Update Adobe Now For Several Critical Security Updates

Update Adobe Now For Several Critical Security Updates

Adobe continues to work at a feverish pace to address critical security vulnerabilities in its product line. Their most recent patch addresses a total of ten security flaws across the following four products: Photoshop Adobe Digital Editions Adobe Bridge RoboHelp Of the ten flaws addressed by the latest patch, seven are rated as being Critical in their severity as they allow either arbitrary file writes or arbitrary code execution when exploited. Adobe Bridge got the most attention, with the patch addressing four critical flaws and two additional vulnerabilities rated as ‘Important.’ Next up, the patch deals with a pair of security flaws in Photoshop, and one critical issue each in RoboHelp and Adobe Digital Editions. If you use any of the products listed above, you should update to the latest version as soon as possible to minimize your risk. In most cases, this is as simple as firing up the software in question and navigating to Help, and then to “Check for updates,” although if this happens not to work for you, it’s easy enough to simply head to Adobe’s Download Center and grab the files you need from there. Adobe has had an unfortunate history with many of their products, which have seen more than their share of security flaws. However, to the company’s credit, they’ve abandoned the worst offenders, like their beleaguered Flash player, and have been steadily working to shore up the rest. Kudos to Adobe for keeping up the good work and for addressing so many security issues with this latest update. As mentioned, if you use any of the products above, be sure to...
Security Is Top Priority In Latest Chrome Build

Security Is Top Priority In Latest Chrome Build

Back in February, Google began experimenting with a new feature that defaulted all URLs to use “https:” rather than the less secure “http:.” While defaulting to the secure socket layer isn’t ironclad protection for ‘netizins, it’s certainly a step in the right direction, which is why Google recently promoted the change out of the canary builds and into the mainstream. Right now, if you download and install Chrome 90, you’ll find that this protection is automatic. You don’t have to do anything beyond installing Chrome 90. In addition to offering the protection outlined above, Chrome 90 also includes nearly 40 security fixes, including resolving 3 low-severity flaws, 10 medium-severity flaws and six high-severity issues. Finally, Chrome 90 includes the AV1 encoder, which provides enhanced support for a number of video-conferencing applications including Webex, Meet, and Duo. Among other things, AV1 offers improved screen sharing capabilities and allows users on low bandwidth networks to utilize video. All that to say, Chrome 90 is an update you don’t want to miss. If it’s been a while since you paid attention to Chrome updates and you’re a bit behind the times, this is one upgrade you’ll definitely want to make a priority. While nothing in the build is particularly flashy, it does provide solid protection. That, combined with the fact that it addresses a wide range of security issues as described above, and includes a raft of other enhancements makes it well worth getting. Kudos to Google for continuing to put user security front and center and making it an integral part of their product improvement road map. While it’s true that...
Hackers Are Using Legitimate Google Services To Wreak Havoc

Hackers Are Using Legitimate Google Services To Wreak Havoc

The Microsoft 365 Defender Threat Intelligence Team recently issued a dire warning that every IT professional should take seriously. They’ve discovered an emerging threat in the form of hackers utilizing legitimate “Contact Us” forms associated with Google websites to distribute malware to unsuspecting site visitors. Since the website is legitimate, it almost always bypasses email security filters and also sometimes even bypasses CAPTCHA challenges. Right now, the hackers are using this novel attack vector primarily to infect users with the IcedID info-stealing banking Trojan, but as the team notes, there’s no particular reason that they couldn’t shift gears at any moment and start infecting people with something even more directly damaging to target systems. The Redmond giant thought that the threat was dire enough that they reached out to Google directly to warn them. Although the company is now aware, there has yet been any word about what Google will do to keep it from happening, or when that might happen. For now, just be aware that if any of your employees get an email that appears to be from Google, and sends a user to a legitimate Google “Contact Us” form, it may well be a ploy designed to infect the recipient’s system. Then hackers can start stealing all manners of information, starting with the recipient’s Google login credentials. It’s proof positive that no company, no matter how large, and no matter how elaborate its security measures, is immune. As mentioned above, by leveraging the legitimate URLs of a trusted company that serves as one of the cornerstones of the web itself, there’s really no limit to the...
Cross Platform Messaging Service Plan Canceled by Mobile Carriers

Cross Platform Messaging Service Plan Canceled by Mobile Carriers

About eighteen months ago, a number of big mobile carriers got together to create the “Cross-Carrier Messaging Initiative.” Their goal was to roll out a Rich Communication Services (RCS) platform designed to allow for text messaging across a variety of platforms, creating a seamless user experience. It’s something that sounds simple enough, and it’s a great idea on paper. Unfortunately, putting that idea into practice is another matter entirely. To date, their efforts to do so have been a disaster. In fact, it’s been such an epic failure that Verizon recently confirmed that the initiative is dead. Eighteen months of concerned effort by some of the biggest names in the mobile business have resulted in essentially nothing. Originally, RCS was envisioned as being a massive upgrade for SMS, which was born in 1992 and has served since as the default basic carrier messaging service. Unfortunately, SMS hasn’t kept pace, feature-wise with more modern messaging services like Facebook Messenger, iMessage and WhatsApp. Unfortunately, even RCS as envisioned by the carriers participating in the project still wouldn’t have been as¬†feature rich as the apps mentioned above. However, it would be a step up from SMS and include features like typing information, read receipts, location sharing and presence information. The single biggest issue with RCS is the fact that since messaging is free, there was never any way to monetize it. That meant that there was no real incentive for the big carriers to put serious resources into the initiative. Then there’s the fact that Apple never supported the initiative, and without Apple, there’s really not much point in pressing ahead anyway....
Watch Out For Vaccine Survey Phishing Emails

Watch Out For Vaccine Survey Phishing Emails

Scammers have found a new way to take advantage of people, so be on your guard. The U.S. Department of Justice has recently issued an alert warning people of fake emails sent out asking recipients to take advantage of a post vaccination survey. Naturally, as part of taking the survey, each participant will be asked a number of questions designed to trick the unsuspecting into parting with sensitive and personal information, which can be used to steal identities. In a bid to increase the response rate, these scammers promise a cash prize or other award for completing the survey and filling out the capture box at the end to claim their prize. It should go without saying, but in case there was any doubt, there is no prize. Anyone who answers the survey questions and fills out the capture boxes is simply handing their personal information over to the scammers. Vaccination resistance is down to around 20 percent and falling, and an average of more than 3 million people a day are now being vaccinated. So, this is a vast market indeed and the scammers have shown no signs of stopping, or even slowing down. Unfortunately, we can expect to see more of these kinds of campaigns for months; probably until spring of next year when we should finally put the pandemic behind us. At that point, there will be increasingly little to gain by continuing the campaign, and it’s a safe bet that the scammers will move onto something with a larger victim pool. Until that happens though, if you know anyone who isn’t especially tech savvy and...
Cryptomining Worm Botnet Seeking And Attacking Vulnerable Devices

Cryptomining Worm Botnet Seeking And Attacking Vulnerable Devices

There’s a new cryptomining worm threat to be aware of, and it’s making the lives of IT Administrators who manage Windows and Linux environments nightmarish. This news comes from a recently published report offered by a research firm called Juniper, which began monitoring the activities of the new Sysrv Botnet back in December of 2020. One of the things that makes Sysrv a serious threat is the fact that it has worm-like abilities and can spread from one vulnerable device to another connected vulnerable device with ease. It can do that in record time, so what starts off as a small, manageable problem can quickly spiral out of control. Worse, the hacker or group behind the new botnet has been busily updating their malicious minions, giving the botnet an arsenal of exploits that has grown in size almost continually since the company first started tracking its activities. Among other things, it can add SSH keys and use any of the following exploits: Drupal Ajax Mongo Express Saltstack ThinkPHP XML-RPC The main goal of the person or persons behind this new threat seems to be to maximize cryptocurrency mining rewards. The malware is set up to mine for the following mining pools: Xmr-eu1.nanopool.org:14444 f2pool.com:13531 minexmr.com:5555 The malware is currently designed to mine XMR, and they’ve infected such a sufficient number of machines that they’re averaging about 1 XMR every two days. Between March 1st and March 28th of this year (2021) the wallet associated with the malware saw an increase of 8 XMR, worth about $1700. Unfortunately, while the drain on computing power is bad enough on its own, that’s...