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Ransomware decryptor | Kaspersky Lab

RANSOMWARE DECRYPTOR

Are you a ransomware victim? The National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) of the Netherlands’ police, the Netherlands’ National Prosecutors Office and Kaspersky Lab have been working together to fight the CoinVault ransomware campaign. During our joint investigation we have been able to obtain data that can help you to decrypt the files being held hostage on your PC. We provide both decryption keys and the decryption application. For more information please see this how-to. Please note that this is an ongoing investigation and new keys will be added in the future.

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via Ransomware decryptor | Kaspersky Lab.

Email Spoofing: Explained (and How to Protect Yourself)

Jason P. Stadtlander Headshot, Huffington Post

Recently a co-worker asked me “Why do people even bother to spoof my email address?”

First, for those of you joining me that have no idea what the term spoofing means – let us examine that.

Spoofing is defined as:

/spo͞of/
verb
1. imitate (something) while exaggerating its characteristic features for comic effect.
2. hoax or trick (someone).

Origin: late 19th century English comedian Arthur Roberts.

In the context of computers, to spoof one’s email address means that the sender is acting as if the email is coming from someone it is not.

How someone (or something) sends an email made to look like it comes from somewhere or somewhere it does not, is a little more technical to explain. So, if you don’t like tech talk, then skip to the next section “Why is my email address being spoofed?”

How are they spoofing me?

Spoofing email addresses is rather easy. All a person needs to spoof an email address is an SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) server (a server that can send email) and the appropriate email software. Most website hosting services will even provide an SMTP server in their hosting package. It is also possible to send email from your own computer if you load an SMTP server on it, however most ISPs will block port 25 (which is required to send out email).

Many of the available free SMTP servers will allow you to show a different “from” address than the actual registered domain that the email is transmitting from. However, to the recipient of said message, they will see that it actually came from the address you specified.

Now, there are special checks in place (and more being put into place) to prevent exactly this problem. One is called SPF or “Sender Policy Framework” which was developed by Meng Weng Wong in 2003. Basically, each time an email is sent, the receiving server compares the IP of the origin with the IP listed in the SPF record with the appropriate domain.

EXAMPLE 1: So, for example, let’s say someone tried to spoof Bill Gates (billgates@microsoft.com):
They would send an email on his behalf > the recipient server would then talk back to microsoft.com and say “Hey, I have an email that is coming from 123.123.123.123 stating that it was sent from billgates@microsoft.com.” > microsoft.com would then tell the recipient server, “No, sorry, it should be coming from 111.111.111.111.” and the message would never get delivered.

Why is my email address being spoofed?

Two basic reasons people (and machines) spoof:

1. Malicious: To cause useless internet traffic – ultimately hoping to bog down servers or bring them to a halt.

2. Because you were unlucky enough to have clicked the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Continue reading Email Spoofing: Explained on Huffington Post The Blog

Email Spoofing: Explained (and How to Protect Yourself) | Jason P. Stadtlander

Microsoft releases 14 patches for Windows

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Microsoft released patches for 14 vulnerabilities in its Windows operating system, Office and Internet Explorer software on Tuesday, including four it deemed critical, it’s highest severity rating.

All four of the critical bugs could allow attackers to remotely execute programs on a targeted system, something that in the past has allowed hackers to steal personal information such as passwords or take over machines for the purpose of sending spam.

The patches were released as part of the company’s monthly “patch Tuesdaysecurity update for its major software products. The company had originally planned to deliver 16 updates Tuesday, but two are marked as yet to appear. They include one that was expected to carry a critical rating.

At 14, the number of patches is a monthly record for 2013 and 2014.

They include a problem with Windows Object Linking and Embedding that could allow remote code execution if the user visits a website containing malicious code. If the user is logged in as the administrator, the attacker could gain the ability to install programs and change and delete data. A related patch for Internet Explorer fixes the vulnerability with malicious websites and 16 other problems with the software, said Microsoft.

A security update for the Microsoft Secure Channel software in Windows fixes a problem that leaves Windows Server vulnerable to attack from specially crafted packets. The fourth critical patch fixes a hole in Windows that allows attackers to invoke Microsoft XML Core Services from a malicious website and then remotely execute code on a target system.

A further seven patches are marked as important—the second highest rank.

One vulnerability in Microsoft Office allows for remote execution of code, four additional problems allow attackers to assign themselves higher privileges and two allow bypass of certain security features in Windows.

via Microsoft releases 14 patches for Windows security problems | PCWorld.

Healthcare.gov hacked – Botnet malware discovered | PCWorld

Botnet malware discovered on Healthcare.gov server | PCWorld.

Thanks to a poor initial launch followed a few months later by the Heartbleed scare, Healthcare.gov has had its share of security problems. Now, we can add one more security snafu to the list. In early July, a hacker was able to infiltrate a server connected to Healthcare.gov, deposit malware on it, and remain undetected for about a month and a half.

The good news is no personal information was compromised and it appears the malware was never actually used, according to CNN. The compromised server was a test machine that site developers use to try out code before pushing it live on the servers hosting the actual site. The server did not contain any personally sensitive information such as names or Social Security numbers.

The problem was the test server was never supposed to be connected to the Internet and its security was not as robust as other servers on the network.

But Healthcare.gov’s inattentiveness was the anonymous hacker’s gain.

Searching government networks for vulnerable servers, the hacker was able to break-in because the server’s default password had not been changed, according to The Wall Street Journal. Even the U.S. government, it seems, can do with a refresher course every now and then on security .

From the sounds of it, this latest Healthcare.gov intrusion was little more than a close call. The malware itself was designed to add the test server to a botnet, which could then be used to attack other websites with distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS). Botnets are also routinely used to distribute spam email.

The hack on Healthcare.gov certainly could’ve been worse—if, for example, hackers were able to use the test server to get into other servers that did contain sensitive information.

Luckily that didn’t happen. What’s most concerning, however, is that it took site operators until August 25 to discover the intrusion. CNN reports that since the malware was not actually operational it was more difficult to discover. Nevertheless, Healthcare.gov clearly needs to audit its systems to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again, especially with the next open enrollment period slated to begin in a few months time on November 15.

healthcare.gov hacked

1000 businesses hit with Target cyberattack

Over 1,000 US businesses hit with the same cyberattack as Target

With cyber attacks happening almost daily these days, when was the last time you changed your password?

So far, only seven of the more than 1000 companies have come forward and acknowledged they were hacked, according to the Secret Service, supposing they are still unaware that they were attacked. So how safe is your data online?

Target’s massive data breach grabbed headlines right in the middle of holiday shopping that year, and the fallout continues. According to a Department of Homeland Security advisory this afternoon, the attacks that hit the red-hued retailer, along with Supervalu and UPS, are much more widespread than first reported. The so-called “Backoff” malware in various versions has actually hit more than 1,000 businesses in the States, allowing hackers to snag info from millions of credit card payments. Remote network access for contractors provides the avenue for entry, and the announcement suggests that companies have vendors take a close look at their systems for possible criminal activity. It’s also calling for businesses to put cash registers on a separate network and employ two-factor authentication to help combat would-be intruders.

[Photo credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images]

via Over 1,000 US businesses hit with the same cyberattack as Target.

1000 businesses hit with Target cyberattack

Related: Most U.S. Businesses Don’t Know They Were Caught Up In Massive Cyberattack

SCAM ALERT 888-441-9257 Reverse Phone Lookup

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SCAM ALERT

If you get a call from this number 888-441-9257, they are NOT from Microsoft and there is NOTHING WRONG with your computer.  Hang up. Report them to the BBB. This is a SCAM.

They will try to get you to install a program to “fix” a problem which doesn’t exist…so, it’s not a stretch to think that thier “diagnostic program” could actually contain malware, spyware or viruses. They will also try to nick you for $25…to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

#ScamAlert

888-441-9257 / 8884419257 Reverse Phone Lookup.

M. Wms Jul 9 2:31PM told me my computer was infected and he would fix it if I downloaded some programs. said he worked for MS Windows and was doing this as a service from MS. when i asked how much, he said for $25.

Read more at http://checkwhocalled.com/phone-number/1-888-441-9257

Daily Report: Keeping Data Secure Is One Tough Job – NYTimes.com

Daily Report: Keeping Data Secure Is One Tough Job – NYTimes.com.

“We’re like sheep waiting to be slaughtered. We all know what our fate is when there’s a significant breach. This job is not for the fainthearted.”

~ David Jordan, the chief information security officer for Arlington County in Virginia.

Daily Report: Keeping Data Secure Is One Tough Job - NYTimes.com

9 tips for smarter passwords – azcentral.com

9 tips for smarter passwords – azcentral.com

http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/2014/08/06/9-tips-for-smarter-passwords/13688891/

You’ve heard them. You know you already know them.

But do you follow them?

 

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