Scam of the day – July 15, 2017 – Critical updates for Microsoft and Adobe

As illustrated by the recent Wannacry ransomware attack that exploited vulnerabilities in unpatched Windows operating systems, keeping your computer and smartphone software up to date with the latest security patches and updates is critical to staying safe on your computer and smartphone which is why here at Scamicide, whenever important software updates are issued, we let you know about them and where to get them.

Today, we have the newest updates for Microsoft software and Adobe software including the infamous Adobe Flash. 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 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. Adobe Flash has already been proven to be so vulnerable to successful attacks by hackers that installing new security patches as quickly as they are issued is little more than putting a Band-aid on the Titanic if I can mix my metaphors.

Microsoft now blocks Adobe Flash by default in its Edge browser due to security concerns.  Microsoft also blocks outdated versions of Adobe Flash from running in Internet Explorer on Windows 7.  If you use Windows 8.1, Windows 10 or Windows Server 2012R2, this will not affect you because these systems automatically install Adobe Flash security patches.  In addition, to Microsoft both Google, Apple and Mozilla have  indicated that are blocking Adobe Flash.

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Here is the link to the latest Microsoft updates:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2017/07/11/Microsoft-Releases-July-2017-Security-Updates

If you are going to continue to use Adobe Flash, it is imperative that you update your software.  Here is a link to the latest Adobe Flash updates:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2017/07/11/Adobe-Releases-Security-Updates

However, it may well be time for you to replace Adobe Flash to avoid future problems.

Here is a link to a website with alternative plugins you may wish to consider to replace Adobe Flash.

http://alternativeto.net/software/flash-player/

Scam of the day – December 30, 2016 – 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.  These new updates from the Department of Homeland Security includes critical updates for Microsoft products and Samsung mobile products.

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Here are the links to a list of all of the recent security updates as posted by the Department of Homeland Security:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB16-361

Scam of the day – December 17, 2016 – 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.  These new updates from the Department of Homeland Security includes critical updates for Microsoft products, Mozilla Firefox  Adobe software including Adobe Flash and Apple products.  The Adobe Flash security patch is particularly important because, once again, new vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash have been discovered that are already being exploited by cybercriminals to take control of your devices using Adobe Flash.  I suggest you check out previous Scams of the day by putting the words “Adobe Flash” in the section entitled “Search the website” for detailed steps you can take to find an alternative to the continuously dangerous Adobe Flash.

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Here are the links to a list of all of the recent security updates as posted by the Department of Homeland Security: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB16-347

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/12/13/Microsoft-Releases-December-2016-Security-Bulletin

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/12/13/Adobe-Releases-Security-Updates

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/12/12/Apple-Releases-Security-Updates

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/12/14/Mozilla-Releases-Security-Updates

Scam of the day – November 9, 2016 – Critical Microsoft updates

In November 4th’s Scam of the day, I told you about  an older version of Microsoft’s Windows software, which along with the much exploited Adobe Flash software had been exploited by Russian hackers to attack computer systems to gain access to information.  The group that had done these recent hacks appears to be the same Russian hackers responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee earlier this year.  Adobe has already issued a security update to patch the vulnerability.  A link to the security update can be found in November 5th’s Scam of the day. Microsoft has just now issued the necessary patches and updates.   Users of Windows 10, the latest version of Windows and the Microsoft’s Edge browser were already protected from the attack.

Once again, the malware necessary to spread these computer hacks was spread, as so often is the case, by spear phishing emails luring unsuspecting victims into clicking on links that downloaded the malware.

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The best thing you can do to help protect yourself from being hacked is to never click on links in emails or text messages from anyone until you have absolutely verified that the messages and the links are legitimate.  Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.

It is also important to update your security software on all of your electronic devices as soon as security updates become available.  Hackers constantly exploit vulnerabilities in software for which there already exist security patches, but which have not been installed by consumers.   Here is the link to the critical  new Microsoft updates: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletins

Scam of the day – October 12, 2016 – Latest updates from 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.  These new updates from the Department of Homeland Security include critical new updates to Adobe Flash and ten Microsoft updates. I have been warning you for years about flaws in Adobe Flash that 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.

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Here are the links to  lists of all of the recent security updates as posted by the Department of Homeland Security: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/bulletins/SB16-284 and

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/10/11/Adobe-Releases-Security-Updates and

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/10/11/Microsoft-Releases-Security-Updates

Some alternative plugins you may wish to consider to replace Adobe Flash 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/

Scam of the day – August 12, 2016 – Important Microsoft security patches and updates

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.    Microsoft recently issued a large number of security patches necessary to fix critical vulnerabilities in software such as Internet Explorer, Edge and Office. The particular vulnerabilities being patched with these updates will protect users from being hacked when they merely visit a tainted website.  Other of the patches will fix  problems with how Windows, Office and Skype handle specific types of fonts such that hackers could exploit this vulnerability to take control of the victim’s computer if the victim views files with certain fonts or by visiting a malicious website.

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Here is the link to the recent Microsoft security updates: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2016/08/09/Microsoft-Releases-August-2016-Security-Bulletin

Scam of the day – June 11, 2014 – Critical Internet Explorer and Microsoft Word updates

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.  That is why we provide links to the necessary patches and updates as provided by the Department of Homeland Security and the companies directly.  Today’s updates provide important security updates to many important Microsoft programs including Internet Explorer and Microsoft Word.

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Here is the link to the latest security updates as issued by both the  Department of Homeland Security and Microsoft directly.  This is the link to Microsoft’s security updates:

https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/ms14-jun

Scam of the day – November 16, 2013 – Critical Microsoft security update

In the Scam of the day for November 8, 2013 I warned you about serious vulnerabilities in various Microsoft programs that had been exploited by hackers, particularly in the Middle East and South Asia.  The vulnerabilities are so serious that they can result in the hacker literally being able to take over the victim’s computer and gain access to all of the filed and documents contained therein.  Until now, Microsoft did not have a security patch to deal with this problem, but now Microsoft has released a number of security patches and updates to protect you from these threats.  Here is a link to the new Microsoft security patches and updates which you should install as soon as possible, if you have not done so already.  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletin/ms13-nov

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Promptly installing the latest security updates and patches on all of your electronic equipment such as computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones is an essential element of protecting your security.  Check Scamicide daily so you can be sure that you will be up to date in all of the latest security patches and updates.

Scam of the day – August 18, 2013 – Urgent Microsoft security updates – How to prevent identity theft

Identity thieves and hackers are constantly working to discover and exploit vulnerabilities in the various computer software that we use in our computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and other portable devices  to make you a victim of online identity theft therefore it is extremely important that as flaws are discovered and patches for these flaws issued that you download the necessary security patches as soon as possible.  Identity thieves and hackers rely on the fact that many people do not keep their security software up to date and exploit this fact.  Recently Microsoft has issued new security patches for discovered vulnerabilities in various Windows programs that millions of people use.  The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security regularly issues alerts regarding software patches you need to install and recently they issued such an alert for Windows software.

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Here is a link to the Security Advisory issued by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team which, in turn, provides secure links that you can trust that will take you to the necessary Microsoft security downloads.  https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2013/08/15/Microsoft-Releases-Security-Advisory

Scam of the day – July 12, 2013 – Critical Microsoft security updates

Identity thieves regularly manage to exploit vulnerabilities in the common software programs that we use.  Java software has proven to be such an effective target for identity thieves that the Department of Homeland Security has even gone so far as to advise people to remove Java software from their computers because of its susceptibility to being exploited by identity thieves.  For more information about Java, as well as instructions as to how to remove it from your computer, go to the Scamicide archives.  Software manufacturers constantly are trying to patch the vulnerabilities in their products and whenever those patches become available, I make sure that I notify you not only that they are available, but where to go to download the necessary patches.  Delaying installing the latest security updates puts you in a dangerous risk of identity theft.  The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a part of the Department of Homeland Security has issued a new advisory that provides information about vulnerabilities in a number of Microsoft software programs including the commonly used Internet browser, Internet Explorer.  It is important to download the necessary patches as soon as possible.

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Here is a link to the latest alert issued by the Department of Homeland Security regarding the Microsoft vulnerabilities and how to remedy the situation.

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA13-190A