Tag Archive: hacking

lockyRansomware has been an enormous security problem in today’s digital age. The damage can spread to epic proportions for organizations which assets (e.g. user personal and financial data) rely on the web.

Earlier this month, the system of the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical was infected by ransomware that demanded a ransom totaling to a whopping US$3.6 million (*in bitcoin 9,000).

What is ransomware?

It’s kidnapping of data, wherein a hacker locks a user out of his own system by encrypting data before asking for a payment in the form of bitcoin before he can recover the files using the decryption key.

Joining the club is Locky, another flavor introduced by hackers, who are allegedly associated with one of the people behind Dridex, a notorious banking ransomware.

Both have the same modus of operation, that’s why.

Locky’s hackers send an email containing a Microsoft Word attachment, which disguises as an invoice that requires macro functions.

[Microsoft disabled macros by default for security reasons, which is why you will normally see a warning message if an attachment has macros.]

Now if you’d enable it, macro will run to download Locky using Bartallex, which Dridex also uses in its operations.

So if your system becomes infected, you will not be able to recover your files if you do not have a regular backup or if your data has been infected by the malware.

According to the Palo Alto Networks, they have detected 400,000 sessions in which half of the targets were from the US, while the rest were from Canada and Australia.

[Locky uses its command-and-control infrastructure for performing a memory exchange before file encryption. All encrypted files come with “.locky” extension.

Kevin Beaumont from “Medium” wrote guidance on ways to find out who among the staff in your organization has been infected. He also suggested locking of the infected user’s account as well as shutting down of its network access. Most importantly, you should be rebuilding his computer from scratch.

Source: PC World

Is Your PC Under Hacking Threat?

Is Your PC Under A Hacking Threat?

Having your PC connected to the internet can pose a major problem if you are not going to get your computer system protected. Through the years, different means of compromising users were developed by hackers, so if you have an unprotected internet access, you can be hassled by ’terrorizing’ hacking acts.

Identity theft—a common form of hacking.

The theft of propriety information would be costly for us.

What happens is that a hacker, once he gets into your system, can have all the necessary information to pretend as you.

For one, activities such as internet banking, shopping, and other transactions can be completed as long as the hacker has his needed data to complete the transaction.

Credit card frauds are very common and that owners can do very little or nothing about it.

When you get hacked, there are a number of consequences that you will have to face such as:

  1. Your personal information, such as name, contact details, pictures, and even your connections, can be used to perform illegal and indecent acts. The authorities will have to hunt you down instead of the real perpetrator just because your identity was used to do the crime.
  2. Your email address can be spammed or be used to spam other accounts. This will become a problem once your account becomes blacklisted or be shut down by the email provider especially when the email address is the one that you officially use for either personal or business transactions.
  3. Your passwords for internet banking, web services, subscriptions, etc. can be used for the personal gain of the hacker.
  4. You and your family’s security, especially your children, is very much compromised.

So as not to put yourself into a compromising hacking situation, you should be able to identify signs that will tell you that your computer is in trouble.

Common signs that your computer has been hacked and that you can notice almost immediately are:

  • Programs take a lot of time to load than they used to do before. For one, the simple tasks like creating new folders could also take longer than usual.
  • Web pages, even those that are relatively light takes forever to load.
  • You have emails in your sent items folder that you never sent in the first place. You could also receive messages in your inbox asking why you are forwarding spam messages.
  • Frequent advertisement pop-ups that slows down your system.
  • Your anti-virus program is turned off even if you did not recently configure the settings.
  • Changes in any of the personalized settings in your desktop. Your wallpaper may be changed, some mysterious icons show up, or new software was installed.
  • Decreased disk space both in your computer and in your bandwidth allowances.
  • New users are showing up in your system.
  • Your web pages are defaced plastered with a message that your website is hacked.
  • There are inexplicable processes running.
  • High network usage even if you are almost not doing anything.
  • Your computer shuts down or some processes crash when you try to open them.
  • There are suspicious log files that look tampered or were wiped out suddenly
  • High CPU usage.
  • The computer seems to strain and sound strange even if you put it on standby mode.

What to Do Now?

Once you have noticed these signs and have established indeed you’re hacked, the first thing that you need to do is to stop his access immediately.

  • All network interfaces should be temporarily turned off so that the hacker cannot remotely access your system.
  • You have to switch into a single- user mode and disable all other processes that you are not using.
  • It is also during this time that you will have to inform the proper authorities that your system was breached.
  • You have make sure that you inform your credit card company so that transactions that will be made using the hacked account will not be honored and an immediate damage control for the theft can be addressed promptly when you suspect of an identity theft,
  • You must also change your old passwords or cancel and create new accounts for your email, social media, and other subscriptions. It is better to start anew rather than depend on the thought that you have eliminated the hacker from your system.

After these initial countermeasures, it is suggested that you further protect your system against hackers by installing dependable anti-virus software that could act not only to protect you against viruses and malwares but also to serve as a strong protection against individuals that are trying to hack into your computer.

Bit Defender is a powerful security tool that you can gift yourself this New Year. It is the best security that you can give yourself against terrorizing hacking activities. You can choose from the different arrays of protection that the software can give you.

Powerful Features of the Bit Defender Security Systems

  1. Antivirus
  2. Antitheft
  3. Anti-spam
  4. ID theft protection
  5. Parental Control
  6. Firewall
  7. Safe Banking
  8. Social Network Protection

All of these features can provide you with the ultimate protection that you need against different hacking techniques.

When you are dealing with a lot of online transactions like online banking, you need as much security as you can so that hackers will not be able to get any information from your computer.

The Bit Defender Total Security 2013 and the Bit Defender Internet Security 2013 is all that you need to make yourself safe while using internet- based and other network-connected processes.

Do not let hackers snoop any of your internet and computer activities. Make every essential information and files private to yourself. Protect your identity. Act now.

Get Bitdefender today!

Until next time,

Peter