Category Archives: mcafee

McAfee partners with ECS to offer MDR capabilities through MVISION EDR

McAfee announced that it is partnering with ECS to offer managed threat detection and response (MDR) capabilities through McAfee MVISION EDR. ECS is the first North American MDR partner for McAfee MVISION EDR and will leverage MVISION EDR and supporting vendors to deliver a scalable, repeatable and customizable program that enables organizations to focus on only verified threats. MDR solutions can help organizations by alleviating the customer challenges associated with alert fatigue, false positives, inexperienced … More

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Cyber Security Roundup for January 2021

A suspected nation-state sophisticated cyber-attack of SolarWinds which led to the distribution of a tainted version the SolarWinds Orion network monitoring tool, compromising their customers, dominated the cyber headlines in mid-December 2020.  This was not only one of the most significant cyberattacks of 2020 but perhaps of all time. The United States news media reported the Pentagon, US intelligence agencies, nuclear labs, the Commerce, Justice, Treasury and Homeland Security departments, and several utilities were all compromised by the attack. For the full details of the SolarWinds cyber-attack see my article Sunburst: SolarWinds Orion Compromise Overview

Two other cyberattacks are possibly linked to the SolarWinds hack was also reported, the cyber-theft of sophisticated hacking tools from cybersecurity firm FireEye, a nation-state actor is suspected to be responsible. And the United States National Security Agency (NSA) advised a VMware security vulnerability was being exploited by Russian state-sponsored actors.

Amidst the steady stream of COVID-19 and Brexit news reports, yet another significant ransomware and cyber-extortion attack briefly made UK headlines. Hackers stole confidential records, including patient photos, from UK cosmetic surgery chain 'The Hospital Group', and threatening to publish patient's 'before and after' photos. The UK cosmetic surgery firm, which has a long history of celebrity endorsements, confirmed it was the victim of a ransomware attack, and that it had informed the UK's Information Commissioner's Office about their loss of personal data.

Spotify users had their passwords reset after security researchers alerted the music streaming platform of a leaky database which held the credentials of up to 350,000 Spotify users, which could have been part of a credential stuffing campaign. Security researchers at Avast reported 3 million devices may have been infected with malware hidden within 28 third-party Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge extensions.

A McAfee report said $1 Trillion was lost to cybercrime in 2020, and companies remained unprepared for cyberattacks in 2021.

Stay safe and secure.

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    What is GPS spoofing?

     What is GPS spoofing?

    Global positioning system (GPS) technology is now the standard way for travelers to efficiently get from point A to point B. While GPS delivers unparalleled opportunities to businesses and individuals, there are some drawbacks to using this technology. GPS devices can be vulnerable to cyber attacks through GPS spoofing.

    GPS Spoofing 101

    Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) have been around for years in many industrialized countries, and GPS is just one of those systems.   GPS spoofing happens when someone uses a radio transmitter to send a counterfeit GPS signal to a receiver antenna to counter a legitimate GPS satellite signal. Most navigation systems are designed to use the strongest GPS signal, and the fake signal overrides the weaker but legitimate satellite signal.

    Commercial Hazards of GPS Spoofing

    GPS spoofing isn’t to be confused with GPS jamming. GPS jamming happens when a cyber criminal blocks GPS signals altogether. Selling or using GPS jamming equipment that can block communications is illegal in the United States. While GPS jamming appears to be the greater threat, GPS spoofing delivers a sucker punch to a variety of businesses.

    GPS spoofing allows hackers to interfere with navigation systems without operators realizing it. The fake GPS feeds cause drivers, ship captains, and other operators to go off course without any coercion. Businesses that are particularly vulnerable to GPS spoofing are shipping companies, taxi services, and construction companies.

    Shipping Companies

    Shipping companies that haul freight via land, air, and sea all use GPS-based navigation systems to get cargo safely to destinations all over the world. GPS spoofing leaves these shipments vulnerable to hijacking and theft. A practical example of this is where hijackers use GPS spoofing to misdirect a vehicle to a location where its cargo can be robbed—and hid the truck’s location while it’s happening. Additionally, many shippers use GPS-enabled locks to secure their cargo, allowing them to open only when the truck arrives at its set destination. GPS spoofing undoes those locks as well. In all, this puts drivers in danger, and trucking companies lose millions of dollars of cargo each year due to hijacking incidents such as these.

    Taxi and Ride Sharing Services

    Gone are the days when taxi drivers relied solely on their knowledge of a city’s streets to transport passengers. Today’s taxi drivers can go into any city that their license allows and do their jobs efficiently with the use of GPS technology. This flexibility comes with some drawbacks, however. GPS spoofing allows drivers to fake their location and commit criminal acts while still on the clock. Drivers from ride services can also use the technique to fraudulently place themselves in surge areas to get more money for their services. Projecting a false location is a financial risk to companies and is potentially dangerous for passengers.

    Construction Companies

    While skilled construction workers are certainly valued, specialized tools, equipment, and machinery are the assets that many construction companies seek to track. These expensive assets commonly go missing on worksites, which eats into company profits. In recent years, GPS asset tracking systems have been installed to make sure construction equipment, tools, and machinery remain at authorized worksites. By using GPS spoofing, a thief could move an asset to a new location without anyone knowing about it until it was too late.

    Dangers of GPS Spoofing for Everyone Else

    GPS spoofing isn’t just a threat to businesses and government agencies; it also can be the catalyst for significant harm to individuals who rely on GPS. Cruising waterways along the coasts is a favorite hobby for those who enjoy boating.. Modern boats are equipped with GPS-based navigation systems. A cyber criminal can use GPS spoofing to get a skipper to steer his boat off course and into the path of danger from modern-day pirates.

    The makers of location-based dating apps tout them as a safe way to meet a potential mate. These apps use GPS technology to help users identify dates by their location. When a bad actor uses GPS spoofing, he can fake his location or guide his date to a dangerous location.

    The future of driving is now. Some electric cars are already equipped with an autopilot feature that offers unparalleled convenience to travel-weary drivers. However, independent research findings have uncovered a critical vulnerability in the cars’ navigation systems.  What will happen when fully autonomous, self-driving cars are made without steering devices that would allow a person to take control of their car during a GPS spoofing incident?

    Tips to Combat GPS Spoofing Attacks

    If you own a business that relies on GPS-based navigation systems, you’ll want to know the best ways to sabotage GPS spoofing attacks. The Department of Homeland Security points out some physical and procedural techniques to fight the problem. It recommends that companies hide GPS antennas from public view. GPS spoofing works well when an attacker can get close to an antenna and override legitimate GPS signals that come from orbiting satellites.

    The agency suggests installing a decoy antenna that’s in plain view of would-be cyber criminals. Adding redundant antennas in different locations at your site allows you to notice if one antenna is being targeted for GPS spoofing. Companies such as Regulus Cyber are also developing GPS spoofing detection software that alerts users of spoofing incidents and keeps their devices from acting on spoofed GPS data.

    Additionally, organizations should consider taking GPS-enabled equipment offline whenever connectivity isn’t actively required—thus making them less susceptible to attack. Likewise, following the basics of security hygiene provide further protection, such as regular updates and changing of passwords, along with the use of two-factor authentication, network firewalls, and other cyber defenses.

    GPS Spoofing for Privacy

    While GPS spoofing can cause big problems for people, businesses, and governments, there is a legitimate use for the practice. GPS tracking and location sharing present everyone with real privacy issues. GPS spoofing allows users to hide their actual location from those who could cause harm. Security companies can use GPS spoofing to guard high-profile clients or expensive merchandise. Individuals can install GPS spoofing apps for free on their Android phones to mask their locations and protect their privacy.

     

     

    References
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPS_signals
    • https://medium.com/@theappninjas/what-are-gps-spoofing-apps-actually-doing-5c9f373540c4
    • https://nordvpn.com/blog/gps-spoofing/
    • https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lexa.fakegps&hl=en_US
    • https://www.csoonline.com/article/3393462/what-is-gps-spoofing-and-how-you-can-defend-against-it.html
    • https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/gps-spoofing/
    • https://www.gps.gov/spectrum/jamming/
    • https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/31092/new-type-of-gps-spoofing-attack-in-china-creates-crop-circles-of-false-location-data
    • https://maximumridesharingprofits.com/drivers-can-get-deactivated-using-fake-gps-apps/
    • https://www.prnewswire.com/il/news-releases/tesla-model-s-and-model-3-prove-vulnerable-to-gps-spoofing-attacks-as-autopilot-navigation-steers-car-off-road-research-from-regulus-cyber-shows-300871146.html
    • https://www.regulus.com/blog/gps-spoofing-the-auto-cybersecurity-threat-hiding-in-plain-sight/
    • https://www.csoonline.com/article/3393462/what-is-gps-spoofing-and-how-you-can-defend-against-it.html
    • https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Features/story/Article/1674004/what-on-earth-is-the-global-positioning-system/

    The post What is GPS spoofing? appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

    What Security Means to Professionals

    What Security Means to Professionals

    Recently, we conducted a survey of 600 families and professionals in the U.S. to better understand what matters to them—in terms of security and the lives they want to lead online. The following article reflects what they shared with us, and allows us to share it with you in turn, with the aim of helping your workday go a little more smoothly.1

    How many windows are open on your computer right now? Check out your browser. How many tabs do you have? If it’s a typical workday, you’ve probably run out of fingers counting them up.

    Professionals put their computers through the paces. Consider the number of back-to-back meetings, video conferences, and presentations you lead and attend in a day, not to mention the time that you pour into work itself. Your computer has to keep up. It’s certainly no surprise that this is exactly the notion that came up in our research, time and time again.

    What’s on the minds of professionals when it comes to their security?

    In speaking with professionals about security, their answers largely revolved getting work done.

    • I need trusted apps and sites to work, always.
    • I need to maximize battery life while in transit or on a plane.
    • I need live presentations and demos to be seamless.
    • I need to multitask with multiple apps or multiple browser tabs open without locking up.
    • I need my computer to respond reliably and quickly without locking up.

    While on the surface this may mean performance is top of mind, a closer look reveals that performance is often a function of security. A quick and easy example of this is the classic virus infection, where getting a virus on your computer can bring work to a screeching halt.

    More broadly though, we see security as far more than just antivirus. We see it as protecting the person and helping them stay productive—giving them the tools to take care of the things that matter most to them. Thus, plenty of what we offer in a security suite focuses squarely on those concerns:

    Battery optimization keeps you working longer without fretting over finding an outlet in the airport or simply working without wires for longer.

    Password managers let you log into the apps and sites you count on without a second thought, also knowing that they’re securely stored and managed for protection.

    Vulnerability scanners make sure that your apps always have the latest updates, which ensures you have all the upgraded features and security protocols that come along with those updates.

    Inbox spam filters take yet another headache off your plate by removing junk mail before it can clutter up your inbox.

    Secure VPN keeps data safe from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi in places like airports, hotels, and coffee shops, which gives you more independence to work in more places knowing that your information is secure.

    Those are a few examples of specific features. Yet also important is that any security solution you use should your computer running quickly as well as smoothly. It should be lightweight and not hog resources so that your computer runs and responds quickly. (That’s a major focus of ours, where independent labs show that our performance is five times better than the average competitor.)

    Where can professionals get started?

    Drop by our page that’s put together just for professionals. We’ve gathered up several resources that’ll help you stay productive and safer too. Check it out, and we hope that it’ll keep you going whether you’re working on the road, in the office, or at home.

    Stay Updated 

    To stay updated on all things McAfee and for more resources on staying secure from home, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

     

    • Survey conducted in October 2019, consisting of 600 computer-owning adults in the U.S.

     

    The post What Security Means to Professionals appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

    What Security Means to Elders

    senior using smartphone

    What Security Means to Elders

    Recently, we conducted a survey of 600 families and professionals in the U.S. to better understand what matters to them—in terms of security and the lives they want to lead online. The following article reflects what they shared with us, and allows us to share it with you in turn, with the aim of helping you and your family stay safer and more secure. 1

    Findings from Pew Research Center show that internet usage by elders has risen from an average of 14% in 2000 to 67% on average 2017. As these numbers continue to rise, we wanted to find out what was important to them—particularly as more and more of their lives go online.

    While many of us take shopping, surfing, and banking online for granted, they mark a dramatic shift for elders. They’ve gone from the days when banking meant banker’s hours and paper passbook to around-the-clock banking and a mobile app. And even if they use the internet sparingly, banking, finances, and commerce have gone digital. Their information is out there, and it needs to be protected.

    The good news is, elders are motivated.

    What’s on the minds of elders when it comes to their security?

    Most broadly, this sentiment captures it well: Technology may be new to me, but I still want to be informed and involved. For example, elders told us that they absolutely want to know if something is broken—and if so, how to fix it as easily as possible. In all, they’re motivated to get smart on the topic of security, get educated on how to tackle risks, and gain confidence that they go about their time on the internet safely. Areas of interest they had were:

    Identity protection: This covers a few things—one, it’s monitoring your identity to spot any initial suspicious activity on your personal and financial accounts before it becomes an even larger one; and two, it’s support and tools for recovery in the even your identity is stolen by a crook. (For more on identity theft, check out this blog.)

    Social Security monitoring:  Government benefits are very much on the mind of elders, particularly as numerous agencies increasingly direct people to use online services to manage and claim those benefits. Of course, hackers and crooks have noticed. In the U.S., for example, Social Security identified nearly 63,000 likely fraudulent online benefit applications in fiscal 2018, according to the agency’s Office of the Inspector General, up from just 89 in fiscal 2015.

    Scam prevention: An article from Protect Seniors Online cities some useful insights from the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Better Business Bureau. According to them there are five top scams in the U.S. that tend to prey on older adults.

    • Tech support scams are run by people, sometimes over the phone, that pretend to be from a reputable company, which will then ask for access to your computer over the internet, install malware, and then claim there’s a problem. After that, they’ll claim to “help” you by removing that malware—for an exorbitant fee.
    • Ransomware scams, where a crook will block access to your computer until you pay a sum of money. This is like the tech support scam, yet without the pretense of support—it’s straight-up ransom.
    • Tax scams that attempt to steal funds by instructing people to make payments to a scammer’s account. In the U.S., note that the IRS will not call to demand payment or appeal an amount you owe.
    • False debt collectors are out there too, acting in many ways like tax scammers. These will often come by way of email, where the hacker will hope that you’ll click the phony link or open a malicious attachment.
    • Sweepstakes and charity scams that play on your emotions, where you’re asked to pay to receive a prize or make a donation with your credit card (thereby giving crooks the keys to your account).

    Where can professionals get started?

    With that, we’ve put together several resources related to these topics. Drop by our site and check them out. We hope you’ll find some basic information and knowledge of behaviors that can keep you safe.

    Stay Updated 

    To stay updated on all things McAfee and for more resources on staying secure from home, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

    Survey conducted in October 2019, consisting of 600 computer-owning  adults in the U.S

     

    The post What Security Means to Elders appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

    What Security Means to Families

    digital parenting

    What Security Means to Families

    One truth of parenting is this: we do a lot of learning on the job. And that often goes double when it comes to parenting and the internet.

    That’s understandable. Whereas we can often look to our own families and how we were raised for parenting guidance, today’s always-on mobile internet, with tablets and smartphones almost always within arm’s reach, wasn’t part of our experience growing up. This is plenty new for nearly all of us. We’re learning on the job as it were, which is one of the many reasons why we reached out to parents around the globe to find out what their concerns and challenges are—particularly around family safety and security in this new mobile world of ours.

     Just as we want to know our children are safe as they walk to school or play with friends, we want them to be just as safe when they’re online. Particularly when we’re not around and there to look over their shoulder. The same goes for the internet. Yet where we likely have good answers for keeping our kids safe around the house and the neighborhood, answers about internet safety are sometimes harder to come by.

    Recently, we conducted a survey of 600 families and professionals in the U.S. to better understand what matters to them—in terms of security and the lives they want to lead online. The following article reflects what they shared with us, and allows us to share it with you in turn, with the aim of helping you and your family stay safer and more secure. 1

    What concerns and questions do parents have about the internet?

    The short answer is that parents are looking for guidance and support. They’re focused on the safety of their children, and they want advice on how to parent when it comes to online privacy, safety, and screen time. Within that, they brought up several specific concerns:

    Help my kids not feel anxious about growing up in an online world.

    There’s plenty wrapped up in this statement. For one, it refers to the potential anxiety that revolves around social networks and the pressures that can come with using social media—how to act, what’s okay to post and what’s not, friending, following, unfriending, unfollowing, and so on—not to mention the notion of FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” and anxiety that arises from feelings of not being included in someone else’s fun.

    Keep my kids safe from bullying, or bullying others.

    Parents are right to be concerned. Cyberbullying happens. In a study spanning 30 countries, one child in three has said they’ve been the victim of cyberbullying according to a study conducted by UNICEF. On the flip side of that, a 2016 study of more than 5,000 students in the U.S. by the Cyberbullying Research Center reported that 11.5% of students between 12 and 17 indicated that they had engaged in cyberbullying in their lifetime.

    Feel like I can leave my child alone with a device without encountering inappropriate content.

    If we think of the internet as a city, it’s the biggest one there is. For all its libraries, playgrounds, movie theatres, and shopping centers, there are dark alleys and derelict lots as well. Not to mention places that are simply age appropriate for some and not for others. Just as we give our children freer rein to explore their world on their own as they get older, the same holds true for the internet. There are some things we don’t want them to see and do.

    Balance the amount of screen time my children get each day.

    Screen time is a mix of many things—from schoolwork and videos to games and social media. It has its benefits and its drawbacks, depending on what children are doing and how often they’re doing it. The issue often comes down to what is “too much” screen time, particularly as it relates to the bigger picture of physical activity, face-to-face time with the family, hanging out with friends, and getting a proper bedtime without the dim light of a screen throwing off their sleep rhythms.

    Where can parents get started?

    Beyond our job of providing online security for devices, our focus at McAfee is on protecting people. Ultimately, that’s the job we aim to do—to help you and your family be safer. Beyond creating software for staying safe, we also put together blogs and resources that help people get sharp on the security topics that matter to them. For parents, check out this page which puts forward some good guidance and advice that can help. Check it out, and we hope that you’ll find even more ways you can keep you and your family safe.

    Stay Updated 

    To stay updated on all things McAfee and for more resources on staying secure from home, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

     

     

    • Survey conducted in October 2019, consisting of 600 computer-owning adults in the U.S.

     

    The post What Security Means to Families appeared first on McAfee Blogs.