" phishing "

Spotlight on Cyber-crime

Ever wanted to know a bit more about cyber-crime and cyber-criminals? PandaLabs, Panda Security’s anti-malware laboratory has recently published an infographic which offers us some useful insights into this criminal activity and presents some interesting facts.

 
Did you know, for example, that more than 31% of computers worldwide are infected with malware?
Predictably, too, the squeaky clean Swiss top the list of countries with the least infections as opposed to South Korea which seems to be experiencing the most infections. Naturally,and NOT coincidentally, the least infected countries are also those that tend to be the most technologically advanced!

 
The android mobile platform remains vulnerable to attack as do social networks which attract criminals intent on stealing personal information. Smug Mac users, too, should lift their heads out of the sand and recognise that they are no longer exempt from attacks. Not too long ago, the Flashback Trojan successfully infiltrated 600 000 Macs.
Fortunately, Panda Security is on hand to help you protect your system. It’s imperative always to have an up-to-date antivirus program in place and to ensure that your operating system and software are always kept up to date.

 
Cyber-crime infographic

Panda Security launches new version of Panda Cloud Internet Protection

–       The new cloud-managed security solution, delivering protection for corporate environments against all types of Internet threats, includes new and powerful features to combat attacks

Panda Security has launched the new version 3.2 of Panda Cloud Internet Protection. The new cloud-managed security solution delivers protection for corporate environments against all types of Internet threats, including botnets, phishing, cross-site scripting and other advanced Web attacks.

The new version of Panda Cloud Internet Protection also delivers powerful access control features allowing companies to filter URLs and restrict access to social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), blogs or webmail, etc. This new solution offers three types of protection against such communities:

–       Prevention of infections from IT threats that spread across these types of platforms

–       Regulation of the use of these communities and corresponding bandwidth consumption

–       Detection and protection against data loss through HTTP/HTTPS (SSL) protocols, preventing sensitive corporate information from being published on Facebook or Twitter.

According to the “First Annual Social Media Risk Index for SMBs (Small to Medium Businesses)”, published by Panda Security, the main concerns for SMBs with respect to social networks include privacy issues and financial loss (74%), malware infections (69%), loss of productivity (60%) and issues related with corporate reputation (50%), followed by network performance problems (29%).

Panda Cloud Protection managed security suite

Panda Cloud Internet Protection is included in the Panda Cloud Protection cloud-managed security suite. This cloud-based solution offers maximum protection, cost reduction and increased productivity. The solution can be deployed in just a few minutes and is managed simply and centrally through Panda’s unique, intuitive cloud-based administration console.

Panda Cloud Internet Protection is sold on its own or as part of the Panda Cloud Protection suite, completing the cloud-based security lineup of Panda Security. The company’s SaaS offer now covers all major infection vectors: workstations and servers are protected with Panda Cloud Office Protection; corporate email with Panda Cloud Email Protection and now Internet protection is delivered by the new solution.

Panda Security’s innovative cloud solutions have received numerous international awards and recognition, including the Wall Street Journal Technological Innovation award.

For more information and free trials, go to http://cloudprotection.pandasecurity.com.

For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/.

Visit our Facebook Page and Follow us on Twitter  @PandaSecurityZA

iTunes Used as Lure to Steal Banking Details

  • Apple’s popular service has become a target for hackers looking for confidential bank data
  • The email is a fake iTunes receipt corresponding to a purchase the user hasn’t made.

According to Panda Security, Apple’s popular iTunes platform has become the target of hackers looking to reach millions of potential victims -who every day enter their credit card details in this device- in order to steal this data and infect them.

Victims of this malware attack receive a cleverly crafted email informing them that they have made an expensive purchase using their iTunes device. The user, who has not made this purchase using the platform, is concerned by the email and rapidly tries to resolve the problem by clicking on a link in the email.

After clicking the link the user is asked to download a PDF reader, which is a fake. Once installed, this program redirects the user to infected Web pages (mostly Russian) containing banker Trojans among other malware which steal the user’s personal details. 

“Phishing is nothing new”, says Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations. “What never ceases to surprise us is that the techniques used to trick victims continue to be so simple, although the design and content is often very well worked. It’s often difficult not to fall in the trap.”

Panda suggests that in order to avoid becoming a victim of this new attack, users should not enter platforms such as iTunes through email notifications. Rather, enter the website from the platform itself. This way, users can also check their account status in real time from the account itself, and thus recognize an attempt at phishing.

This technique has been reported to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, who has started to block some of the Web addresses linked to in the fake email. 

“We advise all users to be wary of any emails of this type, now matter how genuine they might seem”, concludes Matthews.

If you think you may have been affected, Panda advises you scan your computer thoroughly to locate any possible active threats. If you do not have an antivirus installed, you can use the free Panda Cloud Antivirus, available from www.cloudantivirus.com.

For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/.

Follow Panda Security South Africa @PandaSecurityZA

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Facebook hacking analysed – How your identity could be stolen

Global IT vendor Panda Security has received numerous reports from users whose Facebook profile has been hacked and whose identity has therefore been placed at risk. With its millions of users, the world’s most popular social network has become a perfect target for hackers exploiting a dense concentration of potential victims.

Apart from phishing attacks or spam, which are now easily recognized by many Internet users, hackers are employing new methods, which for the moment at least, are proving to be successful. Here is an analysis of the technique which has been most frequently used over recent months:

Step 1: The bait

The bait normally comes from the profile of a friend whose account has already been hacked. Users typically receive a message (which appears to be genuine) suggesting the recipient clicks a link for one reason or another. In most cases, the message offers a “spectacular video” or claims “you appear in this clip”, and normally includes the user name of the recipient.

Step 2: Phishing attempt

Having attracted the attention of the user, cyber-crooks now need to get the user name and password of the intended victim to launch the second phase of the attack. The page that the link points to is a perfect replica of the Facebook login page, but is hosted on another Web address:

Step 3: Gaining complete access

Now the user has clicked the link and entered their login credentials, they have to grant the malicious application, which is running the attack, complete access to their personal information, as well as the rights to post information through their profile. This ensures that the attack can be spread further through friends and contacts of the victim.

After gaining the permission, the attack continues, targeting the victim’s contacts and starting the process all over again with new users.

What to do if your Facebook profile has been hacked

Step 1: Firstly, remove all permissions that have been given to the malicious application. This is a simple process: from Account, select Application settings in the top-right corner of your Facebook profile. This ensures that the application will not continue to have access to your profile once the password is changed.

Step 2: Change the login password! To keep your identity safe, it is advisable to change your password and the user name (it’s a good idea to do this from time to time anyway). This is also easy: Go to Account, then Account Settings in the menu in the top left corner of your Facebook profile. It is also advisable to use strong passwords that cannot easily be guessed.

More information is available in the PandaLabs blog: http://www.pandalabs.com

For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/

Follow Panda SA on twitter @PandaSecurityZA

Teens use ‘Code 9’ to block Parents on Social Networks

  • ‘Code 9’ advises kids and teenagers on how to stop parents from seeing what they are doing and writing on social networks

A few years ago, a technique called ‘Code 9′ was developed and spread among teens and children via email. These emails described techniques to help disguise and hide their chat messages and conversations from parents. Global IT vendor Panda Security has detected the resurgence of these messages, which are now being distributed across social networks like Facebook and Myspace.

According to the latest Kids on the Web security survey, published by Panda in June this year, one in three teenagers has contacted strangers across social networks, “Something that criminal minds are no doubt aware of and will exploit to contact children”, warns Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations.

“Interestingly, when you visit the profiles and pages created to spread ‘Code 9’ and you look at the followers and friends, there aren’t many young people. In fact it’s quite the opposite, which gives us an indication as to the sort of people who are interested in distributing this type of information”.

‘Code 9’ itself is really simple: It tells children/teens that to hide their conversations in chat rooms or messaging, all they need to do is mention or write the number ‘9’ whenever their parents or guardians are close by. The other person will then rapidly change the topic or delete any information exchanged.

Pic of a typical ‘Code 9’ message available here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/panda_security/4879123608/

During the holiday periods, many children and teenagers spend more time than usual on the computer. This is a good time to ensure that our children are using the Internet safely and responsibly.

“We always advise that the best way to achieve this is for parents and children to have a relationship based on trust, so it is not necessary to be constantly monitoring kids while they’re on social networks and the like. It also helps to have an Internet Security product that allows parents to restrict access to unwanted sites”, concludes Matthews.  

Since 1990, Panda’s mission has been to detect and eliminate new threats as rapidly as possible, offering clients’ maximum security. To do so, Panda has an innovative automated system that analyzes and classifies thousands of new samples a day and returns automatic verdicts (malware or goodware). This system is the basis of Collective Intelligence, Panda Security’s new security model which can even detect malware that has evaded other security solutions.

Currently, 99.4% of malware detected by Panda is analyzed through this system of Collective Intelligence. This is complemented by the work of several teams, each specialized in a specific type of malware (viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, phishing, spam, etc), and who work 24/7 to provide global coverage. This translates into more secure, simpler and resource-friendly solutions for clients.

More information is available in the PandaLabs blog: http://www.pandalabs.com

For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/.

Social network apps used to aid housebreaking

With the boom in social networks and the numerous applications now available for sharing information across the Internet, global IT vendor Panda Security advises users to take extra precautions in order to prevent falling victim to computer fraud.

“This year we advise users to take particular care with the information they share across social networks”, says Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda’s sub-Saharan operations. “This applies particularly to applications used to plan journeys or to locate people geographically through GPS devices, as this information could easily be exploited and used to aid housebreaking.”

These types of applications have become highly popular over the last year. Facebook apps such as Doorpl or Trip Advisor (which show messages describing where you are or where and when you are planning to go); the Twitter geolocation utility (displaying where tweets have been sent from), or services for locating mobile devices through GPS (now widely employed by iPhone or Android users), are just a few examples.

While many of these programs are interesting and fun, the problem lies in the exploitation of this information by criminals. The emergence (and closure) of services like Pleaserobme, which as its name suggests, connects with these applications to offer information about who is not at home, is just one example of the abuse of these applications. “This underlines how careless we can be as users when offering personal information publicly”, adds Matthews.

There are numerous precautions that users are encouraged to take in order to prevent being exploited during the holiday season.

Users who take their PC’s with them on holiday are advised to back up all their information as they face the risk of having their PC’s stolen or breaking down while away. In addition they are advised to have reliable, up-to-date protection with all the necessary security patches installed.  

Although encrypting the information on their hard disks may seem a tiresome or complex task, is another strong security measure Panda encourages users to take as it prevents anyone from accessing data without the right password.

Furthermore, users should never connect to unprotected WiFi networks, as they could be hooking up to a network set up by hackers to steal any information that they share across the Internet. It is always better to use secure, trusted networks, even if it means paying more. Lastly, users are advised to take care with email as phishing attacks and spam are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

In addition to this holiday advice, there are constant precautions that should always be taken.

No one should use applications for planning journeys offered by social networks, to ensure that you can’t be located. Similarly, users shouldn’t accept the geolocation function in Twitter or use this application from their cell phones.

Users who do spend time in chat rooms while on holiday should also never reveal any personal or confidential details to anyone unknown. If users notice any suspicious behavior on social networks (strangers with too much of an interest in your holiday destination, dates, etc.) they should contact the police. All these safety tips should be shared with children, who are more naïve than their parents and therefore make easier targets.

“In addition to the above, it is worth remembering some of the basic security measures at this time of year. Turn off your router when you leave home, beware of typical, holiday-themed phishing, take care with dubious looking websites, as many of them are designed to infect your computer… and, above all, have a great holiday”, concludes Matthews.

More information is available at the PandaLabs blog: http://www.pandalabs.com

For more information about Panda, visit http://www.pandasecurity.com/.