A new vulnerability affecting Internet Explorer 6 through 11 users was discovered just this past weekend. The bug can grant hackers access to a PC, likely allowing them to install programs, create accounts, and view, change, or delete user data. It has already been exploited against U.S. financial and defense companies, resulting in the U.S. government issuing a strong warning about the risks of using these versions of Internet Explorer.
Microsoft is aware of the problem and is working on a patch. However, since support for Windows XP ended earlier this month, those who still using Windows XP are out of luck.
This bug is just the first in what could be a long list of vulnerabilities that will remain open for hackers, viruses, and malware to target XP users. It’s also a clear indication that the end of support doesn’t only affect the operating system, but other applications like browsers, too. Continue reading
The OpenSSL project team announced a serious security vulnerability, known now as the Heartbleed bug, on April 7th. We wanted to officially address concerns about purchasing products from Laplink online.
All purchases made through our secure 128-bit encrypted chatroom or online store are completely safe! While our security hasn’t been compromised by Heartbleed, we are actively monitoring our system to ensure that your personal information remains secure at all times. Continue reading
End of support for Windows XP begins on April 8, 2014. Those who choose to stay on XP after end of support will face an end to hot-fixes, technical assistance, and security updates. Sticking around on Windows XP is risky; reports point out that the lack of security updates will make it a hot target for hackers, viruses, and other malware. When Microsoft releases security updates for Windows 7 and 8, attackers will check and test Windows XP for those same vulnerabilities. If the vulnerabilities are shared, attackers will target these known security holes in XP because it won’t be receiving security patches.
Studies show that Windows XP users will be six times more likely to suffer from a virus or other malware. We at Laplink recommend that XP users upgrade their current operating system or transfer to a new PC. With PCmover, the move is seamless, so there’s no reason to face the risks that Windows XP will soon carry.
Windows XP end-of-life is just around the corner, and recent extensions for Microsoft’s antimalware software has users confused. However, extended virus warning doesn’t mean that Windows XP will be safe after the April 8th deadline.
We at Laplink are encouraging all users to move from Windows XP as soon as is practical. For many business users, that means upgrading existing PCs from XP to Windows 7. Luckily, our PCmover Windows 7 Upgrade Assistant is the perfect tool to do this, and Laplink will be offering is for free for one day only on February 4.
According to a recent study by Trustworthy Computing, Windows XP systems have a malware infection rate six times higher than Windows 8. And AV-Test, who is in the business of testing security solutions, warns that continuing to use Windows XP after April 8 is a major security risk, especially as time goes on.
As if right on cue for Cyber Security Month, a new malware named “CryptoLocker” has been hitting people’s hard drives with force.
This malware installs itself into your “Documents and Settings” folder under a randomly generated name. It then adds itself to the list of programs that run every time you log on and eventually creates and uploads an ID for you online. After your ID is created, a public-private key pair is generated, with the public portion being sent back to your computer.
Soon after setting you up, CryptoLocker encrypts all of your files. From important work documents, to spreadsheets, to family photos, CryptoLocker scrambles and locks it all. A pop-up then greets you with a “pay us or lose all your data” message. Typically, CryptoLocker gives users about 100 hours to pay a fee of $300 for the private key to recover their data. If this fee isn’t paid, the key is destroyed and the files are lost.
October is National Cyber Security Month and we at Laplink want to make sure you’re protected. According to research done by the National Cyber Security Alliance, 80% of adults use the internet, 49% of them accessing it from their smartphones. With the influx of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, it’s never been easier to be connected. But with an increase in internet access comes an increase in security risk.
Most smartphone users have never backed up their mobile devices, and a full 64% have never installed security software or apps to keep their mobile devices more secure from malware and viruses. Nearly half of all targeted cyber attacks are directed at companies with less than 500 employees, and weak mobile security can be a major point of entry. So how do you stay protected on the go?
The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission released a report today titled “Red Cloud Rising: Cloud Computing in China.” This report takes a look at China’s growing support for cloud services and the implications that may lead to for US companies and consumers.
According to the report, “the Chinese government plans to make more than $1 billion available over the next few years to drive cloud computing development.” Cloud computing companies around the US are exploring the possibility of expanding overseas, but what does that mean for cloud users?
March 31 was World Backup Day. It is a good reminder every year that most people do not back up their PC data regularly.
We forget that some of our data is fairly unique: family pictures, financial data , important write-ups, music, and videos. The hardware has become very reliable, but hard drives and PCs (or Macs) do fail. Often the first sign of a failure is too late and the data is corrupted and irretrievable. According to some well-known research, only 6% of users back up their data on a daily basis. Daily backups might not be the answer for most of us, but a regular backup is as necessary as locking your house or car.
It seems with every passing month we hear more and more about information leaks from major corporations or some sort of backdoor into the apps we use everyday. Even Apple, long thought to be ‘above’ all that security problem nonsense has recently found an issue causing them to back pedal around holes found in their FileVault system. What do we really have to worry about at home? Are these problems on the rise or is it just something to expect?
Well, a little of both it would seem. In Symantec’s 2011 Threat Landscape Report we are told that malicious attacks jumped 81% in 2011 over 2010 (or more precisely that Symantec caught 81% of the attacks). The report claims that malware-variants, slightly modified malware that bypasses past fixes, also increased in 2011 by 41%. The report goes on to detail some pretty scary numbers pointing to a definite rise in malicious online attacks (but hey, SPAM has precipitously dropped, so, really, we came out on top right? … right?).
Photo courtesy of anroidpit.com
Symantec’s report tends to focus on malicious attacks against user-systems. These are definite issues as the numbers show, but it doesn’t really reflect the problems presented in the opening of this post. These issues arise from mistakes made in code, holes left open that could allow someone to access information we need kept private. This is where encryption steps in.