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Block-y Locky Ransomware with Panda Security

Last week a new strain of ransomware came to the fore, dubbed Locky because of the way it renames the file extension. Locky targets users via email attachments, which is often an invoice in a Microsoft Word document. Once the recipient downloads the file, if Office macros are enabled the malicious macro gets to work encrypting the user’s files. If macros are not enabled, the Word document will display a message prompting the user to enable macros in order to read the invoice.
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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.
    2015stats

  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

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.

cybersecurity3

The Advantages of Having a Managed Security Service

In the corporate environment, cyber-threats are becoming more and more sophisticated, security standards more complex and budgets tighter and tighter.

The world of technology in the workplace is no longer just restricted to servers, workstations or email accounts – instead we need to consider mobile devices and the culture of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Companies also need to be aware of problems that may arise from new trends such as social media and the impact that all of this can have on the security of our corporate networks.

This places great stress on businesses when it comes to the monitoring and management of information security.

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Android-Marshmallow

Android Marshmallow Protects against Ransomware

It’s becoming more and more common for malicious applications on Android to use ransomware as a means of attack. It is one of the most worrying threats to mobile users as it renders the device unusable until the fee is paid and is sometimes difficult to eliminate completely. Google is aware of this issue and has finally decided to face it head on.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which is already available on selected terminals, makes it more difficult for cyber-criminals to hijack users’ phones. This is thanks to the company’s experts designing a more advanced operating system to manage the permissions asked by different applications.

Until now, users accepted all of the permission requests at once when they installed the apps. Due to this, seemingly inoffensive apps such as a simple flashlight were able to access features that were not related to its sole purpose. Not all of these apps were dangerous and for the most part companies were only trying to fine tune their advertising. However, by allowing access to other functions and domains on the mobile devices – users opened the door for malware to infect the device as well.

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Untitled-1

Keeping tabs on your employees in a multi-device environment

The traditional desktop computer is no longer the only device we use to get work done. For the past few years workers have increasingly begun to use their own smartphones and tablets for work. According to a study carried out by Tech Pro Research, 74% of businesses allow, or are planning to allow, their employees to bring their own devices to the office.

Despite the benefits, such as being able to communicate easily with employees when they aren’t at their workstations, security remains a priority and with the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) culture – it is important to stay on top of it.

The variety of devices used in the workplace and the resulting loss of control held by the business, means that cybercriminals are able to take advantage of the many vulnerabilities in mobile devices to access the company’s network.

 

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