A virus is malicious code that copies itself over and over in order to do damage to your computers data while Spyware is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of threats such as Trojans, Ransomware, Keyloggers, Cookies, Worms, etc that may do damage to your PC and/or privacy but do not have the intention of totally destroying your computers data and system unlike a virus.
So your telling me I need an Anti-Virus AND an Anti-Spyware?
We here at SUPERAntiSpyware have noticed a fairly recent clever email phishing campaign that claims to be PayPal. In the email the fake PayPal scam artists attempt to scare users into thinking that not only have their recent PayPal payments been declined, there is also unusual selling activities and they “will need some more information” about your recent sales in attempt to steal your information.
We here at SUPERAntiSpyware recommend you simply delete this email, and do not click any links within the email, especially the fake blue “Check Your Accounts” button. If you have been scammed by this email, immediately change your PayPal account password and consider looking into changing your spam settings to avoid future spam emails such as these. Remember, if you do not recognize the sender address, do not open the email, and if you do open an email such as this always hover your mouse pointer over the emails links to see where they’re trying to take you, usually phishing emails links will point you to a website that has nothing to do with the company they’re posing as.
Security researchers have discovered a vulnerability in the WPA2 wireless protocol. The exploit is called KRACK, short for Key Reinstallation Attacks that can allow hackers to snoop on WiFi connections and inject data into WiFi streams to do things such as install malware and other rogue actions such as steal passwords, emails, and other data.
Microsoft issued an update during last week’s October patch release that fixes the problem on Windows OS, if you have not updated your Windows installation it is recommended you do so immediately. Microsoft has stated that even when the vulnerability is patched within Windows, router firmware and Wifi drivers installed or connected to Windows machines that have not been updated can still be affected. To fully protect yourself, Windows users should also install patched WiFi drivers and router firmware if available, in addition to the patch Microsoft released for Windows.
We at SUPERAntiSpyware have noticed in uptick in spam that claims to be associated with verifying your email address to set up a Microsoft Account.
We recommend you immediately delete this email, do not click the “Verify Your email address button” it will redirect you to a known phishing site to try to steal your account information. You can tell the button is fake by simply hovering your mouse over the button and taking a look at the URL, clearly non-Microsoft related.
If you have been scammed by this email, immediately change your Microsoft account password and consider looking into changing your spam settings to avoid future spam emails such as these. Remember, if you do not recognize the sender address, do not open the email!
There are two ways this strain of ransomware is infecting large businesses, governments, and other entities around the world:
An attack via a vulnerable Windows Server Message Block (SMB) service which windows uses to share Files/Printers across networks.
The Microsoft PxExec tool with admin credentials from target computer.
These problems have been patched by Microsoft, but there are still users out there who have not downloaded the patches for their Windows Operating Systems so the ransomware keeps spreading.
To fight back and protect yourself from this global ransomware attack make sure you do the following:
1) You have Windows Automatic Updates turned on and you are up to date. If you don’t have auto update on, you can download the security update for your version of Windows HERE
2) Make sure your copy of SUPERAntiSpyware is the latest edition and is current with the latest definitions. If you own the Professional Edition, make sure Real-Time Protection is enabled.
3)Backing up your computer regularly and keeping a recent backup copy not connected to any PC. We recommend using Support.com Online Backup which we offer on our online shopping cart as an optional offer when purchasing SUPERAntiSpyware Professional.
Home users and businesses should make sure their Windows Operating Systems and security software are updated in order to stop the spread of WannaCrypt. Make sure your copy of Windows is updated, click HERE to read Microsoft’s Customer Guidance post about this ransomware. Microsoft even took usual steps and released updates to unsupported Operating systems such as XP. From the article linked above:
“Additionally, we are taking the highly unusual step of providing a security update for all customers to protect Windows platforms that are in custom support only, including Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003. Customers running Windows 10 were not targeted by the attack today.”
We at SUPERAntiSpyware stress that you also make sure you are using the latest edition of SUPERAntiSpyware, version 6.0.1240 as of this blog post with the most recent definitions AND make sure you have Real-Time Protection set to enabled.
If you have your Windows Firewall disabled, immediately enable it. If you have a third-party Firewall, make sure it is enabled and the software is current.
We want to remind everyone that tax season is the time of increased attacks in the forms of spyware, various methods of phishing , and scams. Spyware and Malware authors significantly increase their activity during the tax season in order to try to steal data and withdraw money from bank accounts, steal credit cards, passwords, and other malicious acts.
Watch out for Identity Stealing Spyware!
During this tax season its important to do a few things to help protect yourself online:
1) Make sure your Operating System and software applications such as web browsers and email clients are up to date.
2) Run a Complete Scan with SUPERAntiSpyware regularly with the latest updates, at least twice a week during this period of increased activity.
3) Be cautious before visiting strange websites, or opening strange email attachments. Think before you click!
4) Manually erase, or use privacy software, to delete sensitive data from you PC. Spyware cannot steal what isn’t there!
5) Lookout for spam phishing email impersonating government, bank, or tax company officials asking for sensitive information.
Do you have any security recommendations that help you stay safe during the tax season? Feel free to leave a comment below!
This past month, SUPERAntiSpyware® reached a milestone – we’re 10 years old! Let’s take a look back at some of the bigger events that have happened over the past 10 years, just to see how far we’ve come:
2006– SUPERAntiSpyware® is born, Twitter is launched, Pluto is demoted to “dwarf planet” status, the West African black rhino is declared extinct, 20th Winter Olympic Games open in Italy, Brontok email worm discovered
2007– Apple debuts the iPhone, Google Street View is launched, “The Sopranos” series finale, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” released, “The Big Bang Theory” debuts on CBS, Boris Yeltsin dies, Zeus/Zbot banking Trojan discovered
2008– Beijing hosts the Olympic Games, “Iron Man” is released, Bill Gates steps down as Chairman of Microsoft, The Large Hadron Collider is powered up, Barack Obama elected President of the USA, Conficker and Koobface information stealing worms discovered
2009– Chrysler and General Motors file for bankruptcy, Statue of Liberty’s crown reopens to public, Michael Jackson dies, Boeing 787 makes its maiden flight, Windows 7 released, Daprosy password stealing worm discovered
2010– BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Chilean mine incident, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announces his retirement, Burj Khalifa is officially opened, Eyjafjallajökull erupts in Iceland, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” repealed, Stuxnet Trojan cripples Iranian nuclear facilities
2011– Prince William and Kate Middleton married, Osama Bin Laden killed, “The Hunger Games” published, Steve Jobs dies, Japan tsunami hits Fukushima nuclear plant, Final launch of Space Shuttle Discovery, “Game of Thrones” premiers on HBO, ZeroAccess downloader rootkit discovered
2012– Hurricane Sandy hits East coast of USA, West Nile Virus hit 48 states throughout the year, Curiosity Rover lands on Mars, Dick Clark dies, Russia joins World Trade Organization, Windows 8 released, Flamer espionage Trojan discovered
2013– Pope Benedict XVI announces his retirement, Pope Francis elected, Edward Snowden admits to leaks of NSA materials, Nelson Mandela dies, DOMA ruled unconstitutional by US Supreme Court, “Frozen” debuts, CryptoLocker family of Ransomware is born
2014-Boko Haram kidnaps 280 girls, Seattle Seahawks win first Super Bowl in franchise history, Malaysia Airline Flight MH370 vanishes, Attorney General Eric Holder resigns, Malala Yousafzai wins Nobel Peace Prize, Reign Trojan dropper is discovered
2015– Jon Stewart leaves “The Daily Show”, oldest stone tools found in Kenya, David Lettermen leaves “The Late Show”, American Pharoah wins first Triple Crown in 37 years, Microsoft launches Windows 10, CryptoWall family of ransomware is discovered
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since SUPERAntiSpyware was released to the general public. Just look at all the things that have changed around the world! Despite all of that change, one thing remains constant – we’re here to serve you.
In honor of our loyal customers, we’ve decided to run a small contest. If you go to our Facebook page and like/share this article with your friends, we’re going to enter you into a drawing for one of ten (10) SUPERAntiSpyware® Gift Packs! This gift pack includes a SUPERAntiSpyware® logo coffee mug, a SUPERAntiSpyware® logo pen, a copy of the SUPERAntiSpyware® install disc, a 1-year 3-user license, and some assorted goodies.
Not a bad deal, huh? The contest will go on until 12pm PST on April 29, 2016. Like and Share this post on Facebook now to enter!