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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More About Cerber Ransomware

Cybersecurity is a rising concern. The soaring high figures that represent cyberattacks have been a cause of worry for businesses as well as cybersecurity professionals.

Ransomwares and phishing attacks have been a great threat throughout. Cerber is a ransomware that came into picture when 150,000 window users were infected worldwide via exploit kits in July 2016 alone.

What Happens When An Attack Is Launched?

The victim receives an email which contains an infected Microsoft office document attached to it. A malware is injected as soon as the user clicks & opens it.

When a device is attacked by the ransomware, Cerber encrypts the user’s files and demands money to decrypt and get the access back. The malware encrypts files with RC4 and RSA algorithms and renames them with a .cerber extension.

How Do You Know That You Have Been Infected By Cerber?

You will come to know that you have been attacked by the ransomware, when you’ll find a desktop note the moment you log in. Ransom notes will also be left inside folders that have been encrypted by the malware.

Apart from giving a notice about your files being encrypted, it also provides instructions on how to send the ransom amount to the attackers. The amount keeps on increasing with time and ranges from few hundreds to a thousand dollars.

Is It Possible To Decrypt Files Encrypted By Cerber?

It may or may not be possible. Though decryption tools were available for previous versions of Cerber. However, there is very less scope of recovering encrypted files for the most recent versions. Even paying the ransom amount does not guarantee that you will be able to recover your files.

How To Prevent The Ransomware?

Once your files are encrypted it is very difficult to restore them. So it is best to take preventive measures well on time. Install a latest antivirus software. Also make sure that you do not open any link or attachment sent from an unknown source.

Backup your data regularly and educate your employees about cyber security.

What Is Distinctive About Cerber

It has certain features which you must take a note of:

  • It Talks – Surprisingly, it is a malware that talks and speaks to the victims. Some versions contain VBScript due to which you may hear audio alerts and messages informing that your files have been encrypted and you must pay the ransom amount to decrypt them.
  • Works Offline – People might think that disconnecting the device may prevent files from being encrypted. However, this is not true as cerber does not need an active internet connection to operate.

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

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How Healthcare Industry Can Benefit From Cloud Computing

Most industries are progressing towards cloud technology, so why should healthcare industry lag behind. This technology has brought a revolution in the field of healthcare resulting in improved outcomes. As per a recent survey by HIMSS Analytics, over 83 % of healthcare organizations are using cloud technology.

The technology is being used to store and process patient’s information which has thereby resulted in a decreased capital expenditure for healthcare organizations. Here are some ways in which cloud computing benefits healthcare industry.

  • Better Collaboration – It has provided extreme benefit to healthcare industry by allowing experts and doctors to store as well as access patient’s data & apply necessary care without delay. Also, remote conferencing has allowed doctors in saving precious lives.
  • Greater Reach At The Time Of Disaster – Getting doctors and necessary information on board at the time of an unforeseen circumstance or disaster often gets very difficult and many people die due to the lack of medical care on time. Cloud computing on the other hand allow field doctors to access medical information and getting connected with an expert for providing treatment & medical aid as per need of the hour.
  • Lower Storage Costs – It allows hospitals to hold more patient information at a lower cost and that too in a more systematic way.
  • Better Use Of Big Data To Treat Patients – Cloud computing allows healthcare organizations to make better use of big data to treat patients. It allows doctors to collect complete information about the ailments which a patient suffers from along with their medical history to form better inferences about the treatment to be offered.
  • Improved Medical Research – The research process speeds up due to easy storing and sharing of data through cloud technology. Data is collected from multiple fields, data analysts then use cloud to pool the data and summarize it to form conclusions. The results of the research helps professionals in curing diseases and designing better healthcare technologies.
  • Improved Patient Care – Internet of Things (IoT) can help in saving lives too by reaching out to people residing in remote areas. Cloud makes it possible for such people to get access to quality healthcare services. Mobile devices can be used to monitor a patient’s condition and keep the doctors at far of places updated with a patient’s medical condition. Also, this way patients can get access to healthcare services round the clock.

Cloud services ensure complete flexibility. Healthcare providers only pay for what they use. Also cloud provides simple anytime & anywhere access to healthcare applications and resources. As per a report by MarketsandMarkets, healthcare cloud computing market is expected to increase to $9.48 billion by 2020.

It will provide a twin benefit by not only improving the quality levels of healthcare services but also by helping them cut their costs. The sooner healthcare industry embraces cloud technology, the better it will be for them.

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

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Benefits GDPR Provides To Businesses

PDF Version : Benefits-GDPR-Provides-To-Businesses

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Most Common Network Problems

With number of devices increasing in home/ offices, network issues are becoming more complex than ever before. Different software platforms and new IoT devices have made computer network rely on several different variables. Even a small issue can disrupt complete network and can cause substantial downtime in the work process.

To solve a network issue, it is first important to understand the network problem and why it arises in the first place. Here we have listed certain common network problems which you must know about.

  • Slow Internet – The most basic problem that your employees might complain about is slow internet which can create a lag while working. There may be a number of reasons behind it. The probable causes are –
    • Too many devices connected on a single network.
    • Some app might be consuming a significant portion of your total bandwidth.
    • Service delays on the part of internet provider.
  • No Connectivity – You might also witness a situation when the wireless network shows the signal but does not connect. This is because either your device is out of the router’s range or there is some problem with the hardware. To correct this, try to place the device close to the router. Also you can replace the network card you are using. Sometimes, updating the network card drivers can be helpful whereas sometimes you might have to change the hardware altogether.
  • IP Conflicts – Every device has an IP address that has access to the network at a given time. However, sometimes two devices might end up having the same IP address due to which the operations of one device may be blocked. In such a situation, the user might not be able to access the protected files and also it can cause a lag for all the connected devices. To avoid this, you must reconfigure your DHCP setup so that the IP conflict is resolved and all the devices on the network get proper access.
  • VOIP Quality Issues – A network stutter can lead to voice call issues such as delays, interruptions and voice quality issues. To curb this problem, install jitter buffers as they create small packets of VOIP information. This will ensure a smooth conversation and help you boost your overall productivity.
  • Inability To Find Network Path – Sometimes an error message displaying network path not found may appear on a user’s screen due to which the device cannot make connection with other devices on the network. Disable local firewalls and also reset TCP/IP to deal with this issue.

Take a note of the above mentioned most common network problems and follow necessary steps to keep them at bay. For more information, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.