Tag: Ransomware

Debunking Common Computer Security Myths

Debunking common computer security myths

All businesses can be susceptible to threats like hackers and computer viruses. Making matters worse is the great deal of misinformation floating around regarding cyber security. The Internet attracts urban legends and computer security isn’t immune from this trend. Many alleged security “facts” are, at best, inaccurate. Some of these myths are recent developments, while others have been around for years.

Clearing up some common misconceptions about computer security, Staples and Norton have teamed up help separate fact from fiction.

Myth 1: Companies that sell antivirus and security solutions create viruses

The idea that the online security companies develop and release computer viruses to maintain sales is false. While it’s true that one variety of malware (malicious software) called “ransomware” infects computers and then sells its victims a “solution” to the problem, these rogue programs are not affiliated with legitimate antivirus programs, like Norton. In fact, legitimate antivirus programs are the first line of defense against devious hackers.

Myth 2: A small business’s main security threat is the Internet

A security policy that only considers Internet-based threats is woefully incomplete. Yes, hackers can breach your network security. Yes, malware can infect your network through unsafe websites. However, the biggest risks to your security are often those who work for you.

Many security breaches originate with employees. A small number of employees are simply dishonest. More often, however, security breaches are caused by simple human error. An employee loses a laptop, for instance, or incorrectly disposes of printed or digital information.

“Now more than ever, small business owners should be taking all precautions to ensure their businesses are secure,” says Conor Kearney, vice president of technology merchandise for Staples. “While antivirus programs are a great first line of defense against cyber threats, it is important to make sure you educate your employees on what constitutes good cyber security and have safeguards in place to prevent a minor incident, like a stolen computer, from turning into a full out data breach.”

Myth 3: Apple’s operating system is safer than Microsoft’s Windows

For years, Apple users held up the relative lack of malware on Mac computers as evidence that the Apple operating system had fewer security flaws than Microsoft’s Windows operating systems. Actually, Mac users were safer because they represented a relatively small percentage of all computer users. Malware writers prefer to target the largest possible audience. As so, because many people use Windows, the hackers focused their attention on Windows and, for the most part, ignored Apple.

But now, people use Apple devices in sufficient numbers to attract malware. For example, in 2012, the Flashback Trojan affected 600,000 Macs. And a year later, Apple computer users were hit by a virus that targeted iPhone developers via the Java programming language. Recently the Shellshock/Bash vulnerability was identified as putting Mac users at risk.

Myth 4: Hackers only target “big business”

Some small businesses take false comfort in their size. The assumption is that hackers and data thieves only target big companies, major financial institutions and government agencies. However, small businesses can also be targets for data breaches and hacks.

Small businesses need to have a defense plan in place. Often, small-business owners recognize the importance of cyber security, but are unable to manage the complexity of this issue themselves. Consequently, the cyber security of small businesses tends to be neglected. “Protecting customer and business data from cybercriminals is a matter of life and death for most small businesses. Because small-business owners are insanely busy, they need a multi-layer security solution that’s easy to install and manage,” says Brian Burch, VP product marketing, Norton Business Unit, Symantec, a leading provider of award-winning products and services that deliver online protection. Easy, quick setup antivirus solutions are most preferred by small businesses. For example, Norton Small Business is a single solution to securing computers and mobile devices within a small business’ network.

A false sense of security

Today’s computer security myths all have one thing in common – they can lull you into a false sense of security. Keep your office free from viruses by always employing a critical eye and lots of common sense. Similar to your annual doctor visit, be sure to give your small business a cyber-security check, reassessing its network security and ensuring you have the proper tools in place to protect it from a cyber-attack.

See more – Internet Security

Heartbleed – Open SSL

Network System Services

CryptoLocker: Ransomware

cryptolocker-virus

A specific breed of Ransomware known as CryptoLocker has been making the rounds the last few weeks. Ransomware comprises a class of malware which restricts access to the computer system that it infects, and demands a ransom paid to the creator of the malware in order for the restriction to be removed. Some forms of ransomware encrypt files on the system’s hard drive (cryptoviral extortion), while some may simply lock the system and display messages intended to coax the user into paying. [Ransomware (malware)- Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ransomware_%28malware%29%5D

CrytoLocker [malware] uses social media or email as attack agents, and usually disguises itself as a FedEx, UPS, etc.. message with a tracking notice. This is usually enough bait to entice victims, especially for a business who ships things using these carriers, and Online shoppers. It looks legit and they open it, Cryto-Locked (Exe = Infected).

CryptoLocker is the sort of threat that can seriously ruin your business day or even your business, severely. Depending on the data and how important the data on your computer is.

Paying the Ransom

CrytoLocker
CryptoLocker virus is a series of ransomware infections that we have recently classified as extremely dangerous and recommend removing immediately. If you feel you have been infected with the CrytoLocker virus, Call Us Today! 888-404-8282 for FREE Assessment and CrytoLocker Removal.

Paying the ransom isn’t a safe thing to do and it’s no guarantee that your data will be recovered. If the deadline passes or you lose the original program you can pay ten Bitcoins ($2200) and still recover your data. You upload a file that is encrypted and then pay the ransom. Each time someone does this it is only going to fuel more of these attacks.

Five Tips For Keeping Safe Against CryptoLocker

  • Keep regular backups of your important files. If you can, store your backups offline, for example in a safe-deposit box, where they can’t be affected in the event of an attack on your active files. Your backups will be rendered useless if they are scrambled by CryptoLocker along with the primary copies of the files.
  • Use an anti-virus, and keep it up to date. As far as we can see, many of the current victims of CryptoLocker were already infected with malware that they could have removed some time ago, thus preventing not only the CryptoLocker attack, but also any of the damage done by that earlier malware.
  • Keep your operating system and software up to date with patches. This lessens the chance of malware sneaking onto your computer unnoticed through security holes. The CryptoLocker authors didn’t need to use fancy intrusion techniques in their malware because they used other malware, that had already broken in, to open the door for them.
  • Review the access control settings on any network shares you have, whether at home or at work. Don’t grant yourself or anyone else write access to files that you only need to read. Don’t grant yourself any access at all to files that you don’t need to see – that stops malware seeing and stealing them, too.
  • Don’t give administrative privileges to your user accounts. Privileged accounts can “reach out” much further and more destructively both on your own hard disk and across the network. Malware that runs as administrator can do much more damage, and be much harder to get rid of, than malware running as a regular user.

CryptoLocker virus is a series of ransomware infections that we have recently classified as extremely dangerous and recommend removing immediately. If you feel you have been infected with the CrytoLocker virus, Call Us Today! 888-404-8282 for FREE Assessment and CrytoLocker Removal.

Lord & Griffin IT Solutions is an all-inclusive IT and Web solutions Company. We can help you design, implement, optimize, manage and run your network infrastructure, regardless of its complexity and of your organization’s size. Fast, affordable business computer service and technical computer help – offering same day, weekend and evening appointments. Let us be your IT department for a fraction of the cost! For FREE Consultation Contact Us Today! 888-404-8282

CryptoLocker Ransomware Information Guide and FAQ
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/cryptolocker-ransomware-information

Proper Care & Feeding of your CryptoLocker Infection: A rundown on what we know.
http://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/1mizfx/proper_care_feeding_of_your_cryptolocker/

Disk encrypting Cryptolocker malware demands $300 to decrypt your files
http://www.geek.com/apps/disk-encryptiing-cryptolocker-malware-demands-300-to-decrypt-your-files-1570402/