The Water Can’t Get Any Hotter for Kaspersky…

European Union (EU) Votes to Ban Kaspersky Labs Products On May 25, 2018, European Parliment released the Report on Cyber Defense.  In this report, specifically item #76 (see excerpt below), it specifically states Kaspersky Labs has been confirmed as malicious. 76.  Calls on the EU to perform a comprehensive review of software, IT and communications […]

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Atlanta’s Ransomware Attack Costs Continue to Increase

The City of Atlanta’s Ransomware Attack Costs Keep Growing On March 22nd, PC Pitstop shared the story of the SamSam ransomware attack that took down the City of Atlanta.  It took almost a week, before the city’s offices were able to turn on their computers, and now, almost three months later, the infection is still […]

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Minnesota Facility Paid Hacker’s Ransom Demands

Minnesota Mental Health Facility Falls Victim to Ransomware Attack Associates in Psychiatry and Psychology, located in Rochester, Minnesota discovered its files had been locked with the ransomware variant deemed Triple-M on March 31, 2018.  Beyond locking the facility’s files, the attack also disabled the computers’ system restore functions and reformatted the network storage device; which was […]

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Are Russian Hackers Planning a Massive Cyber Attack?

Concerns Arise Over Potential Cyber Attack Targeting Ukraine According to BleepingComputer, some major fears are arising regarding a potential cyber attack that is targeting Ukraine.  So far, over 500,000 routers, in 54 different countries, have been infected with a malicious virus deemed VPNFilter.  The infected devices include: Linksys, Models: E1200, E2500, and WRVS4400N Mikrotik RouterOS for […]

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Dutch Government Removes Kaspersky After Fears of Digital Espionage

Issues for Kaspersky Continue to Snowball… The Dutch government released a statement on May 14, 2018 stating they would be phasing out the use of Kaspersky Labs products on government devices, due to the “national security risks” the software presents.  According to CNET, Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus wrote a letter to Parliament stating the Russian […]

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Massachusetts School Pays Hackers – Still Waiting for Data

Leominster Schools of Massachusetts Suffer Ransomware Attack During the week of April 16,, 2018, hackers infiltrated the networks of Leominster Schools, leaving information inaccessible to student and staff.  On Friday, April 20th, officials decided to pay the $10,000 ransom demands via bitcoin.  Massachusetts officials have stated, as of April 26th, they have yet to gain access to their […]

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U.S. Considers Sanctioning Kaspersky Labs Products

The Kaspersky Controversy Continue to Grow Yesterday, I wrote on Twitter banning Kaspersky’s ads from their social media platform.  Now, new reports have suggested the U.S. will consider placing a sanction on all Kaspersky products.  This means, all Kaspersky operations will be banned, including their U.S. operations.  According to CyberScoop, New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, […]

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Trouble for Kaspersky Continues As Twitter Pulls Their Ads

Twitter Pulls Kaspersky’s Advertising The last twelve months have been rough on Kaspersky, due to speculated relationships between certain company officials and Russian intelligence.  The U.S. government was first urged to determine where they were using the security solution.  They were then given 90 days to remove the program and find an alternative security program.  […]

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Did the Facebook Leak Impact You?

Find Out If Your Information Was Harvested from Facebook Facebook, continues to work toward rebuilding their brand after facing a major security scandal alongside London’s elections consultancy, Cambridge Analytica.  Reports have confirmed personal data was harvested from the social media giant from Cambridge Analytica.  It is believed, the election firm then used the data to […]

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IBM Reports Ransomware is the World’s Largest Threat

IBM Security Announces Breaches Drop, While Ransomware Skyrockets On Monday, IBM Security announced results from its 2018 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index which found the number of records breached dropped nearly 25%, while ransomware continues to skyrocket.  Ransomware, malicious software that encrypts files or entire networks, demands a ransom payment to decrypt the files.  Unfortunately, […]

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Microsoft Scrambles to Patch Windows Defender Vulnerability

Microsoft Security Programs Compromised Due to Security Gap New reports confirmed Microsoft’s security programs, including Windows Defender, are suffering from a major security vulnerability.  The security gap found is within the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine (MMPE), and if it goes unpatched, will allow hackers to do significant damage.  In order for the vulnerability to be exploited, […]

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DOJ Moves to Dismiss Kaspersky’s Lawsuit Against Congress

Kaspersky’s Lawsuit May Be Tossed Out… This week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion to dismiss Kaspersky’s lawsuit against Congress over the ban of their products.  The Hill reports, “…Kaspersky does not have a legal basis to challenge the Trump administration’s ban on its products because, even if reversed, Congress’s ban would remain in effect.” […]

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US-CERT Urges Implementation of Whitelisting to Thwart Russian Attacks

Government Encourages Application Whitelisting to Boost Security On March 15, 2018 the U.S. government made a statement confirming the U.S. power grid had been compromised by the Russians.  Unsettling news, to say the least.  Although, various news outlets have reported no damage was done, and they believe the primary goal was to send a message.  […]

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Scammers Target PC Matic Customers with Malicious Email

Malicious Email Sent to PC Matic Customers Today our tech support team received a help desk ticket from one of our a diligent customers inquiring about the email below: They knew something wasn’t quite right, and our help desk team immediately knew it was a scam. PC Matic customers must be advised, this email is […]

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New York Clinic Goes to Paper Charting After Ransomware Infects System

New York Medical Facility Riddled with Ransomware Finger Lakes Health, of Geneva, New York was infected with an unknown ransomware variant on March 18, 2018.  Therefore, the medical facility’s systems were left completely encrypted, with an unknown third-party demanding a ransom payment.  The amount of the payment has not been disclosed, and it remains unclear […]

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Crypto-Jacking Begins to Skyrocket

Crypto-Jacking Skyrockets Over Last 10 Months Just last month, we introduced our readers to the concept of crypto-jacking.  Crypto-jacking occurs when a hacker takes over a user’s device, without their permission to mine for crypto-currencies.  The crypto-mining act itself, is not malware.  The hackers are merely using the device to mine for the digital currency. […]

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PC Matic SuperShield Protects Customers from Emotet Banking Trojan

The Malware Research team here at PC Pitstop has noticed a large number of hits on seemingly randomly-generated files in our research queue. Upon further investigation, it is apparent that these files are coming from Emotet Banking Trojan. In this post we will give a brief overview of the Trojan, how we detected it, and […]

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Microsoft Update Creating Major Issues, Yet Again…

Latest Microsoft Patch Update Causes USB Problems Microsoft issues a new patch the second Tuesday of every month.  If additional updates are needed and they cannot wait a full month, the company may also release a patch update on the fourth Tuesday of the month.  No one would be surprised if another update is released […]

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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 […]

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Microsoft Patches 50 Vulnerabilities on Patch Tuesday

New Update Resolves 50 Security Vulnerabilities This week brought the second Tuesday of the month, which is known to some as Patch Tuesday.  On the second Tuesday of every month, Microsoft issues updates to patch any security vulnerabilities found over the last month.  The update that hit this week patched approximately 50 security gaps in […]

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One Loose Screw Causes Lenovo to Recall Thousands of Laptops

Lenovo Recalls 83k ThinkPad X1 Carbon Laptops After Loose Screw Causes Major Issues According to BleepingComputer, Lenovo is recalling thousands of ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptops.  The recall is being issued due to a loose screw within the device.  It may sound a bit dramatic but one loose screw can cause quite the problem.  Due to the […]

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Top 9 Malware Variants Targeting the Education Sector

Why Schools Are Targeted When industries think of cyber targets, often times the education sector is not included.  Why?  Well, it is believed they do not carry the financial weight of bigger targets like enterprises or the healthcare industry.  Although, school systems do still hold a plethora of critical data that can be easily exploited.  […]

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Texas County Scrambles to Recover $888K Illegitimate Payment

Harris County of Texas Falls for Phishing Scam Hackers are ruthless.  I mean ruthless.  Just weeks after Hurricane Harvey, a hacker sent an email to the Harris County auditor’s office claiming to be a contractor who was due for payment.  The email claimed they were working on restoring damaged parking lots, cleaning up debris, and […]

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Allscripts Faces Lawsuit Due to Ransomware Infection

Ransomware Infection May Cost Allscripts Big Money… Allscripts, a company that provides electronic record systems for medical facilities was hit with a ransomware infection earlier this month.  The ransomware attack impacted several medical locations throughout the U.S., leaving them without access to their electronic data.  The severity of the impact for each facility remains unknown.  […]

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Fake Crytpo-Currency, Ransomware & Malware in One Attack

New “Get Rich Quick” Scheme Leads to Ransomware A new scam is luring people into downloading ransomware.  The scheme is targeting crypto-wallet users, and could also be spreading through phishing attacks.  The scam is encouraging users to download a new form of crypto-currency that is bound to make them buku bucks.  The fake crypto-currency, SpriteCoin, […]

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Hackers Exploit Meltdown/Spectre Vulnerabilities with Malicious “Patches”

Cyber Criminals Use Processor Vulnerabilities to Spread Malware Once security issues go global, cyber criminals tend to exploit them for their own gain.  It happened with the global ransomware treats, NotPetya, BadRabbit and WannaCry.  Hackers used fraudulent decryption keys to spread malware.  Now, they’re using malicious Meltdown/Spectre “patches” to spread malware.  According to Tech Republic, […]

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Top Cyber Threats of 2017 & Tips to Stay Safe in 2018

The 2017 Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR) broke down the cyber security threats the world faced last year.  Not only will we discuss some key features, but also ways to mitigate each threat. 73% of Malware Attacks were Distributed via Phishing Attacks Emails with malicious intent, or phishing emails, proved to be the method of […]

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HP Issues Lithium Ion Battery Recall — Again

HP Recalls Embedded Lithium Batteries HP has begun recalling embedded lithium ion (Li-Ion) batteries in 11 different models of PCs.  The recall comes almost one year after the first HP Li-Ion battery recall.  HP, and other manufactures started embedding the batteries within the device, in an attempt to increase security measures.  Unfortunately, that did not […]

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Two Romanians Facing Charges for Hacking 123 D.C. Cameras

Hackers Arrested for Massive Cyber Attack Almost a year ago, PC Pitstop reported on a ransomware attack that took out 123 surveillance cameras days before President Trump’s inauguration.  After determining the cameras were infected with malware, it was determined Dharma and Cerber ransomware were also on the systems.  Beyond infecting the systems with ransomware, there […]

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Crypto-Mining Malware Spreading Through Facebook Messenger

Crypto-Mining Malware Goes Global Through Messenger With crypto-currency at an all-time high, everyone and their grandmother seems to have found a way to get their hands on it.  Which is exactly why hackers are now creating malware which will mine for the digital currency.  The new malware, deemed Digmine is spreading through Facebook Messenger.  The […]

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Kaspersky Files Lawsuit Against Department of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security Files Binding Operating Directive 17-01 Leading Kaspersky to Take Action Earlier this month, President Trump signed into law the Binding Operating Directive 17-01  (BOD).  The BOD called for a ban of Kaspersky Labs products on U.S. government devices.  Throughout this year, concerns have risen regarding potential ties between the Russian government and Russian-based security […]

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North Korea Blamed for Major Cyber Attacks

North Korea Found to be a Part of Major Cyber Hacks Over the past week, North Korea has been blamed for two major cyber attacks.  Cyber security analysts believe North Korea has been stealing the crypto-currency, bitcoins, by executing advanced persistent threats (APTs).  APTs are when a hacker gains unauthorized access to a network with […]

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2017 Comes to a Close, But Ransomware is Still Booming

New Ransomware Attacks Target Schools and Public Municipalities In the last week, two school districts have released statements confirming ransomware infections throughout their systems.  The first, Proctor School District, located in Duluth, Minnesota, reported the infection impacted middle school and high school computers that were left on over the weekend.  The ransomware variant that infiltrated […]

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Why Ransomware is Targeting Education Sector

The Education Sector has Major Target on Their Backs… Ransomware has been targeting educational institutions over the last twelve months.  In January of 2017, the Los Angeles Community College District was hit with ransomware, and paid the hackers $28,000 to decrypt their files.  Months later, Dorchester School District Two was infected with ransomware, and paid $2,900 to […]

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Bitcoin Value has Skyrocketed – Should You Invest?

The Bitcoin Boom The crypto-currency, bitcoin, has exploded in value over the last ten years.  If anyone could have anticipated this boom, there is no doubt countless individuals would have purchased hundreds, if not thousands of the digital currency years ago. In July of 2010, one bitcoin was valued at $0.08.  Today, one bitcoin is […]

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39 Texas School Districts Impacted by a Single Ransomware Infection

Ransomware Attacks Texas Department of Agriculture In October the Texas Department of Agriculture was hit with an unknown ransomware variant.  The malicious software was able to infiltrate the system through an employee’s computer.  Although the ransomware was detected quickly, it was still able to encrypt files and compromise student data from area schools. Since the […]

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Running DLL Files for Malware Analysis

READ FIRST: Disclaimer – Malware can destroy data, damage your computer, cause your computer to damage other computers, steal information, or cause other harm to property and even life in the case of a system which is in control of some equipment or machinery. When analyzing malware, you must always do so on a machine […]

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Unpacking Malware Part 2 – Reconstructing the Import Address Table

READ FIRST: Disclaimer – Malware can destroy data, damage your computer, cause your computer to damage other computers, steal information, or cause other harm to property and even life in the case of a system which is in control of some equipment or machinery. When analyzing malware, you must always do so on a machine […]

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Ransomware Damage Costs Projected at $11.5B in 2019

Ransomware Damages Projected to Skyrocket With 2017 coming to an end, the final ransomware damages are being released.  This year alone, ransomware damages are projected to total $5 billion.  This includes not only the ransom demands paid, but also the company downtime, remediation efforts, loss in productivity, investigation costs and reputation damages.  One would almost […]

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Phishing Impacts Victims Far More Than Breaches

Study Reveals Phishing Victims Found to Lose More Than Breach Victims Google conducted a yearlong study regarding the impacts of data breaches compared to phishing scams.  The study found only 7% of individuals whose data was exposed due to a security breach, were still using the same password.  Therefore, although the data was breached, cyber criminals […]

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New Bill Proposed to Address Cyber Threats in Medical Industry

In 2017, there have been over 20 medical facilities that were infected with ransomware.  It remains uncertain how many of these facilities paid the ransom demands; however, each and every one of them reported issues with patient care due to the ransomware infection.  These issues range from the inability to access patient records, to turning […]

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44% of Federal Devices Remain Unprotected

It’s Crunch Time to Protect Federal Devices A recent study revealed 44% of federal devices are not properly protected against cyber security threats.  As if this isn’t concerning enough, devices are being interconnected more than ever.  Therefore, these unprotected endpoints can serve as a gateway to infect an entire system or network.  To ensure proper […]

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96% of Employees and Businesses Paid Ransom Demands

Majority of Employees Personally Pay Ransom Demands In a survey completed by Intermedia, it was found that a vast majority of employees paid up after being hit with ransomware.  Ransomware is a malicious software that infiltrates devices, servers, and networks which encrypts data.  After encryption a ransom note will be displayed, stating in order to […]

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Latest Ransomware, Bad Rabbit, Takes the World by Storm

Third Global Ransomware Attack of 2017 First, there was WannaCry, which hit the globe in mid-May.  Second, came NotPetya in June.  Third, was the latest global ransomware attack, Bad Rabbit.  This ransomware variant is believed to originate in Russia.  However, it quickly spread throughout Ukraine, targeting various transportation systems.  Avast also reported infections in Poland, […]

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Ransomware Demand Increases 2500%

Ransomware Sales Exploding on the Dark Web According to International Business Times (IBT), a new study was released confirming a significant rise in demand for the malicious software, ransomware.  The study showed 6,300 websites offering ransomware, with an additional 45,000 ads promoting the malicious software.  The price points ranged from $0.50 to $3,000.  The large […]

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Reports Claim Kaspersky Knowingly Played Role in NSA Hack

More Breaking News – Kaspersky Labs Knew of NSA Breach Role? In 2015 a government contractor placed confidential, NSA data on his personal computer.  This computer was using the Russian-based security solution, Kaspersky Labs.  Allegations have been surrounding Kaspersky Labs, regarding inappropriate ties to the Russian government, as well as collusion with the hackers who […]

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Kremlin Hackers Use Kaspersky Antivirus to Obtain NSA Data

New Developments Explain How Russia Obtained NSA’s Internal Details – And Guess Who’s in the Middle?? In 2015, the National Security Agency (NSA) suffered a data breach, that went undetected until early spring of 2016.  The breach was direct aftermath of a contractor transferring highly classified information to his home PC.  The hackers, who were […]

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