Friday, June 28, 2013


OLD VIRUS - NEW TRICKS

First, I'm sorry about the lack of Blog Posts lately, but between the procedure they did on my back, and then earlier this week (when my wife dislocated her ankle and broke it 3 places) I have had little time to get near a computer.

You may or may not remember Malware called "Citadel", which at that time targeted banks and other financial institutions. Well, this time around it's been revamped to infect popular sites (Amazon, Ebay, etc.) we visit according to Trusteer security...

"When the targeted websites are accessed from computers infected with the new Citadel variant, the malware replaces them with rogue versions that claim users' accounts were blocked because of suspicious activity. The victims are then asked to input their personal and credit card information in order to confirm that they are the legitimate owners of the accounts and proceed to unlock them."

So, be on the alert for something like that appearing via email or on the website itself. While Microsoft, along with other companies or agencies brought down the Citadel "Botnet" it was successful, but only to a certain extent. Anyone can get a "Citadel Builder" program and build their own, to their specifications.

To get a more in-depth idea on how this works, I would recommend you visit the Trusteer Blog Site HERE.

'Nuff Said,
Brian

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


SECURITY BITS'N BYTES









Recently, McAfee Anti-Virus and Security announced it took the average company 10 hours to detect an intrusion. By average, I can only think they meant companies like your Bank, a Stock Trading firm, etc. - not your average 50 employee-or-less company, or even a retail business like Walmart or Best Buy. It takes big bux to afford the kind of protection and seasoned security personnel to detect an intrusion (on average) in 10 hours. McAfee's CTO, Mike Fey said:

“This study has shown what we’ve long suspected - that far too few organisations have real-time access to the simple question ‘am I being breached?’  Only by knowing this, can you stop it from happening,”

Read the whole article HERE.

And speaking of McAfee, it's hard not to ignore the strange behaviour of it's original father John McAfee. He has been traveling (ed. - on the run) ever since his neighbor in Belize was murdered, and having previous encounters between the two the police wanted a word with him - however he is not in Belize any longer.

Most recently (in May) he accused the Belize Government after his house mysteriously burned down. You can read that article HERE.

'Nuff Said,
Brian

Saturday, June 15, 2013

ZERO ACCESS









I haven't read any alerts about a resurgence of the Zero Access Trojan, but here in the Houston area we've seen an uptick of this annoying little bugger. If your PC no longer can get to the Internet then most likely it's the Zero Access Trojan.

The ones I've run across, including today, are identified as Zero Access but unlike before the utility that ferrets it out doesn't identify the variant as there are at least 5 variations (versions) of this floating around. Maybe someone took it and tinkered with it a bit, nonetheless, it's back.

'Nuff Said,
Brian

Friday, June 14, 2013

HOW STRONG ARE YOUR PASSWORDS?








Last month Deloitte [Deloitte's Technology, Media, and Telecommunication, also known as TMT], came out with a 3 page report regarding passwords, how strong you think they are, and how strong they really are.

Like I've been telling you [by Blog or in person] the days of the one word password are over and you should consider using passphrases instead. An example I gave to a customer the other day was to abandon a one word password and come up with a passphrase like -

 "Itrainsinspainbutonlyintheplains"

 as well as substituting a $ for the letter "S", or a 0 for the letter "O"

The customer said that they didn't know they could do that and would work on some passphrases of their own. I also reminded them to come up with enough passphrases for every account. Deloitte's report noted that - 

"The average user has 26 passworded accounts but uses only five different passwords amongst them".

The obstacle here is the common complaint "I can't remember all of those passwords". My reply to home users is to either use a password account utility program, or if they are using Norton 360 or Symantec's Internet Security they already have one built into the program. The common reply is: "I never knew I had this feature".

You can download the 3 page .PDF report off their website HERE.

'Nuff Said,
Brian

Thursday, June 13, 2013




THINGS FORGOTTEN






I almost forgot about videos I shot and put on YouTube until I stumbled across one I did at a previous job. The safety committee came to me about two weeks before their annual "Safety Day" and asked me to do a humorous video loosely related to "Safety and Security". What you'll see below is two weeks of work, but the kind of work that was fun...






'Nuff Said,
Brian

Tuesday, June 11, 2013



SCARY STATS ON MOBILE MALWARE




Kaspersky's Security section is often filled with interesting facts, news on the latest Malware to hit the wire, and much more. They said that last year 92% of all mobile Malware was aimed at the Android system (Android based phones, tablets, etc.) and said -

"During the year, Kaspersky’s Internet security experts identified more than 35,000 malicious Android programs"

Their Article can be found HERE.

Related to that story, there appears to be a "Super-Malware" out on the Internet now, attacked Android phones. One of the things it does is have your phone dial one of those $10/minute phone numbers without you realizing it.

Jumping back to Kaspersky, there are links that are relevant to the article, especially one called "Smartphone Security Tips" and you can find that HERE.

And I almost forgot a Blog post by By Joshua Cannell on Malwarebytes site regarding 7 tips for keeping you PC safe this summer. You can catch that one HERE. I would have added 1 more, making it 8 tips with number one being "don't let your kids on your computer". I can't tell you how many times someone is working out of their house - the computer being their paycheck, and they let their 6-16 year old children use it for playing games online, Facebook, IM, and other easy targets that host malware.

I'm sure you don't want to see your client list, Quickbook data file, or any other important items required for your business to get deleted or corrupted beyond repair, so:
  1. Break down and buy a used one for the kids, or
  2. Make sure your login has a password, create a seperate login for them, but make it a limited account

'Nuff Said,
Brian

Thursday, June 6, 2013

IF IT WALKS LIKE A DUCK AND TYPES LIKE A DUCK, BUT YOU CAN'T SEE IF IT'S A DUCK
YOU'D BETTER DUCK




Nothing like cryptic Blog post headline to make one curious eh? [ed. - spoiler alert, this has nothing to do with ducks]. As well all know, you can purchase just about anything via the Internet and many folks buy cars this way.

According to the FBI, you should be suspicious of those ads (many of which appear on Craigslist) which describe the car down to tire tread wear and end their advertisement with a one liner: "Will send photos on request".

This seems not too unusual, maybe the seller didn't have his car washed yet for picture taking, but the FBI says:

"Sometimes these images are sent as attachments, other times as a link to an online gallery—but in either case, the photos can and often contain malware that infects the victim’s computer."

Just because it's a photo that doesn't mean it's harmless. There are ways to integrate Malware, secret messages, and stolen data in a photo that you would never know about. For more information you can go to the FBI News website HERE, and read all about it.

'Nuff Said,
Brian

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


GET YOUR KOOBFACE ON...







Anti-virus and security companies have seen a huge increase in SPAM during the first quarter of 2013, along with continued incidents of  the KOOBFACE worm which usually spreads through social networking sites and attacks the MBR (Master Boot Record) of your hard drive.  This makes it very hard to remove the infection, and sometimes removal can only be accomplished by formatting the hard drive.

Read the article HERE.

'Nuff Said,
Brian

Sunday, June 2, 2013

TIMELY EMAILS MAY LEAD TO UNTIMELY COMPUTER PROBLEMS.

               



As timely news hits the airwaves, whether it be extreme weather, a school shooting, or a bomb going off in the U.S. there are a group of people lurking in the shadows that will send out thousands or more spam email with the subject line title having something to do with it, for example, "Boston bomb goes off, read the details inside".

Inside the email will be some general statement about the event along with a link to the most recent news about the story. Click on the link and you may find yourself a victim of virus and/or Trojan infection. This type of scam has been around for years and has made it's resurgence very strong. There is an article about this which you can read HERE.

'Nuff Said,
Brian