Microsoft Calls on Users to Patch Older Windows Operating Systems to Prevent WannaCry-like Cyberattack

Microsoft Calls on Users to Patch Older Windows Operating Systems to Prevent WannaCry-like Cyberattack

IT Support, Security
Microsoft Calls on Users to Patch Older Windows Operating Systems to Prevent WannaCry-like Cyberattack Microsoft recently released a patch for older Windows operating systems and calls on users to apply this patch as soon as possible to prevent a disaster similar to the WannaCry cyberattack in 2017. In the blog post “Prevent a worm by updating Remote Desktop Services (CVE-2019-0708)”, Simon Pope, Director of Incident Response at Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), said that a security vulnerability was discovered on Remote Desktop Services, formerly known as Terminal Services, in older Windows operating systems. The security vulnerability, Pope said, allows remote code execution – the ability of an attacker to access someone else's computing device regardless of where this device is geographically located. In addition to the remote code execution capability,…
Read More
Software Updates: Gateway for Supply Chain Attacks

Software Updates: Gateway for Supply Chain Attacks

Information Security, IT Support, Security
Software Updates: Gateway for Supply Chain Attacks The confirmation by Taiwan-based tech giant ASUS that its software update was hijacked by cybercriminals to install malicious software (malware) on its customers’ notebook computers highlights the threat of supply chain attacks via software updates. A supply chain attack attempts to exploit the security vulnerability in a third-party service or software to compromise a final target. Hijacked software update is one of the most common forms of supply chain attack. Last March 26, ASUS, ranked by Gartner as the world's 5th-largest PC vendor in the 3rd quarter of 2018, asked its notebook computer customers to install the latest software update (version 3.6.8) after acknowledging that ASUS Live Update, a pre-installed software in ASUS notebook computers to ensure that the system always benefits from…
Read More
More than Half of Cyberattacks Exploit Tools that Already Exist on Targeted Computers, Study Shows

More than Half of Cyberattacks Exploit Tools that Already Exist on Targeted Computers, Study Shows

Information Security, IT Support, Security
More than Half of Cyberattacks Exploit Tools that Already Exist on Targeted Computers, Study Shows A study conducted by IBM showed that more than half of cyberattacks exploit common administration tools or tools that already exist on targeted computers. IBM’s 2019 X-Force Threat Intelligence Indexshowed that more than half or 57% of cyberattacks leveraged common administration tools and in the process, evading detection, maintaining persistence and achieving their objectives. Living Off the Land The phrase “living off the land” is the term used for cyberattacks that leverage tools that already exist on targeted computers. This type of cyberattack blends in with common administration work, making detection more difficult. According to IBM, one of the common administration tools that’s often used by cyberattackers is PowerShell. What Is PowerShell? PowerShell is a…
Read More
How SMBv1 Leaves Your Organization’s Server Open to Cyberattacks

How SMBv1 Leaves Your Organization’s Server Open to Cyberattacks

Information Security, Servers
How SMBv1 Leaves Your Organization’s Server Open to Cyberattacks Servers are the core of every organization’s I.T. operations. Many organizations, however, leave this core component open to cyberattacks through SMBv1. What Is SMBv1? SMBv1, which stands for Server Message Block version 1, was created by Barry Feigenbaum in the early 80s as a file sharing protocol for DOS. In the 90s, Microsoft started using SMBv1 in its operating systems as a protocol for sharing access to files, printers and other resources on a network. SMBv2, which stands for Server Message Block version 2, was introduced in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. SMBv3 was introduced in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. In 2014, Microsoft publicly regarded SMBv1 as obsolete and best avoided. SMBv1 isn’t installed by default in the…
Read More
How to Stop the Costliest & Destructive Malware Emotet

How to Stop the Costliest & Destructive Malware Emotet

Information Security
How to Stop the Costliest & Destructive Malware Emotet In the history of malicious software (malware) development, the malware called “Emotet” has emerged to be among the most costly and destructive. According to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), Emotet costs the U.S. state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments up to $1 million per incident to clean up. Emotet victims are, however, not limited to the U.S. territory alone as this malware targets everyone regardless of location and affecting both in the private and public sectors. What is Emotet? How It Works? Emotet is a malware that was first detected by Trend Microin June 2014. Emotet first appeared as a banking trojan – a malware that’s designed to steal critical information stored or processed through online banking…
Read More
When Cyberattacks Force Organizations to Use Paper

When Cyberattacks Force Organizations to Use Paper

Information Security, Security
When Cyberattacks Force Organizations to Use Paper Computers revolutionized the way we do business, to the point that reliance on computers is almost total for many organizations. This almost total reliance on computers, however, makes many organizations vulnerable to cyberattacks, such as ransomware attacks. The recent ransomware attack on the City Hall of Del Rio, Texashighlights the downside of the digital age. The City Hall of Del Rio succumbed to a ransomware attack resulting in the “transactions at City Hall … being done manually with paper”, the City of Del Rio said in a statement. The City of Del Rio said that its City Hall was attacked by a ransomware last January 10, which prompted the city’s IT department in disabling the city’s servers, the shutting off of the internet…
Read More
Canadian University Shuts Down IT Network After Cryptojacking Attack

Canadian University Shuts Down IT Network After Cryptojacking Attack

Information Security
Canadian University Shuts Down IT Network After Cryptojacking Attack St. Francis Xavier University, one of Canada’s oldest universities, was forced to temporarily disable all its network systems in response to a cryptojacking attack. The university, in a statement, said that a malicious software (malware) infected its network which then attempted to utilize the university’s collective computing power in order to mine the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The university added that it's bringing its IT systems back online in a staggering process to minimize potential risk. This cyber incident at St. Francis Xavier Universityhighlights the dangers of a cryptojacking attack. What Is Cryptojacking? Cryptojacking happens when a cyberattacker uses without consent the computing power of another for the purpose of mining a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. Mining a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is similar…
Read More
1 in 5 Canadian Businesses Hit by Cyberattack in 2017, StatCan Survey Shows

1 in 5 Canadian Businesses Hit by Cyberattack in 2017, StatCan Survey Shows

Information Security
1 in 5 Canadian Businesses Hit by Cyberattack in 2017, StatCan Survey Shows A survey conducted by Statistics Canada (StatCan), Canada’s national statistical office, showed that 1 in 5 Canadian businesses were hit by a cyberattack last year.  From January 2018 to April 2018, StatCanconducted the first of its kind survey that aimed to provide a snapshot of the cybersecurity challenges encountered by Canadian businesses – those with 10 or more employees. StatCan’s survey results showed that over one-fifth or 21% of Canadian businesses reported that they were hit by a cyberattack last year which affected their operations. The survey showed that large businesses (41%) were more than twice as likely as small businesses (19%) to identify an impactful cyberattack. Direct Costs of Cyberattacks Listed below are the direct costs of cyberattacks…
Read More
Countdown to Nov. 1, 2018: Enforcement Date of Canada’s Mandatory Data Breach Reporting Law

Countdown to Nov. 1, 2018: Enforcement Date of Canada’s Mandatory Data Breach Reporting Law

Information Security
Countdown to Nov. 1, 2018: Enforcement Date of Canada’s Mandatory Data Breach Reporting Law November 1, 2018 marks the enforcement date of the Canadian law that requires organizations in the private sector to report data breaches. The Canadian Governmentofficially set November 1, 2018 as the enforcement date of the mandatory data breach reporting obligation of organizations in the private sector in line with the Digital Privacy Act, a law that amended the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). PIPEDA is a Canadian privacy law for private sector organizations which came into force in January 2001. This law sets out rules that organizations in the private sector must follow whenever they collect, use or disclose personal information in the course of their commercial activities. Canada’s Digital Privacy Act, which…
Read More
Canadian Towns Hit by Ransomware Cyberattacks; Lessons Learned from These Attacks

Canadian Towns Hit by Ransomware Cyberattacks; Lessons Learned from These Attacks

Information Security
Canadian Towns Hit by Ransomware Cyberattacks; Lessons Learned from These Attacks The Canadian town of Midland in Ontario recently acknowledged it has paid ransom after experiencing a crippling ransomware cyberattack. In a statement, Midland Townsaid that it has “initiated the process to pay the ransom in exchange for the decryption keys.” The town added, “Although not ideal, it is in our best interest to bring the system back online as quickly as possible." What Is Ransomware A ransomware is a type of a malicious software (malware) that encrypts files, making them inaccessible to users, and demands from victims ransom in exchange for the decryption keys that unlock the encrypted files. Ransomware attackers typically ask their victims to pay ransom in the form of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and convert it to…
Read More