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Recently, a major flaw in WiFi’s WPA2 protocol was revealed to the world. This flaw allows a hacker to peek at a user’s network traffic and learn information such as sensitive passwords and private information. It was given the name “KRACK” (which stands for “Key Reinstallation Attack“) and works by exploiting a point of weakness that occurs when someone logs into a WiFi network with WPA2 security.How Does It Work?
When your computer wants to talk to your router, it will need an encryption key to do so. These keys should only be used once in order for them to be effective, but an exploit has been discovered that forces a connection to use an old key again. This flaw occurs during the “4-way handshake” when your computer logs onto a WiFi network. This handshake is, essentially, a series of security formalities your computer and router undertake when connecting.
Step three of the 4-way handshake involves the router handing a fresh encryption key to the computer. If the router doesn’t receive a message from the computer saying it received the code, it will resend it to make sure the computer received it. If a computer detects that step three has been resent, it will reinstall the encryption code. However, this re-installation resets its cryptographic nonce to its default value which compromises the encryption.
Hackers exploit this by watching the traffic as someone connects. When they detect a connection, they copy the router’s transmission during step three of the handshake and send it to the victim’s computer. The computer, now seeing two identical transmissions, thinks the router is re-sending step three. This causes a reinstallation of the key, which then resets the nonce.
Now that the computer is using an old nonce that has been used before, the hacker can get past the encryption and read the data packets. This completes the KRACK WiFi vulnerability method. A more in-depth description of the attack can be found on the KRACK Attacks website.How to Protect Yourself
The main problem with the KRACK WiFi vulnerability is that it’s not targeting a specific device or OS. This is exploiting the WPA2 encryption standard which is used by every device with WPA2 WiFi capabilities. Given how WPA2 has been a popular WiFi standard for a long time, this affects most computers, devices, and routers that connect to the internet via WiFi.
In order to stay safe from KRACK, you can do the following to help protect yourself.Update Your Devices and Routers
With this being such a huge exploit, the companies that use WPA2 in their products are pushing to get a fix out. This includes both operating systems and routers. For your operating system, check for any updates to see if a patch has been rolled out. Windows has already published a patch that fixes this issue, so make sure you’re up to date on your Windows Updates. For your router, check to see if a firmware update has been pushed that patches this vulnerability. If not, get in contact with its manufacturer for any updates.Don’t Use Public WiFi
Public WiFi has always been a honeypot for hacking attempts, and this new exploit does not help matters. If the owner of the public WiFi hasn’t updated its router’s firmware, it may still be susceptible to the KRACK WiFi vulnerability. As such, it may be a hotspot for a hacker trying to glean personal information from the packets. For the time being, try not to use public WiFi connections. If you have to use one, try not to enter any personal information while using it.Use Sites with HTTPS
When you’re logging into sites, make sure the security certificate beside the website says “HTTPS.” A KRACK can strip the connection of HTTPS encryption to read the data within the packets. If you see a HTTPS certificate on a website, your connection should still be secure. If it’s gone, it’s a sign that something has gone very wrong. Do not enter your information into sites without a HTTPS certificate, especially if it had one previously.Get Off WiFi Altogether
If you can’t update your devices or your router, you can go the WiFi-less route instead. Set mobile phones to use cellular data for the time being and connect computers and laptops to your router via Ethernet. The KRACK WiFi vulnerability won’t affect you if you don’t use WiFi at all, so this will keep you safe from any potential attacks.Cracking Down on KRACK
While KRACK is a serious issue that affects a lot of devices worldwide, efforts are always underway to fix it. Now you know how KRACK works and how to protect yourself from the attack.
Does the KRACK WiFi vulnerability worry you? Let us know below.
Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.
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It’s only been a month since WannaCry Ransomware swept across the globe, crippling government systems and major businesses. Now there is a new threat called Petya, which is causing similar damage across even more multinational businesses and government systems. As these attacks become even more malicious and more common, it’s important to take steps ensure you don’t fall victim to any form of Ransomware.
How to Find and Remove Stalkerware from your Computer or Mobile Device.
The latest ransomware attack, which has been named as Petya, has ravaged a score of multinational companies across the globe, even shutting down servers at Russia’s largest oil company. You’re probably thinking you have no hope in protecting yourself from an attack that can shut down a business of that size but you couldn’t be more wrong. Some of the simpliest and most common sense solutions will save you serious heartache.
Some of the first major companies affected by Petya Ransomware. (Source ABC News Australia)
AP Moller-Maersk: oil and shipping, Denmark
Mondelez International: food and drinks United States
DLA Piper: International law firm, US & UK
WPP: Advertising, London
Merck: The second-largest drug manufacturer in the United States
Rosneft: Russia’s largest oil company
Ukraine: power grid, banks, government offices and international airport
TNT Express: Netherlands
Generally, these kind of ransomware attacks exploit system weaknesses, caused by poor security update management. Putting it simply computers, servers, and programs that haven’t had the latest software updates installed.What to do if you have been Affected by Petya Ransomware.
The first and most important thing you need to do if you have been affected by any kind of ransomware is to not pay the ransom. There is no certainty that paying will unlock your computer and it also encourages the creators of ransomware to continue with these kind of attacks.
How to Decrypt Ransomware Infected Files, Folders, and Hard Drives.How to Safeguard Against Ransomware attacks.
Next and equally as important, is making sure you don’t open email attachments you aren’t sure of, especially word documents, pdfs and any .exe files. If you receive an email from an unknown address, delete it as soon as possible without opening it. You should also make a habit of scanning all emails with your security and antivirus programs, even if you are confident the file is ok.
So far the only good thing to come out of any Ransomware attack was in Australia, where the Government had to discard every speeding fine issued to drivers since the WannaCry attack, as WannaCry affected the entire countries fixed speed cameras!
If not removed from your device the Trojan poses a lot of risk including loss of data or even invasion and theft of personal information. A common malware in your android phone mimics the Trojan: Win32/Occamy.C. Trojan: Win32/Occamy.C is a Windows specific Trojan that collects private information from the host device. Similar is the case with Android malware which intrudes user’s privacy.
Luckily, there are ways you can protect your device from such attacks. And if they have already invaded your phone, there are ways to locate and remove them.
Shut Down The Device And Do Your Due Diligence
The moment you notice or realize that your device is under attack, shut it down. Whilst this action may not remove the malware attack, it prevents the spread as well as the lethal repercussions of the attack. This means that although the malware attack will still be in your device system, it will be inactive whilst the device is turned off.
Turning off your device gives you time to figure out what kind of malware attack is under. It also gives you the time you need to conduct proper research on how to address the problem. The research shouldn’t only be limited to finding a way to get rid of the malware. It should also allow you to reflect on your activities to prevent future attacks. Think of what app you installed? What sites did you visit? Did you hand over your device to anyone?
Switch To Safe Or Emergency Mode
As easy as it may sound, it is not that easy in practice, especially for a non-tech savvy. Thus, if the malware attack seems too serious or uncontrollable, it always better to seek help from a professional. There may be well versed in finding a solution to the device – sometimes, it may even require a full wipe of your device.
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It is also not as easy for everyone to note which app is actually responsible for the malware attack. The best way to figure this information is to access the settings of your Android device. Once in the settings, go to the apps section to which you will have access to a list of all the installed apps in your device. Look for the app that has infected your device and immediately disable it. You can choose to install, force close or force stop the app, depending on what the device will let you do.
Delete Suspicious Apps
Additionally, malware developers spend time to design these attacks making some smart enough to manipulate your device settings. This malware tends to invade your device administrator to protect itself. Thus, make it a point to also audit your phone setting and administrator. If manipulated, you can overturn your device administrator and enable the ability to remove android malware. This should then allow you to uninstall unwanted and suspicious apps.
Install Malware Protection
Malware protection should, in fact, be installed even before a malware attack to ensure that your phone is always protected. Antimalware apps and programs work by scanning any downloaded or installed programs and weeds out any suspicious or malicious ones.
Thus, after deleting the infected app, immediately download antimalware protection to start protecting your device instantaneously. There are many good and popular malware protection programs to choose from. You can access reputable malware protection apps easily from your Google Play Store. Simply do your due diligence to ensure they are legitimate.
Although it is proven that they are ways to detect and remove malware threats from your Android device – by the time, you are addressing this issue, the attacks would’ve already made even at a small level, some damage. Thus, it is better to simply be smart and protect yourself. Always do some reasoning before installing an app or accessing a new site.
Scrutinize and audit apps before you install them into your device, and never leave or “borrow” your device to anyone. As much as updating the apps in your device is important, this process also exposes it to potential malware attacks – thus, make the right judgment.
There are a lot of reasons why you might want to share your Mac’s internet connection over WiFi, or Ethernet. You may be staying in a hotel that only allows one device to connect to their internet, or you might simply need it to test something out. Whatever your reason may be, if you’re looking to share your Mac’s internet, here is how you can do it:1. Share WiFi from Your Mac over Ethernet
If you have a WiFi connection on your Mac, and you want to share it over the Ethernet interface with another laptop, you can do that very easily. Just follow the steps given below to set this up on your Mac:
First, launch System Preferences on your Mac, and go to “Sharing“.
That’s basically all you need to do. You can now plug an Ethernet cable into your Mac, and the laptop that you want to share your connection with, and it’ll simply work.2. Share Ethernet Connection from your Mac over WiFi
It would be more useful, if you could connect your Mac to Ethernet, and then share that connection over WiFi, wouldn’t it? Well, fortunately, you can do that easily, as well. The process is similar to sharing your WiFi over Ethernet; however, in the second step, you’ll have to select “Ethernet” in the drop down menu that says “Share your connection from”, and check the checkbox next to “WiFi”, under “To computers using”.3. Share your iPhone’s Connection over Ethernet
Note: There are three ways that you can share your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot with your Mac; you can connect to it using Bluetooth, you can connect to it using the iPhone’s USB cable, or you can simply share it using WiFi. This particular section is useful for sharing your iPhone’s internet to other devices that do not support WiFi… like an old desktop PC. You can even use this to share your iPhone’s connection to a router, and connect multiple devices with the router using Ethernet cables.Share iPhone’s Personal Hotspot via Bluetooth
If you want to share your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot to your Mac using Bluetooth, and then share that over the Ethernet, here is how you can do it:
First, on your iPhone, turn off WiFi, and turn on “Personal Hotspot”. It will ask you whether you want to turn WiFi on, or just share the connection over Bluetooth and USB. Tap on “Bluetooth and USB Only“. Make sure that Bluetooth is turned on, on your iPhone.
On your iPhone, you will see a prompt, with the pairing confirmation. Tap on “Pair“.
You will then be able to see a blue banner on top of your iPhone saying “Personal Hotspot: 1 Connection“. This means that your Mac is connected to your iPhone’s network. Now, it’s time to share this connection over the Ethernet.
Here, go to “Internet Sharing“, and select “Bluetooth PAN” in the dropdown menu that says “Share your connection from“, and check the checkbox next to “Ethernet“, under “To computers using“.Share iPhone’s Personal Hotspot via USB Cable
If you want to share your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot to your Mac using a USB Cable, and share that connection over the Ethernet, you can do that, as well. Simply follow the steps below:
On your iPhone, turn on Personal Hotspot, and tap on “Bluetooth and USB Only“. Now, connect your iPhone to your Mac, via the USB Cable.
You will now be able to see a blue banner on your iPhone, saying “Personal Hotspot: 1 Connection“.
Here, under Internet Sharing, select “iPhone USB” in the drop down menu that says “Share your connection from”, and check the checkbox next to “Ethernet“, under “To computers using“.
Your Mac will now start sharing your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot over the Ethernet, and you can connect an Ethernet cable from your Mac, to the device you want to share the connection with.Share your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot via WiFi
Another way you can connect your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot to your Mac, is via WiFi. You can then share this connection to other non-WiFi enabled devices, by sharing it over the Ethernet. To do this, just follow the steps below:
On your iPhone, enable Personal Hotspot, and tap on “Turn on WiFi“.
Here, select “WiFi” in the drop down menu that says “Share your connection from“, and check the checkbox next to “Ethernet“, under “To computers using“.
You will now be able to share your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot with other devices that don’t have WiFi capabilities. If the other devices also have WiFi capabilities, you can directly connect them to your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot, which is far easier than setting up Internet Sharing.
SEE ALSO: How to Check Battery Time Remaining in macOS Sierra 10.12.2Share Internet from Mac to Other Devices via Ethernet or WiFi
You can use these methods to share your Mac’s internet connection with other devices over WiFi, or Ethernet. We tried these methods on an iMac running macOS Sierra and they worked fine for us.
Email is the most invaluable asset of anyone’s identity on the web. You use email everyday and have all the important information stored in your inbox. All your social networking accounts, website registrations, Paypal accounts etc are connected and controlled by your email and thus it makes sense to completely secure your Gmail account and prevent unauthorized access.
Choosing a strong password is not enough, you should be well aware how people try to gain access to other people’s email accounts by unfair means. Here are some useful tips on securing your Gmail account and avoid getting hacked:1. Always Check The URL before Logging in to Gmail
Whenever you log in to your Gmail account, always check the URL from the browser address bar. This is because there are plenty of dirty minds who create an exact replica of the Gmail login page. The worst part – they install some scripts or malicious codes behind the fake login page and host the page in their web server. When you login to Gmail from a fake login page, your username as well as password is sent to another email address or to an FTP location.
Hence, always check that you are logging in to Gmail by typing chúng tôi and not from any other URL.2. Avoid checking Emails at Public Places
A Keylogger is a computer program which can be used to record what you are typing in the keyboard. The Keylogger records your keystrokes, saves them in a simple text file and sends it to an email address or to an FTP server. And you are completely unaware of the whole process, running in the background.
You never know which programs are installed in a public computer. Consider a simple scenario: You went to a local internet cafe to check emails from your Gmail account. The cafe staff has installed a Keylogger in every computer and when you type the username and password, the Keylogger script comes into action, records both your username and password and sends it to another email address. You leave the cafe after checking emails and the cafe staff retrieves your username and password and hacks your account.
Hence, never check emails at a local cafe or at public places or in any computer where you don’t have control.3. Forward Emails to A Secondary Email account
Should you need to check emails from a public computer or from a local internet cafe and you fear that the computer might have installed some keylogger programs? Here is a nice workaround.
Create another Gmail account and choose a different password for this account. This means that the password of your new Gmail account should not match with the password of your main Gmail account.
Select the option to forward all incoming mails to your newly created Gmail account. Any email received in your primary email account will be forwarded to this secondary email address automatically.
Whenever you want to check emails from a public computer, use this secondary email account. Anybody trying to hack your email account using a keylogger or a malicious program can hack this secondary email account but not your primary one. Obviously, do not leave any important emails or password/username in this temporary email account – keep deleting emails at regular intervals. Yes, this may sound ridiculous but it’s better to be on the safe side.
VERY IMPORTANT: Do not use or associate this secondary email account as a password recovery option of your primary email account. Use this email account just for checking emails at a public computer, that’s it.4. Regularly Monitor Gmail Account Activity
This will show you a list of the last IP addresses used to log in to your Gmail account. You will notice the country and state name alongside date and time of your last Gmail activity. Should you find another unknown IP address or the name of a place, there are high chances that somebody else is logging in to your Gmail account from elsewhere.5. Check for Bad Filters
Gmail filters can be used to set rules in your Gmail account – you can automatically forward specific emails to another email account, delete it, archive it and do various other tasks. Sadly, filters can be a big threat to your Gmail account security.
Consider a situation – you checked emails from your college computer, forgot to log out and left the classroom. One of your friends found that you have forgotten to log out and he applied a filter in your Gmail account. This filter automatically forwards all of your emails at his email address.
Now he has access to all your emails and he may reset your account password, if he wants.
Note: Gmail will never ask you to change your password or enter login credentials without any reason. Hence, if you receive any email which claims to be from Google and wants you to change your password, be rest assured someone is trying to fool you and hack your email account.7. Choose a Strong Alphanumeric password
Most users choose very generic passwords which can be easily guessed. You should always choose a very strong password which is difficult to guess. Always remember the following tips regarding choosing passwords:
Choose both numbers and alphabets in your password. It would be even better if you include symbols and special characters.
Never use your phone number, parents name or credit card number as your email account password.
Choose a long password – probably more than 10 characters.
Never write your password on paper or save it as a text document in your computer.
Anyone trying to hack your email account will have a difficult time guessing the password and the more complicated your password, the more secure and better it is. You should also connect your mobile number with your Gmail account. This is required in case your forget the password and can’t login to Gmail.
Soumen is the founder/author for Ampercent, a tech blog that writes on computer tricks, free online tools & software guides.
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Identity theft is a hot topic. You hear about it on television credit
card commercials, and you hear people talking about it in their every day
The problem is that many people don’t take it seriously and they don’t
take the necessary protective measures.
I have talked with many folks on this subject and the majority say, ”It
won’t happen to me”. I guess I felt that way too, until my sister had it
happen to her. You would have thought that since both my sister and I are
security specialists, we would know better.
It all started when my sister moved from a rented townhouse to a new
place. After the move, one of her credit card companies mailed her a
blank check to use to transfer money. The problem was they sent it to her
old address. The person who was living there took the checks, wrote in a
sum of money, and cashed them at various locations.
My sister spent many days working with the local police, credit
companies, credit bureaus and even the post office (theft of mail is a
federal offence), trying to resolve the problem. Although she didn’t lose
huge amounts of money and her identity wasnt’ compromised, the theft
caused her many lost hours and many sleepless nights wondering what other
mail would go to her former townhouse. She had to cancel all of her
credit and debit cards and place a watch on her credit report to ensure
that it wouldn’t continue.
Here are some helpful tips to avoid identify theft:
Shred or burn papers with credit card or bank account numbers,
Don’t put your Social Security number on anything, unless it is
legally required. And don’t have it printed on your checks. For those of
you with driver licenses that routinely use your Social Security number,
Check your credit report once or twice a year to make sure it
doesn’t have accounts you don’t know about.
The major credit reporting agencies are:
Equifax — P.O. Box 105873, Atlanta, Ga. 30348-5873 — Telephone:
Experian Information Solutions (Formerly TRW) — P.O. Box 949,
TransUnion — P.O. Box 390, Springfield, Penn. 19064-0390 —
If you have been victimized, file a police report. You will need it when
disputing charges with various creditors. Also remember to write letters
to have erroneous and fraudulent items removed from your credit report.
Stealing mail and papers isn’t the only way to get information. Phishing
is the newest wave in identity theft. This method uses various online
techniques to fool you into providing financial and personal information
Phishing uses spam, email or pop-up messages to deceive Internet users
into disclosing credit card numbers, bank account information, Social
Security numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information.
These e-mails appear to come from a legitimate company, usually a
financial institution or credit card issuer, urging you to immediately
reply with personal information so your account is not deactivated.
To increase the chances of people falling for this type of scam, they’ll
even use the company’s logo, colors, and standard disclosure text. The
e-mail usually will contain a link that takes you to a fake site made to
look like the company’s legitimate Web site.
Here are some clues that an email is part of a phishing scam:
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