Posts Tagged IT security

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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Everything About Jigsaw Ransomware

PDF Version : Everything-About-Jigsaw-Ransomware

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Better Alternatives To Setting Passwords

Till date, passwords were the most widely used way for authentication and to keep critical information secure. However, given the present scenario and state of cyber security it can be stated that traditional password systems have not been able to meet the security challenge. As per a report by Verizon, 81% of data breaches in 2017 were either due to stolen or weak passwords.

What Is The Problem With Passwords?

First, passwords are not secure at all. A weak password can easily be guessed or hacked by the cyber attacker leaving the user’s confidential information at risk. Secondly, a strong password is formed by the combination of alphabets, numerals and symbols. With an intention to set a strong password that is not very easy to hack, people complicate it too much and quite often forget it (now that’s a valid paradox).

Thirdly, employees often expose the organization to risk due to their carelessness. Writing the passwords and sticking them up on their desks in order to remember and keep them handy is the most common mistake and is a serious security threat. Also, it is very difficult to remember so many passwords for different login credentials which is why an alternative to setting passwords is required.

Better Alternatives To Setting Passwords –

Biometrics
– With things like Apple Touch ID, Face ID passwords, unlocking using fingerprints etc. biometrics has gradually ingrained itself into our lives. It is an excellent alternative to using passwords as it involves our unique biology which makes it difficult to forge or hack. From fingerprints, eye retina scans, face scan etc. are all widely being used by people today. Also with time, more and more devices are becoming compatible to biometric verification.

Two- Factor Authentication
– It provides an added layer of security. It uses a piece of information that only the user knows apart from the username and password. Either a one-time password that is sent to the user on their mobile phone or a specific user information that only he/she knows makes it difficult for cyber criminals to hack the password.

Heart Rate – Another safe alternative is using a security technology that resorts to heart rates of a person. Now this is something that is quite difficult to hack as each person has a unique heartbeat.

Security Tokens – There are two types of tokens – soft and hard security token. They are not connected to a network and generate one time passwords instead making them a great alternative.

With the evolving technology, there has been a paradigm shift in techniques that are opted to protect the confidential information. As predicted by Bill Gates in 2004 at a RSA Security Conference, passwords would soon become extinct as people are now opting for other alternatives which seem to be safer somehow.

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

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Tips For Educating Employees About Cybersecurity

Computers and smart devices have replaced traditional methods of operation at the workplace. Internet has taken over the charge and our world has become a global village. While we have been able to leverage numerous benefits from the technological advancement, complete cybersecurity is still a major question.

Cyberattacks pose a major threat, however not all cyberattacks can be blamed on outsiders. Some of them might just be launched due to the negligence of your employees. Businesses are increasingly becoming vulnerable due to insider threats and the lax attitude of employees. So, in the wake of high ended cyberattacks and with the growing BYOD culture it has become vital to educate employees about cybersecurity.

Here we have listed some tips to educate employees about cybersecurity –

Educate Employees About Social Engineering Activities

Cognize your employees about social engineering attacks. Tell them not to click on suspicious links and emails from unknown sources. If there is something wary about a certain website, blog, link or email and the sender is unknown then it is best to ignore them.

Train Employees At Top Level Of Management

Cybercriminals generally target employees at top level of management who have access to sensitive information and the level of financial damage is greater. So it is important to impart additional training to CEO’S, CFO’S and other employees at that level of hierarchy to safeguard company’s confidential information.

Back To Basics

Provide training about rules for web browsing, email, social networks etc. Through this training they would be able to know the potential ways in which a cyberattack can be made and also take preventive measures to avoid the same. Also, regularly test their cyber security knowledge.

Tell Them What To do In Case They Come Across Something Suspicious

If there is something your employees feel wary of, then they should immediately contact the IT employees who are trained in handling them. Also they should notify the administrator if they come across a suspicious email, link or unusual activity. In case something major happens then unplug machine from the network.

Create A Formal Plan

Have a pre-listed set of instructions about what to do if an employee witnesses a cyberattack. The employees should be well trained to handle this situation and should know what to do if they are hacked. IT team should also draft a formal plan for cybersecurity training, This plan should be reviewed and updated every now and then keeping in mind the latest attacks and risks.

Also, important & confidential passwords as well as information should not be shared with all your employees. Practice the golden rule of giving limited access to only trusted employees. This will ensure that only those people have access to company’s sensitive information who actually need it for performing their operations.

Thus, it is extremely important to train employees about cybersecurity in order to prevent a cyberattack. For more information on IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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How To Defend Yourself Against Adware

You might have come across a number of advertisements while browsing on web. Have you ever wondered why such advertisements pop up from nowhere and sometimes even crash the programs that might be running on your system.

Adware is nothing but an advertizing based software. The advertisements that are displayed on your screens may seem legit and harmless but can install adware into your computers. When once it is installed, it can track your personal information such as age, location, buying habits etc. Also it can gain access to your browser history which means your personal and confidential information is no more private. The main reason behind the whole mechanism is to fool you and make you install illegitimate programs that display hoax advertisements.

How Do You Know If Adware Is Installed In Your Computer?
You can identify if your computer has an adware in it or not. Here are some signs that you must lookout for –

  • You are subjected to a numerous number of pop- ups and advertisements.
  • The performance and speed of your computer becomes slow for absolutely no reasons.
  • An unfamiliar search bar appears in the web browser.
  • There is continuous change in the browser homepage.
  • You search for some website but you are redirected to another website.
  • Programs start crashing.

How To Defend Yourself –

  • Don’t download free programs as they can increase the chances of injecting adware to your system.
  • Install pop-up blockers to keep unnecessary advertisements at bay.
  • Be wary of files and links from untrusted sources. Make sure that you do not download or click them.
  • If you are suspicious of the content of a particular website then it is best to avoid it for security reasons, lest you will lose your important information and credentials.
  • Usually permission to install such adware’s is deeply embedded in the licensing agreement. So ensure that you read it thoroughly before granting any permission to install or download a particular program or file.
  • Do not click on forwarded emails and messages unless you are sure about the source from which it is sent.
  • Update your system regularly.
  • Install an appropriate anti-virus software.
  • Remove the cookies every now and then.
  • Install a firewall to stay away from such adware.
  • Do not click ‘OK’ or ‘YES’ without reading what a particular pop up says, as this sudden haste can lead to a multitude of problems.
  • Adjust your browser settings such that your internet zone setting is on medium security or above.
  • Do not install an unwanted program or software even if it is free.
  • Run an anti-adware software on regular basis to prevent any major issue.
  • If you witness a suspicious activity which can result in installation of adware or some malware onto your system, then it is best to turn off your computer using the power button.

It is extremely important to be aware about adware and the effect it can have. For more information on IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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