Antivirus

Windows 10 users be careful – some default apps are showing scam adverts

Windows 10 has been struck by a worrying problem in that some of its core (installed by default) apps are displaying fraudulent adverts which could potentially play all sorts of nasty tricks on the user.As spotted by Ghacks and first highlighted on Microsoft’s German support site, a post has since appeared on the US Answers.com…


Windows 10 has been struck by a worrying problem in that some of its core (installed by default) apps are displaying fraudulent adverts which could potentially play all sorts of nasty tricks on the user.

As spotted by Ghacks and first highlighted on Microsoft’s German support site, a post has since appeared on the US Answers.com website clarifying the issue that affects apps including Microsoft News and Weather, and possibly other applications or indeed Microsoft services (MSN Money is also mentioned).

  • We show you how to defrag Windows 10
  • And how to install the Windows 10 May 2019 Update
  • This is the best antivirus software out there

These malicious banner adverts are being erroneously picked up by Microsoft’s ad servers and presented to the user. They contain some kind of bait to get the user to click them, either claiming that your PC is infected with viruses, or suggesting that you have won a lottery.

If clicked, they will take you to some malicious site which will seemingly try to sell you a ‘cure’ for the (non-existent) virus, drop malware on your machine (or

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Antivirus

Why does ransomware keep evading your defenses?

About the authorNir Gaist, Founder and CTO of Nyotron, has worked with some of the largest Israeli organizations, written the cybersecurity curriculum for the Israel Ministry of Education, and holds patents for Behavior Pattern Mapping. Ransomware has long been a menace for organizations and consumers. Global damage cost estimates reach about 10 billion USD per year.…


About the author

Nir Gaist, Founder and CTO of Nyotron, has worked with some of the largest Israeli organizations, written the cybersecurity curriculum for the Israel Ministry of Education, and holds patents for Behavior Pattern Mapping. 

Ransomware has long been a menace for organizations and consumers. Global damage cost estimates reach about 10 billion USD per year. After all these years, why does ransomware continue to be so good at being so bad? The answer is a combination of the security industry’s history of largely ineffective responses to ransomware and how ransomware developers use psychology to trick users into thinking they’re responding to requests from a colleague or even donating Bitcoins to a children’s charity.

Ransomware is hardly new and unknown since it has been around since 1989. Yet it remains one of the most common and successful attack types. According to reports, there were over 180 million ransomware attacks in the first six months of 2018 alone. The adoption of cryptocurrencies and Tor have served to amplify the prevalence of ransomware dramatically.

minimising the ransomware threat

  • How to test anti-ransomware: This is how we do it
  • More than half of working adults don’t know what ransomware is
  • Every 14 seconds, an organization somewhere in the world falls prey to a ransomware attack. But the bad actors are not narrow in their focus and typically target many organizations and users at once. For example, think back to the global WannaCry attack that resulted in losses of almost $4 billion.  

    Ransomware

    Image credit: Pixabay

    How ransomware works

    The details of how one attack gets inside a system or an organization, i.e., its “attack vector” are irrelevant. It can be phishing, exposed RDP or any other avenue that ransomware developers leverage to get in.  

    Instead, let’s take a look at what happens when ransomware actually interacts with your file system and encrypts data. First, ransomware process(es) locates the files it wants to encrypt. These are most often based on file extensions and target your most valuable assets such as Microsoft Office documents or photos, while leaving operating system files intact to ensure that system will still boot. Then the malware encrypts that data in memory and destroys the original file. 

    One route ransomware takes is to save encrypted data into a new file and then delete the original. 

    Another option, and probably the most devious one, is to write that encrypted data into the original file itself. In this case, the original file name is left intact, complicating the recovery by making it difficult to distinguish between encrypted files and those that haven’t been encrypted. 

    A third method is for ransomware to create a new file like in the first option, but then instead of the delete operation use rename to replace the original file.

    After completing the encryption process, the infamous ransomware note is displayed. We know that part of the story quite well from the news coverage.

    Image credit: Pixabay

    Image credit: Pixabay

    (Image: © Image Credit: Geralt / Pi

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    Antivirus

    Cyber threat intelligence: the key to trust and security for the digital finance world

    In 2017, the value per Bitcoin reached over €20,000 (£17,324) – a climax in the hype surrounding the cryptocurrency. However, confidence has been lacking for the price to remain stable. To date, online currencies are more speculation than real means of payment as concerns around security are being raised. An establishment is only possible if…


    In 2017, the value per Bitcoin reached over €20,000 (£17,324) – a climax in the hype surrounding the cryptocurrency. However, confidence has been lacking for the price to remain stable. To date, online currencies are more speculation than real means of payment as concerns around security are being raised. An establishment is only possible if users believe in the value’s sustainability, and this applies to every means of payment. 

    In no industry is the subjective perception of security as important as in the field of finance. Both private users and large customers are increasingly handling transactions online, so the fear of digital innovation isn’t what stop them from adopting this type of currency. It’s security they really care about, or rather their data’s security. The financial sector has acknowledged this and, must above all focus on security to appease the apprehensions some might have.

    Blockchain is considered safe to this day, yet speculation is causing such great uncertainty that cryptocurrencies have not yet developed into serious competition for established currencies. IT decision-makers should therefore always keep in mind the importance of the users’ sense of security in their industry. As part of their digital transformation, many financial organisations have implemented several security tools and also have their own security teams.

    • Kaspersky launches free CyberTrace threat intelligence tool
    • Keeping ahead of the curve: understanding threat intelligence
    • Permission to intrude: hiring hackers to bolster cyber defences

    These are necessary to comply with legal requirements. After all, almost all other sectors depend on the financial sector. Of course, it is also about the security of customers and partners’ data. Therefore, it is not surprising that this industry has taken a pioneering role over the years. While some organisations already have their own Security Operations Centres (SOCs) to respond to potential threats and identify Indicators of Compromise (IoCs), they should think about other ways to optimise their organisa

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    Antivirus

    Best free anti-ransomware software 2019

    Of all the malware attacks you can experience, ransomware has to be one of the worst. While some paid-for anti-virus programs will protect against ransomware, most free ones do not. The result is that most PC’s are likely vulnerable to this particularly nasty form of attack.Ransomware became big news when WannaCry first appeared in 2017,…


    Of all the malware attacks you can experience, ransomware has to be one of the worst. While some paid-for anti-virus programs will protect against ransomware, most free ones do not. The result is that most PC’s are likely vulnerable to this particularly nasty form of attack.

    Ransomware became big news when WannaCry first appeared in 2017, crippling organizations all around the world, and while attack volume has lessened since then, the threat of attack has now become routine.

    There are two main forms of ransomware. The first encrypts your files so you can’t access them, unless you pay a ransom, usually to an anonymous bitcoin account, to the attacker. The other form locks up your PC so that your only apparent option is to pay to gain access to your PC again.

    This is why it’s all the more important to ensure that you have some form of protection on your PC against ransomware attacks. And while we list five of the best white knights who aim to help recover your PC from ransomware, it remains a stressful process you’re best avoiding by having protection in the first place.

    • This is our best antivirus buying guide
    • See how afree VPNcan help keep you safer online

    If you haven’t yet fallen victim to a ransomware attack and want to protect your PC proactively, consider a dedicated prevention tool like ZoneAlarm Anti-Ransomware, which uses behavioral analysis to identify processes that act like ransomware – even if it’s not yet a specific known threat – and automatically backs up your files if it detects anything. It carries a subscription fee, so we haven’t included it in our main roundup, but $1.99 per month for one PC is a modest fee compared to the ransoms charged by criminals.

    • Discover thebest free antivirus software
    • Want your company or services to be added to this buyer’s guide? Please email your request to [email protected] with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line.

    avast-ransomware-tools.jpg

    Image credit: Avast

    (Image: © Avast)

    1. Avast Free Ransomware Decryption Tools

    Solutions designed to defeat different strains of ransomware

    Step-by-step guidance
    Tackles 21 forms of ransomware
    Frequently updated

    Not all ransomware encrypts data in the same way, so security software providers have to create specific solutions as new threats emerge. At the time of writing, the security experts at Avast have developed Free Ransomware Decryption Tools to tackle 21 different strains of file-locking ransomware.

    To help you work out which one you need, Avast has provided a detailed description of how each form of ransomware works, what extension you’ll see on the encrypted files, and an example of the type of message the virus creators have prepared for their victims. 

    Once you’ve downloaded the appropriate tool, it will guide you through the process of wiping out the ransomware without paying the criminals. You’ll need to provide two versions of the same file – an encrypted one, and the original.

    This will be easiest if you made a backup before the infection, but Avast also suggests locations where you might be able to find unaffected original files. The  tool will then compare the two and use the results to determine the password.

    Download here:Avast Free Ransomware Decryption Tools

    trend-micro-antiransomware.jpg

    Image credit: Trend Micro

    (Image: © Trend Micro)

    2. Trend Micro Ransomware File Decryptor

    A single download that can defeat 27 breeds of ransomware

    All tools provided in one download
    Regular updates
    Decryption may be incomplete

    Trend Micro Ransomware File Decryptor is updated regularly with new ransomware definitions, and at the time of writing it can release files locked by 27 different types of ransomware and their variants.

    Unlike Avast, Trend Micro bundles all its decryption tools into one bundle, but you still need to tell it what form of ransomware it’s

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    Antivirus

    HP rolls out mysterious new antivirus on business laptops

    HP Inc is partnering with Israeli-based security company Deep Instinct to roll out its Sure Sense platform on selected new EliteBook and ZBook business laptops.Sure Sense uses Deep Instinct’s AI-based, zero-time threat prevention engine to detect and block malware to a reportedly high level, with independent testing carried out by SE Labs claiming a near…


    HP Inc is partnering with Israeli-based security company Deep Instinct to roll out its Sure Sense platform on selected new EliteBook and ZBook business laptops.

    Sure Sense uses Deep Instinct’s AI-based, zero-time threat prevention engine to detect and block malware to a reportedly high level, with independent testing carried out by SE Labs claiming a near 100 percent prevention rate and zero false-positives.

    A spokesperson for Deep Instinct said that the deal marks a “a leap forward in security innovation”, complementing HP’s broad stack of hardware-enforced securi

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