Instagram Ransomware attack

This is the recent news that has been published by the news outlets from all over the world. At least 5 high profile Instagram accounts have been hacked by the syndicates and the users are locked out. The hackers are demanding ransom in form of Bitcoins and the worst part is that the company is silent on the issue.

The hackers also threatened to delete the account within 3 hours if the ransom is not paid though nothing of this kind has been reported. Your Account has been Hacked is the message that is being displayed leaving the users in despair and anguish. As per some Instagramers they are going through emotional turmoil. There is no hope of account restoration one influencer added.

Ransomware attack on Ontario town office

It has been reported that the computer network held hostage by the hackers has been released as the Ontario Town office has paid the desired amount. The office is now in the process of server reconfiguration. The remote take over by the hackers was done with the help of the email attachment malicious in nature. The office did not disclose the number of Bitcoins transferred to the hacker wallet.

The residents of the town are of the view that the office should not have paid the ransom as it will further foster the activities of the hackers. According to some sources, it would take full 48 hours before the systems are up and running.

The Impact of Ransomware on Small Businesses

Ransomware and Business Impact

What’s going on this September? National Preparedness Month. This will be the time to increase your awareness of the safety of your business, family, pets and community. During disasters, communication is key. National Preparedness Month concludes on September 30 with the National PrepareAthon! Day. Prepare for Malware and Ransomware.

It would be like a science fiction movie: You go to pull up the file detailing the records of your last quarter’s profit and loss statement, and instead you get a flashing notice: “Your computer has been compromised! To see your file, you must pay money!”
This is called ransomware: a type of malware sent by criminal hackers. Welcome to the world of cybercrime. In fact, ransomware can prevent you from doing anything on your computer.
Where does this ransomware come from? Have you clicked a link inside an e-mail lately? Maybe the e-mail’s subject line really grabbed your attention, something like: “Your FedEx shipment has been delayed” or “Your Account Needs Updating.”
Maybe you opened an attachment that you weren’t expecting. Maybe you were lured to a website (“Dash Cam Records Cyclist Cut in Half by Car”) that downloaded the virus. Other common ways crooks trick you into downloading ransomware include:

Ransomware
Ransomware

* Hackers impersonate law enforcement; claim you downloaded illegal material; demand a fine for your “violation.”
* You receive a message that your Windows installation requires activation because it’s counterfeit.
* Or, the message says your security software isn’t working.What should you do?

* Never pay the ransom, even if you’re rich. Paying up doesn’t guarantee you’ll regain access. Are you kidding?
* Double check that all of the newly encrypted (and utterly useless) files are backed up, wipe your disk drive and restore the data.
* Wait a minute—your files weren’t backed up?An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of hacking.

* Don’t open links or attachments you’re not expecting! This includes from senders you know or companies you patronize.
* Install an extension on your browser that detects malicious websites.
* Use a firewall and security software and keep it updated.
* Regularly back up data, every day ideally.Needless to say, ransomware attacks occur to businesses. Small companies are particularly vulnerable because they lack the funds to implement strong security. Attacks on businesses usually originate overseas and are more sophisticated than attacks on the common Internet user at home or at the coffee house.
And just like the common user, the business should never pay the ransom, because this will only prolong the situation.

Ransomware
Ransomware

* Make the criminal think you’re going to pay. Tell them you need time to prepare the fee.
* Build your defense by gathering all the correspondence.
* Present this to your webhosting provider, not the police.
* The webhoster will get to work on this.
* If the loss is extensive, present the correspondence to the FBI.
* If the attack is in virus form, you’re finished.The prevention tactics above apply to businesses and really, everyone. Employees should be rigorously trained in how “phishing” e-mails work and other tricks that cyber thieves use. To learn more about preparing your small business against viruses like ransomware, download Carbonite’s e-book, “5 Things Small Businesses Need to Know about Disaster Recovery.”

The Guide to Securing Your New Tech Toys From Malware And Ransomware

Ho ho ho! It seems that this year, Santa’s sleigh was filled with technology—laptops, smartphones, gaming consoles, etc. Playing with and learning about your new tech toy is fun, but remember to secure your device from malware and ransomware. It would be a total bummer if your new toy was suddenly compromised by a virus or hacked into. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to protect your new device.

Computer/laptop
Install security software. Free software is not recommended, as it provides only basic protection and you’ll likely end up purchasing more anyways. Your security software should include:

* A two-way firewall: monitors the activity on your devices making sure nothing bad is coming in (like unauthorized access) and nothing good is leaving (like your data).
* Anti-virus software: protects your devices from malicious keyloggers and other malware.
* Anti-phishing software: watches your browser and email for suspicious inbox activity.
* Anti-spyware software: keep your PC spyware free.
* Safe search capacities: McAfee® SiteAdvisor® tells you what websites are good and which are suspicious.Smartphone or tablet
* Be leery of third-party apps.
* Turn off automatic connections to Bluetooth and Wi-fi.
* Apply app and OS updates.
* Never store sensitive information on your device.
* Use mobile security software for iOS or Android that includes anti-virus, anti-theft, app, and web protection.Gaming or electronic device
* Create backups.
* Don’t store personal info on the device.
* Connect only to a secure Wi-Fi network.
* Make sure you apply any OS updates.Now have a great time with your new tech device. Play with ease of mind, knowing your device is secure.

US Congress blocks Yahoo Mail over failure to block ransomware attacks

Yahoo Mail is blocked by US Congress after their failure to block ransomware attacks

Ransomware

US Congress members have been banned from using Yahoo Mail after a series of ransomware attacks were found to be targeting the emails of those in the House of Representatives.

According to a leaked memo, IT and support teams on Capitol Hill issued a notification to all House staff at the end of April detailing news that they had noticed a dramatic increase in the number of attempts to try and block users from accessing their own files through Yahoo Mail and other web mail services. The result was that the site was blocked until further notice.

The news comes in wake of a report by security firm Symantec which said that the number of instances of phishing had decreased drastically in the last three years but the number of cases involving ransomware – which encrypts the files of users and demands money in order to be able to unlock them had increased by 35% in 2015 alone. Attempts are certainly being made by Gmail and Yahoo Mail to reduce this but some still seem to be slipping through the cracks.

Congress’ IT said that the recent attacks it discovered appeared to come from known senders and included emails with what looked like legitimate attachments sent in the forum of zip files, which made it more difficult to avoid opening the malicious emails.

It has certainly become apparent that Yahoo Mail needs to increase its defences to reduce the number of instances occurring. Yahoo said in a statement that its “collaborating closely with House IT staff to ensure that they have the right solutions in place to best protect their accounts.”