Monthly Archives: July 2016

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ransomware

Combating Ransomware

Category : Blog

Combating Ransomware Attack – Europol takes initiative to fight back

Ransomware has been something that has been bothering and affecting individuals and companies very badly for quite some time now. It’s a type of malicious software that is designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid as deemed by the cyber criminal. Although directed mainly at individuals it’s not too long before it can affect big companies and organizations. But, now with the Dutch National Law Enforcement agency Europol joining hands with top cyber security companies things could be expected to be a lot better in terms of our fight against ransomware. This is no doubt a great news for computer and internet users all over the world as the estimated number of ransomware victims tripled in the first quarter of this year alone. Dutch National law enforcement agency Europol, which has joined forces with police and cyber security companies announced the initiative dubbed as No More Ransom and backed by technology hotshot Intel, cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab and the Netherlands Police would be aiming at reducing an ever-increasing rise in Ransomware threat. The main objectives of this initiative would be to disperse the awareness regarding the Ransomware threat, how to help people from being falling prey to it and how to recover from such attacks without paying the ransom (money) to cyber criminals on the event of such attack. Furthermore, with the No More Ransom online portal you get the opportunity of downloading tools that are potentially capable of assisting in decrypting computers affected by ransomware attacks. At the beginning, there are four decrypting tools for ransomware available in the website NoMoreRansom.org. The website also initially has 1, 60000 decrypting keys to start with. There is also a place in the portal where people can upload more ransomware malware samples along with a description to identify the type of threat affecting a system. Not only has the number of Ransomware attacks increased drastically, the sophistication of these attacks too has reached to a different level with time.

Universities, hospitals and even government agencies- none has been able to get away from the dreaded shades of ransomware attacks. Malware is something that would probably be an ever-lasting issue and a battle against it would always be a mounting one but it is worth a go to challenge it head on making a co-ordinated effort.

Jornt Van der Wiel from the Kasper Sky explains another reason behind the ‘exponential’ rise of ransomware attacks in the recent past. While the cyber criminals are demanding for money the computer user is straightaway paying the ransom to him for getting the instant access to his personal data without even trying or resorting to any other method of retrieving it. This is motivating the cyber criminals further to carry out such malicious activities.

So, what’s the way out or the preventive measures you can take against ransomware attacks personally?

 

  1. Keep a regular backup of your important data.
  2. Use up-to date software’s besides using a good and reliable Anti-Virus software.
  3. Patch early and regularly.
  4. Don’t remain logged in as an administrator unnecessarily i.e. for more time than you genuinely require and while staying logged on don’t do regular stuffs like browsing and other “regular works” as much as practicable. Ideally, don’t do any other work at all while you are logged in as an admin.
  5. Don’t enable macros in document attachments received through e-mail.
  6. Always be circumspect regarding unsolicited e-mails.

 

Though it goes without saying that the fight against ransomware won’t be an easy one even now by any stretch of imagination and it will be a prolong process but the ball for making a strong statement through a well planned endeavour to the cyber criminals who effect it has certainly been set rolling.


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Gmail security

gmail hacking

Category : Blog

Gmail Hacking and Security Tips

Gmail hacking is very common and this is how many underworld hacking communities are gaining access to millions of gmail accounts. Google had taken many steps but it seems that hackers are always one step ahead of them. Due to lack of awareness many high ranked government officials and high ranked employees of many reputed companies use there gmail accounts integrated with there official mail ids. When their Gmails are hacked, they not only compromises themselves but also put there national or company data at risk.

Gmail Hacking

 

Here is how Hackers Bypass Google’s Two-Factor Authentication By Taking Social Engineering To A New level – Gmail Security Tips

You may have read reports of Gmail accounts being hacked despite the user having enabled the famed Google 2FA or two-factor authentication. This is because hackers are employing a new strategy to lure gullible users to hand over the 2FA code.

Some people can be tricked into disclosing their two-factor authentication code to criminals, as there is a new sly trick that makes them think that are in fact protecting their accounts while doing so.

Two-factor authentication (referred 2FA) is an important safety measure current mainstream of online services, from banks to Google, Facebook, and government agencies who have gradually adopted the security measures. In the two-factor authentication to protect the account needs to log operation when you need to enter a verification code to send SMS text messages, or even enter the correct password will be blocked by the system.

The login is classified as a hacking attempt, if the user doesn’t enter the code quickly, and the user is blocked from accessing the account, even if they entered the correct password.

Gmail security

Alex MacCaw, co-founder of Clearbit.com, tweeted out the image of an SMS he had just received on his Twitter. Anonymous attacker sent a phase MacCaw posing Google’s SMS messaging, message reads as follows

“(Google™ Notification) We recently noticed a suspicious sign-in attempt to jschnei4@gmail.com from IP address 136.91.38.203 (Vacaville, CA). If you did not sign-in from this location and would like to lock your account temporarily, please reply to this alert with the 6-digit verification code you will receive momentarily. If you did authorize this sign-in attempt, please ignore this alert.”

Mainly, the attackers were mentally preparing the victim to receive the 2FA verification code, in order to facilitate the following illegal login attempt they were about to perform. The criminals were going to access MacCaw’s account, and when his 2FA system would commence, MacCaw would act to lock his account by sending the “verification code to Google.” In fact, MacCaw would be sending the 2FA code to the criminal, who would then enter it in the login page and access his account, with his help.

Thankfully, MacCaw was able to detect their strategies and didn’t fall for this new type of social engineering hoax. However, if you are a Gmail user, you should take precautions and not fall for these new tricks being used by hackers to gain access into your Gmail and Google accounts.


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Android Nougat Security review

Android Nougat

Category : Blog

 

Android Nougat-Will it be ‘sweeter’ than Marshmallow

Google is raising the bar with the latest version of its mobile operating system named Android Nougat after so many names were suggested for the same from all over the tech world and social networking sites following the trend of keeping its name after a sweet which started with Android 1.5 Cupcake. It was till this time that Google only alert you of the potential threats every time it underwent the boot process. Even with Android Marshmallow 6.0 your device is allowed to boot up in spite of being compromised with just a warning. But with Android Nougat it is going to be a different story altogether from now on.

Security features tightened to top tier to ensure further data protection:

The security features of Android Nougat have been literally elevated to a different level by strictly enforcing verified boot on devices. So as it is evident now that you will be getting something more than a meager warning as it will strictly enforce the boot check. There are some definite advantages of having strict verified boot on devices. It is that if some Android malware or rootkit has made its way into the device and in the process has affected deep system changes to critical kernel files your device would either be not starting or starting in a limited or safe mode ensuring that your data remains safe and protected.

Voluntary fixing of errors:

Another significant advantageous feature of Android Nougat is that without any user intervention it has the ability to repair some errors on devices.

So with Android Nougat you get optimum protection to your latest Android technology from the world of malware and viruses with the easy option of a simple restart of your smartphone.

Downsides of the aforementioned strictly enforced boot check:

However, there is a menace with it also and this strictly enforced verified boot check may, in fact will not be totally fruitful for all Android Nougat users. Since hardware and software issues could also result into data corruption and corrupted data may not be necessarily malicious, the device could fail to boot even due to a single-byte error. It is however correct that Android Nougat would be coming up with extra shield of protection against data corruption. There is another con of strictly verified booting system as it can get difficult to tweak your Android Operating System particularly with locked boot loader. It will get harder to play with your Nougat devices when the Nougat is rolling around in that case.

Overall evaluation of the enforced security feature:

All in all, it is a good idea to enforce strict verified boot in your Android devices simply because though most users fail to constantly and regularly take important security measures thereby keeping their devices exposed to malicious software’s and rootkits.

 

Seamless updates set to make it a flawless experience:

Seamless updates that would be a new feature of Android Nougat is something all Android users would be hoping to work well and be welcoming with both hands as it is something Android has been truly struggling putting their act together over all these years. Actually, a big problem with Android right since its inception has been that although so many updates have been timely launched but it has only reached to a very limited number of users. According to an estimate hardly 7.5% of present users of Android phones use Android Marshmallow, the latest technology of Android that is in the market now as 90% of Android phones don’t receive updates in due course of time.So in order to do away with this issue Seamless Updates would be implemented in Android Nougat by which on the event of an availability of an update your phone will be automatically downloading the latest image of it in the background. Later, after the first (next) restart of your phone it will automatically be switching over to the next system image. However, this feature would only be available in Nexus phones only to start of initially unless stated otherwise by Google.  However, it is a different issue for those Android users who are not that keen on regular and/or periodical updates.

A Performance& Productivity Enhancer:The Android Nougat is expected to be much higher on performance as well compared to the previous versions of the software with a JIT compiler installed which will speed up the installation of apps up to 75% as the compiled code size decreases by 50%. Productivity-wise also there’s a lot to look forward to in Android N. A Clear All tab would be there which has already been greeted with terrific applause for a grateful I/O audience.

Be in complete command of apps with the new Multi-Window mode:Multi-window mode which would be available on Android N would surely make a lot of potential users delighted as it has been on demand by Android users for quite sometime now.This will allow the user to use apps both in split-screen and picture-in-picture mode.

security features of android nougat

Indian Cyber Security Solutions – Kolkata

Visibility as per your suitability:Also you need not worry regarding visibility after sunset in your phone as with the latest night color mode you can instantaneously shift to a different color of your choice once the sunsets in your area.

From the makers of the Android Nougat themselves- this is what the top Google engineers have to say:Top Google engineers are fully confident that Android OS Nougat would always be devoid of any ransomware attacks. They further opine that the experience that an user would undergo while using it would be something entirely out of the ordinary and cherishing for there has been much more than minor superficial changes in it.

Some other interesting features:The Doze feature will make sure that battery is saved when the phone is turned off while Java 8 language features would also be available within the phone. Also you can group together multiple notifications from the same app which is again something of great convenience and utility.

A big drawback with Android though is that it isn’t the greatest when it comes to software because of its fragmented nature. But, apart from that with its great features, fine performance over the years and enviable look it is something of real substance. And with Android Nougat ready to hit the market hard after so much of hype only better things would be expected out of it.

 


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