Criminals Go Back To Work After The Holidays


It looks like the criminal element enjoyed their holiday break and now are returning to work with renewed vigor. Security firm, Heimdal explained in their recent post, “Security Alert: Exploit Kits Activity Spike Packs Improved Payloads, New Servers and a Predilection for Flash Player” that there has been a substantial increase in Neutrino, RIG and Angler malware deliveries.

Third Part Application abuse

The latest exploits take advantage of out-of-date and unpatched third party applications such as Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat and Silverlight. Readers of our blog know that we’ve been telling all who would listen to keep operating systems and third party apps fully updated and patched. Unfortunately, this advice is often shrugged off, especially by small business owners.

For some reason, small business owners feel they are immune to cyber-attacks because of their size. Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, it is their small size that makes them targets because criminals know that smaller companies often don’t take security as seriously as they should.

Another (underworld) twist

Hackers have been busy using Blackhat SEO, making simple Google searches dangerous. Now, popular search phrases will serve up infected sites along with legitimate ones to unsuspecting users. Click on the wrong one, and you’re caught within the hacker’s net.

What are the criminals serving? For starters: Kovter, Cryptolocker2, Pony Infostealers and TofSee Trojans. Stay tuned as I am sure they’ll come up with a few more dangerous payloads very shortly!


So, here’s what you can do to help yourself:

  1. Keep your Operating System (OS) and third party applications, particularly Adobe products, up-to-date. XSolutions’ Managed Services solution provides OS and third party patching as part of the service, including Adobe apps.
  2. Use a Hybrid-cloud Business Continuity solution to make sure that you can instantly recover should your system become infected with “business-destroying malware” such as Cryptolocker.
  3. Be extremely mindful of the websites you and your employees visit. Drive-by attacks are initiated simply by visiting an infected website. You don’t even have to click on anything.
  4. Educate your staff on safe computing habits and keep up-to-date on the latest security trends. Reading our blog can help your company stay safe. Join us, we’d love to have you!


Joseph Imperato Sr. is the Managing Partner for XSolutions Consulting Services, a Managed Services Provider (MSP) delivering Computer Support, Business Continuity, Cloud Services, and IT Consulting to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut businesses. Call us at (845) 362-9675 and see how we can help your company.