2015 Forecast: increased computer virus activity. Are you prepared?

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in Security

2015 Forecast: increased computer virus activity. Are you prepared?

Computer hacks, Data breeches, Malware and Viruses are on the increase in 2015. What can I do to prevent this? Prevention, in this case, is significantly better than cure:
Contact Mike for a tune-up, antivirus, security audit, and review of your backup strategy.

Stay patched. Keep your operating system and software up to date. Make sure your anti-virus is active and up to date. Avoid opening attachments you weren’t expecting, or from people you don’t know well.
Make regular backups, and store them somewhere safe, preferably offline.

Mike has tested a new security program HitmanPro.Alert that adds new Safe Browsing, Exploit Mitigation, and Risk Reduction. This new program stops exploit attacks like keyloggers, BadUSB and WebCam hacks that abuse known and unknown weaknesses in widely used software, like web browsers, plug-ins, Java and Office applications. Vulnerabilities in current or outdated software can no longer be abused to silently install unsolicited software or malware.
Contact Mike today if you want this new protection software.

CryptoLocker

Mike’s Advice: All Windows users should install HitmanPro.Alert with CryptoGuard ASAP to help prevent data loss from this nasty ransomeware. Cryptolocker is a dangerous ransomware that will find your files on computers, attached drives and networks and encrypt them. Once it has finished encrypting the files, it will show a popup that tells you that your files are encrypted and you have to pay a ransom to decrypt them before the 96 hour countdown completes. If you do not pay the ransom during the countdown, the private key used to encrypt the files is destroyed and your files become unrecoverable. Contact Mike’s Computer Repair if you want to have CryptoGuard installed for you.

More on CryptoLocker

Targeted attacks

A small percentage of the millions of new malware strains that appear every month are specifically created to attack previously defined targets. These attacks, known as targeted attacks, are becoming more common and will be highly significant during 2015.

One of the greatest risks to tackle is that many people are unaware that they could be the target of such attacks and therefore do not have appropriate measures for detecting or stopping them, or at least for detecting any anomaly and mitigating any damage as soon as possible.

Point-of-sale terminals data breech

In 2014 we have seen an increase in attacks on the POS terminals used by all stores to accept and process customer payments. Cyber-criminals are attacking these terminals and consequently stealing the credit card details of customers. As a result, an activity that users did not think of as a risk, such as paying at a supermarket, gas station, clothes store, etc., is starting to pose a potential threat to which hundreds of millions of people around the world have already fallen victim. Keep an eye on your accounts. If you see any suspicious activity, notify your bank immediately.

Malware

Whether you know it or not your computer is always at risk of becoming infected with viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits, dialers, spyware, and malware that are constantly evolving and becoming harder to detect and remove. Only the most sophisticated anti-malware techniques can detect and remove these malicious programs from your computer. Contact Mike for a tune-up, security audit, and review of your antivirus.

Adware

Adware increased in 2014. What we are finding most common is download sites are including bundled adware. Adware is everywhere. It is hard to escape it. It can come in whenever you download something from the internet. In some cases, it can install itself. Here we are going to tell you a few ways to better protect yourself and keep an eye out for adware so it doesn’t infect your computer.
Read more about avoiding Adware

Browser Attacks

We are seeing more and more infections where the web browser search is taken over by a rogue site with ads and spyware.

BadUSB attack

USBdriveby is a device which can quickly and covertly install a backdoor and override DNS settings on any unlocked machine via USB in a matter of seconds. It does this by emulating a keyboard and mouse, blindly typing things, flailing the mouse pointer around and weaponizing mouse clicks.

It also evades several security measures in OS X, including hacking the accessibility settings, window positioning, overriding network settings, and disabling portions of the Little Snitch firewall.

Phone scams

This tutorial warns you not to be fooled by scam phone calls for computer repair. If you receive an unsolicited phone call or email from someone claiming to be from Microsoft or any other company and they need to fix your computer, it is a scam by cyber criminals.

More on computer repair phone Scam

WebCam Spying

Do you know who’s watching you while you’re getting dressed, taking a shower, working in bed at night? Just by having a webcam near you is putting you at risk of someone “snooping.” Here’s what you need to know.

0-Day Viruses

Mike found a Zero Day Virus today. What you need to know.

Hi this is Mike, so today I found a Zero Day Virus on a customer’s business computer. I am writing this blog article to tell you about the utmost importance of having me perform a security audit. I got called to a business today to perform routine updates. As part of my service duties, I check for viruses. What I found was surprising. This computer had a virus so new that no antivirus program would have detected it. The customer did not even know it was there.

Smartphones

Smartphone attacks are going to reach new heights. Not only will the attacks increase but so will their complexity, with a single goal: to steal money and passwords.

We store a growing amount of data on our smartphones and cyber-criminals are going to try to get it at any cost. Although malware on cell phones was somewhat anecdotal a couple of years ago, more malware for Android has appeared in 2014 than all of the malware targeting any mobile device ever.

It seems that in 2015 these threats will skyrocket, and the number of victims will also increase. Therefore it will be essential to use antivirus products for these devices. We recommend Malwarebytes Antimalware app for android. Also only download apps from the approved app stores.

We are the only computer repair business on the North Coast with two locations to serve you. We service Windows and Mac. We sell new computers and fix them too. Mike, Shaun, Wayne, Zachary, Dominic, and Mark are qualified to meet your computer service needs.
Service areas include Long Beach Peninsula, Long Beach, Ocean Park, Ilwaco, Seaview, Chinook, Surfside, Oysterville, Klipsan Beach, Nahcotta, and Naselle. Our Seaside Oregon store serves Astoria, Warrenton, Gearhart, Seaside, Cannon Beach, and Arch Cape.
Call us: Long Beach, WA (360)642-2125 / Seaside, OR (503)717-5523