Microchip Close-up With Cyber-Attack Message

XSolutions’ LinkedIn Post Roundup: Feb 8, 2021

Here are a select few of this week’s LinkedIn posts by XSolutions:

ACTION REQUIRED – Popular Chrome Extension Contains Malware (02/08/2021)

Hacker News reports that Google removed a popular Chrome extension, used by millions of users, called “The Great Suspender” after discovering that it contained malware.

The extension had two million installs and was used to suspend unused tabs in Chrome.

The person who developed the extension sold it to an unknown party, who modified it for malicious use. In Developer Mode, hackers can abuse Chrome’s Sync feature to bypass firewalls and connect to hacker-controlled servers to steal data.

The extension has been misbehaving for some time. Microsoft blocked the extension on Edge browsers back in November 2020.

I’ve seen a report that Google may remove the Chrome extension automatically, but don’t put all of your faith in Big Tech. If you use Chrome, search your extensions immediately. If you have the Great Suspender add-on, remove it immediately. Don’t delay.

Remember, be informed to stay safe!

The Malware problem Gets Bigger And Bigger (02/04/2021)

Datto’s latest State -Of-The-Channel Ransomware Report gives a breakdown of the types of malware criminals use to attack businesses. Here’s what they found:

  • Ransomware – 68%
  • Viruses – 56%
  • Adware – 53%
  • Spyware – 44%
  • Remote Access Trojans (RAT) – 19%
  • Cryptojacking – 16%
  • Worms – 15%
  • Rootkits – 13%
  • Exploit Kits – 11%
  • Keyloggers – 11%

Quite a list! It’s no surprise that ransomware is the weapon of choice because of its effectiveness at netting large paydays with little work.

A simple Google search shows that over 350,000 pieces of malware are created daily. Hackers are busy creating variations of viruses to bypass existing security programs.

It is important that ALL security Applications, Operating Systems, and Third-party Programs be updated regularly.

Since these numbers are so astronomical, doesn’t it make sense to increase your company’s cybersecurity defenses? The bottom line is that you must up your game because cybercriminals NEVER will give up.

Stop viewing cybersecurity and backup systems as expenses. They are investments; keeping you, your employees, and your customers safe from criminals. Make 2021 the year of security.

BEWARE: Agent Tesla RAT Malware Morphing Again (02/03/2021)

The Agent Tesla RAT has evolved, using new delivery and evasion techniques to bypass current defense systems.

The malware targets Microsoft’s Anti-malware Scan Interface (AMSI) and uses a multi-stage installation process using TOR and Telegram messaging API to communicate back to its hacker-owners.

These sophisticated techniques make it difficult for security software to identify, sandbox and analyze the malware.

Agent Tesla copies itself to a folder, and to make things worse, sets the attributes to “Hidden” and “System,” concealing it from view.

The primary delivery is through infected SPAM emails, using a compromised legitimate email account. So, be on your guard!

NEVER click on links or open attachments in emails UNLESS you verify they are legitimate. Be safe!

Fake FBI Agents Threaten Targets With Jail Time (02/02/2021)

An old scam with a new twist is playing out as you read this.

Scammers, posing as FBI agents, are calling innocent people, asking them to reveal confidential information. When the victim refuses, they are threatened with jail time.

Seems like a clumsy attempt at a con, right? Here’s the thing…this type of scam tricks thousands of law-abiding people every year. The current MO is that an “FBI Agent” calls you, asking for financial information, so “they can eliminate you from being a suspect in a crime.” Don’t fall for it.

If someone calls you asking for confidential information, hang up. It’s a scam. The FBI, IRS, or Law Enforcement Agencies will not ask you to reveal that type of information over the phone.

Remember, it’s tax season and this time of year brings out scammers in full force. Be on your guard.

The next scam may not be through your computer, but by telephone. NEVER reveal confidential information by phone or email. Be safe.

Seismic Tactical Shift In Cybercrime (02/01/2021)

SecurityWeek reports that 2020 data shows the number of individual victims of cybercrime fell 66%. Hackers are now focusing on more lucrative business targets.

The data also shows that ransomware and phishing attacks are the weapons of choice (no surprise here).

Criminals have figured out that one successful ransomware attack on a business can yield a massive payday than they would get from extorting hundreds of individuals. Ransomware payouts grew to over $200,000 per breach in 2020 from less than $10,000 in 2018.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that criminals will target small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) because, as a whole, they typically have far weaker cyber-defenses than their larger brethren.

Although the pandemic and the rush to work remotely has something to do with the shift in tactics, the fact remains that businesses are the more lucrative target. And…criminals follow the money!

When targeting businesses, hackers will, in many cases, infiltrate a network and carry on a reconnaissance-in-depth. They’ll steal company secrets and confidential information to sell on the dark web BEFORE dropping the ransomware bomb. This Modus Operandi nets them the maximum profit.

The money you spend on cybersecurity is an investment in your business.

Be safe.

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