Security Risks Associated With Your Smart TV

Gone are the days when your TV sets were just used to watch regular TV shows. Smart TVs rule the market nowadays and can be used to play games, browse internet, download and access apps, etc. Since smart TV sets can be connected with internet, pen drives, webcams, gaming consoles and other devices, they are susceptible to a number of security risks.

As per Statista, there will be an estimated number of 759.3 million TV sets connected to the internet globally by the end of 2018. The figures are startling, and they necessitate the need to cognize people about security and privacy threats associated with smart TVs. Although there has been massive increase in number of IoT devices being used, the question that arises is whether devices such as your smart TV are safe to use or not?

Following are some security risks associated with your smart TV:

  • Hackers can gain access to data i.e. photos and other information through storage devices such as USB or your smartphone connected to the smart TV.
  • Your data is also at risk if you operate social and communication apps such as Skype on your smart TV.
    Once your smart TV is connected to Wi-Fi then there is risk to your personal information/ browsing history etc.
    Smart TV can also be used to target you with instant advertizing messages.
  • Your smart TV can be used to launch a botnet attack.
  • You might have to make subscription payments through your smart TV for viewing different programs, web series or videos. However, your financial information can be tapped and is at risk in case your smart TV is hacked or is compromised.

Preventive Measures To Be Taken

  • Update Regularly – The first and foremost thing is to buy a smart TV of a reputed brand. They usually take measures to protect privacy of their users. It is also important to regularly update the TV’s software to prevent security & privacy issues.
  • Use Firewalls – All devices that are connected to internet should be protected by firewalls. The smartest move is to install a router based firewall or any other firewall which your television set supports.
  • Camera Security – Disconnect your smart TV from plug as well as internet when not in use. Also to prevent the problem altogether, cover the smart TV camera with a piece of opaque tape.

It is important to stay vigilant to protect yourself from such vulnerabilities. For more information about IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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What Is W-2 Phishing Attack?

W-2 phishing was launched with an intention to swipe away your tax refund. More than 100 employers became victim of W-2 phishing attack in first 10 weeks of 2017, putting 120,000 taxpayers at risk of an identity fraud. As per statistics by IRS Return Integrity Compliance Services, reports of W-2 phishing emails increased by 870% in 2017 and the figures are quite alarming.

How Is It Launched?

The cybercriminal shall send an email in which he might impersonate himself as the CEO of the company. The email contains an urgent request to send employee tax information. On receiving the email, the concerned employee often sends the file and hands over confidential & personal employee information to the fraudsters.

W-2s are important forms that are attached when one files their tax return. It contains a person’s confidential information such as name, address, income, social security number etc. Employee’s sensitive information is acquired from W-2s to commit an identity fraud.

Following are some ways in which this information can be misused –

  • Your social security number can be used to claim a duplicitous tax refund.
  • Take a loan on your name
  • Open up a new credit card
  • Make payments from your account

Ways To Protect Yourself From W-2 Phishing Attack

  • Raise Awareness – Since W-2 phishing attacks are on rise it is important to keep your staff aware about the phishing scam. Make sure that you educate your employees on regular basis about the recent phishing scams. It is important that your staff that deals with all the financial statements and tax information is aware about the W-2 and other similar threats.
  • Set Relevant Policies – To protect your company from such attacks, it important to set up some secretive policies and communicate them to your employees. There should be policies that decide what kind of requests should be catered to through an email. For e.g. when there is a policy that top executives would never ask for sensitive information via email, then the concerned employees would not be deceived by any fraudulent email asking for employee credentials. Also it is important to be vigilant when responding to any email.
  • Flags Spam Emails – If you are able to identify a W-2 phished email then flag it and forward it to your employer and other concerned employees to prevent them from falling into a trap.
  • Verify The Sender – Make sure that your employees do not revert to an email sent from an untrusted source. Follow a practice of reconfirming the request of sending any confidential information with the concerned executive once, before actually sending it.It is important to stay alert about such attacks to take preventive measures well in advance.

For more information about IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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Ways In Which Hackers Can Hack Your Facebook Account

With more than 2.19 billion users worldwide, Facebook is one of the most popular social media website that comes with a promise to reconnect you with your family and friends. Given its high rising popularity, cyber criminals are targeting Facebook users each day.

In order to protect your Facebook logins from being compromised, it is first important to understand ways in which hackers can hack your Facebook account. Here we have listed few ways to help you gain an insight over this.

  • Facebook Phishing – It is one of the most common way for hacking a Facebook account. The hacker creates a fake login page that replicates a real one. The victim is then sent an email in which he/she is asked to login through that page. Once this is done, the hacker steals away victim’s username and password. They may use a person’s personal information to either harass them or earn money.
  • Mobile Hacking – Millions of people operate their Facebook accounts on mobile. A hacker can hack your Facebook account easily if he is able to gain access to your mobile phone. It can be done by using mobile spying software or by simply accessing the device.
  • Keylogging – A person can unknowingly fall victim of keylogging. In this attack, a program is installed on a person’s computer. When once this is done, it taps everything that a user types on one’s device. The login credentials are then sent to the hacker on his email address.
  • Man In The Middle Attack – This can happen when the victim and attacker are on the same network. The hacker alters the communication between server and user, steals away user’s credentials in between the channel and hacks victim’s Facebook account.
  • Browser Stealing – A lot of people store Facebook passwords in the browser which can prove to be really dangerous. No matter how convenient it seems, storing passwords in browser often opens up doors for hackers to hack your account. The only way out is to either avoid saving passwords in browser or use password manager. They can also launch a USB attack with an auto installed program that steals away all the passwords saved in browser.

For more information about IT security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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Ways To Improve Your Database Security

PDF Version : Ways-To-Improve-Your-Database-Security

 

 

 

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What Is Crypto Mining Malware?

Crypto mining malware is a software program that has been developed to steal away a computer’s resources without knowledge or permission of owner. The access is further used by cybercriminals for cryptocurrency mining.

According to Symantec’s latest annual security threat landscape report, cryptocurrency miners grew by 8500 percent in 2017.

Unlike other ransomware and phishing attacks, the main purpose of crypto jacking is to inject crypto mining malware into the system, create a nuisance and earn cryptocurrency. If the crypto mining software is injected on a system with critical and high- availability assets then the computational resources can become unusable for their primary business functions.

How To Detect It?

The mining malware runs in the background and so a common user does not realize what is happening. It generally seizes your computer’s Central Processing Unit (CPU) and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). This will slow down other processes and bring them to a halt. Overheating, crashes, slow response time and unusual network activity i.e. connections to mining related websites and IP addresses are things you must take a note of.
Although following these simple steps can be of some help:

  • Set up a network monitoring solution.
  • Monitor your websites for crypto mining codes.
  • Make yourself aware about the recent crypto mining trends.

Types Of Miners

There are 3 main types of miners:

  • Browser Based Cryptocurrency Miners – They are JavaScript miners that perform their work in an internet browser. They consume the resources till the browser remains open on the website. Some website owners use these miners intentionally in place of running ads while sometimes they are injected into websites without the knowledge of the website owner.
  • Executables – Specifically designed for the purpose of crypto mining, they are Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA) executable files (.exe) placed on the computer.
  • Advanced Fileless Miners – The malware does the mining in a computer’s memory. It generally misuses system resources to do so.

How To Protect Yourself Against It?

  • You can use an extension that blocks the most JavaScript miners to protect yourself from the crypto mining malware.
  • Use a strong antivirus software to protect yourself from unsecure websites, viruses and malwares.
  • Update your operating system every now and then to protect yourself from vulnerabilities.
    Keep your web filtering tools up to date.

For more information on protection from Crypto Mining Malware, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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