ransomeware

Move Over Ransomware – Here Comes Crypto-Jacking

Just when you feel like you’ve heard about all the cyber threats and attacks that can compromise your digital technology, you learn that hackers have discovered new methods of intrusion and infection.

It doesn’t just feel that way. That’s the way it is.

Don’t let our blog title mislead you, the threat, danger, and cost of ransomware still exist. It’s just that when ransomware artists realize that crypto-jacking is much easier and much more lucrative, the scammers are likely to jump on the new wave of tech crime.

The Effect of Ransomware

The average likelihood that a hacker will obtain a ransom via a ransomware attack is about three times out of 100 attacks. The current success rate for crypto-jacking is 100 out of 100.

In fact, crypto-jacking is escalating rapidly and, with the current fascination with the crypto-currency market on the rise, it is likely that the trend in cybercrime will follow. A recent report indicated that there were about 15,000 crypto-jacking alerts in May 2017. By February 2018, that number had risen to 280,000.

By now, you are probably wondering what crypto-jacking is. We certainly hope so. That’s why we are writing this blog. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Crypto-jacking does not attack your system per se. It infiltrates and enlists your devices to attack others. But this is not a case of “no harm, no foul.” Complex codes installed on your digital assets operate in the background, sending results to a server the hacker is using.
  • The codes find their way onto your system devices using tried-and-true phishing and malware techniques, i.e., by getting you to click on links in legitimate-looking emails or on infected pop-up ads on a website you are browsing.

In effect, your computer is being hijacked via old techniques, not to attack you, but to do mine cryptocurrencies from others.

The problem your system is that crypto-jacking is like a debilitating disease on your system’s devices. You can’t see it. It is not eating your lunch, but it is eating your resources. While you are enjoying your pastrami on rye, the codes are eating up your processing resources. Eventually, your digital technology will be working more for the hacker than it is for you. You probably won’t notice a thing until your computer is no longer performing wonders faster than a speeding bullet but acting like it wants to take a nap.

We want you to be informed. But we also want you to know that we’ve got your back. Tech Sentries monitors and protects your systems, even from unseen parasites like the codes running at the behest of crypto-jackers.

All we ask of you is to be steadfast in doing your part to keep yourself and other users of your system away from suspicious links and intriguing pop-up ads that may have more to offer you than advertised.

We are as concerned about your technology security as you are. Your computer system security is our business. That’s why Tech Sentries is always on duty. Contact us today to learn how we can help you “GUARD YOUR TECHNOLOGY” (843-282-2222).

Joe Thibodeau
Tech Sentries Inc
6251 Lindsey Rd.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29588
843-282-2222 Office/Fax
843-902-6885 Cell
https://www.techsentries.com

What Willie Sutton Can Teach Us About Computer Security

Willie Sutton was arguably one of the most “successful” if not the most infamous bank robbers of the 20th century. Sutton managed to steal close to $2 million during a forty-year career. He passed away in 1980 at the age of 79. He may be long-gone, and it is likely that he never owned a computer, but we can still learn something about computer security from him.

It has been widely reported that someone once asked Sutton why he robbed banks.

He wryly responded, “Because that’s where the money is.”

A 21st century Sutton would probably have told you that your computer was a likely target for cybercriminals, not because of you personally, but “Because that’s where the information is.”

Have you noticed that we don’t hear about many bank robberies anymore? Why do you suppose that is? It’s because the best way to get to the most money is by gathering information that is used to appropriate ill-gotten gain.

Whether the cyber crooks use malware, trojans, ransomware, email scams, worms, or some other misbegotten method, they are coming after any of us who have digital technology. That would be just about all of us.

Why You Need Computer Security

So, here’s another question to which the venerable Mr. Sutton would have likely had a spontaneous answer:

Which computers or computer systems do you think cybercriminals are likely to attack?

Answer: The ones with the least protection and whose owners are not expecting an attack.

Banks today utilize all kinds of security devices to deter and defend against potential intrusions. Why rob a bank that has advanced security when the next one has none?

Cybercriminals are constantly surveilling systems to seek out the most vulnerable. As digital technology advances, so do cybercriminals’ techniques. They are not going to overlook any opportunity, but the presence of top-notch security protecting your data will send them down the road to a more exposed location.

One more piece of advice. Advanced digital technology tools like those available through Tech Sentries protect your data 24/7/365. But we can’t prevent the crime if you open the door and let the villains in. Be extremely cautious – especially as we approach income tax filing time. Willie Sutton once dressed as a mailman to gain easier access to a bank. Be careful not to get caught by a scam disguised as an innocent email.

We are here to help you Guard Your Technology, but it takes a team to do so effectively. If your digital security needs a review, give us a call for a FREE consultation. We’ll show you how you can protect your system and we’ll even give you a few tips on digital self-defense as well.

We are as concerned about your technology security as you are. Your computer system security is our business. That’s why Tech Sentries is always on duty. Contact us today to learn how we can help you “GUARD YOUR TECHNOLOGY” (843-282-2222).

Joe Thibodeau
Tech Sentries Inc
6251 Lindsey Rd.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29588
843-282-2222 Office/Fax
843-902-6885 Cell
https://www.techsentries.com

Passwords – The Weakest Link in Computer Security

I recall a morning Pre-PC Era 30-some years ago when no one at my office could log onto their mainframe monitors. It seems that our programmer had worked late into the night. Not only had he changed the system password, he forgot to set his alarm clock. Several attempts to contact him were unsuccessful. This was also the Pre-Cell Phone Era.

Fortunately, we were able to reach him. When we asked him for the new password, he said, “You’ll figure it out. It’s easy.” Without another word, he hung up and, apparently, went back to sleep.

It took us a while, but we finally figured it out when someone suggested that we consider how to properly punctuate what our programmer had said. Turns out he said, “You’ll figure it out. It’s ‘E-A-S-Y’.”

Thirty years later, that’s still a big problem. As advanced as technology has become, passwords are still far too EASY. It’s as if we have a genetic predisposition that precludes us from creating passwords that are impenetrable – or at least difficult. Either that or we don’t have the ability to create and recall complicated passwords. You know the feeling: “How do I make this unique, but still easy to remember?”

123456 and password

Those are the two most popularly-used passwords. They have been for several years. Go figure. Many others are simply variations on these two themes.

When you fail to create passwords that are difficult to discern you might as well paint a target on your back.

As much as we hate to say this, paying for a top-notch digital security service is like spitting into the wind if you don’t use and require strong passwords.

So, here are a few tips to help get you started:

  1. DO NOT use fewer than eight characters. The longer, the better.
  2. DO NOT use logical patterns or letters or numbers.
  3. DO NOT use repetitive or sequential letters or numbers.
  4. DO NOT use names, addresses, or dates.
  5. DO NOT use any words found in the dictionary.

It takes a team to Guard Your Technology, but never forget that it is your technology and they are your passwords. We encourage you to create better passwords. Tech Sentries can take care of the rest.

We are as concerned about your technology security as you are. Your computer system security is our business. That’s why Tech Sentries is always on duty. Contact us today to learn how we can help you “GUARD YOUR TECHNOLOGY” (843-282-2222).

Joe Thibodeau
Tech Sentries Inc
6251 Lindsey Rd.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29588
843-282-2222 Office/Fax
843-902-6885 Cell
https://www.techsentries.com