cyber criminals

Wed
25
Mar
John Lister's picture

Critical Security Flaw Hits Windows 7 and 8 Hardest

Microsoft has warned users of a significant unpatched security flaw in Windows. It's offered some key steps to take while the problem is being fixed. The problem affects all currently supported versions of Windows, though Windows 7 and 8 machines ... are affected 'critically' according to the Microsoft advisory bulletin. Attacks on Windows 10 machines are considerably more constrained due to its enhanced security features. Microsoft says its currently only aware of targeted attacks on Windows 7 machines, though that could change now the bug has been made public. (Source: microsoft.com ) Adobe ... (view more)

Wed
26
Feb
John Lister's picture

Chrome Users: Update Now to Patch Critical Bug

Google has issued a critically important update to its Chrome browser due to a nasty zero day bug. The browser should update automatically for most users, but the bug is serious enough that it's a case of checking to ensure that the update has been ... successfully applied. The update fixes three security problems, one of which is a critical. It means hackers were actively exploiting the problem before Google fixed it - meaning the update process gave users a zero day head start on the bad guys (hence the term, ' zero day exploit '). Perhaps unsurprisingly, Google isn't saying much at all about ... (view more)

Mon
24
Feb
John Lister's picture

Gas Pipeline Shut Down After Ransomware Attack

Ransomware forced an unplanned shutdown of a US gas pipeline for two days. It's not yet clear if the attackers intended to have that effect. The full details, including the identity of the pipeline and its operators, have been kept under wraps. The ... only official information that's been made public comes from a security alert bulletin by the Department of Homeland Security (DoHS). (Source: us-cert.gov ) The attack started as an all-too-familiar "spear phishing" attack. That's a deliberately targeted email that tries to fool somebody (that typically works for a corporation) into clicking on a ... (view more)

Tue
28
Jan
John Lister's picture

State Could Ban Gov't Ransomware Payments

New York state senators want a legal ban on local governments paying ransomware demands. The bipartisanship move is based on the idea that paying up simply incentivises the attacks. Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts files on a hard ... drive so that they become unusable. Cyber criminals then demand a hefty ransom to unlock the files. Two state senators, one Democrat and one Republican, have each proposed broadly similar bills. They are currently in the committee stage and its likely that one will go ahead to a full vote of the New York State Senate. Both bills are based on similar ... (view more)

Wed
08
Jan
John Lister's picture

New Clop Ransomware Encrypts Windows Processes

Researchers have spotted new ransomware with a nasty new twist. "Clop," as it's called, doesn't just encrypt files, but deliberately attempts to screw up applications as well. The move is most likely intended to reduce the chances of the ransomware ... being blocked, but also means an attack could be even more disruptive and make it more likely a complete rebuild of the affected PC is necessary. Normally ransomware's main task is to encrypt as many files as possible on a computer. The idea here is to extort the user by forcing them to pay a ransom to regain access to the locked files. ... (view more)

Fri
03
Jan
John Lister's picture

North Korea Accused of Attacking Windows Users

Microsoft has warned users to pay particularly close attention to emails that appear to come from "microsoft.com". A simple trick involving spelling was the key to a security attack that Microsoft believes was instigated by North Korea. A US court ... has given Microsoft legal control of 50 web domains it says were used to carry out cyber attacks on Windows users. It's said to be the work of a group dubbed Thallium operating out of North Korea. Microsoft says the attacks were targeted at "government employees, think tanks, university staff members, members of organizations ... (view more)

Thu
12
Dec
John Lister's picture

Critical: Font Bug Affects All Versions of Windows

A bug in the way Windows handles fonts could leave computers open to a "drive-by attack" - as long as the machine is connected to the Internet. It's among the vulnerabilities fixed in the latest Windows security update. All versions of Windows are ... affected . The bug involves the way Windows deals with embedded fonts. An embedded font means that the document includes the code for the font itself. It's generally used where a document or web page designer wants users to see a specific font that's not widely installed on computers. The bug means an embedded font could be coded in a way ... (view more)

Thu
27
Jun
John Lister's picture

Florida Gov't Ransomware Tops $1 Million Payout

Officials in Lake City, Florida have voted to pay half a million dollars to hackers to regain access to computer files. It's the second such payment by a local government in the state in as many weeks. Lake City's government computer system was hit ... by a ransomware attack in which hackers remotely encrypt files and then demand payment to unlock them. They asked for 42 units of the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin, worth roughly $500,000. That payment method makes it much harder to trace the recipients. The good news in this case is that public safety networks are unaffected and that all ... (view more)

Thu
14
Mar
John Lister's picture

Web Creator Fears Dysfunctional Future

The creator of the World Wide Web (WWW) says it faces a "downward plunge to a dysfunctional future." Sir Tim Berners-Lee said many of its problems were unintended consequences. Berners-Lee spoke to mark the 30th anniversary of him submitting a ... proposal to his managers at European science group CERN for a way to organize data. That technology, based on hyperlinked text, became the World Wide Web. In turn, that helped shape the Internet into something used worldwide by ordinary people. (Source: bbc.co.uk ) Writing an open letter, Berners-Lee noted that the web is now "a public square, a library ... (view more)

Thu
21
Feb
John Lister's picture

Symantec: Popular Microsoft Apps Hijack PCs

At least eight apps in the official Microsoft Store were secretly designed to use a computer's resources without permission. It undermines Microsoft's efforts to promote the store as a "safe source of software." In the past few years, Microsoft has ... heavily pushed the idea of Windows users getting software from an app store - similar to the way mobile devices work - rather than the more traditional method of getting programs from a third-party sources and installing them directly to the PC or smartphone / tablet. There's even a special 'S' mode for Windows 10 that only allows the ... (view more)

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