“How Clean Is Your PC?”

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“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.


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“Don’t Let Your Independence Be Hacked”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

From everyone here at FDS Global we would like to wish you a Safe and Happy Fourth of July! As we celebrate this national holiday, Cyber Threats are continuing to get more advance.

 

The recent outbreak of the ransomware known as “Expetre” is not really a ransomware attack. It is really a form of malware known as a “Wiper Attack”, which can disguise itself so its victims are unaware of how serious it is.

 

A “Wiper attack” is a type of attack that sabotages PC computers. It is different from ransomware because it was created to destroy the data that is located on the computers disk.  While ransomware is a form of malware that blocks data, and threatens to delete or publish the data unless the user pays the ransom.

How does a “Wiper Attack” destroy data?

It destroys the data on the disk by overwriting the Master Boot Record, also know as the MBR. This form of malware is called a “Wiper” because it wipes part, if not all, of the drive.

 

It can be mistaken as a ransomware because the infected computer displays a message on the screen. This message states that the user’s files have been encrypted, and if the users pay a ransom then the encrypted files will be decrypted and returned. The user is then provided with an email address to send their payment information to.

 

But, little does the user know the ransom will have no affect when it comes to decrypting their files.

 

Why will the ransom have no affect?

The ransom will not have any affect because the email address provided to the user is inactive. Unfortunately, even if the email was active and the ransom could be paid in full, recovery of the MBR is impossible once wiped.

 

So, how are you supposed to protect yourself and/or your organization from this type of malware attack?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Any crucial and confidential information should be stored in hardened systems. Systems that can only be accessed one way, through privileged connections.
  2. Important data should be backed-up and stored somewhere offsite.
  3. It is important to institute and test an emergency recovery & response plan.

 

If you have any questions about Ransomware, Malware, 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. Enjoy your holiday!


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“They key to you Cyber Castle”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

How many of you have a Windows home and/or work computer? How many of you store important or confidential documents and information on those computers? Are you ever worried that a hacker may get their hands on that information?

 

Did you know that a security companion for Windows 10 and Windows Hello Users exists? This new security companion can provide a two-factor authentication for a device and/or PC, it is an encryption key.

 

A encryption key is a small USB like device that you can carry around with you allowing you to be able to add two-factor authentication to various services and applications on your PC.

 

If you have installed the  encryption key on your PC and then someone unauthorized tries to gain access to your information they would not only need to know your password, but they would also need to physically have your encryption key USB to gain access.

 

When using the encryption key USB there is more to using the device than just plugging it into your computer and typing in your password. You also need to insert the USB device, give it a second, and then press on the “touch-to-sign” metal area on the USB, as well as typing in your password.

 

One specific encryption key USB is created by Yubico. It is called the Yubikey. Yubico has recently released an app in the Microsoft store that allows you to link your Yubikey up with your PC as a Security companion. Some other services that work with Yubikey, as well as Windows 10 and Windows Hello, are:

  • Google
  • DashLane
  • KeePass
  • DropBox
  • Evernote
  • WordPress
  • Github
  • As wells as other things like disk encryption

 

Ranging from $40 (for the regular version) to $50 (for the USB & NFC Version), the three main types of Yubikey that are on sale now are:

  1. Yubikey 4 (USB)– http://amzn.to/2i9B0Iw
  2. Yubikey 4 Nano (USB)– http://amzn.to/2icnFu0
  3. Yubikey NEO (USB & NFC)– http://amzn.to/2jzlHcj

 

Even though a Yubikey does not have the bio-authentication ability that is so demanded by consumers, it does allow you to unlock and log into your PC/Device by just inserting a physical device into the system.

 

If you have any questions about the Security of you PC and/or devices, or if you have become a victim to Cyber Crime feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global or give our office a call at (954)727-1957.