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Ransomware FUD strikes against Office 365

In case youve been enjoying a luddite vacation for the past couple of weeks, you might have seen some of the headlines about ransomware targeting Office 365. This is a classic example of FUD gone wild, (FUD, in case you dont know, stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) and how a single post, whether well written or not, whether accurate or not, can be picked up and suddenly becomes gospel on the Internet. Heres a little more fact-based view of whats happened.
If you were to click through some of the headlines and tweets and reports reporting on reports, youd find it all goes back to a single post from a single third-party security vendor known as Avanan. Avanan offers products and solutions for a variety of security challenges, including DLP, antimalware, data sanitization, and more. On June 27, Avanan author Steven Toole posted an article on the Avanan website alleging that a widespread attack on Office 365 Corporate Users with Zero-day Ransomware Virus took place.
Ransomware FUD strikes against Office 365
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Android Trojan Blocks Outgoing Calls to Banks

After Android malware that intercepts incoming calls to bypass two-factor authentication systems emerged earlier this year, Symantec researchers have now discovered a Trojan that prevents users from making outgoing calls to banks from their smartphones.Android Trojan Blocks Outgoing Calls to Banks
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Edward Snowden: Three years on

Its been three years since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden fled the United States and revealed classified information on government surveillance programs involving the US, European governments, and telecommunications companies. In the time since he first came to public notice, he has been living in Russia, which granted him asylum, while the US government has been pressing for his arrest and extradition to face charges of espionage. Lets look back on the events from 2013, what has happened since, and what, if anything, has changed in the world as a result.Edward Snowden
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Is Wi-Fi making you sick?

Wireless technology is everywhere these days. Almost every home seems to have a wi-fi router, as computer users find it so much easier to set up than running Ethernet cables. Businesses too are increasingly deploying wireless networks along with their wired ones, so employees can use their mobile devices while moving around the building. Hotels, conference centers, city parks, restaurants, coffee shops, airports they all have wireless hot spots, both public and private. Even on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean, you cant escape those signals.Is Wi-Fi making you sick
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Ransomware takes it to the next level: Javascript

If youre lucky, youve only been hearing a lot about ransomware lately. If youre not so lucky, you might have experienced it firsthand. Victims of this most insidious form of malware know how devastating it can be to find that suddenly all of your important data from personal financial information to irreplaceable photos to mission-critical business documents is inaccessible. Its not gone (perhaps that would be less frustrating), but its sitting there on your drive, encrypted, and you dont have the key to unlock it. This has been the reality for many ransomware victims and now there is a new type of ransomware to be on the lookout for, one of the nastiest yet.
Ransomware has been in existence for over two decades (the first was the AIDS Trojan in the late 1980s), but there has been an explosion of it in the last few years, and its gotten more sophisticated. There are two basic types. In the case of computer locker ransomware, your entire system is locked so you cant log on. More commonly now, with crypto ransomware, the system is accessible but the data files are encrypted.
Ransomware takes it to the next level: Javascript
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computer service
July 2016 Microsoft Patch Tuesday
Microsoft has been pummeling us with security updates for the past few months, and seemed to be stuck on the number 16 for a while there. While its great that theyre fixing all these vulnerabilities, it can put quite a strain on those of us who are tasked with testing and applying them. The good news is that this time, we get a bit of a reprieve. Dont get too excited its not like the good old days of Tuesdays Past when we only had to deal with four or five patches, but 11 feels like a fairly light load at this point.
Besides, its the middle of July and its too hot outside to venture out at least if you live in the southern part of the United States so we might as well stay in our air-conditioned buildings and spend the day testing and applying patches. Most of these are for Windows, with the exception of the usual Edge and IE cumulative updates, a Flash Player patch, and one for Office and one for .NET Framework. Six are rated as critical.
(Read More... )
The bottom line
Ensuring that networks are secure and that compliance with regulations and industry standards can be achieved is a complex task for any organisation no matter how small or large. An organisation that tries to do everything itself will be in a constant state of catch up, which often leaves vulnerabilities exposed. As networks become increasingly open and inter-connected, with always-on availability expected from an ever-growing variety of devices, a far better strategy is to offload security needs that are either not a core competence or that are complex and costly to manage to a third party that has specialised expertise.

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