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True North Networks has been serving the Swanzey area since 2002, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Why You Should Never Use Airport USB Charging Stations

Those oh-so-handy USB power charging stations in the airport may come with a cost you can’t see. Cybercriminals can modify those USB connections to install malware on your phone or download data without your united airlines charging station 750xx640 853 0 0knowledge.

“Plugging into a public USB port is kind of like finding a toothbrush on the side of the road and deciding to stick it in your mouth. You have no idea where that thing has been,” says Caleb Barlow, Vice President of X-Force Threat Intelligence at IBM Security.  “And remember that that USB port can pass data.”

It’s much safer to bring your regular charger along and plug it into a wall outlet or, alternatively, bring a portable power bank to recharge your phone when you’re low on bars.

If you insist on using public USB ports, Barlow recommends investing $10 for something called a" style="box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; cursor: pointer; color: rgb(0, 56, 145); text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0);">Juice-Jack Defender. “It's a little dongle you can put in front of your charging cord that basically blocks any data from passing down the cord. It only passes the voltage,” says Barlow.

While these precautions may seem excessive to the average traveler, Barlow says it’s smart to worry about public USB power stations. A growing number of nation-state hackers are now training their sights on travelers, according to new research from IBM Security. The 2019 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index reveals that the transportation industry has become a priority target for cybercriminals as the second-most attacked industry — up from tenth in 2017. Since January 2018, 566 million records from the travel and transportation industry have been leaked or compromised in publicly reported breaches.

Barlow also advises steering clear of random tech accessories left behind by other travelers. “My favorite of which is a simple Apple charging cord,” he says.

“Let's say I’m a bad guy. I go into an airport. I’m not going to easily take apart the charging station but it’s easy just leave my cord behind. Now, if you see an Apple charging cord, you're likely to grab it or just plug into it. But inside this cord is an extra chip that deploys the malware, so it charges your phone but now I own your computer.”

You take a similar risk if you use any old USB stick you find lying around. “A lot of companies now are banning the use of USB storage devices because at the end of the day they're dangerous,” says Barlow. “If you want to get into a company, go buy a couple hundred USB sticks and cast them around in places where you know company will go. Guaranteed, one of them will get plugged into a company laptop.”




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Redtail CRM data breach exposes personal client data

A data breach may have exposed personal client information that advisers store on Redtail Technology's client relationship management software, according to an email the fintech firm is sending to affected breach may 2019 2

The email, obtained by InvestmentNews, says the firm discovered on March 4 that its logging systems inadvertently captured a "small subset of the sensitive investor data" advisers keep on the CRM. The data were stored in a file that anyone on the internet could access.

Investor information in the file includes first and last names, physical addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.

Redtail said in the email that it removed access to the file and launched an investigation as soon as it learned about the exposed data. But it said that remediation has been delayed because of the nature of the data, the format in which it was maintained and the time it takes to consolidate and correlate with Redtail's databases.

Redtail had to build specific applications to determine which clients' data was exposed. The company is emailing affected investors and offering free access to LifeLock Defender Preferred, a credit and identity theft monitoring and remediation product from Symantec.

"Less than 1% of Redtail clients were affected by this data exposure," Redtail CEO Brian McLaughlin said in an emailed statement. "We are taking this matter very seriously and are doubling down on our efforts to ensure that our customers' data is safe and secure."

Mr. McLaughlin also clarified there was no intentional break-in of Redtail's systems by a third-party. "It was a temporary exposure which Redtail uncovered and corrected," he said.

Redtail is one of the most popular CRMs among financial advisers. According to Technology Tools for Today's 2019 Software Survey, Redtail commands a 57% market share.


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Businesses need to do more to protect personal data, users say

What in the world are you people hiding?

New research is showing that people believe exposing the secrets they hide on their digital devices would essentially destroy their lives. A privacy breach would mean financial ruin,kaspersky reputational damage, even losing friends, partners and family members.

A fifth believe they'd lose their jobs, as well. In 12 percent of cases, people have been shutting down social media accounts to stay safe.

The research was conducted by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab. Four in ten argue that businesses should do more to safeguard their data from prying eyes, adding that the government isn't doing enough to support the businesses.

Just a third have strenghtened their passwords, and less than half have up-to-date security protection.

“We have become a society built upon digital secrets, with those secrets becoming commoditised and traded on the dark web. There is more that businesses can and should do to help protect their customers – including security solutions that significantly mitigate the risk of a successful attack on their systems, running fully updated software, performing regular security audits, performing penetration testing and ensuring that customer data is secure. However, there is also much that consumers can do to protect themselves. That includes strengthening their passwords and protecting all their devices,” comments David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

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This ransomware sneakily infects victims by disguising itself with anti-virus software

A successful family of ransomware which has been terrorising organisations around the world has been updated with a new trick to lure victims into installing file-locking malware: posing as anti-virus software.ransomware nov 2018

Dharma first emerged in 2016 and the ransomware has been responsible for a number of high-profile cyber incidents, including the takedown of a hospital network in Texas late last year.

The group behind Dharma regularly look to update their campaigns in order to ensure the attacks remain effective and they have the best chance of extorting ransom payments in exchange of decrypting locked networks and files of Windows systems.

Now the cyber attacks have evolved again and cyber security researchers at Trend Microhave detailed a new means of the Dharma being deployed: by bundling it inside a fake anti-virus software installation.

Like many ransomware campaigns, Dharma attacks start off with phishing emails. The messages claim to be from Microsoft and that the victim's Windows PC is 'at risk' and 'corrupted' following 'unusual behaviour', urging the user to 'update and verify' their anti-virus by accessing a download link.

If the user follows through, the ransomware retrieves two downloads: the Dharma ransomware payload and an old version of anti-virus software from cyber security company ESET.

When the self-extracting archive runs, Dharma begins encrypting files in the back round while the user is asked to follow installation instructions for ESET AV remover – the interface is displayed on their desktop and requires user interaction during the installation process, acting as a distraction from the malicious activity.

Once the installation is complete, the victim will find themselves confronted with a ransom note, demanding a cryptocurrency payment in exchange for unlocking the files.

"The article describes the well-known practice for malware to be bundled with legitimate application(s). In the specific case Trend Micro is documenting, an official and unmodified ESET AV Remover was used. However, any other application could be used this way," said an ESET statement, after being informed about the research by Trend Micro.

While not as high-profile as it was during the height of attacks like WannaCry and NotPetyain 2017, ransomware still remains a threat to organisations as attackers continue to develop and deploy new tactics and variants of the file-locking malware.

"As proven by the new samples of Dharma, many malicious actors are still trying to upgrade old threats and use new techniques. Ransomware remains a costly and versatile threat," said Raphael Centeno, security researcher at Trend Micro.

To avoid falling victim to Dharma and similar threats, researchers recommend that organisations adopt good cybersecurity hygiene such as securing email gateways, regularly backing up files and to keep systems and applications patched and updated.


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Workplace Social Media Security: 5 Questions Answered

Social media use has skyrocketed for businesses all over the world, with many companies using it as a way of strengthening their brands and reaching out to new and existing customers.UsingFacebook

It’s clear that social media is likely to continue its popularity with businesses although, in an age where information security has never been such a pressing issue, there are still questions that need to be addressed.


Is social media really a threat to security?

The threat posed to security by social media is nothing new. 

One obvious threat is the potential for blurring the line separating personal information and company data, particularly when a user is using a social media account for both personal and work purposes.

This risk may be underestimated by workers as it can still be used as a portal into a company’s wider network.


So is social media a weak spot?

Potentially. The use of phishing to compromise email accounts has been well-documented, but they can take on a new dimension when combined with social media.

For example, if cybercriminals can compromise a LinkedIn account, they can potentially fool others on the network into thinking they are genuinely one of their coworkers, opening up the possibility of handing over sensitive information.


But if they don’t get that far, there’s nothing to worry about?

Not exactly. Social media output is a key component of a brand’s overall image. If a cybercriminal manages to compromise one of these channels it could prove damaging.


What can be done to make things better?

Setting up a rigid social media policy to protect company accounts is always a good a start.

A code of conduct for employees, as part of a wider cybersecurity program, can include the implementation of strong passwords, with weak logins such as 123456 still all too common.

Other potential points include monitoring engagement with brand mentions, offering guidance on how to spot malicious software, implementing two-factor authentication, and ensuring that only brand-approved content is shared.

Implementing a policy is particularly important for businesses operating more than one social media account, although it is equally important not to discourage employee participation as this will hinder the benefits these platforms bring.


Is it the employer’s responsibility to safeguard social media security?

Employers should always try to educate their workforce on the potential dangers of social media as best they can, but employees themselves need to remain vigilant.

Always ensure links come from trusted sources and keep track of what devices have access to your accounts, and utilize any available service that will notify you when a new login occurs.

Furthermore, workers shouldn’t risk leaving themselves vulnerable by posting potentially sensitive information on social media.


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