Weekly IT Recap

This week, several breaking news stories hit.  Here are the top five, classified by PC Pitstop. NASA spends $1.4B on information technology – Yes, you read that right.  NASA blew spent 7.6% of their $18.5 billion budget on information security.  They should be good to go, right?! Wrong.  According to ZD Net, they are still […]

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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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Chrome Continues to Experience Malware Issues

Chrome Web Store Includes Malicious Extensions Google Chrome has been experiencing significant issues due to malicious extensions being available in the Chrome Web Store.  The users who are downloading the malware-riddled extensions are unaware what they are downloading is malicious.  The perception is, if the application is available through the Chrome, Google, or Apple store, […]

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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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Alleged #LeakTheAnalyst Hacker Arrested

#LeakTheAnalyst Hacker in Custody BleepingComputer reported, after a 90 day investigation, officials were able to arrest the individual they believe is behind the #LeakTheAnalyst hacker.  The hack, which took place earlier this summer, was targeting Mandiant, a FireEye company.  Although, initial concerns were that Mandiant’s systems were breached, it turns out the hack was actually of […]

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“Recommended” Installation Process Often Includes Bloatware

Microsoft Windows

What All Comes with Recommended Installation? How many times have you installed a program and just hit “Next”, “Next”, “Next”?  Often times we assume we are just installing the program we want.  That too often, is not the case.  When installing a program, the default installation process goes to “Recommended” or “Suggested”.  Many users leave […]

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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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FTC Settles With Microsoft Tech Support Scammers

The FTC and the State of Alabama recently settled with several tech support companies which were alleging to be from major technology companies such as Microsoft and Apple.  The companies include: Trothsolutions Inc. Trothsolutions LLC Quickkonto LLC Crazy Bee Man of Palm Beach Inc. eDoorways International Corp. Airoways LLC Escue Energy, Inc. These tech support […]

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Convenience Deemed More Critical Than Online Security

Online Security Takes Backseat to Convenience Although cyber security has been brought to everyone’s attention due to the recent global ransomware attacks, and major security breaches, it still takes a backseat to customer convenience.  A recent survey discovered merchants believe the degree of user-friendliness is the number one priority compared to the level of online security […]

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Traditional Antivirus Solutions Fail 40% of the Time

A recent study found approximately 40% of end users who had a traditional antivirus in place during the first half of this year, experienced a malware attack.  Traditional security solutions include a vast majority of those on the market.  They are software programs that utilize a blacklist technology, which only blocks known malware threats.  Therefore, […]

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Microsoft Enhances Security Functionality to Thwart Ransomware Attacks

Microsoft Windows

New Microsoft Feature Added to Stop Ransomware Attacks Microsoft recently released a new product feature, controlled file access, in an attempt to increase the security of endpoints.  The concept of this technology runs on a default deny approach. Controlled file access allows users to control which files are able to be accessed and altered by […]

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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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PC Pitstop Renews Membership with National Minority Supplier Development Council 

PC Pitstop Remains NMSDC Member The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) is the global leader in advancing business opportunities for its certified Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American business enterprises and connecting them to member corporations. This is the second consecutive year PC Pitstop is was recognized as an minority group member (MBE) of […]

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Windows Update Leaves Customers With Major Errors

Microsoft Windows

Windows Update Leaves Customers with Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) Microsoft released a Windows update on October 10, 2017 for their Windows 10 operating system (OS).  Updates are conducted with the purpose of enhancing the OS.  These changes may be for security purposes and/or performance.  However, this update created more issues for users than enhancements.  […]

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NY Hospital Dumps $10M to Rebuild Systems After Ransomware Attack

Ransomware completely took over Erie County Medical Center’s (ECMC) computer systems in April.  The malware completely corrupted the systems, and the hackers demanded $30,000 in ransom if they wanted the systems restored.  Instead, the medical facility spent approximately $10 million to rebuild its systems.  Roughly half of those funds were the cost of hardware, software, and […]

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Israel Warned U.S. of Kaspersky After Hacking Their Network

Israel Raises Concerns to U.S. Regarding Kaspersky Labs Americans now have a better idea why the government has decided to block federal agencies from using Russian-based security company, Kaspersky Labs, products.  Engadget reported, “Israel-linked hackers were watching Russian hackers breach an NSA contractor’s computer in real-time using a popular anti-virus tool. “ During this process, […]

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FormBook Targets U.S. Defense Contractors, Aerospace Firms & Manufacturing Sector

Latest Malware, FormBook, Targeting Major Organizations FormBook, a new malware variant has been targeting aerospace firms, U.S. defense contractors and manufacturing organizations in the U.S. and South Korea.  This latest malware uses an executable that is included as a malicious attachment within phishing campaigns.  Depending on the country being targeting the email attachment varies.  For […]

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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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Russians Allowed to Dissect Pentagon’s Security Software

Pentagon’s Security Software Source Codes Provided to Russian Defense Agency Wait, what?!  Yes, it is true.  Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) allowed a Russian defense agency to dissect the source codes for the security software used by the U.S. military.  The HPE program, deemed ArcSight, alerts analysts when there are concerns computer systems are under attack.  […]

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Clients’ Secret Emails Revealed After Deloitte Hit With Cyber Attack

Major Accountancy Firm Suffers Cyber Attack Cyber criminals infiltrated one of the world’s “big-four” accountancy firms, Deloitte.  It is believed the attacks wormed into the system in November or December of last year and remained undetected until March of 2017.  During this time, the hackers were able to access the company’s email systems, and potentially […]

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SEC Breach Could’ve Led to Illegal Trade Gains

SEC Breach Leaves Open Doors for Hackers The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), discovered a security breach last year.  However, until recently, no one knew the data obtained through the SEC breach could have led to illegal trade gains.  Unfortunately, additional information is not being disclosed regarding this issue. Reports state, “The agency did not […]

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$301M Paid in Ransoms by SMBs in One Year

SMBs Continue to be Hacker’s Target A recent study, State of the Channel Ransomware Report, collected data on over 100,000 small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) regarding the cyber threat, ransomware.  The information collected was based on data from the second quarter of 2016 through the second quarter of 2017.  It was found, fewer SMBs were […]

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Top 5 Tips to Combat Ransomware

Top Tips to Keep Your Data Secure Recently Beta News published an article on how, The practical guide to fighting ransomware.  The article listed several tips, timelines for implementation, and explanations why the tips were important.  A vast majority of the information throughout the article was correct and indisputably great advice.  However, a few tips […]

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Popular PC Maintenance Program, CCleaner, Hacked and Installed Malware on 2B Devices

Update 9/22/2017: Avast representative has made the following statement: “We believe that these users are safe now as our investigation indicates we were able to disarm the threat before it was able to do any harm.  We estimate that 2.27 million users had the affected software installed on 32-bit Windows machines.” The estimated users impacted […]

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U.S. Government Ordered Federal Agencies to Remove Kaspersky From All Devices

Federal Agencies Have 90 Days to Remove Kaspersky Labs Products Moscow-based security company, Kaspersky Labs, has been in hot water this year.  With the U.S. investigating potential ties between the company and the Russian government, several entities have abandon the use of the popular antivirus.  First, the U.S. government removed Kaspersky from all military devices. […]

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No. 1 U.S. Electronics Retailer Drops Kaspersky Products

Best Buy No Longer Selling Kaspersky Best Buy, the largest electronic retailer in America, has removed the Russian-based security solution, Kaspersky Labs, from its shelves.  The decision to cut the security program from their product line comes shortly after the FBI urged private sector companies to discontinue the use of Kaspersky on their devices. Both […]

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Yahoo Prepares for an Enormous Class Action Lawsuit

Yahoo Faces Major Lawsuit Following 2013 Breach In 2013, Yahoo suffered a massive security breach, leaving approximately one billion accounts compromised.  The breach was not made public until 2016.  Due to the lack of proper notification and security measures taken by Yahoo, several victims have suffered substantial financial burdens.  A recent report stated, “A man […]

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