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Category: Cybersecurity Page 1 of 4

How Does SandStrike Spyware Attack Android Devices?

SandStrike is a type of spyware that attacks different kinds of data on an Android device, like call logs, contacts, etc., to spy on and track the activities of its victims. The spyware is sent out using a VPN app infected with malware.

Let us understand the stepwise process of SandStrike spyware infection:

  1. The spyware exploits people’s religious faith to target them.
  2. The threat actors build authentic-looking social media profiles on various platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.
  3. The pages share religion-oriented posts to grab the attention of firm believers of the religion.
  4. After gaining the victim’s attention, the threat actors share links for watching more videos around religion-focused topics.
  5. Generally, the links lead to apps such as Telegram channels or VPN apps owned by the cyber threat artists.
  6. The idea is to use VPN apps to bypass Government’s cyber security and watch religion or faith-oriented content that is otherwise banned by the Government.
  7. These links are injected with malicious code for SandStrike spyware.
  8. When victims click on the link to download the VPN app, the spyware is automatically downloaded and installed on the target device.

Users rely on VPN to seek privacy & security to hide their internet activity. However, the threat actors cunningly trick users and use the VPN to intercept the same. Once the SandStrike spyware is installed on the target device, it starts spying through the infected device.

What Type of Data Does SandStrike Target?

SandStrike spyware targets diverse types of data including, but not limited to:

  • Call logs
  • Contact list
  • Messages
  • Personal data
  • Search history
  • Saved financial details
  • Login credentials

In addition to scooping through the data on the device, the spyware also monitors the user’s activity to collect information that can be used for social engineering attacks.

The spyware collects all the data & sends it to remote servers owned by the threat actors. The cybercriminals use this data for financial gain by selling it on the dark web or using it to fabricate severe cyber-attacks such as identity theft, ransomware, etc.

How to Stay Protected Against SandStrike Spyware Attacks?

While antivirus and antimalware programs may not provide effective protection against spyware, a few best security practices can help protect your devices.

  1. Be cautious before clicking on social media and email links.
  2. Download VPN apps from the original developer’s link in the Google Play Store. Make sure to check the reviews, number of downloads, correct spelling of app name, and correct name of the developer before downloading the app.
  3. Refrain from saving your financial information on your browser or payment apps for easy payments.
  4. Download the latest updates for your operating system and apps on the device.

To know more about enterprise cybersecurity solutions for your business, contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 – 4740, Dallas (972) 375 – 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 – 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454.

Tips to Improve Supply Chain Cyber Security

A supply chain is a network of facilities that are responsible for the procurement of raw materials, the transformation of those raw materials into intermediate commodities, and finally, the delivery of finished goods to end users via a distribution system. It is the network of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in the delivery of a product or service to a customer. While these supply chain components are essential for smooth operations of a business, they can also expose a business to cyber security risks.

The following tips can help in improving cybersecurity for supply chain network of a business.

  1. Verify Third-Party Vendors: Prevention is the most effective method for enhancing the cybersecurity of a supply chain. Cybercriminals find third-party vendors to be an easy and lucrative target, as a majority of third-party vendors have inconsistent cybersecurity protocols. Once attackers infiltrate the network of these vendors, they can acquire access to their client’s data. This makes it important to assess the cyber security practices of the third-party vendors to check if they are as per the industry standards. Also, analyze the history of cyber security breaches the third-party vendors have experienced in the past.
  2. Access Management: Understand the role and responsibilities of the vendor. Analyze the tasks the vendor needs to perform and the data that is essential to accomplish them. Grant access to the necessary data and tools to the vendor instead of providing open access. This ensures minimized exposure in case the vendor experiences a breach.
  3. Understand the Risks: Knowing the risks you may encounter is essential to formulate an effective mitigation plan. To begin with, list all cyber security risk scenarios through which cybercriminals can infiltrate your network. Once you understand the risks, work towards mitigating these risks starting with the risk with highest impact.
  4. Know Your Critical Systems: Critical systems and data include the information and systems that are essential for smooth operations of a business. These systems and data may include user data, business documents, financial data, communication channels, business core applications, etc. Knowing your key systems allow you to know what must be protected in all situations. Develop strategies to safeguard these systems and data.
  5. Speed Up Detection: Despite effective measures, understand that you might face supply chain based cyber-attacks. Early detection of infiltration helps in timely response, recovery, and remediation of the breach. Educate your employees to be able to detect an attack at first instance and report it to the right department.
  6. Recovery Plan: Lay out a well-defined recovery plan and document it. Make sure to include every employee’s role in the recovery plan and share it across the organization. Take regular backups to aid in data recovery and minimize the impact of a breach.
  7. Penetration Analysis: Cyber security is a dynamic environment as cybercriminals come up with new methods to bypass security measures. Regular penetration analysis and vendor monitoring help in detecting vulnerabilities at the earliest. This helps in preventing zero-day attacks.

To know more about tips to improve supply chain cyber security, contact Centex Technologies. You can contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 – 4740, Dallas (972) 375 – 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 – 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454.

What Is BitPaymer Ransomware?

BitPaymer is a ransomware type cyber threat that typically targets Windows-based systems on a compromised network. Also known as “wp_encrypt,” it was first discovered in 2017 and has launched different versions since then.

What Are The Attack Vectors of BitPaymer Ransomware?

BitPaymer uses multiple attack vectors to infiltrate the target network or system. The most commonly used attack vectors are:

  1. Phishing emails targeting organization’s employees
  2. Software downloads via third party, fake or malicious links
  3. Brute force attacks

What Does BitPaymer Ransomware Do?

BitPaymer Ransomware uses multiple steps to spread laterally across a network & infect multiple systems. Let us understand how the ransomware works:

  1. After infecting a system, the ransomware conceals itself & stays in the victim system to gather information such as login credentials, shared drives, IP addresses, private network details, etc.
  2. It further scans for servers running Microsoft Exchange & Microsoft SQL.
  3. The malware then penetrates Active Directory running on the network for lateral movement by infecting all other systems connected to the network.
  4. Once the systems are infected, the ransomware now encrypts all the files on the victim systems using RC4 and RSA-1024 encryption algorithms.
  5. The encrypted files are saved using “.locked” file extension. Some new versions of the BitPaymer ransomware use “.LOCK” as the file extension.
  6. A text file is generated for every encrypted file with extension “readme_txt” to inform the victim of encryption and provide details to contact the hacker.
  7. The ransomware also deletes the recovery checkpoints from the Windows system.
  8. A personalized ransomware note is also left on the desktop which includes ransom fee and steps that should be taken for data recovery.

What Makes BitPaymer Ransomware Unique?

BitPaymer Ransomware differs from other ransomware in many ways:

  1. The ransomware is very well-coded as compared to majority of ransomware that use Ransomware-As-A-Service codes.
  2. The hackers manually attack the Active Directory running on the network & also spend time to know the victim thoroughly.
  3. In some strains of the ransomware, the hackers build custom binary for every victim and even use the victim organization’s name in encrypted file extension.
  4. The ransomware makes extensive efforts to stay concealed in the target system.

How To Stay Protected Against BitPaymer Ransomware?

  1. Educate employees by conducting cyber security workshops to make them capable of spotting phishing attacks.
  2. Ensure regular data backup at multiple locations.
  3. Thoroughly review all RDP connections & secure them.
  4. Make sure to download & install the latest security updates on all servers & systems.

To know more about cyber security solutions for businesses, contact Centex Technologies. You can contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 – 4740, Dallas (972) 375 – 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 – 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454.

Ways To Include Cyber Security In Your Business Plan

The Business Continuity Plan, or BCP, focuses on the mitigation of potential risks and the restoration of operations in the event of a cyber-attack. With the ever-increasing risk of cyber-attacks, BCP is now an integral part of the overall business plan for most organizations.

Here are some ways that can help businesses integrate cyber security in their business plan in an effective & efficient manner:

  1. Involve Cyber Security Teams: Cyber security teams are usually well aware of the areas of concern regarding cyber security. Involving them in the discussion helps in gaining benefits from their insight & ensuring that all major concerns are taken into consideration.
  2. Secure All Systems: Secure the systems that run your business including the Wi-Fi networks, on-premise computers, remote devices, and all the endpoints connected to the network.
  3. Implement Basic Controls: Cyber Security & Business Plan Management teams should work in alliance to formulate & implement basic controls. Some examples of basic controls include remote working policies, remote device management policies, VPN management, mobile device management, etc. A thorough layout of policies, investments, roles, & responsibilities should be chalked out to define individual roles in case of crisis management.
  4. Ensure Data Backup: Lost data can cause serious business disruptions which can cause huge financial losses to the business. An amalgamation of cyber security & business continuity plan can help in combating business disruption caused by loss of data due to a data breach. Implementing regular data backup as a part of disaster recovery strategy is a logical action that helps in restoring access to data.
  5. Emergency Access Management: In times of crisis or recovery management, it sometimes becomes essential to grant access to third parties. However, appropriate policies should be laid down to make sure that level of access is limited to required systems or networks only.
  6. Prioritize Communication: Timely detection & remediation is key to preventing or fighting against cyber-attacks. So, promote multiple communication channels and make your employees understand the importance of communicating any irregularities or signs of breach to the designated team.
  7. Deploy Firewalls: A firewall is essential to secure network and systems from outside threats. However, as businesses now have both on-premises and remote systems or devices, it has become essential to deploy multiple firewalls – centralized firewall & program firewall. A centralized firewall protects the hardware while a program firewall helps in ensuring the security of individual devices.
  8. Automate Critical Processes: It is important to ensure business continuity even if the business faces a crisis such as cyber-attack. Also, it helps in ensuring the smooth working of critical business operations to minimize the impact of the crisis. This can be done by automating critical operations to make sure they keep running without any manual intervention even during a crisis.
  9. Formulate a Disaster Recovery Plan: Make sure that disaster recovery is a part of your business plan. A disaster recovery plan lays out thorough steps for threat recognition, response, & remediation for minimizing the impact of an attack.

Consult Centex Technologies for enterprise cyber security solutions. Contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 – 4740, Dallas (972) 375 – 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 – 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454.

Importance of Software Updates for Cyber Security

A software patch or update is a program that a developer provides to either add functionality to the application or to correct any malfunctions, or potentially exploitable vulnerabilities discovered in the application. However, software updates are only effective if platform users participate in the upgrades. Users may still be at risk from potentially exploitable vulnerabilities if they have not upgraded their systems.

Why do people often either forget or ignore updating software?

The majority of people avoid updating their software for a variety of reasons, the most common being believing that their system does not require it since it is functioning well. Such users simply disregard update alerts or postpone them. However, by doing so, users fail to realize that they are significantly increasing the security risks for their devices. Users run a larger risk of experiencing a breach or attack the longer they wait to upgrade a system, app, software, platform, or device. Professionals have advised that software upgrades are important to protect the users’ devices from cyberattacks. Hence, users must update and upgrade when possible.

Why software updates are important?

  1. To avoid ransomware attacks and system compromises – Cybersecurity experts advise keeping all the endpoint devices always updated. An outdated application or a program on any device might be a lucrative way for a cybercriminal to access a user’s work files, emails, contacts, and sensitive financial information. This information can wind up being sold on the dark web, making it possible for other fraudsters to target the user in the future. Additionally, users can experience a ransomware attack that locks or encrypts all the data and demands money in return for decrypting the data. In many circumstances, users might never be able to retrieve their data from this catastrophe.
  2. To ensure the critical data, systems, and networks are secure – Attackers can target a system’s vulnerability to get access to other devices on a network. This usually occurs if a user uses the same login information across several other platforms. Malware is known to spread swiftly to other computers on the network once it has entered a device in the network. This makes it possible for a single unpatched device or a negligent user to destroy a whole network of systems.
  3. To install the latest version of the software – Software developers anticipate exploiting resolution mechanisms as they must always be on the lookout for vulnerabilities. When updates fail to get installed, there is an imminent danger that malware might infiltrate the system and steal data or take control of the system. Files might be encrypted, and the attacker could demand payment to decode the information. Although there are several reasons for software updates, the most important one is to patch existing security loopholes.
  4. To install add-ons and plugins that are compatible with the latest build of software – Software upgrades often install new functionality in the existing installed version while facilitating fixing the errors existing in the current version of the same software. Users fail to utilize these advancements when they decide not to install the most recent updates. Also, the productivity of the user might get impacted by using old software versions that might not support other applications that provide new functionalities.

Along with a host of other advantages, updating all of the deployed hardware, software, and other systems also guarantees that the security posture is working as expected. Updates can fix security flaws, get rid of glitches, and take away obsolete functionality. Software updates greatly reduce the chances of a cybercriminal infiltrating the network and stealing the data. Additionally, users are advised to update the software solutions to ensure the associated hardware is operating as effectively as possible.

Contact Centex Technologies to know how to safeguard your business’s computer network. You may reach Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 – 4740, Dallas (972) 375 – 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 – 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454.

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