ransomware

Tue
10
Dec
John Lister's picture

FBI Warns: Smart TVs a Major Security Threat

The FBI has warned users to think carefully when buying and using "smart" televisions. The warning is based on the idea that many people have bought or will buy new televisions either as part of "Black Friday" or in time for Christmas. The warning ... from the FBI's Portland office is based partly on the prospect that people might not have set out to buy smart sets, but that most or all of the TVs on offer currently have such features. (Source: techcrunch.com ) Cameras and Microphones on Some Sets A "smart" television is simply one that has an Internet connection. Previously that's mainly been ... (view more)

Thu
21
Nov
John Lister's picture

'Windows Update' by Email is Actually Ransomware

A bogus "Windows Update" distributed by email is, perhaps unsurprisingly, actually ransomware. It shouldn't fool most users but makes it a good time to remind less tech-savvy PC owners of the need to take necessary precautions. The unsolicited ... emails have a subject line of either "Critical Microsoft Windows Update!" or "Install Latest Microsoft Windows Update now!" Those who open the email will then see a message that says (complete with opening typo) "PLease install the latest critical update from Microsoft attached to this email." (Source: trustwave.com ) $500 Ransom Demand It seems a safe ... (view more)

Wed
23
Oct
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Unveils New 'Secured-core' PC Protection

Microsoft is working with PC makers to tackle malware that strikes before Windows is loaded into memory. It's adapting a technology currently used for the Xbox games console. The "Secured-core" initiative is designed to overcome a big limitation ... with most Windows security tools: they only work once Windows is already running. That doesn't tackle malware that targets the computer's firmware. This is software, usually called BIOS or UEFI, than runs immediately when a PC is switched on. Its main role is to check all the hardware is in place and connected, then load up the operating system such ... (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)

Tue
28
May
John Lister's picture

Ransomware Attack Linked to NSA Breach

The National Security Agency (NSA) is refusing to comment on claims a tool it developed has been used in a ransomware attack on the Baltimore city government. The New York Times says the attackers used a tool called "EternalBlue." The attackers have ... encrypted Baltimore government systems and demanded between $76,000 and $114,440 (depending on the account) to restore access. Officials have refused to pay and used workarounds including some manual processing of files and switching to Gmail for internal communications. It seems the attack was carried out using EternalBlue, which is ... (view more)

Fri
28
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

8 Ways to Protect Your Backups from Ransomware

Infopackets Reader Bob S. writes: " Dear Dennis, ... [I run an accounting firm and was recently hit with a ransomware attack which encrypted over 70,000 of my files . I nearly lost everything, though I was finally able to overcome this and recover ... my data through your help] ... What I need is a comprehensive backup solution that will allow me to automate my backups - which means having the backup drive attached to my system 24/7 - yet, the backup drive must be protected such that ransomware cannot spread to the drive and encrypt my backup data. If that were to happen, my backups would be ... (view more)

Mon
17
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Is Ransomware a Real Threat? Should I worry?

Infopackets Reader Tina A. writes: " Dear Dennis, I've been reading articles on the Internet about cyber criminals breaking into computer networks, encrypting files and then demanding a ransom. I've also read that if I leave my computer connected to ... the Internet, I could be susceptible to ransomware. I don't know what to believe. So my question is: is ransomware a threat? Is ransomware malware? Should I be worried? " My response: This is a pretty big question to answer. The simple answer is that: yes , ransomware is a threat, and yes you can get infected with ransomware just by having your ... (view more)

Mon
18
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Prevent Ransomware in 2018 - 10 Steps

Infopackets Reader Steve G. writes: " Dear Dennis, I just read your article on How to Fix: Computer / Network Infected with Ransomware (10 Steps) and it was incredibly informative. I hope I never get infected with ransomware! That said, I have seen ... software products and services advertised online claiming they can prevent ransomware, but the information is often obscure. I feel like I am none the wiser. Even searching Google for ' how to prevent ransomware ' points to a very short article on Norton's website, which then links to Norton Antivirus. In your previous article, you said Norton didn ... (view more)

Mon
11
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Computer / Network Infected with Ransomware (10 Steps)

Infopackets Reader Robert S. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a network of computers I use for accounting purposes. Suddenly, many of my desktop icons started appearing to have strange names, such as ... '1HjgN1BdTZE3OIqorcj2E5b6CXIE=gdFae89IWgo0RrVfPbCHt851oogccs.ssimpotashka[at]gmail.com'. When I try to open these files, Windows warns me the file may be malicious. When I look in my Documents folder, I see more files similarly named to the one I just mentioned. Some of my .PDF files won't even open. On the desktop there is a text document that says ' HOW TO DECRYPT YOUR FILES.TXT ' - when I open ... (view more)

Wed
11
Apr
John Lister's picture

New Ransomware Demand: Play Video Game, Not Cash

A newly unleashed ransomware attack doesn't force victims to pay money to regain access to files. Instead, it demands they play a video game. It's not clear yet what the point of the attack is, though it's most likely the work of a prankster who ... wants to test their skills at creating and distributing ransomware without doing any permanent harm. Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts files on a computer and normally only unlocks them if the victim pays a fee. In most cases every file on the computer is encrypted, meaning that victims are locked out of their systems and unable to access ... (view more)

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