Category Archives: Latest Security News

Zoom Bug Potentially Allowed Attackers to Find and Join Active Meetings

Remote conferencing services provider Zoom patched a vulnerability that could have allowed an attacker to find and join active meetings. Check Point explained that the issue stemmed from the way in which Zoom secured certain meetings: If you use Zoom, you may already know that Zoom Meeting IDs are composed of 9, 10 or 11 […]… Read More

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NY Bills Would Ban Municipalities From Meeting Ransomware Demands

Two state senators from New York State introduced bills that would ban municipalities from meeting ransomware attackers’ demands. On January 14, 2020, NYS Senator Phil Boyle of the 4th Senate District proposed Senate Bill S7246. Senator Boyle along with his cosponsors Senator George M. Borrello of the 57th Senate District and Senator Sue Serino of […]… Read More

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Russian National Pleads Guilty to Having Run Cardplanet Marketplace

A Russian national pleaded guilty to having operated Cardplanet and another website that provided digital criminal services to its customers. Appearing before Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, Aleksei Burkov, 29, pleaded guilty to charges of access device fraud, conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, identity theft, wire and access device fraud as well as […]… Read More

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Shlayer Trojan Accounted for 30 Percent of Detections for macOS in 2019

The Shlayer trojan accounted for approximately 30 percent of all of Kaspersky Lab’s malware detections for the macOS platform in 2019. Kaspersky Lab revealed on Securelist that Shlayer has been the most common threat to target its macOS userbase for the past two years. During that time, one in 10 of the security firm’s macOS […]… Read More

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UPS Says Phishing Incident Might Have Exposed Some Customers’ Data

The United Parcel Service (UPS) revealed that a phishing incident might have exposed the information of some of its customers. In its “Notice of Data Breach” letter, UPS disclosed that an unauthorized person had used a phishing attack to gain access to store email accounts at some of its store locations between September 29, 2019 […]… Read More

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Health Quest Begins Notifying Patients Affected by Phishing Incident

Health Quest announced that it’s begun notifying patients whose information might have been exposed in a phishing incident. According to its website notice, Health Quest first learned of the incident in July 2018 when several employees fell for a phishing attack and thereby inadvertently disclosed their email account credentials to an unauthorized party. The Hudson […]… Read More

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GDPR Regulators Have Imposed $126M in Fines Thus Far, Finds Survey

A new survey found that regulators have thus far imposed imposed $126 million worth of fines for data breaches and other GDPR infringements. According to DLA Piper’s GDPR Data Breach Survey, data protection regulators imposed €114 million (about US$126 million / £97 million) in GDPR-related fines between May 25, 2018 and January 27, 2020. The […]… Read More

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Domain Name of WeLeakInfo.com Seized by FBI and DOJ

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that they have seized the domain name for weleakinfo.com. On January 16, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced that the FBI and DOJ had executed a warrant to seize the domain of weleakinfo.com in cooperation with law enforcement […]… Read More

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Ako Ransomware Using Spam Attachments to Target Networks

Security researchers observed that Ako ransomware is using malicious spam attachments to go after organizations’ networks. On January 14, AppRiver Senior Cybersecurity Analyst David Pickett contacted Bleeping Computer and told the computer self-help site that his company had observed Ako being distributed via spam email. Using subject lines such as “Agreement 2020 #1775505,” the attack […]… Read More

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Emotet Used Phishing Emails to Target the United Nations

The Emotet trojan recently leveraged a phishing campaign to target email addresses associated with users at the United Nations. In an email provided by Cofense to Bleeping Computer, Emotet’s handlers pretended to be representatives of Norway to the United Nations (UN). They used this disguise to conduct a phishing campaign with “highly specific targeting.” In […]… Read More

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Windows 7 Support Ends Today – What should you do?

If your business is still running on Windows 7, it is time to take the end of January 14, 2020 seriously. Here are the four options.

If your company still operates on Windows 7, you have to make some important decisions and there is very little time left. The end of support for Windows 7 is only hours away officially— January 14, 2020. After that year, Microsoft would automatically stop delivering security updates and many third-party vendors will also have withdrawn support.

Most companies have long completed their Windows 10 migration planning and are in the final phases of implementation of this plan. If you’re still inaccurate or incompatible, it’s time to take it seriously. (To make certain that you are aware of the coming deadline, as the deadline approaches Microsoft displays pop-up notifications on Windows 7 PCs, you’ll receive the complete message warning you that your operating system is no longer supported after the deadline passes) I calculate that you have four options for this. Which one you choose depends on why your company still sticks to Windows 7.

If the main reason for this is inertia, you must find something that motivates you. For example, you could calculate cleaning costs after a successful ransomware attack, including the loss of business as you struggle to recover.

You may want to learn that running an unregulated, unpatched operating system places you at risks of infringement, resulting in heavy fines and business failure until consumers become aware of them.

A compatibility issue is the other possible deployment blocker. Compatibility should not be a problem for most Windows 7 apps. A Microsoft project named Windows App Assure offers free program remediation programs for companies paying for Office 365 licenses. Microsoft says its engineers will “help you to remediate customized business line apps, engage 3rd party software companies with Windows 10 and resolve Office 365 ProPlus macro and add-in issues.” If your business relies upon specialized hardware or line-of-business programming that will absolutely not run on Windows 10, you could take the opportunity to pay to extend the dead support to Windows 10. But that only extends the unavoidable one to two years, or at most three years. Your search for a substitute should now be well under way.

So, what’s your choice?

As I know that at least a dozen people in the comments on this post will offer one specific suggestion, let me put it right at the top of the list.

OPTION 1: SWITCH TO LINUX/Other OS

Something tells me that most companies with Windows7 have already taken this option into consideration and refused it until the bitter end. This is especially the case for companies which are limited by compatibility issues with a Windows-critical application.

But of course, if the mobile system is fully replaced and every productivity device you have turned off it’s a preferable alternative to the next choice in the chart.

OPTION 2: DO NOTHING

Windows 7 won’t stop operating on January 15, 2020. However, you would probably not notice any improvements. This is certainly an option if you feel lucky. You may even find the absence of monthly updates to be convenient.

WINDOWS 10 So you want to keep Windows 7 running? Good luck to small businesses Anything changes: Microsoft redesigns the 100 icons used in its applications & FAQ tools: How to handle Windows 10 patches Affordable Laptop offers: Windows & Chromebooks for $500 (CNET) Windows 10; Spoiler’s warning cheat sheet (TechRepublic).

If you absolutely need to operate one or more Windows 7 PCs, maybe because you are running a critical app or controlling an old but essential hardware, the best advice I can give is to completely disconnect the machine and lock it so that only one unreplaceable app is operational.

OPTION 3: Pay for EXTENDED SUPPORT

Microsoft offered to continue to supply patches for XP appliances owned by major companies paying for Custom support agreements when Windows XP support ended in April 2014. But the contracts weren’t inexpensive. Only very large companies could qualify for one and then, as my colleague Mary Jo Foley discovered, the cost was literally millions of dollars

The extended support option for Windows 7 is much more democratic. Microsoft announced its plan to offer paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESUs) in September 2018, and in October 2019 the company announced that this support was being extended to companies of all sizes. Nor will you need megabucks: annual cost of a calendar year 2020 ESU contract is around $50 per device (although your reseller may charge more), up to $100 a year in year two and $200 in year three.

This escalating price schedule aims to discourage Windows 7 users who would otherwise be tempted to take the boot a little further down the road. You will also need to locate a reseller that is a member of the Cloud Service Provider network and can provide the ESU licenses that you need. This isn’t as straightforward as I learned as I attempted to do just that.

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GCHQ Urges People to No Longer Use Windows 7 PCs for Banking, Email

The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is urging people to no longer use computers with Windows 7 installed for banking or email. A spokesperson for the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ, encouraged consumers to upgrade their Windows 7 devices. As quoted in a report by Telegraph: We would urge those using the […]… Read More

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Texas School District Lost $2.3M to Phishing Email Scam

A school district in Texas announced that it lost approximately $2.3 million after falling victim to a phishing email scam. On January 10, the Manor Independent School District (MISD) published a statement on Twitter and Facebook in which it revealed that it was investigating a phishing email scam that cost it $2.3 million. January 10, […]… Read More

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DSG Retail Limited Fined £500K by ICO Following Malware Attack

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined DSG Retail Limited £500,000 following a malware attack that affected millions of the retailer’s customers. As the result of an investigation, the ICO learned that the DSG Retail Limited had suffered a security incident in which an attacker installed malware on 5,390 tills at Currys PC World and […]… Read More

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Alomere Health Notifies Patients of Employee Email Compromise

Alomere Health said that it’s begun notifying patients of a security incident that involved the compromise of two employees’ email accounts. According to a statement posted to its website, Alomere Health began notifying its patients on January 3, 2020 of an email security incident that might have exposed some of their information. The general medical […]… Read More

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SNAKE Ransomware Targeting Entire Corporate Networks

Security researchers have observed samples of the new SNAKE ransomware family targeting organizations’ entire corporate networks. Discovered by MalwareHunterTeam and analyzed by Vitali Kremez, SNAKE is written in Golang and contains a high level of obfuscation. Upon successful infection, the ransomware deletes the machine’s Shadow Volume Copies before terminating various processes associated with SCADA systems, […]… Read More

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Canyon Bicycles Revealed that Digital Attackers Accessed Its IT Systems

Canyon Bicycles revealed that malicious individuals succeeded in accessing its IT systems as the result of a digital attack. The German bike manufacturer announced in a press release that the digital attack occurred shortly before the turn of the year. For that attack, Canyon Bicycles explained that “a professionally organized group that specialize in attacking […]… Read More

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Company Told Employees to Seek Other Work After Ransomware Attack

A marketing agency told its employees that they were free to seek other employment after suffering a ransomware infection. On January 2nd, the Heritage Company released a statement in which it explained that it had made some progress in its recovery efforts following a ransomware attack. The company qualified this statement, however, by stating that […]… Read More

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Travelex Temporarily Disabled All Its Systems Following a Malware Attack

Foreign exchange company Travelex announced that it had temporarily disabled all of its systems following a malware attack. Twitter user Izzy Fergus first noticed something was wrong when she attempted to visit travelex.co.uk and saw a runtime error message. When she reached out to the company on Twitter, Travelex UK informed her that it was […]… Read More

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