Scam of the day update – April 12, 2016 – Adobe Flash update

In April 9th’s Scam of the day, I explained to you about the extreme danger of ransomware posed by further use of Adobe Flash software without updating the software with the latest security updates. Today new updates were issued in addition to those I provided in April 9th’s Scam of the day.  Here is a link from the Department of Homeland Security to new Adobe Flash security updates just issued today.

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/04/12/Adobe-Releases-Security-Updates-Creative-Cloud-Desktop-Application

I should emphasize, however, that my advice is to replace Adobe Flash with other comparable software to avoid further danger.

Scam of the day – March 23, 2016 – Latest software security updates from the Department of Homeland Security

Constant updating of the software we all use with the latest security patches and updates is a critical part of avoiding scams and identity theft threats.  Whenever new security updates and patches are issued, we provide access to these so that you can update your software to provide better security on your computers, smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices.  Updating your software with the latest security patches and updates as soon as possible is important because identity thieves and scammers are always finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in the software that we all use.  Delay in updating your software could lead to disastrous results.  However, it is also important to be sure that you are downloading legitimate patches and updates rather than being tricked by an identity thief or scammer into downloading malware under the guise of downloading a security patch or update.  Today’s updates include critical updates for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple and Adobe Flash.

TIPS

Here are the links to the latest security updates and patches from the Department of Homeland Security:  https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB16-081 and https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/03/21/Apple-Releases-Multiple-Security-Updates

Scam of the day – March 13, 2016 – Adobe Flash software update

I have been writing about the security flaws in Adobe Flash for years and finally in July of 2015 I advised everyone to disable Adobe Flash and use other video software.   Unfortunately, some popular websites including HBO and Spotify still require the use of Adobe Flash.  In 2015, Mozilla, the maker of the popular Firefox browser  blocked Adobe Flash from use on Firefox as a security protection to Firefox users.  That came just a day after Facebook’s head of security went on record saying that Adobe should stop making Flash because it is too flawed.  Flaws in Adobe Flash have been exploited by hackers and identity thieves against individuals, companies and government agencies including the U.S. State Department and the White House.  Problems with Adobe Flash are nothing new.  In 2010 Steve Jobs vociferously complained about its security and it has routinely been cited as being extremely vulnerable.  Despite security patch after security patch, new problems keep coming up.  It appears that just as companies retire certain programs when it is just too difficult to patch them, this may well be the time for Adobe to retire Flash and if it doesn’t, you should consider retiring it yourself and replacing it with another plugin that performs the same function, but is safer.

TIPS

Some alternative plugins you may wish to consider include  GNU Gnash, and Silverlight.  Silverlight can be downloaded free directly from the Microsoft at this link: https://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/ while GNU Gnash can be downloaded free at this link: http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/

Meanwhile, for those of you who still wish to use Adobe Flash, you should make sure that you update your Adobe Flash software whenever new security patches are issued, which Adobe has just done.  Here is a link to the new security update as indicated by the Department of Homeland Security: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/03/10/Adobe-Releases-Security-Updates-Flash-Player

Scam of the day – July 16, 2015 – Adobe Flash update issued, but is it too late?

This is the third day in a row that the Scam of the day has involved Adobe Flash, but this is such an important topic and the new developments have been happening so rapidly, it warrants the coverage.  Adobe Flash is a hugely popular plug-in used for watching videos on your computer or smartphone.  Over the years it has also proven to be fertile grounds for hackers who have numerous times exploited vulnerabilities in it to hack into and take over the computers and smartphones of individuals, businesses and government agencies.  Shortly after Adobe released a new security patch following the discovery of yet another vulnerability by security company FireEye which reported its discovery to Adobe to give them the opportunity to develop a patch, we learned about two more Adobe Flash vulnerabilities by way of the information  made public when the spyware company The Hacking Team became a victim of a very public hacking.  The Hacking Team had been exploiting the Adobe Flash vulnerabilities for its own end.  Now, Adobe has come up with a patch for the latest Adobe Flash vulnerabilities to become known, but for many of us, this is too little and too late.  As I urged you yesterday, I think you should uninstall Adobe Flash and switch to a different video viewing plug-in.  There is little reason to believe that future vulnerabilities will not be discovered in  Adobe Flash and exploited by hackers and other criminals.  Exploit kits, which are packets of computer code that exploit these vulnerabilities are being sold by criminals to other criminals to enable them to hack the computers and smartphones of unsuspecting victims.  A sad commentary on the effectiveness of these Exploit kits is that many of them are still being used against vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash for which patches have already been developed and made available, but people, companies and government agencies have been lax in installing the patches to protect themselves.

TIPS

If you are still interested in using Adobe Flash, here is a link to the latest security patch to remedy the most recently discovered vulnerabilities.  https://helpx.adobe.com/security/products/flash-player/apsb15-18.html

However, my advice still is to uninstall Adobe Flash and install a different plug-in for video viewing.

Another important lesson is to make sure that you update all of your software as soon as security patches and updates become available.  Delaying in doing so puts you at much greater risk of being hacked and identity theft.  Here at Scamicide, we will continue to provide you with the latest security patches and updates as they become available.

Scam of the day – July 1, 2015 – Critical Adobe Flash update

Adobe Flash software is a highly used video software program so it should be of little surprise that it is highly scrutinized for vulnerabilities by hackers who exploit these vulnerabilities to gain access to their targets computers.  Unpatched vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash software were exploited by Russian hackers who hacked into the White House and State Department computer systems.  Recently, the security firm FireEye found attempts to attack aerospace, defense, construction, technology and telecom companies by exploiting a flaw in Adobe Flash uncovered by FireEye.  FireEye promptly notified Adobe which promptly created a patch for the problem.  A link to the patch can be found below.

The problem is that hackers are now distributing kits on black market websites that enable other hackers to exploit this vulnerability on computers that have not been updated and all too often individuals and companies fail to update their software in a timely basis.  Already this flaw is being exploited by hackers as a way of getting victims to download Ransomware on to their computers.  As I have written about many times before, Ransomware encrypts and locks your computer data.  The hacker then threatens to destroy the data unless a ransom is paid immediately.

TIPS

Businesses, government agencies and individual computer users must make it a priority to install the latest security patches and updates as soon as they become available.  Time after time, companies, government agencies and individual computer users have become victims of devastating computer hacks that they could have easily avoided had they promptly updated their software with the latest security patches and updates as soon as they became available.  Don’t make this mistake.  Here at Scamicide we regularly provide you the links to the latest security patches.

Here is the link to the latest Adobe Flash security update:  https://helpx.adobe.com/security/products/flash-player/apsb15-14.html

Scam of the day – June 17, 2015 – Latest security updates from the Department of Homeland Security

Constant updating of the software we all use with the latest security patches and updates is a critical part of avoiding scams and identity theft threats.  Whenever new security updates and patches are issued, we provide access to these so that you can update your software to provide better security on your computers, smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices.  Updating your software with the latest security patches and updates as soon as possible is important because identity thieves and scammers are always finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in the software that we all use.  Delay in updating your software could lead to disastrous results.  However, it is also important to be sure that you are downloading legitimate patches and updates rather than being tricked by an identity thief or scammer into downloading malware under the guise of downloading a security patch or update.  Users of the affected programs should make sure that they update their software with these latest security patches as soon as possible.  Today’s updates include critical updates for Adobe Flash, Microsoft Windows 7 and Internet Explorer.

TIPS

Here are links to the latest security updates and patches from the Department of Homeland Security: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB15-166

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/06/16/Adobe-Releases-Security-Updates-Multiple-Products

Scam of the day – June 9, 2015 – Latest security updates from the Department of Homeland Security

Constant updating of the software we all use with the latest security patches and updates is a critical part of avoiding scams and identity theft threats.  Whenever new security updates and patches are issued, we provide access to these so that you can update your software to provide better security on your computers, smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices.  Updating your software with the latest security patches and updates as soon as possible is important because identity thieves and scammers are always finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in the software that we all use.  Delay in updating your software could lead to disastrous results.  However, it is also important to be sure that you are downloading legitimate patches and updates rather than being tricked by an identity thief or scammer into downloading malware under the guise of downloading a security patch or update.  Users of the affected programs should make sure that they update their software with these latest security patches as soon as possible.  Today’s updates include critical updates for the Apple iPhone.

Also, just issued is a critical security update for Adobe Flash.

TIPS

Here is a link to the latest security updates and patches from the Department of Homeland Security: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB15-152

Here is the link for the Adobe Flash update:

https://helpx.adobe.com/security/products/flash-player/apsb15-11.html

Scam of the day – April 30, 2015 – Latest security updates from the Department of Homeland Security

Constant updating of the software we all use with the latest security patches and updates is a critical part of avoiding scams and identity theft threats.  Whenever new security updates and patches are issued, we provide access to these so that you can update your software to provide better security on your computers, smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices.  Updating your software with the latest security patches and updates as soon as possible is important because identity thieves and scammers are always finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in the software that we all use.  Delay in updating your software could lead to disastrous results.  However, it is also important to be sure that you are downloading legitimate patches and updates rather than being tricked by an identity thief or scammer into downloading malware under the guise of downloading a security patch or update.  Users of the affected programs should make sure that they update their software with these latest security patches as soon as possible.  Today’s updates include important security patches for Apple tv, WordPress (which is used by many people for the creation of websites), Mozilla Firefox,  Adobe Flash,

TIPS

Here are the links to the latest security updates and patches from the Department of Homeland Security:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB15-103

https://wordpress.org/news/2015/04/wordpress-4-1-2/

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/04/21/Mozilla-Releases-Security-Update-Firefox

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB15-110

Scam of the day – April 5, 2015 – Latest security updates from the Department of Homeland Security

Constant updating of the software we all use with the latest security patches and updates is a critical part of avoiding scams and identity theft threats.  Whenever new security updates and patches are issued, we provide access to these so that you can update your software to provide better security on your computers, smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices.  Updating your software with the latest security patches and updates as soon as possible is important because identity thieves and scammers are always finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in the software that we all use.  Delay in updating your software could lead to disastrous results.  However, it is also important to be sure that you are downloading legitimate patches and updates rather than being tricked by an identity thief or scammer into downloading malware under the guise of downloading a security patch or update.  Users of the affected programs should make sure that they update their software with these latest security patches as soon as possible.  Today’s updates include security patches for Adobe Flash which is always a target of identity thieves as well as updates for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and others.

TIPS

Here are links to the latest security updates from the Department of Homeland Security:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB15-082

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/04/01/Google-Releases-Security-Update-Chrome

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/03/31/Mozilla-Releases-Security-Updates-Firefox-Firefox-ESR-and

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2015/03/26/Cisco-Releases-Semiannual-IOS-Software-Security-Advisory-Bundled

Scam of the day – February 24, 2015 – Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver’s website hacked

Jamie Oliver is a popular celebrity chef whose website, jamieoliver.com was hacked by unknown hackers who infected his website with malware that enabled the hackers to take control of the computers of many of the ten million monthly visitors to his website since December until a few days ago when the problem was identified and fixed.  The hacking was discovered by the security firm Malware Bytes, the makers of excellent security software, which I use myself.  This particular hacking injected the malware into the website itself, so visitors did not even have to click on links within the website to risk becoming infected.  The particular malware enabled the hackers to take over the victims’ computers to utilize them for the sending of spam or phishing communications as well as to steal personal information from the victims’ computers to use to steal the identity of the victim.  It should be emphasized that the problem has been corrected, however this type of attack brings up many questions about how do we stay safe when surfing the Internet.

TIPS

The first thing to do if you have gone to the Jamie Oliver website since the beginning of December is to have a security scan of your computer or other electronic device done with updated anti-virus and anti-malware security software.  The hackers in this particular case exploited a vulnerability in the Adobe Flash Player which was patched in January of 2015.  You can find links to the patch in the Scamicide security updates found in some Scams of the Day for January.  Adobe Flash has long been a favorite of hackers and it is critical, as I have advised you many times, to keep the software you used up to date with the latest security patches which is why I provide you with links to those patches as they become available.  The hackers also exploited vulnerabilities in Java software and Microsoft’s Silverlight.   Java is another software program popular with not just the public, but also with hackers so you should always be sure to maintain your Java software up to date with the latest security patches.