Here's a story from Tech Crunch Microsoft patches Internet Explorer flaw. This extended to Windows XP versions although support ended April 8, 2014.
New Zero Day flaw found in all versions of Internet Explorer, April 25, 2014. Read this story at CNet about the flaw. It's already being exploited in the wild.
Further information on the Internet Explorer flaw. In this story from Yahoo, the US Government recommends not using Internet Explorer. Security experts suggest using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Mirosoft is reportedly working on a fix.