News wrap on trending cyber-attacks; PoisonTap, Mark Zuckerberg, Ransoc, POS Malware.

November 18, 2016

Cyber incidents are fast moving and increasing in number and severity. When a cyber incident occurs, the attacked enterprise responds with a set of predetermined actions. Get trending information on exploits, and vulnerabilities every week to help your organisation to be better equipped to avoid being victim of cybercrimes. Anglo African brings you the weekly cyber-attack news wrap-up and remedy tips to support your business to defend against hackers.

A serial hacker has come up with a little USB device that can hack into any computer, even one that is password protected, with little or no effort. Called PoisonTap, the $5 (£4) USB stick is reportedly able to hack into even a locked PC in just one minute.

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For the third time this year, Mark Zuckerberg has had one of his social media accounts hacked. Members of the hacking group OurMine are once again claiming credit for the attack. Their target this time: Zuckerberg’s Pinterest account. This is the second time they’ve broken in. OurMine first hacked Zuckerberg back in June , gaining access to both his Twitter account and that same Pinterest account.

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A newly discovered form of ransomware scrapes the social media accounts and local files of victims in order to tailor a customised demand, and threatens court action if it isn’t paid. Dubbed ‘Ransoc’ by cybersecurity researchers at Proofpoint due to its connection with social media including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Skype, this ransomware represents yet another evolution of the malicious software which has boomed during 2016.

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Just in time for the holidays, a brand new POS malware family has been discovered. Morphick responded to a Kronos phishing campaign that involved a document with a malicious macro that downloaded the Kronos banking malware.  When running, the Kronos payload will download several other pieces of malware, but the one that caught is a new credit card dumper with very low detection.

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Cyber security tips for you to stay safe why you are connected to the internet.

How to Protect Against Spam

If you have an email account, chances are your inbox has been clogged with spam. Spam is the electronic version of junk mail — and just like in the offline world, most people don’t want unsolicited advertisements.

Even though there are some laws against spam, unsolicited emails continue to pile up for most online users. To better safeguard your family and computer, take these steps to can spam:

  1. Install spam filtering/blocking software

Anti-spam software examines incoming email to try and separate spam from legitimate messages. Filtering software can automatically identify and detect spam, or offensive emails, and prevents those messages from reaching your inbox.

  1. Do not respond to suspicious emails

If you suspect an email is spam, do not respond, just delete it. Do not click on or open any attachments. And do not click on any email links asking to be taken off the sender’s list — sometimes unsubscribe links are phony, and your response only confirms the accuracy of your email address and could result in even more unwanted messages.

  1. Set up a disposable email address

Have a secondary — or disposable — email address for public use, such as a free web email account. Use that email when you’re registering for web services or signing up for online newsletters. If you like, you can forward these emails to your primary account but spam could get forwarded too. So make sure to activate your secondary email account’s spam filter to catch spam before it’s redirected to your main inbox.

  1. Create an email name that’s tough to crack

Some spammers use computer programs to guess email addresses. Research shows that email addresses containing numbers, letters and underscores are more difficult to guess and tend to receive less spam.

  1. View emails in plain text

Spam written in HTML (the code used to create web pages) can contain programs that re-direct your web browser to an advertising page. Images in emails can be adapted to send messages back to the spammer. Spammers use these images to locate active email addresses for future spamming. To play it safe, from your email program’s main menu, select Preferences and choose to read emails in plain text.

  1. Create a spam filter for your email

Most email programs already have a strong defense against spam. If your email program does not have a junk email filter, create one. Go to your programs main menu, select Preferences and create a filter or Rule. Create a filter that checks for messages that do not include your email address in the “To:” or “CC:” fields, which is a common tip-off for spam. Have the filter transfer possible spam messages to a junk or spam folder. Email filters are not 100% effective, however, so from time to time review the junk or spam folder before deleting messages.

  1. Do not post links to email addresses on web sites

Spammers use spambots or web spiders to locate email addresses on web pages, so consider not displaying your complete email address on any web site. For instance, instead of John_Doe@c#COMMENT#ENDCOMMENTompany.c#COMMENT#ENDCOMMENTom, publish the email address as John_Doe[at sign]company[dot]com. Other options include displaying email addresses as images instead of text or using contact forms. Contact forms allow web site visitors to send emails to you by filling out a form that never reveals your email address.

  1. Watch out for those checked boxes

Before signing up for services or newsletters on the web, be meticulous about reading through every option on the registration form. Watch out for text at the end of the registration forms that reads, “YES, I want to be contacted by select third parties concerning products I might be interested in.” Sometimes the checkbox next to the text is already checked, so you’ll need to unselect those boxes.


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