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password

Hackers Spark Revival of Sticky Keys Attacks

Hackers are constantly trying to find new ways to bypass cyber-security efforts, sometimes turning to older, almost forgotten methods to gain access to valuable data. Researchers at PandaLabs, Panda Security’s anti-malware research facility, recently detected a targeted attack which did not use malware, but rather used scripts and other tools associated with the operating system itself in order to bypass scanners.
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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.

pattern_unlock

New Android Ransomware Changes Lock Screen PIN

Dubbed Android/Lockerpin.A, the new trojan app tricks users into granting it device administrator privileges. To achieve this it mimics a patch installation window on top of an activation notice. When victims click on the continue button, they actually grant the malicious app rights that allow it to make changes to the Android settings. Lockerpin the sets or resets the PIN that unlocks the screen lock, effectively requiring users to perform a factory reset to regain control over the device. By contrast, earlier forms of Android ransomware generally were thwarted, usually by deactivating administrator privileges and then uninstalling the app after the infected device is booted into safe mode.

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Ransomware

Human Resource Departments a Target for Ransomware

Physically presenting your CV for a prospective job offer is fast becoming obsolete. The digital world has simplified correspondence between people by electronic or digital means. Applicants are able to send their CV’s to companies via email attachments.

In recent attacks cyber-criminals send malicious data disguised as CV’s, upon opening the attachment, the malware installs itself on the victim’s computer. It then encrypts the data on the PC/Network and requests a ransom in-turn for the decryption code. This type of attack is known as ransomware.

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oil-tanker

Panda Security Uncovers Ongoing Attack Against Oil Tankers

Panda Security has released “Operation Oil Tanker: The Phantom Menace”, a groundbreaking report that details a malicious and largely unknown targeted attack on oil tankers.

First discovered by Panda Security in January 2014, the ongoing attack on oil cargos began in August 2013, and is designed to steal information and credentials for defrauding oil brokers.Despite having been comprised by this cyber-attack, which Panda has dubbed “The Phantom Menace”, none of the dozens of affected companies have been willing to report the invasion and risk global attention for vulnerabilities in their IT security networks.

“The Phantom Menace” is one of the most unique attacks that PandaLabs has ever discovered. No antivirus engine was able to detect it when first triggered, primarily because the attackers used legitimate tools in conjunction with a number of self-made scripts to bypass any warnings that traditional AV software would detect. It was only discovered when a secretary opened a nonspecific attachment to an email – a type of file that Panda Security would later identify among ten different companies in the oil and gas maritime transportation sector.

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Police-Virus

Cyber Police Virus Strikes Again

The Cyber Police Virus is malware that attacks Android devices. Designed by cyber criminals who focus primarily on phone markets to collect money from unwary users, using counterfeit fines and violations.  The virus locks users’ phones and displays a fake fine on the screen, demanding a fee be paid. Although this virus does not encrypt data, as with ransomware for PC’s, the message remains on the screen and the virus is somewhat difficult to remove.  This Trojan is targeting users from 31 different countries around the world; 23 of which are European countries and is one of many new malware samples attacking Android devices. This is just more evidence that mobile devices are no longer considered “safe” and that users can start looking at protection for all their devices.

 

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