InternetSafety

International Safer Internet Day

Today we celebrate Safer Internet Day, an initiative launched to promote safe internet usage, particularly among children and teens. To play our part we have compiled a list of few simple tips to help kids stay safe when using the internet

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PandaLabsReportBlog

Highlights from the Panda Labs Report 2015

Last week Panda Security International released the Panda Labs Report 2015, among the key findings is that over 25% of all malware ever produced was created in 2015, a worrying statistic that is likely indicative of things to come in 2016.

Here is a roundup of the Panda Labs Report.

  1. New malware samples increased by over 10% in 2015.
  2. Panda Labs detected and neutralised more than 84 million new malware samples, indicative of over 230,000 new malware samples created daily, and a total of 304 million samples seen in 2015.

  3. Trojans, PUPs and Ransomware most destructive malware.
  4. Trojans accounted for 60.3% of infections followed by PUPs at 28.98%, of these infections Ransomware was seen to be the most common form of attack.
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  5. China remains the top most targeted country in the world, with Nordic countries registering as the least targeted.

In light of the findings the Report highlights the following likely trends for 2016.

  • Use of Exploit kits
  • Increases in Malware
  • Direct attacks
  • Malware for Android
  • Mobile payment platforms
  • Internet of Things
  • Attacks on Critical Infrastructure
  • Need for Threat Intelligence for business

For more detail the full report can be found here

The Apple logo hangs inside the glass entrance to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York City,

Apple’s OS X Gatekeeper – Marketing or Reality

For decades now people have believed their Apple devices to be safe from hacker intrusion, they were seemingly unbreakable, but in late 2015 uncertainty set in when a security expert revealed that he had found a way to bypass Apple’s security. The same expert is now suggesting that not much has changed since then with regards to Apple’s security.

The original hole was discovered by using binary code of applications that had already been verified by Apple’s developers to pass through Gatekeeper. Because Gatekeeper was developed to ensure that all applications a user downloads are checked against the application’s Developer ID, if that ID is present that application will be allowed to run. Experts have proved that this is where the problem lies as malware can easily be hidden within Apple-trusted files and then activated once the application has been installed.

Shortly after these gaps in Apple’s security features were exposed Apple released patches to prevent further breaches. However according to experts in the field it appears that the same vulnerabilities remain and can be just as easily exploited today, in the same fashion, as they were back in September. The reason being is Apple has merely blocked the files that were reported but has not made changes to Gatekeeper’s verification process. The belief is that hackers would simply need to find a new trusted file that has not been blocked by the update, this trusted file can then be abused and used to bypass Gatekeeper. Once on the other side the trusted file will execute the malicious files and then begin to install malicious programs not trusted by Apple.

The experts suggest that in order for Gatekeeper to be secure it must be triggered anytime a new process is started, requiring each process to be signed off by an Apple-trusted developer.

Apple has yet to implement such changes. With OSX’s increasing popularity making it more and more of a target for malware creators it may just be time for Apple users to consider further protection of their devices and personal data.

Mac-Viruses

Cyber Attacks are a real threat for South Africans

For as long as there have been computers there have been hackers trying to get into them, and government departments and large organisations were most often the victims.

These days, however, hacker intrusions are a growing concern for us all, from government departments and large corporations to smaller businesses and individuals. South African’s often consider themselves immune to these kinds of threats but in reality they too should be concerned. An increasing number of South Africans and South African businesses have been targeted over the past couple of years and have lost large sums of money in the process.

The most recent tool hackers are using to get into your system is Ransomware, named because hackers use malware to get into the users system, get hold of their data and block them from accessing it. Hackers then demand a ransom be paid to them for the safe return of the user’s data. Malware is downloaded onto your system in a number of ways, such as from an unsecured website download or the download of an email attachment. Hackers will use current trends to entice users into downloading malware, such as the popular new Star Wars film. Once the malware has been downloaded it will being encrypting the data so that when the user tries to gain access they will be blocked and a message from the hacker will appear on screen. Many times, particularly in the case of organisations or influential individuals hackers threaten to expose confidential information.

South African’s need to be aware of and take these threats more seriously, according to research done by Rick Couch & Associates, 70% of South Africans have fallen victim to cybercrime, as well as 47% of South African smartphone users. These statistics are concerning, particularly as cyber criminals are constantly working to find the most profitable opportunities. It is not enough to just have a standard AV solution installed on your system, users need take more aggressive action to prevent Ransomware attacks.

It is important to realise that it is not only large organisations that are being targeted, individuals have also been targeted in their personal capacity. Studies show that many individuals use Gmail for their personal affairs, often revealing personal details in mail to friends and family. What’s concerning is that people often make their Gmail passwords something easy to remember and consider it unnecessary to make the password highly secure. This is a dangerous misconception, as it makes hacking into such email accounts incredibly easy for cybercriminals, once in they will then be able to intercept conversations and entice users to reveal addresses, passwords, banking details and other personal information.

South African’s need to take these threats seriously and become more proactive in protecting themselves against cyber attacks.

Drones

How a drone can hack into your home network just by flying over it

Drones can be used to record incredible scenes for movies, follow thieves from above, save lives or carry out home deliveries at lightning speed. Unfortunately, this also opens doors for people to misuse them for malicious gain.

Researchers in Singapore have demonstrated how attackers using a drone with a mobile phone could easily intercept documents sent to a seemingly inaccessible Wi-Fi printer. The method they devised is actually intended to help organisations determine if they have vulnerable open Wi-Fi devices that can be accessed from the sky. But the same technique could also be used by  spies for corporate espionage.

To demonstrate that this threat is real and exists, the investigators paired a drone with a smartphone and developed two apps that were designed to intercept the communications of a printer from the outside.

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Panda-for-Mac

Panda Antivirus for Mac – Compatible with El Capitan

September 30th saw the launch of El Capitan, Apple’s new operating system for their Mac range. The good news is, Panda Antivirus for Mac is compatible with El Capitan!

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Advantages of Panda Antivirus for Mac

  • Blocks both malware for Mac OS X and malware for Windows.
  • It scans both files and emails.
  • It quarantines infected files.
  • It offers two kinds of scans: a real-time scan that continuously analyses Mac files, and another that performs monthly, on-demand scans.
  • You can even scan iPhones, iPads and iPod touch for malware.

Remember that Apple and its devices aren’t invincible. To avoid any unpleasant surprises such as XcodeGhost, you should consistantly update the operating system, download apps from the official store and use security software.

Learn more about about Panda Antivirus for Mac.