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    Intel Facing 32 Lawsuits Due to Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities

    Intel in Hot Water - 32 Lawsuits Filed

    According to Intel's annual 10-K report filed with the Security Exchange Commission (SEC), the company is facing 30 customer class action lawsuits and two securities class action lawsuits as a direct result of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities reported last year.  The plaintiffs of the customer suit claim suffering due to the company.  This suffering is alleged to be a direct result of Intel's actions or omission of the issues related to Spectre and Meltdown.  The plaintiffs from the securities class action suit represent the individuals who acquired Intel stock options from July 27, 2017 to January 4, 2018, who as stated within the company's 10-K,
    "...generally allege that Intel and certain officers violated securities laws by making statements about Intel's products and internal controls that were revealed to be false or misleading by the disclosure of the security vulnerabilities."
    Since it is early it the litigation stage, it remains unclear if additional parties will join either of the class action lawsuits.  Intel also realizes this could just be the tip of the iceberg.  The company reported at this time, they are unable to estimate the projected loss this may create for the organization.

    Crypto-Jacking: The Next Major Cyber Threat

    February 14, 2018 by Kayla Elliott in Newsletter,tips

    Experts Believe Crypto-Jacking is Next Big Cyber Threat

    Experts have shifted their emphasis from ransomware to crypto-jacking when considering today's emerging cyber threats.  Ransomware is a malicious software that encrypts files, then demands a payment to unlock them.  Alternatively, crypto-jacking is the unauthorized use of one's computer or network to mine for digital currency, or crypto-mine.  Mining for crypto-currencies takes an extreme amount of resources, including power and bandwidth.  It is for these reasons, hackers are using other's resources and devices. Buy why the shift?  First, ransomware is no longer an emerging threat, but an existing threat.  Also, ransomware has been incredibly lucrative, but can be costly for hackers to use.  Alternatively, CSO Online reported a crypto-mining service called Coinhive recently earned over $300k in one month.  That, along with a crypto-jacking kits costing as little as $30, it makes sense hackers are making the switch.  Also, ransomware infections require the user to actually make the payment.  Unlike crypto-jacking which does not require the user to make any kind of payment.

    Threat Models

    The threat model for ransomware and crypto-jacking is similar.  Both impact the functionality of the victim's systems, and both could render them useless.  However, crypto-jacking may not be a noticeable threat, like ransomware is.  If you're infected with ransomware, users receive a ransom note demanding a payment.  Crypto-jacking doesn't notify the user.  Instead, it monopolizes resources in the background.  Since crypto-mining takes up a majority of the resources, users may notice a significant decrease in bandwidth or device speed. If you are concerned your system is infected with a crypto-jacking malware, it is important the user run a virus scan to identify any kind of malicious activity.

    Rob Cheng, CEO and Founder of PC Pitstop, Recognized as 2018 CRN® Channel Chief

    February 14, 2018 by Kayla Elliott in In the News,Newsletter,Press

    PC Pitstop Founder and CEO, Rob Cheng, Named as  CRN Channel Chief

    Sioux City, Iowa, February 12, 2018 – PC Pitstop, an American leader in end-point and server security, announced today that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has added Rob Cheng, Founder and CEO, to its prestigious list of 2018 Channel Chiefs. The executives on this annual list represent top leaders in the IT channel who excel at driving growth and revenue in their organization through channel partners. Channel Chief honorees are selected by CRN’s editorial staff on the basis of their professional achievements, standing in the industry, dedication to the channel partner community, and strategies for driving future growth and innovation. Each of the 2018 Channel Chiefs has demonstrated loyalty and ongoing support for the IT channel by consistently promoting, defending and executing outstanding channel partner programs. CRN Channel Chiefs list honored Rob Cheng, Founder and CEO for PC Pitstop, the maker of PC Matic Pro.  He was chosen for his consistent drive and push for innovation for both the partner program, and also product additions to address consumer needs.  These additions include malicious script blocking, PC Matic Pro server security, and development of the Infinite Alert Block.
    “The executives on CRN’s 2018 Channel Chiefs list stand out for their exceptional leadership, vision and commitment to the channel,” said Robert Faletra, Executive Chairman of The Channel Company. “These individuals deserve special recognition for their development and support of robust partner programs, innovative business strategy and significant contribution to the overall health of a vigorously growing channel. We applaud each Channel Chief’s impressive record of accomplishments and look forward to their future successes.” “PC Pitstop is committed to providing the best proactive detection against today's cyber security threats,” said Frank Hansen, Director of Channel Sales for PC Pitstop.  “The consistent innovation of PC Matic Pro demonstrates PC Pitstop’s commitment to advance our products to meet the needs of our channel partners and consumers.  With PC Pitstop's preventative approach and emphasis on application whitelisting, we are changing the way channel partners think about cyber security."
    The 2018 CRN Channel Chiefs list, including the 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs, is featured online at and will appear in the February 2018 issue of CRN. Follow The Channel Company: Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook

    About PC Pitstop

    PC Pitstop develops, markets and supports the award-winning PC Matic security software. PC Matic features a globally automated whitelist technology and fileless malware detection, together providing the best security protection for end-point devices around the globe.  Founded in 1999 by Rob Cheng, the American company with operations based in Sioux City, Iowa and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – was established with the sole purpose of creating a better way to diagnose common computer problems. Over 19 years, PC Pitstop has evolved into an innovative provider of cloud based performance and security solutions for homes, businesses of all sizes, and government agencies.  For more information, visit:

    About The Channel Company

    The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequalled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace. CRN is a registered trademark of The Channel Company, LLC. All rights reserved.
    Press Contacts:
    Kayla Thrailkill PC Pitstop (712) 281-0544
    The Channel Company Contact:
    Melanie Turpin The Channel Company 508.416.1195

    PC Pitstop's First Retiree

    February 01, 2017 by Kayla Elliott in Newsletter
    As of January 31, 2017 Doug Bender, a dedicated PC Pitstop employee, will be entering retirement.  He is PC Pitstop's first retiree.  To say he is a valued employee is an understatement. Doug has worked for PC Pitstop since 2005.  Throughout the 12 years of his employment he has worn several hats. Doug worked diligently on malware research, testing and categorizing any "unknown" files as either safe or malicious.  He also worked in technical support, assisting customers through the helpdesk on various issues from billing to troubleshooting.  Adding to his responsibilities, he contributed with training new employees and team development needs. PC Pitstop CEO, Rob Cheng, shared what an asset Doug had been for the company,
    "He was a rock and someone we could count on when we had a tricky customer situation.  Doug, thanks for all the great service."
    Doug plans to enjoy his retirement by spending time with his great-grandchildren and taking day trips with his wife of 37 years.  He also plans to visit the local stables, work on his golf game, attend Bible study classes, as well as exercise.  When asked what he would be doing with his time he summed it up perfectly with,
    "There's plenty to do around here, we just need to get out and do it."
    Enjoy your retirement Doug.  You will most certainly be missed!  

    What to Expect With the Growing Internet of Things (IoT)

    February 01, 2017 by Kayla Elliott in Newsletter,tips
    Technology continues to advance, as quickly as on a daily basis.  It can be hard to keep up with all of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including televisions, appliances, watches, phones, tablets, automobiles, and everything in between.

    IoT Devices Lack Security

    One of the biggest concerns as technology continues to advance, is the lack of security for each of these devices.  Late last year, the IoT industry saw its first ransomware attack on a smart television, proving just how vulnerable these devices are when it comes to hackers.  Ransomware also recently took down the electronic key system at a top European hotel, making room access impossible for 80 hotel guests.  With the anticipated growth within the IoT industry, we are left wondering what they will do to increase security measures on such devices to prevent future attacks. This year, the FTC is actually hosting a contest for IoT security solutions.  Individuals are encouraged to submit their security solutions to the FTC for review and the winner will receive a $25,000 prize. The reality is, IoT manufacturers have not stressed cyber security when creating the latest smart devices.  This is not acceptable.  According to Media Post, by 2021 there will be 46 billion IoT devices used worldwide.  Assuming cyber security continues to be a nonexistent priority for these developers, that is 46 billion devices vulnerable to attack.

    What to Expect

    The IoT trends will not slow down anytime soon.  We live in a society where people want the latest and greatest of everything.  With a demand like that, suppliers will continue to feed the wants of the consumers.  However, they need to do so by creating a product that is secure against today's cyber threats.  And if they can't, we need a third-party solution that can keep our devices safe. Until that happens, expect an increased number of malware attacks on these devices.  Whether it is ransomware, viruses, or scams.  These devices are vulnerable, and hackers couldn't be more aware.  

    HP Recalls 101,000 Lithium Batteries Due To Fire Hazards

    HP Recalls Thousands of Lithium Batteries

    HP recently disclosed they will be recalling an estimated 101,000 lithium batteries due to overheating and fire hazards.  According to The Verge, the devices impacted include HP ENVY, HP ProBook, HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario's that were purchased between March 2013 to October 2016.  HP has created a recall and replacement site, which can be accessed here.  It is most certainly worth taking the time to check and see if your device needs its battery replaced.  If it does, HP will provide one, free of charge.

    Ongoing Dangers of Lithium Batteries

    Lithium battery recalls have been an ongoing trend for some time now.  The fire and overheating risks aren't new, but more and more devices continue to be impacted.  In 2016, the most publicized recall for lithium batteries was probably for the Samsung Note 7.  What you may not know, is Toshiba also recalled thousands of PC lithium batteries in 2016 for the same hazards. In 2006, PC Pitstop helped to expose the dangers of lithium batteries. In 2013, a similar study was done by PC Pitstop, in hopes the risks would no longer present themselves.  However, the results were disturbing.  You can view the study, which exploits the overheating and fire hazards with these batteries below, At some point, manufactures must understand these batteries are hazardous and an alternative powering solution must be created.

    Love Our Newsletter? Read Additional Articles Here

    January 18, 2017 by Kayla Elliott in Newsletter,tips

    You Love Our Content?? Gee--Thanks!

    We recently conducted a survey to obtain feedback on various aspects of the weekly PC Pitstop newsletter.  After reviewing the data, I found a few things particularly interesting.  Out of the 454 participants, the responses were filtered down to those who consistently open the newsletter and find the content relevant to their needs.  Out of these individuals, 27.09% do not visit our blog site, Tech Talk, to read additional articles not featured in the newsletter.  An additional 63.59% are not following us on social media. This was surprising since these individuals are finding the content relevant to their needs, and additional articles are available but are not being read because they are not featured in our newsletter.  This led to the question of whether or not our readers even know that Tech Talk  and our social media sites are available.

    Want More?

    If you like our content, and want to see more of it, there are various platforms you can use to access additional articles.  All of the platforms listed below can be used to review any of our content.
    1. Tech Talk - This will include all of our staff written articles.
    2. PC Pitstop Facebook Page - We feature two articles a day on Facebook, these are typically our own content; however at times, other articles may be added in.
    3. PC Matic Facebook Page - We feature two articles a day on Facebook, these are typically our own content; however at times, other articles may be added in.
    4. PC Matic MSP Facebook Page - This professional service page has audience specific content.  If you're an MSP, this is the perfect option!
    5. PC Matic Pro Facebook Page - As another one of our professional services pages, we feature content specific to IT Pros.
    6. PC Pitstop Twitter Page - We feature two articles a day on Twitter, these are typically our own content; however at times, other articles may be added in.
    7. PC Matic Twitter Page - We feature two articles a day on Twitter, these are typically our own content; however at times, other articles may be added in.
    8. PC Matic MSP Twitter Page - This professional service page has audience specific content.  If you're an MSP, this is the perfect option!
    9. PC Matic Pro Twitter Page - As another one of our professional services pages, we feature content specific to IT Pros.
    10. PC Pitstop Linked In Page - This is platform is focused on business and industry news.  Not all of our articles will be featured here, but it is perfect for breaking industry news!
    Now that you have all of our platforms in one place, I want to note a few things. First, on Facebook you have the option to "Like" and/or "Follow" our pages.  Either option will allow for our content to show in your newsfeed.  That being said, do not rely on your newsfeed to catch our stories.  It is always best to go to the page directly and review any content that may have been missed, and/or not populated within your newsfeed. By going to Twitter, you have the option to "Follow" us.  This will allow our content to show up in your newsfeed.  Again, it is best to visit our pages directly to review content, in case it is missed in your newsfeed. Within Linked In, you are able to "Follow" us.  Again, this allows for our content to populate within your Linked In newsfeed.  However, to ensure articles are not missed, it is best to check out our page directly. Lastly, for all social media platforms -- Facebook, Twitter and Linked In -- you will need to have a profile in order to "Follow" any of our pages.  If you do not have a social media profile on any of these platforms, visiting Tech Talk directly would likely be your best option. Thank you for all who participated in our survey!  Happy reading!!

    YouTube Turns into One-Stop Shop for Cyber Criminals

    December 01, 2016 by Kayla Elliott in Newsletter
    Proofpoint recently confirmed they found tutorials on the popular video streaming site, YouTube. The tutorials show how to set up phishing kits and start the scamming process. These videos have been hosted on YouTube for months. This is concerning because apparently YouTube does not have a monitoring system in place to moderate their videos. Therefore, cyber criminals are able to exploit the platform as their salesroom for parties interested in executing a scam. Also, it was found that within the comments section of these videos, were live links to phishing templates and kits. So to be clear, they will give you the link to download the template and kit, show you how to set it up, AND show you how to begin execution of the scam. Alarming! As stated, these videos have been up for months. Therefore, it is not expected there will be higher increase than normal in phishing attacks in the near future. However, that being said, this is the time when phishing attacks do increase. To avoid falling victim, be extra cautious about what you click on. Also, be sure your security solution is scanning as usual, and is up to date. Stay safe out there!

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    About The Pit Crew

    PC Pitstop's Pit Crew is committed to providing you with the information you need to keep your PC safe and running like new.

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