Posts Tagged: ‘microsoft hacked’

Scam of the day – November 8, 2013 – Extreme security threat to Microsoft Word users

November 8, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

Microsoft has announced that it has discovered a serious vulnerability in its Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Lync software that presently is being exploited by hacking into the computers of the users of these programs in the Middle East and South Asia.  The vulnerability is serious and can result in a hacker being able to literally take over the victim’s computer and gain access to all of the files and documents contained therein.  The seriousness of this danger cannot be overestimated.  Presently the attacks exploiting this recently discovered vulnerability have been limited to computers in the Middle East and South Asia, but there is concern that the hackings will expand to computers in other parts of the world.  Although Microsoft is working on a security patch, none is presently ready and may not be available for a few days.  Here is a link to the security advisory recently issued by the United Sates Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security.  I urge you to check it out for further information http://mail.aol.com/38172-111/aol-6/en-us/mail/PrintMessage.aspx

TIPS

This threat is very real, but in order to become a victim, you would need to click on a link in an email or text message or download a tainted attachment.  As I always advise you, never click on links unless you are absolutely sure that they are legitimate and never download attachments unless you are absolutely sure it is legitimate.  Even if the link or attachment appears to be in an email or message sent from someone you trust, their email or text messaging could have been hijacked by a hacker.  The best course of action whenever you have any doubt about the legitimacy of a link or an attachment is to contact the person or agency purporting to send the email or text message to confirm whether or not it is legitimate.  As soon as a security patch is developed for this vulnerability I will provide a link to it here on Scamicide so make sure you check in with Scamicide each day.

Scam of the day – February 26, 2013 – Microsoft hacked – what it means to you

February 25, 2013 Posted by Steven Weisman, Esq.

A few days ago, Microsoft announced that it, like Apple, Facebook, Twitter and hundreds of other prominent companies had been hacked.  The Microsoft hacking is still being investigated and it has not yet been determined if sensitive information was compromised or taken by the hackers, but the lesson is clear for us all.  You are only as secure from identity theft as the security of the weakest place that holds personal information about you.  In the Microsoft and other company hackings in recent days, it appears that, once again, it was a vulnerability in Java that was exploited by the hackers and since anti-virus security software is always playing catch-up when responding to the latest viruses created by the hackers and identity thieves, people should ask themselves whether or not they need to use Java software on their computer.  It has been estimated that half of the major computer hacking last year was done by exploiting vulnerabilities in Java.  It would appear that as soon as Java plugs a hole in their software, the hackers find another to exploit.

TIPS

You should consider whether or not you need Java software since it is such a target for hackers who may hack into your computer just as they have done with hundreds of businesses that use Java.  If you need Java, you should install the latest security patch.  Here is the link to information about both installing the latest Java security patch as well as information about deactivating Java from your computer.  http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/techalerts/TA13-051A.html

Here at scamicide, I will continue to promptly update you with the latest information about security patches you should use to make sure your computer is protected as well as possible.

You should also make sure that your Firewall is operating, use a complex password, maintain constantly updated security software and be prudent when downloading anything or clicking on a link as I have described in my book “50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age” because, as I have told you before, security software is only about 5% effective against the latest viruses.  It takes generally about a month before the software is updated.  Also, in order to limit your exposure to identity theft, limit the amount of information that you provide to companies and websites that store that information because if they are hacked, your security is compromised.