Alert: Top Four Threats Attacking Your Network

There are many threats that could be attacking your network. Here are just a few that most clients have happen to them.

User overconfidence in security products is the top threat to your network.

Failure to “practice safe software” results in nuisance attacks like porn storms (unstoppable rapid fire pornographic pop-ups) and more subtle key loggers that steal passwords.

Surveys promising free stuff result in theft of information like your mother’s maiden name, high school, etc. which can be used to answer common security questions.

To avoid theft of otherwise secure data, think before you click.

Social Networking Sites
Social networking sites like Facebook are exploding in popularity. Threats range from malware (eg. viruses, worms, spyware) to scammers trying to steal your identity, information and money. Many businesses and government agencies are using these sites to communicate with clients and constituents, so simply blocking access is no longer reasonable; defending your company while allowing employee access requires social network education for your employees and the enforcement of strong acceptable use policies.

We can help you develop a policy, then monitor compliance using a Unified Threat Management device that controls and reports on network access.

Attacks On Mobile Devices
Everyone is going mobile these days, not just the “road warriors.”

Once limited to laptop computers, mobile network devices now include PDAs, handheld computers and smart phones, with new appliances appearing in the stores every month. Mobile devices often contain sensitive data yet they are easily lost or stolen.

Be sure to password protect and encrypt data on all mobile devices whenever possible. Include mobile devices in your acceptable use policy.

Cloud Computing
“The Cloud,” in its simplest form, involves using the Internet to access and store your data.

It’s actually thousands of servers all working together to provide computing power. When you access e-mail using a web browser, you are working in “the cloud.” Using the cloud for automated off-site backup is rapidly gaining popularity, but that’s just the beginning.

Companies like Microsoft, IBM, and Google envision the day when we will use inexpensive terminals instead of computers to run programs and access data located somewhere on the Internet.

You need to be sure that any data you store and access across the Internet is secure not just where it is stored, but during the trip to and from the Internet.

Pay close attention to this top threats and it will help with network security.

How To Spot And Protect Yourself From An Infection

Are you finding it harder and harder to protect yourself from malicious attacks from the internet?

To help protect yourself you should first start with how to identify them. We will start with sorting them in basic categories.

Viruses – they attach themselves to any file so that when you start the program, you activate the virus. These viruses are usually sent through email or downloaded files from the internet.

Worms – worms are just like what they sound. They keep multiplying and using up all the resources from the computer till the computer comes to a complete stop. These usually are spread through P2P programs and email. They can also be spread over your local network.

Trojans (a.k.a Spyware) – Trojans are the worst. They are used to steal information from the user. They are installed and used without permission and usually have some type of key logger to record what you are typing and send it back to the source so that they can collect credit card numbers and username/password to accounts. These are generally the hardest to find because they usually consists of multiple files.

The best way to protect from and prevent infections is to run the best antivirus/spyware software around. The number one common reason people get infected is not that they accidently download it but, that they do not keep track if their antivirus is installed and updated properly.

Just because you see in the bottom corner that your antivirus is running, does not mean its doing its job. Every day you should check to make sure that your antivirus is updating so that you are protected against the most recent infections. By doing that even if you download a virus the antivirus will scan the file and catch it before it gets too late.

If you do not have an antivirus program installed, I recommend installing one as soon as possible.

One of the best currently out right now is Computer Associates E-Trust Integrated Threat Manager and Antivirus. The program isn’t free, but is a bargain compared to the cost of downtime and an infection.

Is Your Computer Acting Scary? Try These Tips!

Has your computer been acting strange lately? Has it been popping up with funny messages, running slower than normal, missing buttons or cannot get on the Internet? All of these things can be caused by malware and can do so without the computer user even knowing that they are being targeted.

Most effects of malware are just annoying to the user but some can attack your PC and cause the computer to be unusable or even to lose data.

The use of the Internet has caused an increase in this type of infection. What exactly are viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, and adware?

• Viruses are computer programs that can copy itself and infect files increasing memory usage and slowing down the system. Viruses can be opened by launching a file that has .exe on the end. Other people can be infected by contact to the file that was originally infected. The virus can do harm by attaching to an application, application file or by residing in the memory (RAM).

• Spyware collects information about the user’s Internet activity or changes the configuration of the computer. They can change the home page that opens up when you start Internet Explorer or add buttons to Explorer. Also called adware.

• Trojans are, many times, a form on a web site that misleads you in believing that a program is used for a helpful purpose but instead has a malicious intent. You can be downloading a paint program to make artwork but instead you are really being infected by a Trojan that may harm your computer .

• Worms are like a virus but spread through a network of computers without a user doing anything. These will corrupt files and cause the Internet to run slowly on your computer.

• Malware are any of the above types of infections.

Now that you know exactly what these pesky pieces of software are, it is time to modify your Internet habits. These are some tips to help avoid risky behavior on the Internet.

• Use a firewall. This will help block unwanted transmissions to your computer.

• Update your operating system when needed. Microsoft routinely releases updates for security fixes.

• Use an anti-virus software.

• Never open e-mail or attachments from anyone that you do not know.

If you have questions about computer viruses, or think you may have an infection, call the Tech Experts 24 Hour Computer Emergency Hotline at (734) 240-0200.

Malicious Software Is Spreading Through Multiple Operating Systems

“A new worm is being distributed within malicious OpenOffice documents. The worm can infect Windows, Linux and Mac OS X systems,” according to a Symantec Security Response advisory. “Be cautious when handling OpenOffice files from unknown sources.”

Apple’s Mac OS is not a virus-free platform, said Jan Hruska, who co-founded antivirus firm Sophos.

“Viruses on the Mac are here and now. They are available, and they are moving around. It is not as though the Mac is in some miraculous way a virus-free environment,” Hruska said. “The number of viruses coming out for non-Mac platforms is higher. It gives a false impression that somehow, Apple Macs are all virus-free.”

Once opened, the OpenOffice file, called badbunny.odg, launches a macro that behaves in several different ways, depending on the user’s operating system.

On Windows systems, it drops a file called drop.bad, which is moved to the system.ini file in the user’s mIRC folder. It also executes the JavaScript virus badbunny.js, which replicates to other files in the folder. On Apple Mac systems, the worm drops one of two Ruby script viruses in files respectively called badbunny.rb and badbunnya.rb.