Mobile Phones in Public Ports

Avoid Charging Your Mobile Phones in Public Ports For Privacy

All of us know the feeling when your battery is done but you have to answer business emails or collaborate with the office. That time, you may think of charging your phone in the coffee shop, mall, conference center, plane or airport wherever you are. Don’t forget that hackers can pull data from your phone at the same time. So, be careful while charging your phone at any public port. By charging your mobile in public ports, you give hackers a chance to steal your personal information. Keep in mind that the code you use to charge your phone is also used to send information from your personal phone to other devices. Data security must be an important area of concern for everyone from an individual to a small-business owner.

Following are few tips to protect your phone:
– Avoid using public charging stations.
– If you have to use public charging stations, don’t rely on dual use cables. You can use simple USB adapter.
– You should set screen mirroring function to “Off” on our mobile device.
– Keep your anti-virus and anti-malware up-to-date on your phone.
– Check your access permissions on your phone for privacy.

Despite the risks, people still do it. If you’re concerned about security, then stop using the public ports. And if you’re desperate to reply emails, make tweets or upload selfie, then take the risk on your own.

Maintaining privacy for your personal data is important than anything. Contact us for unrivaled data security solutions.

Trojans

The Rise of Android Trojan

Android is surely leading the way and continue to soar with the highest adoption rate for android rate based mobile devices in the world. As per a research firm, Strategy Analysis found that more than 200 million of smartphone shipped in 2013-14 were Android based. This humongous customer base is ever rising since the discovery of android operating system. However, this massive user buyer has surely caught up the attention of infamous cyber criminals, who have kept eye on illegally obtaining personal information of phone owners.

If one go by online statistics, in 2016, malicious installation packages infected more than 8 million smartphone users. Unfortunately, the statistics have not dropped instead have increased because of the operating system. Geographically speaking, the nations with the highest number of Trojans and malware attacks were Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, China, and Iran.

The biggest malware threat of 2016 was Trojans. Trojans is a type of virus that allows the cybercriminals to; secretly install the unwanted applications, advertisements and other events on the infected device. The biggest problem with Trojans is that it attacks vulnerable android smartphones patched in the newer versions. As most of the user’s don’t feel the need to update their system or applications, making them susceptible to Trojans and other malware threats.

As the malware installs the module directly in the system directory, it makes difficult to provide a remedy for the situation. There are some Trojans, like, Backdoor.AndroidOS.Triada, which even allows the hackers to alter text messages sent by other applications and steal the money from the android smartphone owner. Normally, hackers demand more than $200 to unlock or amend a device, infected by Trojan-Ransom.AndroidOS.Fusob and Trojan-Ransom.AndroidOS.Congur.

Many feel that having a malware or Trojan is not the crisis; however, if you do not pay attention to the problem at right time, you may even end up shedding money twice as your thought to be. There are more than 50 applications infected by Trojan.AndroidOS.Ztorg.am, a new modification of Trojan.AndroidOS.Ztorg.ad. One needs to be technically aware of the type of Trojans and ways to avoid malware activities on the smartphone.

The best way to avoid Trojans and malware on your phone is when downloading any application stick to the legitimate app store like, google play, amazon app store or Samsung app store. Nevertheless, while downloading be aware of suspicious applications with bad reviews or odd permissions. Always download applications from authorized developers. One can go to security in phone settings and enable ‘verify apps’ option to let the phone use malware detecting software automatically. This feature is available on all smartphones and considered as the best way to avoid Trojans by developers.

Furthermore, always check for any software update available on your phone to keep your applications and smartphone up-to-date and check for any bug fixes or software improvements. Not surprisingly, however, clever Trojans-makers can be, there is always a way out, which is being aware and alert of any suspicious activity on your android smartphone. Therefore, apply caution and entertainment in equal measure. Visit here https://nerdssupport.com/network-security-and-compliance/ to check our cyber security solutions!

Ransomware

I’ve Got my Eyes On You: How to Protect Your Business From Ransomware

In an era where technology is constantly progressing, users face the difficulty of keeping up with the various trends.  From virtual reality glasses to game-changing Uber; individuals are sure to find a topic of interest.  This is exactly what happened in 2016, when numerous users not only found interest in ransomware, but profited $1 billion through this illicit act.

What is ransomware?  It is a form of malicious software that restricts access to data stored on computer systems and the criminals implementing the attack can use threat of exploitation or impeding the administration of a business in exchange for a ransom.  The use of ransomware isn’t necessarily new, but the reason it presents a threat more than ever to companies is due to the fact that it is now a service for other illegitimate users.

Referred to as Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS), by IT World’s Ryan Francis, criminals are now offering services that provide unique variations of ransomware for purchase by users.  Many IT professionals are becoming concerned.  With the large potential profit to be gained through these services, the criminals behind ransomware are constantly developing the software to break through anti-viruses.  The concern is for good reason.  An intensive study conducted by KnowBe4.com discovered that a staggering 38% of companies were successfully compromised by ransomware, almost a 100% increase from the 20% in 2014.  Nearly half of the individuals who partook in the survey stated that “they would be forced to pay the ransom”.

So what can you do to be proactive?  61% of those surveyed deemed email attachments as the biggest exposure to ransomware.  89% of IT professionals agree that Security Awareness Training by end-users is one of the best proactive solutions to deterring ransomware, with backup of computer systems following at 83%.  Security Awareness Training is encouraged because software that can detect ransomware is not always efficient due to the rapidly evolving developments to the software, and therefore, may or may not intervene the hack.  Unfortunately, this does not guarantee that subjection to the threat will not occur, which is why a backup for your computer systems is suggested as well.

We implement both of these measures at Nerds Support, Inc. by providing our clients with Security Awareness Training, through KnowBe4.com, and generate offsite backups to their systems.  This way, in case there were to be an intrusion, we are able to access our clients’ data via the offsite location and reinstate regular business functions, while our IT experts work diligently to remove the ransomware.

In a world of rapidly-progressing technology, threats will unfortunately follow the trend.  Nonetheless, this should not discourage companies from taking advantage of new technological advances that can headway their growth.  By staying up-to-date with potential security breaches and educating employees on proactive measures, businesses can enjoy the conveniences of our technology-driven world.

If you have a concern or want to make sure your company has implemented effective measures against ransomware, contact us for a Security Network audit at 305.551.2009.

 
 

Ransomware

Ransomware attack hit San Francisco train system

A ransomware attack took ticket machines for San Francisco’s light rail transit system offline all day Saturday during one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, but rather than shutting down, the agency decided instead to let users ride for free.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, known as Muni, reported that agents’ computer screens displayed the message “You Hacked, ALL Data Encrypted” beginning Friday night.

The attackers demanded 100 Bitcoins, worth about $73,000, the San Francisco Examiner reported. The agency did not respond to questions about whether the amount was paid.

The cyber crime disrupted Muni’s internal computer system and email but did not affect the actual running of the transit agency, which runs buses, light rail, historic streetcars and the city’s famed cable cars.

The system provides 735,000 trips per day but the free rides were only on the light rail portion when patrons were boarding in the city’s subway stops, which must be accessed by stepping through fare gates.

The ticket machines at those stops instead carried pink “Out of Service” messages, along with hand-written signs saying “Metro free.”

” The fare gates were closed on Friday and Saturday as a precaution, to minimize any impact tO customers. They were operational again on Sunday.Neither customer privacy nor transaction information was compromised ” Muni said in a release.

“Encrypting files and asking for ransom has been a popular method of attack in recent years. Earlier this year, the Melrose Massachusetts Police department actually paid the ransom to unlock their files,” said Tim Erlin, senior director of IT security and risk strategy for the security firm Tripwire.

The majority of ransomware infections do not go public because they are often small in size and do not have a large impact, said Jason Rebholz, director of professional services at The Crypsis Group, a security firm.

The San Francisco incident became public because it touched a large number of systems responsible for daily operations. “These ransomware events, while more rare than typical ransomware infections, typically result in public notification due to the widespread impact,” Rebholz said.

It’s unlikely the transit system was specifically chosen, as a target as ransomware is generally a very opportunistic and financially motivated attack method, said Kevin Albano, global lead for threat intelligence with IBM X-Force.

“Recently, these campaigns have started to become a little less indiscriminate, casting a wider net to see what they’re able to compromise. Once they infect their targets, the hackers can always adjust the price if a higher value target is caught in their net,” he said.

Cybersecurity

Practical Tips For Cybersecurity This Cyber Monday

It’s that time of year again. A chill is in the air, pumpkin-spice-everything is on the menu, and your online newsfeed is peppered with Cyber Monday headlines.

Cyber Monday has become so embedded in our online shopping culture that many may not remember a time without it – yet it’s quite a contemporary holiday tradition.

As ubiquitous as its current presence, so too are its security warnings. For most of us, these warnings are mainstays of the modern online era. As a quick refresher:

  1. Use a unique password for each website, especially sensitive accounts.
  2. Enable two-step verification for sensitive websites and services.
  3. Check out as a guest whenever possible.
  4. Use a credit card instead of a debit card.
  5. Monitor your bank and credit card statements.
  6. Monitor your credit report – identities are more valuable than credit cards, and have no expiration date.

But this year, we want you to pay increased attention to security concerns that extend beyond the cyber shopping cart payment, and instead look at what’s actually in your cart.

Internet Of Things Devices Fill Shopping Carts

That FitBit, “smart” thermostat and baby monitor you can access from your phone are all examples of devices that fall under the “Internet of Things,” or IoT. It’s a burgeoning and lucrative market: A July Business Insider Intelligence report forecasted 34 billion connected devices by 2020, more than tripling the 2015 count.

Wearables are particularly popular. Whether you’re shopping for health buffs or expectant parents, you can find wearable devices that track everything from stairs climbed to pregnancy contractions. And according to MarketResearch.com, these wearables and sensors will reach a market level of $117 billion in just three years.

Odds are good that this year’s cyber holiday purchases will help meet that estimate.

Hackers Also Benefit From Christmas

However, as connectivity grows, so do our risks. Last year’s CyberMonday brought us the VTech hack that accessed connected tablets that children used to communicate with their parents and download content. Hackers gained access to the customer database, which was rife with personal information such as addresses, birthdates, and passwords that could allow access to other sites. Having such personal information can pose a physical threat, as well as facilitate identity theft (and with children, identity theft may not be discovered for years).

Contact us to learn more about our Cybersecurity services and how to stay Cyber Safe online.