Archive for October, 2013

Chrome and Safari Ransomware prank emerges during OCT 2013

Intego highlights new version of Ransomware browser locking “prank” that is circulating this month:

QUOTE: Last July, a ransomware prank was found making the rounds on Safari browsers, which tied up the browser window with excessive pop-ups purporting to be from the FBI, demanding users send $300 to have their browser unlocked. The ransomware wasn’t harmful to the user’s system, and it could be easily bypassed. Well, we’re seeing yet another round of this irritating prank, and this time it affects Chrome and Safari browsers. There’s a couple ways to kill this prank from each of the affected web browsers.

Apple Safari 6.1 release patches 21 vulnerabilities

Intego highlights important update for Safari browser as follows:

QUOTE: Apple has released Safari 6.1 with patches for 21 vulnerabilities to improve its web browser security. The Safari update addresses a number of Webkit flaws that may lead to information disclosure and cross-site scripting attacks, as well as a Safari vulnerability related to arbitrary code execution.

Malware – Crptyolocker Ransomeware increases during October 2013

Trend reports an an increase in spreading of CryptoLocker malware, as follows:

QUOTE: Over the past few weeks, we’ve been seeing an increase in the number of spreading CryptoLocker malware. This new kind of ransomware has been hitting more users over the past few weeks  Previously, we discussed how these threats were arriving via email. CryptoLocker can be viewed as a refinement of a previously known type of threat called ransomware. Such “improvements” are in line with our 2013 Security Predictions, where we mentioned that the focus of cybercriminals would be the refinement of existing tools, rather than the creation of entirely new threats.

Twitter and Instagram grow in popularity during 2013

Recent surveys note that usage of these two specialized social networking sites are growing.  Both are popular resources for younger users.

QUOTE: We’re almost 10 years old so we’re definitely not a niche thing any more so that kind of angle for coolness is done for us,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said just last month at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Facebook, in its July report to stockholders, noted that losing younger Facebook members to competing social networks is a known problem.  Now there’s even more statistics to support what you and Zuck already know in your heart: Twitter toppled Facebook as “most important” social site among teens, making the former long-standing champion No. 2. That’s according to the semi-annual teen market report from investment management firm Piper Jaffray.

With 26 percent of the teens surveyed choosing Twitter, and 23 percent going with Facebook, the difference doesn’t seem like a big one, until you notice how far Facebook’s fallen since its all time high of 42 percent teen preference, way way back in 2012. (About 200 years in Internet time.) If this all seems freakishly familiar, it’s because Pew Research offered up similar stats in its May report on teens and social media, noting a “waning enthusiasm” for Facebook among U.S. teens. Instagram — that’s the third most important social media site for teens, according Piper Jaffray. With 23 percent of teens surveyed choosing Instagram as No. 1, the photo-sharing social service is up from 17 percent in Spring, neck-and-neck with its new owner and growing fast

Kaspersky AV – Oct 2013 False positive detection resolution

Kaspersky AV users should update the AV signature files if they encounter this false detection message:

QUOTE: One of our readers has alerted us to the fact that Kaspersky AV has identified tcpip.sys as malware on his Windows 7 32bit hosts – the file is flagged as “HEUR:Trojan.Win32.Generic“.  Microsoft’s Windows File Protection feature prevented it from quarantining this critical file, but his end users were all treated to the error message. Kaspersky has verified that this is resolved in their latest update.  If you’re seeing this issue, get your AV to “phone home” for the fix!

Facebook – Privacy Settings eased for Teen users

Parents still need to take an active role to ensure responsible use of home Internet resources.  As often shared, don’t put anything on a social network you would not want on front page of newspaper.

QUOTE:  Facebook has eased its privacy settings for 13 to 17-year-old users, enabling them to now share photos updates and comments with the public. The change went into effect immediately after the announcement on Wednesday. “Teens are among the savviest people using social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard,”

Facebook wrote in a blog post announcing the change. “While only a small fraction of teens using Facebook might choose to post publicly, this update now gives them the choice to share more broadly, just like on other social media services.”  The privacy settings for teenagers were previously set to “Friends of Friends” as a default. Their default will now be set to just “Friends,” a narrower audience, but they will have the choice to make their posts public. However, a small warning will pop up when teenagers try to set their posts to public, giving them one last warning that anyone can see their online content once they make it accessible.

Facebook Hoaxes – Avoid COPY & PASTE of special warnings

Often users will special posts in their friends messages that ask them to COPY & PASTE certain warnings.  Almost all of these are hoaxes that are filled with some factual data so that folks will become concerned and take action.  One new variant of a privacy hoax was circulating actively this month.  Have just assisted some friends in dispelling this as a hoax.  It is captured below

QUOTE:   [Collected via e-mail, October 2013]   Channel 13 News was just talking about this change in Facebook’s privacy policy. Better safe than sorry. As of October 14, 2013 at 5:50pm Eastern standard time, I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. You MUST copy and Paste

Microsoft Security Updates – October 2013

Critical updates for IE, Windows, Office, and other products are available. Corporate and home users should promptly install these updates. The Internet Explorer update is rated as “PATCH NOW” by ISC because it patches an exploit currently circulating on malicious sites

Microsoft Patch Tuesday – 10th anniversary

With the TWC initiative, Microsoft introduced an innovative process to continually improve security over time.  It provides important planning date each month for system administrators and well all home & corporate users

QUOTE: This month also marks the 10-year anniversary of the Patch Tuesday program, which Microsoft started in October of 2003. Over the past decade, it has become a model implementation of a patch program in both outreach to vulnerability submitters and predictability for IT administrators, who have been dealing with the increasing number of patches for their computer infrastructures

Facebook – New Timeline Search capability

NY Times shares article on new advanced Facebook timeline search capability

QUOTE: In a blog post on the company’s Web site Monday, Facebook said people could now search “status updates, photo captions, check-ins and comments” from both their own timelines and those of their friends.  Facebook said people could search for specific things by, for example, typing in, “Posts about Dancing with the Stars by my friends,” which will bring up any posts by their friends on the service who have commented on or shared content about the show. You could also search for “Pictures of me and my dog” to help find photos in which you’re both tagged, or “My posts from last year.”