[tweetmeme source=”franscomputerservices” only_single=false]There are two major things that users need to be aware of right now, as if there weren’t enough already. 😉
One affects email and the other affects browsing/surfing the Internet. Both bad news, and we all need to be very aware of what has happened and why we have to be very vigilant in making sure we don’t click on links in email, open attachments sent in email, or respond to potential unexpected boxes and requests while surfing the Internet.
Financial and payment services are the biggest areas being hit right now, and will continue to be so much more effective and dangerous due to the current economy while people scramble to survive around the world.
Lizamoon/LizaMoon drive-by rogue malware infection
Lizamoon is a drive-by rouge antimalware or antivirus download infection. Thankfully you generally have to take some action to allow it to install as noted by Fred Langa in the comp copy of WindowsSecrets.com newsletter in his article entitled, “LizaMoon infection: a blow-by-blow account“. Must read!
The most important takeaway is that Fred said he had to take action on four separate occasions before the infection took place:
On the other hand, deliberate choices and actions by a user can defeat any software. LizaMoon required my active, voluntary involvement four different times before the infection took hold.
LizaMoon wasn’t even subtle: I had plenty of warnings and opportunities to abort the process, the malware itself provided abundant clues to its own bogus nature (such as an inability to keep its aliases straight).
Much more in the article. A must read for all who surf the Internet to be able to identify this rogue drive-by infection when it happens/if it happens.
The biggest takeaway:We can prevent these types of things by being aware and not clicking on things just because they are presented to us while surfing the Internet.
Epsilon breach – Spear Phishing attacks
Epsilon is an outsourcing marketing company for many big companies/banks. They have a huge database of people’s email addresses, names and the company or bank associated with each email address. This makes the spear phishing, generally a very effective social engineering technique and can make their attacks via email so much more effective…mainly because they know the email addresses are real, and more importantly they can link the real name and the actual company/bank connected the email address.
Computerworld reports, “Security experts today warned users to be on the watch for targeted email attacks after a breach at a major marketing firm that may have put millions of addresses in the hands of hackers and scammers.”
Epsilon has now confirmed that approximately 2 per cent of its total clients were affected. According to a blog post by security blogger Brian Krebs, financial services company Visa and American Express (Amex) say that they were not impacted by the Epsilon breach. However, the following banks, service providers and online retailers are said to have been affected:
Air Miles (Canada)
Barclay’s Bank of Delaware
Euro Sport (Soccer.com)
Food 4 Less
Hilton Honors Program
Home Depot Credit Card (Citibank Editor)
Home Shopping Network
Marks and Spencer
New York & Co.
Red Roof Inns
Robert Half International
The biggest takeaway: Don’t believe everything you see in email. Don’t trust links or downloads in email. Check with the person who sends it before opening any downloads and don’t give out information from your bank, and other sites, etc. unless you can confirm it definitely came from them. You can always go to the site directly from your own bookmarks/favorites and login to ensure you get to the right place. Don’t use their links in email unless you can verify it’s really from the company. In fact, one can get into trouble and get further compromised by clicking on links in email.
Side note: this is why I do not view email as HTML. So much can be hidden behind all the pretty pictures and code.
And be prepared. Keep your antivirus software and antimalware program as well, clear your Internet cache frequently. If you suspect you have been hit with one of these rogue antivirus/antimalware attacks, unplug the Internet/network cable from your computer to prevent further harm and take appropriate action by running Malwarebytes Antimalware, CCleaner (or other temporary Internet cleaner program you use), and then a scan with your antivirus software and take whatever recommended action they call for. Links to these programs provided on our Resources page.
If you make sure both of these are updated before you surf for the day, you will be in a much better situation should you somehow get hit with something.
And do your backups, and have an image of your OS to restore from if it becomes necessary. Windows 7 makes this very easy to do with their built-in image creator and backups, and system repair disk.