Ransomware is slowing down, but not going away

It’s been a busy month for crooks and security researchers alike. Many new variants of Dharma, Kraken, new scarab, Rektware, New IT.Books, Matrix ransomware and mongodb locker were quite active in this month.

New variant of the Dharma ransomware that appends the .brrr or .cmb extension and drops a ransom note named Info.hta that all your files are encrypted. A new variant of the variant Scarab-DiskDoctor ransomware that uses the .mammon extension for encrypted files.

New HiddenTear variant called IT.Books Ransomware that looks like Jigsaw. Drops a ransom note named READ__IT.txt and extension of .f*cked. IT.Books is a high-risk ransomware designed to infiltrate the system and encrypt most of stored data, thereby making it unusable. The created text file and desktop wallpaper contain similar messages saying that data is encrypted and that victim must pay a ransom in order to restore it. Meanwhile, pop-up window states that files are periodically being deleted and that victims must pay a ransom in order to stop the deletion process.

An attack called Mongo Lock is targeting remotely accessible and unprotected MongoDB databases, encrypting them, and then demanding a ransom in order to get the contents back. Mongo db has provided mitigation steps for developer to review these.

A new version, called Kraken Cryptor 1.5, was recently released that is masquerading as the legitimate SuperAntiSpyware anti-malware program in order to trick users into installing it. A new ransomware called Rektware that appends the .CQScSFy extension also came in action.

Users of any computing device must pay close attention when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing/updating software. Always be sure to carefully analyze all email attachments received. If you think that the file is irrelevant or it has been sent by a suspicious/unrecognizable email address, do not open it. Moreover, be sure to download programs only from official sources, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are likely to include rogue/malicious apps, which is why using is not recommended. Users should also keep installed applications updated. To achieve this, however, users should employ only implemented features or tools provided by the official developer. Having a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running is also paramount. Our recommendation is Max Total Security and we can not emphasize enough Backup , Backup and Backup, use the free Backup / Restore tool provided with the Max Total Security Tools.

Ransomware attack blacks out screens at Bristol Airport

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Bristol Airport has blamed a “speculative” cyber attack for causing flight information screens to fail for two days.

A spokesman said the displays were taken offline early on Friday as a precautionary measure to contain the attack, which has been described as similar to “ransomware”, with holidaymakers having to read departure times off whiteboards scattered around the airport.

The infection appears to have entered the airport systems on Friday morning (UK time), according to the Bristol Airport social network accounts. The airport authorities warned the passengers all over the weekend of the incident and asked them to arrive early and give additional time for the check-in process.

Throughout the weekend, airport officials resorted to the use of paper posters and white boards to announce the check-in and arrival information of flights passing through the airport between Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

In statements to the local press over the weekend, airport officials mentioned that they did not intend to pay for the ransom requested by the attacker and opted to withdraw their systems while specialists in ethical hacking attended the affected computers.

Bristol authorities confirmed that no flight was affected by this incident. Most of the screens are now back online, including in areas such as departures and arrivals

New AI module in Max Secure Security products

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With overwhelming more than 100’s of millions new malware every quarter, every Anti-virus company struggles to fight off these. Trying to analyze so much data by an army of human teams of thousands is also not enough. Malware are more sophisticated and releasing new variant every day. We introduced AI (artificial intelligence) module to help solve this problem and identify new attacks as soon as they appear. It analyzes file characteristics to find potential threats as soon as they come in the wild, better known as “Zero day exploits” , which have been profiled in our anti-virus lab.

We are having great success with AI based machine learning and have been able to identify new traces of malware and quarantine them. Using intelligent algorithms we have good control on false positives, a problem mostly encountered by most anti-virus companies while using such generic technology.

So, as suggested always, do not click on emails you do not recognize, do not download from unknown sources and use a good end point security product such as Max Total Security to protect you from all kinds of malware with unbeatable 24×7 technical support team.

Cybersecurity Predictions for 2018

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As BlackBerry’s Chief Security Officer, below are his predictions for 2018:

1. 2018 will be the worst year to date for cyberattacks

With 2017 being the worst year ever for cyberattacks, it’s tempting to think that we’ve hit rock bottom, but what we’ve seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg.

The fundamental issues that have caused the majority of recent cyberbreaches have not been resolved. IT departments are being tasked to manage increasingly complex networks, support new types of endpoints, and protect more and more sensitive data. Legacy systems are still rampant throughout most industries and cannot be easily upgraded or replaced. These systems often contain publicly known software vulnerabilities which can be exploited to penetrate the corporate network.

At the same time, attackers are getting increasingly sophisticated and have more incentives than ever to mount cyberattacks. From building ransomware or mounting DDoS attacks and demanding bitcoin payments, to working with organized crime and even national governments, malicious hackers have numerous ways to monetize their skills and to protect themselves.

2. Cyberattacks will cause physical harm

Securing the Internet of Things is even more important than securing traditional IT networks for one simple reason: IoT attacks threaten public safety. A hacked computer or mobile device typically cannot cause direct physical harm. While it’s certainly frustrating to have our personal information stolen, it doesn’t compare to the impact of being involved in a car accident or having your infusion pump or pacemaker compromised. IoT security will literally become a matter of life and death, and we cannot simply wait for that to happen.

3. Insurance and cybersecurity products will go hand and hand

Firms not only add more cyber policy holders to their roster, but also seek out two strategic avenues to help manage risk for them and their customers: products and experts.

Just like Progressive’s Snapshot plug-in device which helps the insurer provide personalized rates based on your actual driving, insurance companies will start selling products to help track their client’s security posture. They will even partner with security experts to appropriately evaluate a company’s ability to protect against a cyberattack. Scorecards will be given and companies that perform the best will be rewarded with a lower policy amount.

4. Hackers will target employees as they become a growing cybersecurity vulnerability

IT departments typically focus their spending on preventing external attacks, but the reality is that most data breaches start internally – either by sharing documents through unsecure, consumer applications or clicking on increasingly sophisticated phishing attacks.

While hackers are often depicted as technical geniuses using complex algorithms to break advanced cryptography, the reality is that simpler techniques can be just as effective. Criminal hackers aren’t seeking style points; they’re simply looking to breach the system as efficiently as possible. As our technical defenses continue to improve, employees will become the weakest link, increasingly targeted by attackers as part of their overall strategy.

In my opinion, in 2018 companies need to focus on good end point security products, with good essential technical support from vendor and if you do not have enough resources to keep a check on security then outsource to the security vendor who specilizes in detecting new outbreaks and can manage with advanced approach. Try Max Total Security which can fulfill all f your security concerns.

5 Common Hacking Techniques, you should watch out for

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According to Warren Buffett, cyber-attacks are a bigger problem to man-kind than nuclear attacks.

Depending on the type of hacker that is carrying out these attacks, the reasons behind them are varied. The motives range from personal, political, ethical or financial. By 2021, the costs from cyber-crime damage are expected to be $6 trillion per year and will rake in more profits than the global trade of all illegal drugs combined!
Here are 5 of the most common hacking techniques used to gain access to confidential data.

  • Cookie Theft/Cookie or Session Hijacking

Cookie theft, also known as cookie or session hijacking, is when an unencrypted session data is copied by a third party. It is then used to impersonate the real user to make financial transactions or posting false posts on their behalf.

  • SQL Injection

SQL (Structured Query Language) injection is one of the most common hacking techniques used in 2017. It is a code injection technique that inserts malicious SQL statements into an entry field and is used to attack data-driven applications. To prevent this attack from occurring, the use of prepared statements with parameterized queries is recommended.

  • Man in the Middle (MITM) Attack

A MITM attack is when data transmission between two people is intercepted. This can happen over any form of online communication, such as email, social media, etc. Transmitted data can be modified to trick either party in divulging sensitive information.  Encryption of emails through S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is an optimal way to ensure only the intended recipients can read the emails.

 

  • Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware, which encrypts data on the infected system not allowing access until a ransom amount is paid to the hacker. The motive behind these attacks is almost always financial gain and payment is demanded via virtual currency. These attacks can occur through malicious phishing emails, infected software apps, infected external hard disks or compromised websites. The best way to protect your system from ransomware attacks is to make sure your anti-virus software is up to date.

  • Phishing

Phishing attacks occur when hackers impersonate a legitimate organization to gain access to confidential data such as usernames, passwords, credit card and bank account details, usually through electronic communication. Phishing attacks have evolved into many versions, such as: Deceptive phishing, Spear phishing, Whaling, Business Email Compromise (BEC), Dropbox phishing, etc. Like ransomware, most phishing attacks are also financially motivated.

The Bottomline

Threats to cyber-security are on the rise. With hackers using various innovative techniques to gain access to confidential data, the best way to protect your presence online is to make sure your anti-virus software is up to date.

To protect against online data theft, download Max Total Security today!

 

 

BananaCrypt ransomware

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BananaCrypt Ransomware is yet another ransomware that makes use of AES encryption to lock files and make them inaccessible. It adds .bananaCrypt file extension to stored files on the system and thereby forcing victims to pay $300 for file decryption.

The Bananacrypt ransomware is spread with some flaws in its code; hence, the encryption process is not carried out successfully. This was observed when analysing the sample obtained by malware researchers. The version analyzed have not created any file containing a ransom note, but it has been revealed that the Bananacrypt ransomware should create a notepad file named “readme.”

As soon as all files are encrypted by Banana ransomware, malware delivers a ransom note where cyber criminals give people instructions what they have to do. The full message of the ransom note:

!!!What happened!!!!
Your files have been decrypted using a unique key, generated for this computer
Send 300 USD worth of bitcoin to the address below to obtain your key to decrypt your files
Address: asdffdsaasdf
Dont waste your time looking for a way to decrypt your files. This is only possible using our decrypter

 

Ransomware-type cyber threats can be spread via:

  • malicious ads that can be placed on legit and corrupted sites;
  • fake software updates or downloads;
  • exploit kits that take advantage of the outdated software or operating system.

Do not pay any ransom to these warnings and always remember to use a good Total Security program such as Max Total Security which will take regular daily back up on your hard disk or another computer on network to restore in such times.