Another Data Breach… Acer has been attacked.

Acer has announced that for the last year, since May 12, 2015 to be exact, a group of hackers have been collecting information on their online customers. The information they were after includes online customer’s credit card numbers, expiration dates, three-digit security codes, names and addresses.

If you have shopped at Acer’s online store at any point between May 12, 2015 and April 28, 2016, or if you have had any information saved in an account with them, it is highly recommended that you cancel any cards that were associated and change your passwords.

Acer is currently doing everything they can to help their customers and notifying the ones that they know for sure have been affected. They are also working with outside security firms and law enforcement to try and find out who is behind the attack as well as improve their security.


Why you should care about Ransomware.

One of the hot topics in security lately is Ransomware, and it doesn’t appear to be going away. In fact, new styles and versions are popping up almost every day.

In case you haven’t heard too much about it, Ransomware is a type of malware that uses various encryption methods to prevent access to your own files (documents, pictures, videos, etc.). After your files are encrypted a ransom note, or pop-up window, is displayed requiring payment in order to receive the decryption key so that you can regain access.. Typically it is downloaded as a file through spam or from a compromised website and occasionally through a vulnerability in the network or through an existing exploit-kit (another type of malware allowing access to your system).

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Twitter has been hacked! Change your passwords ASAP.

Over the last few days a few high profile Twitter user accounts (Mark Zuckerberg, Keith Richards, Tame Impala, Drake, Tenacious D, & Evan Williams – founder of Twitter) had been compromised and at first this appeared to simply be isolated incidents. Late yesterday the news came out that this was no small incident. Apparently some 32 million Twitter accounts may have been compromised and are being sold on the “dark web.”

A hacker that calls themselves “Tessa88” has posted a large amount of Twitter data for sale. This data includes usernames, email addresses and passwords. The majority of the compromised accounts that are for sale appear to be Russian but 32 million is no small number. Chances are your account is okay but with this size of a data breach it certainly doesn’t hurt to change your password.

If you’d like to read a little more about this data breach then check out this link Here.


How and Why You Should Increase Your WiFi Security

Wireless networks, or better known as WiFi. We all use them and love them and most of us probably wouldn’t even know what to do without them, but do you know how to make sure yours is properly secured? Most clients who I’ve spoken with have one, usually more, wireless networking device at home or in their office but the majority have done little to ensure that they are properly secured.


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Have You Been Hacked, thanks to a Data Breach?

Data breaches have been one of the hot topics in the cyber-security world over the past couple of years and the targets should have you worried. More and more companies are being hacked in order to obtain information, specifically customer information, and only the ones that even catch the breach are heard about in the news.

Just to give you an idea of how many databases have been breached in recent years (2004-2014), check out the infographic below to see just how many have been realized. This doesn’t even include the massive LinkedIn breach that was larger than the Adobe one.

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Security Alert: Beware of Third Party USB Chargers

If you have ever purchased a third party USB charger for use in your home or office, you should check out this Security Alert issued by the FBI.

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Importance of a Secure Password

These days, more and more of our daily tasks can be performed online and one of the growing struggles associated with this is the dreaded password creation and management! This is a topic that far too many of us don’t pay enough attention to and are probably guilty of at least a couple bad practices surrounding passwords.

The first issue at hand is creating the password itself. How many times have you found yourself creating an account for a new website and in order to speed along the process you just use the ‘same old password’ or a variation of the ‘same old password’? I know I had done this countless times before I was shown the light and realized just how unsafe this really is! One of the problems with this is that if any one of the many sites that your use that password for is compromised, the attackers now have a valid password to use on any other site on which you may have an account!  Also, how many different accounts do you have that either simply use your email address as the login or maybe you use the same username, or variation of, as your other log in credential?

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The Importance of Updates

We are all too familiar with those pesky little notifications making sure you are aware that there is an “Update Available” for your software. Every operating system and, any program worth having, usually releases updates. Most of us tend to ignore these little notifications and put off downloading and/or installing these updates. You’ve probably even said things to yourself such as; “Are these updates really necessary?” “Everything is working just fine as it is.” or “I don’t want to have to restart my computer!” Although these are all valid annoyances, this is a terrible practice that could leave your computer at risk of attack or infection!

Here’s why those updates matter. These updates, which can also be referred to as ‘patches’ or ‘service packs’, are usually released in order to enhance the security of the software. They can also contain bug fixes and even improve performance and stability of the program. (Note: Updates and Upgrades are two very different functions. Updates patch or fix the current master version of the software and Upgrades provide a fresh installation of the latest master version.)

Most computer viruses and malware are designed to exploit different vulnerabilities that may be present in your software. If an attacker is able to see that you are running outdated versions of Java or Adobe Flash player, they can gain access or infect your machine through online applications. These online applications are almost always something harmless like a game on a social media site or an interactive webpage that is powered by either Java or Flash.


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It’s Just a Harmless Word Document…

For anyone who works in a corporate setting or runs their own business, it’s not uncommon to receive a plethora of emails containing attachments. For the most part, these attachments are harmless and are coming from known or trusted sources. The rest of these attachments that come in emails from spammers or unknown senders should be considered suspect.

codigos-ejemplos-macros-wordOne of the favored methods for cyber-attackers to infect machines is through Word or Excel documents with Macros.  In case you didn’t know, a macro is essentially a program that has been written to run on the platform of either Microsoft Word or Excel. Macros can be written in PowerPoint as well but PowerPoint files are larger and less likely to be used to distribute malware or viruses. Continue reading “It’s Just a Harmless Word Document…”