Research Articles

Using Zoom? Here are the privacy issues you need to be aware of...

Yes, Zoom has some security issues. It’s complex software. All complex software has bugs. Some of those bugs are security-relevant. The engineers, marketers, and leadership at Zoom are neither dumb nor evil. You can judge Zoom on its response to security issues, more so than on the security issues themselves, within reason.

"Zoom has seen a flood of new users as the COVID-19 outbreak forces more and more employees to transition to working from home. Zoom’s big selling point is its near-frictionless video calls. However, new users should be aware of the company’s privacy practices. By looking through its privacy policy and some of its support documents, you quickly discover that Zoom allows your boss to track your attention during calls, shares the copious amounts of data it collects with third parties, and has already had a major security vulnerability."

Richie Koch | March 20, 2020 | FEATURED, Privacy

How to secure the home office: 8 priorities

Many knowledge workers now effectively serve as the chief information security officer (CISO) for their own homes. Emphasize these eight areas to help remote employees protect data, machines, and home networks.

"In most ways, the business world is more prepared now than at any point in history to move employees to a work-from-home (WFH) model. Tools like videoconferencing software, cloud collaboration suites, mobile devices, and nearly ubiquitous home WiFi have helped many companies to seamlessly make the switch, nearly overnight. But at the same time, technology is moving faster than ever, and hackers grow increasingly sophisticated every day. Working at home, employees are not protected by enterprise cyber security solutions like firewalls. In effect, many knowledge workers are currently serving as the chief information security officer (CISO) for their own homes. Attackers know that unprecedented numbers of people are working from home these days, and they’re poised to take advantage of the situation. We’ve already seen an increase in things like fake invoices designed to trick employees into opening malicious attachments, and hackers are even trying to spread malware by setting up dummy websites with the word “COVID” in the URL."

By Abel Sanchez | John R. Williams | June 02, 2020

Preventing SMB traffic from lateral connections and entering or leaving the network

Blocking connectivity to SMB may prevent various applications or services from functioning. For a list of Windows and Windows Server applications and services that may stop functioning.

"Server Message Block (SMB) is a network file sharing and data fabric protocol. SMB is used by billions of devices in a diverse set of operating systems, including Windows, MacOS, iOS , Linux, and Android. Clients use SMB to access data on servers. This allows sharing of files, centralized data management, and lowered storage capacity needs for mobile devices. Servers also use SMB as part of the Software-defined Data Center for workloads like clustering and replication. Because SMB is a remote file system, it requires protection from attacks where a Windows computer might be tricked into contacting a malicious server running inside a trusted network or to a remote server outside the network perimeter. Firewall best practices and configurations can enhance security preventing malicious traffic from leaving the computer or its network."

Mar 11, 2020

CVE-2020-1206 | Windows SMBv3 Client/Server Information Disclosure Vulnerability

An information disclosure vulnerability exists in the way that the Microsoft Server Message Block 3.1.1 (SMBv3) protocol handles certain requests. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could obtain information to further compromise the user’s system.

"To exploit the vulnerability against a server, an unauthenticated attacker could send a specially crafted packet to a targeted SMBv3 server. To exploit the vulnerability against a client, an unauthenticated attacker would need to configure a malicious SMBv3 server and convince a user to connect to it. The security update addresses the vulnerability by correcting how the SMBv3 protocol handles these specially crafted requests."

Published: 06/09/2020 MITRE CVE-2020-1206

What Is a VPN, and Why You Need One.

The best VPNs can help secure your web traffic against snoops, spies, and anyone else who wants to steal or monetize your data.

"Have you ever connected to a public Wi-Fi network and wondered if someone, somewhere might be able to see of your online activity? That's entirely reasonable, considering the forces arrayed against your privacy. With a virtual private network (VPN), you can protect your information from prying eyes and regain a measure of privacy online.."

By Max Eddy Published on July 1, 2020

ShieldApps Cyber Privacy Suite Review.

ShieldApps Cyber Privacy Suite combines VPN protection with a large number of privacy scans and actions, but a tech-savvy user could handle much of what it does manually.

"Once you've connected your computer to the internet, you're beset on all sides by ravenous beasts, desperate to consume tasty bits of your private data. Trackers and other data grabbers use a wide variety of techniques to get their pound of flesh. If you'd rather retain a modicum of privacy, you need a variety of solutions. That's the point of ShieldApps Cyber Privacy Suite. Among other things, it seeks out personal data in unprotected documents, actively foils online trackers, and protects your internet communication with a VPN."

By Max Eddy & Neil J. Rubenking Updated January 29, 2020

New-look Ryuk ransomware is now deadlier than ever.

A worm-like ransomware is the stuff of nightmares. Ryuk, one of the most prolific and resilient ransomware strains, has taken on new worm like capabilities, according to security researchers.

"The ransomware is operated by Russian cybercriminal syndicate Wizard Spider, and has been infecting victims for several years. It's been on the radar of several cybersecurity agencies, especially since its operators were ruthless enough to attack healthcare facilities in the middle of the Covid19-pandemic. Analyzing a new sample of the ransomware at the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (ANSSI), France’s national cybersecurity agency, researchers discovered that Ryuk can now spread from one machine to another on its own"

By Mayank Sharma Updated March 05, 2021
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