You may have seen a lot of press in the last couple of days about the ‘Heartbleed Bug’ – This bug is a vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library which is responsible for encrypting data over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging and some virtual private networks.
The Heartbleed Bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directory from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.
Most of the popular websites have already patched the vulnerability; here is a list of some of these sites:
Here are some of the sites that were not affected by the Heartbleed Bug:
Back in December we warned about a new piece of ransomware called Cryptolocker.
Cryptolocker is a form of Trojan that typically arrives as an email attachment, or if you already have malware on your PC may be able to self install at anytime via a Botnet feed. Whether you mistakenly run the file thinking it is something innocent, or it manages to self install the results then are extremely destructive.
The payload of Cryptolocker is that it encrypts the data on your PC, doing so with an extremely high security encryption that effectively makes all your data unreadable.
Thanks to security experts an online portal has been created where victims of Cryptolocker can get a master decryption key for free.
When you go to this online portal you are required to enter an email address and upload a file that has been encrypted by Cryptolocker.
The portal will then email you a master decryption key and a download link to a recovery program that can be used together with the master decryption key to repair all encrypted files on your system.
Please try this at your own risk, we have not be able to test this solution here at eClarity.
Today is the day that we say goodbye to the great Windows XP Operating System, for the past 12 years it has been stretched to it’s limits in terms of security and performance but now the time has come for Microsoft to end support.
This means that Microsoft will no longer be releasing any security updates for the operating system leaving users that still use it vulnerable to cyber attacks. Microsoft have released a final security patch containing fixes for a series of bugs including a vulnerability in Microsoft Word 2010 when a user opens a specially crafted ‘.RTF’ file typically found in junk emails that could allow remote code execution.
What should you do now?
Windows 7 should be considered as a path of upgrade as the system requirements are not high, you can gain better performance and it is far more secure. Most computers that run Windows XP can run Windows 7, some may just require the memory (RAM) to be upgraded in them to bring it in line with the system requirements.
If you would like to know more or discuss your requirements then please give us a call.
Last week more than 300,000 home broadband routers had been infected by a new Domain Name System (DNS) redirection exploit. This exploit redirects your internet traffic to phishing servers that could then be used to gather personal information about the user, or even account logins and passwords.
AAISP’s customers in the United Kingdom were effected by a related exploit which changed the DNS settings on their routers.
Customers of PlusNet have also been experiencing the same problem:
A Spokesperson for PlusNet said:
“Since last week, we’ve seen an increase in the amount of malicious DNS traffic being directed through to Plusnet IP ranges.
It appears that some of our customers, (and no doubt a number of other people out on the internet) running TP-Link, Linksys and Edimax routers have been compromised due a vulnerability which appears to allow the allocated DNS server in the router to be changed.
This means requests to domains like Facebook or Google are being redirected on ALL devices behind the router to a website which contains a malicious payload disguised as a Flash update.”
But the question is, will this exploit affect you?
The majority of affected routers are simple devices that are still using the default settings that they were provided with, this is not that surprising as few users pay attention to this.
Business grade systems that are professionally setup and regularly updated are unlikely to be affected. With attacks such as these rapidly increasing in regularity applying some focus to security sooner rather than later is advised.
Microsoft have announced that when they retire Windows XP in April 2014 they will also be dropping the ability to download Microsoft Security Essentials on an XP machine. Sad this, MSE is actually a nice lightweight a free AV solution. We don’t know if existing XP installations will continue to function or update but its safe to assume that if they do this will not last for long.
Want a better AV solution? Check out eClarity’s Sophos offering!