Photo Credit: Getty Images
On Tuesday January 14, 2020, Microsoft released a very important security patch regarding a massive security vulnerability on Windows 10. Prior to its release, a leading investigative reporter stated there seems to be “an extraordinarily serious security vulnerability” inside of a cryptographic component that is present in Windows 10; originally discovered by the National Security Agency (NSA). This patch is to fix the cryptographic component present in every version of Windows including Windows 7, which is no longer supported. This patch is considered extremely important that the U.S military and high-value internet infrastructure targets were provided access to this patch ahead of time.
So, what does this mean for companies using Windows? If not protected properly, this vulnerability is an exploit that could allow a hacker into your company’s data by tricking your computer into thinking software downloads and programs are trusted programs when they are not. This could allow the attacker to decrypt confidential information on connections affected by the software and have complete access. As advised by Microsoft, all Windows 10 users are asked to apply the Patch as soon as it becomes available to them. (Note: For OptfinITy users, we are taking care of this for our clients)
If you or your company are not prepared to handle this type of sophisticated vulnerability, feel free to contact OptfinITy for a FREE consultation at (703)790-0400 or contact us at email@example.com
The CCPA (California Consumer Privacy ACT) is a new California law which allows residents of California to learn what data companies are collecting about them, as well asrequiring companies to delete their data and not sell it, upon request.
Although the full force of the new privacy law isn’t entirely transparent since regulations are still being finalized, companies outside and inside of California are already taking action to remain complaint so they can continue doing business with California
There is no doubt that this law will have an effect both inside and outside of California.. In the past, companies weren’t legally required to tell you what data they’ve collected of you or how they plan on using it. With the CCPA in force, you’ll be able to ask companies to delete your private information or refrain from selling it. This law will apply to even major tech companies such as Facebook and Google – who already let you delete some of your data off their systems but not in a way where it fully disconnects user from the data it has collected. This new law changes that.
If organizations fail to follow this law, they could be fined up to $2,500 per violation, and up to $7,500 if the violation is found to be intentional. Californians can sue businesses directly even if their data was released through an accidental breach.
This law will also allow users to continue to use free services even if they ask bigger companies not to collect their data. After California’s legislature passed CCPA, several major tech companies told federal lawmakers that they would like to see one privacy law that covers the whole country.
Image Credit: Kevin Beaumont
The FBI recently issued a warning to the private industry providing information and guidance on the LockerGoga and MegaCortex Ransomware. LockerGoga and MegaCortex are ransomware infections that target the company by compromising the network and encrypting all devices.
When the network is compromised, the perpetrator be residents of the network for months before they release the LockerGoga or MegaCortex ransome infections. Once the attackers have taken everything of value from the network, they release the infections so that it can encrypt the device on the network and completely take over.
For this reason, the FBI has recommended organizations take the following precautions:
1. Back up data regularly using revisions. Backing up your data regularly, especially with offline and revision based backups eliminates the effects of the threat since you can restore your data.
2.Enable two-factor authentications and encrypt your data with strong passwords to block stolen credentials, phishing attacks, or other login compromises.
3.Businesses are encouraged to audit logs for all remote connection protocols since exposed remote servers are the most common way for attackers to first gain access.
4.Audit all new accounts to make sure no back door accounts are being created.
5.Make sure you are using the most up to date Powershell and uninstall older versions
If you or your organization are not prepared for ransomware attacks and can use some guidance, feel free to contact us at OptfinITy at (703)790-0400 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Technology over the past year has improved drastically and while this is a great thing as it relates to productivity, it has also meant a rise in security breachesand attacks. Unfortunately, it is not looking much better for 2020. According to recent articles, here are three predictions as it relates to Cybersecurity for 2020:
1. Voting machine hacks
It has been shown that network-attached voting machines can be hacked and with a large presidential election coming up in 2020, this is going to be a major issue. Will machines be breached and votes changed?
2. A massive cloud data breach
For a few years now, everyone has been moving to the cloud because it is represented as elastic, secure and cost-effective. So what happens if a massive breach affects one or many of these major cloud providers? A breach like this may cause a shift regarding how cloud providers handle security.
3. Smarter Al Cybersecurity attacks
AI is revolutionary in the way it solves challenges but what happens when AI is used for nefarious reasons? It is believed that hackers may use AI technology to trick people into installing applications and/or giving up credentials in a much smarter process than exists currently.
Are you worried yet? Is your team trained for this? If you are not sure and need more information, contact PerusITy, the cybersecurity team of OptfinITy.. Give us a call at 703-790-0400 or email us at email@example.com
Photo Reference – Getty Images
If you haven’t received an email yet that accuses you of watching porn, it may be arriving soon. A familiar scheme with updated context has been making the rounds lately. The scam involves data from a previous breach which had emails and associated passwords. Assuming the end-user uses passwords across multiple sites, the perpetrator contacts individuals claiming that they have the recipients email password and has installed a malicious malware on their computer which has captured them masturbating while watching porn.
Although the scam may seem convincing since the perpetrator offers the recipient their actual current or former password, it is unlikely that there is malware inside the computer itself. Unfortunately, people who may have in fact gone to such a site (pornography is still a top searched item on the web) may fall for the scam and send money.
Our advice to you is to generally ignore these scams and if you are concerned, talk to your trusted IT provider. If you don’t have one, give OptfinITy a call.
It’s December and that means OptfinITy once again exhibited and attended the ASAE technology conference. More than 1,000 industry professionals, associations and non-profit organizations come together to examine how technology impacts the association industry on December 3rd and 4th at the DC Convention Center.
As one of the leading providers of technology and cybersecurity solutions to associations, OptfinITy was there to speak with and help various associations with all of their needs as the event relates to infrastructure, cyber security, website development, mobile apps, phone systems and IT Support.
Congratulations to Rob Gates who was the winner of our beer pong contest.
If you or someone you know could benefit from IT solutions that will help run your business better, give us a call at 703-790-0400 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In today’s day of cyber attacks, viruses and ransomware, business owners and executives are always asking what can we do to limit our exposure?
One of the easiest things we tell them and is considered an industry standard is to never allow end-users to have administrative access to their computers.
In our over 17 years of being in business, it is really easy for us to pull up thousands of tickets related to viruses, computer slowness, and operating system issues that are a direct result of an end user having local administrator access to their computer. In fact, giving users administrative access not only can make your staff less productive, it raises the cost of doing business (e.g. fixing computer issues, employee downtime, data loss from virus infections). Administrator accounts on a computer allow the user to install software, make any change to the system settings, and override local folder permissions. This might not seem like a big deal, but let’s consider the possible issues which result from that:
- Unauthorized software can be installed on the computer, leading to non-work-related activities and possible computer slowdowns or shutdowns.
- Unlicensed software can be installed, opening your business up to potentially hefty fines from software vendors.
- Users can intentionally or unintentionally execute a malicious program, leading to infections that could potentially span many computers on your network. These are often undetectable by anti-virus programs (frequently because the user specifically allows them to execute so the antivirus does not stop them).
- If multiple users use a single PC, the administrator account can be used to access data in other user profiles. This could allow for data breaches, theft, and privacy concerns.
- Operating system settings can be changed intentionally or unintentionally causing potentially unfavorable consequences.
While limiting users access might seem like an inconvenience for some, mitigating the significant risks and costs associated with running with Administrator access, is well worth any inconvenience, especially when you have a 24 x 7 helpdesk to provide that access and oversight to make sure the right components are being installed. We have seen firsthand the devastation that can occur when malware can run with full admin access and today’s day, that cost can easily exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A large-scale threat campaign used several fake IRS websites to target over 100,000 people this summer. Researches at cloud security solutions provider Akamai, discovered that the phishing campaign used hundreds of different types of domains and URLS to imitate the Internal Revenue Service of the United States for over two months. Victims of this threat campaign were directed to a fake IRS login, asked to enter their email address and password, and were tricked out of offering personal information. The fake campaign in total used at least 289 distinctive domains and 832 URLS to target people from all over the world.
It also appears that the threat actors have targeted legacy websites. Katz, principal lead security researcher at Akamai expressed that he believes that a lot of the websites that hosts the IRS phishing page are legit websites that have been compromised and hijacked by cyber criminals mostly because of the public’s trust in these websites. Katz also predicts that it is not a coincidence that the hacking began in August. Research has indicated that August is a good time for criminals to receive engagements from victim since it is a time for vacationing where victims have more time to read personal email, open suspicious links and browse the internet.
If you are worried about fake websites for you or your company and would like to setup security awareness training, OptfinITy can help. Give us a call at 703-790-0400 or via email at email@example.com.
Did you know that Windows 7 will officially be End of Life in less than 2 months? For most companies, this has become common knowledge and unfortunately, this has provided scammers an opportunity to infect your machine with ransomware.
According to a report released by a security firm, attackers have educated themselves on the upgrade and have already begun attacking Microsoft users with a fake Windows update E-mail that infects the computer with ransomware. Ransomware is a specific type of malware that invades your computer and locks all of your valuable information. The spammers will then contact you and threaten to destroy all the data stored if you do not pay a ransom fee.
The spammers are currently sending Window users emails with subject lines such as “Install Latest Microsoft Windows Update now!” or “Critical Microsoft Windows Update” unveiling a sense of urgency to open the Email. They will urge users to click on an attachment downloaded to the Email usually titled as “latest critical update.” The attachment will seem to have an attachment with a .jpg file extension which is a .NET downloader that will infest malware into your device. The ransomware will then encrypt the recipients files and leaves a ransom note asking for $500 dollars in bitcoin in order to unlock and restore files.
If your organization is looking to upgrade your devices or you are worried about your employees clicking on potentially hazardous emails, contact OptfinITy today for information on how we can upgrade you and educate your employees.
Disney’s new demand streaming service has been available for less than two weeks and that is all it took before hackers were able to compromise the streaming service , selling hacked accounts for as little as $1.
On November 12th, only hours after the service launched, Disney + users took to social media outraged that they have been locked out of their accounts and had received alerts stating that their account information and details have been changed. The hacked users claimed that a fake email was sent to them as a service subscriber, warning them that their account had been locked. Once the email was opened, the subscriber was requested to supply their credit card details and account information.
If you are worried about your accounts being hacked and information compromised, it is best to put a multiple layered approach to your security, including but not limited to email controls and online training of your employees. For more information on these types of solutions, please contact OptfinITy via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 703-790-0400.