Monthly Archives: November 2016

Images from Facebook and LinkedIn can instantly infect your computer

facebooklinkedinA new virus, specifically a form of ransomware, might be targeting your computer through shared pictures on social media websites like Facebook and LinkedIn. The new attack vector called ImageGate is the culprit. Researchers from Check Point say that this new type of ransomware has been making the rounds, and is better known as Locky. The Locky ransomware is one of the most notorious malware attacks to arrive on the scene in recent months.

Malware attacks like this do not necessarily attack your PC through browsers and operating systems only. Hackers understand the flaws in the treatment of images by both Facebook and LinkedIn and use it to their advantage by forcing users to download malicious codes through the pictures which eventually hijacks the computer when you open them. The ransomware quickly encrypts your files and attackers don’t give them back to the user until the requested amount of ransom is paid.

Check Point representatives stated that they informed both LinkedIn and Facebook but it’s difficult to gauge what actions have been taken. Roman Ziakin and Dikla Barda, members of Check Points Research team wrote, “The attackers have built a new attack to embed malicious code into an image file and successfully upload it to the social media websites. The attackers exploit a misconfiguration on the social media infrastructure to deliberately force their victims to download the image file. This results in infection of the users’ device as soon as the end-user clicks on the downloaded file,” It has also been reported that hackers are using Facebook Messenger to spread the ransomware using .SVG files

This is another reminder that we should not take Facebook-like sites for granted. It’s always easier to prevent threats than react to them after the damage has been done. After all, there’s no guarantee that you will get your data back even if you pay the ‘ransom’.

As more and more people are joining social networks, cyber criminals are focusing on using new techniques like ransomware. The new and inexperienced users easily fall into their traps.

If you have clicked on an image and your browser starts downloading a file, do not open it . Social media websites show a preview of the picture without downloading any files. They’ve also asked users of Facebook and LinkedIn not to open files with weird extensions like JS, HVG, HTA, SVG.

 

7 Tech Products You Should Plan to Buy on Black Friday

Black Friday is a fun but often hectic way to kick off the holiday shopping season. Deals abound in every store and in every corner of the internet, but when it comes to gadgets, it can be difficult to sort out which promotions are worth the hype. It pays to be aware of a few do’s and don’ts of finding the best Black Friday deals. And it’s also useful to know that, as a rule, some kinds of tech deals are worth pursuing on Black Friday, while others are rarely worth the trouble.

Before you stock up on Black Friday fliers, read dozens of blog posts about the holiday weekend’s best promotions, or steel yourself to head to your local electronics store at some ungodly hour of the night or morning, it’s a good idea to know which kinds of gadgets you can really save money on during the Black Friday hype. Read on to check out the kinds of tech products that are worth buying on Black Friday.

1: Televisions

2: Budget-friendly laptops and Chromebooks

3: High-end smartphones

4: Tablets

5: e-Readers

6: Cameras

7: Video games, DVDs and Blu-Rays

To make your Black Friday shopping even easier, here’s a list of websites where you can find all the best deals from the comfort of your home.

Black Friday Ads (bfads.net)
If you’re not sure which store will have which deal, head to Black Friday Ads, which scans and tags Black Friday circulars from all the major retailers. Those circulars are then searchable, so you can, for example, see all the computer deals from Dell or electronics at Sam’s Club. It’s a little easier than sifting through newspaper circulars at your dining room table.

BlackFriday@GottaDeal.com
Black Friday@GottaDeal lists all the Black Friday ads as they are made available. You can search by category and see which stores have deals on electronics or televisions, for example.

Amazon.com
At Amazon, it’s not really Black Friday, it’s a month+ of deals. Things got started last week with a Black Friday Deals Store and over a dozen curated gift guides. Accessible through Dec. 22, the Deals Store features discounts on electronics, toys, clothing, kitchen items, and more.

Offers.com
On Offers.com, you can search by store or peruse Black Friday circulars ahead of the big day. Among other things, see which TVs will be on sale at Newegg and Samsung and which laptops you can pick up from the Microsoft Store or Amazon.

TechBargains.com
TechBargains.com is already compiling early Black Friday deals, but you can also shop by store, including Amazon, Dell, HP, and more.

BestBlackFriday.com
BestBlackFriday.com has the usual Black Friday deals fare— deals, ad scans, coupons, curated buying guides, and news — but also conducts market research, studies, and polls around the biggest shopping day of the year.

Brad’s Deals
BradsDeals.com mixes the usual Black Friday circulars with blog posts that provide tips and tricks ahead of Nov. 25.

DealTaker.com
At DealTaker.com, view a basic list deals from around the Web, including Black Friday offerings, which are bound to become more plentiful as we get closer to Nov. 25.

Have fun and stay safe!

 

 

FINALLY – A firewall for the connected home network

cujoCujo is a Smart Home firewall that protects everything on your network including all those IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Think of it as an immunity system for your home network.

The Cujo is surprisingly unassuming, a small plastic stump like device with light-up eyes that stands in adorable contrast to its mad dog name (the book from Stephen King) and home security mission statement.

The product is designed to bring enterprise-level security to the home network, helping protect against attacks to the increasingly vulnerable world of networked devices, from laptops to smart light bulbs.

Cujo is, for all intents and purposes, a smart firewall. It’s made for an average user to easily understand. You see every single thing on your network through your app. If you got to bad places or bad things come to you, we will block bad behavior and we will send you a friendly notification that someone tried to access your camera.

The company demoed the product at the Disrupt 2016 conference by hacking a baby camera. On a page displaying all of the devices connected to the network, a warning popped up: We blocked an unauthorized attempt to access device ‘IP camera’ from [IP number]. From there, access to the feed can be cut off — or not, if there is no actual threat.

Cujo serves as a peer to a home router, monitoring all network connected devices for malicious activity and sending notifications when something happens, like suspicious file transfers or communications with faraway IP addresses. It’s a bit like the Nest app, only for networked security, rather than fire alarms.

Today’s exploits are less about individual devices than they are about opening up the entire network through a small and seemingly harmless smart gadget. You may think, so what, my lightbulb is going to get hacked. The real challenge is what happens next. Once the bad guys are in the network, they can get to the other devices. They can get to your camera, they can get to your PC and extract files, they can even film you. The FBI director is on record as taping over his webcam when he goes home. That tells you that we’re very exposed.

Part of the company’s current mission is highlighting those exploits for consumers who are likely versed in the threat of PC malware but may be unaware of the growing threat posed by the vulnerability of the Internet of Things.

The biggest advantage has been that it’s the average user who no longer feels private at home, may even put the duct tape over his webcam and just wants something that works — doesn’t want to spend days and months changing and configuring things.

Cujo is available now through Amazon. It’ll be rolling out to “all major retailers” by year’s end. The company anticipates breaking even with the device, eventually monetizing the product with the ongoing security subscription.

I like CUJO’s innovation and focus on home network security. It appears they’ve met their goal of making a friendly and simple to use firewall and the smart phone app is very easy to use.

CUJO is not going to be for everyone, particularly those folks uncomfortable with any cloud service looking at any part of their internet traffic. But for home users who want to protect all the devices on their network, whether they run anti-virus/malware apps or not, CUJO would be worth a try.

CUJO currently sells for $76.85 at Amazon & Walmart, $99.00 at Staples , with BestBuy and Target offering the device soon. It includes a 180 day trial license. After that, you’ll need to subscribe for $8.99 / month, $26 for three months, $49 for six months or $80 for a year of service. If you’re a true CUJO believer, you can opt for a lifetime subscription for $800

Additional information can be found here:
https://www.getcujo.com/how-it-works/
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/lanwan-reviews/33018-cujo-smart-internet-security-firewall-reviewed

 

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