Archive for August, 2018

Gandcrab Ransomware

Generally distributed using RigEK toolkit, Gandcrab ransomware demands payment in DASH cryptocurrency. It utilizes “.bit” top level domain and when once it is injected into your computer system it encrypts the data & adds “.GDCB” extension to all the compromised files. For example, imagesample123.jpg (the original file) changes to imagesample123.jpg.GDCB (the infected file).  After encryption, the ransomware generates a “GDCB-DECRYPY.txt” file and places a copy in each existing folder and when the victim tries to open a file it shows up a message that contains information regarding their files being encrypted and instructs what needs to be done next.

The files can be decrypted using a unique key which is stored on a remote server that is controlled by developers of the ransomware. To get that key the victim is generally required to pay 1.5 Dash cryptocurrency which is equivalent to approximately $1130. However, there is no guarantee that your files will be decrypted even after you pay the ransom amount.

Most Common Ways Through Which The Ransomware Can Infect You

  • It can reach your system when you use third party software download sources.
  • Spam emails or emails sent from untrusted sources often contain malicious attachments which when opened install malware into your system.
  • Sometimes your system can get infected through Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks which install malicious executables by masquerading them as legitimate software’s.
  • Victim often fall prey of fake software updaters which infiltrate into their system.
  • Trojans are another reason that can cause a ransomware attack. They exploit the system and also allow such malwares to be injected in the system.

How To Protect Yourself Against The Ransomware

  • Make sure that you backup your data on a regular basis because if once your files are decrypted by the ransomware, the chances of recovering your data even after paying the ransom amount are meagre.
  • If you are unsure about an email sent from an untrusted source then it is highly advisable to not download the attachments sent along.
  • Ensure that none of the computers are running remote desktop services and are connected to the internet directly. Instead, make sure that they can only be accessed by logging into a VPN first.
  • Download all the Windows updates as soon as they are launched since older versions might contain certain loopholes which may be exploited by the attackers.
  • Make sure that you do not use weak passwords. Also it is important to note that no matter how easy it might seem to have a single password for multiple logins, it should always be avoided as it opens the doors for such attacks in which your confidential data & files might be compromised.

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

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Advantages Of Bio-metric Security

PDF Version : Advantages-Of-Bio-metric-Security

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What Is M2M Communication?

World has become a global village where technology has made communication process more effective & easy. It has brought along a revolution & transformed a lot of things around us. One such thing is M2M communication.

M2M communication refers to Machine-to-Machine communication. It involves a set of machines connected with each other that communicate or exchange information without any human interaction. Such communication between machines has become easier with the rise of wireless technology. As per Strategy Analytics, by 2020 the global M2M industry size will grow to around 200 billion U.S. dollars in revenue.

Examples Of M2M Communications

  • Manufacturers can receive notifications & alerts from devices in operation whenever they need servicing due to M2M tools. The machine itself tells you when it needs repairing.
  • Inventory information sent out by vending machine.
  • ATM machines dispensing cash.
  • The air conditioner automatically switch’s down when the room temperature reaches the set point.
  • Wearable devices that track down the number of steps you take & also monitor your heart beat.

Benefits Of M2M communication

  • Reduced Costs – M2M communication enables automation and allows businesses to reduce operational costs. It helps in saving time & effort resulting in better efficiency.
  • Prompt Action– It is easier to gather data when machines are connected to each other. This enables a prompt action to the request made.
  • Open New Avenues – M2M will open up numerous opportunities. With more machines being connected to each other it is possible to provide new service based offerings.
  • Improved Customer Service

Applications Of M2M Communications

M2M communication is presently being used in the following sectors:

  • Manufacturing
  • Billing
  • Telemedicine
  • Security
  • Robotics
  • Industrial
  • Traffic Control
  • Banking

Security Risks

  • Access Point Attack
  • Denial Of Service Attack
  • External Interface Attack
  • Device Triggering Attack

Difference Between IoT & M2M?

Often used interchangeably, M2M communication & IoT are not the same.

  • M2M communication uses point to point communication between machines, sensors & hardware. While on the other hand, IoT relies on IP based networks and sensors.
  • M2M is deployed in a closed system whereas IoT connects to a larger network.
  • M2M communication does not rely on an internet connection. However, Internet of Things (IoT) as the name suggests requires a strong & active internet connection.
  • Where IoT uses IP protocols, M2M uses non-IP protocols.
  • M2M refers to the communication between machines. IoT on the other hand involves communication of machines with humans as well as machines with machines.
  • M2M communication has a long way to go. With the advancement in technology we will be able to use M2M communication systems in a better and more effective way. That day is not far when every sector of the industry will recognize its importance and leverage more benefit from it.

For more information related to M2M communications & IT security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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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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