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2015-PandaLabs-Forecast

2015 Malware Predictions from PandaLabs

PandaLabs have released their predictions for IT security in 2015, based on reports and attacks in 2014.

CryptoLocker

This type of malware was in the spotlight in 2014, and these types of attacks are set to increase in 2015.

CryptoLocker operates in straightforward fashion: Once it gets into a computer, it encrypts all types of documents that could be valuable to the user (spreadsheets, documents, databases) and blackmails the victim into paying a ransom to recover the files. This type of malware is also known as ransomware.

Payment is most often demanded in bitcoins, so that it cannot be traced by the police, making this type of attack ideal for cyber-criminals – as many users choose to pay in order to recover the “hijacked” information.

Targeted attacks

A small percentage of the millions of new malware strains that appear every month are specifically created to attack previously defined targets. These attacks, known as targeted attacks, are becoming more common and will be highly significant during 2015.

Many companies are unaware that they could be the targets of such attacks and therefore do not have appropriate measures for detecting or stopping them.

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Q3-Image

PandaLabs Q3 Results: Trojans exceed PUPs in the third quarter

The results for the third quarter show that malware continues to break records, averaging at 227 747 new samples created daily.

The last four months has seen large high profile organisations fall victim to cyber-attacks; companies such as JP Morgan Chase, Target, Home Depot and online services such as Dropbox and iCloud.

The most recent victim is Sony. The hack on the company led to upcoming films and workers’ personal data, such as social security numbers and salaries being leaked online. The malware used in the attack was undetectable by industry standard antivirus software and was damaging and unique enough to cause the FBI to release a flash alert to warn other international organisations of the critical threat.

Trojans continue to be the most common malware during Q3, accounting for 75% of infections, compared to 62.80% in the previous quarter. PUPs ranked second, representing 14.55%of infections, decreasing since Q2. Adware/spyware comprises 6.88% of infections, worms at 2.09% and viruses at 1.48% – down since the second quarter.

The global infection rate increased from 36.87% in Q2 to 37.93% in Q3. The results for each country shows that China is still at the top, reaching an infection rate of 49.83%. China is followed by Peru at 42.38% and Bolivia at 42.12%.

Europe remains the region with the lowest infection rate, with nine European countries ranking in the top ten most secure countries.

The full report is available here.

PCOP

Panda Cloud Office Protection 7.1: What you need to know

Panda Security, has announced the new features of version 7.1 of Panda Cloud Office Protection (PCOP), Panda’s cross-platform solution that offers the best cloud-based protection.

This version includes improvements aimed at meeting the requirements of medium and large enterprises. Version 7.1 incorporates various technological and functional innovations, with emphasis on providing the user with greater control and management.

The new features include:

  • Content filtering for the Exchange protection, which allows emails to be filtered by the extension of the attachment, neutralizing dangerous attachments or attachments with a multiple file extension. All content gets filtered before it arrives at the endpoint, endpoint performance is unaffected.
  • White-lists included in device control. This feature allows different exclusions to be applied to different groups of computers selected by profile. In addition, white-listed devices can be used without any restrictions, regardless of the settings.
  • Mobile device control. This option allows the user to block access to mobile devices and white-list devices.
  • New local console on the endpoint. This console provides PCOP administrators and partners with a tool to enable or disable the endpoint protection in a rapid and timely manner, making troubleshooting easy and painless.
  • Ability to upgrade to new versions from the PCOP Web console. Notifications will appear in the console to indicate that a new version is available. Administrators then decide to apply the latest version from the console.

For more information on PCOP click here.

Kids-Safety

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Web?

“My Google, what big lies you have. All the better to trick you with.” This might very well become the line from a bedtime story that you tell your kids. Children tend to be more tech savvy than most adults, but they are also more vulnerable. They might know how a game is played or how a particular app works, but they are ignorant to the risks involved.

There are many different ways to protect your child online. It is important to communicate with your children and to enforce rules and restrictions.

Here are 10 tips from Panda on how to protect your children.  

  • Install strong security software on your computer – Panda’s 2015 consumer range, boasts the new XMT Smart Engineering engine providing complete protection with minimal performance impact. These products harness protection capabilities against viruses, malware, hackers and Wi-Fi intrusions. 
  • Monitor your children’s activity on the web – the 2015 range includes an advanced parental control feature that allows parents to monitor their children’s activities online. The dashboard provides a summary of the most visited Web pages and categories, and a detailed report of all pages accessed (page, category, date/time). The Parental Control technology is fully browser-independent, so deleting the browser history or using other browsers won’t affect the monitoring feature.
  • Teach your children about social media and the risk involved – Social media and online communication is a huge factor in the lives of youngsters today. Talk to your children about the content they post to social media sites; such as photos, statuses or personal information. Make sure that the privacy settings are set up correctly, so that their content and information is not visible to the public. Make them aware of the dangers involved in talking to and sharing information with people online.

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SA-Cyber-Safety

South Africa: Third-highest number of cybercrime victims in the world

Intel’s recent “Global Cost of Cyber-Crime Report” shows that the economic impact of cyber-crime in South Africa is equivalent to 0.14% of the country’s GDP. This is roughly R5.8 billion a year and growing.

According to security experts, neither government nor business are combatting cyber-crime correctly. This is mainly due to a shortage of skills and a lack of urgency in taking action against cybercriminals. Prevention is better than cure and South Africans must be made aware of these crimes and how to prevent them.

Industry reports indicate that South Africa has the third-highest number of cybercrime victims, after Russia and China. The most common cyber-attacks locally are related to phishing. “South Africa is the second most targeted country globally when it comes to Phishing attacks,” says Drew van Vuuren, CEO of information security and privacy practice, 4Di Privaca.

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Cybercrime

The Era of Cyber-crime – Don’t Fall Victim

There has been an increase in cyber-attacks on high profile companies recently – JP Morgan Chase, Target and Home Depot as well as breaches in online services such as iCloud, Dropbox and Snapchat.

A cyber-attack is defined as – any type of offensive action employed by individuals or whole organizations, that targets computer information systems.

With each new attack it’s increasingly clear, no company is immune to cyber-attacks and preparation is key to mitigating risk.  This preparation must start with a commitment at the very top of the company. With a top-down approach and directors who are actively engaged, companies stand a greater chance of protecting their shareholders’ interests in cyberspace.

The companies that are most often targeted are financial institutions, healthcare organisations, major retailers and online/cloud storage services.

The most recent attacks, used methods that are:

  • Sophisticated – exploiting weak points, using backdoor controls and advanced malware.
  • Social – targeting specific people with social engineering and stealing and using valid credentials.
  • Stealthy – implemented in a series of low profile moves that are undetectable to standard security or hidden among thousands of logs collected daily.

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