Posts Tagged Cyber Security

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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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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Ways To Ensure Social Media Security

Your private information is not private anymore. Social media portals which were initially launched as platforms to connect with family & friends are now facing security issues. This has made it important for everyone to take necessary measures to ensure safety of personal information shared on social networks.

Here are some ways to secure your private information over different social media portals.

  • Spend Some Time On Understanding Privacy Settings
    No matter how complicated it may seem to you, it is important to go through them once & understand the provisions thoroughly. By choosing appropriate settings, you can restrict information that is shared with different groups and applications.
  • Have Different Personal & Professional Social Media Accounts
    Your professional account is generally open to public round the clock. So, in order to restrict people accessing or viewing your personal updates, it is advised to create separate account for personal and professional use. Having separate accounts is also important because if there is some dispute at personal level then the person can negatively use the information available on your social media handle to his advantage & disrupt your professional image on the web. However, having separate social media accounts can help you in preventing this.
  • Set Different Passwords For Different Social Media Accounts
    Probably the biggest mistake that we do is to set same passwords for our different social media accounts. This is more like an open invitation to cyber criminals to hack multiple accounts that you have created on different platforms and get access to your personal & private information.
  • Do Not Provide Too Much Information
    Social media platforms encourage you to fill in a lot of information. However, be wary of the quantum of personal information that you provide as the more information you share, more would be the chances of someone landing their hands on it.
  • Disable Location Settings
    No matter which social media platform you are using, make sure that your location settings are disabled so that nobody is able to keep a track over your current location.
  • Not Everyone Is Your Friend!
    Make sure that you do not add random people in your account without checking out their profiles. It is necessary that you know people with whom you share your information, else you might just provide your private data to a cyber-criminal with an appealing profile by accepting their friend request.

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

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Everything About Jigsaw Ransomware

PDF Version : Everything-About-Jigsaw-Ransomware

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Internet Security Myths

In the wake of high rising cyber-attacks, everyone is equally susceptible to risks. Cyber security is a major threat but people often lack the knowledge of ways & methodologies to protect themselves from hackers. This has muddled up their idea about internet security & cyber-attacks. Let’s debunk certain myths regarding cyber security and the actual facts behind them.

  • Myth – Only Big Corporations Are Targeted, My Personal Computer Faces Absolutely No Risk.
    Fact – It is a complete myth that cyber criminals would not be interested in hacking your personal information. They usually keep an eye and watch out for people who seem to be an easy prey. Reason being, companies do take certain security measures and also have dedicated IT teams to keep a check over cyber security which makes it difficult for hackers to infiltrate into the network. However, cyber criminals do not have to make much efforts to break into the network and steal private as well as confidential information stored on an individual’s personal computer. So it is important to keep your files and data safe on your devices by using a variety of security measures. Set difficult passwords and keep changing them from time to time. Also make sure that you unplug your webcam as well as switch off the broadband connection when not in use.
  • Myth – If A Computer Is Not Connected To Internet Then There Are No Chances Of Getting Attacked By A Virus.
    Fact – This is far from truth. Virus can be injected into the PC while software update or through USB drives which might have been exposed to malware. This poses a serious cyber security threat.
  • Myth – I Have A Strong And Complex Password, So My Information Is Safe.
    Fact – Sometimes people set passwords which may seem difficult to them but in reality they aren’t as   complex and can be easily hacked by cyber criminals. So make sure that you set a password which has more than 15 characters and is formed by using a combination of alphabets (both upper & lower case), numbers as well as symbols to increase the difficulty level. Also nowadays, most devices allow use of biometrics i.e., fingerprints, face scan etc. to access confidential documents as they add a layer of security.
  • Myth – There Is No Risk As I Have Installed An Anti-Virus Software.
    Fact – An anti-virus software only protects you from virus. However, you may be exposed to a variety of other cyber security threats. So it is important to update the anti-virus software and also you will need firewalls to protect your personal information from being hacked.

Cyber criminals often resort to identity thefts or sell your personal information further in the dark market to be used against you. So it is better to stay safe than repenting it later. Therefore, gather complete information about internet security and take all necessary steps to protect yourself from a cyber-attack.

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

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