“How Clean Is Your PC?”

  • 0

“How Clean Is Your PC?”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

When it comes to your PC’s Cyber security do you do everything possible to prevent Cyber-attacks and data breaches? Do you use strong passwords? Do you know what constitutes a strong password? Do you avoid any suspicious emails that could lead you into a phishing attack? Do you use two-factor authentication on the accounts that allows you to do so? Have you ever wondered if that is enough? If that is really all it takes to secure your digital information?

 

When you hear the phrase “spring cleaning” you automatically think of cleaning your home. Doing the dishes, sorting cloths, and scrubbing every inch of your home. But, “Spring cleaning” can also refer to cleaning up and separating your digital junk from your valued digital information.

 

If you think that you do not have digital junk, you do. Whether it is old and forgotten email accounts, forgotten thumb-drives, or years’ worth of information in the download folder, everyone has digital junk

 

All unwanted and forgotten files are considered liabilities, a danger to you and your valuable digital information. In the event your digital devices are hacked, stolen, and/or lost, holding onto accounts and files you do not want and/or need opens you up to all kinds of risks. So, cleaning your digital devices is important when securing them.

 

So, where do you start your digital “spring cleaning”?

  1. Address your physical devices. Devices should be cleaned, destroyed, and disposed of properly. Only after you go through all the data and back-up what you want to keep.
  2. Go through your desktop and all your documents. It is important to go through and get rid of any old documents containing personal information, such as: medical and banking information.
  3. Delete any emails you don’t need or want. With your email being the data center of your online life, secure the emails you want to keep and delete the ones that you do not want.
  4. Cancel any account you no longer use. Before deleting any software, clean out and close the account. By doing so, this makes sure the company retains the smallest amount of information as possible about you. It also prevents any more information about you from being collected.
  5. Cancel any email account you no longer use.

 

If you have any questions about Data Security, Cyber Attacks, Cyber Security, or Computer Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


  • 0

“Every Post You Make, Every Status Update, I Will Be Watching You”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Do you ever feel like someone is watching you? Even when you are just sitting behind your computer? Feeling like someone is taking account of every keystroke that you make and every website you visit? This is the type of feeling that sends shivers down your spine. You don’t know who, or what, is giving you that feeling. This is a feeling that cannot be remedied. Whenever you go online, whenever you sit behind your computer you feel like there are eyes on you.

Cyber stalking is when you are being constantly frightened and/or harassed by someone through electronic means, such as the internet. Some of the forms that Cyber stalking take on, including:

  • Harassing a victim.
  • Embarrassing and/or humiliation of a victim.
  • Gaining financial control over a victim. Usually, by destroying their credit or by draining their bank accounts.
  • Harassing friends and family members of the victim.
  • Frightening a victim, using scare tactics and threats.

 

Within the United States of America, there are 14 out of 50 states that have laws against cyber stalking and cyber harassment. Under the “American Anti-Stalking, Slander & Harassment Law”, Cyber stalking is considered a criminal offense. The results of being convicted include:

  • A restraining order
  • Probation
  • Criminal Penalties (including prison time)

 

If convicted, the sentences range from a fourth-degree charge to a second-degree charge. A fourth-degree charge means 18 months in prison with a fine of $10,000. A second-degree charge means 10 years in prison with a $150,000 fine.

 

So, how do you protect yourself, your family, and/or your PC from Cyber stalkers?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Maintain caution over the physical access to your computer, and any other web-enabled device, including your cellphone.
  2. Make sure you ALWAYS log out of computer programs when you leave the computer. Also, remember to lock your computer when stepping away.
  3. When it comes to online calendars or itineraries, delete them or make them private.
  4. Use privacy settings on any, and all online accounts.
  5. Use trusted and updated security software to stop spyware from getting onto your computer through an infected web page or phishing attack.
  6. If you do suspect that someone is using spyware to track your day-to-day activities, seek help.

 

If you have any questions about Cyber stalking, Spyware, Computer Forensics or Cyber Security contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


  • 15

“Hacker Alert: Employees Beware”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Is your company open to cyber attacks? Do your employees take cyber security seriously? How can you get your employees to take cyber security more seriously? Did you know that many security breaches are caused from employee’s careless decisions and their lax attitude?

 

Cyber criminals gain the trust of the employees working for the targeted businesses by using social engineering tactics, but there are also other tactics that can be used.

 

One of the tactics that cyber criminals have been using is referred to as the “Business Email Compromise”. This is when cyber criminals target the employees that have access to the company’s finances. Some examples of cyber scams include:

  • Bogus Invoicing Scams. When a compromised employee’s account is requesting a payment information change.
  • CEO Fraud Scams. When the cyber criminal is pretending to be a CEO requesting an emergency payment.
  • A Compromised Employee’s account scam. The compromised account can send out a false invoice to vendors.
  • An Attorney’s Email Identity Scams. This email’s identity could be used to pressure immediate payments.

 

For the company’s safety, it is important for employees to be cautions and take cyber security seriously. Altering an employee’s behavior may seem like a challenging task. There are conditions that can be created to help reduce cyber threats, even if the threats cannot be eliminated altogether.

 

How can these conditions be created?

These conditions can be created by educating employees. It is important to remember, when educating employees, to make your message stick in their mind. To do this it is important to remember:

  • Do not use scare tactics. Treat cyber security awareness as a marketing campaign, with the purpose of persuasion.
  • Use videos and infographics.
  • Do not send out long memos, they will get ignored. It is important to keep it fun & short.

 

As important as it is to educate your employees on cyber security, it is also important to make your employees part of the cyber security process. For your companies cyber security to be beneficial it is important that your employees are trained properly first.

 

How does training employees in cyber security benefit your company?

Training employees in cyber security gives them the skills and knowledge to act as a firewall, giving your company a first line of defense.

 

Here a few steps that can help boost your companies cyber security.

  1. Make Cyber security a cornerstone in your business, and make it part of every employee’s job. By doing so, this will make your employees invested in the outcome of your companies cyber security.
  2. Create a secure log in process by: (1) Getting rid of any stick notes with usernames and passwords written on them. (2) Creating a two-factor authentication. (3) Re-set passwords monthly.
  3. Stay ahead of the everchanging security threats. Update your software & security patches frequently.
  4. Have an “onboard process” and “offboard process”. Having an “onboard process” means all new employees should be introduced to the companies cyber security policy from the start. Having an “offboard process” ensures that you can ID ex-employees that might be disgruntled and if they pose a malicious threat to your company’s data security.
  5. Make sure your company has a recovery plan & backups in place. Having daily backups offsite can help your company recovery quickly from cyber attacks. Having a recovery plan in place allows you to know the proper steps to take in the event of a cyber attack

 

* * Remember: Cyber Security is everyone’s responsibility * *

 

If you have any questions about Cyber Security Training, Cyber Security, and Computer Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954)727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


  • 13

“Printers Beware”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Did you know that 54% of employee’s say that they do not always follow the security policies put into place by their company’s Information Technology departments? * Did you know that about 51% of employees who have a printer, copier, or a multi functioning printer (MFP) at their work place say that they have copied, printed, and/or scanned confidential documents at work before? *

 

With cyber threats on the rise, it is not a shock that even printers are not safe from cyber attacks and data breaches. If a printer is connected to a wireless network and is unsecure, then it is open to hacking. Once compromised, other devices connected to the same network are left vulnerable.

 

How can a hacker gain access to a network using an unsecure printer?

 

One way a hacker can gain access to your unsecured printer is if the firmware is out-of-date. This allows the system to accept malicious lines of code. The hacker can then use the code to gain access to:

  • Print Jobs.
  • The user’s computer.

 

Another way a hacker can gain access to your unsecured printer is using a drone. Along with a drone the hacker would need a mobile phone and two applications. The two applications would do the following:

  • The first application identifies all wireless printers
  • The second application deploys malware into the printers.

 

So how does this type of drone attack occur?

 

Firstly, the hacker would fly a drone using a smart phone into position outside of an office building. Once into position, the hacker activates the two applications. Once the first application scans for open Wi-Fi printers, the second application establishes a fake access point (one that mimics the real device). Once established, the fake access point is then able to intercept documents that have been sent to the real device. With network access gained, the hacker can then in-bed malware into the company’s network.

 

When malware is installed within the network, hackers can gain access to your servers and documents by:

  • Accessing sensitive and/or confidential information.
  • Changing the printer’s settings or LCD readout.
  • Launching DoS attacks (Denial-of-service attacks).
  • Using the printer to receive and transmit faxes.
  • To send unauthorized print jobs.
  • Retrieving saved copies of documents.
  • Eavesdropping on network printer traffic.

 

To take preventative measures against attacks on your printers Some typical prevention procedures include, but are not imited to:

  • Educating Employees on the importance of security
  • Defining what constitutes a secure password
  • User identification (with PINs and other verification) for printer usage.
  • Data encryption protocols (to prevent interception of data across the network).

 

If you any questions relating to Firmware, Network Security, Printer Security, Cyber Security or Computer Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.

 

 

*(The statistics represented in this blast were identified from: Network, C. (2013, February 07). The Hidden IT Security Threat: Multifunction Printers. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2013/02/07/the-hidden-it-security-threat-multifunction-printers/#b615affb615a )*


  • 0

“Beware of the Facebook Notification Virus”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

You are on your Facebook account, answering messages, liking posts, watching videos, and commenting on your friend’s photos. Suddenly, you receive a message from your friend Sam. The message contains a link to a funny cat video in which a cat in a hat is dancing with a maraca in its mouth. The message below the video says “Hilarious video. You NEED to check it out!”. Without giving it a second thought you click on the link to view the video. But, instead of viewing the video you get redirected to a site that you don’t recognize or trust. Naturally, you exit out of the browser thinking that maybe Sam has attached the wrong URL. But, it is too late. Your device has already been infected.

 

Security experts have identified a form of adware that targets social media users tricking them into infecting their own devices. It is known as the “Facebook Notification Virus”. This virus displays messages saying that they are from Facebook. The “Facebook Notification Virus” creates many different forms of messages, including:

  • Friend Requests
  • Chat Messages

 

Some of the notifications that the user received are real copies of notifications that users would see on the real social media site (making the fake notifications seem legit). While other notifications are presenting new features. The purpose of this adware is to redirect users to specific websites, most likely malicious websites, so that the user’s device becomes infected with malicious software. This virus does not just lead users to malicious websites, it also:

  • Monitors User Activity
  • Collects User Information
  • Records Browsing History
  • Tracks Cookies
  • Tracks Keystrokes
  • Tracks IP Addresses
  • Tracks Geographic Location
  • Tracks Zip Codes
  • Tracks Demographic Profiles
  • Tracks Emails
  • Tracks Telephone Numbers
  • Tracks Usernames
  • Tracks Passwords

 

After all this information is collected, the collector, hacker, will then attempt to sell your confidential information on Darknet Markets, then falling into the hands of much more malicious cyber criminals.

 

So, how does this virus spread?

 

The “Facebook Notification Virus” can be spread a few different ways, including:

  • Freeware
  • Shareware
  • Pirated copies of paid utilities.

 

Another way that it can spread is through spam emails. The sender of the spam emails wants you to open the so that his or her tool can get inside your system and infect it.

 

To protect your data and system from the “Facebook Notification Virus”, if you receive any suspicious messages from “Facebook”, you should:

  • Check your system, because you may have been infected.
  • Be careful of the software that you allow in your machine.
  • Verify the email addresses of the “companies” that have messaged you (visit the contact page on the official website of the “company” to verify the email address).

 

If you have any questions relating to the “Facebook Notification Virus”, cyber security, or computer forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954)727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.