Frequently we here at SUPERAntiSpyware HQ still encounter users who use Windows XP and Windows Vista and we have one thing to say, its time to move on. Yes it may have served you well and change is hard but it is for the better. Windows XP extended support ended on April 8, 2014 and Windows Vista extended support ended on April 11, 2017. These operating systems are now declared end of life and unsupported by Microsoft and no longer receive regular updates.
“An unsupported version of Windows will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update. These updates include security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal your personal information. Windows Update also installs the latest software updates to improve the reliability of Windows—such as new drivers for your hardware.”
On top of Microsoft no longer supporting Windows Vista and XP, many software vendors no longer support these operating system either. The current versions of the popular web browsers Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox no longer support these operating systems forcing many users to use outdated versions or extremely old versions of Internet Explorer which is rife with security flaws. Not good!
We recommend all users of these unsupported operating systems update to at least Windows 7, if not 8.1 and 10. This will ensure your data is more secure and less likely to be stolen or destroyed by hackers or malware infections.
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.
that claims to be Microsoft attempting to inform users their Office account email storage space is almost full and to prevent incoming/Outgoing mail from getting bounced back, to click the supplied link to add an additional 10 gigs of free and mandatory storage. This of course is an obvious scam to phish your password as the link takes you to a fake Office 365 login screen.
We here at SUPERAntiSpyware recommend you simply delete this email, and do not click any links within the email. If you have been scammed by this email, immediately change your Office 365 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 also if you do open an email always hover your mouse pointer over the emails links to see where they’re trying to take you.
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.
Cookies are files, typically text files which are stored on a user’s device. They are made to contain data specific to the user or website, and can be accessed either by a web server or the users device. Cookies cannot themselves harm your computer in any way. Cookie allow the web server to deliver a web page “suited” to the user, or the web page itself can contain a script which is reading the data in the cookie and so is able to carry information from one visit to the website to the next website.
Typically what this means is that cookies are used to remember logins and keep track of user settings on websites, this information might include the name of the site, particular products being viewed, pages visited, etc. Cookie can be used to track your movement on the Internet ONLY if a site is aware of the cookie and is designed to use the specific cookies. Because of their use in tracking online activity, many feel that this constitutes spyware. Most antispyware applications, including SUPERAntiSpyware, detect tracking cookie in one form or another.
Cookie are not blocked by SUPERAntiSpyware because they are required for most web functionality. Cookie will come back every time you surf the web, and can be cleaned by running a Quick or Complete Scan.
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.
Top 5 Google Chrome Extension Picks For Better Web Security
Security and privacy are some of the major concerns when using the internet. One of the more popular internet browsers Google Chrome allows users to add extensions to the browser adding new functionality. Here are our picks for the top 5 Google Chrome security and privacy extensions that you should install for safer web browsing along side using your SUPERAntiSpyware software on your PC.
Click on each link and it will bring you to the Chrome Web Store where you can learn more about the extension and its creators. Most of these extensions are available on other popular browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox or Opera so do not feel limited to only Google Chrome!
1) uBlock Origin – A lightweight ad-blocker and anti-tracking extension that is efficient on memory and CPU footprint.
2) Privacy Badger – Developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Privacy Badger is an anti-tracking extension that stops advertisers and other third-party trackers from tracking where you go on the web. Privacy Badger Works great alongside uBlock Origin.
3) HTTPS Everywhere – Developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and The Tor Project. HTTPS Everywhere ensures that you always connect to a website using a secure HTTPS connection if one is available. HTTPS is a form of encryption making your browsing much more secure.
4) DuckDuckGo for Chrome– DuckDuckGo is the search engine that doesn’t track you. This add-on makes DuckDuckGo your default search engine and includes some other useful features.
5) LastPass: Free Password Manager – “Only remember one password. Your LastPass master password. Save all your usernames and passwords to LastPass, and it will auto-login to your sites and sync your passwords everywhere you need them.”
Do you have any Google Chrome extension recommendations? Feel free to leave a comment below!