“Bzzz bzzz bzzz…”
“Gotta smack it to stop it”, the not-yet-awake thought floods Tim’s mind.
“Presentation at 10:00 today” Now this new, more urgent thought hits him like a runaway train
and he jumps out of bed.
Hastily, he throws on his clothes and grabs his coffee. He has to run through his notes and slides one last time before the big meeting in just a few hours.
Skirting to his laptop, he turns it on, and after a moment, he is greeted by the following message with the force of a ton of bricks:
“Hi! Your files have just been taken ransom with a really strong form of encryption. If you ever want to see your data again, please create a Bitcoin wallet and pay your unlock fee
of 1 BTC within 48 hrs. After you have paid, we will unlock the files with the correlating
key. Don’t attempt to unlock the files yourself, It’s impossible.” Read more…
Do you have a favorite household gadget? Do you reach for your drill or take out your handy roll of duct tape whenever there’s a problem? Most of us have tools that we are partial to, our tried and true saviors that have gotten us out of a bind time and time again.
When it comes to cybercrime, hackers also tend to stick with certain tools, ones that are proven to be more effective and more forceful than the rest. Sure, sometimes hackers may go out on a limb and experiment with a new technique, but by and large, the threats we face all stem from the same tactics, with some tweaks to the code here and there. In 2015, there were some things that proved essential in so many hackers’ tool kits – Why bother with originality when the old tried and true tools work so well?
It’s these standbys that we have to be the most vigilant about, and there’s a lot we can learn from these tools about how we arm ourselves better for 2016 and beyond.
- November 11th, 2015
- 2 Comments
Online Safety, PC security
Ransomware. The word itself sends shivers down our spines. The concept that someone could be brazen enough to infiltrate and lock your computer, and then have audacity to demand money so you can get your information restored or unlocked, is shocking and terrifying. It’s also happening with increasing frequency.
Ransomware is a type of malware that locks your computer or mobile phone and prevents you from accessing your data (all of it!) until you pay a ransom. That ransom is usually demanded in Bitcoin payment, an encrypted form of online payment that enables the hacker to collect money online and anonymously. As for the rates demanded, these can vary widely. In some cases, victims are asked to pay hundreds of dollars; in other cases (usually those that target businesses and corporations) victims are asked to pay several thousand dollars.
Most people choose their pizza toppings according to taste…and rightly so!
If you’re like most people who order pizza, how you choose toppings is pretty intuitive. If you like salty flavors, you opt for olives and anchovies; if you prefer sweet flavors, you choose pineapples and corn. If you’ve got a sense of culinary adventure, a combination of hot peppers, spiced pepperoni and buffalo mozzarella may tickle your fancy. In all cases, choosing pizza toppings is a matter of taste, and there’s no need to take it too seriously, really, since it’s just pizza after all.
Selecting the right antivirus is considerably more important, and should be approached in a more informed manner. After all, this isn’t dinner we’re talking about. It’s your personal computer. It’s your private information, your banking details, your personal email, your family photos, and your confidential files. The decision you make regarding how you protect it should be a sensible one based on facts and research, not your sense of taste.
Hackers look for vulnerabilities that they can exploit.
If you look for the term zero-day attack in your home dictionary, you probably won’t find it.
Go ahead and check…I’ll wait.
You might not even find the term in some online dictionaries (though to be fair, it does appear in others.).
Nevertheless, if you google the term, you’ll find thousands of references to it, many of them from mainstream sources including Forbes, Time, and USA Today. So what’s the deal? If the term is so important, why isn’t in the dictionary yet?