Archives for Cyber Security

Phishing with your email contacts as the bait

  A new phishing scam that involves the use of a person’s email contacts, has been observed via Google’s Gmail service.This phishing scam centers around the appearance of an email being sent by a familiar email contact.The catch is that the “familiar” contact’s account has been compromised and is being used maliciously. Within the email is a PDF attachment that appears to be legitimate. The malicious actor crafts the email around familiar context that would seemingly come from the user’s contact and uses that information to create a subject that is more likely to evoke the recipient’s trust. This cunning
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Get your two-step (verification) on

  Two step verification or Two-factor authentication (2FA), is an additional layer of protection beyond your password.  It decreases the risk of a hacker accessing your online accounts by combining your password (something you know) with a second factor such as a cell phone or tablet (something you own). Thankfully, a majority of the world’s commonly accessed websites have made 2FA readily available. It is highly recommended to use this feature but it’s up to you to activate it within your online account settings. With the recent breach that involved Yahoo and now McDonalds, turning on Two-factor authentication has never
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#youraccountmatters – 8 tips for online banking

  With the recent increase of new accounts being opened with black owned banks in support of the #bankblack and #blackmoneymatters initiative, online security should still be at the forefront when it comes to protecting your bank account. Here are 8 tips and questions to ask yourself in order to self educate in order to stay current with your bank’s online security practices. Understanding these methods of protection will prevent malicious activity that could be potentially targeted against your new (or current) bank account. 1 – Is the bank website set up with Secure Sockets Layer? For websites that deal
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Adultery, An elderly lady & me: The bad password that brought us together.

You cant make this stuff up…In this story i become a computer tech, cyber security analyst, counselor, private detective and an audience member of a bad reality show. A few months ago I was referred by a friend to an elderly woman who claimed she was being hacked and spied on. Immediately I wondered how does she know she is being hacked or even targeted? So many non-technical people use the word “hacker” as a noun to describe any type of computer issue that is out of their control. Anyway I ended up calling Mrs. X on a Sunday afternoon.
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It’s..about..to..go..DROWN

Over the last few years a multitude of servers have been affected by SSL/TLS encryption breaking attacks. First off, SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a browser and a web server. Transport Layer Security or TLS is a protocol that guarantees privacy between applications and their users over the Internet. Although there have been multiple instances of SSL/TLS attacks, the two examples I want to briefly discuss are FREAK and a newly discovered attack called DROWN. (I did not make these names up by the way)  With the
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Secure your Selfies!!!

Instagram is in the process of rolling out its new security feature in its latest attempt to further protect you from hackers. With the latest update (to be rolled out in phases), Instagram will add two factor authentication to its app for better account protection. Two-factor authentication or 2FA adds a second level of authentication to an account log-in. Entering only your username and one password is considered a single-factor authentication. 2FA requires the a user to have two out of three types of credentials before being able to log into an account. Here are three types of 2FA: Something you know, such as a
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5 ways to tell if your computer is infected with malware

Slow performance Have you noticed if it takes longer than normal for your computer to boot up to the desktop? Once you’re logged in are you waiting too long for your programs to startup? More than likely you have some form of malware on your machine. Malware has the tendency to slow down your system, applications and overall functionality of the PC. If you do notice something like this and you are not using any resource-heavy programs or applications, keep in mind It could also be a lack of memory available, a fragmented system, lack of space on your hard drive or
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How safe is your email address?

Target, Home Depot, VTech all have something in common besides taking our money from time to time. These companies (and several more) were breached by hackers in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. A “breach” is an incident where a hacker illegally obtains data from a vulnerable system, usually by exploiting weaknesses in the software. All the data in the site comes from website breaches which have been made publicly available. The information hackers seek ranges from data such as addresses, phone numbers, credit card information, social security numbers and email accounts. Here is a tip: To see if your email account
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Featured software for PC protection – January 23

Malwarebytes anti-malware (Free version) Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is by far one of my favorite anti-malware programs. I use malwarebytes as a backup to my Anti-Virus program, in case my AV program misses a threat. The free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware contains two types of scans, Threat scan and custom scan. The Threat scan, scans all of the possible places malware is known to hide such as in the startup process, registry and other parts of the file system. The Custom scan gives you the option to choose what files and folders you want to scan. For example on one of my
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The worst passwords of 2015

According to Splash Data’s yearly “Worst passwords list” here are the most common passwords used in 2015: Rank      Password            Change from 2013 1              123456                 No Change 2              password            No Change 3              12345                  Up 17 4              12345678            Down 1 5              qwerty                 Down 1 6              123456789           No Change 7              1234                      Up 9 8              baseball               New 9              dragon            
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