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How To Tell If Your Device Is Affected By Cryptojacking?

As a form of cybercrime, “cryptojacking” includes the illegal use of victims’ equipment (personal computers, mobile phones, tablets, and even servers) to “mine” for bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. A victim’s computer may be infected with cryptojacking software via phishing, code download from fraudulent websites, or other malicious techniques. Cryptojacking can also occur via code embedded in digital advertizements or web pages that are only activated when the victim visits a particular website.

Why should you be worried about hackers cryptojacking your devices?

A sluggish computer and a larger electricity bill are classic indicators of cryptojacking attacks on a personal laptop used at home. Targeted crypto mining on a massive scale might cause severe damage to a business. System failures and downtime impair sales and corporate productivity and transform expensive, high-performance servers into costly, low-performance servers. As computational resources are diverted from their intended use to suit the needs of cryptocurrency miners, operational costs inevitably increase. Furthermore, the presence of cryptocurrency mining software on the network is indicative of more serious cybersecurity concern.

How to tell if your devices have been Cryptojacked?

The objective of cryptojacking is to mine more cryptocurrency while going undetected for as long as possible. Cryptojacking malware is made to utilize as much power as it requires while remaining undetected. There are several indicators that cryptojacking malware has been installed on your computer. Some of these are:

  • Slower working of devices

The efficiency of computing devices is lowered by cryptojacking. Be wary of gadgets that operate slowly, crash, or have particularly poor performance. You should also pay attention to decreased system performance. Batteries that deplete more quickly than they normally would are another sign.

  • Increase in heat dissipation by the processor and CPU fan

If your computer gets too hot, which might be the result of a cryptojacking website or software, the fan will speed up to cool things down. A cryptojacking script may be present on a website or computer if the user notices that their device is overheating and the CPU fan is constantly operating at a greater speed.

  • Heavy utilization of CPU or computational resources

If your CPU usage goes up when you visit a site with few or no media files, this could be a sign that cryptojacking scripts are running. You can test for cryptojacking by keeping an eye on how much the CPU is being used. You can use the Activity Monitor or Task Manager to check this.

  • Quicker battery discharge

Due to an increase in CPU utilization and fan speed, the power consumption of devices and computing systems increases dramatically. This causes the battery to deplete faster. Therefore, if you observe that the device’s battery is draining quickly, this could be a symptom of cryptojacking

  • Increased electricity costs due to cryptojacking

An increase in power consumption by the infected devices leads to higher electricity usage. An unexpected spike in electric power consumption can also be a possible indicator of devices being infected by cryptojacking malware

Centex Technologies provide cybersecurity and network security solutions to businesses. For more information, you can contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 – 4740, Dallas (972) 375 – 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 – 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454.

Guide to Cloud Security Controls

As the majority of business operations and data are moving to cloud servers, it becomes imperative to secure cloud servers. The key difference between cloud security and traditional IT security is that the responsibility of securing the server is shared by the cloud service provider and the IT team of the business organization availing the services.

Before discussing cloud security controls, first, it is necessary to understand the importance of cloud security.

98% of business organizations have experienced cloud data breaches since 2020. Source: IDC

Two major factors cause cloud data breaches:

  • Misconfigured cloud security controls
  • Human error

What are Cloud Security Controls?

Cloud Security Controls refer to the set of security processes or measures implemented by an organization in tandem with the cloud service provider to secure the data stored on the cloud server. These security controls help protect the cloud environment against multiple vulnerabilities and mitigate the effects of cyber security attacks if any.

The term Cloud Security Controls includes best practices, procedures, and guidelines laid down for cloud security.

What are the Key Elements of Cloud Security Controls?

Cloud security controls should provide the following key capabilities:

  1. They should allow centralized visibility of the complete cloud infrastructure. Due to different access levels, different services or apps within a cloud server can have different configurations. This makes it difficult to keep track of all the configurations and best practices required for cloud security. Implementing tools such as Cloud Workload Protection Platform (CWPP) can help overcome this challenge by providing a centralized view of the cloud server configurations, reviewing configurations, and detecting security loopholes.
  2. Cloud security controls should be capable of using threat intelligence data to identify existing cyber threats from their attack patterns. This enables the cloud security controls to identify attacks at the nascent stage and respond automatically to mitigate the threat.
  3. Cloud security controls should be automated for better efficiency. Cloud servers have highly dynamic environments and cyber criminals also keep updating their attack mechanism regularly. Automated cloud security controls help in keeping track of the changes in the environment in real-time without intervention from the IT team. Automation allows cloud security controls to detect threats, respond autonomously, and update themselves to change security policies when a new service or configuration is added to the cloud server’s environment.
  4. To ensure maximum security, it is important to integrate cloud security controls with security features offered by the cloud service provider. Businesses using SaaS (Software as a Service) should implement cloud security controls to regulate user access. This helps in ensuring data or software is accessed by authenticated users only and identifying the security risks related to the data or application.

Different Types of Cloud Security Controls

Based on the nature of the operation, cloud security controls can be categorized into four types:

  • Deterrent Controls: These security controls do not perform any action to secure the cloud server environment but act by issuing a warning to potential threat actors. For example, conducting a background check on employees to intimidate them from launching an insider attack.
  • Preventive Controls: The purpose of these controls is to manage and protect vulnerabilities within the cloud server. Some examples are disabling inactive ports, authenticating cloud users, etc.
  • Detective Controls: These controls utilize detection and monitoring tools to detect approaching cyber-attacks and intrusions.
  • Corrective Controls: These controls are implemented to limit the damage caused by a cyber-attack.

Centex Technologies provide cybersecurity solutions to business. To know more about cloud security controls and how to protect your cloud applications, contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 – 4740, Dallas (972) 375 – 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 – 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454

Tips To Spot A Fake Android App

With a rapid upsurge in the number of smartphone users, businesses are increasingly providing mobile apps to their users. However, this increased use of smartphone apps has also garnered the attention of cybercriminals. They are finding different ways of targeting mobile phone users, the most common one being the use of fake apps. As Android devices capture 70% of the worldwide smartphone market, cybercriminals are targeting devices with fake Android apps.

What Are Fake Android Apps?

Fake Android apps are Android mobile phone programs that replicate the appearance and functionality of an authentic or popular app. The app duplicates the user interface of the genuine application to the point where users cannot distinguish between the two.

What Is The Purpose Of Fake App?

The underlying motive of a fake app is to attract users and trick them into downloading this compromised version instead of the legitimate app. The fake app may be infected with malicious code designed specifically to perform multiple functions such as, stealing mobile data, stealing financial data, introducing bugs to slow down mobile performance, aggressively displaying ads during use, etc.

How To Spot A Fake App?

Downloading a fake app can cause numerous damages to the victim such as financial loss, data loss, personal information theft, etc. So, it is important for mobile users to be vigilant and spot a fake app to avoid falling victim to hackers.

Here are some tips to spot a fake android app:

  • Check The Name: Every legitimate and popular app may have multiple fake alternatives. This is why, when a user searches for an app, he receives multiple results with similar names. So, check the correct name of an app before downloading it. Scrutinize the name for any spelling errors or jumbled words. Also, pay attention to the logo of the app.
  • Check Developer’s Name: Before downloading an app, research it to know the name of the developer of the original app. Knowing about the company that presents the app will make it easier to spot a fake app.
  • Read The Reviews: Take out some time to read the user reviews about an app. This will help in knowing about the experience of other users who downloaded the app. Be wary of downloading the app, if you see any reviews claiming to experience problems with device performance after downloading the app. This may be an indicator that the app contains embedded malware.
  • Read App Description: Another way to spot a fake app is to read the app description. In case the description contains misspelled words, grammar errors, or appears to be generated by a bot; it is advised to be cautious.
  • Permissions: Apps usually ask for permissions to use certain device functions to operate. But fake apps may ask for function permissions that are not required to the perform original functions of the app

Centex Technologies provide complete cybersecurity solutions for businesses. To know how to protect your businesses from cyber-attacks, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

Top 10 Ways To Secure Data in Cloud Storage

PDF Version: Top-10-Ways-To-Secure-Data-in-Cloud-Storage

How To Stay Protected Against Clop Ransomware?

Clop ransomware is a member of the CryptoMix family known to infect Microsoft Windows operating systems. The Russian word ‘clop’ translates to “a bug” in English. The APT group known as TA505 uses ransomware widely as a final payload to target a system’s whole network, as opposed to a single machine. This virus functions by encrypting a file and appending the extension “.clop.” After successfully encrypting the file, the virus generates “ClopReadMe.txt” and places a copy in each folder. This file also includes the ransom note.

It was recently uncovered that the threat group had stolen 2 million credit card numbers via POS malware and threatened to demand a $20 million ransom from a German business as well.

How can individuals stay protected from Clop Ransomware?

  1. Be cautious when using computers. Lack of information and negligence are the fundamental reasons for computer virus infestations. So be careful when browsing the internet and downloading, installing, and upgrading software.
  2. Always open email attachments with caution. If the sender’s email address appears suspicious or unusual, do not open the attachment.
  3. Only use direct download links from authorized sources, as malicious programs are commonly distributed via third-party downloaders and installers. Updating software packages are required to keep installed software up to date and secure. The most secure method is to use tools or created features provided by the official developer.
  4. Using pirated software with software cracking tools is illegal and should never be done. You essentially steal intellectual property from software developers and do not pay them. Furthermore, because these tools are regularly used to transmit malware, the risk of malware infection is high.
  5. Blocking a C2 (Command and Control) connection in the middle of an infection chain can prevent malware from propagating. To accomplish such activities, use web filters. One of the most important tactics for preventing ransomware from infiltrating a machine or network is to deploy an effective endpoint security solution.
  6. If the machine has already been infected with the Clop ransomware, run a Windows antivirus tool to remove it. Install and run a reliable antivirus and antispyware software regularly; these capabilities can assist you in detecting and eliminating malware before it causes any harm. If Clop is already p in your system, we recommend running a scan with any NGAV (Next-Generation Antivirus) solution to eradicate the malware.

How can businesses stay protected from Clop Ransomware?

  1. Make a list of your resources and data, identify software/hardware that is legitimately necessary for business objectives, and audit incident and event logs.
  2. Manage software and hardware configurations. Allow admin rights and access only when necessary for an employee to accomplish his tasks. Keep a watch on the network’s services, protocols, and ports. Configure the security settings on routers and other network infrastructure devices. Make a software allow list that only allows legitimate and pre-approved programs to run.
  3. Conduct regular vulnerability assessments. Patch operating systems and software both physically and remotely. Install the most recent software and application versions to address zero-day vulnerabilities published by threat actors.
  4. Put measures in place for data recovery, backup, and asset protection. Set up MFA (Multifactor Authentication), ZTNA (Zero Trust Network Access), and PoLP (Principle of Least Privilege).
  5. Stop phishing emails through sandbox analysis. Install the most recent security updates on the system’s email, endpoint, web, and network layers. Also, implement sophisticated detection methods to identify early warning signals of an attack, such as the existence of suspicious tools on the system.
  6. Employees should be subjected to regular security training and review. Perform penetration testing and red-team drills.

Centex Technologies provides cyber security solutions for businesses. For more information about how to stay protected, contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 – 4740, Dallas (972) 375 – 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 – 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454.

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