Cyber Attacks – What Happened In 2017 and What’s In Store For Us This Year?

Cyberattacks

 

2017 was quite a year for cyber attacks. According to Hackmageddon.com, every month saw dozens of serious cyber attacks affecting the personal information of billions of internet users worldwide.

Shocked? We were too.

We were too.

BullGuard outlined some of the biggest ones in a recent blog post.

WannaCry

The WannaCry ransomware spread through 150 countries affecting more than 300,000 computers including the UK’s National Health Service, FedEx, rail stations, universities, car manufacturers and a national telco.

It spread rapidly because of a worm-like component expedited by a large number of organisations using unpatched XP operating systems.

It was considered among the worst breaches of all time because of the amount of sensitive information that was taken.

Yahoo

Yahoo dropped a bombshell in August 2017 announcing that every one of its three billion accounts was hacked in 2013.

This was three times what was first thought to be the case. According to the former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, the company only found out about the breach in 2016 when it reported that 1 billion accounts were hacked.

The company still doesn’t know who was responsible.

National Security Agency

The National Security Agency (NSA) is responsible for spying on other countries and mass surveillance of its citizens.

As you would expect, it has an arsenal of cyber tools for hacking into foreign banks, infrastructure, government departments, etc. However, a group of hackers called Shadow Brokers leaked a suite of hacking tools widely believed to belong to the NSA, which were then used in some of the year’s most significant global cyber attacks, including Wanna Cry.

How embarrassing!

Uber

Back in 2016, hackers stole the data of 57 million Uber customers. The company paid the hackers $100,000 to cover it up. The breach was only made public in November 2017 by the new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

It also turns out that Uber was also playing on the other side of the fence too. A former member of Uber’s security team recently revealed details about a secretive unit within Uber dedicated to stealing trade secrets, spying on competitors, using self-destructing messages and dodging government regulators.

What can we expect in 2018?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that a prime target of the hackers is going to be the Internet of Things.

Smart devices face the same cybersecurity challenges as your desktop PC, laptop and smartphone. The only difference being that smart devices are attached to real things in the real world.

As BullGuard reports:

“When someone hacks a PC, personal data is at risk. But when someone hacks a robotic manufacturing arm that entire manufacturing line is at risk, if someone hacks a medical monitor a patient is at risk, if some hacks a smart lighting system that smart home is at risk.”

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: BullGuard

How Safe is Your Information?

Information safety should be your primary concern.

Do you realise how easy it is for your digital life to be hacked, watched or stolen?

Probably not, which is why you need to keep reading.

Here are some thought provoking questions for you to answer:

Mobile Phone

  1. Do you have your Bluetooth and WiFI option switched on all the time – even if you are not using them?
  2. Do you have any Password Manager Apps or banking Apps?
  3. Are you email savvy?

Laptop

  1. Do you have your Bluetooth and WiFI option switched on all the time – even if you are not using them?
  2. Do you have a Password Manager program on the device?
  3. Do you save your passwords on the device when prompted?
  4. Are you email savvy?

PC

  1. Do you have a Password Manager program on the device?
  2. Do you save your passwords on the device when prompted?
  3. Are you email savvy?

If you have answered yes to ANY of these questions – please feast your eyes on this video, the first half is very relevant.

Don’t leave the front door unlocked on your life – please be vigilant and change your technology habits.

 

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages.

Source: Transcendit

4 Tips to Make Your Wireless Router Harder to Hack

I would love to be able to tell you how to prevent anyone from hacking your router, but there is no fool-proof method. In fact I scoured the internet in the vain hope of finding a definitive answer, but that search wasn’t altogether fruitless, as it unearthed an interesting post on netsecurity.about.com.

From that article, I have listed below 4 tips that will help you make your wireless router harder to hack and hopefully fend off any potential threats.

1. Enable WPA2 wireless encryption

Without WI-FI Protected Access (WPA2) encryption your wireless network is wide open to hackers. Even using outdated Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) security isn’t enough to keep them at bay. That’s why you should check your router manufacturer’s manual to find out how to enable WPA2 functionality now (a firmware upgrade may be needed for older routers).

Plus, it’s important to make a strong SSID (wireless network name) because using your default network name is easy to hack. Create something that’s long and random. Admittedly, that will make it hard to remember, but better that than giving the hackers easy access.

2. Turn on your wireless router’s firewall

Your router’s built-in firewall will help make your network less visible to hackers, It’s also best to test it to make sure you’ve configured it correctly.

3. Encrypted personal VPN service at router level

Gone are the days when you have to be a large corporation to afford a Virtual Private Network (VPN), now one can be yours for a small monthly fee. A personal VPN is one of the best ways to prevent hackers from attacking your network because is anonymises your true location with a proxied IP address and adds a wall of strong encryption to protect your network traffic.

4. Disable the “Admin via Wireless” feature

When this feature is disabled only someone who is physically connected to your router via an Ethernet cable can access the admin features of your wireless router.

Of course, there are some devious and persistent hackers out there who will penetrate your network whatever you do, but following the advice in these tips will make your networker a much harder target to crack.

MPM Computer Consultancy provides IT Services, Support and Training to sole traders and small businesses in Ipswich. Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages