Netizen cybersecurity bulletin 1 august 2018 edition netizen blog and news

Fake websites are no stranger to a threat actor’s toolkit. Feigning legitimacy and earning user’s trust makes it all the more easy to steal sensitive and important information. These sites, in particular, are pushing Adware. Adware is a type of malware that automatically displays advertisements whenever a user is online. This can prove detrimental to computer performance as it puts stress on the central processing unit (CPU) constantly running these ads.

The sites that are being spoofed are Keepass, 7Zip, and Audacity just to name a few. Applications downloaded from any of these sites also downloads InstallCore (the source of the adware). On top of the ads being annoying, the advertisements showing up could be malicious in and of themselves; installing cryptocurrency miners, viruses, trojans, etc.

Being that these are ads, the motive is profit driven. Recommendations:

Threats of ransomware are still prevalent to this day, and continue to command a multi-million dollar black market business for criminals. A prominent ransomware variant called SamSam has been found to have extorted over 233 victims for a total of over $6 million dollars. Researchers have found that the Bitcoin addresses owned by the attackers of this ransomware variant still continue to net around $300,000 per month. The addresses are spread across 130 unique addresses which have received ransom payments from victims.

The SamSam ransomware is known to be spread by specifically selecting targets and infecting the systems manually. The attack is usually carried out by using brute-force attacks or use of stolen credentials gained from the dark web in order to compromise a system through remote desktop. The ransomware is then deployed throughout the network by exploiting vulnerabilities of other systems. This entire process is manual and does not rely on any worm or virus capabilities to spread itself through the network.

The Cloud is as safe as anyone’s hard drive, which means you need to take steps to keep your data safe. Cloud data is stored on large servers, and no matter how much physical security the server room has, it can be defeated instantly if your personal device isn’t secure. Keep your laptops and mobile devices updated to the latest Operating System patches, and only download apps from the approved App Stores (i.e., Google Play, iTunes) to help prevent being infected by malware, which could access your cloud data.

Everyone knows you’re supposed to use strong passwords, and yet every year there are lists of the most popular passwords include ‘123456’, ‘123456789’, ‘qwerty’, ‘letmein’ and even ‘starwars.’ Every online account you have should have a strong, long password made of a combination of symbols, letters, and numbers. Very important: Use a different password for each account.

Using two-factor authentication on every account – particularly your financial accounts – will ensure your data stays secure. This way, even if your password gets into the wrong hands, the hacker can’t get in unless they also have access to your smartphone. By the way – your smartphone has a PIN, too, right? Preferably one that is longer than 4 digits.

Netizen ensures that security gets built-in and not bolted-on. Providing advanced solutions to protect critical IT infrastructure such as the popular “CISO-as-a-Service” wherein companies can leverage the expertise of executive-level cybersecurity professionals without having to bear the cost of employing them full time. We also offer compliance support, vulnerability assessments, penetration testing, and more security-related services for businesses of any size and type.

Additionally, Netizen offers an automated and affordable assessment tool that continuously scans systems, websites, applications, and networks to uncover issues. Vulnerability data is then securely analyzed and presented through an easy-to-interpret dashboard to yield actionable risk and compliance information for audiences ranging from IT professionals to executive managers.