Scam of the day – August 6, 2017 – Hero hacker who stopped Wannacry arrested on malware charges

Say it ain’t so!  It was just a few weeks ago that Marcus Hutchins, a cybersecurity researcher for Kryptos Logic was being hailed as a hero for his discovery of the kill-switch used to stop the spread of the dangerous WannaCry ransomware malware attack that infected millions of computers around the world.  Now, however, Hutchins has been arrested by the FBI on federal charges related to the creation and distribution of the Kronos banking malware that when surreptitiously installed on victims’ computers allowed the cybercriminals to steal login information and data that enabled the cybercriminals to hack into their victims’ bank accounts.

Federal authorities allege that Hutchins created the software and then, in keeping with the present business plan used by many cybercriminals sold the malware for thousands of dollars to other criminals on websites on the Dark Web, where criminals buy and sell criminal information and products.

TIPS

It should not be overlooked that Hutchins has only been charged with these crimes and has a presumption of innocence.  A lesson for all of us is to remember that malware such as both the Wannacry ransomware and the Kronos banking malware are generally downloaded on to the computers, smart phones and other electronic devices of their victims when the victims click on links in infected emails or text messages.  Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.  Never click on any links unless in you have absolutely confirmed that they are legitimate.

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.

TIPS

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 – June 7, 2017 – Google Chrome security update

As was made abundantly clear by the recent massive Wannacry ransomware attack that focused on a vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows operating system for which Microsoft had already issued a security update, 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 security update involves serious vulnerabilities in the popular search engine Google Chrome

TIPS

Here is a  link to this recent security update as posted by the Department of Homeland Security:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2017/06/06/Google-Releases-Security-Updates-Chrome