McAfee – McAfee Blogs https://www.mcafee.com/blogs Securing Tomorrow. Today. Tue, 04 Aug 2020 15:25:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://www.mcafee.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/cropped-favicon-32x32.png McAfee – McAfee Blogs https://www.mcafee.com/blogs 32 32 What Security Means to Families https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/what-security-means-to-families/ Tue, 04 Aug 2020 17:00:35 +0000 /blogs/?p=104448 digital parenting

What Security Means to Families One truth of parenting is this: we do a lot of learning on the job. And that often goes double when it comes to parenting and the internet. That’s understandable. Whereas we can often look to our own families and how we were raised for parenting guidance, today’s always-on mobile […]

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digital parenting

What Security Means to Families

One truth of parenting is this: we do a lot of learning on the job. And that often goes double when it comes to parenting and the internet.

That’s understandable. Whereas we can often look to our own families and how we were raised for parenting guidance, today’s always-on mobile internet, with tablets and smartphones almost always within arm’s reach, wasn’t part of our experience growing up. This is plenty new for nearly all of us. We’re learning on the job as it were, which is one of the many reasons why we reached out to parents around the globe to find out what their concerns and challenges are—particularly around family safety and security in this new mobile world of ours.

 Just as we want to know our children are safe as they walk to school or play with friends, we want them to be just as safe when they’re online. Particularly when we’re not around and there to look over their shoulder. The same goes for the internet. Yet where we likely have good answers for keeping our kids safe around the house and the neighborhood, answers about internet safety are sometimes harder to come by.

Recently, we conducted a survey of 600 families and professionals in the U.S. to better understand what matters to them—in terms of security and the lives they want to lead online. The following article reflects what they shared with us, and allows us to share it with you in turn, with the aim of helping you and your family stay safer and more secure. 1

What concerns and questions do parents have about the internet?

The short answer is that parents are looking for guidance and support. They’re focused on the safety of their children, and they want advice on how to parent when it comes to online privacy, safety, and screen time. Within that, they brought up several specific concerns:

Help my kids not feel anxious about growing up in an online world.

There’s plenty wrapped up in this statement. For one, it refers to the potential anxiety that revolves around social networks and the pressures that can come with using social media—how to act, what’s okay to post and what’s not, friending, following, unfriending, unfollowing, and so on—not to mention the notion of FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” and anxiety that arises from feelings of not being included in someone else’s fun.

Keep my kids safe from bullying, or bullying others.

Parents are right to be concerned. Cyberbullying happens. In a study spanning 30 countries, one child in three has said they’ve been the victim of cyberbullying according to a study conducted by UNICEF. On the flip side of that, a 2016 study of more than 5,000 students in the U.S. by the Cyberbullying Research Center reported that 11.5% of students between 12 and 17 indicated that they had engaged in cyberbullying in their lifetime.

Feel like I can leave my child alone with a device without encountering inappropriate content.

If we think of the internet as a city, it’s the biggest one there is. For all its libraries, playgrounds, movie theatres, and shopping centers, there are dark alleys and derelict lots as well. Not to mention places that are simply age appropriate for some and not for others. Just as we give our children freer rein to explore their world on their own as they get older, the same holds true for the internet. There are some things we don’t want them to see and do.

Balance the amount of screen time my children get each day.

Screen time is a mix of many things—from schoolwork and videos to games and social media. It has its benefits and its drawbacks, depending on what children are doing and how often they’re doing it. The issue often comes down to what is “too much” screen time, particularly as it relates to the bigger picture of physical activity, face-to-face time with the family, hanging out with friends, and getting a proper bedtime without the dim light of a screen throwing off their sleep rhythms.

Where can parents get started?

Beyond our job of providing online security for devices, our focus at McAfee is on protecting people. Ultimately, that’s the job we aim to do—to help you and your family be safer. Beyond creating software for staying safe, we also put together blogs and resources that help people get sharp on the security topics that matter to them. For parents, check out this page which puts forward some good guidance and advice that can help. Check it out, and we hope that you’ll find even more ways you can keep you and your family safe.

Stay Updated 

To stay updated on all things McAfee and for more resources on staying secure from home, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

 

  • Survey conducted in October 2019, consisting of 600 computer-owning adults in the U.S.

 

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Security is a Feeling- With the McAfee #SecureMyLife RT2Win Sweepstakes! https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/security-is-a-feeling-with-the-mcafee-securemylife-rt2win-sweepstakes/ Thu, 30 Jul 2020 15:55:11 +0000 /blogs/?p=104094 Security is a Feeling-  Share it with the McAfee #SecureMyLife RT2Win Sweepstakes! The word ‘security’ means something unique to everyone. Security is a feeling, an emotion, a sense of belonging and place: It could be the feeling of cuddling as a family in a pillow fort, making sure your house is locked at night, or […]

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Security is a Feeling-  Share it with the McAfee #SecureMyLife RT2Win Sweepstakes!

The word ‘security’ means something unique to everyone. Security is a feeling, an emotion, a sense of belonging and place: It could be the feeling of cuddling as a family in a pillow fort, making sure your house is locked at night, or always having a smartphone in your pocket for directions or an emergency.

Though our digital devices are convenient, they can also be cause for possible security concerns due to overlooked weaknesses. Check out the latest research from the McAfee team for more information.

While all this dazzling technology has its appeal, we here at McAfee understand the importance of creating new security solutions for those who want to live their connected lives with confidence.

In fact, to celebrate the latest innovations, we’re giving two [2] lucky people the chance to win an Amazon gift card. Not a customer? Not a problem!  Simply retweet one of our contest tweets with the required hashtag between August 3rd, 2020 – August 16th 2020 for your chance to win. Follow the instructions below to enter, and good luck!

#RT2Win Sweepstakes Official Rules

  • To enter, go to https://twitter.com/McAfee_Home, and find the #RT2Win sweepstakes tweet.
  • There will be four [4] sweepstakes tweets will be released at the following schedule including the hashtags: #RT2Win #Sweepstakes AND #SecureMyLife
    • Monday, August 3, 2020 at 9:05AM PST
    • Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 9:05AM PST
    • Monday, August 10, 2020 at 9:05AM PST
    • Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 9:05AM PST
  • Retweet the sweepstakes tweet released on the above date before 11:59PM PST, from your own handle. The #RT2Win, #Sweepstakes AND #SecureMyLife hashtags must be included to be entered.
  • Sweepstakes will end on Monday August16, 2020  at 11:59pm PT. All entries must be made before that date and time.
  • Winners will be notified on Wednesday August 19, 2020 via Twitter direct message.
  • Limit one entry per person.

     1. How to Win:

Retweet one of our contest tweets on @McAfee_Home that include ““#RT2Win, #Sweepstakes, and #SecureMyLife” for a chance at an Amazon Gift card. Two [2] winners will be selected by  10:00 AM PT August 19, 2020, for a total of two [2] winners. Winners will be notified by direct message on Twitter. For full Sweepstakes details, please see the Terms and Conditions, below.

McAfee #SecureMyLife    RT2Win   Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions

     2. How to Enter: 

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. McAfee’s #RT2Win  Sweepstakes will be conducted from August 3rd through August 16th. All entries for each day of the #SecureMyLife  RT2Win Sweepstakes must be received during the time allotted for the #RT2Win   Sweepstakes. Pacific Daylight Time shall control the McAfee RT2Win Sweepstakes. The #SecureMyLife RT2Win Sweepstakes duration is as follows:

#RT2Win   Sweepstakes:

  • Begins: Monday, August 3rd, 2020 at 7:00am PST
  • Ends: Sunday, August 16, 2020 at 11:59 PST
    • Opportunity 1: Monday, August 3, 2020 at 9:05AM PST
    • Opportunity 2: Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 9:05AM PST
    • Opportunity 3: Monday, August 10, 2020 at 9:05AM PST
    • Opportunity 4: Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 9:05AM PST
  • Winners will be announced: by 10:00AM PST August 19, 2020

For the #SecureMyLife RT2Win Sweepstakes, participants must complete the following steps during the time allotted for the #SecureMyLifeSecureMyLife RT2Win Sweepstakes:

  1. Find the sweepstakes tweet of the day posted on @McAfee_Home which will include the hashtags: #SecureMyLife, #RT2Win and #Sweepstakes.
  2. Retweet the sweepstakes tweet of the day and make sure it includes the #McAfee, #SecureMyLife, #RT2Win and #Sweepstakes hashtags.
    1. Note: Tweets that do not contain the #SecureMyLife, #RT2Win and #Sweepstakes hashtags will not be considered for entry.
  3. Limit one entry per person. 

Two (2) winners will be chosen for the #McAfee #SecureMyLife Sweepstakes tweet from the viable pool of entries that retweeted and included #. McAfee and the McAfee social team will select winners at random from among the viable entries. The winners will be announced and privately messaged on August 19, 2020 on the @McAfee_Home Twitter handle. No other method of entry will be accepted besides Twitter. Only one entry per user is allowed, per Sweepstakes. SWEEPSTAKES IS IN NO WAY SPONSORED, ENDORSED, ADMINISTERED BY, OR ASSOCIATED WITH TWITTER, INC. 

     3. Eligibility: 

McAfee’s #RT2Win   Sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States who are 18 years of age or older on the dates of the #SecureMyLifeSecureMyLife RT2Win Sweepstakes begins and live in a jurisdiction where this prize and #SecureMyLifeSecureMyLife RT2Win  Sweepstakes are not prohibited. Employees of Sponsor and its subsidiaries, affiliates, prize suppliers, and advertising and promotional agencies, their immediate families (spouses, parents, children, and siblings and their spouses), and individuals living in the same household as such employees are ineligible.

     4. Winner Selection:

Winners will be selected from the eligible entries received during the days of the #SecureMyLifeSecureMyLife RT2Win   Sweepstakes periods. Sponsor will select the names of two [2] potential winners of the prizes in a random drawing from among all eligible submissions at the address listed below. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by the Official #SecureMyLifeSecureMyLife RT2Win Sweepstakes Rules and the decisions of the coordinators, which shall be final and binding in all respects.

     5.Winner Notification: 

Each winner will be notified via direct message (“DM”) on Twitter.com by August 19, 2020. Prize winners may be required to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (where permitted by law) to be returned within ten (10) days of written notification, or prize may be forfeited and an alternate winner selected. If a prize notification is returned as unclaimed or undeliverable to a potential winner, if potential winner cannot be reached within twenty four (24) hours from the first DM notification attempt, or if potential winner fails to return requisite document within the specified time period, or if a potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, then such person shall be disqualified and, at Sponsor’s sole discretion, an alternate winner may be selected for the prize at issue based on the winner selection process described above.

     6. Prizes: 

The prizes for the #SecureMyLifeRT2Win Sweepstakes are two [2] $100 Amazon e-gift cards  (approximate retail value “ARV” of the prize is $100   USD; the total ARV of all gift cards is $200 USD). Entrants agree that Sponsor has the sole right to determine the winners of the #SecureMyLifeRT2Win   Sweepstakes and all matters or disputes arising from the #SecureMyLife RT2Win Sweepstakes and that its determination is final and binding. There are no prize substitutions, transfers or cash equivalents permitted except at the sole discretion of Sponsor. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prizes. Sponsor is not responsible for delays in prize delivery beyond its control. All other expenses and items not specifically mentioned in these Official Rules are not included and are the prize winners’ sole responsibility.

      7. General Conditions: 

Entrants agree that by entering they agree to be bound by these rules. All federal, state, and local taxes, fees, and surcharges on prize packages are the sole responsibility of the prizewinner. Sponsor is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry information, whether caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the #SecureMyLifeRT2Win Sweepstakes, or by any technical or human error, which may occur in the processing of the #SecureMyLifeRT2Win Sweepstakes entries. By entering, participants release and hold harmless Sponsor and its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, claim, action, demand, or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the #SecureMyLifeRT2Win   Sweepstakes, any prize won, any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, participation in any #SecureMyLifeRT2Win   Sweepstakes -related activity, or participation in the #SecureMyLifeRT2Win  Sweepstakes. Except for applicable manufacturer’s standard warranties, the prizes are awarded “AS IS” and WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied (including any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose).

If participating in this Sweepstakes via your mobile device (which service may only be available via select devices and participating wireless carriers and is not required to enter), you may be charged for standard data use from your mobile device according to the terms in your wireless service provider’s data plan.  Normal airtime and carrier charges and other charges may apply to data use and will be billed on your wireless device bill or deducted from your pre-paid balance.  Wireless carrier rates vary, so you should contact your wireless carrier for information on your specific data plan.

      8. Limitations of Liability; Releases:

By entering the Sweepstakes, you release Sponsor and all Released Parties from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, related to any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Sweepstakes or delivery, misdelivery, acceptance, possession, use of or inability to use any prize (including claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will the sponsor or the released parties be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including loss of use, loss of profits or loss of data, whether in an action in contract, tort (including, negligence) or otherwise, arising out of or in any way connected to your participation in the sweepstakes or use or inability to use any equipment provided for use in the sweepstakes or any prize, even if a released party has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

  1. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will the aggregate liability of the released parties (jointly) arising out of or relating to your participation in the sweepstakes or use of or inability to use any equipment provided for use in the sweepstakes or any prize exceed $10. The limitations set forth in this section will not exclude or limit liability for personal injury or property damage caused by products rented from the sponsor, or for the released parties’ gross negligence, intentional misconduct, or for fraud.

     2. Use of Use of Winner’s Name, Likeness, etc.: Except where prohibited by law, entry into the Sweepstakes constitutes permission to use           your name, hometown, aural and visual likeness and prize information for advertising, marketing, and promotional purposes without               further permission or compensation (including in a public-facing winner list).  As a condition of being awarded any prize, except where           prohibited by law, winner may be required to execute a consent to the use of their name, hometown, aural and visual likeness and prize           information for advertising, marketing, and promotional purposes without further permission or compensation.

         By entering this  sweepstakes, you consent to being contacted by Sponsor for any purpose in connection with this Sweepstakes.

      9. Prize Forfeiture:

If winner cannot be notified, does not respond to notification, does not meet eligibility requirements, or otherwise does not comply with these prize #SecureMyLifeRT2Win   Sweepstakes rules, then the winner will forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be selected from remaining eligible entry forms for each #SecureMyLifeRT2Win  Sweepstakes.

     10.Dispute Resolution:

Entrants agree that Sponsor has the sole right to determine the winners of the #SecureMyLifeRT2Win Sweepstakes and all matters or disputes arising from the #SecureMyLifeRT2Win   Sweepstakes and that its determination is final and binding. There are no prize substitutions, transfers or cash equivalents permitted except at the sole discretion of Sponsor.

     11. Governing Law & Disputes:

Each entrant agrees that any disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this sweepstakes or any prize awarded will be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action and these rules will be construed in accordance with the laws, jurisdiction, and venue of New York.

     12.Privacy Notice: 

Personal information obtained in connection with this prize McAfee Day #RT2Win Sweepstakes will be handled in accordance policy set forth at http://www.mcafee.com/us/about/privacy.html

  1. Winner List; Rules Request: For a copy of the winner list, send a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope for arrival after January 10th 2020 and before August 16th 2021 to the address listed below, Attn: #RT2Win Sweepstakes.  To obtain a copy of these Official Rules, visit this link or send a stamped, self-addressed business-size envelope to the address listed in below, Attn: Consumer Content Marketing. VT residents may omit return postage.
  2. Intellectual Property Notice: McAfee and the McAfee logo are registered trademarks of McAfee, LLC. The Sweepstakes and all accompanying materials are copyright © 2018 by McAfee, LLC.  All rights reserved.
  3. Sponsor: McAfee, LLC, Corporate Headquarters 2821 Mission College Blvd. Santa Clara, CA 95054 USA

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Can Macs get Viruses? https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/can-macs-get-viruses/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/can-macs-get-viruses/#respond Thu, 30 Jul 2020 15:21:19 +0000 /blogs/?p=104043

Can Macs get viruses? In addition to their ability to work seamlessly with Apple devices, many users prefer Mac computers because of their perceived “inherent” security features. Apple also notifies users of periodic updates to make sure that every generation of Apple product has the most secure software version. And while Apple does go to […]

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Can Macs get viruses?

In addition to their ability to work seamlessly with Apple devices, many users prefer Mac computers because of their perceived “inherent” security features. Apple also notifies users of periodic updates to make sure that every generation of Apple product has the most secure software version. And while Apple does go to great lengths to keep its devices safe by making it difficult to download any/all software foreign to its official Apple application store, this does NOT mean your Mac is immune to all computer viruses.

What is a virus?

A virus is any piece of malicious software that invades your computer system, then copies itself. They can also then spread to other systems. This could result in stolen personal information or financial data, corrupted files, or crypto-hijacking. Here are some of the common viruses that infect Apple devices, and some of the best ways to protect your computer from them.

CookieMiner

CookieMiner is malware that captures Chrome browser authentication cookies primarily associated with cryptocurrency exchanges. The sophisticated CookieMiner code bypasses strict security protocols of both Apple and cryptocurrency exchanges by stealing information such as passwords, usernames, and other login credential data. It can even capture backed-up data from iTunes accounts that can be used to open cryptocurrency wallets and then steal cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP. Stealing valuable cryptocurrency isn’t enough for CookieMiner hackers, however, as they also use this malware to load cryptocurrency mining software onto MacBooks to mine Koto, a little-known Japanese cryptocurrency.

Besides a significantly lighter cyber wallet, there are some other clues that your Mac may be infected by the CookieMiner virus. As a cryptocurrency miner, CookieMiner uses a significant amount of a CPU’s processing power and therefore, infected Macs will be slow to complete even basic computing tasks. You may also notice that other software applications on your Mac don’t work as well as they should or stop working completely, or tour Mac could also overheat.

OSX/Dok… Next Generation

OSX/Dok is malware that commandeers data traffic entering and leaving a Mac computer without your knowledge. It reroutes this traffic through a bogus proxy server to then obtain access to all your communications. The malware is able to counter Apple’s security because it’s signed by a legitimate developer certificate that validates its authenticity. Through OSX/Dok, a hacker even has access to data that moves through SSL-TLS encrypted connections such as banking information. This is especially troubling since Apple devices such as iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks are commonly synced to operate together.

While the original version of OSX/Dok was thwarted when Apple disabled its associated developer certificate, later versions have popped up using different developer certificates. Apple devices are vulnerable to this malware mainly when users are duped to download files through email phishing scams. Once the software is installed on your computer, it immediately takes over critical operations. Users then most often see a message that the system has detected a security issue. The malware prompts users to install an update, and it then locks up all operations until the user submits a password to install it. After obtaining the password, the malware then has full administrative privileges to take control of the device.

Crossrider

Crossrider is a variant on the OSX/Shlayer malware and uses a fake Adobe Flash player installer to dump other pieces of malicious code onto your Apple devices. Users mistakenly download the fake installer when they’re sent a message to update Adobe Flash player. If you follow the link, you’ll mistakenly download the fake installer instead of the real update from the Adobe website. The fake installer message will then prompt you to submit your password so that the software can make changes to your system and install the program.

Advanced Mac Cleaner, Chumsearch Safari Extension, and MyShopCoupon+ are some of the items that are installed through the fake Adobe Flash player installer. While MyShopCoupon+ and Chumsearch Safari Extension do cause minor annoyances to users, Advanced Mac Cleaner can cost you much more if you’re not careful. Advanced Mac Cleaner appears to run a security scan of your system and identifies several issues. It then asks the user to pay $107 to activate the program’s clean-up feature.

Macros Viruses… From Microsoft Word

Macro viruses used to be a problem that only PC users face. Macros are pieces of code that programmers embed within applications to automate routine tasks. The code, which is written in Visual Basic, can be used to hijack applications and do harm when users open popular Microsoft Office products such as Word, Excel, or Project. Visual Basic commands in macros can result in deleted or corrupted files. When you use Word to open an infected file, Word catches the virus and passes it on to every Word document that you subsequently create.

Apple disabled macro support in its early versions of Office for Mac, but it recently allowed macros to be supported in its later versions of both Word and Excel. But Mac users still have some protection against macros viruses since Apple doesn’t allow macros to be automatically enabled by default.

MShelper

MShelper is a cryptocurrency mining malware that allows a hacker to help himself to your computer’s processing capabilities in order to steal cryptocurrency. Hackers also develop this malware to display advertisements on the screens of popular browsers such as Mozilla, Chrome, and Firefox. Cybersecurity experts contend that MShelper infects computers when users download files of dubious origins. Some signs that your computer has been infected by MShelper include lowered battery life, fast-spinning fans, overheating, and increased noise.

Since crypto mining software takes a great deal of CPU power, it’s not hard to spot if MShelper is on your Mac. Click on the CPU tab under Activity Monitor on your computer. If MShelper has infected your MacBook, it’ll show up at the top of the list of applications with an extremely high CPU usage.

OSX/MaMi

OSX/MaMi is malware that allows hackers to capture sensitive information by redirecting data traffic through malicious servers. Through OSX/MaMi, hackers hijack Domain Name System (DNS) servers and change the DNS settings on your Mac. This malware allows attackers to perform many harmful tasks such as stealing login credentials, uploading and downloading files, and spying on your internet traffic.

While OSX/MaMi is nearly undetectable, experts say that it’s not yet been used to target Mac users on a widespread basis. Victims of this malware encounter it through targeted email phishing scams. A sign that your Mac has been infected by OSX/MaMi is a change in its DNS settings. A MacBook infected with this malware often shows these two addresses: 82.163.143.135 and 82.163.142.137.

Tips for Safeguarding Macs Against Malware

While Apple does an amazing job of guarding Macs against common security threats, it just can’t stop every determined hacker who looks at its devices as a challenge.

Here are some top tips for shoring up security for your Mac:

  • Avoid opening spam emails and attachments.
  • Don’t download questionable files.
  • Install ad-blocking applications.
  • Create frequent system backups (Time Machine).
  • Install the latest OS and application updates.
  • Manage data.
  • Install a security suite (Antivirus, firewall, browser destination monitoring).
  • User VPN software when connected to public or untrusted networks.

Stay protected

Subscribing to a comprehensive security suite service is one of the most effective steps that you can take to safeguard your Apple devices, financial information, and privacy while online. McAfee partners with industry, IT experts, and the user community to deliver the most powerful cybersecurity solutions on the market.

Check more information about our latest security products.

 

 

 

References

  • https://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/mac-software/mac-viruses-list-3668354/
  • https://macpaw.com/how-to/known-mac-viruses-malware-security-flaws
  • http://factmyth.com/factoids/apple-macs-cant-get-viruses-or-malware/
  • https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-mac-vs-windows-pc-why-i-chose-macbook-2018-3?op=1
  • https://www.iphonelife.com/content/can-iphones-get-viruses-how-to-detect-remove-malware-viruses-your-iphone
  • https://gigaom.com/2005/06/24/viruses-on-mac-os-x/
  • https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-get-rid-of-virus-on-mac?op=1
  • https://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000737.htm
  • https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/does-your-mac-need-antivirus/
  • https://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/mac/security-firewall-3643100/
  • https://www.enigmasoftware.com/cookieminer-removal/
  • https://macdailynews.com/2019/01/31/new-cookieminer-macos-malware-swipes-your-cookies-to-steal-your-cryptocurrency/
  • https://9to5mac.com/2019/01/31/cookieminer/
  • https://www.pcrisk.com/removal-guides/14414-cookieminer-malware-mac
  • https://blog.checkpoint.com/2017/04/27/osx-malware-catching-wants-read-https-traffic/
  • https://www.intego.com/mac-security-blog/new-osxshlayer-malware-variant-found-using-a-dirty-new-trick/
  • https://www.howtogeek.com/171993/macros-explained-why-microsoft-office-files-can-be-dangerous/
  • https://www.myantispyware.com/2018/05/18/how-to-remove-mshelper-malware-from-mac-virus-removal-guide/
  • https://lifehacker.com/how-to-deal-with-mshelper-the-latest-mac-malware-1826142837

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Understanding Trojan Viruses and How to Get Rid of Them https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/understanding-trojan-viruses-and-how-to-get-rid-of-them/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/understanding-trojan-viruses-and-how-to-get-rid-of-them/#respond Thu, 30 Jul 2020 15:20:59 +0000 /blogs/?p=104031 Working from home

Understanding Trojan Viruses and How to Get Rid of Them Basic online scenario—You log onto your computer and notice that something’s just not right, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Something just seems…a bit off. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, or even thinking you are, there’s a real possibility you […]

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Working from home

Understanding Trojan Viruses and How to Get Rid of Them

Basic online scenario—You log onto your computer and notice that something’s just not right, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Something just seems…a bit off. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, or even thinking you are, there’s a real possibility you could have a Trojan virus on your computer.

Trojan viruses can not only steal your most personal information, they also put you at risk for identity theft and other serious cybercrimes. In this post, we’ll examine what Trojan viruses are, and where they come from. We’ll also cover how you can protect yourself and get rid of viruses so you can stay safe and maintain peace of mind online.

What Trojan Viruses Do

Trojan viruses are a type of malware that invade your computer disguised as a real, operational programs. Once a trojan is inside your system, it can perform destructive actions before you even know it’s there. Once inside, some trojans sit idly on your computer and wait for further instructions from its host hacker, but others begin their malicious activity right from the start.

Some trojans download additional malware onto your computer and then bypass your security settings while others try to actively disable your antivirus software. Some Trojans hijack your computer and make it part of a criminal DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) network.

How to Remove a Trojan Virus

Before you discover all the places a Trojan can invade your computer, let’s first learn how to get rid of them. You can remove some Trojans by disabling startup items on your computer which don’t come from trusted sources. For the best results, first reboot your device into safe mode so that the virus can’t stop you from removing it.

Please carefully ensure you know which specific programs you’re removing because you could slow, disable or cripple your system if you remove basic programs your computer needs to function. Installing and using a trusted antivirus solution is also one of the top ways to get rid of trojans. An effective antivirus program searches for valid trust and app behavior, as well as trojan signatures in files in order to detect, isolate and then promptly remove them. In addition to spotting known trojans, the McAfee antivirus program can identify new trojans by detecting suspicious activity inside any and all of your applications.

Where Trojan Viruses Come From

This section takes a closer look at the places you are the most vulnerable to a Trojan virus attack. While all trojans look like normal programs, they need a way to get your attention before you unknowingly install them on your system. Trojan viruses are different from other types of malware because they trick you into installing them yourself. You will think that the Trojan is a game or music file, and the file you download will likely work like normal so that you don’t know it’s a Trojan. But it will also install the harmful virus on your computer in the background. Be careful when you get files from the following sources. Many users install trojans from file-sharing websites and fake email attachments. You can also get attacked from spoofed chat messages, infected websites, hacked networks and more.

File-Sharing Sites

Almost everyone who is at least a little tech savvy occasionally uses file-sharing websites. File-sharing websites include torrent websites and other sites that allow users to share their files, and this concept is appealing for a variety of reasons. First, it allows people to get premium software without paying the retail price. The problem though, is that file-sharing sites are also extremely attractive to hackers who want to find an easy way inside your system.

For example, a hacker uploads a cracked copy of a popular software to a torrent website for free download, then waits for potential victims to instantly download it… but the cracked software has a hidden trojan virus that allows the hacker to control your computer.

Trojan viruses can also come in the popular forms of music files, games and numerous other  applications.

Email Attachments

Fake email attachments are another common way people find themselves infected with trojan viruses. For example, a hacker sends you an email with an attachment, hoping you’ll instantly click on it, so that you become infected instantly upon opening it. Many hackers send generic emails to as many people as possible. Others go after specific people or businesses which they’ve targeted.

In targeted cases, a hacker sends a fake email that looks as if it came from someone you know. The email could contain a Word document or something you consider “safe”, but the virus infects your computer the second you open the attachment. The easiest way to protect yourself from this targeted attack is by calling the sender—before opening the attachment—to make sure they’re the one who sent this specific attachment.

Spoofed Messages

A countless number of popular programs and useful applications allow you to chat with others from your desktop. Bur regardless of if you use such software for business or personal connections, you are at risk of trojan infection unless you know how to protect yourself.

Hackers “spoof” a message so that it looks like it came from someone you trust. In addition to spoofing, hackers also create similar usernames and hope you don’t notice, or aren’t paying attention to, the slight differences. Like with fake emails, the hacker is sending you a trojan-infected file or application.

Infected Websites

Many hackers target websites instead of individual users. They find weaknesses in unsecured websites which allow them to upload files or, in some cases, even take over the entire website. When this type of site hijacking happens, the hacker can then use the website to redirect you to other sites.

The hacker can compromise the entire website and redirect your downloads to a malicious server that contains the trojan. Using only trusted, well-known websites is one way to reduce your odds of falling into that trap, but a good antivirus program can also help detect infected and hacked sites.

Hacked Wi-Fi Networks

Hacked Wi-Fi networks are also a common source of trojans and other malware. A hacker can create a fake “hotspot” network that looks exactly like the one you’re trying to connect to. When you connect to this fake network by mistake, however, the hacker can then redirect you to fake websites that look so real that even experts have trouble spotting the difference. These fake websites contain browser exploits that redirect any file you try downloading.

Final Thoughts

Trojans can infect your computer and cause enormous problems before you even know what happened. Once a trojan gets onto your system, it can monitor your keyboard, install additional malware and cause a variety of other problems you simply don’t want to face. Luckily, most Trojans are generic and easy to handle if you follow this proven process.

Unverified startup items and suspicious programs can act as gateways for trojans to install harmful code in your computer and other devices. If you notice any new programs running on your system that you did not install, it could be a trojan. Try removing the program and restarting your computer to see if your computer’s performance improves.

Remove Trojans by taking the following steps:

Removing Trojans is a great way to safeguard your computer and privacy, but you must also take steps to avoid them in the future:

  • Setup cloud accounts using email addresses that offers account recovery support. Accounts from ISP’s or paid services.
  • In the case of Apple, you can request assistance to help recover an account (Gmail and/or yahoo accounts can’t be recovered as they can’t confirm ownership)
  • Use VPNs on Public Wi-Fi
  • Call the Sender Before Opening Email Attachments
  • Use an Antivirus Solution With Real-Time Protection

Stay protected

The cyberthreat landscape is always changing and evolving. Hackers are always looking for new ways to break into computers and servers, so you must stay updated on the latest threats, and using a proven antivirus solution is always a smart bet. These steps will not only safeguard your devices, they’ll also give you peace of mind while online.

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How to Wipe Out a Computer Virus https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/how-to-wipe-out-a-computer-virus/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/how-to-wipe-out-a-computer-virus/#respond Thu, 30 Jul 2020 15:20:50 +0000 /blogs/?p=104052

How to Wipe Out a Computer Virus In this article, you’ll learn some of the signs that you may have a computer virus, and you’ll learn tips for effectively removing them. While some of these malicious programs are little more than a nuisance, many others can effectively steal your most personal, private and sensitive  information. […]

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How to Wipe Out a Computer Virus

In this article, you’ll learn some of the signs that you may have a computer virus, and you’ll learn tips for effectively removing them. While some of these malicious programs are little more than a nuisance, many others can effectively steal your most personal, private and sensitive  information. In this article, you’ll learn some of the signs that you may have a computer virus, and you’ll learn tips for effectively removing them.

What is a computer virus?

First off, computer viruses can take many different forms. In general terms, these viral programs are any unwanted bit of code designed for the purpose of invading and disrupting your computer. But much like a biological virus, computer viruses invade, replicate themselves, and then try to get into other systems. Some viruses may only affect your internet browser. Others  are even more harmful. The rootkit virus type, however, digs deep into the internal controls of your system. Trojan viruses sneak onto your device disguised as programs that seem legitimate.

Signs of a Virus

A sudden slowdown may be the first sign that you have a virus, and you may notice that programs which used to load quickly take longer and longer to load. You may also receive multiple error messages about programs becoming unresponsive. In this case, the virus is using the processing power of your own computer system, and consequently other programs are having trouble running at the same time.

Some viruses and malware only affect certain parts of your system. For example, you could discover that the home page of your browser has changed without your knowledge. You may also have trouble logging onto antivirus and antimalware sites, or if/when a virus gets into your email program, you may start to hear from your contacts about strange emails coming from your computer.

How does a virus get on your computer?

Computer viruses have been around for about as long as personal computers, and virus programmers understand that human error is always the easiest way to install a virus. Therefore, while strong antivirus programs can effectively prevent most computerized threats, they cannot stop a user from clicking the wrong link or installing compromised software on  their own system. When you download programs or data from an unfamiliar site, remember that you may also be unknowingly accepting a viral program onto your system. Links in malicious emails can also start an automatic download.

And new viruses come online all the time. The experts at McAfee are constantly learning about new malicious programs and then developing solutions. If however, you do not regularly update your virus definitions, a harmful program may still be able to sneak by your defensive software.

Removing a Computer Virus

Removing a computer virus manually is a complex process. Viruses may install themselves in several different parts of your system. If you do not completely eliminate the program, it may also reinstall itself at the next system reboot. In some cases, viruses play nasty tricks like invading the registry of a Windows system. Removing the wrong line in this database can then cause the entire system to fail. The easiest way to remove viruses is by using an antivirus program designed to clean your system safely. If a virus is already on your computer, however, you may need to run this program under very specific conditions.

Remove New Programs

If you’re lucky, the virus may just be sitting in a program you recently installed. On both Windows and Mac, you will want to uninstall recent apps and then remove new browser extensions. If you remove these programs and your computer promptly runs smoothly, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Of course you should still run a virus scan to make certain that your system is clean. You will also want to restart the computer to determine whether the malicious program reinstalls itself. If malicious messages pop up from the same program again, it points to a deeper infection.

Removing a Virus from a Windows Computer

In Windows computers, the virus removal process begins by booting up the computer in Safe mode. In this mode, your computer starts with only essential programs running. This prevents a viral program from starting up and blocking your antiviral scans. In older versions of Windows, you can access this mode by pressing the F8 button during the startup process.

In Windows 10, the process of opening in Safe mode is slightly more involved:

  1. Press the Windows button and click on Settings.
  2. Go to Update & Security and choose Recovery.
  3. Choose Restart Now under Advanced Startup.
    Your system will restart, but a new option screen will appear.
  4. Choose Troubleshoot.
  5. Go to Advanced Options and choose Startup Settings.
  6. Choose Enable Safe Mode.

Once your system restarts in safe mode, you will be able to run an on-demand viral scan. Because the number of viruses is always increasing, you may find it helpful to run several different scanning programs to catch any newer virus. It is important to use antiviral programs from reputable vendors so that you do not make the problem worse.

You should also follow these best practices:

• Backup your critical data
• Clean up temporary files and cached content
• Uninstall any/all applications no longer in use
• Update OS and remaining applications
• Check startup apps, disable unneeded apps
• Run the MMC (see above)
• Run a full Scan of the system

Removing a Virus from a Mac

For Mac computers, entering Safe mode is an even simpler process.

All you need to do is hold the shift button while the system boots up. If you’ve done this properly, you will see a “Safe Boot” message (Apple support content HT201262) on the login window. From there, you’ll run your virus removal programs and clean your system.  For both Windows computers and Macs, you will want to run your virus scan multiple times to assure that the system is clean.

Seek Professional Help

If you’ve gone through this process but are still struggling with a virus, you may need to call in a professional to clean your computer. For example, with McAfee Virus Removal Service, a security expert can remove stubborn viruses from your computer using a remote connection.

Avoiding Computer Viruses

The easiest way to remove computer viruses from your life is to avoid them in the first place.

It is vitally important to keep your system secure by following safe, Best Practices:

• Maintain backups of your data
• Clean up temporary files and cached content
• Uninstall application no longer used
• Update OS and remaining applications
• Check startup apps, disable unneeded apps
• Verify Security subscription status
• Confirm Security software is up to date.
• Use trusted sources: Do not download software from a source you do not recognize. Do not run unsolicited programs.

And always Surf Safely using these tips:

• Use the WebAdvisor browser extension.
• Use VPN software while using untrusted networks.
• Use a password manager.
• Refrain from using the same usernames and password for web pages especially financial or shopping sites.
• Setup cloud accounts using email addresses that offer account recovery support, accounts from ISP’s or paid services.
• With Apple, you can request account recovery assistance (Gmail or yahoo accounts can’t be recovered as they can’t confirm ownership).

Stay Protected

Professional security software is always a smart long-term investment in your computer system. You can keep both your data and identity safe while maintaining system performance. With the right program running in the background, your system will be ready to handle any and all of the threats inside your digital world.

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Is Your Smart Home Vulnerable to a Hack Attack? https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/is-your-smart-home-vulnerable-to-a-hack-attack/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/is-your-smart-home-vulnerable-to-a-hack-attack/#respond Thu, 30 Jul 2020 15:20:47 +0000 /blogs/?p=104064

Is Your Smart Home Vulnerable to a Hack Attack? Your smart home device creates a computer network which can function as your incredibly convenient garage door opener, appliance manager, lighting designer, In-House DJ, and even security system supervisor, among many other selected duties. Yet cybersecurity experts frequently caution that this ultra-convenient home network provided through […]

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Is Your Smart Home Vulnerable to a Hack Attack?

Your smart home device creates a computer network which can function as your incredibly convenient garage door opener, appliance manager, lighting designer, In-House DJ, and even security system supervisor, among many other selected duties. Yet cybersecurity experts frequently caution that this ultra-convenient home network provided through your smart devices may be vulnerable to malicious hackers looking to gain access to your home, and your most private information. In addition, the considers hacking of your smart devices as a backdoor to your most important information.

So while this is certainly an unfortunately real possibility, taking the time to use a few tips in this article can go a long way to stopping hackers before they start, and keeping your smart home devices safe and secure.

Can smart home devices be hacked?

The short answer is, unfortunately, yes. Along with the widespread popularity of smart home devices, a recent trend in hackers using IoT technology to spy on businesses, launch attacks, and deliver malware to your home network is a modern reality that users need to be fully aware of when setting up their smart home systems.

What can I expect if my smart devices get hacked?

With a physical home break-in, alert neighbors may notice and call the police, but a hacker has the advantage of working in secret. With access to your private information, savvy hackers may be able to steal sensitive information, or — in a worst case scenario — commit identity theft that can cause financial fallout. When you consider the array of smart toys and gadgets that provide electronic entertainment, education, communication and convenience for your family, you may also discover a number of vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to break-in to your home.

Where do the biggest home threats exist?

Because of their 24/7 potential access, smart devices which you run continuously—thermostat, lighting, security, et al. — may pose more risk than those which you only use on occasion. Hack attacks on your home office computer, or router are likely the most vulnerable, but your living and bedroom may also contain any number of smart gadgets that a sharp hacker may attempt to exploit as well. Your smart TV, tablet, cell phones, alarm clocks, watches, sleep monitors and streaming gadgets can also make your bedroom a relatively open opportunity for hackers.

Both your living room and kitchen—smart TV’s, tablets, refrigerators, coffee machines, ovens, etc. — also offer connections which are easy to ignore when it comes to cybersecurity. And when assessing potential threats, do not neglect your children’s playroom with its smart toys, tablets or baby monitors. Be sharp and consider that any smart device can offer an opening.

Does hacking pose a severe threat?

Short answer? It does. The potential risk should reasonably grab your attention when you understand that all your smart devices have a direct connection to your smartphone, or even the internet. Awareness of this situation should sharpen your understanding of exactly how much effort goes into hacking attempts to break into the interconnected network that links your smart devices.

Does a password protect my smart devices from hacking?

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) offers specific guidelines on the best ways to protect your identity and possessions from the intrusive and persistent efforts of hackers. The guidelines apply to devices that connect to each other and to the internet, providing stringent guidance.

As a savvy computer user, you probably know that each device has a factory default password. What you may not know, however, is that you must change this default password. Always take the time to change default passwords, and make sure to create long, unique passwords that can best defeat any efforts to crack them.

What are some practical things I can do to secure my smart devices?

Remember that while it may take some extra effort to create a second Wi-Fi network dedicated to your smart devices, this effort will provide significant benefits. You can help confine any network intrusions to a separate network that does not have access to your bank, or private, sensitive financial information. And these simple steps can also make a significant difference in protecting your smart home systems:

  • Thoroughly research the device brand then choose one that has a proven security track record.
  • Keep the product software up-to-date. Always set your device to auto-update if possible so you always run the latest, safest software.
  • Most every device will come with a factory default password. Remember to take the time to go in and create a long and unique password for each device.
  • Choose the privacy settings that you’re comfortable with, instead of the blanket permissions that come with the devices.
  • Unplug any/every smart gadget when not in use.
  • Install cloud-integrated antivirus software for your router that protects every electronic device in your home.

Stay protected

When you actively participate in creating your home’s security profile, you take ownership that generates interest, knowledge, and ultimately, security. Stay a step ahead by staying informed, and your smart home can remain a smart choice!

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What to Do When Your Social Media Account Gets Hacked https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/social-media-account-hacked/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/social-media-account-hacked/#respond Wed, 22 Jul 2020 19:01:15 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=92869

You log in to your favorite social media site and notice a string of posts or messages definitely not posted by you. Or, you get a message that your account password has been changed, without your knowledge. It hits you that your account may have been hacked. What do you do?  This is a timely question considering that social […]

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You log in to your favorite social media site and notice a string of posts or messages definitely not posted by you. Or, you get a message that your account password has been changed, without your knowledge. It hits you that your account may have been hacked. What do you do? 

This is a timely question considering that social media breaches have been on the rise. A recent survey revealed that 22% of internet users said that their online accounts have been hacked at least once, while 14% reported they were hacked more than once. 

So, how should you respond if you find yourself in a social media predicament such as this? Your first move—and a crucial one—is to change your password right away and notify your connections that your account may have been compromised. This way, your friends know not to click on any suspicious posts or messages that appear to be coming from you because they might contain malware or phishing attempts. But that’s not all. There may be other hidden threats to having your social media account hacked. 

The risks associated with a hacker poking around your social media have a lot to do with how much personal information you share. Does your account include personal information that could be used to steal your identity, or guess your security questions on other accounts? 

These could include your date of birth, address, hometown, or names of family members and pets. Just remember, even if you keep your profile locked down with strong privacy settings, once the hacker logs in as you, everything you have posted is up for grabs. 

You should also consider whether the password for the compromised account is being used on any of your other accounts, because if so, you should change those as well. A clever hacker could easily try your email address and known password on a variety of sites to see if they can log in as you, including on banking sites. 

Next, you have to address the fact that your account could have been used to spread scams or malware. Hackers often infect accounts so they can profit off clicks using adware, or steal even more valuable information from you and your contacts. 

You may have already seen the scam for “discount  sunglasses that plagued Facebook a couple of years ago, and recently took over Instagram. This piece of malware posts phony ads to the infected user’s account, and then tags their friends in the post. Because the posts appear in a trusted friend’s feed, users are often tricked into clicking on it, which in turn compromises their own account. 

So, in addition to warning your contacts not to click on suspicious messages that may have been sent using your account, you should flag the messages as scams to the social media site, and delete them from your profile page. 

Finally, you’ll want to check to see if there are any new apps or games installed to your account that you didn’t download. If so, delete them since they may be another attempt to compromise your account. 

Now that you know what do to after a social media account is hacked, here’s how to prevent it from happening in the first place. 

How to Keep Your Social Accounts Secure 

  • Don’t click on suspicious messages or links, even if they appear to be posted by someone you know. 
  • Flag any scam posts or messages you encounter on social media to the respective platform, so they can help stop the threat from spreading. 
  • Use unique, complex passwords for all your accounts. Use a password generator to help you create strong passwords and a password manager can help store them.  
  • If the site offers multi-factor authentication, use it, and choose the highest privacy setting available. 
  • Avoid posting any identity information or personal details that might allow a hacker to guess your security questions. 
  • Don’t log in to your social accounts while using public Wi-Fi, since these networks are often unsecured and your information could be stolen. 
  • Always use comprehensive security software that can keep you protected from the latest threats. 
  • Keep up-to-date on the latest scams and malware threats.

Looking for more mobile security tips and trends? Be sure to follow @McAfee Home on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. 

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Strong Password Ideas to Keep Your Information Safe https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/strong-password-ideas-to-keep-your-information-safe/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/strong-password-ideas-to-keep-your-information-safe/#respond Mon, 20 Jul 2020 15:31:27 +0000 /blogs/?p=102825 Strong Passwords

Strong Password Ideas to Keep Your Information Safe Password protection is one of the most common security protocols available. By creating a unique password, you are both proving your identity and keeping your personal information safer. However, when every account you have requires a separate password, it can be an overwhelming task. While you should […]

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Strong Passwords

Strong Password Ideas to Keep Your Information Safe

Password protection is one of the most common security protocols available. By creating a unique password, you are both proving your identity and keeping your personal information safer. However, when every account you have requires a separate password, it can be an overwhelming task. While you should be concerned about the safety of your data, you also want to avoid the frustration of forgetting your password and being blocked from the information you need. However, the benefits of using strong, unique passwords outweigh the occasional inconvenience.

Benefits of Strong Passwords

The main benefit of a strong password is security. Hackers work quickly when they are trying to access accounts. They want to steal as much information as they can in as short a time as possible. This makes an account with a strong password less inviting because cracking the code is much more involved.

A strong password also limits the damage that hackers can do to your personal accounts. A common strategy involves cracking the passwords of less secure sites with limited personal information. The hackers hope that they can use the password from your gym membership app to access information in your online banking account. Strong password protection prevents this situation.

Common Poor Password Practices

When someone is registering an online account, it can be tempting to blaze through the password process. In order to move quickly, there are several poor password practices that people employ.

  • Simple passwords: Password-cracking programs start by entering obvious combinations. These are passwords where the user puts no thought into the code such as “password” or “1234567”.
  • Repeated passwords: You may think you have such an unbreakable password that you want to use it for all of your accounts. However, this means that if hackers compromise one of your accounts, all of your other accounts are vulnerable.
  • Personal information: The number combinations that you are apt to remember easily are the ones that hackers can find. You may have put your birthday or graduation year on public display in a social media account. Your dog’s name may be unusual, but if you share information about your canine friend with the world, its name is a weak password.

The Meaning of a Strong Password

A password is considered strong when it is difficult for a hacker to crack it quickly. Sophisticated algorithms can run through many password combinations in a short time. A password that is long, complex and unique will discourage attempts to break into your accounts.

  • Long: The combinations that protect your accounts should be long enough that it would be difficult for a computer program to run through all the possible configurations. The four-digit pin on a bank card has 10,000 possible combinations. This might take some time for a human being to crack, but a computer program with unlimited tries could break it in a few seconds. If you were only using numbers, every character in your password would raise the possible combinations by a power of 10. To stump the algorithms, you want a password that is a minimum of 12 characters long.
  • Complex: To increase the challenge of your password, it should have a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, symbols and numbers. Hacking algorithms look for word and number patterns. By mixing the types of characters, you will break the pattern and keep your information safe.
  • Unique: If you have been reusing your passwords, it is time for you to start the work of changing them. Every one of your accounts should have its own password. At the very least, make certain that you have not reused passwords for your financial institutions, social media accounts and any work-related accounts.

Creating a Layered Password

If you want a password that is memorable but strong, you can easily turn a phrase into a layered, complex password. In this process, it is important to note that you should not use personal information that is available online as part of your phrase.

  • Pick a phrase that is memorable for you: It should not be a phrase you commonly use on social media accounts. If you are an avid runner you might choose a phrase like, “Running 26.2 Rocks!”
  • Replace letters with numbers and symbols: Remove the spaces. Then, you can put symbols and numbers in the place of some of the letters. Runn1ng26.2R0ck$!
  • Include a mix of letter cases: Finally, you want both lower and uppercase letters that are not in a clear pattern. Algorithms know how to look for common patterns like camelCase or PascalCase. Runn1NG26.2R0cK$!

Now, you have a password that you can remember while challenging the algorithms hackers use.

Employing a Password Manager

When you consider the number of accounts you need to protect, coming up with a properly layered password is a time-consuming task. Even if you are able to decide on a memorable phrase, there are just too many accounts that need passwords. A password manager is a helpful tool to keep you safe while you are online. It acts as a database for all of your passwords. Each time you create a new code, it stores it so that you can automatically enter it later. You only need to remember a single password to access the tools of your manager.

Most managers can also do the work of creating complex, layered passwords for your accounts. These will be a string of random numbers, letters and characters. They will not be memorable, but you are relying on the manager to do the memorizing. These machine-generated passwords are especially helpful for accounts you rarely access or that do not hold significant information.

Maintaining an Offline Password List

For critical accounts like your bank account or a work-related account, it can be helpful to keep an offline list of your passwords. Complex passwords are meant to be difficult to remember. You may recall the phrase but not all the detailed changes that make it layered. Keeping a document on a zip drive or even in a physical paper file or journal will allow you to access your information if your hardware fails or you are switching to a new system.

Keeping the Whole System Safe

Cracking passwords is just one of the strategies hackers use to steal information. In addition to using strong passwords, it is important to employ comprehensive security software. Strong passwords will help protect your online accounts. Strong overall security will keep your hardware and network safe from danger.

Stay Updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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Create Strong Passwords with a Password Generator https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/create-strong-passwords-with-a-password-generator/ Fri, 17 Jul 2020 19:59:35 +0000 /blogs/?p=102777 Create Strong Passwords with a Password Generator Whether you use the internet for several hours every day or only browse it on occasion, you have likely created numerous accounts on streaming services, financial services, and online storefronts like Amazon. Many of these accounts contain highly sensitive information. Hackers can get into online accounts and computers […]

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Create Strong Passwords with a Password Generator

Whether you use the internet for several hours every day or only browse it on occasion, you have likely created numerous accounts on streaming services, financial services, and online storefronts like Amazon. Many of these accounts contain highly sensitive information. Hackers can get into online accounts and computers by guessing passwords, which means that your personal information would be available to them if you use a weak password.

To effectively protect your accounts from being hacked, it’s important that you have a strong password with each account that you create. However, it can be difficult to think of the perfect password that will keep your account safe from any hacker. To that end, there are many ways to create strong passwords, the primary of which is through a password generator. This article goes into detail about the importance of using good passwords and how to create them.

Importance of Having a Strong Password

Whenever you purchase an item online, you will be required to enter some financial information, which can include your bank account or credit card number. Many individuals may make the mistake of saving their financial information to the account because of how convenient it is. When you need to purchase an item in the future, you won’t need to go through the hassle of reentering your credit card information. The problem with saving your financial info to your account is that hackers who get into your account will have automatic access to the information at hand.

Website Security Measures Also Benefit from Strong Passwords

While website security has become increasingly strong over the past decade or so, the security measures that a site owner takes don’t matter if a hacker is able to get into your account by guessing your password, which is why it’s essential that you create a strong password that will hold up to hacking attempts.

Weak Passwords can Lead to Many Problems

Without a strong password, you run the risk of experiencing identity theft or financial fraud, both of which can significantly damage your finances and livelihood if the issue isn’t corrected immediately. Keep in mind that some of the more popular passwords in the country include 123456, password, 111111, qwerty, and abc123. Because of how popular these passwords are, they are some of the first that hackers will use to attempt to get into an account.

Hackers Can Control Your Entire Account

Once a hacker has breached your account, they can do a variety of things. The primary of which involves aquiring financial information that can be found in your account. These individuals can also choose to make purchases with this account or send in requests for new credit cards under your name. Along with stealing your own money, it’s possible for hackers to ruin your credit, which could take years to remedy.

Hackers Could Breach Your Computer

It’s important to understand that hackers can also get into your computer. Though more difficult, hackers can access documents and personal information on your computer if they are able to guess the password to your operating system. Many people store the passwords that they use in a document that’s stored on their computer, which is done with the belief that a hacker will never get into the computer itself. In the event that a hacker gains access to your device, they would be able to read the document where your passwords are stored. While having a strong password doesn’t eliminate the possibility of being hacked, it will make it much more difficult for someone to gain access to your computer or online accounts.

Using a Password Generator

If you need to store important personal or financial information online or on your computer, it’s essential that you pair your devices and accounts with strong passwords that will hold up to hacking attempts. Even though you can create lengthy and strong passwords without any assistance, keep in mind that the average U.S. citizen has around 25-30 accounts that passwords are needed for. Attempting to identify the perfect password on your own and for each account that you create can be a time-consuming and laborious process. Password generators are designed to instantly provide you with passwords that should be very difficult to guess.

How Password Generators Work

While every password generator is somewhat unique, the best generators are ones that provide you with options on what you would like to include in the password. The majority of password generators will automatically create passwords that are at least 15 characters long, consist of symbols and numbers, and include uppercase and lowercase letters. However, certain generators also provide users with the ability to exclude similar and ambiguous characters from the password that’s generated. Once you have generated a password, all that’s left is for you to input it into the account you’re currently creating. Password generators are simple to use and can make your life easier as you attempt to keep your personal information safe and secure.

Extra Features to Look For in Password Generator

Password generators can come with many extra features that could prove helpful in keeping your accounts and computer secure. For instance, some services provide users with a master password, which means that all of your passwords and secure information are kept under a single password that only you know. Some tools also allow users to set the exact length of the password, which could consist of anywhere from 8-100 characters. Additional features to be on the lookout for include unlimited password storage, 24/7 support, and custom security controls.

McAfee True Key Features

One potential password manager and generator you can use is McAfee True Key, which is designed to create very lengthy and strong passwords. Some of the core features of this particular tool include local data encryption, the support of numerous browsers, syncing across PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, and many different methods for signing in. For instance, you could pair the True Key app with the fingerprint reader on your device. You can also use the app to import any stored passwords from your browser.

How to Create a Strong Password

There are a myriad of things that you can do to create a strong password, the easiest of which is to use a password generator that will automatically provide you with a randomized password that will hold up well to hackers. While using a password generator is the most convenient option for creating a strong password, there are some additional tips and guidelines that you should keep in mind.

Primary Guidelines for Creating a Great Password

The main guidelines to keep in mind when creating a strong password include:

  • Make sure that your password is at least 7-8 characters long
  • Make sure that you never use a word or symbol for your password that can easily be found on any of your social media pages
  • Change each password you use at an interval or 90 days or less, which should also be done for any strong passwords you use
  • Use a combination of numbers, special characters, uppercase letters, and lowercase letters
  • Don’t use the same password for numerous accounts, which heightens the possibility that a breach into one of your accounts could lead to several accounts being compromised
  • Never write down your password on a piece of paper, which only serves to heighten the possibility of the password being seen by another individual and copied down
  • Consider using numbers and letters for your password that have no identifiable patterns within

Stay protected

Passwords are essential for security and can help you keep your computer and online accounts safe from hackers. While financial fraud and cases of stolen identity may be able to be corrected without any lasting damage to your bank account or credit score, the hassle that comes with contacting banking institutions and fixing any issues pertaining to the hack is more than it’s worth. Even though the aforementioned tips should assist you in creating a strong password, it’s highly recommended that you use a password generator instead, which ensures that mistakes are avoided completely and that the passwords you use are secure.

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ST20: Quantum Computing with Steve Grobman & Jon King https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/podcast/st20-quantum-computing-with-steve-grobman-jon-king/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/podcast/st20-quantum-computing-with-steve-grobman-jon-king/#respond Thu, 18 Jun 2020 17:41:05 +0000 /blogs/?p=101991

McAfee’s Chief Technology Officer Steve Grobman and Fellow Jon King discuss quantum computing and potential impacts to security as this technology continues to develop.

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McAfee’s Chief Technology Officer Steve Grobman and Fellow Jon King discuss quantum computing and potential impacts to security as this technology continues to develop.

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Internet Privacy: Tips & Tricks for Staying Secure Online https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/internet-privacy-tips-tricks-for-staying-secure-online/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/internet-privacy-tips-tricks-for-staying-secure-online/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2020 16:48:55 +0000 /blogs/?p=101977 Working from home

How much value do you place on your personal privacy? You would never leave your wallet on a public park bench and expect it to be safe and untouched. It is possible that no one would take your valuable belongings, but you’d never intentionally take the risk – so why would you risk your personal […]

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Working from home

How much value do you place on your personal privacy? You would never leave your wallet on a public park bench and expect it to be safe and untouched. It is possible that no one would take your valuable belongings, but you’d never intentionally take the risk – so why would you risk your personal data online?

The Power of Privacy

No matter who you are, you need to protect what’s yours. The fact is that your online data can’t be replaced the same way that your tangible possessions can be, and privacy has an intrinsic value that can be easily compromised on the web.

So how can you keep yourself and your sensitive information safe online? To learn more about safety while browsing the web, read on.

What is a Virtual Private Network?

A VPN, or virtual private network, routes your internet usage exclusively through private channels. Doing this effectively blocks your web activity from prying eyes and subsequently protects your sensitive data. When using public Wi-Fi hotspots, a VPN hides your identity and location, preserving your privacy and offering you peace of mind.

What Can A VPN Do For You?

In this fast-paced, high-tech world, a VPN is an invaluable asset. While your internet service provider (ISP) can’t read your online interactions, it’s nevertheless capable of identifying communication links. For example, it can trace the connections from your computer to sensitive web addresses like your bank or brokerage firm. Knowing that your vulnerable information is floating around on the internet might be enough to entice an unscrupulous ISP into finding and using it for their own benefit.

If you’re not using public internet services or doing your computing from home, you might be wondering if you need a VPN at all. Not necessarily, but at McAfee, we believe it always pays to take precautions.

Are Your Passwords Protecting You?

We often feel secure relying on passwords to protect our privacy. The unfortunate truth is that a password alone may not be enough to deter a hacker. If you notice unusual behavior on your computer, it could mean that a hacker already knows your password.

We need passwords to get almost anywhere on the internet, but the familiarity of this practice may result in complacency. After a while, a password may seem unimportant or even burdensome. Instead of trying to remember countless complicated passwords, you might feel overly comfortable in resorting to simpler passwords that are easily breakable with even the smallest effort.

How To Strengthen Your Passwords

A secure password requires at least 14 characters and should include both upper and lower case letters, capitals, numbers, and symbols.

If your password consists of readily available public knowledge like your birthdate, street address, or your dog’s name, chances are it’s not very strong. Likewise, predictable sequences of numbers or letters, like 123456789 or abcdefg, are risky.

Should You Protect Yourself From Viruses?

You wouldn’t cross the street without looking both ways. Installing antivirus software is the virtual equivalent of double-checking on a busy street. Protect your computer’s health and safety with antivirus software that prevents attacks from malicious programs that can infect your computer and the computers of others.

The Antivirus Safety Net

Every time you access the internet, you risk infection from a vast array of malware, including trojan horses, worms, and spyware, to name just a few. Luckily, antivirus software has a firewall that can detect these intruders, while a recovery tool helps eliminate these malicious programs from your computer.

Both a firewall and a VPN can prevent unauthorized web access to your computer systems. McAfee offers both antivirus software that removes malware, spyware, and adware through scheduled scans and protects your computer in real-time with its VPN, Safe Connect.

Should You Update Your Software?

You’re likely already familiar with many of the best privacy practices. These include using secure passwords, rejecting unknown emails, ignoring suspicious-looking links, and never distributing your personal information. When you pair these practices with free updates to your security software, you’re in an excellent position to preserve your privacy on the web.

Software updates can rectify security issues, replace outdated features, enhance compatibility with your apps, and even increase running speed. These patches can protect your computer from viruses, and prevent spread to other systems.

How To Update

Ready to update? Simply click ‘yes’ when you get a popup from your software developer asking if you’d like the latest features.

Most manufacturers offer free updates, while others require a technical support contract. Each software manufacturers’ website should provide specific details to help you download their security updates.

What are Cookies? Should I remove them?

Removing cookies is really up to preference. Cookies allow a website you’ve visited to retain your information—like your email address and password—for a more convenient user experience. However, tracking cookies do pose a risk to your security. By allowing cookies, you’re saying it’s okay for the information to be sent to an unknown location.

Many cookies are relatively harmless and do nothing more than use your IP address for marketing analysis. Others, however, may submit your name and address to a tracking host, allowing advertisers to target you with bullseye-like precision.

Every browser has an option that lets you delete your cookies from your computer. For example, Internet Explorer shows a gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of the browser screen. You simply click on the gear, select “Internet Options” in the menu box, and then click “Delete browsing on exit.”

Connecting Securely Online

Yes, it is possible. When using an online browser, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) allows you to view webpages but doesn’t provide security. The lack of encryption enables third parties to easily intercept data that you may prefer to keep private. When you use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), you enjoy secure transmissions. Not all websites support this function, but it can provide more web privacy when you visit sites that do.

Steps To Protect

So how can you use this information to keep your sensitive data from becoming vulnerable? Here are the main takeaways:
• Get a VPN. Secure your home and travel networks with VPN software. It makes blocking suspicious activity easy and can protect your computer from becoming damaged.
• Use a password manager. This is a great tool for creating and storing hard-to-break passwords. You can find free password managers online, coupled with antivirus software.
• Install antivirus and firewall software that doesn’t flag false detections.
• Accept free security updates from your software manufacturer.
• Remove cookies from your browser.
• Use HTTPS for encrypted security on sites that support it.

With a little security know-how and the right tools for the job, you’ll be well-equipped to protect even your most sensitive and valuable data. Don’t live in fear of hackers and malware. Let your software manufacturer be your safety net, and browse with peace of mind!

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New Insights From McAfee’s Survey Around Remote Work https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/insights-from-mcafees-survey-around-remote-work/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/insights-from-mcafees-survey-around-remote-work/#respond Fri, 12 Jun 2020 15:00:32 +0000 /blogs/?p=101844

The last few months have brought about a lot of change for all of us. Due to social distancing, companies across the world saw a huge increase in the number of people working remotely over the last few months. So as countries now start to relax social distancing and organizations consider shifting back to previous in-office work […]

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The last few months have brought about a lot of change for all of us. Due to social distancing, companies across the world saw a huge increase in the number of people working remotely over the last few months. So as countries now start to relax social distancing and organizations consider shifting back to previous in-office work environments, McAfee took a look into how this change affects the number of remote workers. Will people return to work quickly, or will remote working continue on? Let’s take a look at how remote work trends have evolved in the U.S. over the past few months. 

The Evolution of Remote Work   

As lockdown began in March, the US saw a huge increase as people moved to work from home, with a 9% increase in the amount of remote connections to our apps compared to the previous month. Now, as parts of the U.S. starts to reopen, we’re tracking these remote connections to see if people are returning to work. So far, it looks like people aren’t rushing back to the office from home, with just a 0.3% decrease in remote connections this week compared to last week. What’s the big deal if more people work from home, anyways? 

One answer: many organizations see employees returning to corporate offices as a necessity, especially from a security standpoint. Nearly half of employees say that their company isn’t currently responsible for securing their devices while they’re at home. This is likely correlated to the increase in the number of online attacks employees have reported over the past three months. In fact, a recent McAfee report shows that threats to enterprises increased by 630% over the same period, with most attacks targeting collaboration services that enable remote work. 

Security Implications Around Remote Work

While many employers are anxious to have their team return to the officea new study from McAfee revealed that 47% of employees do not want to go back to working how they were previously. Additionally, 21% stated that they intend to remain at home for as long as possible 

While it’s clear that consumers are doing their best to embrace their current work environment, both the employee and employer must take the various security implications around remote work into account. Companies must ensure that tools are set up so that they can keep all employees’ applications and systems up to date, patched, and monitored for any issues that may arise. By doing more to protect their employees remotely, businesses will be able to reap the benefits of a happier workforce and greater business continuity.  

Although many users may be unsure of whether they will continue to commute to the kitchen table or their corporate office, there are several security tips to keep in mind in the interim to help enable remote work. Check out the following tips to safeguard your work from home environment: 

Be cautious of correspondence asking you to act

You must stay vigilant if you receive an email or text asking you to take a certain action or download software. Avoid clicking on anything within the message. Instead, go straight to the organization’s website to prevent malicious content from phishing links.  

 Keep infrastructure up to date

With an ongoing trend of vulnerabilities in consumer devices like home routers or smart home products, you should be regularly reminded to update such devices. 

Browse with security protection

Use comprehensive security protection, likeMcAfee Total Protection, which can help protect devices against malware, phishing attacks, and other threats. It includes McAfee WebAdvisor which can help identify malicious websites. 

Stay Updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Homeon Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook. 

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The Future of Work: How Technology & the WFH Landscape Are Making an Impact https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/the-future-of-work-technology-and-the-wfh-landscape/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/the-future-of-work-technology-and-the-wfh-landscape/#respond Wed, 10 Jun 2020 20:12:51 +0000 /blogs/?p=101826

Over the past few months, the American job market has seen a lot of change. Employees made the transition from commuting into an office every day to working from home. Some people lost work or experienced reduced hours, and the unemployment rate in the U.S. has jumped to 13.3% as of May 2020. However, new challenges breed new opportunities, and there are some jobs that are […]

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Over the past few months, the American job market has seen a lot of change. Employees made the transition from commuting into an office every day to working from home. Some people lost work or experienced reduced hours, and the unemployment rate in the U.S. has jumped to 13.3% as of May 2020. However, new challenges breed new opportunities, and there are some jobs that are flourishing amid these uncertain times. What’s more, these challenges are paving a new path for the future of work and how prospective employees look for new job opportunitiesLet’s take a look. 

Jobs on the Rise

While some industries have experienced a downturn due to the pandemicothers have experienced a huge increase in demand as a result. All of them have one thing in common: they directly impact consumers’ key needs during this time.  

Essential Industries

Of course, healthcare is top of mind for us all right now, so it’s not surprising that the demand for healthcare workers and pharmacy workers has steadily increased. For example, CVS is hiring 50,000 employees and Walgreens is looking to fill 25,000 permanent and temporary positions. 

To keep up with the increase in demand for home eatingmajor grocery chains are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staffAdditionally, Instacart is looking to hire 300,000 contract workers over the next three months. 

Tech

Beyond physical needs, humanity’s need to remain connected – both socially and professionally  has driven demand within the tech industry. With more users working from home than ever before, the need for dependable telecommunications software has never been greater. While telecommunication has already experienced a 44% increase over the past 5 years, thcurrent need for video conferencing platforms, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration services will only further facilitate this growth. With the increase in remote work, many employees found themselves helplessly fumbling with laptops and other equipment. So, its unsurprising that tech support jobs are on the rise as well. With physical call centers and operation centers shut down, companies still need agents to take customer and technical support calls.  

Security

As more employees telecommute, unprecedented stress has been placed on virtual private networks (VPNs) and other systems securing remote work arrangements. As a result, some security jobs have seen a 20% surge in demand. As businesses begin to emerge from the global lockdown, it’s likely that the need for security talent will become even more apparent as businesses look for the safest way to resume business operations. 

As the demand for security jobs has recently increased, so has the security skills gap. To guarantee that an organization’s business can continue, organizations must ensure that VPNs, network devices, and other devices being used in the remote environment are updated with the latest software patches and security configurations. Additionally, networks must be constantly monitored to prevent hackers from accessing the organization’s VPN connection. To do this, however, requires a skilled security workforce that can be hard to come by due to the ever-increasing demand. If organizations wish to close the skills gap, they will need to look beyond the typical graduate talent pool and see the value in other forms of security education such as internships. 

 How to Stay Secure While Job Hunting

Hackers know that everyone is spending more time online. They also know that many Americans have recently been laid off and are looking for new jobs, leading to a surge of fake job scams. According to Forbes, the Better Business Bureau has reported more than 13,000 job listing scams in North America alone since December. Users searching for jobs online must proceed with caution and look out for suspicious job postings disguised as real businesses to protect their personal data. 

So, if you’re looking to change career paths during this time or are on the hunt for a new job, follow these tips to protect your security and personal data.  

Go directly to the source

If you come across a job posting that seems suspicious, go directly to the business’ career page to verify that the listing is real. Likewise, beware of any so-called recruiters who reach out offering you a job that seems too good to be true. Be skeptical of emails, phone calls, or text messages claiming to be from organizations with peculiar asks as well.  

Hover over links to see and verify the URL

If someone claiming to be from an organization sends you a message with a link, hover over the link without actually clicking on it. This will allow you to see a link preview. If the URL looks suspicious, don’t interact with it and delete the message altogether. 

Beware of what you share

If you get what appears to be a suspicious request from a recruiter, an HR representative, a friend, or family member, verify the message with that person directly before opening or responding. Remember that an employer will never request sensitive information such as social security numbers or bank routing numbers over email or text. 

Stay Updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook. 

 

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Does PC Cleaning Improve Performance? https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/does-pc-cleaning-improve-performance/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/does-pc-cleaning-improve-performance/#respond Wed, 03 Jun 2020 20:56:17 +0000 /blogs/?p=101693 PC ,tablet and device performance

If you would like to maintain or restore the performance of your PC, cleaning it is a task you don’t want to overlook. In addition to boosting the speed of your PC, cleaning it on a regular basis also helps protect your personal information and identity from criminals. Cleaning your PC frees up storage space […]

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PC ,tablet and device performance

If you would like to maintain or restore the performance of your PC, cleaning it is a task you don’t want to overlook. In addition to boosting the speed of your PC, cleaning it on a regular basis also helps protect your personal information and identity from criminals.

Cleaning your PC frees up storage space so that you can install more programs or save pictures, sound files and movies. Clean your computer at least once per month for the best possible results. If you have not cleaned your PC in a while, you will be surprised to notice how much faster it runs. This guide explains the basics and points you in the right direction.

What Is PC cleaning?

Over time, the files you store on your computer begin taking up space. Especially your C drive might be gradually filling up due to backup files, hidden files and temporary files. You should even consider PC cleaning on a new computer because new PCs often come with pre-installed programs you don’t need. In simple terms, PC cleaning involves removing unneeded files from your computer when you want extra storage space and increased performance.

Are you using all programs on your PC?

Remove unwanted programs by going to the programs and features section of your control panel. Go through the list and make a note of the programs you don’t use. For the programs you don’t recognize, perform a quick search at the internet to get insights if you really want to delete these programs. After you finished the list, the window prompt will explain everything you need to do. It should not take too long to remove the programs depending on their size. In addition to removing unneeded programs, you can even use the disk cleanup utility to remove temporary files.

Cleaning up temporary files

Temporary files include internet cookies and partially downloaded programs that you never installed on your machine. Internet cookies contain information you enter on websites and images from sites you visit. The main purpose of these cookie is to identify users and possibly prepare customized pages or to save information. The benefit for you is that you don’t need to enter your login information each time you visit a website. Also, web pages and online media you have visited online are stored in the cache of your browser. Doing so speeds up the web browsing experience the next time you visit the same site again. Also, applications which consume large amounts of data as Microsoft Word are creating temporary files to store and save information as you go along.

The Importance of PC cleaning

Your PC saves files from the websites you visit and stores them on your hard drive. Unless you remove those files, they add up over time and begin taking a lot of space on your computer. Lots of people install programs on their PCs and never remove the programs after they stop using them, and they lose a lot more space than they might think. Cleaning your PC often is a good way to protect yourself from that pitfall.

Does Deleting Stuff From Your Computer Make It Faster?

Although many people assume deleting files from their hard drive is enough to increase the speed of their computers, it does not have the impact they expect. In fact, your temporary internet files can increase the speed at which websites load. Since temporary internet files contain images and other media files from the websites you visit, your computer won’t have to download them each time you visit the websites. You should still delete your temporary files on occasion to free disk space.

Remove Startup Items

Some programs you download onto your PC automatically start when you turn it on. Automatic startup processes work well for programs your computer needs to run at its best, but having too many startup items slows your computer down. To change which apps run automatically at the startup, select the Start button. From there, navigate via Task Manager to Startup. Select the app you want to change, then select Disable so it doesn’t run when restarting your computer.

Factors to Keep in Mind When Cleaning Your PC

While you don’t face much risk when you delete temporary internet files, deleting the wrong programs or removing certain startup items can harm your PC. Therefore, start by removing temporary files and reducing the amount of startup items to see if that improves the performance of the PC. If you are deleting programs, make sure you know what you are deleting so that you don’t run into problems along the way.

Clean up sensitive files

When you delete files from the recycle bin, they are not really deleted. The files on your computer point to the part of your hard drive that stores the file, and your hard drive retrieves the file when you open it.

Deleting files only removes the pointer, so the file itself remains on your system for a while. Use a file shredder to erase data by overwriting the space with pattern of 1’s and 0’s. This won’t improve performance, but file shredding does help to keep us in compliance with the law and to prevent identity theft. With a PC cleaner, these files are then removed from your hard drive.

Use a PC cleaner

You can save time and avoid problems by using a proven PC cleaner to remove unwanted and temporary files from your PC. With an effective PC cleaner, you can reach your goals in no time and never have to worry about deleting the wrong file. McAfee Total Protection is an antivirus software that comes with a PC cleaner and a file shredder. The PC cleaner deletes temporary internet files and broken shortcuts, and it removes unneeded registry keys that you don’t need.

Final Thoughts

Your computer’s performance depends on regular maintenance to stay at its best. Failing to maintain your PC results in slower performance and other issues you want to avoid. Use the steps from this guide to clean your computer and boost performance, or you can save time by using a PC cleaner to keep your PC safe and running well for as long as possible, and you will be thrilled with the results.

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Safeguarding Connectivity: The Security Implications of Telecoms https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/security-implications-of-telecoms/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/security-implications-of-telecoms/#respond Mon, 01 Jun 2020 22:34:32 +0000 /blogs/?p=101645

Telecommunications, the exchange of information by electronic means, helps keep the world connected. You can thank modern telecom companies (think AT&T, Verizon, etc.) for that, as they’ve helped form economies and entire business infrastructures. From email and messaging to phone calls and video calls, telecoms have become an intrinsic part of our lives, allowing users […]

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Telecommunications, the exchange of information by electronic means, helps keep the world connected. You can thank modern telecom companies (think AT&T, Verizon, etc.) for that, as they’ve helped form economies and entire business infrastructures. From email and messaging to phone calls and video calls, telecoms have become an intrinsic part of our lives, allowing users to interact no matter where they are, which is important now more than ever.

Because their networks are so extensive, telecoms are a big target for hackers hoping to gain access to their business and wide customer base. Therefore, it’s important both businesses and consumers become aware of the potential threats to telecoms. Let’s take a look.

The Challenges Faced by Telecoms

While advancements in technology help improve many facets of our everyday lives, they’ve consequentially created challenges for telecoms when it comes to their security. Take the internet of things, for example. From virtual assistants to smartphones, IoT devices help us complete tasks more efficiently and live our lives to the fullest while on-the-go. But as users become more reliant on IoT devices, these gadgets become an equally enticing target for hackers to exploit. Whether it’s gathering personal data from smart devices connected to users’ home networks or accessing corporate data from a remote employee’s laptop, security around IoT is a huge focus for telecoms companies.

AI has also created a huge shift in how businesses operate, and the telecoms industry is no exception. While many telecoms are using AI to improve their security defenses, criminals are also using AI as a means to breach corporate networks – essentially fighting fire with fire.

The Security Risks Impacting Telecoms

Businesses, consumers, government agencies, and even whole countries rely on telecoms companies, so a security attack on one could have serious ramifications. Telecoms companies are finding themselves under fire for two specific types of attacks – one that aims to gain access to their organization, network operations, and data, and another that indirectly targets the company’s subscribers. But what exactly do the repercussions of these attacks entail?

While the prior could lead to a loss of valuable company information and impacted reputation, the latter could lead to a variety of damages. Say a hacker was somehow able to bypass a telecoms company’s security system through an advanced attack and gain access to its customer database – they could then be able to indirectly exploit customers’ mobile devices. Since many users often autosave private information like online account credentials and credit card information for mobile shopping, a hacker could consequentially use this information to conduct credit card fraud or identity theft.

Adding to that, some malware strains have been tailored to attack telecoms. According to ZDNet, Trickbot malware has been updated with a module that uses brute force attacks against a handful of specific targets – one of them being telecoms. The malware pre-selects targets based on IP addresses, indicating that the attackers are going after them specifically. Once Trickbot gains access, the criminals behind the attack can move around the network to steal credentials, sensitive information, and more.

How Telecom Security Can Be Improved

As the gatekeepers for vast amounts of information traveling through its networks, telecoms must prioritize the security of their infrastructures by staying up-to-date on the rapidly evolving security landscape. However, the responsibility of security falls on both the service provider and the consumer. So, what can you do to protect yourself from any telecom-related threats? Start by following these tips:

Use a virtual private network (VPN)

Use a VPN, which allows you to send and receive data across a public network as if it were a private network. A VPN encrypts – or scrambles – your information so others can’t read it, helping to safeguard your data.

Monitor your online accounts

Use ID monitoring tools to be aware of changes or actions that you did not make. These may have been caused by malware and could indicate that your phone or account has been compromised.

Update your software

Developers are always actively working to identify and address security issues. Frequently update your device’s operating systems and apps so that they have the latest fixes and security protections.

Defend your devices with security software

Comprehensive security software across all devices continues to be a strong defensive measure to protect your data and privacy from online threats.

Stay Updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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The Power of Convergence https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/the-power-of-convergence/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/the-power-of-convergence/#respond Fri, 29 May 2020 18:08:45 +0000 /blogs/?p=101632

This blog was written by Rodman Ramezanian, Pre-Sales Security Engineer at McAfee In cybersecurity, integration has become a near-obligatory requirement for organisations considering new products. They want to know new products will complement existing investments to collectively produce more effective and efficient solutions. But as of late, the term convergence has emerged as another key […]

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This blog was written by Rodman Ramezanian, Pre-Sales Security Engineer at McAfee

In cybersecurity, integration has become a near-obligatory requirement for organisations considering new products. They want to know new products will complement existing investments to collectively produce more effective and efficient solutions.

But as of late, the term convergence has emerged as another key capability and expectation of technology platforms.

I’d like to explore how these terms differ and how those differences will shape security outcomes in the future.

Definitions

Let’s start with a stone-cold definition. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

  • Integrate means “to end the segregation of and bring into equal membership in society or an organisation”
  • Converge means “to come together and unite in a common interest or focus”

Are we splitting hairs here? Are they much of a muchness?

These days, integration typically refers to the establishment of a common communication channel or route between disparate solutions to solve a particular challenge – usually to enable data sharing of some sort. Standard examples we hear sound like, “we’ve integrated this tool with that platform via API/Syslog/PowerShell” or various other methods.

Convergence approaches things differently by consolidating features and capabilities onto a common scalable architecture and platform. To take a common example from daily life (nowadays, anyway), converged networks such as Cisco WebEx, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams to name just a few, amalgamate voice, video, and data services within a unified infrastructure.

Convergence aims to deliver the following benefits:

  • Lower costs and complexity

* Consolidating vendors and technology stacks should reduce licensing and operational costs, as well as management overhead

  • Enabling new digital business scenarios

* Apps, services, APIs, and data shareable to partners and contractors with lower risk exposure.

  • Ease of use/transparency

* Avoiding app bloat, fewer agents per device, consistency of experience regardless of user location or device

  • Centralisation

* Cloud-based centralised management with distributed policy enforcement and decision making

While these benefits may not come as a surprise to some, many could argue that integration could very well yield the same outcomes and thus, the differences are negligible. Let’s take a moment to walk through a real-world example to show the contrast between the two.

Challenges and Benefits

It may be helpful to elaborate with examples to highlight just some challenges typically faced with integrations.

Let’s consider an organisation that wants to improve its security attentiveness and overall posture by blocking access to websites and Cloud services based on business risk, not just standard reputational checks. In this given scenario, let’s assume the organisation has mandated that its lines of business must ensure Cloud services being used must store their data encrypted when at rest.

In order to achieve this from a workflow perspective, they would need to integrate the business risk attributes for a given website (such as whether or not data at rest is encrypted) from a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) solution, along with the content filtering and blocking capabilities from a Secure Web Gateway (SWG) solution. Usually, this would be done via custom API integration; assuming that no further re-architecture work or implementation of data sharing platforms is needed.

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Considering this, ask yourself what happens if/when:

  • The API is changed during an upgrade?
  • The SWG appliance requires a patch or version upgrade?
  • The personnel who wrote or implemented the integration leave the organisation?
  • Credentials and/or certificates used to authenticate between the solutions need to be refreshed?
  • The connection between the solutions breaks down, is the customer ultimately responsible for restitching the products together? Or are the respective vendors then called into action?

Now, let’s reflect on the benefits we mentioned earlier. Complexity goes out the window the moment we begin to mention bespoke integration via coding and credential/certificate management. Version control for the code, along with the dependence on version specific APIs, draw out more complexity as change management for each iteration of the configuration needs to be tested. In addition, we need to consider the additional complexity brought by the need to open up firewall ports between the various components involved to make this integration work.

Centralised management and enforcement don’t exist as the two solutions and their ontologies don’t align. That is, a risk attribute for a Cloud service in the CASB product cannot be natively stored in the SWG as its ontology lacks this concept. This means that they must resort to a common lower value ontology which is common across the two – in this case, the URL. The resultant integration means a dumbed-down list of URLs must be used. This list would be routinely and regularly pushed from the CASB to a list within the SWG. At that point, its accuracy and timeliness become highly dependent on the synchronisation and polling period between the two products.

With this, ease of use diminishes as attrition in personnel brings about lost institutional knowledge and know-how unless knowledge is transferred or sufficiently documented. Also, in the event of an incorrect block on a website, troubleshooting would become troublesome.

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We could simplify this integration and remove some of the barriers mentioned above were we to use a Cloud-delivered SWG – however challenges such as different ontology, API management, credential management and integration testing remain unchanged.

So then, how does one go from integration to convergence? The answer is simple – acceptance of the need to change the approach and a willingness to get it done.

In order to adequately address the use case at hand, the technologies involved need to come together to ultimately become one. While this seems like something that could be blurred in a Cloud-delivered offering through converging parts of the UI with microservices from both products, doing so would technically fall into the integration bucket as ontologies and UI/UX remain different and would lack simplification. So, what would it take to converge CASB and SWG solutions?

  • Merging ontology – Bringing both CASB and SWG elements together. An example of this may be, using the same Cloud “Service Group” object in both solutions
  • Leveraging common capabilities – It doesn’t just stop with ontology. The solutions need to merge other components such as incident management, logging, dashboards, policy definitions, user authentication, etc. This convergence would not only improve the end user experience, but also reduce future technical debt in maintaining overlapping capabilities and components
  • Refactoring UI/UX – Rethinking and re-working the user experience to bring about the simplest flow to achieve the converged use cases
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In the figure below, we have a policy example that creates a grouping of all high-risk Cloud services, current and future, that can be used as a restriction for web access. The result is that any high-risk Cloud service will be blocked by the Cloud-native SWG, preventing users from accessing these services to keep them safe from accidental data loss and/or malware. All this with no bespoke integration, no polling or pulling, no scripts, no firewall rules, no credential or certificate management and most importantly, no complexity!

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Now, this is just but one example of convergence as part of McAfee’s Unified Cloud Edge (UCE) solution. Further convergence is necessary to refactor many of the data protection workflows traditionally kept separate from other enterprise security platforms.

According to an industry survey conducted by McAfee, only 31% of companies said their Cloud security tools could enforce the same DLP policies at their Devices, Network, and Cloud Services.

As part of McAfee’s Unified Cloud Edge solution, the convergence of Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies and attributes with SWG and CASB technologies will ultimately lead to the unification of data classifications, rules, incidents, workflows, and so much more across Devices, Networks, and Cloud environments.

Final thoughts

Blended threats require a blended security response. Converging security practices and capabilities creates a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts. Even something as simple as unifying an organisation’s security visibility – spanning from Device to Cloud – through a converged and centralised portal yields powerful gains in specific incidents and over the long run.

Converging security processes should align your security operations with your business goals and amplify your organisation’s performance of its most important functions. A converged security program protects your organisation’s key assets and helps get them back up and running faster when something does go wrong. Ultimately, converged security practices can be part of your organisation’s competitive advantage.

If you’d like to discuss any of the points covered here, or more specifically McAfee’s converged security solutions in further detail, please feel free to reach out to me.

* Special thanks to my manager Sahba Idelkhani for his guidance and input into this blog *

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Understanding How Bitcoin Mining Poses Security Risks https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/bitcoin-mining-security-risks/ Thu, 21 May 2020 04:01:48 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=85046 Working from home

The value of Bitcoin has had its ups and downs over the past several years, but continues to attract interest in the midst of a chaotic market. The rapid growth of this alternate currency has dominated headlines and ignited a cryptocurrency boom that left consumers everywhere wondering how to get a slice of the Bitcoin […]

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Working from home

The value of Bitcoin has had its ups and downs over the past several years, but continues to attract interest in the midst of a chaotic market. The rapid growth of this alternate currency has dominated headlines and ignited a cryptocurrency boom that left consumers everywhere wondering how to get a slice of the Bitcoin pie. For those that want to join the craze without trading traditional currencies like U.S. dollars, a process called “Bitcoin mining” appears to be a great way to get involved. However, Bitcoin mining introduces a number of security risks.

What is Bitcoin mining?

Mining for Bitcoin is like mining for gold—you put in the work and you get your reward. But instead of back-breaking labor, you earn the currency with your time and computer processing power. “Miners”, as they are called, essentially upkeep and help secure Bitcoin’s decentralized accounting system.

Each time there’s a transaction it’s recorded in a digital ledger called the “blockchain.” Miners help to update the ledger by downloading a special piece of software that allows them to verify and collect new transactions to be added to the blockchain. Then, they must solve a mathematical puzzle to be able to add a block of transactions to the chain. In return, they earn Bitcoins, as well as transaction fees.

What are the security risks?

As the digital currency has matured, Bitcoin mining has become more challenging. In the beginning a user could mine on their home computer and earn a good amount of the digital currency, but these days the math problems have become so complicated that it requires a lot of expensive computing power.

This is where the risks come in. Since miners need an increasing amount of computer power to earn Bitcoin, some have started compromising public Wi-Fi networks so they can access users’ devices to mine for Bitcoin.  Such an event happened at a coffee shop in Buenos Aires, which was infected with malware that caused a 10-second delay when logging in to the cafe’s Wi-Fi network. The malware authors were using this time to access the users’ laptops for mining.

In addition to public Wi-Fi networks, millions of websites are being compromised to access users’ devices for mining. In fact, this has become such a widespread problem, that over 1 billion devices are believed to be slowed down by web-based mining. And slowing your device down is not even the worst thing that could happen. A device that is “cryptojacked” could have 100 percent of its resources used for mining, causing the device to overheat, essentially destroying it.

Now that you know a little about Bitcoin mining and the risks associated with it, here are some tips to keep your devices safe as you monitor the cryptocurrency market:

  • Avoid public Wi-Fi networks—These networks often aren’t secured, opening your device and information up to a number of threats.
  • Use a VPN— If you’re away from your secure home or work network, consider using a virtual private network (VPN). This is a piece of software that gives you a secure connection to the Internet, so that third parties cannot intercept or read your data. A product like McAfee Safe Connect can help safeguard your online privacy no matter where you go.
  • Secure Your Devices—New threats like Bitcoin malware are emerging all of the time. Protect your devices and information with comprehensive security software, and keep informed on the latest threats.

Looking for more mobile security tips and trends? Be sure to follow @McAfee Home on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

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What is disk cleanup and does it remove viruses? https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/what-is-disk-cleanup-and-does-it-remove-viruses/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/what-is-disk-cleanup-and-does-it-remove-viruses/#respond Tue, 19 May 2020 17:27:47 +0000 /blogs/?p=101265

What is Disk Cleanup and does it remove viruses? It happens. You’re in the middle of a computing task, and your screen blinks. The blue screen (Stop Error) is shown with the message that your PC ran into an error and needs to restart. These hiccups occur when your computer’s software, firmware, or drivers crash […]

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What is Disk Cleanup and does it remove viruses?

It happens. You’re in the middle of a computing task, and your screen blinks. The blue screen (Stop Error) is shown with the message that your PC ran into an error and needs to restart. These hiccups occur when your computer’s software, firmware, or drivers crash due to faulty or incompatible hardware or software.

If you’re like most people, you want a computer that’s nimble enough to keep up with your life. When your computer is bogged down with outdated files, you aren’t able to work at an efficient pace.

While a new computer or external drive may give you more file storage space, there’s a faster way to gain usable storage space without straining your budget. This option is called disk cleanup, and all Windows computers come with a version of it that you can use to reclaim hard disk space gratis. Here are some things that you need to know about Microsoft’s disk cleanup tool.

What is Disk Cleanup?

Disk cleanup is a maintenance utility that was developed by Microsoft for its Windows operating system. The utility scans your computer’s hard drive for files that you no longer need such as temporary files, cached webpages, and rejected items that end up in your system’s Recycle Bin. Unless you remove those files, they add up over time and begin taking a lot of space on your computer.

The utility displays the identified files and the amount of storage space that each of them uses within your hard drive. You decide which items to delete by the importance that you place on the files and the amount of hard drive space that you’ll be able to recover. In Windows 10, you can reach this utility by going to your start menu and scrolling to Windows Administrative Tools to click the disk cleanup button.

Windows also has the feature Quick Clean which lets you clean up the junk temporary files from your Windows desktop safely and quickly. It also cleans additional junk files, which the Disk Cleanup Utility does not.

What are System updates?

System updates such as major OS releases, monthly patches and emergency updates have become standard for today’s computers. Most operating systems are set to download the latest updates automatically. However, on Windows devices, the previous version of an operating system isn’t always deleted when the latest version replaces it. After years of updates, you’ll often have several versions of the OS on your computer.

The disk cleanup utility allows you to remove backup shadow copies from your computer. Programs that you download to open or edit a document take up storage space on your computer’s hard drive long after you’ve completed your project. Disk cleanup allows you to locate those programs, see how much storage space they use, and remove them to free up hard disk space. You’ll find these features by selecting the “more options” tab within the disk cleanup menu.

What is Storage Sense?

Microsoft Windows 10 comes with an upgraded disk cleanup function that’s called Storage Sense. With Storage Sense, you can set your system to automatically clean up unwanted files by setting the tab to the “on” position. You choose to allow Storage Sense to remove temporary files that your programs no longer use, files in the Download folder that haven’t changed in 30 days, and files that have been sitting in your Recycle Bin for over 30 days. You can reach Storage Sense by going to the Settings menu, clicking on the Systems button, and selecting the Storage option.

What Are the Benefits of Disk Cleanup?

While you can search for temporary files yourself and delete them manually, you save time by using the Windows disk cleanup tool. You can search your entire hard disk for specific files within a matter of seconds with the disk cleanup utility. The tool also gives you greater control over which files to delete and those to keep. When outdated application files are removed from your system, it runs more smoothly and has fewer crashes.

Does Disk Cleanup Remove Viruses?

One of the most common ways that viruses enter computer systems is through downloads. A user lands on an untrusted website and clicks on a button to get a free download. The download contains a virus that goes undetected. If the application remains untouched for longer than 30 days, you can run the disk cleanup utility to find the offending download and remove it quickly. While you shouldn’t use disk cleanup as a replacement for a robust antivirus product, the tool can work in conjunction with a trusted antivirus solution to better safeguard your computer’s system, files, and data.

The Wrap Up

Whether you use your computer to work from home or to manage your household, you’ll want it to function as it should. This includes the flexibility to download a program for a short-term project or quickly process spreadsheets to share with coworkers on an online portal. These operations are greatly impaired when your hard disk is full of unnecessary files and bloatware. Using the Windows disk cleanup tool allows you to remove these files that could contain malware and increase the capacity and safety of your computing environment.

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My email has been hacked! What should I do next? https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/my-email-has-been-hacked-what-should-i-do-next/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/my-email-has-been-hacked-what-should-i-do-next/#respond Tue, 19 May 2020 17:01:21 +0000 /blogs/?p=101260 chat etiquette

Signs Your Email Was Hacked With the advent of #Staysafe and #Shelterinplace, the increase of personal email com-munication has skyrocketed. This increase has allowed clever hackers to worm their way into installing viruses via attachments as well as other common techniques. You Know You’ve Been Hacked When… Your Contacts are Receiving Messages Not Sent By […]

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chat etiquette

Signs Your Email Was Hacked

With the advent of #Staysafe and #Shelterinplace, the increase of personal email com-munication has skyrocketed. This increase has allowed clever hackers to worm their way into installing viruses via attachments as well as other common techniques.

You Know You’ve Been Hacked When…

Your Contacts are Receiving Messages Not Sent By You

Messages that seem to come from you to friends or business contacts must alert you to a severe problem on your computer. Friends may have the confidence to let you know about these emails, but business contacts or professional associates may not. Hackers can install malware on their computers through email attachments, and the intruder can find a password with an amazingly small amount of effort.

Your Online Password Stops Working

As a regular visitor to your favorite sites, you know the password that each one requires. While you may accidentally strike a wrong key and create a typo, the chances of doing it twice seem highly unlikely. Since you know that the password appears not to work, you may need to consider the possibility that someone has hacked your email.

Once inside your computer, hackers have almost a free reign to look for your pass-words. Many people create a list of passwords for convenience, but the benefit to a hacker who finds such a file can reach significant proportions.

Slow and Erratic Computer Performance

Unpredictable conduct by your computer can mean that a virus may have infected it. The sluggishness that replaces the usual prompt response that you expect tells you that you have a problem. Spyware, a malicious type of software, can track your online activity, tamper with your files, and even steal your private information.

When you consider the burden that spyware can place on your system, you can under-stand the reason for its lackluster speed. While you probably did not notice anything wrong when you downloaded a picture from a website or clicked on an attachment in an email, a virus could have accompanied it. Until you remove the virus, you may feel as though you have someone watching you, and you do.

Watching for Ransomware

A particularly insidious form of malicious software comes with an ability to make you pay for the privilege of controlling your computer. Ransomware can enter your system through emails, and you allow it to do so when you click on an attractive attachment from an unknown sender. Ransomware can lock your files and make them inaccessible. The troublemakers who put it there demand a fee to release its grip on your system.

Maybe more dangerous than other malicious invasions of your computer, ransomware carries a penalty that can completely deny you access to your files and cost you money to get it back. As a caution that reminds you of the hazard of opening attachments that can cause damage to your computer and your finances, an email that installs ransom-ware deserves attention immediately.

What Should I Do if My Email is Hacked?

Change your password

This is the first thing you must do to ensure that the hacker can’t get back into your ac-count. Your new password must be complex and unrelated to previous passwords. Al-ways use 8-10 characters with a mix of upper and lower case characters as well as numbers and symbols.

Reach out to your email contacts immediately

A big part of the hacker’s strategy is to ‘get their claws’ into your address book to hook others as well. Send a message to all of your email contacts as soon as possible. Let them know they should avoid opening any emails (most likely loaded with malware) that have come from you.

Change your security question

If you have security questions associated with your email account, be sure to change them too. Make them unpredictable and niche.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Yes, multi-factor authentication adds another step to your login, but it also adds another layer of protection. Enabling this will mean that in addition to your password, you will need a unique one-time use code to log in. This is usually sent to your mobile phone.

Scan your computer for malware and viruses

This is an essential step. Comprehensive security software will provide you with a digital shield for your online life. McAfee Total Protection lets you protect all your devices – including your smartphone – from viruses and malware. It also contains a password manager to help you remember and generate unique passwords for all your accounts.

Change any other accounts with the same password

This is time-consuming but a worthwhile effort. Ensure that you change any other ac-counts that use the same username and password as your compromised email. Hackers love when we use the same logins for multiple accounts.

Stay protected

While email can pose potential security risks, antivirus software protects your computer system from potential damage. Programs that run efficiently in the background detect and eliminate threats. Awareness and preparedness can help you thwart attempts to hack private information and let you maintain a secure environment online.

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Protect Yourself Against Phishing Scams With These Security Tips https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/protect-yourself-against-phishing-scams-with-these-security-tips/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/protect-yourself-against-phishing-scams-with-these-security-tips/#respond Tue, 19 May 2020 16:00:07 +0000 /blogs/?p=101226 Making Media #FromHome

Phishing is one of the oldest cyberthreats in the book, and yet still one of the most effective. As people across the globe find themselves taking to the internet more than ever before, criminals see this as an opportunity to release phishing attacks on unsuspecting users. In fact, Security Boulevard found a 600% rise in phishing campaigns in the last month. So, […]

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Making Media #FromHome

Phishing is one of the oldest cyberthreats in the book, and yet still one of the most effective. As people across the globe find themselves taking to the internet more than ever before, criminals see this as an opportunity to release phishing attacks on unsuspecting users. In fact, Security Boulevard found a 600% rise in phishing campaigns in the last month. So, as users leverage the World Wide Web to stay connected with friends and loved ones, it’s imperative that they remain wary of scammers looking to exploit our need to virtually communicate. With that, let’s take a look at why phishing is so effective even in 2020 and explore what actions users can take to stay protected. 

What is Phishing?

Phishing attacks occur when scammers attempt to trick users out of money or personal information, usually by email, phone, or text. With so many avenues for criminals to hook victims, phishing is one of the most prevalent threats we see today. As part of their phishing schemes, scammers often use something called social engineering to manipulate users into trusting them for fraudulent purposes, often by pretending to be a legitimate person or business. Through these phishing attacks, criminals can spread malware and other malicious content.  

The Evolution of Phishing

As new technology and circumstances arise, scammers find new ways to evolve the age-old technique of phishing. What originated as email and instant messages attempting to steal users’ credentials has since taken on new forms like SMiShing or adapted its content to hook the victim with a shocking subject line. 

Why has this technique continued to plague users since its inception? Hackernoon argues that it’s because phishing doesn’t require in-depth networking knowledge or even basic programming skills. It simply relies on human error and the lack of online security awareness, manipulating human psychology just as much as technological tools.  

Phishing Capitalizes on Emotion

Let’s face it – we’re all human. Our inherent psychology makes us quick to act on emotion. However, this is much of the reason why phishing has forged on as a favorite among hackers. Unfortunately, criminals tend to capitalize on bad or shocking news to grasp the victim’s attention, leading them to click on malicious links or give up personal data all too eagerly. Take today’s environment, for example. As businesses are faced with budget cuts and organizational restructuring, many users might be uncertain about their job security – an opportunity that scammers are eager to exploit. In fact, some organizations have recently observed phishing emails with subject lines reading “HR Termination List.” Through these malicious attempts, fraudsters use fear tactics to tempt recipients into clicking on links in emails or downloading dangerous content.  

With millions of users suddenly out of work, a lot of people have found themselves desperately looking for new job opportunities or seeking financial help. However, users should not let their guard down while job hunting, as this could prevent them from noticing the tell-tale signs of phishing. According to The Motley Fool, some phishing emails and text messages claim to offer work-from-home job opportunities, information about health insurance or Medicare, or loans or other forms of financial reliefIn fact, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported that many Americans have received texts from the “FCC Financial Care Center” offering $30,000 in relief for those who have recently been laid off or furloughed. While this might appear to be a saving grace, it’s a stealthy demise to trick users into giving up their credentials.  

Act Now to Stay Protected

So, whether you’re working from homeparticipating in distance learning to complete college courses, or video chatting with loved ones, there will always be fraudsters looking to exploit your online activity. However, there are proactive measures you can take to help ensure your security. First and foremost is using comprehensive security softwareIf you’ve never been targeted by a phishing scam, it might be difficult to envision the benefit of installing a security solution. You might even be convinced that if you haven’t been targeted yet, then you won’t be in the future. However, there’s no off-season when it comes to security. As fraudsters continue to evolve their techniques, employing the help of security software will act as an added safety net in the event that a phishing email appears in your inbox.  

Aside from using comprehensive security software, here are some other tips to help protect your online security.  

Go directly to the source

Be skeptical of emails or text messages claiming to be from organizations with peculiar asks or with information that seems too good to be true. Instead of clicking on a link within the email or text, it’s best to go straight to the organization’s website or contact customer service. 

Be cautious of emails asking you to act

If you receive an email or text asking you to take a certain action or download software, don’t click on anything within the message. Instead, go straight to the organization’s website. This will prevent you from downloading malicious content from phishing links. 

Hover over links to see and verify the URL

If someone sends you a message with a link, hover over the link without actually clicking on it. This will allow you to see a link preview. If the URL looks suspicious, don’t interact with it and delete the message altogether. 

Stay Updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook. 

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How to Stay Protected From Malware While Online at Home https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/stay-protected-from-malware-while-online-at-home/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/stay-protected-from-malware-while-online-at-home/#respond Tue, 19 May 2020 00:32:40 +0000 /blogs/?p=101222

Our everyday lives are not what they used to be three months ago. Many users have made the transition from working in an office to working from home and students have adopted distance learning. But while the world focuses on one virus sweeping the globe, criminals see an opportunity to spread other types of viruses across our networks and devices.   […]

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Our everyday lives are not what they used to be three months ago. Many users have made the transition from working in an office to working from home and students have adopted distance learningBut while the world focuses on one virus sweeping the globe, criminals see an opportunity to spread other types of viruses across our networks and devices.  

As users adapt to their increased time spent at home and onlinehackers are taking advantage by spreading malware and other scams. Let’s break down some of the major malware scams affecting users today, as well as how they can stay secure.   

Remote Workers Targeted Through RDP Ports

With recent events accelerating the WFH trend, many companies have restricted employee travel and allocated more resources to enable virtual work. According to McAfee security researcher Thomas Roccia, a key component of enabling remote work and allowing employees to access internal corporate resources remotely is Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). RDP is a Microsoft protocol that allows communication with a remote system. At a time where connectivity is more important now than ever before, it’s critical for users to be able to easily access the same tools and apps that they would in their office from their newfound remote work environmentsHowever, it’s likely that many organizations brought systems online quickly with minimal security checks in place, giving attackers the opportunity to infiltrate them with ease. Because RDP ports are often exposed to the internet,  an attacker could gain access to an entire network and consequentially, access a remote employee’s systemWhat’s more, these networks can be used as entry points for spreading malware or other malicious activities.  

Since March 2020, the McAfee Advanced Threat Research team has seen a significant increase in the number of exposed RDP ports. But what does that mean for users working remotelyBecause exposed RDP ports grant criminals access to remote systems, they are able to implement a number of malicious threats that could not only impact users working from home but also the organizations they work for. These threats include spreading spam and malware, as well as using the compromised RDP port to disguise malicious activity and compile their tools on the machine.  

Phishing Emails Spreading Malware and Ransomware

Recently, hackers have also leveraged phishing emails regarding today’s current events to lure people into engaging with malicious content and enabling threats to gain access to their systemsOnce established, that foothold can allow hackers to leverage malware to steal usernames and passwords, data, monitor user activity, capture user keystrokes, track network traffic and browser activity, and infiltrate networks and cloud services beyond the home. Criminals can also impersonate their victim to send emails from the infected devices to propagate themselves on numerous other systems. What’s more, hackers could spread ransomware that encrypts system files and refuse to decrypt them until the victim sends a ransom payment.  

Stay Secure in the New Digital Landscape

Hackers will always seek to capitalize on current events in order to spread cyber misfortune. The recent surge of remote employees and users taking to the internet in order to pass the time is no exception.  However, there are several steps users can take to facilitate a safe online environment for themselves and their families. Here’s what you can do to stay protected from malware regarding the current health emergency and similar threats: 

Secure your RDP protocol

Because RDP remains one of the most used vectors to breach into organizations and personal networksit’s important to follow best security practices. This includes using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication, patching vulnerabilities immediately, and not allowing RDP connections over the open internet. Discover more best practices on how to secure your RDP protocol in our blog on RDP security 

Beware of messages from unknown users

If you receive a text, email, social media message, or phone call from an unknown user regarding the current health emergency, it’s best to proceed with caution and avoid interacting with the message altogether.   

Go directly to the source

If you receive information from an unknown user, go directly to the source instead of clicking on links within messages or attachments. Using a tool like McAfee WebAdvisor can help users stay safe from malware and other threats while searching the web.   

Stay Updated

To stay updated on all things McAfee and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook. 

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Good Malware Protection Doesn’t Need to Slow You Down! https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/good-malware-protection-doesnt-need-to-slow-you-down/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/good-malware-protection-doesnt-need-to-slow-you-down/#respond Mon, 18 May 2020 16:25:07 +0000 /blogs/?p=101204

Good malware protection doesn’t need to slow you down! “Security software slows down my PC.” This is a comment that is often heard when talking about malware protection on computers and laptops. While this may be true for many security products, even including the security software that is built into the Windows operating system, this […]

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Good malware protection doesn’t need to slow you down!

“Security software slows down my PC.” This is a comment that is often heard when talking about malware protection on computers and laptops. While this may be true for many security products, even including the security software that is built into the Windows operating system, this is not the case with McAfee security. As a matter of fact, independent tests since 2016 have proven that McAfee is not only good at catching malware, it’s also one of the lightest security products available today.

What is malware protection?

Security software continuously keeps an eye on all the data that comes in and goes out of your PC. It does this in order to verify that there are no security threats to your personal data, privacy and identity while you are, for example, shopping online, checking your social media or working remotely.

Because security software is always active and protecting in the background many users have the idea that malware protection necessarily slows down the performance of their PCs. This idea however is likely based on experiences from long ago as certain security products did indeed have serious impacts on the user experience.

Measuring PC Performance

To measure how much impact malware protection nowadays has on PC performance, some independent test labs include performance impact benchmarks in their security product tests. The most well-known of these test labs are AV-TEST, which is based in Germany, and Austria based AV-Comparatives. These independent labs are among the most reputable and well-known anti-malware test labs in the world.

In their tests both labs look at ~20 security brands, including McAfee, and the test results show that McAfee Total Protection is one of the lightest security products available today.

Let’s have a closer look at what AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives have to say.

AV-TEST

Every two months AV-TEST publishes the results of its on-going tests of 20 security products. As part of these tests the lab continuously evaluates the latest versions of all products using their default settings and measures the average impact of the product on computer speed in daily use.

A security product can achieve a maximum of 6 points depending on the test results. McAfee has consistently received the highest score in all performance tests since May 2018:

AV-Test PC Performance

Because of these excellent test results McAfee Total Protection was awarded the ‘2019 Performance Award’ by AV-TEST in March 2020.

Best Performance 2019AV-TEST Award

Below is what AV-TEST states about the award and about McAfee Total Protection:

Only products that make a high-performance finish in the AV-TEST labs throughout the test period of an entire year can claim this proof of absolute peak performance. With the AV-TEST Awards, a security product proves not only its technical superiority. Above all, it proves that it is documented as being the best the market currently has to offer in the fight against cyber-attacks.

With ‘Total Protection’, McAfee succeeded at fielding a top product in 2019 which was able to meet the high standards of the AV-TEST Institute. In the consumer field, McAfee receives recognition for best performance and is thus given the Best Performance 2019 Award by the AV-TEST Institute. 

With ‘Total Protection’, McAfee proves that good malware defense does not have to sacrifice system performance, says Andreas Marx, CEO of AV-TEST. Hardly any other software was able to achieve such stellar results in the category of performance in the annual test. Which is why McAfee receives the Performance Award for consumer software.

The announcement of the award can be seen on the AV-TEST website here.

AV-Comparatives

Every year in April and October AV-Comparatives publishes their Performance Test Report. For this report the lab looks at 17 security products including McAfee Total Protection and evaluates how much impact these have on PC performance.

The test lab uses low-end computers as these are most widely used and more at risk of suffering from resource consumption and thus performance impact. The tests also mimic daily usage as much as possible and focus on activities such as copying files, installing and uninstalling applications, launching applications, downloading files and browsing websites.

Based on the results on these tests the products are then evaluated and graded in award levels ranging from ADVANCED+ (the highest ranking) to STANDARD (the lowest ranking).

McAfee has achieved the ADVANCED+ ranking continuously since October 2016:

AV-Comparatives Performance Impact Scores

As a result, McAfee received the Silver Award in the category ‘Overall Performance (Low System-Impact)’ in February 2020 for demonstrating a lower impact on system performance than other products throughout 2019.

And in 2020 we are off to a good start again!

On May 8th AV-Comparatives published April 2020 Performance Test Report and McAfee Total Protection is again awarded with the highest possible rating: ADVANCED+.

With this result McAfee continues to show less impact on PC Performance than most other security products and is one of the lightest security products on the market: 

 

McAfee continues to show less impact on PC Performance than most other security products. Summary

Even though good malware protection is continuously monitoring all activity on your PC and laptop for cyber threats, this doesn’t have to mean that it also slows down the performance of your devices.

As we have seen in the test results of two of the world’s most reputable anti-malware test labs AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives, McAfee Total Protection has been achieving stellar test results in performance tests since October 2016 which also resulted in McAfee being awarded by both test labs with performance awards in 2019.

And with an excellent start in the 2020 test reports we believe that it is fair to say that good malware protection doesn’t need to slow you down and McAfee Total Protection is one of the lightest security products currently available.

 

 

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McAfee Recognized on CRN’s 2020 Women of the Channel https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/mcafee-recognized-on-crns-2020-women-of-the-channel/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/mcafee-recognized-on-crns-2020-women-of-the-channel/#respond Tue, 12 May 2020 17:15:18 +0000 /blogs/?p=100907

Every year CRN recognizes the women who are leading the channel and their unique strengths, vision, and achievements. This prestigious, annual list acknowledges channel leaders who are blazing a trail for future generations. These women are from all areas of the IT ecosystem, including technology vendors, distributors, solution providers, and other IT organizations. This year, […]

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Every year CRN recognizes the women who are leading the channel and their unique strengths, vision, and achievements. This prestigious, annual list acknowledges channel leaders who are blazing a trail for future generations. These women are from all areas of the IT ecosystem, including technology vendors, distributors, solution providers, and other IT organizations.

This year, we’re proud to recognize the six outstanding individuals who have been selected by CRN to be part of the 2020 Women of the Channel (WOTC) list. Each is recognized for her outstanding leadership, vision and unique role in driving channel growth and innovation.

If that weren’t exciting enough, we’re thrilled to share that Chari Rhoades received the honor of being named to CRN’s WOTC Power 100 List. The Power 100 List is a subset of the 900+ women recognized and highlights the women who are leading their organization from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. See below to learn more about each McAfee honoree.

Chari Rhoades – Director, Channel Operations and Distribution – Americas

Chari Rhoades joined McAfee in 2013 and currently leads two teams. One team focuses on the growth and development of our distribution partners. The second team is responsible for the enablement and communications to the Americas’ partners. In 2019, Chari led her distribution team to focus on executing the plan to ensure new business growth via targeted campaigns, enablement activities and leveraging key distribution services resulting in a material contribution to bookings for the channel. Chari contributed to the development and launch of the McAfee Channel Promise that defines who the channel is to McAfee and its internal teams while articulating the value of the channel. She also led the development of an internal training to ensure McAfee’s own sellers understand the channel and how to engage the channel for mutual success.

Kristin Carnes – Director, Global Channel Programs and Operations

Kristin Carnes joined McAfee through the acquisition of Skyhigh Networks. As Director of Global Channel Programs and Operations she supports a robust partner community that represents sales for more than 90% of the McAfee Enterprise business. In 2019, she accelerated McAfee’s investment in the PRM platform which gives partners a more comprehensive, simple view of their business with McAfee. In addition, she launched a new rebate program that provides predictability and greater earning potential for partners.

Gabriela Ferado – Manager, Channel Sales

Gabriela Ferado has been with McAfee for eight years and started as a sales rep with the Latin America team before joining the Channel team where she has learned, grown, and found a passion to help partners be a multiplying force for the company. As a former teacher, sharing knowledge and enabling others is an integral part of what she does and thrives on. In 2019, as part of the Cloud Service Provider team, she extended McAfee’s channel efforts to Latin America which helped our teams understand the CSPs as another route to market

Judy Kent – Director, Global Channel Programs and Communications

Judy Kent joined McAfee through the acquisition of Skyhigh Networks bringing more than 25 years of channel marketing and sales experience. In her role leading the global partner incentive programs she has driven new business revenue through the channel and has trained thousands of partners in a pre-sales technical enablement global webinar series. In addition, in January 2020, she successfully launched a new 13 language McAfee Partner Portal. She was previously recognized on CRN’s list of Women in the Channel in 2015 and 2016, and was recognized on CRN’s list of Channel Chiefs in 2016 and 2018.

Sheri Leach – Senior Distribution Account Manager

Sheri Leach has more than 25 years of experience working with distribution partners and has spent the last 14 years growing Ingram Micro with their McAfee business. In 2019, Sheri played a key role in working with Ingram Micro and delivering a Business Intelligence program that helped achieve net new logos which was one of McAfee’s 2019 initiatives. In addition, she played an integral role in developing operational excellence and automation within Ingram Micro when McAfee implemented their CPQ enhancement. She was also tightly aligned with Ingram Micro’s marketing team on the creation of a “no touch” McAfee sales program via demand generation and product attachment. Finally, Sheri helped facilitate a creative finance program between Ingram Micro and McAfee to bring in deals that would not have been possible before.

Natalie Tomlin – Director, Channel Sales Cloud and Service Providers

Natalie Tomlin is a McAfee veteran who joined when the company was known as Network Associates more than 20 years ago. She has held roles in sales and channel sales and has been a Channel Director for the past four years. In 2019, Natalie developed strong business relationships with the top Cloud Service Providers as they helped their customers on their journey to the cloud as a de facto security provider, facilitated discussions for operational efficiencies so McAfee can transact with the CSPs in both public and gov cloud, and brought in incremental revenue from the channel.

This recognition is special and underscores the work that we’ve done as an organization to hire diverse talent, implement a return to workplace initiative to assist people who have paused their careers, and achieve gender pay parity across the company.

Please join me in congratulating these six outstanding women who are at the core of the McAfee Channel program. Their leadership and execution have been paramount to our success and will continue to help lead us onwards.

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ST19: Unified Cloud Edge with Cindy Chen & Michael Schneider https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/podcast/st19-unified-cloud-edge-with-cindy-chen-michael-schneider/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/podcast/st19-unified-cloud-edge-with-cindy-chen-michael-schneider/#respond Tue, 12 May 2020 10:00:49 +0000 /blogs/?p=100866

In this episode, Senior Product Marketing Manager Cindy Chen and Senior Manager of Product Management Michael Schneider take us through the details of Unified Cloud Edge.

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In this episode, Senior Product Marketing Manager Cindy Chen and Senior Manager of Product Management Michael Schneider take us through the details of Unified Cloud Edge.

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ST18 Chinese Cyber Crime with Anne An & Patrick Flynn https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/podcast/st18-chinese-cyber-crime-with-anne-an-patrick-flynn/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/podcast/st18-chinese-cyber-crime-with-anne-an-patrick-flynn/#respond Mon, 11 May 2020 17:42:21 +0000 /blogs/?p=100863

The head of McAfee Advanced Programs Group, Patrick Flynn and Security Researcher Anne An discuss Chinese Cyber Crime trends and operations.

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The head of McAfee Advanced Programs Group, Patrick Flynn and Security Researcher Anne An discuss Chinese Cyber Crime trends and operations.

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Why Do I Need a Password Manager? https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/why-do-i-need-a-password-manager/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/why-do-i-need-a-password-manager/#respond Tue, 05 May 2020 16:05:37 +0000 /blogs/?p=100614

Whether you’re on the internet all day or sign on only occasionally, all of us have a lot of passwords to manage. What’s more, security experts recommend we use powerful and unique passwords for each online account to prevent serious crimes like identity theft. Fortunately, there’s an easy solve – a password manager. How can […]

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Whether you’re on the internet all day or sign on only occasionally, all of us have a lot of passwords to manage. What’s more, security experts recommend we use powerful and unique passwords for each online account to prevent serious crimes like identity theft. Fortunately, there’s an easy solve – a password manager.

How can you choose a safe password?

Today, hackers use sophisticated software that can decipher all but the most secure passwords. Your pet’s name or your child’s birthday, while personal, isn’t necessarily a stumbling block for hacking software these days. Randomly generated passwords using a long and unique string of characters are simply the only answer, and password managers use that technique.

Can you safely store passwords on your computer or mobile phone?

If you keep your passwords on your computer’s hard drive, they become an easy target for hackers or scammers who gain remote access to your computer. In fact, any time you share your computer all your private information becomes available, including that master list of passwords. Likewise, when you store the passwords to your accounts on your phone, they become accessible to anyone who gains access to that device, like thieves. Using a password manager allows you to store your passwords on secure servers, away from prying eyes, hackers, and thieves.

What does a password manager do?

Let’s face it, many of us have bad password habits. That’s where a password manager can help. This piece of software creates secure passwords, stores them, and automatically inputs them when you access your various online accounts.

That’s right, a password manager can create the long, complicated combinations of characters that make a truly secure password. And the best part is that it remembers them for you. The days of using the same password for every single account are over. With this piece of software, you only need to remember one password, the one for the password manager.

How does a password manager help you?

A simple password offers almost no protection, and studies show that many people choose their birthday or numbers in sequential order. Hackers bank on that behavior to allow them to gain access to your accounts with their sophisticated software. A password manager can thwart attempts to break into your bank account, email and social media sites that can catch you unaware otherwise. The combinations of capital and lowercase letters, symbols, numbers and punctuation marks that a password manager generates make it exponentially harder for hackers to steal your stuff.

Can you safely rely on a password manager?

You may be asking what if a hacker breaks into my password manager? It’s an unlikely scenario, but even if it were to happen, a password manager encrypts your data and makes it unreadable. There are also a few best practices you can follow to make your manager even more effective and reliable. First, while using a password manager ensures you only need to remember one password, you need to make sure that password is a strong one. That means you need to make it a random mix of capitals, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Also, make sure you turn off the autofill feature on your browser and copy and paste your passwords from your manager in manually.

Using a Password Manager Simplifies Password Security

A password manager is a convenient and highly effective product that addresses all the of issues we’ve discussed in this article. It provides a single location where you can manage and store all your online passwords securely. Choose a password manager that lets you instantly create secure and complex passwords to protect your online presence from trespassers. It should also provides a security-restricted site for your passwords and let you access them from any internet-connected device. By using a password manager, you maintain a more secure presence on the web, you protect your bank account, email and social media activities from intrusion by hackers. Best of all, you gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing your most valuable assets are being protected.

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Ransomware Attacks: Cybercriminals Pinpointing Healthcare Organizations https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/ransomware-attacks-cybercriminals-pinpointing-healthcare-organizations/ Wed, 29 Apr 2020 20:33:06 +0000 /blogs/?p=100238 Cybercriminals target healthcare

No One is Invisible to Ransomware Attacks: Cybercriminals Pinpointing Healthcare Organizations   In this challenging time, cybercriminals have their eyes on consumers and institutions alike. Malicious groups have increased their targeting of hospitals and healthcare entities to take advantage of deepening resource strain. Many of these groups are using ransomware attacks to compromise hospital systems, locking up patient records or vaccine research until a […]

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Cybercriminals target healthcare

No One is Invisible to Ransomware Attacks: Cybercriminals Pinpointing Healthcare Organizations 

 In this challenging time, cybercriminals have their eyes on consumers and institutions alike. Malicious groups have increased their targeting of hospitals and healthcare entities to take advantage of deepening resource strain. Many of these groups are using ransomware attacks to compromise hospital systems, locking up patient records or vaccine research until a hefty ransom is paid. The requested sum is usually a high value of Bitcoin or alternative cryptocurrencies, as these are typically more difficult to trace 

However, unlike with old tax paperwork or private family photos, the impact of losing or mass distributing patient records could literally mean life or death for those awaiting urgent care or diagnosisBad actors count on this urgency to guarantee that their ransom is met 

Be wary of old tactics with a new twist 

The tactics these cybercriminals use can be a combination of traditional phishing and vulnerability exploitationReportedly, the WHO has seen a twofold increase in phishing attacks by cybercriminals attempting to steal credentials. Some ransomware groups have stated they will avoid targeting hospitals given the current strain on healthcare systems. Still, claims from criminal organizations should be taken with a hefty grain of salt.  

Keep your security up to date 

In the meantime, McAfee Advanced Threat Research is closely monitoring new threats that aim to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. The team has analyzed these threats based on geography, and will continue to report further findings. While these threats are not unexpected as cyber criminals always try to leverage large events to their advantage, it is disappointing to see at a time when the world needs to come together that there are those who have scant regard for the sense of community. 

Stay ahead of malicious threats 

Whether you’re a healthcare professionalfamily provideror both, here are some tips that can help you stay ahead of malicious tactics being used to attack individuals and healthcare institutions 

  • Secure your home network by checking your device passwords and Wi-Fi password. Make sure your system and software are all up to date, and take the time to perform pending updates.  
  • Avoid clicking on emails and texts from unknown senders. Be wary of any communication coming from “official” sources that encourage urgent actions on provided links or ask for your login credentials.  
  • Check in often with family and friends and be their technical advisor if needed to help steer them away from social engineering or spammy phishing. Consider using a free safe browser extension that can help steer you away from illegitimate sites.  
  • Be sure to set up robust security on devices that may now be seeing a lot more online time.  
  • Don’t forget your phone  stay protected from malicious apps and smishing/vishing attempts.

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Connect With Confidence: Benefits of Using a Personal VPN  https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/mobile-and-iot-security/connect-with-confidence-benefits-of-using-a-personal-vpn/ Fri, 24 Apr 2020 19:40:00 +0000 /blogs/?p=100056

Protect your digital life  The recent surge in work from home is likely accompanied by a corresponding increase in corporate VPN (virtual private network) usage. More and more employees who would typically be connected at the office are using these protected networks to access confidential documents and sites. To some, these corporate VPNs are simply a tunnel into their work lives. But what about the benefits of a personal VPN? What is a VPN […]

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Protect your digital life 

The recent surge in work from home is likely accompanied by a corresponding increase in corporate VPN (virtual private network) usage. More and more employees who would typically be connected at the office are using these protected networks to access confidential documents and sites. To some, these corporate VPNs are simply a tunnel into their work lives. But what about the benefits of a personal VPN? What is a VPN exactly, and why use one 

Encrypt your data 

While a home network with a strong password can help set a good foundation for your digital safety, it is worth considering additional privacy fortifications as more devices connect (and perhaps stay connected for longer periods of time)Whether it’s kids taking their classes and gaming online or parents trying to run errands remotely, we want to help you protect your digital life. 

At their cores, a corporate VPN and personal VPN perform the same functions. They encrypt (or scramble) your data when you connect to the Internet and enable you to browse or bank in confidence with your credentials and history protected. Should there be any malicious actors attempting to intercept your web traffic, they would only be able to see garbled content thanks to your VPN’s encryption functionality.  

Need for VPN 

Constant online connection is becoming the new normal as we limit the time we spend outdoors. And, as the number of devices online increases, so does the number of threats.  

With many retailers reducing their physical footprints or even closing entirely, such services have shifted online – whether you prefer it or not. Learn how to navigate this changing digital landscape with the following VPN tips and tricks below.  

One classic cyberattack is the “maninthemiddle,” especially prevalent in places with public Wi-Fi connections such as cafes or open Wi-Fi connections at an apartment buildingMalicious actors take advantage of weak network security to intercept and read potentially sensitive information such as bank login credentials or even credit card information. strong VPN with bank-grade encryption can render this attack useless and help keep sensitive data away from prying eyes.  

Which VPN should I choose? 

Not all VPNs are created equal! Make sure that the service you select meets your needs:  

Browser vs Desktop/Mobile 

A browser-level VPN acts as an extension and will only help protect web traffic on the specific browser it is installed on. While this degree of privacy may work for some users, a device-level VPN such as McAfee® Safe Connect can generally help protect web traffic regardless of browser or application selected.  

Level of Security 

It is important to review each service’s privacy terms before you decide which one to use as your trusted gateway. Some VPN services, especially free ones, implement trackers that record your demographic, location, and system information. You can sometimes refer to third party security audits to help validate these privacy claims.  

Bandwidth 

Depending on how much you plan to use your VPN, you can consider searching for services that have either limited or unlimited data plans. If you plan to consume multimedia such as streaming video or uploading large files, an unlimited plan may work better for you.  

Variety of locations 

For general use, it is advisable to let your VPN connect to the nearest and fastest server location. But, having a diverse list of countries to choose from will allow you greater flexibility if the server is slow in one location.  

Ease of Use 

Ultimately, you should choose a VPN that’s easy to use and understand. We are all embarking on digital journeys from different places of technical comfort, but consider starting with products that offer a streamlined and simplified experience.  

If you’d like to learn more about VPNs, read more here, or dive into VPNs for Android and iOS

The post Connect With Confidence: Benefits of Using a Personal VPN  appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

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Stay Ahead of Misinformation – 5 Ways to Combat Fake News https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/stay-ahead-of-misinformation-5-ways-to-combat-fake-news/ Fri, 24 Apr 2020 19:17:30 +0000 /blogs/?p=100050 fake news

Stay ahead of misinformation – 5 ways to combat fake news   Finding information in this increasingly digital world has never been easier. Our mobile phones dictate top headlines before we even get out of bed, and even our routers can perform complex searches via voice. We see the impact of this easy access on both our consumption and the sharing of information. Just as it’s easy for us to perform a quick search and send the relevant results to our social groups, it’s also simple for bad actors to create and […]

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fake news

Stay ahead of misinformation  5 ways to combat fake news 

 Finding information in this increasingly digital world has never been easier. Our mobile phones dictate top headlines before we even get out of bed, and even our routers can perform complex searches via voice. We see the impact of this easy access on both our consumption and the sharing of informationJust as it’s easy for us to perform a quick search and send the relevant results to our social groups, it’s also simple for bad actors to create and post fake news on seemingly legitimate platforms. In times of uncertainty, it is natural to go online in search of facts, or the latest update. Now is great time to brush up on your digital hygiene and best practices to stay ahead of evolving threats 

Fake news 

As we’ve learned this year, a lot can change very quickly. We all want to stay up to date on worldwide trends, announcements, or even the elections. This expanded focus on current events opens an opportunity for bad actors. Panic-inducing rumors can be labeled as sensational at best. However, there are malicious promises made via phishing scamthat attempt to hook worried and confused consumers into credit card fraud or other payment schemes. Sticking to legitimate news sources is one of the easiest ways to avoid such traps.  

Chain mail craze 

Not only should you validate your personal newsfeed, you should also hold your social networks to this sanitized standard. While well-intentioned, rumors and fake news often spread through the social grapevine e.g. “my friend saw this on WeChat” or “look at what someone sent me on Facebook.” These updates may feel more relatable since we’re hearing them from someone we know, but keep in mind that social media chain mail is often lacking in factual accuracy. By verifying what you’re see against legitimate information sources, you can help family and friends stay both diligent and in the know.  

Dear Sir/Madam” 

Phishing scams also come out in full force during moments of public panic. We’ve seen numerous spoofed emails and text messages that claim to be from local governments, hospitals, or even retailers encouraging targets to take action on urgent items. These notices range from falsified instructions for claiming relief checks to scheduling medical check-upsSome of these phishing emails may be easy to spot as fakes, but the sensitivity of the current environment may cloud our judgment. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of these messages, you can always reach out to the known institution through official channels to verify.  

Charity imposters 

One of the great things about extraordinary moments like these is the outpouring of compassion and empathy from the global community. Sadlycybercriminals take advantage of this generosity as wellBad actors have stood up fake charity sites and platforms in the name of donating resources to underserved populations or supporting researchIn reality, these may be scams, and any donations received will never see the light of day. It is a best practice to always research charity organizations before you contribute – especially now. 

Protect yourself from misinformation 

Take a look at some tips and tools below that you can use to stay ahead of misinformation: 

  • Exercise caution when taking action on emails, texts, and phone calls from unfamiliar sources. Often these messages impersonate legitimate entities or people we may know – reach out to the sender directly if you have doubts. 
  • Use a free safe browsing extension like McAfee® WebAdvisor that integrates website reputation ratings that can help steer you away from illegitimate news sites. For Chrome users, WebAdvisor will even color-code links in your social media newsfeeds, so you’ll know which ones are safe to click. 
  • Avoid websites with suspicious URLs or designs that look hastily put together. Check to make sure the site has a secure connection and starts with “https” rather than “http.” 
  • Some identity theft protection services include social media monitoring to help make sure your accounts aren’t being used by bad actors to spread fake news. 
  • Parental controls can keep tabs on kids’ screen timehelping limit their time on certain apps or sites that may be more vulnerable to proliferating misinformation. 
  • Consider using a comprehensive security suite to ensure your devices and online accounts are protected. 

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Online shopping scams – 7 ways to fight them  https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/online-shopping-scams-7-ways-to-fight-them/ Fri, 24 Apr 2020 17:35:10 +0000 /blogs/?p=100046

 Be wary of online shopping scams – 7 ways to fight them    While some of us may be quite skilled at finding miscellaneous gadgets and great deals on apparel online, relying on e–commerce platforms for all of our basic household needs is a new challenge. Many of us preferred to shop at brick and mortar retail for certain purchases such as groceries or pharmaceuticals. Now that we’ve turned online for all our shopping needs, online […]

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 Be wary of online shopping scams – 7 ways to fight them 

 

While some of us may be quite skilled at finding miscellaneous gadgets and great deals on apparel onlinerelying on ecommerce platforms for all of our basic household needs is a new challenge. Many of us preferred to shop at brick and mortar retail for certain purchases such as groceries or pharmaceuticals. Now that we’ve turned online for all our shopping needs, online suppliers have struggled to meet the surge in demand for certain goodsopening a new space for third-party sellers and malicious actors to step in. Since the beginning of the year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has already received over 8,400 complaints regarding consumer scamsand the total reported consumer loss weighs in at $5.85 million.  Here are some common scams to be on the lookout for.  

Fake Shopping Websites 

Cybercriminals are quick to take advantage of emerging trends or events.  We’ve already seen numerous fake shopping websites claiming to sell hot ticket items like cleaning supplies that may be sold out elsewhere. In reality, these credit card-collecting scams may deliver counterfeit goods or nothing at all. 

Investment Scams  

This same logic applies for investments as well. Scammers may be posing as budding companies attempting to raise capital to build medical equipment. Others may be advertising non-existent hedge funds with guarantees of high returns post-crisis. Regardless of the promised deliverable, be sure to conduct sufficient research prior to making major investment decisions.  

Miracle Cures 

As Time reports, some sites even promote remedies ranging from colloidal silver to cow manure.” Luckily, the FTC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have started cracking down on companies that issue unsupported claims about miracle cures and vaccines.  

Test Kits 

At the time of writing, the FDA has not approved the sale or distribution of any home testing kitsWhile some of these offers have come from legitimate companies that may have relationships with testing labs, most of these have since received and abided to cease and desist notices. Always reference official entities for guidance on testing, such as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) site here 

This doesn’t mean we should halt our online purchasing. If anything, some logistics companies are encouraging us to continue supporting our favorite small retailers through online purchases to keep them afloat in the uncertainty that lies ahead. With many new instances and flavors of cyberattacks popping up overnight, we can help you stay diligent and secure as you adapt to this shift online.

 Shop Safely Online 

Remember to follow the tips below to ensure your safe online shopping efforts are not in vain: 

  • Exercise caution when receiving promotional emails or texts from unknown sources, especially those that make claims too good to be true.  
  • Stay away from unfamiliar ecommerce websites, even if they’re referred by people you know. Some red flags could be nonsensical URLs, misspellings and unprofessional webpage designs. You can also use a free safe browsing extension to help steer you away from illegitimate sites.  
  •  Use a mobile security solution to help you stay secure on your mobile devices with automatic security scans.  
  • Use a VPN (virtual private network) like McAfee® Safe Connect when conducting sensitive transactions – the data encryption can help ensure your personal information stays protected from prying eyes listening in on your web traffic 
  • Consider using an identity theft protection service to help protect, detect, and correct potential breaches in personal information. 
  • Protect your purchases by looking for sites that begin with “https” instead of “http” – a good way to remember this is “S for secure.” 
  • Use a comprehensive security suite to ensure your devices and online accounts are protected.  

 

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How Do Hackers Hack Phones and How Can I Prevent It? https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/how-do-hackers-hack-phones-and-how-can-i-prevent-it/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/how-do-hackers-hack-phones-and-how-can-i-prevent-it/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2020 14:00:54 +0000 /blogs/?p=99360 chat etiquette

The threat of having your phone hacked has become a common fear. The truth is that it is possible to hack any phone. With the advancement of technology, where discovery of knowledge and information advances the understanding of technology, hackers are able to hack even the most sophisticated phone software. But how?

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chat etiquette

The threat of having your phone hacked has become a common and rational fear. The cold hard truth is that it is now possible to hack any phone. With the advancement of technology, where discovery of knowledge and information advances the understanding of technology, hackers are able to hack even some of the most sophisticated phone software. But how?

Hacking Software

Did you know that hacking software for Android and other mobile devices exists? And did you know there are countless hacking software options online for free? Hacking software is a method used by hackers to get information from a phone. Check out our 2020 Mobile Threat Report to dig deeper.

The serious hackers can buy hacking software anywhere, such as a phone Spy App, which must be installed on the target phone. Not all hackers need to handle a phone physically in order to install hacking software, but in some cases they must.

Keylogging is an approach that involves downloading a spyware app to target the phone and take the phone’s data before encryption. This type of software can be utilized by accessing the phone physically.

Trojan is a type of malware that can be disguised in your phone to extract important data, such as credit card account details or personal information. To install Trojan Malware, hackers use techniques like phishing to influence you into the trap.

Phishing

Phishing is a method used by hackers where they impersonate a company or trusted individual in order to gain confidential data. Hackers use this method by sending official-looking codes, images, and messages, most commonly found in email and text messages. When this malicious content is clicked on, the URLs can hack your phone because the link has been infected with a hacking virus or software that can take your personal information.

Hacking Using a Phone Number

In order to be able to hack using only a phone number, you must know and understand the technicalities of phone hacking. SS7 signaling is the system used to connect cell phone networks to one another, but in order to use this system as a method of hacking phones, one must have access to it. Recording calls, forwarding calls, reading messages, and finding locations of a particular device can be done with access to the SS7 system. Although, due to the level of difficulty, it is unlikely that the average person would be able to hack a phone in this manner.

SIM Card Hacking

In August of 2019, the CEO of Twitter had his SIM card hacked by SIM card swapping using the phishing method. SIM card swapping is performed when the hacker contacts your phone provider, pretends to be you, and then asks for a replacement SIM card. Once the provider sends the new SIM to the hacker, the old SIM card will be deactivated, and your phone number will be stolen. This means the hacker has taken over your phone calls, messages, etc. This method of hacking is relatively easy if the hacker can convince the provider that they are you. Keeping personal details to yourself is an important part of ensuring that hackers cannot pretend to be you.

AdaptiveMobile Security discovered a new way hackers were getting into phones using the SIM card—a method they call Simjacker. This way of hacking is more complex than phishing as it targets a SIM card by sending a signal to the target device. If the message is opened and clicked on, hackers are able to spy on the hacked device and even find out the location of the device.

Bluetooth Hacking

Professional hackers can use special software products to search for vulnerable mobile devices with an operating Bluetooth connection. These types of hacks are done when a hacker is in range of your phone, usually in a populated area. When hackers are connected to your Bluetooth, they have access to all of the information available and the internet connection to access the web, but the data must be downloaded while the phone is within range.

Prevent you become a victim of phone hacking

There are many different ways a hacker can get into your phone and steal personal and critical information. Here are a few tips to ensure that you are not a victim of phone hacking:

1. Keep Your Phone in Your Possession

The easiest way for a hacker to steal your phone’s information is to gain access to it — therefore, it is always important to keep your phone in your possession. If you have been away from your phone around a group of strangers and are concerned about possible hacking, check your settings and look for strange apps.

2. Encrypt Your Device

Encrypting your cell phone can save you from being hacked and can protect your calls, messages, and critical information. To check if a device is encrypted: iPhone users can go into Touch ID & Passcode, scroll to the bottom, and enable Data protection. Android users have automatic encryption depending on the type of phone.

3. SIM Card Locking

Putting a passcode on your SIM card can protect it from being hacked. Setting this code can be done on an iPhone by going to Settings > Cellular > SIM PIN. Enter your existing PIN to enable the lock. Android users can go to Settings > Lock screen and Security > Other security settings > Set up SIM card lock. Here you can enable the option to lock your SIM card.

4. Turn Off WIFI and Bluetooth

It is fairly easy for hackers to connect to your phone using WIFI or Bluetooth, so turn them off when not needed because there is no warning when a hacker attacks you. If you fear being hacked in a public space, turning off your phone can block a hacker’s ability to hack you — this is an effective preventative method.

5. Use Security Protection

Protecting your device from spyware can be done for free and simply through A Mobile Security app on an iPhone and Android can help protect cell phones from hackers. McAfee Total Protection—helps protect against cyber threats and includes McAfee WebAdvisor — to help identify malicious websites you should watch out for.

Stay protected

Making a point to understand how hacking works can help you practice security in your every day life. Know how to be prepared for being hacked, so that when it happens you can be on top of how to handle it.

 

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What is Data Privacy and How Can I Safeguard It? https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/what-is-data-privacy-and-how-can-i-safeguard-it/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/what-is-data-privacy-and-how-can-i-safeguard-it/#respond Wed, 01 Apr 2020 14:00:00 +0000 /blogs/?p=99362 PC ,tablet and device performance

There is certain information that is important to keep to yourself. If a stranger asks for your first name, you are likely to tell them. But if a stranger asks for your bank account number, you are unlikely to tell them. Data privacy works in the same way, if the piece of data or information is of high importance, it should be handled as such.

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PC ,tablet and device performance

There is certain information that is important to keep to yourself. If a stranger asks for your first name, you are likely to tell them. But if a stranger asks for your bank account number, you are unlikely to tell them. Data privacy works in the same way, if the piece of data or information is of high importance, it should be handled as such.

What data is considered private?

Technology has made it easy for data to be breached and get into the wrong hands. Data privacy is important for personal information and even more for special categories of personal data, that includes:

  • Social Security numbers
  • Medical records
  • Race and ethnic origin
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Political opinions
  • Trade union memberships
  • Biometric data used to identify an individual
  • Genetic data
  • Health data
  • Data related to sexual preferences, sex life, and/or sexual orientation

It’s important to keep even basic personal data protected in some way, including full names, addresses, and birthdates. Other data that should be protected includes, résumés, certificates, photos, employment records and social media account login credentials.

Why is data privacy important?

Someone who has access to any of your information could steal your identity, so keeping special categories of personal data and basic personal data private is important to keeping your identity safe. Identity theft is the deliberate use of someone else’s identity and is usually used for financial gain such as obtaining credit and other benefits.

Protect your identity

 Identity Theft Protection can help you keep tabs on your credit identity and personal information. An identity monitoring service should offer features such as, cyber monitoring on the Dark Web, credit monitoring, and Social Security number tracing.   

Data privacy regulations

Consumers should understand their rights to their own private and personal information. If they don’t, regulations such as the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) help data protection, privacy and address the transfer of personal data. GDPR is an updated European law that empowers people and gives them back their power over their data.

In response to the GDPR, California responded with the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), an act that broadens  privacy rights by including data access rights and a limited private right of action, which went into effect in January of 2020. Residents of California have the CCPA to enhance their privacy rights and consumer protection.

Protect your data

Knowing your rights is key to understanding how your data can be protected, but there are simple practices to protect your privacy to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.

Adopt good cyber practices

How many times have you searched for a product online and then seen ads for similar products? This happens because 3rd party apps ask invasive permissions to gain access to your data when you install them, acting as an extension of your friend. In the digital world we live in, it is important to adopt good cyber practices to help ensure your private information is kept safe. You can take control over your own security settings to limit what information is available to 3rd parties online.

Secure your WIFI network and other devices: Start by looking for WIFI gateway routers that offer integrated security to help secure your network. Criminals can easily access your WIFI network and devices on that network if it isn’t secure. Once accessed, they can steal your private personal information.

Share with care

Be careful not to share personal details and certain contact information that could land in the wrong hands because sharing personal information online can be detrimental to your privacy.

Keep your passwords safe: Keeping your passwords safe can ensure that only you have access to your personal and private information. It is also smart to never use the same password and to always use strong and unique passwords.

Looks sketchy? Don’t click: Hackers commonly use strange links, images, and messages to reach your personal data, so avoid clicking any links that could be infected.

Use security protection: Browsing with a security protection tool can help protect devices against malware and other forms of personal information attacks. McAfee Total Protection can protect devices against these threats and also includes McAfee WebAdvisor, which can help identify malicious websites.

Use a personal information protection tool: Personal monitoring, financial monitoring and recovery tools, such as McAfee Identity Theft Protection help keep identities personal and secure.

Stay protected

Making a point to understand data privacy and protection can help you practice security in your daily life. Know your rights when it comes to data privacy and stay up to date on mobile security threats.

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ST17: Secure Remote Working with Raj Samani & Mo Cashman https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/podcast/st17-secure-remote-working-with-raj-samani-mo-cashman/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/podcast/st17-secure-remote-working-with-raj-samani-mo-cashman/#respond Wed, 01 Apr 2020 00:24:04 +0000 /blogs/?p=99389

In this podcast, McAfee’s Principal Engineer Mo Cashman and Chief Scientist & McAfee Fellow Raj Samani cover how to stay safe while working remotely.

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In this podcast, McAfee’s Principal Engineer Mo Cashman and Chief Scientist & McAfee Fellow Raj Samani cover how to stay safe while working remotely.

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10 McAfee Women Share Top Career Highlights https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/life-at-mcafee/10-mcafee-women-share-top-career-highlights/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/life-at-mcafee/10-mcafee-women-share-top-career-highlights/#respond Mon, 30 Mar 2020 16:35:05 +0000 /blogs/?p=99346

Looking to reach your career best? At McAfee, we invest in your growth and development to help you get there. In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked members of our McAfee Women in Security Community (WISE) to share their favorite experiences at past and present jobs, including what they love about working at McAfee. […]

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Looking to reach your career best? At McAfee, we invest in your growth and development to help you get there. In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked members of our McAfee Women in Security Community (WISE) to share their favorite experiences at past and present jobs, including what they love about working at McAfee.

  1. “Back in the mid-2000’s, I worked for a startup company in infrastructure services. One of the most exhilarating moments was winning a five-year $30 million-dollar services deal. This one deal enabled us to move into new emerging markets, develop our position and compete with bigger service providers. When we won, we couldn’t quite believe it—it was one of those surreal moments you never forget. When I look back now, I realize I was very fortunate to have a mentor and boss who demonstrated his trust in me (so early in my career!) to pursue a deal that was very high risk to the company.” —Mandy, Director, Sales

  2. My biggest career moment has been meeting the Minister of Veterans Affairs on Parliament Hill while the House of Commons was sitting and discussing how analytics could help veterans and PTSD. When I think about what I love about my job and what I do, I’m in sales and have always been in sales. I’m a ‘people person.’ I love networking and solving customer issues. I could argue I’ve been in sales since Girl Guide Cookies!” —Eliane, Director, Sales

  3. One of my favorite career highlights has definitely been being part of the WISE Board at McAfee. I get to work with smart, diverse, global women who truly want to help each other and make a difference. Also, the people (our internal teams and our customers) are truly the best. I love working with passionate caring people that want to make a difference and keep people safe!” —Brenda, North America Consumer Sales & WISE Board Member

  4. My biggest career highlight is achieving the title of principal engineer in McAfee. I’m honored and humbled to be one of three women in PEs out of 7000+ people in McAfee. It allows me to have a broad vision of the company and a large platform to enable change and impact. I love my job because I am able to work on challenging projects and have a very supportive, diverse group that supports and empowers me to make an impact.” —Catherine, Principal Engineer & Senior Data Scientist

  5. My biggest career highlight was becoming a principal engineer! I have loved numbers since I was in kindergarten. One of my first school reports says ‘Sorcha is working her way through her math with obvious enjoyment.’ I love my data tools and I have one of the biggest and most interesting data sets in the world with Global Threat Intelligence data!” —Sorcha, Principal Engineer, Lead Data Scientist

  6. My biggest career highlight was winning Worldwide Sales Director of the Year for FY 2017, hands down! My team won 5/6 awards at Club that year. Knowing we had a significant impact on McAfee and experiencing that level of success as a team was an amazing feeling. I still feel so incredibly proud to be part of this team. Every day is different and each day brings a new challenge to solve. Sales can be a roller coaster; staying focused on problem solving for the customer helps me stay connected to the purpose. When you consider what we are tasked with protecting, it’s impossible not to feel like we are doing something meaningful.” —Marty, VP Sales Enterprise East & Global WISE President

  7. My biggest career highlight was transitioning into my current role and finishing my first year in this position by presenting at MPOWER 2019. I love being a professional in cybersecurity and helping keep people safe is something I am very proud of. McAfee has also provided me with work life balance that ensures I have quality time with my family.” —Shelly, Professional Services Consultant

  8. “I started with a simple job of web categorization and became a security researcher handling large and complex data and automation for my team. I love my job because I’ve been able to grow with it. I do a lot of research and analysis. It’s like putting pieces of a puzzle together, the kind of challenge I enjoy. At the beginning, I don’t know what the pieces are or what they mean—but as I do research, collect data, and put it all together, then it becomes something meaningful.” —Kyoko, Security Researcher

  9. My biggest career highlight has been my seamless transition into my current role and being an active member of WISE, Toastmasters and Culture Club. I enjoy the opportunity to work with different people every single day. Looking at the big picture, connecting the dots and dealing with uncertainties while helping the team stay on track keeps me on my toes. McAfee has an amazing culture with extraordinary people and getting to know them every single day has been delightful.” —Arathi, Technical Program Manager

  10. “Solving specific customers’ problems and contributing to making sure McAfee is recognized as the cloud security thought leader feels great. It’s thrilling to use my whole self to help solve a global problem using strategic thinking, technical understanding and traditionally feminine skills I bring, like storytelling and compassionate communication. The mission of protecting what matters is really meaningful to me. Second, I love my varied work—from storytelling and technical analysis (every architecture is a story) to influencing customer security executives and encouraging the next generation of security professionals. Third, PEOPLE. Thank you to all of my colleagues who encourage me, improve my results by challenging me and especially those who do both!” —Brooke, Sr. Cloud Architect/Strategist

If you’re looking for a fulfilling career with a company dedicated to helping women thrive in the workplace, check out our openings!

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Scams Facing Consumers in the New Digital WFH Landscape https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/scams-in-the-wfh-landscape/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/scams-in-the-wfh-landscape/#respond Thu, 26 Mar 2020 23:16:54 +0000 /blogs/?p=99329

With many people having their normal day to day life turned upside down, scammers are capitalizing on consumers’ newfound lifestyles to make a financial gain or wreak havoc on users’ devices. Let’s take a look at the most recent threats that have emerged as a result of the pandemic.   Fraudulent Relief Checks On Wednesday March 25, the Senate passed a relief bill that contains a substantial increase in unemployment benefits for Americans who have lost their […]

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With many people having their normal day to day life turned upside down, scammers are capitalizing on consumers’ newfound lifestyles to make a financial gain or wreak havoc on users’ devicesLet’s take a look at the most recent threats that have emerged as a result of the pandemic 

Fraudulent Relief Checks

On Wednesday March 25, the Senate passed a relief bill that contains a substantial increase in unemployment benefits for Americans who have lost their jobs or have been furloughed due to the economic fallout from the pandemicFinancial scammers are likely to use this as an opportunity to steal money offered to Americans who are facing the negative economic effects of the pandemic, as these crooks could make consumers believe they need to pay money as a condition of receiving government relief. The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning to consumers to be on the lookout for fraudulent activity as the government implements these financial relief packages.  

Map Used to Track Pandemic Used to Spread Malware

According to security researcher Brian Krebs, criminals have started disseminating real-time, accurate information about global infection rates to spread malware. In one scheme, an interactive dashboard created by Johns Hopkins University is being used in malicious websites (and possibly in spam emails) to spread password-stealing malware.  Additionally, Krebs flagged a digital pandemic infection kit, which allows other criminals to purchase a bundled version of the map with the scammer’s preferred attack method. 

Texts, WhatsApp, and TikTok Spread Falsehoods

Due to the nature of the rapidly evolving pandemic, criminals are taking advantage of the situation by spreading misinformation. As more communities are being ordered to shelter in placemisleading text messages announcing a national quarantine claiming to come from the White House buzzed onto cell phones around the U.S. According to the Washington Post, the fraudulent text messages encouraged users to, “Stock up on whatever you guys need to make sure you have a two-week supply of everything. Please forward to your network.” These fake texts spread so widely that the White House’s National Security Council debunked the misleading claims in a Twitter post stating, “Text message rumors of a national #quarantine are FAKE. There is no national lockdown.” Communication apps like WhatsApp and social media platforms like TikTok have carried similar examples of this misinformation.  

Robocalls Offering Free Test Kits and Low-Cost Health Insurance

On top of fraudulent messages floating around via SMS, WhatsApp, and TikTok, scammers are also using robocalls to spread misinformation around the global pandemic, especially as more users are at home and available to answer phone calls as a result of self-isolation. According to CNNrobocalls from more than 60 different phone numbers are falsely offering low-priced health insurance and free coronavirus test kitsAnother type of robocall asks users to sign a petition to ban flights from China. Criminals are taking advantage of the fact that new information around the pandemic is constantly being released, presenting them with an opportunity to scam users by impersonating local and federal officials.  

Stay Safe Online With These Tips

During this time of uncertainty, it can be difficult to decipher what is fact from fiction. When it comes to the potential online threats around the recent pandemic, here’s what you can do to stay protected:  

Only trust official news sources

Be sure to only trust reputable news sites. This will help you filter out fake information that is just adding to the noise across the internet.  

Don’t share your personal or financial data

Although financial relief checks are not yet a reality, know that the federal government will not ask you to pay fees or charges upfront to receive these funds. Additionally, the government will not ask you for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number.  

Beware of messages from unknown users

If you receive a text, email, social media message, or phone call from an unknown user regarding the pandemic, it’s best to proceed with caution and avoid interacting with the message altogether.  

Go directly to the source

If you receive information regarding the pandemic from an unknown user, go directly to the source instead of clicking on links within messages or attachments. For example, users should only trust the map tracking the pandemic’s spread found on the Johns Hopkins websiteUsing a tool like McAfee WebAdvisor can help users stay safe from similar threats while searching the web.  

Register for the FCC’s “Do Not Call” list

This can help keep you protected from scammers looking to capitalize on current events by keeping your number off their lists. 

Stay updated 

To stay updated on all things McAfee and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook. 

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How To Stop Phone Spoofing https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/how-to-stop-phone-spoofing/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/how-to-stop-phone-spoofing/#respond Wed, 18 Mar 2020 18:28:19 +0000 /blogs/?p=99166

How Does Phone Spoofing Work? Call spoofing is when the caller deliberately sends false information to change the caller ID. Most spoofing is done using a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service or IP phone that uses VoIP to transmit calls over the internet. VoIP users can usually choose their preferred number or name to […]

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How Does Phone Spoofing Work?

Call spoofing is when the caller deliberately sends false information to change the caller ID. Most spoofing is done using a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service or IP phone that uses VoIP to transmit calls over the internet. VoIP users can usually choose their preferred number or name to be displayed on the caller ID when they set up their account.

Some providers even offer spoofing services that work like a prepaid calling card. Customers pay for a PIN code to use when calling their provider, allowing them to select both the destinations number they want to call, as well as the number they want to appear on the recipient’s caller ID.

What Are The Dangers of Phone Spoofing?

Scammers often use spoofing to try to trick people into handing over money, personal information, or both. They may pretend to be calling from a bank, a charity, or even a contest, offering a phony prize. These “vishing” attacks (or “voice phishing”), are quite common, and often target older people who are not as aware of this threat.

For instance, one common scam appears to come from the IRS. The caller tries to scare the receiver into thinking that that owe money for back taxes, or need to send over sensitive financial information right away. Another common scam is fake tech support, where the caller claims to be from a recognizable company, like Microsoft, claiming there is a problem with your computer and they need remote access to fix it.

There are also “SMiShing” attacks, or phishing via text message, in which you may receive a message that appears to come from a reputable person or company, encouraging you to click on a link. But once you do, it can download malware onto your device, sign you up for a premium service, or even steal your credentials for your online accounts.

Why Is Spoofing So Prevalent?

The convenience of sending digital voice signals over the internet has led to an explosion of spam and robocalls over the past few years. In fact, according to Hiya, a company that offers anti-spam phone solutions, spam calls grew to 54.6 billion in 2019, a 108% increase over the previous year.

Since robocalls use a computerized auto dialer to deliver pre-recorded messages, marketers and scammers can place many more calls than a live person ever could, often employing tricks such as making the call appear to come from the recipient’s own area code. This increases the chance that the recipient will answer the call, thinking it is from a local friend or business.

And because many of these calls are from scammers or shady marketing groups, just registering your number on the FTC’s official “National Do Not Call Registry” does little help. That’s because only real companies that follow the law respect the registry.

What Can I Do To Stop Spoofing Calls?

To really cut back on these calls, the first thing you should do is check to see if your phone carrier has a service or app that helps identity and filter out spam calls.

For instance, both AT&T and Verizon have apps that provide spam screening or fraud warnings, although they may cost you extra each month. T-Mobile warns customers if a call is likely a scam when it appears on your phone screen, and you can sign up for a scam blocking service for free.

There are also third-party apps such as RoboKiller and Nomorobo that you can download to help you screen calls, but you should be aware that you will be sharing private data with them.

Other Tips For Dealing With Unwanted Calls

  1. After registering for the Do Not Call Registry and checking out your carrier’s options, be very cautious when it comes to sharing your contact information. If an online form asks for your phone number but does not need it, leave that field blank. Also, avoid listing your personal phone number on your social media profiles.
  2. If you receive a call from an unrecognized number, do not answer it. You can always return the call later to see if it was a real person or company. If it was a scam call, you can choose to block the number in your phone, but that too can be frustrating since scammers change their numbers so often.
  3. You can report unwanted calls to the FTC.
  4. Read the privacy policy on every new service you sign up for to make sure that they will not share or sell your contact information.
  5. Be wary of entering contests and sweepstakes online, since they often share data with other companies.
  6. Stay up-to-date on the latest scams, so you know what to look out for, and install mobile security on your phone to help protect you from malware and other threats.

Looking for more mobile security tips and trends? Be sure to follow @McAfee Home on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

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ST16: Top 5 RSA Moments 2020 with Vittorio Viarengo & Naveen Palavalli https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/podcast/top-5-rsa-moments-2020-with-vittorio-viarengo-naveen-palavalli/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/podcast/top-5-rsa-moments-2020-with-vittorio-viarengo-naveen-palavalli/#respond Tue, 10 Mar 2020 19:28:02 +0000 /blogs/?p=99057

McAfee’s Interim Chief Marketing Officer Vittorio Viarengo and VP of Product & Solution Marketing Naveen Palavallil team up to discuss their favorite McAfee highlights of this year’s RSA Conference.

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McAfee’s Interim Chief Marketing Officer Vittorio Viarengo and VP of Product & Solution Marketing Naveen Palavallil team up to discuss their favorite McAfee highlights of this year’s RSA Conference.

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Oscars, schmoscars https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/oscars-schmoscars/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/oscars-schmoscars/#respond Fri, 06 Mar 2020 18:20:26 +0000 /blogs/?p=99017

The Grammys are ancient history. So are the Golden Globes. And Hollywood’s best and brightest have said their thanks to the Academy, been played off, and chauffeured home with golden trophies in hand and champagne toasts in the rearview mirror. And yet, the accolades continue. That is, they continue for one of the largest pure-play […]

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The Grammys are ancient history. So are the Golden Globes. And Hollywood’s best and brightest have said their thanks to the Academy, been played off, and chauffeured home with golden trophies in hand and champagne toasts in the rearview mirror.

And yet, the accolades continue.

That is, they continue for one of the largest pure-play cybersecurity companies—because the 2020 season of industry distinctions is still well underway for McAfee.

Heading up the list of recognitions are three late-breaking citations from Cyber Defense Magazine for McAfee MVISION Cloud: Most Innovative Cloud Security, McAfee Endpoint Security: Most Innovative Endpoint Security, and McAfee MVISION EDR: Most Scalable Endpoint Security. This trio of commendations means a great deal, as the Cyber Defense editorial team is pledged to honor only the best ideas, and the best products and services in IT.

McAfee also won a coveted black crystal trophy in the 16th Annual Info Security Product Guide’s 2020 Global Excellence Awards, taking gold in the Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) category for our MVISION Cloud for Container Security offering. Info Security PG annually honors achievement across all of IT security, worldwide, making this citation a special achievement.

On the channel front, CRN has been busy with its annual tradition of list-making. They named McAfee—the device-to-cloud cybersecurity company—among the year’s best-of-the-best of device and cloud companies. Specifically, they named McAfee one of The 20 Coolest Endpoint Security Companies Of 2020 and one of The 100 Coolest Cloud Computing Companies Of 2020.

In a world where attacks and breaches grow ever more costly, the need to prevent file-less attacks, to protect the mobile experience, and to automate responses becomes ever more important. McAfee Endpoint Security delivers centrally managed defenses to meet those challenges, and then some. CRN recognizes the need to better tie together control points on the device and in the cloud, which is the genesis of the MVISION family of products and services.

On the cloud front, CRN said, “A surge in digitalization in the cloud has increased the amount of data theft in the last half-decade due to increased generation of digital content and lack of security to protect financial and corporate data.” They also called out McAfee’s acquisition of multi-cloud application and security platform NanoSec, because our new Unified Cloud Edge (UCE) offering relies on solid governance and compliance. UCE also helps reduce the risk of cloud and container deployments through definition and application of a single data protection and threat prevention policy across the device, the network, and the cloud.

Finally, McAfee is the only vendor to be named as a January 2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs). Think about it. While all vendors, including McAfee, are passionate about the work they do to help customers protect what matters most, it’s when those same customers speak out that matters most. Case in point: In this most recent Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice report, McAfee is the only vendor with at least 50 non-vendor sponsored reviews, and a score of 4.6 out of 5 stars. A special thank you to our customers who raised their voices in support of McAfee.

So, pop a cork and raise a glass with us as we take a brief moment to savor this news of multiple recognitions, because it’s you—our customers and partners—who actually are being called out in these accolades.

Of course McAfee is proud to commemorate the first months of 2020 in this way. But we’re even more proud to get back to work, to stand side by side with you, the frontline defenders who do the yeoman’s work every day, to protect the digital experience.

Now that’s an effort worthy of celebration.

Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice constitute the subjective opinions of individual end-user reviews, ratings, and data applied against a documented methodology; they neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Gartner or its affiliates.

 

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Do I Need to Hide My IP Address? https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/do-i-need-to-hide-my-ip-address/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/do-i-need-to-hide-my-ip-address/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2020 20:26:09 +0000 /blogs/?p=98995

New threats to our online privacy emerge every day, from relatively benign tracking of our activities for marketing purposes, to more invasive measures that can put our security at risk. This has led some people to wonder whether they should take steps to hide their IP address. In truth, it depends on your online activities and what you want to keep private. We’ll look at a few examples, but first, let's get a better understanding of IP addresses.

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What is an IP Address?

Think of this as your address on the internet — a location where you receive mail and other data such as webpages, images, and mesages. Your IP address is made up of a string of four groups of numbers, such as 192.172.33.1, which identifies both the network you are on and the device you are using. With these two pieces of information networks and websites can both route data to you and check that you have permission to access it.

Why Would I Want to Hide My IP Address?

Since your IP address is needed to surf around the web, it can act as a fingerprint of your online activities. Webpages may choose to store this information to learn more about you and your interests for marketing purposes. Your data can also be potentially sold to third parties without your consent, or used to spy on you if someone has malicious intent. An example of this would be so-called “spyware,” which can covertly log the sites you visit.

IP addresses are also used to restrict access to content, such as streaming services that are only available in certain locations. But hiding your IP address for this purpose is not something we advocate.

How Do I Hide My IP Address?

There are two main ways to hide your IP address: by using a virtual private network (VPN), or a proxy server. VPNs are the most common tools used by consumers to mask their IP addresses. This is a piece of software that allows you to create a secure connection to another server over the internet, so your data appears to come from the server you connect to. So, if you are in Los Angeles, for instance, the software can connect you to a server in London, hiding your actual location since your traffic appears to originate in London.

A proxy server is different in that it acts like a middleman between your device and the server you are trying to connect with. It receives a request from your device and then retrieves that information from the target server. The proxy can be either a computer or a piece of software that performs this function. It’s different from a VPN in that it doesn’t encrypt, or scramble, your information, making it less secure. That’s why we suggest that you use a VPN.

When Should I use a VPN?

There are a few scenarios when you may want to hide your IP address. The first is if you’re using public Wi-Fi, because your browsing activity might be accessible to anyone nearby. If you use a VPN, you can make a secure connection to the network and keep your activities private.

You may also choose to hide your IP address if you are concerned about your privacy on the web in general and want to make sure that there are no websites or cybercriminals tracking you.

Finally, users who want to connect with a private business or home network may also choose to use a VPN. Many businesses, for example, only allow their employees to connect to their internal network if their IP address is coming from an approved network. With a VPN, you can connect to the internal network from anywhere and you will be allowed access since it is coming from an approved IP address.

Other Ways to Protect Your Privacy

  • Check the privacy of all of your accounts to make sure they are on the strictest settings. On social media, make sure that only friends can see your information.
  • Turn off location services on websites and apps if you don’t need to use them. Unless you are using a service for mapping, or other location-critical functions, there is no reason to share your movements through the world.
  • Use complicated passwords and passphrases and keep them private. Password managers can help make this easier.
  • Install comprehensive security software on all of your devices. Try to choose a product that includes a VPN and identity theft protection.
  • When on a public Wi-Fi network, like in an airport or hotel, always use a VPN if you want to do banking and other sensitive activities securely.
  • Keep up-to-date on the latest threats, and how to avoid them.

Looking for more mobile security tips and trends? Be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

 

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Burning Man Is Coming: How to Watch out for Ticket Scammers https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/music-festival-ticket-scams/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/music-festival-ticket-scams/#respond Wed, 26 Feb 2020 20:43:02 +0000 /blogs/?p=98968

As the winter months fade and spring begins to creep up, many millennials and Gen Zers set their sights on festival season. Whether they plan on attending Coachella, Stagecoach, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, or Governor’s Ball, festivalgoers across the world anxiously begin to look for cheap or discounted tickets in the hope of enjoying these events […]

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As the winter months fade and spring begins to creep up, many millennials and Gen Zers set their sights on festival season. Whether they plan on attending Coachella, Stagecoach, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, or Governor’s Ball, festivalgoers across the world anxiously begin to look for cheap or discounted tickets in the hope of enjoying these events as affordably as possible. This eagerness, however, provides scammers with an opportunity to scam attendees out of hundreds of dollars, as well as the experiences themselves. In fact, according to Threatpost, ticket scammers have recently set their sights on wishful Burning Man attendees.

How This Burning Man Scam Works

The dystopian, futuristic festival that is Burning Man takes place in late August through early September, attracting tens of thousands of people from around the world and all walks of life. While truly an immersive experience, the festival can be quite expensive. So, it’s no wonder that burners – the nickname given to festival attendees – would be eager to find the cheapest price for their tickets. With this scam in particular, fake Burning Man concert organizers are offering passes in what researchers say is a very convincing and sophisticated effort. These tricksters have set up a fake website that closely mimics the official Burning Man site to fool visitors into thinking it’s the real deal.

How to Stay Secure

Seasoned festivalgoers know that ticket scammers are out there. But as the traps become more sophisticated, it’s vital that they know how to spot “too good to be true” deals. To avoid being burned by tricksters, follow these tips:

  • Only buy tickets from reputable vendors. While purchasing a cheap ticket from a third-party vendor is tempting, buying a ticket from the actual festival site rather than one that offers a good deal is the way to go. If not, you risk not only losing money but also the festival experience.
  • Carefully inspect any site before entering payment details. Burning Man’s official website features event history, an invitation to collaborate, press releases, archives from past festivals, and more – so make sure to scan for a variety of pages to confirm that the site is the real deal. Adding to that, be sure to also inspect URLs for suspicious characters.
  • Use payment that’s protected. If for some reason you do fall victim to a scam, most credit card companies help you get your money back in event of fraud. Additionally, PayPal offers buyer protection when paying for “Goods or Services” that allows you to chargeback, just as long as you don’t pay as “friends and family,” which means no buyer protection.
  • Monitor your online accounts. You’re never too young to start monitoring your credit! Be sure to regularly inspect your account for suspicious activity. If you do suspect your data or account has been compromised, place a fraud alert on your credit.

To stay updated on all things McAfee and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook. 

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Frequently Asked Questions About Identity Theft https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/identity-protection/id-theft-faq/ Sun, 23 Feb 2020 14:00:31 +0000 https://blogs.mcafee.com/?p=41450 senior using smartphone

Frequently Asked Questions About Identity Theft The more you know about identity theft, the better prepared you will be to prevent it from happening to you. Here are some commonly asked questions about identity theft. What is identity theft? Identity theft is when a person pretends to be you to access money, credit, medical care, […]

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Frequently Asked Questions About Identity Theft

The more you know about identity theft, the better prepared you will be to prevent it from happening to you. Here are some commonly asked questions about identity theft.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is when a person pretends to be you to access money, credit, medical care, and other benefits. They acquire your identity by stealing and using your personal information like government ID number or bank account number. Once they have this information, identity thieves can really wreak havoc on your life; for example, they can clear out your bank account. They can also impersonate you in order to get a job or commit a crime. It can take a long time to clean up the mess.

Does identity theft only have to do with stealing money or credit?

No, financial identity theft, using your personal information to access your money or credit, is not the only type of identity theft, although it is the most common. There are other kinds of identity theft identity theft. Medical identity theft is when someone uses your information to receive medical care. Criminal identity theft is when someone takes over your identity and assumes it as his or her own. They can then give your name to law enforcement officers and voilà—you have a criminal record.

What are some things I can do to protect my identity online?

  • Be choosy. Be careful when sharing personal information online. Just because a website is asking for your information doesn’t mean it’s necessary to provide it to them. Ask who wants the information and why. Also, limit the amount of information you share on social media. Does everyone need to know the year you were born?
  • Think twice. Use caution when clicking on links and opening email attachments. If the link or attachment is from someone you don’t know, don’t open it.
  • Use secure Wi-Fi. When shopping or banking online, make sure you are using a secure wireless connection. Even better, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt your data and protect your online activity.
  • Permanently delete files from your PC. Putting your files in the recycle bin isn’t enough. Your device will still have the files and therefore, are accessible to identity thieves. Use security software that includes a digital shredder to make sure those files are truly wiped from your PC.
  • Install security software. Make sure all your devices have comprehensive security software that protects all your PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones.

What are things I can do to protect my identity offline?

  • Shred. Use a cross-cut shredding machine, or scissors to shred old credit card statements, offers, receipts, etc., to prevent dumpster divers from obtaining your information and creating accounts in your name.
  • Have a locked mailbox. This will keep thieves from stealing your mail, especially bank statements and credit card offers.
  • Secure your files. Get a fire-proof safe to store sensitive documents including credit cards you hardly use.
  • Keep an eye on your bank and credit card statements. Look for questionable activity.
  • Be careful when using ATMs. When you insert your ATM card into a compromised machine or run your credit card through a phony card reader, you could become a victim of skimming. Skimming is where a hacker illegally obtains information from the magnetic strip on the back of your credit or ATM card. This information can then be used to access your accounts or produce a fake credit card with your name and details on it.

How do I know if my identity has been stolen?

This list is not comprehensive but gives you a good idea on what to look out for.

  • You receive a bill for a credit card account that, though in your name, is not yours. This probably means a thief opened the account in your name.
  • You’re no longer receiving your usual snail mail or email statements. Contact the issuer to find out why.
  • Unfamiliar purchases on your credit card, even tiny ones (crooks often start out with small purchases, and then escalate). Challenge even a $4 purchase.
  • You receive a credit card or store card without having applied for one. If this happens, immediately contact the company.
  • Your credit report has suspicious information, like inquiries for credit that you didn’t make.
  • Collectors are calling you to collect payments you owe, but you owe nothing.
  • Your credit score is high (last time you checked), but you were denied credit for a loan or new credit card. A thief can easily ruin a credit rating.

If my identity is stolen, what should I do?

Finding out that your identity has been stolen can be stressful. First, take a deep breath then follow these initial steps.

  • Contact your local or national law enforcement agency. File a report that your identity has been stolen.
  • Call your bank and credit card companies. Notify them of fraudulent activity. They may be able to reimburse you for any money lost or close any unauthorized accounts.
  • Check with credit reference agencies.  You’re entitled to one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies.  You can check to see if anyone has tried to get credit using your name.
  • Keep records. Keep track of all conversations and paperwork, the more detailed the better. Organize your data into one centralized place. This can be used as evidence for your case and can help you resolve the mess that identity theft can create.

To learn more about how you can protect yourself from identity theft, check out the McAfee Facebook page or follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter.

 

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WhatsApp Users: Secure Your Desktop With These Tips https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/whatsapp-desktop-vulnerabilities/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/whatsapp-desktop-vulnerabilities/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2020 22:46:07 +0000 /blogs/?p=98529

With over 500 million daily active users, WhatsApp is one of the world’s most popular messaging platforms. In an effort to provide even more ways to connect beyond iOS and Android, WhatsApp introduced a desktop version of the app in 2016, which allowed users to stay in touch from their home or work computer. However, […]

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With over 500 million daily active users, WhatsApp is one of the world’s most popular messaging platforms. In an effort to provide even more ways to connect beyond iOS and Android, WhatsApp introduced a desktop version of the app in 2016, which allowed users to stay in touch from their home or work computer. However, a researcher from The Hacker News recently disclosed multiple vulnerabilities in WhatsApp which, if exploited, could allow remote attackers to compromise the security of billions of users.

How safe is WhatsApp?

According to researcher Gal Weizman, the flaws were found in WhatsApp Web, the browser version of the messaging platform. Weizman revealed that WhatsApp Web was vulnerable to an open-redirect flaw, which allows remote hackers to redirect victims to suspicious, arbitrary websites. If a hacker sent an unsuspecting victim a message containing one of these arbitrary links, they could then trigger cross-site scripting attacks. These attacks are often found in web applications and can be used by hackers to bypass access controls by injecting malicious code into trusted websites.

WhatsApp Web hack

If the victim clicks on the link in the message, the hacker could remotely gain access to all the files from their Windows or Mac computer, which increases the risk for identity theft. What’s more, the open-redirect flaw could have also been used to manipulate previews of the domain WhatsApp displays when links are sent through their platform. This provides hackers with another avenue to trick users into falling for phishing attacks.

 

How to stay safe

How can users continue to use messaging platforms like WhatsApp without putting themselves at risk of an attack? Follow these security tips for greater peace of mind:

  • Update, update, update. If you’re a WhatsApp Web user, be sure to update to the latest version to install the security patch for this flaw.
  • Think before you click. Be skeptical of ads shared on social media sites and messages sent to you through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. If you receive a suspicious message from an unknown sender, it’s best to avoid interacting with the message.
  • Hover over links to see and verify the URL. If someone you don’t know sends you a link, hover over the link without actually clicking on it. This will allow you to see a link preview. If the URL looks suspicious, don’t interact with it and delete the message altogether.

To stay updated on all things McAfee and on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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How To Do A Virus Scan https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/how-to-run-a-virus-scan/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/how-to-run-a-virus-scan/#respond Fri, 07 Feb 2020 21:23:40 +0000 /blogs/?p=98494

Whether you think you might have a virus on your computer or devices, or just want to keep them running smoothly, it’s easy to do a virus scan. How you perform the virus scan depends on the software you have, so we’ll go through a few options below. But first, let’s cover a few telltale […]

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Whether you think you might have a virus on your computer or devices, or just want to keep them running smoothly, it’s easy to do a virus scan. How you perform the virus scan depends on the software you have, so we’ll go through a few options below. But first, let’s cover a few telltale signs that you might may have a virus.

Do You Need A Virus Scan?

Is your computer or device acting sluggish, or having a hard time booting up? Have you noticed missing files or a lack of storage space? Have you noticed emails or messages sent from your account that you did not write? Perhaps you’ve noticed changes to your browser homepage or settings? Or maybe, you’re seeing unexpected pop-up windows, or experiencing crashes and other program errors. These are all signs that you may have a virus, but don’t get too worried yet, because many of these issues can be resolved with a virus scan.

What Does A Virus Scan Do, Exactly?

Each antivirus program works a little differently, but in general the software will look for known malware that meets a specific set of characteristics. It may also look for variants of these known threats that have a similar code base. Some antivirus software even checks for known, suspicious behavior. If the software comes across a dangerous program or piece of code, it removes it. In some cases, a dangerous program can be replaced with a clean one from the manufacturer.

How Do You Run A Scan?

On a Windows Computer:

If you are using the latest version of Windows, Windows 10, go into “Settings” and look for the “Updates & Security” tab. From there you can locate a “Scan Now” button.

Of course, many people have invested in more robust antivirus software that has a high accuracy rate and causes less drain on their system resources, such as McAfee Total Protection. To learn how to run a virus scan using your particular antivirus software, search the software’s “help” menu, or look online for exact instructions.

If you are using McAfee software, go here.

On a Mac Computer:

Computers running Mac software don’t have a built-in antivirus program, so you will have to download security software to do a virus scan. There are some free antivirus applications available online, but we always recommend investing in trusted software that can protect you from a variety of threats. Downloading free software can be risky, since cybercriminals know that this is a good way to spread malware.

Whichever program you choose, follow their step-by-step instructions on how to perform a virus scan, either by searching under “help”, or looking it up on their website.

On Smartphones & Tablets:

Yes, you can get the virus on your phone or tablet, although they are less common than on computers. However, the wider category of mobile malware is on the rise and your device can get infected if you download a risky app, click on an attachment in a text message, visit a dangerous webpage, or connect to another device that has malware on it.

Fortunately, you can protect your devices with mobile security software. It doesn’t usually come installed, so you will have to download an application and follow the instructions.

Because the Android platform is an open operating system, there are a number of antivirus products available for Android devices, allowing you to do a virus scan.

Apple devices are little different, however, because they have a closed operating system that doesn’t allow third parties to see their code. Although Apple has taken other security precautions to reduce malware risks, such as only allowing the installation of apps from Apple’s official app store, these measures aren’t the same as an antivirus program.

For more robust protection on your Apple devices, you can install mobile security software to protect the private data you have stored on your phone or tablet, such as contacts, photos, and messages.

All-In-One Protection:

If safeguarding all your computers and devices sounds overwhelming, you can opt for a comprehensive security product that protects computers, smartphones and devices from a central control center, making virus prevention a snap.

Why are virus scans so important?

New online threats emerge every day, putting our personal information, money, and devices at risk. In the first quarter of last year alone McAfee detected 504 new threats per minute, as cybercriminals adopted new tactics. That’s why it is essential to stay ahead of these threats by using security software that is constantly monitoring and checking for new known threats, while safeguarding all of your sensitive information. Virus scans are an essential part of this process when it comes to identifying and removing dangerous code.

How Often Should You Do A Virus Scan?

Most antivirus products are regularly scanning your computer or device in the background, so you will only need to start a manual scan if you notice something suspicious, like crashes or excessive pop-ups. You can also program regular scans on your schedule.

Preventing Viruses

Of course, the best protection is to avoid getting infected in the first place. Here are a few smart tips to avoid viruses and other malware:

  • Learn how to surf safe so you can avoid risky websites, links, and messages. This will go a long way in keeping you virus-free.
  • Never click on spammy emails or text messages. These include unsolicited advertisements and messages from people or companies you don’t know.
  • Keep the software on your computers and devices up to date. This way you are protected from known threats, such as viruses and other types of malware.
  • Invest in comprehensive security software that can protect all of your devices.
  • Stay informed on the latest threats, so you know what to look out for. The more you know about the latest scams, the easier they will be just spot, and avoid.

Looking for more mobile security tips and trends? Be sure to follow @McAfee Home on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

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Leading with Cloud Security, Empowering Enterprise Innovation https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/leading-with-cloud-security-empowering-enterprise-innovation/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/leading-with-cloud-security-empowering-enterprise-innovation/#respond Thu, 06 Feb 2020 16:43:47 +0000 /blogs/?p=98462

Call it ancient history—2012. When sanctioned apps ruled the day. Shadow IT lurked, well, in the shadows. And protecting the enterprise meant locking down the cloud. Then, true to the principles of Darwinian evolution, enterprises began to adapt to the new natural order. Let the record show, 97% of enterprises in 2020 rely on the […]

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Call it ancient history—2012. When sanctioned apps ruled the day. Shadow IT lurked, well, in the shadows. And protecting the enterprise meant locking down the cloud. Then, true to the principles of Darwinian evolution, enterprises began to adapt to the new natural order.

Let the record show, 97% of enterprises in 2020 rely on the cloud for some combination of SaaS, IaaS, or PaaS solutions to power their enterprise. Which is why McAfee’s cloud-led strategy to serve the enterprise is centered on an organization’s ability to protect data and workloads, whether in use, in motion, or at rest. President and CEO of McAfee, Peter Leav, puts it this way, “We are in a new world. There is simply more. More networks, more endpoints, more users, more applications, more data, more cloud.”

SaaS solutions make the enterprise agile, whether via collaboration tools like Slack or Box, relationship management and marketing automation technologies like Salesforce, or technical management from companies like ServiceNow. Agility is the name of the game, and the enterprise that moves fastest wins the day. And with IaaS and PaaS enabled by the likes of AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, the evolution of the enterprise only accelerates.

McAfee is proud to lead at the front of the cloud revolution. Our award-winning MVISION Cloud created the Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) category nearly a decade ago. And we’ve only built on our successes in the cloud from there, including 14 seminal patents (3X more than our nearest competitor). The Analyst community agrees—It’s gratifying to be named a Leader in reports by three influential analyst firms.

We built on our leadership in 2019 when McAfee acquired NanoSec, an innovator in zero-trust application visibility and security for multi-cloud environments. NanoSec enables organizations to secure applications once and run them on any cloud infrastructure at scale. But there’s more. NanoSec also provides McAfee cloud users the latest in container security. When you add NanoSec’s capabilities to McAfee’s existing cloud security portfolio, you can see that we now bring consistent data security, threat protection, governance, and compliance to virtually every element and every environment of the cloud.

Further proof of our cloud-led momentum unfolded in 2019 as MVISION Cloud was certified as a natively-integrated cloud solution for consumers, businesses, and governments by global leaders in the IaaS and PaaS arena. Specifically, McAfee was recognized by AWS as a Well-Architected Partner for our CASB and IPS solutions, as well as a Security Competency Partner for CASB, all to offer the same security controls available in a private data center. What’s more, AWS called out McAfee as an ISV Accelerator Partner for CASB, and an Amazon RDS Partner for McAfee Database Security. Microsoft likewise recognized our CASB leadership with its integration of MVISION Cloud with MS Teams. Microsoft and McAfee also partner through Office 365 Collaboration Controls to ensure security and compliance, and our virtual Advanced Threat Defense is on the Azure Marketplace. In November, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) announced MVISION Cloud’s integration into GCP for visibility and control of cloud resources. And McAfee is trusted by the U.S. government as a FedRAMP Moderate Authorized and FedRAMP Ready for FedRAMP High partner via our MVISION Cloud, Extended Threat Protection, Cloud Value Maturity, and End User Remediation solutions. We also enjoy FedRAMP Moderate In-Process status for MVISION Endpoint on the FedRAMP Marketplace.

Still, as rewarding as it is to be recognized by partners like AWS, MS, GCP, and FedRAMP, our customers’ successes are the real story. WEG is a perfect example. The multi-national manufacturing company headquartered in Brazil currently deploys McAfee® Client Proxy, McAfee® MVISION Cloud for Office 365, McAfee® Web Gateway, and McAfee® Web Gateway Cloud Service. This unified approach to cloud helps address WEG’s three biggest cybersecurity concerns, namely secure internet access, secure cloud access, and secure intellectual property. Pierre Pereira Rodrigues, CISO for WEG, puts it this way, “Our business users have been pushing for greater cloud adoption. Rather than wearing the ‘No, you can’t’ cybersecurity hat, we strive to say, ‘Let’s figure out how you can.’” The result is proof that a business can be innovative and not sacrifice security.

Maka Guerrero, Senior IT Security Analyst at Pacific Dental Services says, “MVISION Cloud allows us to have more flexibility on the fly than any other CASB on the market. The approach that McAfee is taking to secure the cloud aligns really well with our other partners like AWS and what they are trying to achieve, and it makes sense for our business goals.” A provider of administrative support to dental offices across the U.S., PDS deploys MVISION Cloud for AWS, MVISION Cloud for Box, MVISION Cloud for Custom Apps, MVISION Cloud for Office 365, MVISION Cloud for Salesforce, and MVISION Cloud for Shadow IT.

It’s customers like these—frontline defenders of this new digital age—who are writing tomorrow’s history, today. McAfee is proud to stand at their side even as our adversary pushes the limits of an equally Darwinian transformation of the threatscape.

With the scale, speed, and agility of the cloud on our side, let the new world continue to evolve.

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Election Website Security: Protect Your Vote in 2020 https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/election-website-security/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/election-website-security/#respond Tue, 04 Feb 2020 05:01:43 +0000 /blogs/?p=98296

The 2020 U.S. presidential primaries are right around the corner. As people gear up to cast their ballots for party candidates, they may not realize that website security shortcomings could leave the U.S. elections susceptible to digital disinformation campaigns or possibly worse seeking to influence and /or manipulate the democratic process. McAfee recently conducted a […]

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The 2020 U.S. presidential primaries are right around the corner. As people gear up to cast their ballots for party candidates, they may not realize that website security shortcomings could leave the U.S. elections susceptible to digital disinformation campaigns or possibly worse seeking to influence and /or manipulate the democratic process.

McAfee recently conducted a survey of county websites and county election administration websites in the 13 states projected as battleground or “tossup” states in the U.S. presidential elections in November. According to the survey results, the majority of these websites lacked official U.S. government .GOV website validation and HTTPS website security measures to prevent hackers from launching fake websites disguised as legitimate county government sites.

Got .GOV?

You might be wondering what the significance of a .gov website domain is. Well, a .gov website name requires that buyers submit evidence to the U.S. government that they truly are buying these names on behalf of legitimate local, county, or state government entities.

On the other hand, a website using a .COM, .NET, .ORG, or .US can be purchased by anyone with a credit card from any number of legitimate website domain vendors. The lack of a .GOV in a website name means that no controlling government authority has validated that the website is a legitimate government site.

HTTPS: browse the web securely

In the same vein as a .GOV web domain, HTTPS and a lock icon in the address of a website helps establish its validity. When a visitor sees these icons, it means that their browser has made a secure connection with the website, which means the website and the user can be confident of who they are sharing information with.

This means that any personal voter registration information that a user shares with the site cannot be intercepted and stolen by hackers while they are on the site. Additionally, HTTPS and a lock icon tell the user that they cannot be re-routed without their knowledge to a different site.

How this could impact elections

Hackers typically look to carry out their attacks with the least amount of effort and the fewest resources. Instead of hacking into local voting systems and changing vote counts, hackers could conduct a digital disinformation campaign to influence voter behavior during the elections. These attacks would seek to suppress or disrupt the voting process by setting up bogus websites with official sounding domains and related email addresses. From there, hackers could use those bogus email addresses to send mass email blasts intended to feed unsuspecting voter email recipients false information on when, where, and how to vote.

Example disinformation email:

On top of that, social media promotions could be used to lure voters to the fake websites and provide them with the same false information.

By telling voters that they should register to vote in the wrong places, or merely vote at the wrong times, the hackers could misdirect, confuse, and frustrate voters on election day. This could ultimately impact vote counts or at least undermine voter confidence in the electoral process.

Survey results

McAfee’s survey of the external security measures for county election websites included Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. Together, these states account for 201 of the 270 electoral votes required to win the U.S. presidential election.

Our research found that Minnesota and Texas ranked the lowest among the surveyed states in terms of .GOV county coverage with 4.6% and 5.1% coverage respectively. Arizona ranked the highest in .GOV county coverage with 66.7%. Yet, this still left a third of the state’s counties uncovered.

Texas ranked the lowest in terms of HTTPS protection with only 22.8% of its county websites protected. Arizona again led in county HTTPS protection with 80.0%, followed by Nevada (75.0%), Iowa (70.7%), Michigan (65.1%), and Wisconsin (63.9%). Again, these “leader” states still lacked HTTPS coverage for approximately a third of their counties.

Tips to help secure your vote

So, what can citizens do to help protect their votes and the electoral system overall leading up to the 2020 election? Check out these tips to securely cast your ballot:

  • Stay informed. Remind yourself to confirm the site you are visiting is a .GOV website and that HTTPS security protection is in place to ensure that the information accurate and is safe.
  • Look out for suspicious emails. Carefully scrutinize all election related emails. An attacker seeking to misinform can use phishing-techniques to accomplish their objective.  McAfee’s general warnings related to phishing emails (e.g. here), where an attacker can create emails that look as if they come from legitimate sources are applicable.
  • Go directly to the source. If in doubt, visit your state’s elections website to receive general election information on voter registration and contact information for your county’s election officials. Contact the local county officials to confirm any election instructions you receive via email, social media, or websites leading up to Election Day.
  • Keep it old school. Trust the official voting literature sent through the traditional mail first, as the U.S. Postal Service is the primary channel state and local governments use to send out voting information.

Stay up to date

To stay on top of McAfee news and the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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Security Lessons From 2019’s Biggest Data Breaches https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/2019-data-breaches/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/2019-data-breaches/#respond Wed, 29 Jan 2020 22:44:36 +0000 /blogs/?p=98325

2019 already feels like it’s worlds away, but the data breaches many consumers faced last year are likely to have lasting effects. As we look back on 2019, it’s important to reflect on how our online security has been affected by various threats. With that said, let’s take a look at the biggest breaches of […]

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2019 already feels like it’s worlds away, but the data breaches many consumers faced last year are likely to have lasting effects. As we look back on 2019, it’s important to reflect on how our online security has been affected by various threats. With that said, let’s take a look at the biggest breaches of the year and how they’ve affected users everywhere.

Capital One breach

In late July, approximately 100 million Capital One users in the U.S. and 6 million in Canada were affected by a breach exposing about 140,000 Social Security numbers, 1 million Canadian Social Insurance numbers, 80,000 bank account numbers, and more. As one of the 10 largest banks based on U.S. deposits, the financial organization was certainly poised as an ideal target for a hacker to carry out a large-scale attack. The alleged hacker claimed that the data was obtained through a firewall misconfiguration, allowing for command execution with a server that granted access to data in Capital One’s storage space.

Facebook breach

In early September, a security researcher found an online database exposing 419 million user phone numbers linked to Facebook accounts. The exposed server was left without password protection, so anyone with internet access could find the database. The breached records contained a user’s unique Facebook ID and the phone number associated with the account. In some instances, the records also revealed the user’s name, gender, and location by country.

Collection #1 breach

Last January, we met Collection #1, a monster data set that exposed 772,904,991 unique email addresses and over 21 million unique passwords. Security researcher Troy Hunt first discovered this data set on the popular cloud service MEGA, specifically uncovering a folder holding over 12,000 files. Due to the sheer volume of the breach, the data was likely comprised of multiple breaches. When the storage site was taken down, the folder was then transferred to a public hacking site, available for anyone to take for free.

Verifications.io breach

Less than two months after Collection #1, researchers discovered a 150-gigabyte database containing 809 million records exposed by the email validation firm Verifications.io. This company provides a service for email marketing firms to outsource the extensive work involved with validating mass amounts of emails. This service also helps email marketing firms avoid the risk of having their infrastructure blacklisted by spam filters. Therefore, Verifications.io was entrusted with a lot of data, creating an information-heavy database complete with names, email addresses, phone numbers, physical addresses, gender, date of birth, personal mortgage amounts, interest rates, and more.

Orvibo breach

In mid-June, Orvibo, a smart home platform designed to help users manage their smart appliances, left an Elasticsearch server (a highly scalable search and analytics engine that allows users to store, search, and analyze big volumes of data in real-time) online without password protection. The exposure left at least two billion log entries each containing customer data open to the public. This data included customer email addresses, the IP address of the smart home devices, Orvibo usernames, and hashed passwords, or, unreadable strings of characters that are designed to be impossible to convert back into the original password.

What Users Can Learn From Data Breaches

Data breaches serve as a reminder that users and companies alike should do everything in their power to keep personal information protected. As technology continues to become more advanced, online threats will also evolve to become more sophisticated. So now more than ever, it’s imperative that users prioritize the security of their digital presence, especially in the face of massive data leaks. If you think you might have been affected by a data breach or want to take the necessary precautions to safeguard your information, follow these tips to help you stay secure:

  • Research before you buy.Although you might be eager to get the latest new device, some are made more secure than others. Look for devices that make it easy to disable unnecessary features, update software, or change default passwords. If you already have an older device that lacks these features, consider upgrading.
  • Be vigilant when monitoring your personal and financial data. A good way to determine whether your data has been exposed or compromised is to closely monitor your online accounts. If you see anything fishy, take extra precautions by updating your privacy settings, changing your password, or using two-factor authentication.
  • Use strong, unique passwords. Make sure to use complex passwords for each of your accounts, and never reuse your credentials across different platforms. It’s also a good idea to update your passwords consistently to further protect your data.
  • Enable two-factor authentication. While a strong and unique password is a good first line of defense, enabling app-based two-factor authentication across your accounts will help your cause by providing an added layer of security.
  • Use a comprehensive security solution. Use a solution like McAfee Total Protection to help safeguard your devices and data from known vulnerabilities and emerging threats.

Stay Up to Date

To stay on top of McAfee news and the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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What You Need to Know About the FedEx SMiShing Scam https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/fedex-sms-phishing-scam/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/fedex-sms-phishing-scam/#comments Wed, 29 Jan 2020 00:59:53 +0000 /blogs/?p=98330

You receive a text message saying that you have a package out for delivery. While you might feel exhilarated at first, you should think twice before clicking on that link in the text. According to CNN, users across the U.S. are receiving phony text messages claiming to be from FedEx as part of a stealthy […]

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You receive a text message saying that you have a package out for delivery. While you might feel exhilarated at first, you should think twice before clicking on that link in the text. According to CNN, users across the U.S. are receiving phony text messages claiming to be from FedEx as part of a stealthy SMS phishing (SMiShing) campaign.

How SMiShing Works

This SMiShing campaign uses text messages that show a supposed tracking code and a link to “set delivery preferences.” The link directs the recipient to a scammer-operated website disguised as a fake Amazon listing. The listing asks the user to take a customer satisfaction survey. After answering a couple of questions, the survey asks the user to enter personal information and a credit card number to claim a free gift, which still requires a small shipping and handling fee. But according to HowtoGeek.com, agreeing to pay the small shipping fee also signs the user up for a 14-day trial to the company that sells the scam products. After the trial period, the user will be billed $98.95 every month. What’s more, the text messages use the recipient’s real name, making this threat even stealthier.

How to Stay Protected

So, what can online shoppers do to defend themselves from this SMiShing scam? Check out the following tips to remain secure:

  • Be careful what you click on. Be sure to only click on links in text messages that are from a trusted source. If you don’t recognize the sender, or the SMS content doesn’t seem familiar, stay cautious and avoid interacting with the message.
  • Go directly to the source. FedEx stated that it would never send text messages or emails to customers that ask for money or personal information. When in doubt about a tracking number, go to the main website of the shipping company and search the tracking number yourself.
  • Enable the feature on your mobile device that blocks texts from the Internet. Many spammers send texts from an Internet service in an attempt to hide their identities. Combat this by using this feature to block texts sent from the Internet.
  • Use mobile security software. Make sure your mobile devices are prepared any threat coming their way. To do just that, cover these devices with a mobile security solution, such as McAfee Mobile Security.

To stay updated on all of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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Take Action This Data Privacy Day https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/data-privacy-day-2020/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/data-privacy-day-2020/#respond Tue, 28 Jan 2020 14:00:26 +0000 /blogs/?p=98291

We all know that data breaches have been on the rise, and hackers are finding clever, new ways to access our devices and information. But sometimes it takes a little push to get us to take action when it comes to protecting our most sensitive information. That’s why this Data Privacy Day, on January 28th, […]

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We all know that data breaches have been on the rise, and hackers are finding clever, new ways to access our devices and information. But sometimes it takes a little push to get us to take action when it comes to protecting our most sensitive information. That’s why this Data Privacy Day, on January 28th, we have the perfect opportunity to own our privacy by taking the time to safeguard data, and help others do the same.

After all, there are now roughly four billion consumers connected online, living various moments of truth that could potentially put them at risk. From sharing photos and socializing with friends, to completing bank transactions—people expect to do what they desire online whenever and wherever they want. But as the saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility”, and it is imperative that consumers take accountability, not just by enjoying the advantages of connecting online, but by protecting their online identities, too.

Remember, your personal information and online presence are as valuable as money, and what you post online can last a lifetime. Data Privacy Day is a reminder for everybody to make sure that they are protecting what matters most to them: their personal data, as well as their families and friends.

So, let’s get started. Even if you have a large online footprint, protecting this information doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

Here are a few tips:

Update your privacy and security settings—Begin with the websites and applications that you use the most. Check to see if your accounts are marked as private, or if they are open to the public. Also, look to see if your data is being leaked to third parties. You want to select the most secure settings available, while still being able to use these tools correctly.  Here’s a guide from StaySafeOnline to help you get started.

Start the New Year with a new digital you— When opening new online accounts for sharing personal information such as your email address or date of birth, create a new digital persona that has alternative answers that only you would know. This will limit online tracking of your real personal information.

Lockdown your logins—At the same time, secure your logins by making sure that you are creating long and unique passphrases for all of your accounts. Use multi-factor identification, when available. This is a security protocol that takes more than just one step to validate your login, such as a password and a code sent to your mobile device, or a fingerprint. It is exponentially more secure than a simple password.

Spread the word and get involved— Once you have done your own privacy check, help others do the same. It’s important that we all feel empowered to protect our privacy, so share the safety tips in this article with your family, coworkers, and community. Here are some helpful resources to create privacy awareness where you live.

Protect your family and friends – If you are a parent, you can make a big difference by helping raise privacy-savvy kids. After all, today’s kids represent the future of online security. If they start building their digital footprints with solid safety habits, it makes all of us more secure.

Begin with this handy tip sheet.

Own your information—It’s time for everyone to feel empowered to own their information. While there will always be online threats, you can minimize any potential harm by committing yourself to the action steps we listed above. Once you have, spread the word by using the hashtag #privacyaware on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Let’s make this 12th annual international Data Privacy Day the most effective ever! Stay up to date with all the event happenings, here, and keep informed year-round on the latest threats and security tips.

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What Is the CurveBall Bug? Here’s What You Need to Know  https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/what-is-the-curveball-bug/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/what-is-the-curveball-bug/#comments Fri, 17 Jan 2020 02:59:12 +0000 /blogs/?p=98176

Today, it was announced that researchers published proof of concept code (essentially, an exercise to determine if an idea is a reality) that exploits a recently patched vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows operating system (OS). The vulnerability, named CurveBall, impacts the components that handle the encryption and decryption mechanisms in the Windows OS, which inherently help protect sensitive information. How It Works  So how does this vulnerability work, exactly? For starters, unsafe sites or files can disguise themselves as legitimate ones.  When this vulnerability is exploited, CurveBall could allow […]

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Today, it was announced that researchers published proof of concept code (essentially, an exercise to determine if an idea is a reality) that exploits a recently patched vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows operating system (OS). The vulnerability, named CurveBall, impacts the components that handle the encryption and decryption mechanisms in the Windows OS, which inherently help protect sensitive information.

How It Works 

So how does this vulnerability work, exactly? For starters, unsafe sites or files can disguise themselves as legitimate ones.  When this vulnerability is exploited, CurveBall could allow a hacker to launch man-in-the-middle attacks, which is when a hacker secretly relays and possibly alters the communications between two unsuspecting users. Additionally, a hacker could use the vulnerability to intercept and fake secure web (HTTPS) connections or fake signatures for files and emails. Essentially, this means a hacker could place harmful files or run undetected malware on a system.

What It Impacts 

There are still questions surrounding what exactly is impacted by CurveBall, and subsequently what could be affected by the new code. According to Microsoft, CurveBall impacts Windows 10, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2016 OS versions. With three popular operating systems afflicted, and the possibility to bypass basic security safeguards, patching is more important than ever. For unpatched systems, malware that takes advantage of this vulnerability may go undetected and slip past security features.

How to Stay Protected 

Now, what should you do to protect yourself from the CurveBall vulnerability? At McAfee, we are in the process of deploying an update to keep our loyal users secure from this vulnerability. In the meantime, however, there are a few things you should do to do to protect yourself. Start by following these tips:

  • Update your Windows 10 OS to get the latest security patches.
  • Use caution when surfing the web.
  • Only open files and emails from trusted sources.
  • Update your browsers to the latest versions if available.
  • If you are an enterprise customer, please reference KB92329 for information on McAfee enterprise defense from this vulnerability.
  • Contact McAfee Support if you have any further questions or need assistance.

To stay on top of McAfee news and the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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How Frankfurt Stopped Emotet In Its Tracks https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/how-frankfurt-stopped-emotet-in-its-tracks/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/how-frankfurt-stopped-emotet-in-its-tracks/#respond Wed, 15 Jan 2020 16:00:07 +0000 /blogs/?p=98085

During a time when ransomware continues to bring governments around the world to a halt, one city has turned the tables, by bringing their government to a halt pre-emptively to prevent ransomware. According to ZDNet, in late December, Frankfurt, Germany—one of the world’s biggest financial hubs—reportedly shut down its IT network after its anti-malware platform […]

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During a time when ransomware continues to bring governments around the world to a halt, one city has turned the tables, by bringing their government to a halt pre-emptively to prevent ransomware.

According to ZDNet, in late December, Frankfurt, Germany—one of the world’s biggest financial hubs—reportedly shut down its IT network after its anti-malware platform identified an Emotet infection. The reported malware gained entry when an employee clicked on a malicious email that had been spoofed to look as though it came from a city authority.

Rather than risk further spread and subsequent, more damaging infection, government authorities made the difficult decision to halt the IT network until the Emotet threat was resolved. In so doing, all of the city’s IT functions were shut down for over 24 hours—including employee email, essential apps, and all services offered through the Frankfurt.de webpage. The move paid off, however—as IT department spokesman Gunter Marr told Journal Frankfurt, no lasting damage had occurred.

“In my opinion, Frankfurt made a very brave—probably not easy—decision to shut down the network to eradicate their Emotet infection,” said John Fokker, Head of Cyber Investigations for McAfee Advanced Threat Research. “Emotet infection is a precursor to Ryuk ransomware, so I think they dodged the proverbial bullet.”

The Emotet-Ransomware Connection

In many cases, the first sign of ransomware is the ransom demand itself, alerting you that you’ve been infected and asking you to pay up. The Emotet malware works a bit differently in that it is not, in itself, ransomware. Instead, it functions like the key to a door: Emotet infects the system, and once the system is “open,” access to the Emotet-infected network can be sold to ransomware groups and other cybercriminals, who may then utilize stolen credentials and simply “walk in.” In a recent campaign, once Emotet was downloaded, it in turn downloaded the Trickbot trojan from a remote host, which stole credentials and enabled a successful Ryuk ransomware infection.

However, the same multistep process that can deliver two paydays on a single deployment of ransomware is also its Achilles’ Heel. Since getting ransomware from an Emotet infection is generally a two or more-step process, if you can stop or eliminate Emotet at Step 1, the subsequent steps toward a ransomware infection cannot occur.

While Frankfurt’s Emotet infection and the subsequent shutdown led to more than a day’s loss in productivity, massive outages and major disruption, the city should be commended on its quick and level-headed response—had they attempted to preserve business operations or opted to take a wait-and-see approach, a potential ransomware infection could have cost them millions more in lost productivity and threat mitigation.

An Ounce of Prevention …

While Frankfurt was able to intercept the Emotet botnet in time, many others were not—another attack several days before, in a town just north of Frankfurt, resulted in massive disruption when the Emotet malware led to the successful deployment of Ryuk ransomware. In other words, the best and safest way to avoid a similar fate is to prevent an Emotet infection in the first place.

There are several steps you can take to keep Emotet from establishing a stronghold in your network:

  1. Educate Your Employees: The most important step is to educate your employees on how to identify phishing and social engineering attempts. Identify email security best practices, such as hovering over a link to identify the actual destination before clicking on a link, never giving account information over email, and mandating that all suspicious emails be immediately reported.
  2. Patch Vulnerabilities: The Trickbot trojan is frequently delivered as a secondary payload to Emotet. It depends on the Microsoft Windows EternalBlue vulnerability—patching this vulnerability is an important step to securing your network.
  3. Strengthen Your Logins: If Emotet does gain entrance, it can attempt to spread by guessing the login credentials of connected users. By mandating strong passwords and two-factor authentication, you can help limit the spread.
  4. Adopt Strong Anti-Malware Protection, And Ensure It’s Configured Properly: A timely alert from a capable anti-malware system enabled Frankfurt to stop Emotet. Adopting strong endpoint protection such as McAfee Endpoint Security (ENS) is one of the most important steps you can take to help prevent Emotet and other malware. Once it’s in place, you can maximize your protection by performing periodic maintenance and optimizing configurations.

Above all, don’t fall into the trap of thinking it couldn’t happen to you. According to the McAfee Labs Threats Report, ransomware grew by 118% in just the first quarter of 2019, and several new ransomware families were detected. If the spate of recent attacks is any indication, we may see similar trends in Q1 2020.

“The demand for access to large corporate or public sector networks is very high at the moment,” Fokker explained “Ransomware actors are constantly scanning, spearphishing, purchasing access gained from other malware infections, and obtaining log files from info-stealing malware to get a foothold into networks.”

“Every company or institution should be diligent and not ignore even the simplest breach—even if it happened more than a year ago,” Fokker said.

 

 

 

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The Top Technology Takeaways From CES 2020 https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/takeaways-from-ces-2020/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/takeaways-from-ces-2020/#comments Tue, 14 Jan 2020 22:04:55 +0000 /blogs/?p=98088

Another Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has come and gone. Every year, this trade show joins practically everyone in the consumer electronics industry to show off the latest and greatest cutting-edge innovations in technology. From bendable tablets to 8k TVs and futuristic cars inspired by the movie “Avatar,” CES 2020 did not disappoint. Here are a […]

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Another Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has come and gone. Every year, this trade show joins practically everyone in the consumer electronics industry to show off the latest and greatest cutting-edge innovations in technology. From bendable tablets to 8k TVs and futuristic cars inspired by the movie “Avatar,” CES 2020 did not disappoint. Here are a few of the key takeaways from this year’s show:

Smart home technology is driven by convenience

As usual, smart home technology made up a solid portion of the new gadgets introduced at CES. Netatmo introduced the Netatmo Smart Door Lock and Keys which use physical NFC (meaning near field communication, a technology that allows devices to communicate with each other) keys as well as digital keys for guests. In the same realm of home security, Danby’s smart mailbox called the Parcel Guard allows couriers to deliver packages directly into the anti-theft box using a code or smartphone app.

Devices integrated with Alexa technology

CES 2020 also introduced many devices integrated with Alexa technology. Kohler debuted its Moxie showerhead, complete with an Alexa-enabled waterproof Bluetooth speaker. Along with the showerhead, Alexa was also built into a Dux Swedish luxury bed to help improve users’ bedtime routines.

Smart appliances

CES is usually graced with a handful of smart appliances, and this year was no different. Bosch partnered with the recipe and meal-planning app Chefling to showcase its high-tech Home Connect Refrigerator, which uses cameras to track which food items users have stocked and suggests recipes based on that information.

Mind-reading wearables translate thoughts into digital commands

CES featured several products that let users control apps, games, and devices with their minds. Companies have developed devices that can record brain signals from sensors on the scalp or devices implanted within the brain and translate them into digital signals. For example, NextMind has created a headset that measures activity in the visual cortex and translates the user’s decision of where to focus his or her eyes into digital commands. This technology could replace remote controls, as users would be able to change channels, mute, or pause just by focusing on triangles next to each command.

Another company focused on the brain-computer interface is BrainCo. This company debuted their FocusOne headband at CES this year, complete with sensors on the forehead measuring the activity in the frontal cortex. This device is designed to measure focus by detecting the subtle electrical signals that your brain is producing. These headbands are designed to help kids learn how to focus their minds in class. BrainCo also has a prosthetic arm coming to market later this year which detects muscle signals and feeds them through an algorithm that can help it operate better over time. What’s more, this device will cost less than half of an average prosthetic.

Foldable screens are still a work-in-progress

This year’s event was colored with folding screens. However, most of these devices were prototypes without proposed ship dates. A likely reason for the lack of confidence in these devices by their manufacturers is that they are unsure if the screens will be durable enough to sell. Some of these work-in-progress devices include Dell’s Concept Ori, Intel’s Horseshoe Bend, and Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Fold. Nevertheless, folding devices provide a new opportunity for manufacturers to play around with device forms, such as a phone that turns into a tablet.

Cybersecurity’s role in evolving technology

As consumer technology continues to evolve, the importance of securing these newfangled devices becomes more and more apparent. According to panelists from the CES session Top Security Trends in Smart Cities, by making products “smarter,” we are also making them more susceptible to hacking. For example, The McAfee Advanced Threat Research (ATR) team recently uncovered security flaws in multiple IoT smart home devices. The first is the Chamberlain MyQ Hub, a “universal” garage door automation platform that can be hacked to cause a user’s garage door to open unintentionally. The second is the McLear NFC Ring, a household access control device used to interact with NFC-enabled door locks, which can be cloned to gain access to a user’s home.

Keep cybersecurity a top priority

Although CES 2020 has introduced many new devices aimed at making users’ lives easier, it’s important to keep a secure home as a top priority as gadgets are brought into their lives. As new McAfee research has revealed, the majority of Americans today (63%) believe that they as the consumer are responsible for their security. This could likely be attributed to more Americans becoming aware of online risks, as 48% think it’s likely to happen to them. To feel confident bringing new technology into their homes, users are encouraged to proactively integrate online security into everyday life.

Need for increased cybersecurity protection

As the sun sets on another fabulous CES, it’s clear that technological innovations won’t be slowing down any time soon. With all of these new advancements and greater connectivity comes the need for increased protection when connected to the internet. All in all, CES 2020 showed us that as technology continues to improve and develop, security will play an ever-increasing role in protecting consumers online

Stay up to date

To stay on top of McAfee news and the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

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Research Reveals Americans’ Perceptions of Device Security Amidst CES 2020 https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/perceptions-of-device-security-ces-2020/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/perceptions-of-device-security-ces-2020/#respond Thu, 09 Jan 2020 08:01:18 +0000 /blogs/?p=97977

From the Lifx Switch smart switch to the Charmin RollBot to Kohler Setra Alexa-connected faucets, CES 2020 has introduced new devices aimed at making consumers lives easier. With so much excitement and hype around these new gadgets, however, it can be challenging to make security a top priority. That’s why McAfee is urging users to […]

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From the Lifx Switch smart switch to the Charmin RollBot to Kohler Setra Alexa-connected faucets, CES 2020 has introduced new devices aimed at making consumers lives easier. With so much excitement and hype around these new gadgets, however, it can be challenging to make security a top priority. That’s why McAfee is urging users to keep cybersecurity top-of-mind when bringing these new devices into their home so they can protect what matters.

New McAfee research reveals that consumer perceptions of security accountability have shifted in the last couple of years. For example, the majority of Americans today (63%) stated that they as the consumer are responsible for their security while last year only 42% of Americans felt that they are responsible. This shows that users are becoming increasingly aware of how to ensure that they are protecting their privacy and identity. This year-over-year increase could likely be attributed to more Americans becoming aware of online risks, as 48% think it’s likely to happen to them. Additionally, 65% are concerned about the security of connected devices installed in their homes, such as the Chamberlain MyQ Hub garage door opener and the McLear Smart Ring. While these devices are convenient, the McAfee Advanced Threat Research team recently revealed they contained security flaws that could allow a hacker to enter a victim’s home.

It’s important to recognize that security is a proactive effort that should be seamlessly integrated into everyday life. So, how can consumers take charge and feel confident bringing new technology into their homes while staying safe? Check out the following tips to keep in mind as our lives continue to be more connected:

  • The little things count. Hackers don’t have to be geniuses to steal your personal information. Minor habits like changing default passwords and using unique passwords can go a long way to prevent your personal information from being stolen.
  • Do your research. Look up products and their manufacturers before making a purchase. This could save you from buying a device with a known security vulnerability. If you find a manufacturer doesn’t have a history of taking security seriously, then it’s best to avoid it.
  • Use a comprehensive security solution. Use comprehensive security protection, like McAfee Total Protection, which can help protect devices against malware, phishing attacks, and other threats. It also includes McAfee WebAdvisor, which can help identify malicious websites.
  • Update, update, update. When applications on your devices need updating, be sure to do it as soon as possible. Most of these updates include security patches to vulnerabilities.

To stay on top of McAfee’s CES news and the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Survey Methodology

McAfee commissioned 3Gem to conduct a survey of 1,000 adults in the US who regularly use electronic devices, such as phones and laptops.

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Viva Las Vegas: Cash Out with the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win Sweepstakes! https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/ces-2020-rt2win-sweepstakes/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/ces-2020-rt2win-sweepstakes/#respond Tue, 07 Jan 2020 15:55:59 +0000 /blogs/?p=97923

We’ve officially touched down in Las Vegas for CES 2020! If you aren’t familiar with CES, it is the global stage for innovators to showcase the next generation of consumer technologies, including IoT devices. Though these devices are convenient, they can also be cause for possible security concerns due to overlooked weaknesses. Check out the latest research […]

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We’ve officially touched down in Las Vegas for CES 2020!

If you aren’t familiar with CES, it is the global stage for innovators to showcase the next generation of consumer technologies, including IoT devices. Though these devices are convenient, they can also be cause for possible security concerns due to overlooked weaknesses. Check out the latest research from the McAfee Advanced Threat Research (ATR) team on device vulnerabilities for more information.

With the growing consumer technology landscape, we here at McAfee understand the importance of creating new solutions for those who want to live their connected lives with confidence.

In fact, to celebrate the latest innovations, we’re giving three [3] lucky people the chance to win an Amazon gift card. Not heading to CES this year Not heading to CES this year? No problem! Simply retweet one of our contest tweets with the required hashtag between January 7th – 9th for your chance to win. Follow the instructions below to enter, and good luck!


#RT2Win Sweepstakes Official Rules

  • To enter, go to https://twitter.com/McAfee_Home, and find the #RT2Win sweepstakes tweet.
  • There will be three [3] sweepstakes tweets will be released at the following schedule including the hashtags: #RT2Win, #Sweepstakes AND #McAfeeAtCES
    • Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at 7:00AM PST
    • Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 7:00AM PST
    • Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 7:00AM PST
  • Retweet the sweepstakes tweet released on the above date before 11:59PM PST, from your own handle. The #RT2Win, #Sweepstakes AND #McAfeeAtCES hashtags must be included to be entered.
  • Sweepstakes will end on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 11:59pm PT. All entries must be made before that date and time.
  • Winners will be notified on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 via Twitter direct message.
  • Limit one entry per person.
1. How to Win:

Retweet one of our contest tweets on @McAfee_Home that include “#RT2Win, #Sweepstakes, and #McAfeeAtCES” for a chance at an Amazon Gift card. Winners must be following @McAfee_Home for eligibility. One [1] winner will be selected per day, and notified by 10:00AM PT the following day, for a total of three [3] winners. Winners will be notified by direct message on Twitter. For full Sweepstakes details, please see the Terms and Conditions, below.

#McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions

2. How to Enter: 

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. McAfee’s #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes will be conducted from January 7th through January 9th. All entries for each day of the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes must be received during the time allotted for the #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes. Pacific Daylight Time shall control the McAfee RT2Win CES Sweepstakes. The #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win Sweepstakes duration is as follows:

  • Begins: Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at 7:00am PST
  • Ends: Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 11:59 PST
    • Opportunity 1: Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at 7:00AM PST
    • Opportunity 2: Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 7:00AM PST
    • Opportunity 3: Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 7:00AM PST
  • Winners will be announced: by 10:00AM PST the following day

For the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win Sweepstakes, participants must complete the following steps during the time allotted for the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win Sweepstakes:

  1. Find the sweepstakes tweet of the day posted on @McAfee_Home which will include the hashtags: #McAfeeAtCES, #RT2Win and #Sweepstakes.
  2. Retweet the sweepstakes tweet of the day and make sure it includes the #McAfeeAtCES, #RT2Win and #Sweepstakes hashtags.
    1. Note: Tweets that do not contain the #McAfeeAtCES, #RT2Win and #Sweepstakes hashtags will not be considered for entry.
  3. Limit one entry per person.

Three [3] winners will be chosen for the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes tweet from the viable pool of entries that retweeted and included #McAfeeCES Sweepstakes. McAfee and the McAfee social team will select winners at random from among the viable entries. The winners will be announced and privately messaged on January 10th on the @McAfee_Home Twitter handle. No other method of entry will be accepted besides Twitter. Only one entry per user is allowed, per Sweepstakes. SWEEPSTAKES IS IN NO WAY SPONSORED, ENDORSED, ADMINISTERED BY, OR ASSOCIATED WITH TWITTER, INC.

3. Eligibility: 

McAfee’s #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States who are 18 years of age or older on the dates of the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes begins and live in a jurisdiction where this prize and #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes are not prohibited. Employees of Sponsor and its subsidiaries, affiliates, prize suppliers, and advertising and promotional agencies, their immediate families (spouses, parents, children, and siblings and their spouses), and individuals living in the same household as such employees are ineligible.

4. Winner Selection:

Winners will be selected from the eligible entries received during the days of the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes periods. Sponsor will select the names of three [3] potential winners of the prizes in a random drawing from among all eligible

Submissions at the address listed below. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by the Official #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes Rules and the decisions of the coordinators, which shall be final and binding in all respects.

5. Winner Notification: 

Each winner will be notified via direct message (“DM”) on Twitter.com by January 10, 2020. Prize winners may be required to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (where permitted by law) to be returned within ten (10) days of written notification, or prize may be forfeited and an alternate winner selected. If a prize notification is returned as unclaimed or undeliverable to a potential winner if potential winner cannot be reached within twenty-four (24) hours from the first DM notification attempt, or if potential winner fails to return requisite document within the specified time period, or if a potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, then such person shall be disqualified and, at Sponsor’s sole discretion, an alternate winner may be selected for the prize at issue based on the winner selection process described above.

6. Prizes: 

The prizes for the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes are two [2] $100 Amazon e-gift cards and a one [1] $200 Amazon e-gift card (approximate retail value “ARV” of the prize is $100 and $200 USD; the total ARV of all gift cards is $400 USD). Entrants agree that Sponsor has the sole right to determine the winners of the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes and all matters or disputes arising from the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes and that its determination is final and binding. There are no prize substitutions, transfers or cash equivalents permitted except at the sole discretion of Sponsor. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prizes. Sponsor is not responsible for delays in prize delivery beyond its control. All other expenses and items not specifically mentioned in these Official Rules are not included and are the prize winners’ sole responsibility.

7. General Conditions: 

Entrants agree that by entering they agree to be bound by these rules. All federal, state, and local taxes, fees, and surcharges on prize packages are the sole responsibility of the prizewinner. Sponsor is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry information, whether caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes, or by any technical or human error, which may occur in the processing of the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes entries. By entering, participants release and hold harmless Sponsor and its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, claim, action, demand, or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes, any prize won, any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, participation in any #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes -related activity, or participation in the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes. Except for applicable manufacturer’s standard warranties, the prizes are awarded “AS IS” and WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied (including any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose).

If participating in this Sweepstakes via your mobile device (which service may only be available via select devices and participating wireless carriers and is not required to enter), you may be charged for standard data use from your mobile device according to the terms in your wireless service provider’s data plan.  Normal airtime and carrier charges and other charges may apply to data use and will be billed on your wireless device bill or deducted from your pre-paid balance.  Wireless carrier rates vary, so you should contact your wireless carrier for information on your specific data plan.

8. Limitations of Liability; Releases:

By entering the Sweepstakes, you release Sponsor and all Released Parties from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, related to any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Sweepstakes or delivery, misdelivery, acceptance, possession, use of or inability to use any prize (including claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will the sponsor or the released parties be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including loss of use, loss of profits or loss of data, whether in an action in contract, tort (including, negligence) or otherwise, arising out of or in any way connected to your participation in the sweepstakes or use or inability to use any equipment provided for use in the sweepstakes or any prize, even if a released party has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

  1. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will the aggregate liability of the released parties (jointly) arising out of or relating to your participation in the sweepstakes or use of or inability to use any equipment provided for use in the sweepstakes or any prize exceed $10. The limitations set forth in this section will not exclude or limit liability for personal injury or property damage caused by products rented from the sponsor, or for the released parties’ gross negligence, intentional misconduct, or for fraud.
  2. Use of Use of Winner’s Name, Likeness, etc.: Except where prohibited by law, entry into the Sweepstakes constitutes permission to use your name, hometown, aural and visual likeness and prize information for advertising, marketing, and promotional purposes without further permission or compensation (including in a public-facing winner list).  As a condition of being awarded any prize, except where prohibited by law, winner may be required to execute a consent to the use of their name, hometown, aural and visual likeness and prize information for advertising, marketing, and promotional purposes without further permission or compensation. By entering this Sweepstakes, you consent to being contacted by Sponsor for any purpose in connection with this Sweepstakes.

 9. Prize Forfeiture:

If winner cannot be notified, does not respond to notification, does not meet eligibility requirements, or otherwise does not comply with these prize #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes rules, then the winner will forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be selected from remaining eligible entry forms for each #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes.

10. Dispute Resolution:

Entrants agree that Sponsor has the sole right to determine the winners of the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes and all matters or disputes arising from the #McAfeeAtCES RT2Win CES Sweepstakes and that its determination is final and binding. There are no prize substitutions, transfers or cash equivalents permitted except at the sole discretion of Sponsor.

11. Governing Law & Disputes:

Each entrant agrees that any disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this sweepstakes or any prize awarded will be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action and these rules will be construed in accordance with the laws, jurisdiction, and venue of New York.

12. Privacy Policy: 

Personal information obtained in connection with this prize McAfee Day #RT2Win CES Sweepstakes will be handled in accordance policy set forth at https://www.mcafee.com/enterprise/en-us/about/legal/privacy.html

  1. Winner List; Rules Request: For a copy of the winner list, send a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope for arrival after January 10th 2020 and before January 10th 2021 to the address listed below, Attn: #RT2Win at CES Sweepstakes.  To obtain a copy of these Official Rules, visit this link or send a stamped, self-addressed business-size envelope to the address listed in below, Attn: Sarah Grayson. VT residents may omit return postage.
  2. Intellectual Property Notice: McAfee and the McAfee logo are registered trademarks of McAfee, LLC. The Sweepstakes and all accompanying materials are copyright © 2018 by McAfee, LLC.  All rights reserved.
  3. Sponsor: McAfee, LLC, Corporate Headquarters 2821 Mission College Blvd. Santa Clara, CA 95054 USA
  4. Administrator: LEWIS, 111 Sutter St., Suite 850, San Francisco, CA 94104

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What You Need to Know About the Latest IoT Device Flaws https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/ces-2020-atr-iot-device-flaws/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/ces-2020-atr-iot-device-flaws/#respond Tue, 07 Jan 2020 05:01:58 +0000 /blogs/?p=97921

The McAfee Advanced Threat Research (ATR) team recently uncovered a security flaw in a popular connected garage door opener and a security design issue in an NFC (meaning near field communication, which is a technology that allows devices to communicate with each other) smart ring used to unlock doors. As we head into CES 2020, […]

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The McAfee Advanced Threat Research (ATR) team recently uncovered a security flaw in a popular connected garage door opener and a security design issue in an NFC (meaning near field communication, which is a technology that allows devices to communicate with each other) smart ring used to unlock doors. As we head into CES 2020, the global stage where innovators showcase the next generation of consumer technologies, let’s take a look at these new security flaws and discover how users can connect securely and with confidence.

Review Chamberlain IoT device

The McAfee ATR team recently investigated the Chamberlain MyQ Hub, a “universal” garage door automation platform. The Hub acts as a new garage door opener, similar to the one that you would have in your car. However, the McAfee ATR team discovered an inherent flaw in the way the MyQ Hub communicates over radio frequency signals. It turns out that hackers can “jam” the radio frequency signals while the garage is being remotely closed. How? By jamming or blocking the code signal from ever making it to the Hub receiver, the remote sensor will never respond with the closed signal. This delivers an error message to the user, prompting them to attempt to close the door again through the app, which actually causes the garage door to open.

How can the Chamberlain IoT device be hacked?

Let’s break it down:

  • Many users enjoy using the MyQ Hub for the convenience of package delivery, ensuring that their packages are safe from porch pirates and placed directly in the garage by the carrier=.
  • However, an attacker could wait for a package delivery using the connected garage door opener. The hacker could then jam the MyQ signal once the carrier opens the door and prompt an error message for the user. If and when the user attempts to close the door, the door will open and grant the attacker access to the home.
  • An attacker could also wait and see when a homeowner physically leaves the premises to jam the MyQ signal and prompt the error message. This would potentially allow further access into the home.

Review McLear NFC Ring IoT device

The McAfee ATR team also discovered an insecure design with the McLear NFC Ring, a household access control device that can be used to interact with NFC-enabled door locks. Once the NFC Ring has been paired with an NFC-enabled door lock, the user can access their house by simply placing the NFC Ring within the NFC range of the door lock instead of using a traditional house key. However, due to an insecure design, hackers could easily clone the ring and gain access to a user’s home.

How can the McLear NFC Ring be hacked?

  • First, the attacker can do some basic research on the victim, such as finding a social media post about how excited they are to use their new McLear NFC Ring.
  • Now, say the attacker locates the victim in a public setting and asks them to take a picture of them on the attacker’s phone. The attacker’s phone, equipped with an app to read NFC tags, can record the relevant information without giving any signs of foul play.
  • The McLear NFC Ring is now compromised, and the information can be programmed on a standard writable card, which can be used to unlock smart home locks that partner with the product.

How to keep your IoT devices safe from hacking

In the era of IoT devices, the balance between cybersecurity and convenience is an important factor to get right. According to Steve Povolny, head of McAfee Advanced Threat Research, “the numerous benefits technology enhancements bring us are exciting and often highly valuable; but many people are unaware of the lengths hackers will go and the many ways new features can impact the security of a system.” To help safeguard your security while still enjoying the benefits of your connected devices, check out the following tips:

  • Practice proper online security habits. Fortunately, users have many tools at their disposal, even when cybersecurity concerns do manifest. Implement a strong password policy, put IoT devices on their own, separate network, utilize dual-factor authentication when possible, minimize redundant systems, and patch quickly when issues are found.
  • Do your research. Before purchasing a new IoT device, take the time to look into its security features. Users should ensure they are aware of the security risks associated with IoT products available on the market.

Stay up to date

To stay on top of McAfee’s CES news and the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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Don’t RSVP to This Holiday Party: Protect Yourself From the Emotet Trojan https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/christmas-emotet-trojan/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/christmas-emotet-trojan/#respond Fri, 20 Dec 2019 17:45:14 +0000 /blogs/?p=97852

The holiday season is officially among us. From last-minute holiday shopping to attending countless parties, this time of year keeps users busy. The holiday season is an especially busy time for cybercriminals as well. According to Bleeping Computer, the cybercriminals behind the Emotet trojan have been targeting users with a new spam campaign that impersonates […]

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The holiday season is officially among us. From last-minute holiday shopping to attending countless parties, this time of year keeps users busy. The holiday season is an especially busy time for cybercriminals as well. According to Bleeping Computer, the cybercriminals behind the Emotet trojan have been targeting users with a new spam campaign that impersonates a Christmas party invitation.

How exactly have malicious actors been trying to put a damper on the holiday fun? They’ve crafted phony invites that include a subject line like “Christmas party next week.” Additionally, the invitation asks users to wear their ugliest Christmas sweaters and view an attached party menu. To further disguise this threat, the cybercriminals behind the attack have titled the attached documents “Christmas party.doc” or “Party menu.doc.” If a user opens one of these stealthy Word documents, they are prompted to ‘Enable Editing’ or ‘Enable Content’ to view it. However, if a user enables the content, the Emotet trojan will consequentially be installed. Once this is done, the victim’s device can be used for more malicious attacks such as sending further spam emails, downloading the TrickBot banking trojan to steal user data, and even a ransomware stocking stuffer.

So, what can users do to avoid this unwanted grinch from stealing their Christmas? Check out these tips to protect your security:

  • Click with caution. Only click on links from trusted sources. If you receive an email or text message from an unknown sender asking you to click on a suspicious link, stay cautious and avoid interacting with the message altogether.
  • Use comprehensive security. Whether you’re using a mobile app to check emails on your phone or browsing the internet on your desktop, it’s important to safeguard all of your devices with an extra layer of security. Use robust security software like McAfee Total Protection so you can connect with confidence.

To stay updated on all of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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Here’s How the California Consumer Privacy Act Will Affect You https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/california-consumer-privacy-act-2020/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/california-consumer-privacy-act-2020/#comments Thu, 19 Dec 2019 17:41:38 +0000 /blogs/?p=97820

On May 25, 2018, the European Union implemented a new privacy legislature called the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. This regulation updated European law to give EU citizens more control over their data as a result of the hyper-connected world we live in today. Then last June, California responded with its own bill called […]

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On May 25, 2018, the European Union implemented a new privacy legislature called the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. This regulation updated European law to give EU citizens more control over their data as a result of the hyper-connected world we live in today. Then last June, California responded with its own bill called the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This bill, which goes into effect January 2020, broadens the scope of privacy rights for Californians, including data access rights and a limited private right of action. Essentially, the CCPA gives users the right to know just how companies are making money off of their data.

What are users’ new rights under the CCPA? First, businesses are required to reveal the personal data that is collected, sold, or disclosed for their business purposes. This includes informing users what categories of data were collected and how their data will be used. Second, companies are unable to discriminate against a consumer who exercises their rights under the CCPA. Third, businesses must provide users access to their data. Fourth, companies are required to delete users’ data upon request (with some significant exceptions). This includes personal data that the company might have shared with a third party. Lastly, businesses must provide the user with the ability to opt-out of the sale of their data.

That all sounds beneficial for privacy-conscious consumers, but how exactly does the CCPA define personal information? The CCPA defines personal information as any information that identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could be reasonably linked with a particular consumer or household. Some examples of this type of data include a real name, user name, email address, Social Security Number, passport number, property records, biometric data, and internet activity like browsing history or IP addresses.

So, how will the CCPA be rolled out and what happens if a business violates the CCPA? Parts of this regulation will go into effect on January 1, 2020, but most will be enforced starting on July 1, 2020. According to the California legislature, if a business violates the CCPA and fails to fix the violations within 30 days, they are liable for a civil penalty. A company may be charged a maximum penalty of $2,500 per violation, or $7,500 per each intentional violation of the law that is not fixed within 30 days. If a company suffers a data breach resulting in the theft of personal information, they may be ordered to pay damages to the impacted California residents.

While California is the first large state to implement these privacy regulations in the U.S., it certainly won’t be the last. Other states have begun drafting similar bills and similar regulations will likely come into effect over the next few years; Congress also has some significant bills under consideration. As this legislation is rolled out, consumers need to be aware of their new rights to help them better protect their privacy.

Stay on top of the latest consumer and security news by following @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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750K Birth Certificate Applications Exposed Online: 5 Tips to Help You Stay Secure https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/750k-birth-certificate-applications-exposed/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/750k-birth-certificate-applications-exposed/#respond Thu, 12 Dec 2019 22:53:11 +0000 /blogs/?p=97788

Most people applying for birth certificates aren’t thinking that their private information will be made readily available to the public. But according to Tech Crunch, an online company that allows users to obtain a copy of their loved one’s birth and death certificates from U.S. state governments has exposed over 752,000 applications for copies of […]

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Most people applying for birth certificates aren’t thinking that their private information will be made readily available to the public. But according to Tech Crunch, an online company that allows users to obtain a copy of their loved one’s birth and death certificates from U.S. state governments has exposed over 752,000 applications for copies of birth certificates and 90,400 death certificate applications.

Although each application process differed by state, they all allowed customers to apply to their state’s record-keeping authority. The applications contained personally identifiable information such as the applicant’s name, date of birth, current home address, and more. What’s more, the applications stored in the online bucket dated back to late 2017 and were updated daily, creating a robust treasure trove for cybercriminals.

Due to the high amount of consumer data provided by people requesting copies of birth certificates or registering their newborn children, the exposure of these applications is a cybercriminal’s dream come true. If a criminal did get a hold of this information, the information would likely be posted for sale on the Dark Web. From there, other malicious actors could purchase the data and use it to impersonate others or commit identity theft.

Tech Crunch and the security researchers who discovered the exposed data attempted to inform the company responsible but have not yet received a response. So, in the meantime, here are some steps users can follow to help protect their personal information now and in the future:

  • Be vigilant when monitoring your personal and financial data. A good way to determine whether your data has been exposed or compromised is to closely monitor your online accounts. If you see anything fishy, take extra precautions by updating your privacy settings, changing your password, or using two-factor authentication.
  • Watch out for other cyberattacks. Be on high alert for malicious attacks where cybercriminals could use stolen credentials to exploit users, such as spear phishing.
  • Place a fraud alert. If you suspect that your data might have been compromised, place a fraud alert on your credit. This not only ensures that any new or recent requests undergo scrutiny, but also allows you to have extra copies of your credit report so you can check for suspicious activity.
  • Freeze your credit. Freezing your credit will make it impossible for criminals to take out loans or open up new accounts in your name. To do this effectively, you will need to freeze your credit at each of the three major credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian).
  • Consider using identity theft protection. A solution like McAfee Identify Theft Protection will help you to monitor your accounts, alert you of any suspicious activity, and help you to regain any losses in case something goes wrong.

To stay updated on all of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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Attention Android Users: Is CallerSpy Malware Spying on You? https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/android-callerspy-malware/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/android-callerspy-malware/#comments Fri, 06 Dec 2019 23:02:12 +0000 /blogs/?p=97767

Meet CallerSpy malware, a new form of mobile malware designed to snoop on calls, texts, and other smartphone communications. This trojan malware is targeting Android users by tricking them into downloading a fake chat app called Apex App. However, despite being advertised as a chat application, CallerSpy doesn’t really contain any chat capabilities. In fact, […]

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Meet CallerSpy malware, a new form of mobile malware designed to snoop on calls, texts, and other smartphone communications. This trojan malware is targeting Android users by tricking them into downloading a fake chat app called Apex App. However, despite being advertised as a chat application, CallerSpy doesn’t really contain any chat capabilities. In fact, researchers describe the app as “riddled with espionage features.”

How exactly does this spy begin its reconnaissance mission? According to ZDNet, once the fake app is downloaded and launched, it connects to a server that directs the malware to start snooping on the device. From collecting call logs, text messages, contacts, and device files to being able to activate the phone’s microphone and taking screenshots, CallerSpy does it all. Once this data has been stolen, it’s then periodically uploaded to the cybercrook. And since cybersecurity researchers have only recently uncovered this malware, it is still unknown what this stolen data is being used for. What’s clear is that CallerSpy is no misnomer and users need to be prepared.

So, what are some proactive steps users can take to avoid being spied on by CallerSpy? Follow these tips to avoid this malware’s prying eye:

  • Watch what you download. The best way to know if an app is malicious or not is to check for typos and grammatical errors in the description, look at the download statistics, and read what other users are saying.
  • Be selective about which sites you visit. Only use reputable, well-known, and trusted sites. One way to determine if a site is potentially malicious is by checking its URL. If the URL address contains multiple grammar or spelling errors and suspicious characters, avoid interacting with the site altogether.
  • Surf the web securely. You can use a tool like McAfee WebAdvisor, which will flag any sites that may be malicious without your knowing. The best part – it’s free!

And, as always, to stay updated on all of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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Here’s What You Need to Know About Your Data Privacy in 2020 https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/data-privacy-predictions-2020/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/consumer-threat-notices/data-privacy-predictions-2020/#respond Thu, 05 Dec 2019 05:01:51 +0000 /blogs/?p=97731

The end of 2019 is rapidly approaching, and with the coming of a new year comes the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past and plan for the months ahead. What will 2020 bring when it comes to cybersecurity and what can users do to ensure that they’re protected in the upcoming year? From new […]

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The end of 2019 is rapidly approaching, and with the coming of a new year comes the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past and plan for the months ahead. What will 2020 bring when it comes to cybersecurity and what can users do to ensure that they’re protected in the upcoming year? From new data privacy laws to how organizations collect and store user data, the new year will certainly bring plenty of security implications for users. Let’s take a look at a few predictions we have for the year to come.

More Awareness, More Regulations

After a security breach is disclosed, users often learn what can go wrong with their data and may start to wonder what will happen if their information gets into the wrong hands. That’s why new privacy laws will likely be implemented to empower users to better protect and control their data. For example, the new California privacy law set to go into effect January 2020 will allow consumers to instruct companies to delete their personal information and to opt-out of having their private data shared. These new regulations will allow users to better control their data and who has access to it. However, more regulations also create a more complicated landscape for individuals to navigate. Consumers will likely see more “consent” requests attached to any online data collection. That said, it is important to pay close attention to what consumers are agreeing to when they click “consent.”

With these new privacy laws, the method and level of transparency that organizations use to collect and store user data will likely come under scrutiny, particularly as data breaches become public. For example, companies make billions of dollars annually by buying and selling personal information that isn’t theirs to sell. The more data a company has on a user, the more insight cybercriminals have to infiltrate their digital life and trick them into sharing more information. 

New Tricks for the New Year

As more data is collected from various breaches, cybercriminals will look to leverage this information as a way to better understand which users to target and how exactly to target them. With the help of social engineering and artificial intelligence, these crooks will up the ante and turn old cyber tricks into sophisticated, unfamiliar threats. Take call spoofing, for example. By taking advantage of a user’s private data and new technology, cybercriminals could implement a fake call that appears to be coming from the user’s friend or family member. Because users are more likely to pick up a call from someone they know or a number that shares their same area code, cybercriminals increase the chances that their malicious attacks will be successful.

Dark Web Draws in More Data

With the number of breached records growing every day, users need to be aware of how crooks are leveraging this information in the cybercriminal underground and on the Dark Web. According to the McAfee Advanced Threat Research (ATR) team, more than 2.2 billion stolen account credentials were made available on the cybercriminal underground throughout Q1 2019 alone. This growing trend of personal online accounts being brokered on the Dark Web and the increasingly sophisticated threats that have recently emerged means that the 2019 holiday season could be the most dangerous yet.

With these predictions for the cybersecurity landscape in 2020, what resolutions can users make to help ensure that their data is protected? Follow these security tips to help safeguard your personal information:

  • Never reuse passwords. With just one hack, cybercriminals can get their hands on thousands of passwords, which they can then use to try to access multiple accounts. Ensure that all of your passwords are complex and unique.
  • Go directly to the source. Instead of clicking on a link in an email, it’s always best to check directly with the source to verify an offer or shipment.
  • Browse with security protection. Use a comprehensive security solution, like McAfee Total Protection, which can help protect devices against malware, phishing attacks, and other threats. It includes McAfee WebAdvisor, which can help identify malicious websites.
  • Use a tool to help protect your personal information. A solution like McAfee Identity Theft Protection takes a proactive approach to help protect identities with personal and financial monitoring and recovery tools to help keep identities personal and secure.

And, as always, to stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable? and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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Threat Hunting or Efficiency: Pick Your EDR Path? https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/endpoint-security/threat-hunting-or-efficiency-pick-your-edr-path/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/endpoint-security/threat-hunting-or-efficiency-pick-your-edr-path/#respond Tue, 12 Nov 2019 15:00:53 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=97369

“Do You Want It Done Fast, Or Do You Want It Done Right?” “Yes.” “Help out more with our business objectives.” “Cover an increasing number of endpoints.” “Cut budgets.” “Make it all work without adding staff.” Cybersecurity teams face a lot of conflicting objectives—both within their teams and from upper management. But a May 2019 […]

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“Do You Want It Done Fast, Or Do You Want It Done Right?” “Yes.”

“Help out more with our business objectives.” “Cover an increasing number of endpoints.” “Cut budgets.” “Make it all work without adding staff.”

Cybersecurity teams face a lot of conflicting objectives—both within their teams and from upper management. But a May 2019 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of McAfee really puts a fine point on it: When decision makers were asked which endpoint security goals and initiatives they’re prioritizing for the coming year, the top two responses were “improve security detection capabilities” (87%) and “increase efficiency in the SOC” (76%).

Unfortunately, traditional EDR solutions have made accomplishing both of these goals (and in some cases, even one or the other!) difficult, if not impossible. According to the study, gaps in EDR capabilities have created pain points for 83% of enterprises. For instance, while 40% of enterprises consider threat hunting a critical requirement, only 29% feel their current EDR solutions fully meet that need. On an even more basic level, 36% worry their EDR solution doesn’t surface every threat that breaks through—while an equal number of respondents say the alerts that are surfaced by their EDR are frequently not relevant or worth investigating.

These numbers clearly show there’s a lot of room for improvement, but at the same time, these two goals seem to be less than complementary. How would you choose to try and meet them?

Scenario 1: The Status Quo

Your team continues utilizing their traditional EDR solution on its own.

You lose points in efficiency out of the gate—according to Forrester, 31% of companies say that the systems are so complex, their junior staff lack the skillset to triage and investigate alerts without senior staff.

The number of alerts output by traditional EDR solutions will cost you efficiency in another way: another 31% of respondents say their teams struggle to keep up with the volume of alerts generated by their EDRs.

On the threat detection side, you’re not starting out with a perfect score, either: Again, keep in mind that more than a third of respondents believe that, even with this large volume of alerts, not everything is being caught.

As a baseline, let’s assume you’re starting out with a 7 in Threat Detection, and a 3.5 in Efficiency.
You’re still a long way from meeting your goals. Let’s look at our options.

Do you want to:

  • Add more staff members
  • Bolt on more software
  • Hire an MDR

Scenario 2: Add more staff members

With efficiency seeming such a far-off goal, your team decides to focus its efforts on threat detection. To help manage the number of alerts, you hire two new employees. You still have every bit as much noise coming from your EDR, and it still isn’t catching everything, but your team has marginally more ability to triage and respond to threats. You gain a point for threat detection, but a look at your department budget sheet shows your efficiency score is basically shot.

Final Score: 8 in Threat Detection, and a 2 in Efficiency.

Scenario 3: Bolting On More Software

Other businesses are taking a different tack. They’re keeping their traditional EDR solution, but they’re also bolting on more point solutions to help catch things that fall through the cracks. If you choose to go this route, your threat detection capabilities go up …. but between all the duplicate alerts, separate interfaces, and near complete lack of integration, your team is critically bogged down.  With junior staff able to triage just 31 percent of alerts on traditional EDR systems, senior analysts are having to manage all the alerts on all the interfaces on their own.

All this software isn’t cheap, and you’re losing time in both training in all of it, and in switching back and forth. Meanwhile, the solutions that were supposed to improve your threat detection capabilities are doing so … somewhat … but with things falling through the cracks amidst the chaos and analyst fatigue setting in, you wouldn’t know it.

Final Score: 7.5 in Threat Detection, 1.5 in Efficiency.

Scenario 4: Partnering with an MDR

You don’t want to hire any more staff—and even if you did, there aren’t many to hire. So instead you hire a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) provider to do what your EDR should be doing, but isn’t. You partner with the most reputable MDR you can find, and you’re confident that between what you’re doing and what they’re doing, there isn’t much getting past you. But you’re also paying twice to get a single set of capabilities.

Final Score: 9 in Threat Detection, 1 in Efficiency

Clearly, it’s time to try something new

  • I want to improve my efficiency with my current EDR!
  • I want to try something better.

Scenario 5: Improving efficiency with current EDR

How do you make a first-gen EDR more efficient? You don’t. In other words, if you want to get more out of an EDR that doesn’t utilize the latest technologies, the only adjustments you can make here have to come from your team. If you could get more threat detection mileage out of the same number of team members, your efficiency level would naturally rise.

Initial Score: 8 in Threat Detection, 4 in Efficiency

But as you soon find out, the mandatory late nights and your “you’d better step it up or else!” attitude aren’t exactly doing wonders for morale. With cybersecurity professionals in high demand everywhere, it isn’t long before you’re down at least one team member. Now you have 4 team members doing the number of 5. Which sounds decent ….

Intermediate Score: 6 in Threat Detection, 6 in Efficiency

… until an enterprising hacker takes note of your shorthandedness and targets you, hoping to use your situation to their advantage. Unfortunately, not only do you have a highly imperfect traditional EDR system and four employees trying to do the work of five … you have four disgruntled employees trying to do the work of five. According to IDC, in organizations that have experienced a breach in the last 12 months, those staff who are extremely satisfied are, on average, more likely to report fewer hours to identify the breach (11 hours) than those who are dissatisfied (23 hours). Guess which camp your team falls into?

Before long, your company is brought to its knees by a major attack. The press is all over it, and confidence in your company plummets. Your company’s reputation might recover … eventually … but things aren’t looking so good for you.

Final Score: Game Over.

Scenario 6: I want to try something better.

You’ve heard from your friends and colleagues about what doesn’t work. And, of course, you’ve read the horror stories. But you’re still left with two disparate goals. What if there was a way to increase threat detection capabilities without hiring more personnel, outsourcing what your EDR should be able to handle but isn’t, or creating a system with more bolts than Frankenstein’s monster?

According to Forrester, there is a way to bridge the goals of greater efficiency and better threat detection. With AI guided investigation, your junior analysts will be able to triage threats like your more seasoned analysts, freeing your senior analysts to focus on mission-critical tasks. And with less noise, your team will be free to focus on more of the right alerts.

Survey respondents backed this up: 35 percent believe AI-guided investigations will lead to fewer breaches, and 52 percent think they’ll lead to improved efficiency. Mission accomplished.

Final Score: You=1, Hackers=0.

To read more about how AI-guided investigation can help revolutionize your SOC, click here.

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Secure Your Black Friday & Cyber Monday Purchases https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/black-friday-cyber-monday-safe-online-shopping/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/black-friday-cyber-monday-safe-online-shopping/#respond Mon, 11 Nov 2019 14:00:57 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=97282

As we gear up to feast with family and friends this Thanksgiving, we also get our wallets ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have practically become holidays themselves, as each year they immediately shift our attention from turkey and pumpkin pie to holiday shopping. Let’s take a look at […]

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As we gear up to feast with family and friends this Thanksgiving, we also get our wallets ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have practically become holidays themselves, as each year they immediately shift our attention from turkey and pumpkin pie to holiday shopping. Let’s take a look at these two holidays, and how their popularity can impact users’ online security.

The Origins of the Holiday Shopping Phenomenon

You might be surprised to find out that the term “Black Friday” was first associated with a financial crisis, not sales shopping. According to The Telegraph, the U.S. gold market crashed on Friday, September 24, 1869, leaving Wall Street bankrupt. It wasn’t until the 1950s that Black Friday was used in association with holiday shopping when large crowds of tourists and shoppers flocked to Philadelphia for a big football game. Because of all the chaos, traffic jams, and shoplifting opportunities that arose, police officers were unable to take the day off, coining it Black Friday. It wasn’t until over 50 years later that Cyber Monday came to fruition when Shop.org coined the term as a way for online retailers to participate in the Black Friday shopping frenzy.

Growth Over the Years

Since the origination of these two massive shopping holidays, both have seen incredible growth. Global interest in Black Friday has risen year-over-year, with 117% average growth across the last five years. According to Forbes, last year’s Black Friday brought in $6.2 billion in online sales alone, while Cyber Monday brought in a record $7.9 billion.

While foot traffic seemed to decrease at brick-and-mortar stores during Cyber Week 2018, more shoppers turned their attention to the internet to participate in holiday bargain hunting. Throughout this week, sales derived from desktop devices came in at 47%, while mobile purchases made up 45% of revenue and tablet purchases made up 8% of revenue.

 

So, what does this mean for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping this holiday season? Adobe Analytics projects that Thanksgiving and Black Friday will bring in $12.3 billion in online sales and Cyber Monday will bring in $9.48 billion. If one thing’s for sure, this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are shaping up to be the biggest ones yet for shoppers looking to snag some seasonal bargains. However, the uptick in online shopping activity provides cybercriminals with the perfect opportunity to wreak havoc on users’ holiday fun.

Holiday Bargain or Shopping Scam?

Inherently, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are pretty similar, with the main difference being where users choose to shop. While Black Friday sees a mix of online and in-store shoppers, most consumers will participate in Cyber Monday sales from their mobile phones or desktops at work. Plus, with mobile Cyber Week sales increasing year over year, it’s clear that users are gravitating towards the convenience of shopping on the go. However, the increase in mobile online shopping also creates an opportunity for cybercriminals to exploit. The latest McAfee Mobile Threat Report revealed a huge increase in device backdoors, fake apps, and banking trojans. With more and more users turning to their smartphones this holiday shopping season, they are in turn potentially subject to a wide variety of mobile cyberattacks.

Another threat to users’ holiday shopping sprees? Rushed purchases. Thanks to a later Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday falls on December 2nd, leaving users with one less shopping week between Turkey Day and Christmas. Because of this time crunch, many users are feeling pressured to get their holiday shopping done in time and might forego some basic cybersecurity practices to speed up the online shopping process. This includes not checking online retailer authenticity, falling for fake Black Friday deals, and hastily giving up more personal information than necessary, all in the interest of jumping on a sale before it’s too late.

How to Stay Secure This Holiday Season

In the blur of the holiday shopping frenzy, how can you help protect your personal information online? Before whipping out your credit card this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, check out these cybersecurity tips to ensure your holiday shopping spree goes off without a hitch:

  • Look for the lock icon. Secure websites will start with “https,” not just “http.” Double-check that you see the padlock icon right next to the web address in your browser. If you don’t, it’s best to avoid making purchases on that website.
  • If you can help it, shop on your desktop. Although shopping on a smartphone allows you to make purchases on the go, this opens you up to threats like mobile malware and fake shopping apps. Additionally, URLs are often shortened on mobile devices, making it easier for scammers to trick you with clone websites.
  • Ask the critics. Cybercriminals will often create fake websites to try and exploit users looking to get in on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday action. If you’re unsure about a product or retailer, read lots of reviews from trusted websites to help see if it’s legitimate.
  • Be on the lookout for suspicious websites. Misspellings and grammatical errors are often a sign that it’s a rip off of a legitimate site. If the site’s content looks a little rough around the edges, this is probably a sign that it was created by a cybercriminal.
  • Don’t be too optimistic. Beware of bogus Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals with fake “free” offers. If you spot an ad online that seems too good to be true, chances are it probably is.
  • Use a comprehensive security solution. Using a solution like McAfee LiveSafe can help your holiday shopping spree go smoothly by providing safe web browsing, virus protection, and more. Check out our own special Cyber Week Offer here.

Looking for more security tips and trends? Be sure to follow @McAfee Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable? and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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Using Expert Rules in ENS to Prevent Malicious Exploits https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/mcafee-labs/using-expert-rules-in-ens-10-5-3-to-prevent-malicious-exploits/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/mcafee-labs/using-expert-rules-in-ens-10-5-3-to-prevent-malicious-exploits/#respond Fri, 25 Oct 2019 15:41:38 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=97184

Expert Rules are text-based custom rules that can be created in the Exploit Prevention policy in ENS Threat Prevention 10.5.3+. Expert Rules provide additional parameters and allow much more flexibility than the custom rules that can be created in the Access Protection policy. It also allows system administration to control / monitor an endpoint system […]

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Expert Rules are text-based custom rules that can be created in the Exploit Prevention policy in ENS Threat Prevention 10.5.3+. Expert Rules provide additional parameters and allow much more flexibility than the custom rules that can be created in the Access Protection policy. It also allows system administration to control / monitor an endpoint system at a very granular level. Expert rules do not rely on User-Mode hooking; hence they have very minimal impact on a system’s performance. This blog is created as a basic guide to show our customers how to create them and which threats they can help block. Further detailed information can be found in the conclusion.

How Expert Rules work

The following sections show how to add Expert rules via EPO and ENS.

Adding an Expert Rule from EPO

1. Select System Tree | Subgroup (e.g.: ens_10.6.0) | Assigned Policies | Product (Endpoint Security Threat Prevention) | Exploit Prevention (My Default)

2. Navigate to Signatures and click on Add Expert Rule.

3. In the Rules section, complete the fields.

a. Select the severity and action for the rule. The severity provides information only; it has no select on the rule action.

b. Select the type of rule to create. The Rule content field is populated with the template for the selected type.

c. Change the template code to specify the behavior of the rule.

When you select a new class type, the code in the Rule content field is replaced with the corresponding template code. Endpoint Security assigns the ID number automatically, starting with 20000. Endpoint Security does not limit the number of Expert Rules you can create.

4. Save the rule, then save the settings.

5. Enforce the policy to a client system.

6. Validate the new Expert Rule on the client system.

Adding an Expert Rule directly at the Endpoint:

If we need to add an expert rule from EPO it will be pushed to all endpoints of an entire EPO “WORKGROUP”. There could be situations where expert rules are required to be applied in one/two systems or ENS systems which are not managed by EPO (non-corporate environment where ENS is installed from a standalone setup); in those cases, the expert rule must be added directly at the endpoint. Expert rules can be written and applied directly at the Endpoint system using McAfee Endpoint Security UI. Steps are below:

1. Open McAfee Endpoint Security. Go to Settings.

2. Go to Threat Prevention | Show Advanced.

3. Scroll Down to Expert Rule Section and then click on Add Expert Rule.

4. The expert rule compiler should pop up where an end user can directly write and compile expert rules and, upon compilation, enforce the rules to the system.

If there is no syntax error in the expert rule it can be applied in the system by clicking on the Enforce button. In case there is a syntax error, the details can be found in log file  %ProgramData%\McAfee\Endpoint Security\Logs\ExploitPrevention_Debug.log

Testing the Rules

When new rules are created, they should first be tested in ‘Report’ mode so that the detections can be observed. When enough confidence in the rule has been gained, it can be turned to ‘Block’ mode.

Expert Rule Examples:

 

Basic Rule:

The following rule will detect an instance of cmd.exe creating any file at c:\temp. Please note that cmd.exe might be run by any user and from any part of the system.

Rule {

Process {

Include OBJECT_NAME { -v “cmd.exe” }

}

Target {

Match FILE {

Include OBJECT_NAME { -v “c:\\temp\\**” }

Include -access “CREATE”

}

}

}

 

Rules which target specific malicious behavior:

The following rules can be created to help block specific malicious activity which is performed by various malware families and attack techniques.

 

Expert Rule to Block Remote Process Injection [MITRE Technique Process Injection T1055]:

Rule {

Process {

Include OBJECT_NAME { -v “**” }

Exclude OBJECT_NAME { -v “SYSTEM” }

Exclude OBJECT_NAME { -v “%windir%\\System32\\WBEM\\WMIPRVSE.EXE” }

Exclude OBJECT_NAME { -v “%windir%\\System32\\CSRSS.EXE” }

Exclude OBJECT_NAME { -v “%windir%\\System32\\WERFAULT.EXE” }

Exclude OBJECT_NAME { -v “%windir%\\System32\\SERVICES.EXE” }

Exclude OBJECT_NAME { -v “*\\GOOGLE\\CHROME\\APPLICATION\\CHROME.EXE” }

}

Target {

Match THREAD {

Include OBJECT_NAME { -v “**” }

Exclude OBJECT_NAME { -v “**\\MEMCOMPRESSION” }

Exclude OBJECT_NAME { -v “%windir%\\System32\\WERFAULT.EXE” }

Include -access “WRITE”

}

}

}

 

Expert Rule which prevents powershell.exe and powershell_ise.exe process from dumping credentials by accessing lsass.exe memory [ MITRE Technique Credential Dumping T1003 ]:

Rule {

Process {

Include OBJECT_NAME {  -v “powershell.exe”  }

Include OBJECT_NAME {  -v “powershell_ise.exe”  }

Exclude VTP_PRIVILEGES -type BITMASK { -v 0x8 }

}

Target {

Match PROCESS {

Include OBJECT_NAME {   -v  “lsass.exe”  }

Include -nt_access “!0x10”

Exclude -nt_access “!0x400”

}

}

}

 

Expert Rule which prevents creation of a suspicious task (PowerShell script or batch file) using “SchTasks.exe” utility [MITRE Technique Scheduled Task T1053]:

Rule {

Process {

Include OBJECT_NAME { -v  “SchTasks.exe” }

Include PROCESS_CMD_LINE { -v “*/Create*” }

}

Target {

Match PROCESS {

Include PROCESS_CMD_LINE { -v “**.bat**” }

}

Match PROCESS {

Include PROCESS_CMD_LINE { -v “**.ps1**” }

}

}

}

 

Expert Rule to prevent Start Up Entry Creation [ MITRE Technique Persistence T1060]:

Adversaries can use several techniques to maintain persistence through system reboots. One of the most popular techniques is creating entries in the Start Up folder. The following expert rule will prevent any process from creating files in the Start Up folder. Recently, the internet has witnessed a full-fledged exploit of a decade old WinRAR vulnerability (CVE-2018-20251) which can be exploited by dropping files in the Start Up directory. The following expert rule will also block such an attempt.

Rule {

Process {

Include OBJECT_NAME { -v ** }

}

Target {

Match FILE {

Include OBJECT_NAME { -v “**\\AppData\\Roaming\\Microsoft\\Windows\\Start Menu\\Programs\\Startup\\**” }

Include -access “CREATE WRITE”

}

}

}

 

Expert Rule which blocks JavaScript Execution within Adobe Reader:

Exploiting a client-side software vulnerability to gain an initial foothold in a network is not new [MITRE Technique T1203]. Adobe Reader is a very popular target because, like any other browser, it supports JavaScript which makes exploitation much easier. The following expert rule can be deployed in any network to prevent Adobe Reader from executing any kind of JavaScript.

Rule {

Process {

Include OBJECT_NAME { -v “AcroRd32.exe”}

}

Target {

Match SECTION {

Include OBJECT_NAME { -v “EScript.api” }

}

}

}

The table below shows how the above four Expert Rules line up in the Mitre Att&ck matrix.

Conclusion

There are many more rules which can be created within Exploit Prevention (part of McAfee’s ENS Threat Prevention) and they can be customized depending on the customer’s environment and requirements. For example, the Expert Rule which blocks JavaScript Execution within Adobe Reader will be of no use if an organization does not use “Adobe Reader” software. To fully utilize this feature, we recommend our customers read the following guides:

https://kc.mcafee.com/resources/sites/MCAFEE/content/live/PRODUCT_DOCUMENTATION/27000/PD27227/en_US/ens_1053_rg_ExpertRules_0-00_en-us.pdf

https://kc.mcafee.com/corporate/index?page=content&id=KB89677

 

Disclaimer: The expert rules used here as examples can cause a significant number of False Positives in some environments, hence we recommend those rules to be explicitly applied only in an environment where better visibility of above (or similar) events at granular level is required.

Acknowledgement:

The author would like to thank following colleagues for their help and inputs authoring this blog.

  • Oliver Devane
  • Abhishek Karnik
  • Cedric Cochin

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Increasing Value with Security Integration https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/increasing-value-with-security-integration/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/increasing-value-with-security-integration/#respond Tue, 22 Oct 2019 15:00:35 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=97140

What would your security team do with an extra 62 days? According to a recent study by IDC, that’s the amount of time the average-sized security team can expect to regain by addressing a lack of security management integration. With just 12 percent of respondents currently using an end-to-end management suite—and with 14 percent completely […]

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What would your security team do with an extra 62 days?

According to a recent study by IDC, that’s the amount of time the average-sized security team can expect to regain by addressing a lack of security management integration. With just 12 percent of respondents currently using an end-to-end management suite—and with 14 percent completely reliant on ad hoc “solutions”—there’s plenty of room for improvement.

The study, “Security Integration and Automation: The Keys to Unlocking Security Value,” found that businesses who addressed lack of integration saw three main business benefits: Efficiency, Cost Reduction and Improved Staff Retention. If your business chose to do the same, which goal would your team spend its 62 days working toward?

Increasing Efficiency

When asked what concerns limited their ability to improve IT security capabilities, 44% reported security was too busy with routine operations, and 37 percent cited high levels of demand for new business services.

If these teams had an extra 62 days, it could afford them the free time needed to improve their security posture—and one place that a lot of companies currently fall short is in the cloud, where a majority of new business services live.

According to IDC, enterprises are expected to spend $1.7 trillion on digital transformation by the end of this year. And our 2019 Cloud Adoption and Risk Report found that 83% of respondents worldwide stored sensitive data in the cloud. The number of files on the cloud that are eventually shared has risen to nearly half, but unfortunately, there isn’t always a lot visibility or control over where that data winds up. 14% of those files go to personal email addresses, removing them from the oversight of corporate cybersecurity. Even worse, another 12% of the files shared are accessible to “anyone with a link.”

These numbers are only rising—over the past two years, they’ve gone up 12% and 23% respectively. A recent report by Gartner puts a fine point on it: “Through 2025, 90% of the organizations that fail to control public cloud use will inappropriately share sensitive data”—a figure which could risk your company’s compliance status, reputation, or even overall well-being. Clearly, any portion of that 62 days dedicated to preventing such data loss would be time well spent.

Decreasing Costs

According to a Cybersecurity Ventures report, there will be an estimated 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. Odds are, your own cybersecurity team is feeling this crunch. In our “Hacking the Skills Shortage” report, we found that businesses are having to respond to in-house talent shortages by expanding their outsourcing of cybersecurity.

More than 60% of survey respondents work at organizations that outsource at least some cybersecurity work. With an extra 62 days a year, some of these capabilities could be brought back in-house, which would help meet cost-cutting goals or free up resources that could be reallocated elsewhere. For a team struggling to meet demands that outpace their current bandwidth, having this 62 days would be like receiving an extra 9.5 manhours of work a week. This “free” higher production reduces your company’s labor cost—and could make a substantial difference during cybersecurity labor shortages, when extra manpower can be basically unavailable at any price.

Employee Retention

What else could your team do with 62 extra days a year? Nothing at all.

More specifically, this time could be allocated across your team as a way to ease burnout, incentivize hard work, and help increase retention.

According to our “Winning the Game” report, only 35% of survey respondents say they’re “extremely satisfied” in their current cybersecurity job, and a full 89% would consider leaving their roles if offered the right type of incentive.

What are the “right types of incentives?” 32% said that shorter/flexible hours would make them consider leaving. Another 28% said lower workload would lure them away, and an additional 18 percent said an easier, more predictable workload could make them switch.

Assuming an average security staff of between 5 and 6 team members, 62 days would allow you to give each employee several extra days off a year. Alternately, by distributing existing workload through this allotted time, your team could work at a pace other than “breakneck.”

While the extra time you’d gain could certainly allow for less work, it could also allow for more interesting work. In the same survey, 30% of employees mentioned that an opportunity to work with exciting technologies like AI/automation could lead them to consider working elsewhere. If your team falls into this camp, an extra 62 days could allow the time necessary to explore these options (which in turn, could have business benefits of their own.)

Once these benefits are realized, what are the ultimate outcomes expected to be? According to IDC, 36% said faster response times, 35% said more effective response, and 29% said better threat intel sharing. Given these findings, it’s no wonder that the share of end-to-end suite users who feel their security is ahead of their peers outnumber their ad-hoc equivalents 4:1. Where does your business stand?

To read the full “Security Integration and Automation: The Keys to Unlocking Security Value” study, click here.

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Securing the Unsecured: State of Cybersecurity 2019 – Part II https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/securing-the-unsecured-state-of-cybersecurity-2019-part-ii/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/securing-the-unsecured-state-of-cybersecurity-2019-part-ii/#respond Thu, 10 Oct 2019 16:00:16 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=97030

This blog was written by Wayne Anderson, previous Enterprise Security Architect at McAfee. Recently the Straight Talk Insights team at HCL Technologies invited a social panel to discuss a critical question at the center of today’s digital transitions: How do companies target investments and change the culture to avoid being the next victim of a […]

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This blog was written by Wayne Anderson, previous Enterprise Security Architect at McAfee.

Recently the Straight Talk Insights team at HCL Technologies invited a social panel to discuss a critical question at the center of today’s digital transitions: How do companies target investments and change the culture to avoid being the next victim of a cyberattack?

In Part I of the series, we explored IT security trends for 2019 and ways companies can protect themselves from IoT device vulnerability. Today, we’re continuing the discussion by exploring the threat of cryptocrime, the nature of cybersecurity threats in the near future, and the steps that small- and medium-sized businesses can take to protect themselves.

Q3: How great is the threat to companies of “crypto crime”?

The thing about ransomware is that it’s no longer the province of specific groups. At the RSA Conference this year, McAfee’s own Raj Samani shared the advent of the franchise model in crypto crime. As a result, we are seeing greater reach, but less unique systems applying ransomware. Still, we see the enterprises failing in the same ways year after year and falling victim to these families of ransomware at scale.

As you seek to conquer incident response as an effective plank of mitigating the effect of phishing and initial ransomware infections—I’d ask, how does your incident response change in the cloud? Do you have incident response resources and provisions for SaaS vs. IaaS? How do you get the logs and resources that you need from cloud providers to effectively investigate and ensure you have identified all affected nodes, or the initial attack vector? The time to figure out that question isn’t during time-compressed investigation stages when everyone is under stress from an active threat.

With the recent third anniversary of No More Ransom, security leaders like Raj Samani and the companies that make up partnerships like that of the No More Ransom website can help offer basic protection for some forms of ransomware. In this joint project with Europol and AWS, it’s been an amazing journey to watch and even invest in helping protect businesses against ransomware.

Q4: How can small businesses with limited resources protect the privacy of their customers?

The dwell time of threats in small and medium businesses is 45 to 800 days, with the averages moving more towards the latter. Cloud based information security SaaS (Software as a Service) is helping to level the playing field. To make continued progress, venture capital backing small firms, and the public buying from these companies, need to assert an expectation of security as part of doing business.

Many restaurants and retail establishments are still small businesses today, run by families and individuals. In many of these stores, there is a certain level of distrust of cloud and connected platforms, versus point-of-sales systems they can put their hands on and feel like they have control over. How do we gain the trust and their attention to of these small stakeholders, help them either more strongly secure things in-house or make the move to cloud security services? We can’t just have an answer that demands $4,000 or $40,000 to make the fix. Instead we have to find every possible opportunity to go serverless and make more and more walled garden capability for things like point of sale, or small engineering platform.

When it comes to small businesses interconnecting systems and moving into cloud services for consumers, these small companies holding identities is a challenge from a trust perspective. Forums and programs like the OpenID technologies providing standards and enabling identity without spreading the authorization infrastructure unnecessarily has been instrumental in constraining the size of this problem.

Security spans everything. There are basic exercises that you can do as business customers to check your readiness. I am a huge fan of SOAPA from ESG as a method of mapping what assets you have at different levels of the organization. Ask yourself a basic question -can you keep control integrity when you go from one “tower” —like on-premise—of connected capability to mapping the other silos or major cloud environments of your hybrid company? I’d also add it costs nothing to follow some of your favorite security personalities. I follow people like Cisco’s Wendy Nather and Kate Moussouris, the CEO of Luta Security who is helping even small companies understand the market of bug bounties and vulnerability disclosure.

Here, too, public policy potentially has a natural role. Government requires health training, for example in a restaurant, but not information security necessarily at small- and medium-sized business. Actually, the natural consequences and motivations of insurance companies can be an ally here, requiring training in basic computer hygiene, security, and privacy as part of issuing liability policies for businesses.

Q5: What are some new cybersecurity threats that we can expect to see in the next year?

I expect to see the rise of more significant exploitation of the “seams” in cloud integrations. The recent CapitalOne breach was relatively benign in the scheme of things. The actor was a braggart hacktivist, but the media coverage emphasized the weakness of cloud integrations to many who might have more capability. We’ve seen spikes in discussion in the dark web around this, so the profile of the cloud vulnerability is higher, and now we will have to see how the cat-and-mouse game between offense and defense proceeds.

I think it’s worth adding, the next threat isn’t as much the challenge to me, as the enterprise reaching the next run of maturity in the digital environment. Asset management, vulnerability reduction, and preparing the protection of cloud operations and visibility are all critical disciplines for the enterprise, no matter what the threat is.

Protect your devices. Protect your cloud—not in silos, but with an integrated strategy. Demand from your vendors the ability to integrate to maintain a cohesive threat picture which you can use to easily react.

To read Part I of this two-part series, click here.

 

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Are Cybersecurity Robots Coming For Your Job? https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/are-cybersecurity-robots-coming-for-your-job/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/are-cybersecurity-robots-coming-for-your-job/#respond Wed, 09 Oct 2019 15:30:56 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=97035

“14 Jobs That Will Soon Be Obsolete.” “Can A Robot Do Your Job?” “These Seven Careers Will Fall Victim to Automation.” For each incremental advance in automation technology, it seems there’s an accompanying piece of alarmist clickbait, warning of a future in which robots will be able to do everything we can, only better, cheaper, […]

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“14 Jobs That Will Soon Be Obsolete.” “Can A Robot Do Your Job?” “These Seven Careers Will Fall Victim to Automation.” For each incremental advance in automation technology, it seems there’s an accompanying piece of alarmist clickbait, warning of a future in which robots will be able to do everything we can, only better, cheaper, and for longer. Proponents of AI and automation view this as the harbinger of a golden age, ushering in a future free from all the paper-pushing, the drudgery, the mundane and repetitive things we have to do in our lives. We will work shorter hours, focus on more meaningful work, and actually spend our leisure time on, well, leisure.

But while it’s one thing to enjoy having a robot zipping across the floor picking up your 3-year-old’s wayward Cheerios, it’s quite another to imagine automation coming to our workplace. For those of us in cybersecurity, however, it has become a foregone conclusion: Now that criminals have begun adopting automation and AI as part of their attack strategies, it’s become something of an arms race, with businesses and individuals racing to stay one step ahead of increasingly sophisticated bad actors that human analysts will no longer be able to fend off on their own.

Spurred by growth in both the number of companies deploying automation and the sophistication of threats, automated processes are closing in on and even surpassing human analysts in some tasks—which is making some cybersecurity professionals uneasy. “When robots are better threat hunters, will there still be a place for me? What if someday, they can do everything I can do, and more?”

According to the “2019 SANS Automation and Integration Survey,” however, human-powered SecOps aren’t going away anytime soon. “Automation doesn’t appear to negatively affect staffing,” the authors concluded, after surveying more than 200 cybersecurity professionals from companies of all sizes over a wide cross-section of industries. What they found, in fact, suggested the opposite: Companies with medium or greater levels of automation actually have higher staffing levels than companies with little automation. When asked directly about whether they anticipated job elimination due to automation, most of those surveyed said they felt there would be no change in staffing levels. “Respondents do not appear concerned about automation taking away jobs,” the paper concludes.

There are many reasons for this, but perhaps the most basic is that, in order to see any sort of loss in the number of cybersecurity jobs, we’d first need to get to parity—and we’re currently about 3 million short of that.

Phrased another way, automation could theoretically eliminate three million jobs before a single analyst had to contemplate a career change. That’s an oversimplification, to be sure, but it’s also one that presupposes AI and automation will live up to all of its promises—and as we’ve seen with a number of “revolutionary” cybersecurity technologies, many fall short of the hype, at least in the early days.

Automation currently faces some fundamental shortcomings. First, it cannot deploy itself: Experts are needed to tailor the solution to the business’ needs and ensure it is set up and functioning correctly. And once they’re in place, the systems cannot reliably cover all the security needs of an enterprise—due to a lack of human judgment, automated systems surface a great many false positives, and failing to put an analyst in charge of filtering and investigating these these would create a huge burden on the IT staff responsible for remediation.

There’s also the issue of false negatives. AI is great at spotting what it’s programmed to spot; it is vastly more unreliable at catching threats it hasn’t been specifically instructed to look for. Machine learning is beginning to overcome this hurdle, but the operative word here is still “machine”—when significant threats are surfaced, the AI has no way of knowing what this means for the business it’s working for, as it lacks both the context to fully realize what a threat means to its parent company, and the ability to take into consideration everything a person would. Humans will still be needed at the helm to analyze risks and potential breaches, and make intuition-driven, business-critical decisions.

As effective as these automated systems are, once they’ve been programmed, their education begins to become obsolete almost immediately as new types of attack are created and deployed. Automated systems cannot continue to learn and evolve effectively without the guiding hand of humans. Humans are also needed as a check on this learning, to test and attempt to penetrate the defenses the system has developed.

Then there are the things that can never be automated: hiring and training people; selecting vendors; any task that requires creativity or “thinking outside the box”; making presentations and eliciting buy-in from the board of directors and upper management—and, of course, compliance. No automated system, no matter how sophisticated, is going to know when new laws, company regulations, and rules are passed, and no system will be able to adjust to such changes without human intervention. Even if the work of compliance could be completely automated, the responsibility for compliance cannot be outsourced, and rare would be the individual who could sleep easy letting a machine handle such tasks singlehandedly.

But for the sake of argument, let’s assume for a moment we could fully automate the SOC. While the loss of jobs is certainly a serious matter, we’d soon find the stakes to be much higher than even that. Hackers have already demonstrated an ability to hack into automated systems. If they were able to retrain your AI to ignore critical threats, and there was no human present to realize what was happening and respond swiftly and appropriately, sensitive data could be compromised enterprise-wide—or worse.

In short, automation won’t eliminate the demand for human cybersecurity expertise, at least in the short- to medium-term. But it will certainly redefine roles. According to SANS, implementation of effective automation often requires an initial surge in staff to get the kinks worked out—but it is almost invariably accompanied by a redirection, not reduction, of the existing workforce. Once in place, the automated systems will have two functions. By allowing analysts to shift their focus to more critical cybersecurity functions, improving efficiency, reducing incident response time, and reducing fatigue, they function as a tool for cybersecurity professionals to increase their effectiveness.

But their most valuable role may be as a partner. Automation may be powerful, but automation closely directed and honed by humans is more powerful. Rather than taking the place of humans, robots will take their place alongside humans. Automation, then, should be thought of as a way not to replace SecOps teams, but rather to complement and complete them in a way that will allow them to handle both the monotonous and mundane (yet necessary) tasks in the SOC, and also attend to the true mission-critical tasks rapidly and without distraction.

For more on misconceptions surrounding automation, read the 2019 SANS Automation Survey

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Securing the Unsecured: State of Cybersecurity 2019 – Part I https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/securing-the-unsecured-state-of-cybersecurity-2019-part-i/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/securing-the-unsecured-state-of-cybersecurity-2019-part-i/#respond Tue, 08 Oct 2019 16:00:16 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=97025

This blog was written by Wayne Anderson, previous Enterprise Security Architect at McAfee. Recently the Straight Talk Insights team at HCL Technologies invited a social panel to discuss a critical question at the center of today’s digital transitions: How do companies target investments and change the culture to avoid being the next victim of a […]

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This blog was written by Wayne Anderson, previous Enterprise Security Architect at McAfee.

Recently the Straight Talk Insights team at HCL Technologies invited a social panel to discuss a critical question at the center of today’s digital transitions: How do companies target investments and change the culture to avoid being the next victim of a cyberattack?

Alongside some fantastic leaders and technology strategists from HCL, Oracle, Clarify360, Duo Security, and TCDI, we explored the challenges of today’s hyper-connected and stretched security team.

Today, businesses operate in a world where over the last few years, more than 85% of business leaders surveyed by Dell and Dimensional Research say they believe security teams can better enable digital transformation initiatives if they are included early. Moreover, 90% say they can better enable the business if given more resources. Yet most of these same leaders assert that security is being brought in too late to enable digital transformation initiatives! These digital transformation trends—cloud, data, analytics, devices—are critical to the next generation of customer and employee experiences, and for the clear majority of companies, the transition of value chains is already in progress!

We collate the insights from the course of the discussion …

Q1: What are some of the IT security trends for 2019? Are there particular cybersecurity challenges related to digital trends?

Digital isn’t one trend—it’s many. Plus, we can’t stop running the business today. This forces a split of the skill investment that is available to companies, which MSSPs and system integrators can cover part of. The biggest challenge is information security extension in a multi-cloud world. All large enterprise is multi-cloud and hybrid. Yet few security operations teams are prepared for that.

Part of solving that challenge is bringing nascent ways of identifying anomalies and gaining scale—for example, through graph theory technology, critical to find the little traces that represent defensive capability. Machine learning will be throughout the information security technology stack soon. This shift must happen, as the challenge is more than new environments. The log volumes in cloud are material—and you pay for them, by the way—the formats are different, the collections are different, and the visibility is fragmented.

The harder thing here is that information security teams must adjust to ALL of this at ONCE. Great, you have AWS Cloud Trail. Let me ask you a question: Which of your security stack can see that AND is tuned for it AND can unify the risk identified there with on-premise derived visibility? And if you can answer that in a positive way, what about when I ask the same thing for Azure? Are you starting to think about the shift to resilience, or are you still thinking about defense and control exclusively?

I’d ask though, as your team is investing in cloud, are they investing in the understanding and readiness to protect data science? Are you preparing the project cycle for your security team to now be iterative as well to even deliver these services? Identity and access management is part of the solution as a critical foundation. Effective governance and strategy can help you figure out which platforms have security relevant data. While it’s easy to say “see and save everything,” you quickly find out how expensive that is, and how much trash is in there. At that point, you can start thinking about automation.

Focusing on data storage and data in motion has led us to consider more zero trust to cut down on the amount of interstitial security complexity. To realize that vision, tokenization and indexing and many other technologies must continue to expand. We face an odd duality between the confidentiality and accessibility of making data useful in digital employee experience and customer experience.

It’s about more than adding automation to conquer the complexity. The automation must have intelligence, and it must operate in a way that is more than “I bought tech with buzzwords.” So many platforms and products say they do these things—but as you buy and implement, you need to focus on how, and how hard they are to build and link together. Plus, how are you going to maintain them? Be careful as we adjust to keep the pace of digital transformation that we aren’t trading one problem for another.

Finally, I’d note that at every level of the information security organization—not jus the CISO—the people need to have a sense of purpose. What value do you add as a security professional to the customer experience? Why do you exist? We need to remember that, as customer journeys are the way that digital transformation shows up. We have to think end-to-end.

Q2: What can companies do to protect themselves against vulnerabilities created by IoT devices?

Start with procurement. Look, I’d love to tell you that IoT security is a software problem, but that’s only part of it. It really starts with buying technology that is well-designed, and both the customer and the upstream vendor must enforce Secure Development Life Cycle (SDLC) internally.

To a certain degree, we need to see IoT as completely untrusted. Google’s BeyondCorp is a good goal for an entire org’s high-level vision of zero trust. Data introspection and device behaviors then need to have high inspection rather than assumptions of performance. We are advantaged in that we now live in a society full of tools where the reality is that encryption overhead is almost negligible with RISC based enhancements to network interface level assets. The organization can think differently about data protection in that kind of world with (relatively) cheap encryption cost to latency and performance.

When I think about IoT security, I continue to go back to an example that really made an impression on me a couple years back: If the team at IKEA can sell an IoT lightbar for cheap that has basic randomization, locked services, and minimal platform build … I have to think that certainly we can do better in health technology, industrial control systems, and manufacturing technologies.

When it comes to governance, IoT has the potential to turn asset management issues up to “11” on the 10-point scale of concern. How do you define an authorized device? Authorize an untrusted device to send data into the system? What do you recognize as a managed device? How will your organization make conditional access decisions to use, aggregate, and modify data? “Enterprise Architecture” (EA) needs to be part of the plan for effective governance. In some ways, as an industry, EA got swept up with the boom and bust of specific analyst models of architecture not proving out value cases at a lot of organizations. In today’s iterative digital world, architecture and simplicity have to be part of the IoT project Minimum Viable Product in order to realize the scale needed later.

We can’t manage IoT like laptops—these devices have fewer capabilities. Instead we need more affirmative approaches that integrate the components of the ecosystem in a predictable and defined way, like trusted cloud. The default expectation for a device intended to be used in a reduced management environment should have heavy encryption, PKI validation, and locked down application-controlled execution built into them out of the box.

When you take a step back and look at the problem as societal instead of the microcosm of a specific company’s product or implementation, public policy must enter into the intersection of law and devices at scale. We have to solve difficult questions like the role of liability and commercial incentives to build and deploy device platforms in a responsible way. As one example, when machine learning-led IoT decisions create a catastrophe, who is responsible? The owning company? The software vendor? The system integrator? All the above? In critical spaces like utilities and healthcare, we need the focus of meeting some level of criteria for devices to have minimum reasonable security.

Even at this scale, this, too could be a great place for graph theory and machine learning-led approaches to secure societal level device challenges like elections. It’s easily expressed as math—easily identified for loci and baseline deviations. We need investment, however, from government or non-traditional sources as the state/local government and education sectors have very long buying cycles, and the available budget for this problem hasn’t yet justified the extended R&D costs of these kinds of technological changes.

Even while these public policy shifts are emerging, the greater propensity of localized privacy law has created operational hurdles for enterprise. As a microcosm, introduction of privacy safeguards in the India data localization law represents many different interests trying to be balanced in one approach. This has created a higher cost for external multinationals as they create duplicative storage and has even slowed digital transformation and created a drag on growth for India based consulting and business process outsourcing economic engines. You could make the same analysis for CCPA or GDPR, but these same measures have helped privacy, potentially, for citizens.

To help companies navigate these challenges, we are seeing organizations like ENISA, and the NCSC Secure Authority providing advisory guidance. This leads to the definition of a state of reasonable practice. When we add that kind of practical dimension to ISO standards like the 27000 series, and the Top 20 from the Center for Internet Security, and others, we help organizations navigate what the basics look like for practical security applicability in IoT and security generally.

In Part II of this series, we’ll explore the threat of cryptocrime, the nature of cybersecurity threats in the near future, and the steps that small- and medium-sized businesses can take to protect themselves.

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McAfee Receives the 2019 Security Excellence Award From IoT Evolution https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/2019-security-excellence-award/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/2019-security-excellence-award/#respond Mon, 30 Sep 2019 16:00:48 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=96949

If you’re like most users, you’ve probably adopted several smart devices into your home over the last few years. Whether it be voice assistants, smart TVs, thermostats, or gaming systems, IoT devices help make our lives easier. But with greater connectivity also comes greater exposure to online threats. However, that doesn’t mean users should avoid […]

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If you’re like most users, you’ve probably adopted several smart devices into your home over the last few years. Whether it be voice assistants, smart TVs, thermostats, or gaming systems, IoT devices help make our lives easier. But with greater connectivity also comes greater exposure to online threats. However, that doesn’t mean users should avoid using IoT technology altogether. With the help of smart security, users can feel safe and protected as they bring new gadgets into their lives. Solutions like McAfee Secure Home Platform, which is now the winner of the IoT Security Excellence Award, can help users connect with confidence.

Here at McAfee, we know smart security is more important now than ever before. That’s why we work tirelessly to ensure that our solutions provide consumers with the best protection possible. For example, McAfee Secure Home Platform provides automatic protection for the entire home network by automatically securing connected devices through a router with McAfee protection. It’s through the proactive evolution of our products that McAfee Secure Home Platform has received this 2019 IoT Security Excellence Award from IoT Evolution World, the leading publication covering IoT technologies.

The IoT Security Excellence Award celebrates the most innovative products and solutions in the world of IoT. It honors technology empowered by the new availability of information being deduced, inferred, and directly gathered from sensors, systems, and anything else that is supporting better business and personal decisions. Winners of this award are recognized for their innovation in gathering and managing information from connected devices that often are not associated with IoT.

“We are thrilled that McAfee Secure Home Platform has been recognized by IoT Evolution World as a recipient of the 2019 IoT Evolution Security Excellence Award. We continue to prioritize creating solutions that lead with ease of use and first-class protection, in order for consumers to best protect every connected device in their homes.” – Gary Davis, Chief Consumer Security Evangelist at McAfee.

As long as technology continues to evolve, so will the threat landscape. This is what drives us to keep developing leading solutions that help you and your loved ones connect with confidence. Solutions like McAfee Secure Home Platform are leading the charge in providing top home network security while still empowering users to enjoy their smart devices.

To stay updated on the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable? and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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The Seven Main Phishing Lures of Cybercriminals https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/mobile-and-iot-security/the-seven-main-phishing-lures-of-cybercriminals/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/mobile-and-iot-security/the-seven-main-phishing-lures-of-cybercriminals/#respond Tue, 24 Sep 2019 23:16:05 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=96823

One of the oldest tricks in the cybercrime playbook is phishing. It first hit the digital scene in 1995, at a time when millions flocked to America Online (AOL) every day. And if we know one thing about cybercriminals, it’s that they tend to follow the masses. In earlier iterations, phishing attempts were easy to […]

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One of the oldest tricks in the cybercrime playbook is phishing. It first hit the digital scene in 1995, at a time when millions flocked to America Online (AOL) every day. And if we know one thing about cybercriminals, it’s that they tend to follow the masses. In earlier iterations, phishing attempts were easy to spot due to link misspellings, odd link redirects, and other giveaways. However, today’s phishing tricks have become personalized, advanced, and shrouded in new disguises. So, let’s take a look at some of the different types, real-world examples and how you can recognize a phishing lure.

Be Wary of Suspicious Emails

Every day, users get sent thousands of emails. Some are important, but most are just plain junk. These emails often get filtered to a spam folder, where phishing emails are often trapped. But sometimes they slip through the digital cracks, into a main inbox. These messages typically have urgent requests that require the user to input sensitive information or fill out a form through an external link. These phishing emails can take on many personas, such as banking institutions, popular services, and universities. As such, always remember to stay vigilant and double-check the source before giving away any information.

Link Look-A-Likes

A sort of sibling to email phishing, link manipulation is when a cybercriminal sends users a link to malicious website under the ruse of an urgent request or deadline. After clicking on the deceptive link, the user is brought to the cybercriminal’s fake website rather than a real or verified link and asked to input or verify personal details. This exact scenario happened last year when several universities and businesses fell for a campaign disguised as a package delivery issue from FedEx. This scheme is a reminder that anyone can fall for a cybercriminals trap, which is why users always have to careful when clicking, as well as ensure the validity of the claim and source of the link. To check the validity, it’s always a good idea to contact the source directly to see if the notice or request is legitimate.

Gone Whaling

Corporate executives have always been high-level targets for cybercriminals. That’s why C-suite members have a special name for when cybercriminals try to phish them – whaling. What sounds like a silly name is anything but. In this sophisticated, as well as personalized attack, a cybercriminal attempts to manipulate the target to obtain money, trade secrets, or employee information. In recent years, organizations have become smarter and in turn, whaling has slowed down. Before the slowdown, however, many companies were hit with data breaches due to cybercriminals impersonating C-suite members and asking lower-level employees for company information. To avoid this pesky phishing attempt, train C-suite members to be able to identify phishing, as well as encourage unique, strong passwords on all devices and accounts.

Spear Target Acquired

 Just as email spam and link manipulation are phishing siblings, so too are whaling and spear-phishing. While whaling attacks target the C-suite of a specific organization, spear-phishing rather targets lower-level employees of a specific organization. Just as selective and sophisticated as whaling, spear-phishing targets members of a specific organization to gain access to critical information, like staff credentials, intellectual property, customer data, and more. Spear-phishing attacks tend to be more lucrative than a run-of-the-mill phishing attack, which is why cybercriminals will often spend more time crafting and obtaining personal information from these specific targets. To avoid falling for this phishing scheme, employees must have proper security training so they know how to spot a phishing lure when they see one.

Spoofed Content

With so many things to click on a website, it’s easy to see why cybercriminals would take advantage of that fact. Content spoofing is based on exactly that notion – a cybercriminal alters a section of content on a page of a reliable website to redirect an unsuspecting user to an illegitimate website where they are then asked to enter personal details. The best way to steer clear of this phishing scheme is to check that the URL matches the primary domain name.

Phishing in a Search Engine Pond

 When users search for something online, they expect reliable resources. But sometimes, phishing sites can sneak their way into legitimate results. This tactic is called search engine phishing and involves search engines being manipulated into showing malicious results. Users are attracted to these sites by discount offers for products or services. However, when the user goes to buy said product or service, their personal details are collected by the deceptive site. To stay secure, watch out for potentially sketchy ads in particular and when in doubt always navigate to the official site first.

Who’s That Caller?

With new technologies come new avenues for cybercriminals to try and obtain personal data. Vishing, or voice phishing, is one of those new avenues. In a vishing attempt, cybercriminals contact users by phone and ask the user to dial a number to receive identifiable bank account or personal information through the phone by using a fake caller ID. For example, just last year, a security researcher received a call from their financial institution saying that their card had been compromised. Instead of offering a replacement card, the bank suggested simply blocking any future geographic-specific transactions. Sensing something was up, the researcher hung up and dialed his bank – they had no record of the call or the fraudulent card transactions. This scenario, as sophisticated as it sounds, reminds users to always double-check directly with businesses before sharing any personal information.

As you can see, phishing comes in all shapes and sizes. This blog only scratches the surface of all the ways cybercriminals lure unsuspecting users into phishing traps. The best way to stay protected is to invest in comprehensive security and stay updated on new phishing scams.

Looking for more security tips and trends? Be sure to follow @McAfee Home on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

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Solving the Gamer’s Dilemma: Security vs. Performance https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/solving-the-gamers-dilemma/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/solving-the-gamers-dilemma/#respond Tue, 17 Sep 2019 17:30:59 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=96748

As of last year, 2.2 billion1 people consider themselves gamers across the globe. Of that 2.2 billion, over 50% – 1.22 billion2 – play their game of choice on a PC. The sheer number of PC gamers throughout the world, however, has sparked the interest of cybercriminals and cyberthreats targeting gamers have spiked. Threats including malware, […]

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As of last year, 2.2 billion1 people consider themselves gamers across the globe. Of that 2.2 billion, over 50% – 1.22 billion2 – play their game of choice on a PC. The sheer number of PC gamers throughout the world, however, has sparked the interest of cybercriminals and cyberthreats targeting gamers have spiked. Threats including malware, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), phishing, account takeovers (ATO), and more have slowly started to permeate gamers’ domains at an alarming level.

PC gamers often adopt lesser security protocols, as they’re concerned about the potential negative impact on in-game performance. At the same time, they are the most connected, online users, meaning their exposure to threats is generally higher. While they recognize and understand the importance of having cybersecurity, they do not want to sacrifice performance for security. The gamer’s dilemma – security versus performance – is the crux as to why gamers put security second, even though the average gamer has experienced almost five cyberattacks.

There’s good news though – McAfee Gamer Security is here to counter the notion that antivirus slows gamers down. This brand-new security solution from McAfee provides gamers with the security they need without sacrificing performance or creating in-game slowdowns, such as drops in frames per second (FPS) and lag. Built from the ground up, this solution delivers performance optimization by monitoring key system metrics coupled with the ability to manually kill resource hogs on-the-fly, while automatically prioritizing resources and pausing background services. McAfee Gamer Security also features cloud-based MicroAV, which offloads detection from the system to the cloud for all the protection gamers could want or need, without the “bloat” that usually accompanies security software.

While McAfee Gamer Security is now available for purchase, in spring 2019 McAfee surveyed users that participated in beta testing. Here’s how they responded to a few questions we asked:

Overall, what impact, if any, did you feel in your gaming experience?

“I believe I had [experienced] a positive impact of the software during my overall use of the program because it increased the speed of my game as well as gave me peace of mind that I…[stayed] protected during my gameplay.”

What one benefit would make you talk about McAfee Gamer Security to your friends? What is the primary reason for your choice? 

“Good security which doesn’t slow down my system; Normally, antiviruses…hog background resources [and] you trade performance for security. McAfee Gamer Security offers the best of both worlds, without contradicting each other.”

Overall, how useful or not useful has Gamer Security been?                      

“Every couple [of] hours or so while gaming, I…used the software to check up on my RAM/GPU/CPU performance and make sure my system isn’t bottlenecking, there aren’t any irregularities, etc. I also really like that I can experience a boost in my gameplay without having to take the risk of overclocking my components.”

In addition to using a security solution like McAfee Gamer Security, here are some other general tips to help you stay secure while playing your favorite video game:

  1. Ensure all applications, hardware and software are up-to-date. Cybercriminals can take advantage of software, hardware, and application vulnerabilities to spread cyberthreats, such as malware. Keep your devices and applications updated with the latest security patches and fixes to help combat this threat.
  2. Periodically visit your device to add/remove programs. Some apps on your device may be vampirically siphoning in-game performance. Remove apps that you do not need or no longer use.
  3. Create strong, unique passwords. Over 55% of gamers re-use the same password across accounts for online gaming services. And while it might be easier to remember the same password, reusing credentials across multiple accounts could put the hundreds, or even thousands, of invested hours in leveling up characters and gathering rare items at risk in the event one account is breached. Be sure to construct a complex password that is difficult to guess.

And, as always, stay on top of the latest consumer and gaming security threats with @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable? and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Footnotes

  1. Number of active video gamers worldwide from 2014 to 2021 (in millions), Statista, 2019
  2. Number of active PC gamers worldwide from 2014 to 2021 (in millions), Statista, 2019

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Cybercrime’s Most Wanted: Four Mobile Threats that Might Surprise You https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/mobile-and-iot-security/four-surprising-mobile-threats/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/mobile-and-iot-security/four-surprising-mobile-threats/#respond Tue, 03 Sep 2019 18:17:39 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=96590

It’s hard to imagine a world without cellphones. Whether it be a smartphone or a flip phone, these devices have truly shaped the late 20th century and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. But while users have become accustomed to having almost everything they could ever want at fingertips length, cybercriminals were […]

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It’s hard to imagine a world without cellphones. Whether it be a smartphone or a flip phone, these devices have truly shaped the late 20th century and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. But while users have become accustomed to having almost everything they could ever want at fingertips length, cybercriminals were busy setting up shop. To trick unsuspecting users, cybercriminals have set up crafty mobile threats – some that users may not even be fully aware of. These sneaky cyberthreats include SMSishing, fake networks, malicious apps, and grayware, which have all grown in sophistication over time. This means users need to be equipped with the know-how to navigate the choppy waters that come with these smartphone-related cyberthreats. Let’s get started.

Watch out for SMSishing Hooks

If you use email, then you are probably familiar with what phishing is. And while phishing is commonly executed through email and malicious links, there is a form of phishing that specifically targets mobile devices called SMSishing. This growing threat allows cybercriminals to utilize messaging apps to send unsuspecting users a SMSishing message. These messages serve one purpose – to obtain personal information, such as logins and financial information. With that information, cybercriminals could impersonate the user to access banking records or steal their identity.

While this threat was once a rarity, it’s rise in popularity is two-fold. The first aspect being that users have been educated to distrust email messages and the second being the rise in mobile phone usage throughout the world. Although this threat shows no sign of slowing down, there are ways to avoid a cybercriminal’s SMSishing hooks. Get started with these tips:

  1. Always double-check the message’s source. If you receive a text from your bank or credit card company, call the organization directly to ensure the message is legit.
  2. Delete potential SMSishing Do not reply to or click on any links within a suspected malicious text, as that could lead to more SMSishing attempts bombarding your phone.
  3. Invest in comprehensive mobile security. Adding an extra level of security can not only help protect your device but can also notify you when a threat arises.

Public Wi-Fi Woes  

Public and free Wi-Fi is practically everywhere nowadays, with some destinations even having city-wide Wi-Fi set up. But that Wi-Fi users are connecting their mobile device to may not be the most secure, given cybercriminals can exploit weaknesses in these networks to intercept messages, login credentials, or other personal information. Beyond exploiting weaknesses, some cybercriminals take it a step further and create fake networks with generic names that trick unsuspecting users into connecting their devices. These networks are called “evil-twin” networks. For help in spotting these imposters, there are few tricks the savvy user can deploy to prevent an evil twin network from wreaking havoc on their mobile device:

  1. Look for password-protected networks. As strange as it sounds, if you purposely enter the incorrect password but are still allowed access, the network is most likely a fraud.
  2. Pay attention to page load times. If the network you are using is very slow, it is more likely a cybercriminal is using an unreliable mobile hotspot to connect your mobile device to the web.
  3. Use a virtual private network or VPN. While you’re on-the-go and using public Wi-Fi, add an extra layer of security in the event you accidentally connect to a malicious network. VPNs can encrypt your online activity and keep it away from prying eyes. 

Malicious Apps: Fake It till They Make It

Fake apps have become a rampant problem for Android and iPhone users alike. This is mainly in part due to malicious apps hiding in plain sight on legitimate sources, such as the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. After users download a faulty app, cybercriminals deploy malware that operates in the background of mobile devices which makes it difficult for users to realize anything is wrong. And while users think they’ve just downloaded another run-of-the-mill app, the malware is hard at work obtaining personal data.

In order to keep sensitive information out of the hands of cybercriminals, here are a few things users can look for when they need to determine whether an app is fact or fiction:

  1. Check for typos and poor grammar. Always check the app developer name, product title, and description for typos and grammatical errors. Often, malicious developers will spoof real developer IDs, even just by a single letter or number, to seem legitimate.
  2. Examine the download statistics. If you’re attempting to download a popular app, but it has a surprisingly low number of downloads, that is a good indicator that an app is most likely fake.
  3. Read the reviews. With malicious apps, user reviews are your friend. By reading a few, you can receive vital information that can help you determine whether the app is fake or not.

The Sly Operation of Grayware

With so many types of malware out in the world, it’s hard to keep track of them all. But there is one in particular that mobile device users need to be keenly aware of called grayware. As a coverall term for software or code that sits between normal and malicious, grayware comes in many forms, such as adware, spyware or madware. While adware and spyware can sometimes operate simultaneously on infected computers, madware — or adware on mobile devices — infiltrates smartphones by hiding within rogue apps. Once a mobile device is infected with madware from a malicious app, ads can infiltrate almost every aspect on a user’s phone. Madware isn’t just annoying; it also is a security and privacy risk, as some threats will try to obtain users’ data. To avoid the annoyance, as well as the cybersecurity risks of grayware, users can prepare their devices with these cautionary steps:

  1. Be sure to update your device. Grayware looks for vulnerabilities that can be exploited, so be sure to always keep your device’s software up-to-date.
  2. Beware of rogue apps. As mentioned in the previous section, fake apps are now a part of owning a smartphone. Use the tips in the above section to ensure you keep malicious apps off of your device that may contain grayware.
  3. Consider a comprehensive mobile security system. By adding an extra level of security, you can help protect your devices from threats, both old and new.

Can’t get enough mobile security tips and trends? Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

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Analyst Fatigue: The Best Never Rest https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/endpoint-security/analyst-fatigue-the-best-never-rest/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/endpoint-security/analyst-fatigue-the-best-never-rest/#respond Mon, 26 Aug 2019 15:00:48 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=96470

They may not be saying so, but your senior analysts are exhausted. Each day, more and more devices connect to their enterprise networks, creating an ever-growing avenue for OS exploits and phishing attacks. Meanwhile, the number of threats—some of which are powerful enough to hobble entire cities—is rising even faster. While most companies have a […]

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They may not be saying so, but your senior analysts are exhausted.

Each day, more and more devices connect to their enterprise networks, creating an ever-growing avenue for OS exploits and phishing attacks. Meanwhile, the number of threats—some of which are powerful enough to hobble entire cities—is rising even faster.

While most companies have a capable cadre of junior analysts, most of today’s EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) systems leave them hamstrung. The startlingly complex nature of typical EDR software necessitates years of experience to successfully operate—meaning that no matter how willing the more “green” analysts are to help, they just don’t yet have the necessary skillset to effectively triage threats.

What’s worse, while these “solutions” require your top performers, they don’t always offer top performance in return. While your most experienced analysts should be addressing major threats, a lot of times they’re stuck wading through a panoply of false positives—issues that either aren’t threats, or aren’t worth investigating. And while they’re tied up with that, they must also confront the instances of false negatives: threats that slip through the cracks, potentially avoiding detection while those best suited to address them are busy attempting to work through the noise. This problem has gotten so bad that some IT departments are deploying MDR systems on top of their EDR packages—increasing the complexity of your company’s endpoint protection and further increasing employee stress levels.

Hoping to both measure the true impact of “analyst fatigue” on SOCs and to identify possible solutions, a commissioned study was conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of McAfee in March 2019 to see what effects current EDRs were having on businesses, and try to recognize the potential for solutions. Forrester surveyed security technology decision-makers, from the managers facing threats head-on to those in the C-suite viewing security solutions at the macro level in relation to his or her firm’s financial needs and level of risk tolerance. Respondents were from the US, UK, Germany or France, and worked in a variety of industries at companies ranging in size from 1,000 to over 50,000 employees.

When asked about their endpoint security goals, respondents’ top three answers—to improve security detection capabilities (87%), increase efficiency in the SOC (76%) and close the skills gap in the SecOps team (72%)—all pointed to limitations in many current EDRs.  Further inquiry revealed that while 43% of security decision makers consider automated detection a critical requirement, only 30% feel their current solution(s) completely meet their needs in this area.

While the issues uncovered were myriad, the results also suggested that a single solution could ameliorate a variety of these problems.  The introduction of EDR programs incorporating Guided Investigation could increase efficiency by allowing junior analysts to assist in threat identification, thereby freeing up more seasoned analysts to address detected threats and focus on only the most complex issues, leading to an increase in detection capabilities. Meanwhile, the hands-on experience that junior analysts would get addressing real-life EDR threats would increase both their personal efficiency and their skill level, helping to eliminate the skills gaps present in some departments.

To learn more about the problems and possibilities in the current EDR landscape, you can read the full “Empower Security Analysts Through Guided EDR Investigation” study by clicking here.

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Beware of Back-To-School Scams https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/beware-of-back-to-school-scams/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/beware-of-back-to-school-scams/#respond Mon, 26 Aug 2019 10:00:48 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=96123

These days it seems that there is a scam for every season, and back-to-school is no different. From phony financial aid, to debt scams, and phishing emails designed to steal your identity information, there are a lot of threats to study up on. Of course, many of these scams are just different twists on the […]

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These days it seems that there is a scam for every season, and back-to-school is no different. From phony financial aid, to debt scams, and phishing emails designed to steal your identity information, there are a lot of threats to study up on.

Of course, many of these scams are just different twists on the threats we see year-round. For instance, debt collection, tax, and imposter scams, were named some of the top frauds of 2018 by the Federal Trade Commission, costing U.S. consumers over $1.48 billion. And many of the same techniques are being directed at students, graduates, and their parents.

Here’s what to watch out for:

Identity Theft— While you might think that identity theft would only be a risk to older students applying for aid, in fact over a million children were victims of identity theft in 2017, with two thirds of them under the age of eight. This is because children’s identities can be more valuable to cyber thieves as their Social Security numbers have never been used before, so they have clean credit reports that are rarely checked.

Some savvy scammers have even started to ask parents for their child’s identity information when applying for common back-to-school activities, such as joining a sports league or after school class.

Phony Tuition Fees—“Don’t lose your spot!” This is the call to action scammers are using to trick students and parents into paying a made-up tuition fee. You may receive an official looking email, or receive a call directly from scammers, hoping to take advantage of the stress that many people feel around getting into the school of their choice. Some victims of this scam have already paid tuition, but are confused by last-minute requests for a fee to save their spot.

Financial Aid Fraud—Education has become incredibly expensive in recent years, and scammers know it. That’s why they put up ads for phony financial aid, and send phishing emails, hoping to lure applicants with the promise of guaranteed assistance, or time sensitive opportunities.

Many pose as financial aid services that charge an “advance fee” to help students apply for loans. When you fill out an application the fraudsters potentially get both your money (for the “service”) and your identity information. This can lead to identity theft, costing victims an enormous amount of time and money.

Student Loan Forgiveness—We’ve seen a proliferation of social media ads and emails offering to help student borrowers reduce, or even completely forgive, their loan debt. Some of these offers are from legitimate companies that lend advice on complicated financial matters, but others are scams, charging exorbitant fees with the promise of renegotiating your debt. Just remember, debt relief companies are not permitted to negotiate federal student loans.

Phony Student Taxes—Another common scam that targets students are phony messages and phone calls from the IRS, claiming that the victim needs to immediately pay a “federal student tax”, or face arrest. Of course, this tax does not exist.

Shopping Scams—From books, clothes, and supplies, to dorm accessories, the start of the school year often means the start of an online shopping frenzy. That’s when students and parents are susceptible to phishing emails that offer “student discounts” on popular items, or claim that they “missed a delivery” and need to click on an attachment. Links in these emails often lead to phony websites that collect their payment information, or malware. The same is true for offers of cheap or “free” downloads on normally expensive textbooks.

Here are some tips to avoid these sneaky school-related scams:

  • Be suspicious of any school programs that ask for more information than they need, like your child’s Social Security number just to join a club.
  • Only shop on reputable e-commerce sites for back to school supplies. Buy textbooks from recommended providers, and avoid any “free” digital downloads. Consider installing a web advisor to steer you away from risky websites.
  • When seeking financial aid, ask a school adviser for a list of reputable sources. Avoid any offers that sound too good to be true, like “guaranteed” or zero interest loans. Remember that it does not cost money to simply apply for financial aid.
  • If you receive any threatening emails or phone calls about loans or fees, do not respond. Instead, contact your loan provider directly to check on the status of your account.
  • Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi on campus, since it’s easy for a hacker to intercept the information that you are sending over the network. Only connect to secure networks that require a password.
  • Install comprehensive security software all of your computers and devices. Look for software that protects you from malware, phishing attempts, and risky websites, as well as providing identity protection.

Looking for more mobile security tips and trends? Be sure to follow @McAfee Home on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

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19 Cloud Security Best Practices for 2019 https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/top-19-cloud-security-best-practices/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/top-19-cloud-security-best-practices/#respond Thu, 22 Aug 2019 16:33:56 +0000 http://blogs.mcafee.com/?p=12476

Now well into its second decade of commercial availability, cloud computing has become near-ubiquitous, with roughly 95 percent of businesses reporting that they have a cloud strategy. While cloud providers are more secure than ever before, there are still risks to using any cloud service. Fortunately, they can be largely mitigated by following these cloud […]

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Now well into its second decade of commercial availability, cloud computing has become near-ubiquitous, with roughly 95 percent of businesses reporting that they have a cloud strategy. While cloud providers are more secure than ever before, there are still risks to using any cloud service. Fortunately, they can be largely mitigated by following these cloud security best practices:

Protect Your Cloud Data

  1. Determine which data is the most sensitive. While applying the highest level of protection across the board would naturally be overkill, failing to protect the data that is sensitive puts your enterprise at risk of intellectual property loss or regulatory penalties. Therefore, the first priority should be to gain an understanding of what to protect through data discovery and classification, which is typically performed by a data classification engine. Aim for a comprehensive solution that locates and protects sensitive content on your network, endpoints, databases and in the cloud, while giving you the appropriate level of flexibility for your organization.
  2. How is this data being accessed and stored? While it’s true that sensitive data can be stored safely in the cloud, it certainly isn’t a foregone conclusion. According to the McAfee 2019 Cloud Adoption and Risk Report, 21 percent of all files in the cloud contain sensitive data—a sharp increase from the year before1. While much of this data lives in well-established enterprise cloud services such as Box, Salesforce and Office365, it’s important to realize that none of these services guarantees 100 percent safety. That’s why it’s important to examine the permissions and access context associated with data in your cloud environment and adjust appropriately. In some cases, you may need to remove or quarantine sensitive data already stored in the cloud.
  3. Who should be able to share it, and how? Sharing of sensitive data in the cloud has increased by more than 50% year over year.1 Regardless of how powerful your threat mitigation strategy is, the risks are far too high to take a reactive approach: access control policies should be established and enforced before data ever enters the cloud. Just as the number of employees who need the ability to edit a document is much smaller than the number who may need to view it, it is very likely that not everyone who needs to be able to access certain data needs the ability to share Defining groups and setting up privileges so that sharing is only enabled for those who require it can drastically limit the amount of data being shared externally.
  4. Don’t rely on cloud service encryption. Comprehensive encryption at the file level should be the basis of all your cloud security efforts. While the encryption offered within cloud services can safeguard your data from outside parties, it necessarily gives the cloud service provider access to your encryption keys. To fully control access, you’ll want to deploy stringent encryption solutions, using your own keys, before uploading data to the cloud.

Minimize Internal Cloud Security Threats  

  1. Bring employee cloud usage out of the shadows. Just because you have a corporate cloud security strategy in place doesn’t mean that your employees aren’t utilizing the cloud on their own terms. From cloud storage accounts like Dropbox to online file conversion services, most people don’t consult with IT before accessing the cloud. To measure the potential risk of employee cloud use, you should first check your web proxy, firewall and SIEM logs to get a complete picture of which cloud services are being utilized, and then conduct an assessment of their value to the employee/organization versus their risk when deployed wholly or partially in the cloud. Also, keep in mind that shadow usage doesn’t just refer to known endpoints accessing unknown or unauthorized services—you’ll also need a strategy to stop data from moving from trusted cloud services to unmanaged devices you’re unaware of. Because cloud services can provide access from any device connected to the internet, unmanaged endpoints such as personal mobile devices create a hole in your security strategy. You can restrict downloads to unauthorized devices by making device security verification a prerequisite to downloading files.
  2. Create a “safe” list. While most of your employees are utilizing cloud services for above-the-board purposes, some of them will inadvertently find and use dubious cloud services. Of the 1,935 cloud services in use at the average organization, 173 of them rank as high-risk services.1 By knowing which services are being used at your company, you’ll be able to set policies 1.) Outlining what sorts of data are allowed in the cloud, 2.) Establishing a “safe” list of cloud applications that employees can utilize, and 3.) Explaining the cloud security best practices, precautions and tools required for secure utilization of these applications.
  3. Endpoints play a role, too. Most users access the cloud through web browsers, so deploying strong client security tools and ensuring that browsers are up-to-date and protected from browser exploits is a crucial component of cloud security. To fully protect your end-user devices, utilize advanced endpoint security such as firewall solutions, particularly if using IaaS or PaaS models.
  4. Look to the future. New cloud applications come online frequently, and the risk of cloud services evolves rapidly, making manual cloud security policies difficult to create and keep up to date. While you can’t predict every cloud service that will be accessed, you can automatically update web access policies with information about the risk profile of a cloud service in order to block access or present a warning message. Accomplish this through integration of closed-loop remediation (which enforces policies based on a service-wide risk rating or distinct cloud service attributes) with your secure web gateway or firewall. The system will automatically update and enforce policies without disrupting the existing environment.
  5. Guard against careless and malicious users. With organizations experiencing an average of 14.8 insider threat incidents per month—and 94.3 percent experiencing an average of at least one a month—it isn’t a matter of if you will encounter this sort of threat; it’s a matter of when. Threats of this nature include both unintentional exposure—such as accidentally disseminating a document containing sensitive data—as well as true malicious behavior, such as a salesperson downloading their full contact list before leaving to join a competitor. Careless employees and third-party attackers can both exhibit behavior suggesting malicious use of cloud data. Solutions leveraging both machine learning and behavioral analytics can monitor for anomalies and mitigate both internal and external data loss.
  6. Trust. But verify. Additional verification should be required for anyone using a new device to access sensitive data in the cloud. One suggestion is to automatically require two-factor authentication for any high-risk cloud access scenarios. Specialized cloud security solutions can introduce the requirement for users to authenticate with an additional identity factor in real time, leveraging existing identity providers and identity factors (such as a hard token, a mobile phone soft token, or text message) already familiar to end users.

Develop Strong Partnerships with Reputable Cloud Providers

  1. Regulatory compliance is still key. Regardless of how many essential business functions are shifted to the cloud, an enterprise can never outsource responsibility for compliance. Whether you’re required to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act, PCI DSS, GDPR, HIPAA or other regulatory policies, you’ll want to choose a cloud architecture platform that will allow you to meet any regulatory standards that apply to your industry. From there, you’ll need to understand which aspects of compliance your provider will take care of, and which will remain under your purview. While many cloud service providers are certified for myriad industry and governmental regulations, it’s still your responsibility to build compliant applications and services on the cloud, and to maintain that compliance going forward. It’s important to note that previous contractual obligations or legal barriers may prohibit the use of cloud services on the grounds that doing so constitutes relinquishing control of that data.
  2. But brand compliance is important, too. Moving to the cloud doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your branding strategy. Develop a comprehensive plan to manage identities and authorizations with cloud services. Software services that comply with SAML, OpenID or other federation standards make it possible for you to extend your corporate identity management tools into the cloud.
  3. Look for trustworthy providers. Cloud service providers committed to accountability, transparency and meeting established standards will generally display certifications such as SAS 70 Type II or ISO 27001. Cloud service providers should make readily accessible documentation and reports, such as audit results and certifications, complete with details relevant to the assessment process. Audits should be independently conducted and based on existing standards. It is the responsibility of the cloud provider to continuously maintain certifications and to notify clients of any changes in status, but it’s the customer’s responsibility to understand the scope of standards used—some widely used standards do not assess security controls, and some auditing firms and auditors are more reliable than others.
  4. How are they protecting you? No cloud service provider offers 100 percent security. Over the past several years, many high profile CSPs have been targeted by hackers, including AWS, Azure, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Dropbox, and others. It’s important to examine the provider’s data protection strategies and multitenant architecture, if relevant—if the provider’s own hardware or operating system are compromised, everything hosted within them is automatically at risk. For that reason, it’s important to use security tools and examine prior audits to find potential security gaps (and if the provider uses their own third-party providers, cloud security best practices suggest you examine their certifications and audits as well.) From there, you’ll be able to determine what security issues must be addressed on your end. For example, fewer than 1 in 10 providers encrypt data stored at rest, and even fewer support the ability for a customer to encrypt data using their own encryption keys.1 Finding providers that both offer comprehensive protection as well as the ability for users to bridge any gaps is crucial to maintaining a strong cloud security posture.
  5. Investigate cloud provider contracts and SLAs carefully. The cloud services contract is your only guarantee of service, and your primary recourse should something go wrong—so it is essential to fully review and understand all terms and conditions of your agreement, including any annexes, schedules and appendices. For example, a contract can make the difference between a company who takes responsibility for your data, and a company that takes ownership of your data. (Only 37.3 % of providers specify that customer data is owned by the customer. The rest either don’t legally specify who owns the data, creating a legal grey area—or, more egregiously, claim ownership of all uploaded data.1) Does the service offer visibility into security events and responses? Is it willing to provide monitoring tools or hooks into your corporate monitoring tools? Does it provide monthly reports on security events and responses? And what happens to your data if you terminate the service? (Keep in mind that only 13.3 percent of cloud providers delete user data immediately upon account termination. The rest keep data for up to a year, with some specifying they have a right to keep it indefinitely.) If you find parts of the contract objectionable, you can try to negotiate—but in the case where you’re told that certain terms are non-negotiable, it is up to you to determine whether the risk presented by accepting the terms as-is is an acceptable one to your business. If not, you’ll need to find alternate means of managing the risk, such as encryption or monitoring, or find another provider.
  6. What happens if something goes wrong? Since no two cloud service providers offer the same set of security controls—and again, no cloud provider delivers 100 percent security—developing an Incident Response (IR) plan is critical. Make sure the provider includes you and considers you a partner in creating such plans. Establish communication paths, roles and responsibilities with regard to an incident, and to run through the response and hand-offs ahead of time. SLAs should spell out the details of the data the cloud provider will provide in the case of an incident, how data will be handled during incidents to maintain availability, and guarantee the support necessary to effectively execute the enterprise IR plan at each stage. While continuous monitoring will offer the best chance at early detection, full-scale testing should be performed on at least an annual basis, with additional testing coinciding with major changes to the architecture.
  7. Protect your IaaS environments. When using IaaS environments such as AWS or Azure, you retain responsibility for the security of operating systems, applications, and network traffic. Advanced anti-malware technology should be applied to the OS and virtual network to protect your infrastructure. Deploy application whitelisting and memory exploit prevention for single-purpose workloads and machine learning-based protection for file stores and general-purpose workloads.
  8. Neutralize and remove malware from the cloud.Malware can infect cloud workloads through shared folders that sync automatically with cloud storage services, spreading malware from an infected user device to another user’s device. Use a cloud security solution program to scan the files you’ve stored in the cloud to avoid malware, ransomware or data theft attacks. If malware is detected on a workload host or in a cloud application, it can be quarantined or removed, safeguarding sensitive data from compromise and preventing corruption of data by ransomware.
  9. Audit your IaaS configurations regularly.  The many critical settings in IaaS environments such as AWS or Azure can create exploitable weaknesses if misconfigured. Organizations have, on average, at least 14 misconfigured IaaS instances running at any given time, resulting in an average of nearly 2,300 misconfiguration incidents per month. Worse, greater than 1 in 20 AWS S3 buckets in use are misconfigured to be publicly readable.1 To avoid such potential for data loss, you’ll need to audit your configurations for identity and access management, network configuration, and encryption. McAfee offers a free Cloud Audit to help get you started.

 

  1. McAfee 2019 Cloud Adoption and Risk Report

 

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Chris Young and Ken McCray Recognized on CRN’s 2019 Top 100 Executives List https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/chris-young-and-ken-mccray-recognized-on-crns-2019-top-100-executives-list/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/chris-young-and-ken-mccray-recognized-on-crns-2019-top-100-executives-list/#respond Tue, 20 Aug 2019 19:07:13 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=96458

CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, recently recognized McAfee CEO Chris Young and Head of Channel Sales Operations for the Americas Ken McCray in its list of Top 100 Executives of 2019. This annual list honors technology executives who lead, influence, innovate and disrupt the IT channel. Over the past year, Young led McAfee […]

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CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, recently recognized McAfee CEO Chris Young and Head of Channel Sales Operations for the Americas Ken McCray in its list of Top 100 Executives of 2019. This annual list honors technology executives who lead, influence, innovate and disrupt the IT channel.

Over the past year, Young led McAfee into the EDR space, directed the introduction of McAfee’s cloud and unified data protection offerings, and forged a partnership with Samsung to safeguard the Galaxy S10 mobile device. According to CRN, these accomplishments earned Young the number-three spot in CRN’s list of 25 Most Innovative Executives—a subset of the Top 100 list that recognizes executives “who are always two steps ahead of the competition.” Young is no stranger to the Top 100 Executives list: He also earned a place on last year’s list, when his post-spinout acquisitions led to him being named one of the Top 25 Disruptors of 2018.

Based on his work overseeing the launch of McAfee’s alternative route to market channel initiative, Ken McCray was also recognized as one of this year’s Top 100 Executives. The initiative, which has driven incremental bookings as Managed Security Partners and cloud service providers bring new customers on board, earned McCray a spot on the Top 25 IT Channel Sales Leaders of 2019. This has been an accolade-filled year for McCray: In February, he was named one of the 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs for 2019, based on his division’s double-digit growth and the relationships he built with key cloud service providers.

The Top 100 Executives being recognized drive cultural transformation, revenue growth, and technological innovation across the IT channel. In doing so, they help solution providers and technology suppliers survive—and thrive—in today’s always-on, always-connected global marketplace.

“The IT channel is rapidly growing, and navigating this fast-paced market often challenges solution providers and technology suppliers alike,” said Bob Skelley, CEO of The Channel Company. “The technology executives on CRN’s 2019 Top 100 Executives list understand the IT channel’s potential. They provide strategic and visionary leadership and unparalleled guidance to keep the IT channel moving in the right direction—regardless of the challenges that come their way.”

We at McAfee are proud of the recognition Young and McCray have received, and look forward to seeing our company continue to thrive under their leadership.

The Top 100 Executives list is featured in the August 2019 issue of CRN Magazine and online at www.CRN.com/Top100.

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The Cybersecurity Playbook: Why I Wrote a Cybersecurity Book https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/executive-perspectives/the-cybersecurity-playbook-why-i-wrote-a-cybersecurity-book/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/executive-perspectives/the-cybersecurity-playbook-why-i-wrote-a-cybersecurity-book/#respond Tue, 20 Aug 2019 16:40:13 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=96461

This blog was written by Allison Cerra, McAfee’s former CMO. I ruined Easter Sunday 2017 for McAfee employees the world over. That was the day our company’s page on a prominent social media platform was defaced—less than two weeks after McAfee had spun out of Intel to create one of the world’s largest pure-play cybersecurity […]

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This blog was written by Allison Cerra, McAfee’s former CMO.

I ruined Easter Sunday 2017 for McAfee employees the world over. That was the day our company’s page on a prominent social media platform was defaced—less than two weeks after McAfee had spun out of Intel to create one of the world’s largest pure-play cybersecurity companies. The hack would have been embarrassing for any company; it was humiliating for a cybersecurity company. And, while I could point the finger of blame in any number of directions, the sobering reality is that the hack happened on my watch, since, as the CMO of McAfee, it was my team’s responsibility to do everything in our power to safeguard the image of our company on that social media platform. We had failed to do so.

Personal accountability is an uncomfortable thing. Defensive behavior comes much more naturally to many of us, including me. But, without accountability, change is hindered. And, when you find yourself in the crosshairs of a hacker, change—and change quickly—you must.

I didn’t intend to ruin that Easter Sunday for my colleagues. There was nothing I wanted less than to call my CEO and peers and spoil their holiday with the news. And, I didn’t relish having to notify all our employees of the same the following Monday. It wasn’t that I was legally obligated to let anyone know of the hack; after all, McAfee’s systems were never in jeopardy. But our brand reputation took a hit that day, and our employees deserved to know that their CMO had let her guard down just long enough for an opportunistic hacker to strike.

I tell you this story not out of self-flagellation or so that you can feel, “Hey, better her than me!” I share this story because it’s a microcosm of why I wrote a book, The Cybersecurity Playbook: How Every Leader and Employee Can Contribute to a Culture of Security.

I’m not alone in having experienced an unfortunate hack that may have been prevented had my team and I been more diligent in practicing habits to minimize it. Every day, organizations are attacked the world over. And, behind every hack, there’s a story. There’s hindsight of what might have been done to avoid it. While the attack on that Easter Sunday was humbling, the way in which my McAfee teammates responded, and the lessons we learned, were inspirational.

I realized in the aftermath that there’s a real need for a playbook that gives every employee—from the frontline worker to the board director—a prescription for strong cybersecurity hygiene. I realized that everyone can play an indispensable role in protecting her organization from attack. And, I grasped that common sense is not always common practice.

There’s no shortage of cybersecurity books available for your consumption from reputable, talented authors with a variety of experiences. You’ll find some from journalists, who have dissected some of the most legendary breaches in history. You’ll find others from luminaries, who speak with authority as being venerable forefathers of the industry. And you’ll find more still from technical experts, who decipher the intricate elements of cybersecurity in significant detail.

But, you won’t find many from marketers. So why trust this marketer with a topic of such gravity? Because this marketer not only works for a company that has its origins in cybersecurity but found herself on her heels that fateful Easter Sunday. I know what it’s like to have to respond—and respond fast—when time is not on your side and your reputation is in the hands of a hacker. And, while McAfee certainly had a playbook to act accordingly, I realized that every company should have the same.

So, whether you’re in marketing, human resources, product development, IT or finance—or a board member, CEO, manager or individual contributor—this book gives you a playbook to incorporate cybersecurity habits in your routine. I’m not so naïve as to believe that cybersecurity will become everyone’s primary job. But, I know that cybersecurity is now too important to be left exclusively in the hands of IT. And, I am idealistic to envision a workplace where sound cybersecurity practice becomes so routine, that all employees regularly do their part to collectively improve the defenses of their organization. I hope this book empowers action; your organization needs you in this fight.

Allison Cerra’s book, The Cybersecurity Playbook: How Every Leader and Employee Can Contribute to a Culture of Security, is scheduled to be released September 12, 2019 and can be preordered at amazon.com.

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Backpacks Ready, Pencils Up – It’s Time for a Back-to-School #RT2Win https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/back-to-school-rt2win-2019/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/back-to-school-rt2win-2019/#respond Tue, 13 Aug 2019 19:00:04 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=96302 It’s time to unpack the suitcases and pack up those backpacks! With the summer season quickly coming to an end, it’s time to get those college cybersecurity priorities in order so you can have the best school year yet. As students across the country get ready to embark on—or return to—their college adventure, many are […]

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It’s time to unpack the suitcases and pack up those backpacks! With the summer season quickly coming to an end, it’s time to get those college cybersecurity priorities in order so you can have the best school year yet. As students across the country get ready to embark on—or return to—their college adventure, many are not proactively protecting their data according. A recent survey from McAfee. found that only 19% of students take extra steps to protect their academic records, which is surprising considering 80% of students have either been a victim of a cyberattack or know someone who has been impacted. In fact, in the first few months of 2019, publicly disclosed cyberattacks targeting the education sector increased by 50%, including financial aid schemes and identity theft.

From data breaches to phishing and ransomware attacks, hitting the books is stressful enough without the added pressure of ensuring your devises and data are secure too. But you’re in luck! Avoid being the cybersecurity class clown and head back to school in style with our A+ worthy Back-to-School RT2Win sweepstakes!

Three [3] lucky winners of the sweepstakes drawing will receive a McAfee Back-to-School Essentials Backpack complete with vital tech and cybersecurity supplies like Beats Headphones, UE BOOM Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker, Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera, DLINK router with McAfee Secure Home Platform, Anker PowerCore Portable Charger and so much more! ($750 value, full details below in Section 6. PRIZES). The best part? Entering is a breeze! Follow the instructions below to enter and good luck!

#RT2Win Sweepstakes Official Rules

  • To enter, go to https://twitter.com/McAfee_Home, and find the #RT2Win sweepstakes tweet.
  • The sweepstakes tweet will be released on Tuesday, August 13, 2019, at 12:00pm PT. This tweet will include the hashtags: #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win AND #Sweepstakes.
  • Retweet the sweepstakes tweet released on the above date, from your own handle. The #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win AND #Sweepstakes hashtags must be included to be entered.
  • Sweepstakes will end on Monday, August 26, 2019 at 11:59pm PT. All entries must be made before that date and time.
  • Winners will be notified on Wednesday, August 28, 2019, via Twitter direct message.
  • Limit one entry per person.

1. How to Win:

Retweet one of our contest tweets on @McAfee_Home that include “#ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win AND #Sweepstakes” for a chance to win a McAfee Back-to-School Essential Backpack (for full prize details please see “Prizes” section below). Three [3] total winners will be selected and announced on August 28, 2019. Winners will be notified by direct message on Twitter. For full Sweepstakes details, please see the Terms and Conditions, below.

#RT2Win Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions

2. How to Enter: 

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes will be conducted from August 13, 2019 through August 27, 2019. All entries for each day of the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes must be received during the time allotted for the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes. Pacific Daylight Time shall control the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes, duration is as follows:

  • Begins Tuesday, August 13 at 12:00pm PST
  • Ends: Monday, August 26, 2019 at 11:59pm PST
  • Three [3] winners will be announced: Wednesday, August 28, 2019

For the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes, participants must complete the following steps during the time allotted for the McAfee Back-to-School Sweepstakes:

  1. Find the sweepstakes tweet of the day posted on @McAfee_Home which will include the hashtags: #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win and #Sweepstakes
  2. Retweet the sweepstakes tweet of the day and make sure it includes the #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win, and hashtags.
  3. Note: Tweets that do not contain the #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win, and #Sweepstakes hashtags will not be considered for entry.
  4. Limit one entry per person.

Three [3] winners will be chosen for the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes tweet from the viable pool of entries that retweeted and included #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win and #Sweepstakes. McAfee and the McAfee social team will choose winners from all the viable entries. The winners will be announced and privately messaged on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 on the @McAfee_Home Twitter handle. No other method of entry will be accepted besides Twitter. Only one entry per user is allowed, per Sweepstakes.  

3. Eligibility: 

McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States who are 18 years of age or older on the dates of the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes begins and live in a jurisdiction where this prize and McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes not prohibited. Employees of Sponsor and its subsidiaries, affiliates, prize suppliers, and advertising and promotional agencies, their immediate families (spouses, parents, children, and siblings and their spouses), and individuals living in the same household as such employees are ineligible.

4. Winner Selection:

Winners will be selected at random from all eligible retweets received during the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes drawing entry period. Sponsor will select the names of three [3] potential winners of the prizes in a random drawing from among all eligible submissions at the address listed below. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by the Official McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes Rules and the decisions of the coordinators, which shall be final and binding in all respects.

5. Winner Notification: 

Each winner will be notified via direct message (“DM”) on Twitter.com by August 28, 2019. Prize winners may be required to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (where permitted by law) to be returned within ten (10) days of written notification, or prize may be forfeited, and an alternate winner selected. If a prize notification is returned as unclaimed or undeliverable to a potential winner, if potential winner cannot be reached within twenty-four (24) hours from the first DM notification attempt, or if potential winner fails to return requisite document within the specified time period, or if a potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, then such person shall be disqualified and, at Sponsor’s sole discretion, an alternate winner may be selected for the prize at issue based on the winner selection process described above. 

6. Prizes: 

McAFEE BACK-TO-SCHOOL ESSENTIAL BACKPACK (3)

  • Approximate ARV for Prize: $750
    • McAfee Backpack
    • McAfee Water Bottle
    • McAfee Notebook
    • D-Link Ethernet Wireless Router with McAfee Secure Home
    • McAfee Total Protection, 5 devices, 1-year subscription
    • Beats EP On-Ear Headphones
    • Ultimate Ears BOOM Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
    • Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera with Mini Film Twin Pack
    • Tile Mate – Anything Finder
    • Anker PowerCore 10000, Portable Charger

Limit one (1) prize per person/household. Prizes are non-transferable, and no cash equivalent or substitution of prize is offered.

The prize for the McAfee Back-To-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes is a ONE (1) Back-to-School Essential Backpack, complete with the above supplies, for each of the three (3) entrants. Entrants agree that Sponsor has the sole right to determine the winners of the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes and all matters or disputes arising from the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes and that its determination is final and binding. There are no prize substitutions, transfers or cash equivalents permitted except at the sole discretion of Sponsor. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prizes. Sponsor is not responsible for delays in prize delivery beyond its control. All other expenses and items not specifically mentioned in these Official Rules are not included and are the prize winners’ sole responsibility.

7. General Conditions: 

Entrants agree that by entering they agree to be bound by these rules. All federal, state, and local taxes, fees, and surcharges on prize packages are the sole responsibility of the prizewinner. Sponsor is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry information, whether caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes, or by any technical or human error, which may occur in the processing of the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes. entries. By entering, participants release and hold harmless Sponsor and its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, claim, action, demand, or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes, any prize won, any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, participation in any McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes-related activity, or participation in the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes. Except for applicable manufacturer’s standard warranties, the prizes are awarded “AS IS” and WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied (including any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose).

8. Limitations of Liability; Releases:

By entering the Sweepstakes, you release Sponsor and all Released Parties from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, related to any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Sweepstakes or delivery, misdelivery, acceptance, possession, use of or inability to use any prize (including claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will the sponsor or the released parties be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including loss of use, loss of profits or loss of data, whether in an action in contract, tort (including, negligence) or otherwise, arising out of or in any way connected to your participation in the sweepstakes or use or inability to use any equipment provided for use in the sweepstakes or any prize, even if a released party has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

  1. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will the aggregate liability of the released parties (jointly) arising out of or relating to your participation in the sweepstakes or use of or inability to use any equipment provided for use in the sweepstakes or any prize exceed $10. The limitations set forth in this section will not exclude or limit liability for personal injury or property damage caused by products rented from the sponsor, or for the released parties’ gross negligence, intentional misconduct, or for fraud.
  2. Use of Winner’s Name, Likeness, etc.: Except where prohibited by law, entry into the Sweepstakes constitutes permission to use your name, hometown, aural and visual likeness and prize information for advertising, marketing, and promotional purposes without further permission or compensation (including in a public-facing winner list).  As a condition of being awarded any prize, except where prohibited by law, winner may be required to execute a consent to the use of their name, hometown, aural and visual likeness and prize information for advertising, marketing, and promotional purposes without further permission or compensation. By entering this Sweepstakes, you consent to being contacted by Sponsor for any purpose in connection with this Sweepstakes.

9. Prize Forfeiture:

If winner cannot be notified, does not respond to notification, does not meet eligibility requirements, or otherwise does not comply with the prize McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes rules, then the winner will forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be selected from remaining eligible entry forms for each McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes.

10. Dispute Resolution:

Entrants agree that Sponsor has the sole right to determine the winners of the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes and all matters or disputes arising from the McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes and that its determination is final and binding. There are no prize substitutions, transfers or cash equivalents permitted except at the sole discretion of Sponsor.

11. Governing Law & Disputes:

Each entrant agrees that any disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this sweepstakes or any prize awarded will be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action and these rules will be construed in accordance with the laws, jurisdiction, and venue of New York.

12. Privacy Policy: 

Personal information obtained in connection with this prize McAfee Back-to-School #RT2Win Sweepstakes will be handled in accordance policy set forth at https://www.mcafee.com/enterprise/en-us/about/privacy.html.

  1. Winner List; Rules Request: For a copy of the winner list, send a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope for arrival after August 13,2019 before August 27, 2019 to the address listed below, Attn: #RT2Win at CES Sweepstakes.  To obtain a copy of these Official Rules, visit this link or send a stamped, self-addressed business-size envelope to the address listed in below, Attn: Sarah Grayson. VT residents may omit return postage.
  2. Intellectual Property Notice: McAfee and the McAfee logo are registered trademarks of McAfee, LLC. The Sweepstakes and all accompanying materials are copyright © 2019 by McAfee, LLC.  All rights reserved.
  3. Sponsor: McAfee, LLC, Corporate Headquarters 2821 Mission College Blvd. Santa Clara, CA 95054 USA
  4. Administrator: LEWIS, 111 Sutter St., Suite 850, San Francisco, CA 94104

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Examining the Link Between TLD Prices and Abuse https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/mcafee-labs/examining-the-link-between-tld-prices-and-abuse/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/mcafee-labs/examining-the-link-between-tld-prices-and-abuse/#respond Fri, 26 Jul 2019 14:14:40 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=96078

This blog was written by Charlie Feng. Briefing Over the years, McAfee researchers have observed that certain new top-level Domains (TLDs) are more likely to be abused by cyber criminals for malicious activities than others. Our investigations reveal a negative relationship between the likelihood for abuse and registration price of some TLDs, as reported by […]

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This blog was written by Charlie Feng.

Briefing

Over the years, McAfee researchers have observed that certain new top-level Domains (TLDs) are more likely to be abused by cyber criminals for malicious activities than others. Our investigations reveal a negative relationship between the likelihood for abuse and registration price of some TLDs, as reported by the McAfee URL and email intelligence team. This means that new TLDs are more likely to be picked up by cyber criminals if their registration prices are low.

What is a Top-level Domain?

According to Wikipedia, a top-level domain (TLD) is one of the domains at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name System of the Internet. It is the last part of the domain name, e.g. the TLD for www.google.com would be ‘com’.

There are two major types of TLD; country code TLD and generic TLD. The first type of TLD utilizes country codes directly, e.g. co.uk for the United Kingdom, and domains resolving to this type of TLD often have a strong tendency of serving those countries. Generic TLDs typically serve more general content and they form the basis of this study as they represent most of the domains we have observed recently.

TLD Registration Price

As noted by a previous article published by McAfee that bad hackers hack to make financial gains[1], there is no doubt that when cyber criminals plan to conduct malicious activities they will choose the method with the lowest cost to maximize their potential profits.

Below is a list of badly abused TLDs received from the McAfee URL and email intelligence team. Referencing domain.com, we found the one-year registration prices (domains created for malware attacks usually have a short lifespan as they are event-driven; normally they are taken off after the attack is stopped so they are registered for only one year, which is the minimal registration period required by many domain registration platforms, and that is why registration price is chosen for this study) for these abused TLDs are relatively low (under $20 for the first year) in comparison to other generic TLDs on the same list, which suggests that cost is a deciding factor.

To investigate that there is a possible relationship between TLD registration price and abuse rate, we investigated TLDs from different registration price ranges, from $1 to $270, and the results can be seen in the diagram below.   The ‘abuse rate’ mentioned in the diagram is the number of domains under a specific TLD that are marked as either Medium or High Risk by McAfee which are normally blocked at endpoints, divided by the total count of the domains under the same TLD logged in McAfee’s URL database.

We can see that, as TLD registration price goes down, especially when it dips below $20, the abuse rate soars up. This seems to suggest a correlation between price and abuse. Looking at the diagram, although the trend is clear, there are several anomalies. To the left of the diagram we have ‘.BEST’, while to the right we have ‘.HOST’, ‘.LINK’ and ‘.SALE’ for outliers.

A reason for ‘.BEST’ being an outlier could be because, firstly, we do not have many domains under this TLD, so it is possible that the result is skewed due to insufficient samples and, secondly, its lexical feature makes it a really good TLD for marketing domains, especially ones driven by spam activities, even though the registration price is on the higher side.   For the other outliers the reasoning is not so clear. It may be that their lexical features skew them closer to the legitimate side of things in comparison to the rest of the badly abused TLDs. Nonetheless, they still have abuse rates greater than 20%, so they are still badly abused if you compare them to the ones to the left of the diagram.

Side research

While conducting the above study we also considered the percentage of domains under these badly abused TLDs that are ranked among the highest trafficked websites, as reported by services such as Amazon Alexa. A study on the below six TLDs, which our email intelligence team report as being highly associated with spam activities, was carried out.

It can be seen from the chart above that for the domains under these six sample TLDs, the average percentage of Alexa top 1 million websites is below 1%, which reinforces the fact that these TLDs do not typically serve much legitimate content.  Organizations may want to evaluate these findings and based on their risk appetite undertake further scrutiny on the domain of inbound and outbound traffic.  The level of scrutiny undertaken on the originating source very rarely considers the price of registering a domain, and whilst such an approach may not be sufficient to warrant such analysis for many organizations, those with a low risk appetite may want to consider such action.

Advice to our customers

Different customers of McAfee’s have different security policies towards their endpoints which in turn supports their overall risk appeitite.. In regards to the graph depicted above different approaches might be taken on these TLDs that tend to be considered ‘too risky’. if enterprise customers would like to avail of this function, it can be easily achieved by adding a local rule in the McAfee Web Gateway Configuration Panel.

At the same time, for other organizations with a higher risk appetite, such aggressive approach might not be needed. Whatever the final action might be however, it is always good to review the security policies from time to time for your organization and consider what kind of policies would suit your business the best.

Meanwhile, to our Web Advisor customers, we would like to suggest that whenever you receive any URLs that resolve to the risky TLDs mentioned above, if it has a Unverified / Medium / High Risk reputation and/or it does not have any categories in McAfee’s database (which can be double checked at https://trustedsource.org), then please be wary of clicking on those URLs as they may pose a greater security risk to you.

Reference:

[1]. https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/consumer/identity-protection/are-all-hackers-bad/

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Gartner’s Top 10 Security Projects: The Cloud Perspective https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/gartners-top-10-security-projects-the-cloud-perspective/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/gartners-top-10-security-projects-the-cloud-perspective/#respond Mon, 22 Jul 2019 19:44:44 +0000 /blogs/?p=99416

Gartner’s list of the top 10 security projects for 2019 serves as a helpful tool for IT leaders to prioritize their investments. Unsurprisingly, the cloud plays a prominent role on the list, both directly with projects dedicated to cloud security and tangentially with areas that involve cloud risks or technologies. Risks to data in the […]

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Gartner’s list of the top 10 security projects for 2019 serves as a helpful tool for IT leaders to prioritize their investments. Unsurprisingly, the cloud plays a prominent role on the list, both directly with projects dedicated to cloud security and tangentially with areas that involve cloud risks or technologies.

Risks to data in the cloud encompass a wide variety of attack vectors, including the security of users, data, and infrastructure. The average enterprise uses thousands of cloud applications and creates billions of cloud data transactions every month. An effective cloud security program requires prioritizing protection for the most sensitive data from the most common and highest cost attacks.

Top 10 Security Projects for 2019:

  1. Privileged access management (PAM)
  2. CARTA-inspired vulnerability management
  3. Detection and response
  4. Cloud access security broker (CASB)
  5. Cloud security posture management (CSPM)
  6. Business email compromise
  7. Dark data discovery
  8. Security incident report
  9. Container security
  10. Security rating services (SRS)

Cloud Adoption & Risk Report

 

In this report, we analyzed data from billions of anonymized real-world cloud events to show how businesses are achieving growth with the cloud.

Download Now

In this post, we will outline how Gartner’s top security priorities map to cloud security requirements as a guide for organizations planning their cloud security strategy for the next 12 months.

Privileged Access Management (PAM)

Whether compromised through a stolen password or abused by a disgruntled employee, administrator permissions pose outsized risks within corporate environments.

From Gartner: A Privileged access management (PAM) project will highlight necessary controls to apply to protect these accounts, which should be prioritized via a risk-based approach.

With corporate cloud services becoming leading sources of enterprise data, companies investing in using the cloud should prioritize privileged account security projects. Research from McAfee has found that cloud privileged user threats occur monthly at 58.2% of organizations, with organizations experiencing an average of 4.3 incidents each month.

Cloud services create new challenges for securing threats from privileged accounts. Cloud administrator accounts can be accessed on the open internet from anywhere in the world. Companies do not always monitor cloud administrator activity logs, leaving a blind spot to high risk activity.

Projects to secure cloud administrator accounts should implement protections including multi-factor authentication, device and geography-based access control, and activity monitoring to detect behavior indicative of a privileged account threat.

Detection and Response

The number of stolen credentials for sale on the Darknet and zero-day vulnerabilities brought to light should leave security teams skeptical of strategies that do not account for the possibility of a compromise. Agility and defense in depth are just as important as prevention. Cloud services create new challenges but also opportunities for detecting and mitigating security incidents.

Gartner’s project criteria asks, “How is data gathered and stored to support detection and response capabilities? Does the technology have a wide variety of detection and response features, or the ability to utilize indicators of compromise (IOCs)?”

Organizations typically use hundreds of cloud services, making monitoring each individual service impossible. Instead, security teams should plan to monitor all cloud traffic from a centralized security point. The priority should be high-risk behavior within enterprise cloud services, but it is also important to detect the use of inherently problematic cloud services, like anonymous file-sharing tools.

Behavioral monitoring in the cloud does provide several benefits for detection that allow security teams to identify threats faster and more accurately. Cloud security systems have the unique ability to consolidate usage data from thousands of services and billions of transactions from users across the globe in an enterprise environment, receiving enough usage data to set baselines for machine learning algorithms. Each cloud transaction contains rich usage data including the user, device type, location, and more, providing many factors to cross-reference to identify anomalous usage. With these capabilities, cloud detection and response projects can leverage machine learning and AI at a level of scale and accuracy that was not possible with security tools limited to the corporate network.

Security Rating Services (SRS)

Cloud adoption has ushered in thousands of new vendors for every company. A handful are evaluated by the security team, but the vast majority are chosen by line of business workers based on useful features and convenience.

Gartner identified this trend in emphasizing the importance of security rating: “As digital ecosystems increase in complexity, so do security risks. Leverage security rating services to provide real-time, low-cost continuous and independent scoring for your overall digital ecosystem.”

The average employee does not consider the security capabilities of a cloud service before signing up for a free account or purchasing a subscription for their team. And IT security teams cannot individually evaluate the more than 25,000 cloud services in use today.

The wide variance in cloud applications’ security capabilities highlights the need for a cloud security rating service. For example, only 8.1 percent of cloud providers today encrypt data at rest, and only 18.1 percent support multi factor authentication. The McAfee CloudTrust program rates cloud services on over 50 security attributes, giving organizations a comprehensive view of their risk from cloud service providers.

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM)

Gartner had previously predicted that 95% of cloud breaches will be attributed to customer error, so it’s not surprising to see them prioritize tools to audit cloud security configurations. Almost all enterprise cloud services provide robust security features, but the onus typically falls on the customer to implement these capabilities.

Configuring security settings across dozens or hundreds of cloud environments creates room for error that can lead to large-scale data breaches. For example, the average company has at least 14 misconfigured IaaS instances running at any given time, resulting in an average of 2,269 misconfiguration incidents per month. Notably, 5.5 percent of all AWS S3 buckets in use are misconfigured to be publicly readable.

With a cloud security posture management project, security teams should look to conduct a configuration audit and implement a tool that automates detection of violations. Organizations that use multiple IaaS cloud services should seek to implement security from a single tool to ensure consistency of security policies.

Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)

Gartner has perennially listed CASB as a top security technology, and implementing this dedicated cloud security platform is the most comprehensive cloud security project for enterprise strategically using cloud services.

Gartner summarizes, “In organizations that have adopted multiple software as a service (SaaS) applications, cloud access security brokers (CASBs) provide SRM leaders a control point for visibility and policy-based management across multiple cloud-based services.” Gartner goes on to say that leading CASB providers also extend controls to IaaS and fulfill the needs of CSPM tools.

With a CASB, organizations receive a single platform for managing all elements of cloud risk, including all of the capabilities necessary to complete the aforementioned cloud security projects.

A CASB is a necessary technology for organizations strategically using cloud services. Leveraging the cloud is essential for modern organizations to stay competitive. The benefits of using cloud services include:

  • More efficient collaboration
  • Improved employee productivity
  • Business growth
  • Faster time to market
  • Higher employee satisfaction
  • Ability to launch new products
  • Expansion to new products

Security does not have to be compromised when moving to the cloud. Over 50 percent of companies say security is improved in the cloud versus on-premises environments. Effective cloud security requires taking a new security approach centered around data, wherever it travels. By using cloud-native security tools like a CASB, companies can unlock the business and security benefits of cloud services.

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Getting Started with Cloud Governance https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/getting-started-with-cloud-governance/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/getting-started-with-cloud-governance/#respond Wed, 03 Jul 2019 15:00:50 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=95773

This blog was written by Wayne Anderson, previous Enterprise Security Architect at McAfee. Governing cloud security and privacy in the enterprise is hard, but it’s also critical: As recently noted in a blog by Cloud Transformation Specialist Brooke Noelke, security and complexity remain the two most significant obstacles to achieving enterprise cloud goals. Accelerating cloud […]

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This blog was written by Wayne Anderson, previous Enterprise Security Architect at McAfee.

Governing cloud security and privacy in the enterprise is hard, but it’s also critical: As recently noted in a blog by Cloud Transformation Specialist Brooke Noelke, security and complexity remain the two most significant obstacles to achieving enterprise cloud goals. Accelerating cloud purchases and tying them together without critical governance has resulted in many of today’s enterprise security executives losing sleep, as minimally secured cloud provider estates run production workloads, and organizations only begin to tackle outstanding SaaS (Software as a Service) footprints.

For security professionals and leaders, the on-premise (or co-location) data center seems simple by comparison: Want to protect applications in the data center? By virtue of the fact that it has a network connection in the data center, there are certain boundaries and processes that already apply. Business unit leaders aren’t exactly standing by with a credit card, trying to load tens of thousands of dollars of 4U Servers, storage racks, and a couple of SAN heads and then trying to expense it. In other words, for a workload in the data center, certain procurement controls must be completed, an IT review established, and implementation steps forced before the servers “light up”—and networking gates must be established for connectivity and publishing.

When it comes to the cloud, however, we’re being asked to fulfill new roles, while continuing to serve as protector of all the organization’s infrastructure, both new and existing. Be the rule setter. Contribute to development practice. Be the enforcer. And do all of this while at the same time making sure all the other projects you already had planned for the next 18 months get accomplished, as well …

Without appropriate controls and expectation-setting, development teams could use a credit card and publish a pre-built workload—from registration to world-accessibility—in hours! Sadly, that’s the reality at many organizations today, in a world where as much as 11% of a company’s published sensitive data is likely to be present in custom/engineered cloud applications.

Simplify Governance – Be Transparent

One of the biggest challenges for today’s businesses is understanding what the “sanctioned” path to cloud looks like: Who do they reach out to? Why should they engage the security team and other IT partners when the software vendor is willing to take credit cards directly? At many of today’s enterprises, “Security Awareness” initiatives mean some emails and a couple training sessions a year on “building block” security measures, with a particular focus on detecting phishing emails. While these measures have their place, security teams should also establish regular partnership meetings at the business unit level to “advertise” available services to “accelerate” capabilities into the cloud.

However, instead of communicating what the business will receive or explaining the steps the security team requires in order to complete the process, the emphasis should be on what departments receive by engaging the security team early: Faster funding and procurement approvals. Proactive scheduling of scarce resources for application review. Accelerated provisioning. And ultimately, faster spend and change times, with less risk and hopefully with minimal schedule impact.

The security team also needs to help the business understand that, while they may not see it reflected in direct line items today, there is a cost per application that they are generating for existing/legacy applications. If the perception is that today’s applications are “free,” but the team needs a line item to be created in new projects for cloud security deployments, it encourages people to exit the process or to avoid things that add to the price—or, at least, to fight an internal battle to push back on each line-item add. Our job is to help the organization understand that today’s security spend is around 7% of infrastructure or application spend, and to set the expectation that whatever the next-generation project budget is, an associated investment should be expected—in both technology and people—to secure the platform.

Establish a Goal and Discuss It

Does your business understand what the “goal line” looks like when it comes to putting something into the cloud? Would they know where to go to find the diagram(s) or list(s) that define that? What level of cloud competency and security understanding does someone in the business need in order to consume what your team has published?

If the answer to one or more of these questions is a shrug—or demands a master’s level understanding of technical knowledge—how can we as the leaders of the security space expect the business to readily partner with us in a process they don’t understand?

Published policy with accompanying detailed standards is a start. But the security team has an opportunity to go a step further with very basic conceptual “block” diagrams, which set “minimum viable protection” that the business’ “minimum viable product” must have to go into security.

The easiest way to do this is to take a minimum control set, and then create a few versions of the diagram—in other words, one for the smallest footprint and one or more at larger scale—to explain to the organization how the requirements “flex” according to the size and traffic volume of what has been deployed.

Cloud Governance is Possible

Governance is the initial building block for cloud security. Being successful in protecting cloud applications requires effective technical controls, like MVISION Cloud’s product risk assessment and protection for enterprise data through unified policy. For the organization to mature and further reduce risk, governance must become as much about consulting with businesses regarding cloud consumption as it has been historically about risk meetings and change reviews. With a few simple adjustments and intentional internal marketing investments, your team can start the journey.

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Expanding Our Vision to Expand the Cybersecurity Workforce https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/executive-perspectives/expanding-our-vision-to-expand-the-cybersecurity-workforce/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/executive-perspectives/expanding-our-vision-to-expand-the-cybersecurity-workforce/#respond Wed, 19 Jun 2019 15:00:58 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=95640

This blog was written by Candace Worley, McAfee’s former Vice President and Chief Technical Strategist. I recently had the opportunity to testify before Congress on how the United States can grow and diversify the cyber talent pipeline. It’s great that members of Congress have this issue on their radar, but at the same time, it’s […]

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This blog was written by Candace Worley, McAfee’s former Vice President and Chief Technical Strategist.

I recently had the opportunity to testify before Congress on how the United States can grow and diversify the cyber talent pipeline. It’s great that members of Congress have this issue on their radar, but at the same time, it’s concerning that we’re still having these discussions. A recent (ISC) Study puts the global cybersecurity workforce shortage at 2.93 million. Solving this problem is challenging, but I offered some recommendations to the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Innovation.

Increase the NSF CyberCorps Scholarships for Service Program

The National Science Foundation (NSF) together with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designed a program to attract more college students to cybersecurity, and it’s working. Ten to 12 juniors and seniors at each of the approximately 70 participating institutions across the country receive free tuition for up to two years plus annual stipends. Once they’ve completed their cybersecurity coursework and an internship, they go to work for the federal government for the same amount of time they’ve been in the program. Afterwards, they’re free to remain federal employees or move elsewhere, yet fortunately, a good number of them choose to stay.

Congress needs to increase the funding for this program (which has been flat since 2017) from $55 million to at least $200 million. Today the scholarships are available at 70 land grant colleges. The program needs to be opened up to more universities and colleges across the country.

Expand CyberCorps Scholarships to Community Colleges

Community colleges attract a wide array of students – a fact that is good for the cybersecurity profession. Some community college attendees are recent high school graduates, but many are more mature, working adults or returning students looking for a career change or skills training. A strong security operation requires differing levels of skills, so having a flexible scholarship program at a community college could not only benefit graduates but also provide the profession with necessary skills.

Furthermore, not everyone in cybersecurity needs a four-year degree. In fact, they don’t need to have a traditional degree at all. Certificate programs provide valuable training, and as employers, we should change our hiring requirements to reflect that reality.

Foster Diversity of Thinking, Recruiting and Hiring

Cybersecurity is one of the greatest technical challenges of our time, and we need to be as creative as possible to meet it. In addition to continually advancing technology, we need to identify people from diverse backgrounds – and not just in the standard sense of the term. We need to diversify the talent pool in terms of race, ethnicity, gender and age, all of which lead to creating an inclusive team that will deliver better results. However, we also should seek out gamers, veterans, people working on technical certificates, and retirees from computing and other fields such as psychology, liberal arts as well as engineering. There is no one background required to be a cybersecurity professional. We absolutely need people with deep technical skills, but we also need teams with diverse perspectives, capabilities and levels of professional maturity.

Public-Private Sector Cross Pollination

We also must develop creative approaches to enabling the public and private sectors to share talent, particularly during significant cybersecurity events. We should design a mechanism for cyber professionals – particularly analysts or those who are training to become analysts – to move back and forth between the public and private sector so that government organizations would have a continual refresh of expertise. This type of cross-pollination would help everyone share best practices on technology, business processes and people management.

One way to accomplish this would be for DHS to partner with companies and other organizations such as universities to staff a cadre of cybersecurity professionals – operators, analysts and researchers – who are credentialed to move freely between public and private sector service. These professionals, particularly those in the private sector, could be on call to help an impacted entity and the government respond to a major attack in a timely way. Much like the National Guard, a flexible staffing approach to closing the skills gap could become a model of excellence.

We’re Walking the Talk

McAfee is proud to support the community to establish programs that provide skills to help build the STEM pipeline, fill related job openings, and close gender and diversity gaps. These programs include an Online Safety Program, onsite training programs and internships for high school students. Our employees also volunteer in schools help educate students on both cybersecurity risks and opportunities. Through volunteer-run programs across the globe, McAfee has educated more than 500,000 children to date.

As part of the McAfee’s new pilot Achievement & Excellence in STEM Scholarship program, we’ll make three awards of $10,000 for the 2019-2020 school year. Twelve students from each of the three partner schools will be invited to apply, in coordination with each partner institution’s respective college advisor. Target students are college-bound, high school seniors with demonstrated passion for STEM fields, who are seeking a future in a STEM-related path. This type of a program can easily be replicated by other companies and used to support the growth and expansion of the workforce.

We’re Supporting Diversity

While we recognize there is still more to do in fostering diversity, we’re proud to describe the strides we’re making at McAfee. We believe we have a responsibility to our employees, customers and communities to ensure our workplace reflects the world in which we live. Having a diverse, inclusive workforce is the right thing to do, and after we became an independent, standalone cybersecurity company in 2017, we made and have kept this a priority.

 The steps we’re taking include:

  • Achieving pay parity between women and men employees in April 2019, making us the first pureplay cybersecurity company to do so.
  • In 2018, 27.1% of all global hires were female and 13% of all U.S. hires were underrepresented minorities.
  • In June 2018, we launched our “Return to Workplace” program for men and women who have paused their career to raise children, care for loved ones or serve their country. The 12-week program offers the opportunity to reenter the tech space with the support and resources needed to successfully relaunch careers.
  • Last year, we established the Diversity & Culture Council, a volunteer-led global initiative focused on creating an infrastructure for the development and maintenance of an integrated strategy for diversity and workplace culture.
  • McAfee CEO Chris Young joined CEO Action for Diversity Inclusion, the largest group of CEOs and presidents committed to act on driving an inclusive workforce. By taking part in CEO Action, Young personally commits to advancing diversity and inclusion with the coalition’s three-pronged approach of fostering safe workplaces.

Looking to the Future

While I’d love to see a future where fewer cybersecurity professionals were needed, I know that for the foreseeable future, we’ll not only need great technology but also talented people. With that reality, we in the industry need to expand our vision and definition of what constitutes cybersecurity talent. The workforce shortage is such that we have to do expand our concepts and hiring requirements. In addition, the discipline itself will benefit from a population that brings more experiences, skills and diversity to bear on a field that is constantly changing.

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Have Fun in the Sun this Summer with the Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes! https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/fun-in-the-sun-rt2win-sweepstakes/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/fun-in-the-sun-rt2win-sweepstakes/#respond Mon, 10 Jun 2019 18:59:12 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=95551

The school year has come to an end, and with it comes the start of summer! For many, this time of year brings excitement and anticipation to jet-set off to their favorite destinations and spend some quality time with family. But while many are soaking up the sun or sharing fun photos online, cybercriminals also […]

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The school year has come to an end, and with it comes the start of summer! For many, this time of year brings excitement and anticipation to jet-set off to their favorite destinations and spend some quality time with family. But while many are soaking up the sun or sharing fun photos online, cybercriminals also trying to target those not taking the proper precautions to protect their data.

In fact, according to recent research by McAfee, only 40% of people are concerned about their personal photos being hacked, and 3x more concerned about their Social Security number being hacked than their photos. Whether booking travel deals or sharing photos on social media, device security should be top of mind to keep information secure this summer.

Whether you’re laying by the pool or dipping your toes in the sand, we want to help you leave your cybersecurity woes behind with our Summer Safety #RT2Win sweepstakes! Two [2] lucky winners of the sweepstakes drawing will receive a $500 Amazon gift card. The best part? Entering is a breeze! Follow the instructions below to enter and good luck!

#RT2Win Sweepstakes Official Rules

  • To enter, follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter and find the #RT2Win sweepstakes tweet.
  • The sweepstakes tweet will be released on Monday, June 10, 2019, at 12:00pm PST. This tweet will include the hashtags: #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win AND #Sweepstakes.
  • Retweet the sweepstakes tweet released on the above date, from your own handle. The #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win AND #Sweepstakes hashtags must be included in order to be entered.
  • Make sure you’re following @McAfee_Home on Twitter! You must follow for your entry to count.
  • Sweepstakes will end on Sunday, June 23, 2019 at 11:59pm PST. All entries must be made before that date and time.
  • Winners will be notified on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 via Twitter direct message.
  • Limit one entry per person.

1. How to Win:

Retweet one of our contest tweets on @McAfee_Home that include “#ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win, AND #Sweepstakes” for a chance to win a $500 Amazon gift card (for full prize details please see “Prizes” section below). Two [2] total winners will be selected and announced on June 25, 2019. Winners will be notified by direct message on Twitter. For full Sweepstakes details, please see the Terms and Conditions, below.

#RT2Win Sweepstakes Terms and Conditions

2. How to Enter: 

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes will be conducted from June 10, 2019 through June 23, 2019. All entries for each day of the McAfee Summer Safety Cybersecurity #RT2Win Sweepstakes must be received during the time allotted for the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes. Pacific Daylight Time shall control the McAfee Summer Safety Shopping #RT2Win Sweepstakes, duration is as follows:

  • Begins: Monday, June 10, 2019­­ at 12:00pm PST
  • Ends: Sunday, June 23, 2019 at 11:59pm PST
  • Two [2] winners will be announced: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

For the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes, participants must complete the following steps during the time allotted for the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes:

  1. Follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter.
  2. Find the sweepstakes tweet of the day posted on @McAfee_Home which will include the hashtags: #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win and #Sweepstakes.
  3. Retweet the sweepstakes tweet of the day and make sure it includes the #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win, and hashtags.
  4. Note: Tweets that do not contain the #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win, and #Sweepstakes hashtags will not be considered for entry.
  5. Limit one entry per person.

Two [2] winners will be chosen for the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes tweet from the viable pool of entries that retweeted and included #ProtectWhatMatters, #RT2Win and #Sweepstakes. McAfee and the McAfee social team will choose winners from all the viable entries. The winners will be announced and privately messaged on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 on the @McAfee_Home Twitter handle. No other method of entry will be accepted besides Twitter. Only one entry per user is allowed, per Sweepstakes.

3. Eligibility: 

McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States who are 18 years of age or older on the dates of the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes begins and live in a jurisdiction where this prize and McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes not prohibited. Employees of Sponsor and its subsidiaries, affiliates, prize suppliers, and advertising and promotional agencies, their immediate families (spouses, parents, children, and siblings and their spouses), and individuals living in the same household as such employees are ineligible.

4. Winner Selection:

Winners will be selected at random from all eligible retweets received during the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes drawing entry period. Sponsor will select the names of two [2] potential winners of the prizes in a random drawing from among all eligible submissions at the address listed below. The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by the Official McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes Rules and the decisions of the coordinators, which shall be final and binding in all respects.

5. Winner Notification: 

Each winner will be notified via direct message (“DM”) on Twitter.com by June 25, 2019. Prize winners may be required to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (where permitted by law) to be returned within ten (10) days of written notification, or prize may be forfeited, and an alternate winner selected. If a prize notification is returned as unclaimed or undeliverable to a potential winner, if potential winner cannot be reached within twenty four (24) hours from the first DM notification attempt, or if potential winner fails to return requisite document within the specified time period, or if a potential winner is not in compliance with these Official Rules, then such person shall be disqualified and, at Sponsor’s sole discretion, an alternate winner may be selected for the prize at issue based on the winner selection process described above.

6. Prizes: 

The prize for the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes is a $500 Amazon gift card for each of the two [2] entrants/winners. Entrants agree that Sponsor has the sole right to determine the winners of the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes and all matters or disputes arising from the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes and that its determination is final and binding. There are no prize substitutions, transfers or cash equivalents permitted except at the sole discretion of Sponsor. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prizes. Sponsor is not responsible for delays in prize delivery beyond its control. All other expenses and items not specifically mentioned in these Official Rules are not included and are the prize winners’ sole responsibility.

Limit one (1) prize per person/household. Prizes are non-transferable, and no cash equivalent or substitution of prize is offered. The McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes has no affiliation with Amazon.

7. General Conditions: 

Entrants agree that by entering they agree to be bound by these rules. All federal, state, and local taxes, fees, and surcharges on prize packages are the sole responsibility of the prizewinner. Sponsor is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry information, whether caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes, or by any technical or human error, which may occur in the processing of the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes. entries. By entering, participants release and hold harmless Sponsor and its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives from any and all liability for any injuries, loss, claim, action, demand, or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes, any prize won, any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, participation in any McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes -related activity, or participation in the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes. Except for applicable manufacturer’s standard warranties, the prizes are awarded “AS IS” and WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied (including any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose).

8. Limitations of Liability; Releases:

By entering the Sweepstakes, you release Sponsor and all Released Parties from any liability whatsoever, and waive any and all causes of action, related to any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the Sweepstakes or delivery, misdelivery, acceptance, possession, use of or inability to use any prize (including claims, costs, injuries, losses and damages related to rights of publicity or privacy, defamation or portrayal in a false light, whether intentional or unintentional), whether under a theory of contract, tort (including negligence), warranty or other theory.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will the sponsor or the released parties be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, including loss of use, loss of profits or loss of data, whether in an action in contract, tort (including, negligence) or otherwise, arising out of or in any way connected to your participation in the sweepstakes or use or inability to use any equipment provided for use in the sweepstakes or any prize, even if a released party has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

  1. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will the aggregate liability of the released parties (jointly) arising out of or relating to your participation in the sweepstakes or use of or inability to use any equipment provided for use in the sweepstakes or any prize exceed $10. The limitations set forth in this section will not exclude or limit liability for personal injury or property damage caused by products rented from the sponsor, or for the released parties’ gross negligence, intentional misconduct, or for fraud.
  2. Use of Winner’s Name, Likeness, etc.: Except where prohibited by law, entry into the Sweepstakes constitutes permission to use your name, hometown, aural and visual likeness and prize information for advertising, marketing, and promotional purposes without further permission or compensation (including in a public-facing winner list).  As a condition of being awarded any prize, except where prohibited by law, winner may be required to execute a consent to the use of their name, hometown, aural and visual likeness and prize information for advertising, marketing, and promotional purposes without further permission or compensation. By entering this Sweepstakes, you consent to being contacted by Sponsor for any purpose in connection with this Sweepstakes.

9. Prize Forfeiture:

If winner cannot be notified, does not respond to notification, does not meet eligibility requirements, or otherwise does not comply with the prize McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes rules, then the winner will forfeit the prize and an alternate winner will be selected from remaining eligible entry forms for each McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes.

10. Dispute Resolution:

Entrants agree that Sponsor has the sole right to determine the winners of the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes and all matters or disputes arising from the McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes and that its determination is final and binding. There are no prize substitutions, transfers or cash equivalents permitted except at the sole discretion of Sponsor.

11. Governing Law & Disputes:

Each entrant agrees that any disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this sweepstakes or any prize awarded will be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action and these rules will be construed in accordance with the laws, jurisdiction, and venue of the State of New York, U.S.A.

12. Privacy Policy: 

Personal information obtained in connection with this prize McAfee Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes will be handled in accordance policy set forth at https://www.mcafee.com/enterprise/en-us/about/legal/privacy.html.

  1. Winner List; Rules Request: For a copy of the winner list, send a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope for arrival after June 10,2019 before June 23, 2019 to the address listed below, Attn: #RT2Win at Summer Safety Sweepstakes. To obtain a copy of these Official Rules, visit this link or send a stamped, self-addressed business-size envelope to the address listed in below, Attn: Sarah Grayson. VT residents may omit return postage.
  2. Intellectual Property Notice: McAfee and the McAfee logo are registered trademarks of McAfee, LLC. The Sweepstakes and all accompanying materials are copyright © 2019 by McAfee, LLC.  All rights reserved.
  3. Sponsor: McAfee, LLC, Corporate Headquarters 2821 Mission College Blvd. Santa Clara, CA 95054 USA
  4. Administrator: LEWIS Pulse, 111 Sutter St., Suiter 850, San Francisco, CA 94104

The post Have Fun in the Sun this Summer with the Summer Safety #RT2Win Sweepstakes! appeared first on McAfee Blogs.

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How McAfee’s Mentorship Program Helped Me Shine in My Career Journey https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/life-at-mcafee/how-mcafees-mentorship-program-helped-me-shine-in-my-career-journey/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/life-at-mcafee/how-mcafees-mentorship-program-helped-me-shine-in-my-career-journey/#respond Wed, 29 May 2019 23:14:49 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=95425

By: Anshu, Software Engineer “The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.”—Mestrius Plutarchus A mentor isn’t someone who answers your questions, but someone who helps you ask the right ones. After joining the McAfee WISE mentorship program as a mentee, I understood the essence of these words. WISE is […]

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By: Anshu, Software Engineer

“The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.”—Mestrius Plutarchus

A mentor isn’t someone who answers your questions, but someone who helps you ask the right ones. After joining the McAfee WISE mentorship program as a mentee, I understood the essence of these words.

WISE is a community committed to providing opportunities for growth and success, increasing engagement, and empowering women at McAfee. Each year, WISE helps women network and find opportunities for their career development.

Joining the McAfee WISE Mentorship Program

The WISE Mentorship Program was introduced to address how women have been underrepresented in the tech sector, especially in cybersecurity.  It’s believed that mentoring can address and improve job satisfaction and retention, which is how the program found its way to India and I learned about it. As an employee at McAfee for over five years, I had the opportunity to learn a lot of new things, but networking was a skillset I needed to hone. I thought this might be my chance to develop my skills, so I enrolled as a mentee.

I was partnered with “Chandramouli” also known as “Mouli” who happened to be the executive sponsor for the WISE India Chapter, as well as one of our IT leaders.

The Mentor-Mentee Relationship

My sessions with Mouli were informal conversations rather than formal sync-ups. We not only discussed the industry and women in tech—but also our personal stories, the books we read and are inspired by. We discovered a common love for badminton, so we started sharing analogies of how we would handle situations at work compared to game and life scenarios.

And the lessons learned were humbling. You win, you lose, you conquer. This thought shifted my perspective to think about how I would react if it was a badminton match. Would I accept defeat even if the opponent was on game point? Would I play differently even if I knew the match was lost? I realized I would fight and fiercely compete. This simple shift started to make me think on my toes daily.

Like many people, I had a fair idea of how I wanted my career to shape up, but with the help of a mentor, I began to steer faster toward my goal. In just one session, we were able to identify areas that were slowing down my development.

Developing My Skills

We noticed that networking was one of my key improvement areas, so we decided to tackle this with baby steps. He assigned small but achievable tasks to me—tasks as simple as creating a LinkedIn profile and connecting with former and current co-workers.

What happened after that was truly amazing. People from all walks of life in the industry, from my school, college, and more, started connecting with me, and it was then when I realized I had made an impression. Now I find it easier to initiate conversations, knowing that people are ready to help and talk about things we mutually love. As small as these strides might be, they helped me not just move ahead, but also provided me with measurable momentum.

Being able to discuss and question the status quo and engage with someone who is more experienced, knows the art of the game, and is a fierce champion for WISE is something I look forward to every month. Thanks to McAfee for giving each one of us this opportunity to help further our careers and to help us dream big.

Interested in joining our team? We’re hiring! Apply now.

For more stories like this, follow @LifeAtMcAfee on Instagram and on Twitter @McAfee to see what working at McAfee is all about.

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Why AI Innovation Must Reflect Our Values in Its Infancy https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/executive-perspectives/why-ai-innovation-must-reflect-our-values-in-its-infancy/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/executive-perspectives/why-ai-innovation-must-reflect-our-values-in-its-infancy/#respond Mon, 20 May 2019 15:00:09 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=95165

This blog was written by Candace Worley, McAfee’s former Vice President and Chief Technical Strategist. In my last blog, I explained that while AI possesses the mechanics of humanness, we need to train the technology to make the leap from mimicking humanness with logic, rational and analytics to emulating humanness with common sense. If we […]

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This blog was written by Candace Worley, McAfee’s former Vice President and Chief Technical Strategist.

In my last blog, I explained that while AI possesses the mechanics of humanness, we need to train the technology to make the leap from mimicking humanness with logic, rational and analytics to emulating humanness with common sense. If we evolve AI to make this leap the impact will be monumental, but it will require our global community to take a more disciplined approach to pervasive AI proliferation. Historically, our enthusiasm for and consumption of new technology has outpaced society’s ability to evolve legal, political, social, and ethical norms.

I spend most of my time thinking about AI in the context of how it will change the way we live. How it will change the way we interact, impact our social systems, and influence our morality.  These technologies will permeate society and the ubiquity of their usage in the future will have far reaching implications. We are already seeing evidence of how it changes how we live and interact with the world around us.

Think Google. It excites our curiosity and puts information at our fingertips. What is tripe – should I order it off the menu? Why do some frogs squirt blood from their eyes? What does exculpatory mean?

AI is weaving the digital world into the fabric of our lives and making information instantaneously available with our fingertips.

AI-enabled technology is also capable of anticipating our needs. Think Alexa. As a security professional I am a hold out on this technology but the allure of it is indisputable. It makes the digital world accessible with a voice command. It understands more than we may want it to – Did someone tell Alexa to order coffee pods and toilet tissue and if not – how did Alexa know to order toilet tissue? Maybe somethings I just don’t want to know.

I also find it a bit creepy when my phone assumes (and gets it right) that I am going straight home from the grocery store letting me know, unsolicited, that it will take 28 minutes with traffic. How does it know I am going home? I could be going to the gym. It’s annoying that it knows I have no intention of working out. A human would at least have the decency to give me the travel time to both, allowing me to maintain the illusion that the gym was an equal possibility.

On a more serious note, AI-enabled technology will also impact our social, political and legal systems. As we incorporate it into more products and systems, issues related to privacy, morality and ethics will need to be addressed.

These questions are being asked now, but in anticipation of AI becoming embedded in everything we interact with it is critical that we begin to evolve our societal structures to address both the opportunities and the threats that will come with it.

The opportunities associated with AI are exciting.  AI shows incredible promise in the medical world. It is already being used in some areas. There are already tools in use that leverage machine learning to help doctors identify disease related patterns in imaging. Research is under way using AI to help deal with cancer.

For example, in May 2018, The Guardian reported that skin cancer research using a convolutional neural network (CNN – based on AI) detected skin cancer 95% of the time compared to human dermatologists who detected it 86.6% of the time. Additionally, facial recognition in concert with AI may someday be commonplace in diagnosing rare genetic disorders, that today, may take months or years to diagnose.

But what happens when the diagnosis made by a machine is wrong? Who is liable legally? Do AI-based medical devices also need malpractice insurance?

The same types of questions arise with autonomous vehicles. Today it is always assumed a human is behind the wheel in control of the vehicle. Our laws are predicated on this assumption.

How must laws change to account for vehicles that do not have a human driver? Who is liable? How does our road system and infrastructure need to change?

The recent Uber accident case in Arizona determined that Uber was not liable for the death of a pedestrian killed by one of its autonomous vehicles. However, the safety driver who was watching TV rather than the road, may be charged with manslaughter. How does this change when the car’s occupants are no longer safety drivers but simply passengers in fully autonomous vehicles. How will laws need to evolve at that point for cars and other types of AI-based “active and unaided” technology?

There are also risks to be considered in adopting pervasive AI. Legal and political safeguards need to be considered, either in the form of global guidelines or laws. Machines do not have a moral compass. Given that the definition of morality may differ depending on where you live, it will be extremely difficult to train morality into AI models.

Today most AI models lack the ability to determine right from wrong, ill intent from good intent, morally acceptable outcomes from morally irreprehensible outcomes. AI does not understand if the person asking the questions, providing it data or giving it direction has malicious intent.

We may find ourselves on a moral precipice with AI. The safeguards or laws I mention above need to be considered before AI becomes more ubiquitous than it already is.  AI will enable human kind to move forward in ways previously unimagined. It will also provide a powerful conduit through which humankind’s greatest shortcomings may be amplified.

The implications of technology that can profile entire segments of a population with little effort is disconcerting in a world where genocide has been a tragic reality, where civil obedience is coerced using social media, and where trust is undermined by those that use mis-information to sew political and societal discontent.

There is no doubt that AI will make this a better world. It gives us hope on so many fronts where technological impasses have impeded progress. Science may advance more rapidly, medical research progress beyond current roadblocks and daunting societal challenges around transportation and energy conservation may be solved.  It is another tool in our technological arsenal and the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of it improving the global human condition.

But realizing its advantages while mitigating its risks will require commitment and hard work from many conscientious minds from different quarters of our society. We as the technology community have an obligation to engage key stakeholders across the legal, political, social and scientific community to ensure that as a society we define the moral guardrails for AI before it becomes capable of defining them, for or in spite of, us.

Like all technology before it, AI’s social impacts must be anticipated and balanced against the values we hold dear.  Like parents raising a child, we need to establish and insist that the technology reflect our values now while its growth is still in its infancy.

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I am an AI Neophyte https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/executive-perspectives/i-am-an-ai-neophyte/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/executive-perspectives/i-am-an-ai-neophyte/#respond Mon, 13 May 2019 13:00:23 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=95162

This blog was written by Candace Worley, McAfee’s former Vice President and Chief Technical Strategist. I am an Artificial Intelligence (AI) neophyte. I’m not a data scientist or a computer scientist or even a mathematician. But I am fascinated by AI’s possibilities, enamored with its promise and at times terrified of its potential consequences. I […]

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This blog was written by Candace Worley, McAfee’s former Vice President and Chief Technical Strategist.

I am an Artificial Intelligence (AI) neophyte. I’m not a data scientist or a computer scientist or even a mathematician. But I am fascinated by AI’s possibilities, enamored with its promise and at times terrified of its potential consequences.

I have the good fortune to work in the company of amazing data scientists that seek to harness AI’s possibilities. I wonder at their ability to make artificial intelligence systems “almost” human. And I use that term very intentionally.

I mean “almost” human, for to date, AI systems lack the fundamentals of humanness. They possess the mechanics of humanness, qualities like logic, rationale, and analytics, but that is far from what makes us human. Their most human trait is one we prefer they not inherit –  a propensity to perpetuate bias.  To be human is to have consciousness. To be sentient. To have common sense. And to be able to use these qualities and the life experience that informs them to interpret successfully not just the black and white of our world but the millions of shades of grey.

While data scientists are grappling with many technical challenges associated with AI there are a couple I find particularly interesting. The first is bias and the second is lack of common sense.

AI’s propensity to bias is a monster of our own making. Since AI is largely a slave to the data it is given to learn from, its outputs will reflect all aspects of that data, bias included. We have already seen situations where applications leveraging AI have perpetuated human bias unintentionally but with disturbing consequences.

For example, many states have started to use risk assessment tools that leverage AI to predict probable rates of recidivism for criminal defendants. These tools produce a score that is then used by a judge for determining a defendant’s sentencing. The problem is not the tool itself but the data that is used to train it. There is evidence that there has historically been significant racial bias in our judicial systems, so when that data is used to train AI, the resulting output is equally biased.

A report by ProPublica in 2016 found that algorithmic assessment tools are likely to falsely flag African American defendants as future criminals at nearly twice the rate as white defendants*. For any of you who saw the Tom Cruise movie, Minority Report, it is disturbing to consider the similarities between the fictional technology used in the movie to predict future criminal behavior and this real life application of AI.

The second challenge is how to train artificial intelligence to be as good at interpreting nuance as humans are. It is straight forward to train AI how to do something like identifying an image as a Hippopotamus. You provide it with hundreds or thousands of images or descriptions of a hippo and eventually it gets it right most if not all the time.

The accuracy percentage is likely to go down for things that are perhaps more difficult to distinguish—such as a picture of a field of sheep versus a picture of popcorn on a green blanket—but  with enough training even this is a challenge that can be overcome.

The interesting thing is that the challenge is not limited to things that lack distinguishing characteristics. In fact, the things that are so obvious that they never get stated or documented, can be equally difficult for AI to process.

For example, we humans know that a hippopotamus cannot ride a bicycle. We inherently know that if someone says “Jimmy played with his boat in the swimming pool” that, except in very rare instances likely involving eccentric billionaires, the boat was a toy boat and not a full-size catamaran.

No one told us these things – it’s just common sense. The common sense aspects of interpreting these situations could be lost on AI. The technology also lacks the ability to infer emotion or intent from data. If we see someone buying flowers we can mentally infer why – a romantic dinner or somebody’s in the doghouse. We can not only guess why they are buying flowers, but when I say somebody’s in the dog house you know exactly what I mean. It’s not that they are literally in the dog house, but someone did something stupid and the flowers are an attempt at atonement.

That leap is too big for AI today. When you add to the mix cultural differences it exponentially increases the complexity. If a British person says put something in the boot it is likely going to be groceries. If it is an American it will likely be a foot. Teaching AI common sense is a difficult task and one that will take significant research and effort on the part of experts in the field.

But the leap from logic, rationale and analytics to common sense is a leap we need AI to make for it to truly become the tool we need it to be, in cybersecurity and in every other field of human endeavor.

In my next blog, I’ll discuss the importance of ensuring that this profoundly impactful technology reflects our human values in its infancy, before it starts influencing and shaping them itself.

*ProPublica, Machine Bias, May 23, 2016

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We Are Ready on Day One for Our Linux Customers https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/endpoint-security/we-are-ready-on-day-one-for-our-linux-customers/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/endpoint-security/we-are-ready-on-day-one-for-our-linux-customers/#respond Tue, 07 May 2019 16:14:50 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=95185

Our customers look to McAfee to ensure that their enterprises are protected from the changing threat landscape. That’s why we’ve worked with Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions for Linux, to ensure that we were part of the entire process leading up to today’s announcement of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 […]

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Our customers look to McAfee to ensure that their enterprises are protected from the changing threat landscape. That’s why we’ve worked with Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions for Linux, to ensure that we were part of the entire process leading up to today’s announcement of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL8). We’ve been working extensively with Red Hat throughout the pre-release process to ensure that you get the threat protection you desire on the day the new operating system is released.

If you’re already one of our McAfee Endpoint Security for Linux customers, this means you can take advantage of vast hardware and virtualization support as well as cloud integration support on whether you’re using on-prem ePO or McAfee MVISION.

McAfee Endpoint Security for Linux 10.6.2 now provides zero-day support for RHEL8. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a significant proportion of the install base among our customers. It’s important that we provide timely and crucial support for the latest release of RHEL8 so our customers can take advantage of the improvements and efficiencies available on the platform.

McAfee Endpoint Security for Linux 10.6 provides three important features that benefit our customers:

  • Support for Docker containers
  • CPU throttling
  • Centralized management capabilities of native firewall

Container adoption has been rising steadily among our customer base. By supporting McAfee Endpoint Security for Linux on docker containers, our customers can be confident that their container deployments are protected with the same solution that they currently deploy on their servers.

CPU throttling limits the consumption of CPU resources, allowing our customers to efficiently manage when an on-demand scan deploys, thus enhancing the usability of the solution in a low-resource environment.

Centralizing and simplifying management capabilities of native functionality, such as the firewall, through a familiar interface allows administrators to quickly react and enforce firewall policies, reducing the time to deploy and gain operational efficiency.

To learn more about McAfee Endpoint Security, visit our website.

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Our PaaS App Sprung a Leak https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/our-paas-app-sprung-a-leak/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/our-paas-app-sprung-a-leak/#respond Mon, 22 Apr 2019 16:00:20 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=94954

This blog was written by Wayne Anderson, previous Enterprise Security Architect at McAfee. Many breaches start with an “own goal,” an easily preventable misconfiguration or oversight that scores a goal for the opponents rather than for your team. In platform-as-a-service (PaaS) applications, the risk profile of the application can lure organizations into a false sense of […]

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This blog was written by Wayne Anderson, previous Enterprise Security Architect at McAfee.

Many breaches start with an “own goal,” an easily preventable misconfiguration or oversight that scores a goal for the opponents rather than for your team. In platform-as-a-service (PaaS) applications, the risk profile of the application can lure organizations into a false sense of security. While overall risk to the organization can be lowered, and new capabilities otherwise unavailable can be unlocked, developing a PaaS application requires careful consideration to avoid leaking your data and making the task of your opponent easier.

PaaS integrated applications are nearly always multistep service architectures, leaving behind the simplicity of yesterday’s three-tier presentation/business/data logic applications and basic model-view-controller architectures. While many of these functional patterns are carried forward into modern applications—like separating presentation functions from the modeled representation of a data object—the PaaS application is nearly always a combination of linear and non-linear chains of data, transformation, and handoffs.

As a simple example, consider a user request to generate a snapshot of some kind of data, like a website. They make the request through a simple portal. The request would start a serverless application, which applies basic logic, completes information validation, and builds the request. The work goes into a queue—another PaaS component. A serverless application figures out the full list of work that needs to be completed and puts those actions in a list. Each of these gets picked up and completed to build the data package, which is finally captured by another serverless application to an output file, with another handoff to the publishing location(s), like a storage bucket.

Planning data interactions and the exposure at each step in the passing process is critical to the application’s integrity. The complexity of PaaS is that the team must consider threats both for each script/step at a basic level individually as well as holistically for the data stores in the application. What if I could find an exploit in one of the steps to arbitrarily start dumping data? What if I found a way to simply output more data unexpectedly than it was designed to do? What if I found a way to inject data instead, corrupting and harming rather than stealing?

The familiar threats of web applications are present, and yet our defensive posture is shaped by which elements of the applications we can see and which we cannot. Traditional edge and infrastructure indicators are replaced by a focus on how we constructed the application and how to use cloud service provider (CSP) logging together with our instrumentation to gain a more holistic picture.

In development of the overall application, the process architecture is as important as the integrity of individual technical components. The team leadership of the application development should consider insider, CSP, and external threats, and consider questions like:

  • Who can modify the configuration?
  • How is it audited? Logged? Who monitors?
  • How do you discover rogue elements?
  • How are we separating development and production?
  • Do we have a strategy to manage exposure for updates through blue/green deployment?
  • Have we considered the larger CSP environment configuration to eliminate public management endpoints?
  • Should I use third-party tools to protect access to the cloud development and production environment’s management plane, such as a cloud access broker, together with cloud environmental tools to enumerate accounts and scan for common errors?

In the PaaS application construction, the integrity of basic code quality is magnified. The APIs and/or the initiation processes of serverless steps are the gateway to the data and other functions in the code. Development operations (DevOps) security should use available sources and tools to help protect the environment as new code is developed and deployed. These are a few ways to get your DevOps team started:

  • Use the OWASP REST Security Cheat Sheet for APIs and code making calls to other services directly.
  • Consider deploying tools from your CSP, such as the AWS Well-Architected Tool on a regular basis.
  • Use wrappers and tie-ins to the CSP’s PaaS application, such as AWS Lambda Layers to identify critical operational steps and use them to implement key security checks.
  • Use integrated automated fuzzing/static test tools to discover common missteps in code configuration early and address them as part of code updates.
  • Consider accountability expectations for your development team. How are team members encouraged to remain owners of code quality? What checks are necessary to reduce your risk before considering a user story or a specific implementation complete?

The data retained, managed, and created by PaaS applications has a critical value—without it, few PaaS applications would exist. Development teams need to work with larger security functions to consider the privacy requirements and security implications and to make decisions on things like data classification and potential threats. These threats can be managed, but the specific countermeasures often require a coordinated implementation between the code to access data stores, the data store configuration itself, and the dedicated development of separate data integrity functions, as well as a disaster recovery strategy.

Based on the identified risks, your team may want to consider:

  • Using data management steps to reduce the threat of data leakage (such as limiting the amount of data or records which can be returned in a given application request).
  • Looking at counters, code instrumentation, and account-based controls to detect and limit abuse.
  • Associating requests to specific accounts/application users in your logging mechanisms to create a trail for troubleshooting and investigation.
  • Recording data access logging to a hardened data store, and if the sensitivity/risk of the data store requires, transition logs to an isolated account or repository.
  • Asking your development team what the business impact of corrupting the value of your analysis, or the integrity of the data set itself might be, for example, by an otherwise authorized user injecting trash?

PaaS applications offer compelling value, economies of scale, new capabilities, and access to advanced processing otherwise out of reach for many organizations in traditional infrastructure. These services require careful planning, coordination of security operations and development teams, and a commitment to architecture in both technical development and managing risk through organizational process. Failing to consider and invest in these areas while rushing headlong into new PaaS tools might lead your team to discover that your app has sprung a leak!

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Employees Share Stories Working in Award–Winning Cork Office https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/life-at-mcafee/employees-share-stories-working-in-award-winning-cork-office/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/life-at-mcafee/employees-share-stories-working-in-award-winning-cork-office/#respond Thu, 18 Apr 2019 14:49:10 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=94919

“The culture at McAfee is easy going, fun, dynamic and everyone is friendly.”—Deirdre, Project Manager The McAfee office in Cork was once again named among companies recognized in Ireland’s Great Place to Work awards. Our Cork location has much to offer—from a supportive working environment to career growth opportunities, the opportunities are abundant. Hear from […]

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“The culture at McAfee is easy going, fun, dynamic and everyone is friendly.”—Deirdre, Project Manager

The McAfee office in Cork was once again named among companies recognized in Ireland’s Great Place to Work awards. Our Cork location has much to offer—from a supportive working environment to career growth opportunities, the opportunities are abundant.

Hear from three McAfee employees, Deirdre, Ranjit and Oliver, as they share their personal stories of working in the Cork, Ireland office.

Want to join in on the fun? We’re hiring in Cork! Apply now.

For more stories like this, follow @LifeAtMcAfee on Instagram and on Twitter @McAfee to see what working at McAfee is all about.

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ST03: Cloud Technology Trends with Wayne Anderson and Dan Flaherty https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/podcast/st03-cloud-technology-trends-with-wayne-anderson-and-dan-flaherty/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/podcast/st03-cloud-technology-trends-with-wayne-anderson-and-dan-flaherty/#respond Tue, 02 Apr 2019 20:38:15 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=94827

In this episode, we’ll hear from Wayne Anderson, Enterprise Security Architect at McAfee and Dan Flaherty from the cloud security product team speak on a wide range of topics from upcoming technology trends in the market, to adversarial machine learning, cloud models for security, and a look back at the RSA conference.

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In this episode, we’ll hear from Wayne Anderson, Enterprise Security Architect at McAfee and Dan Flaherty from the cloud security product team speak on a wide range of topics from upcoming technology trends in the market, to adversarial machine learning, cloud models for security, and a look back at the RSA conference.

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Return to Workplace: Ready to Relaunch Your Career https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/life-at-mcafee/return-to-workplace-ready-to-relaunch-your-career/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/life-at-mcafee/return-to-workplace-ready-to-relaunch-your-career/#comments Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:58:59 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=94674

By: Sheetal, Application Developer & Majy, IT Support McAfee offers a new program that offers professionals who dedicated extended time to their families the chance to reignite their passion for the technology industry and relaunch their careers. Sometimes, it’s necessary to put your career on hold to raise kids, care for loved ones or serve […]

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By: Sheetal, Application Developer & Majy, IT Support

McAfee offers a new program that offers professionals who dedicated extended time to their families the chance to reignite their passion for the technology industry and relaunch their careers.

Sometimes, it’s necessary to put your career on hold to raise kids, care for loved ones or serve your country. For many, it can be daunting to reenter the workplace after time away. That’s why McAfee designed its Return to Workplace program.

Launched in India in 2018, the 12-week Return to Work program offers training, support and resources for those who are looking to reenter the technology field and put their careers back on track.

Read Sheetal’s and Majy’s stories about how McAfee’s Return to Workplace program helped them build the skills they needed to reenter the workforce and come back strong.

Sheetal’s Return to Workplace Journey – Application Developer

To pursue my love for technology, I moved to Bangalore to complete my engineering degree in computer science, and I found rewarding work as a Quality Auditor. In 2015, I added another momentous title to my resume—mom. I gave birth to my first child and took my maternity leave; however, family circumstances extended my break.

Returning to Tech

Three years later, I was finally ready to get back to work, and I anxiously began my job hunt. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, and I had a few concerns to say the least. Not only did I fear I’d be behind in the fast-paced technology industry, I also feared I wouldn’t find a supportive workplace as a single mom.

All Thanks to McAfee

As a single mother, McAfee allowed me to balance both my career and my family by giving me flexible work hours, technical mentoring, soft skills training, sessions with the HR team and several other resources to sharpen my professional skills. It helped me build my confidence over time, and today, I am working as a part of the application development team, assuring that the business works efficiently as possible.

McAfee has offered not only me, but a number of other wonderful women, a second chance to resume their careers at their own pace, without having to give up time with their families and children.

Majy’s Story – IT Support

Passionate about technology, I pursued my education in engineering at Calicut University and began my career soon after as a software engineer. I loved my career and the people I worked with—it’s what got me out of bed and excited about each day. Eventually, my reasons to start the day shifted when my husband and I were blessed with our first child. I decided it was time to put a hold on my career, to be there for my son and spend quality time at home during those early development years.

Facing Fears About Getting Back to Work

My son was growing up right before my eyes, and as he became more independent, I considered returning to my career. Even though I was eager to get back to work, I feared I wouldn’t find a company that allowed me to manage both a fulfilling career and raising a child at home—or if my skills would still be relevant.

 

Discovering McAfee Was the Best Thing Ever

McAfee’s Return to Workplace initiative completely blew me away. With the working environment that McAfee offered me, which was flexible and encouraging, I absolutely could not miss this opportunity. McAfee offered me several avenues to learn and brush up on my technical skills. They even provided me with a technical mentor! Having access to my mentor created a safe environment where I could ask my technical queries without feeling the pressure of asking the wrong question. In addition to this, the host of online courses I could leverage was an advantage for me. Ultimately, McAfee provided me with an environment where I could learn and grow without feeling intimidated. This was empowering and gave me the push I needed to successfully complete the program. McAfee was my natural first choice for returning to work and I couldn’t have been happier to accept a full-time position.

For more stories like this, follow @LifeAtMcAfee  on Instagram and on Twitter @McAfee to see what working at McAfee is all about.

Ready to relaunch your career? Get the resources you need at McAfee. Apply here.

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McAfee Employees Strike Their #BalanceForBetter Pose This International Women’s Day https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/life-at-mcafee/mcafee-employees-strike-their-balanceforbetter-pose-this-international-womens-day/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/life-at-mcafee/mcafee-employees-strike-their-balanceforbetter-pose-this-international-womens-day/#respond Wed, 06 Mar 2019 15:08:44 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=94403

By Karla, Digital Media Specialist During the month of March, we are thrilled to support International Women’s Day, on March 8, and Women’s History Month. At McAfee, we recognize the importance of an inclusive and diverse culture and as part of this year’s International Women’s Day call to action, we’ve asked team members from across […]

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By Karla, Digital Media Specialist

During the month of March, we are thrilled to support International Women’s Day, on March 8, and Women’s History Month. At McAfee, we recognize the importance of an inclusive and diverse culture and as part of this year’s International Women’s Day call to action, we’ve asked team members from across the globe to share how they #BalanceForBetter at McAfee.

Check out some of these great moments and be sure to share your own #BalanceForBetter stories in the comments below!

 

Silvia – Software Sales Account Representative (Chile)

“I always wanted to work for a company that would support me in my role as a woman, a mother, a professional and an athlete. I found that place. McAfee allows me to be me and encourages me to do what I need to do to #BalanceForBetter.”

 

 

 

Priya – Customer Success Manager (India)

“At McAfee, I feel like I can grow my career and be an independent career-focused woman while still being a doting and caring mother and spouse. McAfee helped create the right balance between my family, future and career. #BalanceForBetter”

 

 

 

 

Steve – Head of Advanced Threat Research (U.S.)

“I wish I could say we had gender balance in Advanced Threat Research of 50/50 men and women. I wish we could say this at the industry level in general. However, there’s no time better than the present to change this.

What #BalanceForBetter means to me is engaging early by hosting lab days at McAfee or visiting schools. At McAfee, we have a chance to spark interest, demonstrate inclusiveness and promote real change in the gender gap across the IT industry. Without more women in tech, I truly feel like we are missing out on a unique and diverse perspective. As a father of two young girls with the potential to be anything, I know it’s time we change the status quo.”

 

 

Gurjeet – Engineering Manager (Canada)

“McAfee is like my second family. We celebrate each other’s achievements, encourage one another to give our best and are wonderful friends who always cheer each other up during difficult times.

Here, I can be my personal best every day at the office while doing all the things I cherish with my real family, like hiking, running, traveling and exploring the beautiful world.”

 

 

Paula – Head of Consumer ORD (Brazil)

“The consumer online business is a heavily results-driven organization that demands strong planning and speedy execution, so every minute counts! I #BalanceForBetter by creating clear business objectives that help me to prioritize my tasks and meetings – guaranteeing my weekdays are as productive as possible. This balance ensures that my mornings are spent in the gym and my evenings with family and friends, which ultimately gives me the energy and joy needed to execute my work each day.”

 

 

Laura – Marketing Communications Manager (Mexico)

“After working in marketing for more than 20 years in tech, I certainly believe that technology helps you find a balance of work and play – not having to choose between one or the other. I #BalanceForBetter at McAfee to define the best version of myself.”

 

 

 

Charan Jeet – MSSP Solutions Architect (Australia)

“McAfee’s flexible and supportive work culture plays a vital role. It encourages equal opportunity to every individual/employee irrespective of gender or background. It has helped me keep myself actively engaged in the activities I love, helping me #BalanceForBetter.”

 

 

 

Sonia – Talent Acquisition Partner (Argentina)

“We all live in the same world, but each person lives and experiences life through a different lens. Learning how to accept and sympathize with these different points of view is what makes the world a better place. As a recruiter, I enjoy communicating with diverse people to help them reach their full potential in all aspects of their work lives and personal lives. #BalanceForBetter”

 

 

 

Laura – Program Manager (Ireland)

“At McAfee, we are tipping the scales in terms of championing equality in the workplace. From our investment in gender pay parity to living the McAfee values and creating a better workplace where we are encouraged to be our full authentic selves. For me, that’s #BalanceforBetter.”

 

 

 

 

Andrea – Program Manager (Argentina)

“At McAfee, I #BalanceForBetter by leveraging my skills as a Program Manager to collaborate with teams around the globe. As a working mom at McAfee, I am offered a great work-life balance and I can #BalanceForBetter by devoting time to another one of my passions – playing soccer with my boys! This healthy mix helps me stay happy and well.”

 

 

 

McAfee is an inclusive employer and is proud to support inclusion and diversity. Interested in joining our teams? We’re hiring! Apply now.

For more stories like this, follow @LifeAtMcAfee on Instagram and on Twitter @McAfee to see what working at McAfee is all about.

 

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JAVA-VBS Joint Exercise Delivers RAT https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/mcafee-labs/java-vbs-joint-exercise-delivers-rat/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/mcafee-labs/java-vbs-joint-exercise-delivers-rat/#respond Fri, 01 Mar 2019 16:00:15 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=94312

The Adwind remote administration tool (RAT) is a Java-based backdoor Trojan that targets various platforms supporting Java files. For an infection to occur, the user must typically execute the malware by double-clicking on the .jar file that usually arrives as an email attachment. Generally, infection begins if the user has the Java Runtime Environment installed. […]

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The Adwind remote administration tool (RAT) is a Java-based backdoor Trojan that targets various platforms supporting Java files. For an infection to occur, the user must typically execute the malware by double-clicking on the .jar file that usually arrives as an email attachment. Generally, infection begins if the user has the Java Runtime Environment installed. Once the malicious .jar file runs successfully on the target system, the malware silently installs itself and connects to a remote server through a preconfigured port. This allows it to receive commands from the remote attacker and perform further malicious activities. Recently, McAfee labs has seen a surge in a variant which comes as a JAR attachment via a spam email and uses the famous Houdini VBS worm to infect user.

Infection chain:

The malware’s spreading mechanism is the same as in previous versions. It arrives in a spam email with a .jar attachment. The contents of the email are carefully crafted to lure victims using social engineering techniques. We can summarise the whole infection chain as shown in the below snippet:

 

The spam email may look like this:

The parent JAR file:

To keep things simple, we just called the attached .jar file as a parent jar file and named it Sample.jar. Generally, Adwind comes in an obfuscated form to hide its malicious intent. Its payload and configuration file (which serves as an installation file) are encrypted with the DES, RC4, or RC6 cipher, depending on the variant. The Adwind backdoor will decrypt itself on the fly during execution. In this variant we can see the contents of Manifest.MF. It has main class bogjbycqdq.Mawbkhvaype.

Mawbkhvaype.class

The main task of this class is to check for a resource file available in the Jar bundle. Here, resource mzesvhbami is a vbs file. Mawbkhvaye.class will check for mzesvhbami in the resource section and later drop bymqzbfsrg.vbs in the user’s Home directory before executing it with the help of wscript.

Bymqzbfsrg.vbs

It has a huge chunk of obfuscated base64 encoded data present. The below snippet shows the partial part of Bymqzbfsrg.vbs script.

Once deobfuscated and decoded, the base64 encoded data converts to ntfsmgr.jar and is dropped in %appdata%/Roaming. The below snippet shows the conversion of base64 encoded data into Jar file:

Decoded to JAR file (ntfsmgr.jar)

Ntfsmgr.jar

Here, important files present in ntfsmgr.jar are drop.box, mega.download and sky.drive which will be used later for creating the configuration file for the malware.

Final Payload:

Ntfsmgr.jar has operational.Jrat as the main class. The purpose of operational.Jrat is to drop another .jar file into the %TEMP% folder with random file name [underscore] [dot] [random numbers] [dot] class, e.g. _0.1234567897654265678.class, which will be the actual payload and later will perform malicious activities on the user’s system. The below snippet shows the routine present in operational.Jrat for creation of the final payload in %TEMP% location.

The contents of Manifest.MF looks somewhat similar to ntfsmgr.jar. All the other files in the final Java archive will be decrypted on the fly and will infect the system. After Adwind successfully infects a system, we have seen it log keystrokes, modify and delete files, download and execute further malware, take screenshots, access the system’s camera, take control of the mouse and keyboard, update itself, and more. We are not going to dig into this threat in this direction now but you can read more about Adwind here and here. In this blog we will now discuss another part of the story, Bymqzbfsrg.vbs

Working of Bymqzbfsrg.vbs

After successful execution, Bymqzbfsrg.vbs drops ntfsmgr.jar and sKXoevtgAv.vbs in %appdata%/Roaming.

Bymqzbfsrg.vbs dynamically executes a method naira inside the script by using ExecuteGlobal, as seen in the below snippet.:

Dynamic execution of the script looks like this:

The below snippet shows the script for dropping sKXoevtgAv.vbs in %appdata%Roaming.

Here we see the script for dropping ntfsmgr in %appdata%Roaming.

At the time of execution, sKXoevtgAv.vbs decodes itself to Houdini vbs worm which is the final payload. The first few lines of the script are as follows:

The attacker may perform many malicious activities on the victim’s machine, including::

  • Downloading and executing files on the victim’s machine
  • Running command instructions
  • Updating or uninstalling a copy of itself
  • Downloading and uploading files
  • Deleting a file or folder
  • Terminating certain process

Enumerating files and folders on the victim’s machine

Additional Points:

  1. For persistence it creates a run entry.

When the ntfsmgtr.jar runs, it adds itself into the start-up so that it will be run whenever the system starts.

  1. It checks for installed anti-malware products on the system.

  1. If available, it copies the installed Java Runtime files to a temporary directory within the victim’s home directory, otherwise it downloads from the web and copies in the same directory.

Conclusion:

In past, we have seen threat actors using two similar functioning malware families in a single infection. Usually, threat actors chose this path for higher probability of successful infection.

The hashes used in the analysis:

Sample.jar: 07cb6297b47c007aab43311fcfa9976158b4149961911f42d96783afc517226a

Ntfsmgr.jar: ee868807a4261a418e02b0fb1de7ee7a8900acfb66855ce46628eb5ab9b1d029

McAfee advises users to keep their antimalware signatures up to date at all times. McAfee products detect the malicious jar files as Adwind-FDVH.jar! [Partial hash] and Adwind-FDVJ.jar! [Partial Hash], with DAT Versions 9137 and later.

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Kicking Off MWC 2019 with Insights on Mobile Security and Growing Partnerships https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/mwc-2019-kickoff/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/mwc-2019-kickoff/#respond Mon, 25 Feb 2019 08:00:24 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=94251

We’ve touched down in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2019 (MWC), which is looking to stretch the limits of mobile technology with new advancements made possible by the likes of IoT and 5G. This year, we are excited to announce the unveiling of our 2019 Mobile Threat Report, our extended partnership with Samsung to protect […]

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We’ve touched down in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2019 (MWC), which is looking to stretch the limits of mobile technology with new advancements made possible by the likes of IoT and 5G. This year, we are excited to announce the unveiling of our 2019 Mobile Threat Report, our extended partnership with Samsung to protect Galaxy S10 smartphones, and our strengthened partnership with Türk Telekom to provide a security solution to protect families online.

Mobile Connectivity and the Evolving Threat Landscape

These days, it’s a rare occurrence to enter a home that isn’t utilizing smart technology. Devices like smart TVs, voice assistants, and security cameras make our lives more convenient and connected. However, as consumers adopt this technology into their everyday lives, cybercriminals find new ways to exploit these devices for malicious activity. With an evolving threat landscape, cybercriminals are shifting their tactics in response to changes in the market. As we revealed in our latest Mobile Threat Report, malicious actors look for ways to maximize their profit, primarily through gaining control of trusted IoT devices like voice assistants. There are over 25 million voice assistants in use across the globe and many of these devices are connected to other things like thermostats, door locks, and smart plugs. With this increase in connectivity, cybercriminals have more opportunities to exploit users’ devices for malicious purposes. Additionally, cybercriminals are leveraging users’ reliance on their mobile phones to mine for cryptocurrency without the device owner’s knowledge. According to our Mobile Threat Report, cybersecurity researchers found more than 600 malicious cryptocurrency apps spread across 20 different app stores. In order to protect users during this time of rapid IoT and mobile growth, we here at McAfee are pushing to deliver solutions for relevant, real-world security challenges with the help of our partners.

Growing Partnerships to Protect What Matters

Some cybersecurity challenges we are working to overcome include threats like mobile malware and unsecured Wi-Fi. This year, we’ve extended our long-standing partnership with Samsung to help secure consumers from cyberthreats on Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphones. McAfee is also supporting Samsung Secure Wi-Fi service by providing backend infrastructure to protect consumers from risky Wi-Fi. In addition to mobile, this partnership also expands to help protect Samsung smart TVs, PCs, and laptops.

We’ve also strengthened our partnership with Türk Telekom, Turkey’s largest fixed broadband ISP. Last year, we announced this partnership to deliver cross-device security protection. This year, we’re providing a security solution to help parents protect their family’s digital lives. Powered by McAfee Safe Family, Türk Telekom’s fixed and mobile broadband customers will have the option to benefit from robust parental controls. These controls will allow parents to better manage their children’s online experience and give them greater peace of mind.

We’re excited to see what’s to come for the rest of MWC, and how these announcements will help improve consumers’ digital experiences. It is our hope that by continuing to extend our relationships with technology innovators, we can help champion built-in security across devices and networks.

To stay on top of McAfee’s MWC news and the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast Hackable?, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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The Exploit Model of Serverless Cloud Applications https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/the-exploit-model-of-serverless-cloud-applications/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/the-exploit-model-of-serverless-cloud-applications/#respond Mon, 11 Feb 2019 15:00:02 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=94091

This blog was written by Wayne Anderson, previous Enterprise Security Architect at McAfee. Serverless platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings are being deployed at an increasing rate for many reasons. They relate to information in a myriad of ways, unlocking new opportunities to collect data, identify data, and ultimately find ways to transform data to value. Figure 1. Serverless […]

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This blog was written by Wayne Anderson, previous Enterprise Security Architect at McAfee.

Serverless platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings are being deployed at an increasing rate for many reasons. They relate to information in a myriad of ways, unlocking new opportunities to collect data, identify data, and ultimately find ways to transform data to value.

Figure 1. Serverless application models.

Serverless applications can cost-effectively reply and process information at scale, returning critical data models and transformations synchronously to browsers or mobile devices. Synchronous serverless applications unlock mobile device interactions and near-real-time processing for on-the-go insights.

Asynchronous serverless applications can create data sets and views on large batches of data over time. We previously needed to have every piece of data and run batch reports, but we now have the ability to stagger events, or even make requests, wait some time to check in on them, and get results that bring value to the organization a few minutes or an hour later.

Areas as diverse as tractors, manufacturing, and navigation are benefiting from the ability to stream individual data points and look for larger relationships. These streams build value out of small bits of data. Individually they’re innocuous and of minimal value, but together they provide new intelligence we struggled to capture before.

The key theme throughout these models is the value of the underlying data. Protecting this data, while still using it to create value becomes a critical objective for the cloud-transforming enterprise. We can start by looking at the model for how data moves into and out of the application. A basic access and data model illustrates the way the application, access medium, CSP provider security, and serverless PaaS application have to work together to balance protection and capability.

Figure 2. Basic access and data model for serverless applications.

A deeper exploration of the security environment—and the shared responsibility in cloud security—forces us to look more carefully at who is involved, and how each party in the cloud ecosystem is empowered to see potential threats to the environment, and to the transaction specifically. When we expand the access and data model to look at the activities in a modern synchronous serverless application, we can see how the potential threats expand rapidly.

Figure 3. Expanded access and data model for a synchronous serverless application.

Organizations using this common model for an integrated serverless PaaS application are also gaining information from infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) elements in the environment. This leads to a more specific view of the threats that exist:

Figure 4. Sample threats in a serverless application.

 

By pushing the information security team to more carefully and specifically consider the ways the application can be exploited, they can then take simple actions to ensure that both development activities and the architecture for the application itself offer protection. A few examples:

  • Threat: Network sniffing/MITM
  • Protection: High integrity TLS, with signed API requests and responses

 

  • Threat: Code exploit
  • Protection: Code review, and SAST/pen testing on regular schedule

 

  • Threat: Data structure exploit
  • Protection: API forced data segmentation and request limiting, managed data model

The organization first must recognize the potential risk, make it part of the culture to ask the question, “What threats to my data does my change or new widget introduce?” and make it an expectation of deployment that privacy and security demand a response.

Otherwise, your intellectual property may just become the foundation of someone else’s profit.

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MalBus: Popular South Korean Bus App Series in Google Play Found Dropping Malware After 5 Years of Development https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/mcafee-labs/malbus-popular-south-korean-bus-app-series-in-google-play-found-dropping-malware-after-5-years-of-development/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/mcafee-labs/malbus-popular-south-korean-bus-app-series-in-google-play-found-dropping-malware-after-5-years-of-development/#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2019 18:00:12 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=94034

McAfee’s Mobile Research team recently learned of a new malicious Android application masquerading as a plugin for a transportation application series developed by a South Korean developer. The series provides a range of information for each region of South Korea, such as bus stop locations, bus arrival times and so on. There are a total […]

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McAfee’s Mobile Research team recently learned of a new malicious Android application masquerading as a plugin for a transportation application series developed by a South Korean developer. The series provides a range of information for each region of South Korea, such as bus stop locations, bus arrival times and so on. There are a total of four apps in the series, with three of them available from Google Play since 2013 and the other from around 2017. Currently, all four apps have been removed from Google Play while the fake plugin itself was never uploaded to the store. While analyzing the fake plugin, we were looking for initial downloaders and additional payloads – we discovered one specific version of each app in the series (uploaded at the same date) which was dropping malware onto the devices on which they were installed, explaining their removal from Google Play after 5 years of development.

Figure 1. Cached Google Play page of Daegu Bus application, one of the apps in series

When the malicious transportation app is installed, it downloads an additional payload from hacked web servers which includes the fake plugin we originally acquired. After the fake plugin is downloaded and installed, it does something completely different – it acts as a plugin of the transportation application and installs a trojan on the device, trying to phish users to input their Google account password and completely take control of the device. What is interesting is that the malware uses the native library to take over the device and also deletes the library to hide from detection. It uses names of popular South Korean services like Naver, KakaoTalk, Daum and SKT. According to our telemetry data, the number of infected devices was quite low, suggesting that the final payload was installed to only a small group of targets.

The Campaign

The following diagram explains the overall flow from malware distribution to device infection.

Figure 2. Device infection process

When the malicious version of the transportation app is installed, it checks whether the fake plugin is already installed and, if not, downloads from the server and installs it. After that, it downloads and executes an additional native trojan binary which is similar to the trojan which is dropped by the fake plugin. After everything is done, it connects with the C2 servers and handles received commands.

Initial Downloader

The following table shows information about the malicious version of each transportation app in the series. As the Google Play number of install stats shows, these apps have been downloaded on many devices.

Unlike the clean version of the app, the malicious version contains a native library named “libAudio3.0.so”.

Figure 3. Transportation app version with malicious native library embedded

In the BaseMainActivity class of the app, it loads the malicious library and calls startUpdate() and updateApplication().

Figure 4. Malicious library being loaded and executed in the app

startUpdate() checks whether the app is correctly installed by checking for the existence of a specific flag file named “background.png” and whether the fake plugin is installed already. If the device is not already infected, the fake plugin is downloaded from a hacked web server and installed after displaying a toast message to the victim. updateApplication() downloads a native binary from the same hacked server and dynamically loads it. The downloaded file (saved as libSound1.1.so) is then deleted after being loaded into memory and, finally, it executes an exported function which acts as a trojan. As previously explained, this file is similar to the file dropped by the fake plugin which is discussed later in this post.

Figure 5 Additional payload download servers

Fake Plugin

The fake plugin is downloaded from a hacked web server with file extension “.mov” to look like a media file. When it is installed and executed, it displays a toast message saying the plugin was successfully installed (in Korean) and calls a native function named playMovie(). The icon for the fake plugin soon disappears from the screen. The native function implemented in LibMovie.so, which is stored inside the asset folder, drops a malicious trojan to the current running app’s directory masquerading as libpng.2.1.so file. The dropped trojan is originally embedded in the LibMovie.so xor’ed, which is decoded at runtime. After giving permissions, the address of the exported function “Libfunc” in the dropped trojan is dynamically retrieved using dlsym(). The dropped binary in the filesystem is deleted to avoid detection and finally Libfunc is executed.

Figure 6 Toast message when malware is installed

In the other forked process, it tries to access the “naver.property” file on an installed SD Card, if there is one, and if it succeeds, it tries starting “.KaKaoTalk” activity which displays a Google phishing page (more on that in the next section) . The overall flow of the dropper is explained in the following diagram:

Figure 7. Execution flow of the dropper

Following is a snippet of a manifest file showing that “.KaKaoTalk” activity is exported.

Figure 8. Android Manifest defining “.KaKaoTalk” activity as exported

Phishing in JavaScript

KakaoTalk class opens a local HTML file, javapage.html, with the user’s email address registered on the infected device automatically set to log into their account.

Figure 9. KakaoTalk class loads malicious local html file

The victim’s email address is set to the local page through a JavaScript function setEmailAddress after the page is finished loading. A fake Korean Google login website is displayed:

Figure 10. The malicious JavaScript shows crafted Google login page with user account

We found the following attempts of exploitation of Google legitimate services by the malware author:

  • Steal victim’s Google account and password
  • Request password recovery for a specific account
  • Set recovery email address when creating new Google account

An interesting element of the phishing attack is that the malware authors tried to set their own email as the recovery address on Google’s legitimate services. For example, when a user clicks on the new Google account creation link in the phishing page, the crafted link is opened with the malware author’s email address as a parameter of RecoveryEmailAddress.

Figure 11. The crafted JavaScript attempts to set recovery email address for new Google account creation.

Fortunately for end users, none of the above malicious attempts are successful. The parameter with the malware author’s email address is simply ignored at the account creation stage.

Trojan

In addition to the Google phishing page, when “Libfunc” function of the trojan (dropped by the fake plugin or downloaded from the server) is executed, the mobile phone is totally compromised. It receives commands from the following hardcoded list of C2 servers. The main functionality of the trojan is implemented in a function called “doMainProc()”. Please note that there are a few variants of the trojanwith different functionality but, overall, they are pretty much the same.

Figure 12. Hardcoded list of C2 servers

The geolocation of hardcoded C2 servers lookslike the following:

Figure 13. Location of C2 Servers

Inside doMainProc(), the trojan receives commands from the C2 server and calls appropriate handlers. Part of the switch block below gives us an idea of what type of commands this trojan supports.

Figure 14. Subset of command handlers implemented in the dropped trojan.

As you can see, it has all the functionality that a normal trojan has. Downloading, uploading and deleting files on the device, leaking information to a remote server and so on. The following table explains supported C2 commands:

Figure 15. C2 Commands

Before entering the command handling loop, the trojan does some initialization, like sending device information files to the server and checking the UID of the device. Only after the UID checking returns a 1 does it enter the loop.

Figure 16 Servers connected before entering command loop

Among these commands, directory indexing in particular is important. The directory structure is saved in a file named “kakao.property” and while indexing the given path in the user device, it checks the file with specific keywords and if it matches, uploads the file to the remote upload server. These keywords are Korean and its translated English version is as per the following table:

Figure 17 Search file keywords

By looking at the keywords we can anticipate that the malware authors were looking for files related to the military, politics and so on. These files are uploaded to a separate server.

Figure 18 Keyword matching file upload server

Conclusion

Applications can easily trick users into installing them before then leaking sensitive information. Also, it is not uncommon to see malware sneaking onto the official Google Play store, making it hard for users to protect their devices. This malware has not been written for ordinary phishing attempts, but rather very targeted attacks, searching the victim’s devices for files related to the military and politics, likely trying to leak confidential information. Users should always install applications that they can fully trust even though they are downloaded from trusted sources.

McAfee Mobile Security detects this threat as Android/MalBus and alerts mobile users if it is present, while protecting them from any data loss. For more information about McAfee Mobile Security, visit https://www.mcafeemobilesecurity.com.

Hashes (SHA-256)

Initial Downloader (APK)
• 19162b063503105fdc1899f8f653b42d1ff4fcfcdf261f04467fad5f563c0270
• bed3e665d2b5fd53aab19b8a62035a5d9b169817adca8dfb158e3baf71140ceb
• 3252fbcee2d1aff76a9f18b858231adb741d4dc07e803f640dcbbab96db240f9
• e71dc11e8609f6fd84b7af78486b05a6f7a2c75ed49a46026e463e9f86877801

Fake Plugin (APK)
• ecb6603a8cd1354c9be236a3c3e7bf498576ee71f7c5d0a810cb77e1138139ec
• b8b5d82eb25815dd3685630af9e9b0938bccecb3a89ce0ad94324b12d25983f0

Trojan (additional payload)
• b9d9b2e39247744723f72f63888deb191eafa3ffa137a903a474eda5c0c335cf
• 12518eaa24d405debd014863112a3c00a652f3416df27c424310520a8f55b2ec
• 91f8c1f11227ee1d71f096fd97501c17a1361d71b81c3e16bcdabad52bfa5d9f
• 20e6391cf3598a517467cfbc5d327a7bb1248313983cba2b56fd01f8e88bb6b9

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McAfee Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/life-at-mcafee/mcafee-honors-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-day/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/life-at-mcafee/mcafee-honors-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-day/#respond Thu, 17 Jan 2019 18:01:26 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=93844

On Monday, January 21, McAfee will join millions across the globe to recognize the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To honor the achievements of Dr. King, our McAfee African-Heritage Community (MAHC) members recently shared memorable lines from King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech that he delivered at the Lincoln Memorial […]

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On Monday, January 21, McAfee will join millions across the globe to recognize the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

To honor the achievements of Dr. King, our McAfee African-Heritage Community (MAHC) members recently shared memorable lines from King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech that he delivered at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. The MAHC is an employee-led group that is committed to delivering education, cultural awareness, mentoring programs, community involvement and advancing diversity and inclusion within McAfee’s culture.

Watch the video here:

King shared his important message during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. To provide you with the full meaning and context of King’s powerful speech, you can read the original speech in its entirety here.

McAfee is an inclusive employer and is proud to support inclusion and diversity. Interested in joining our teams? We’re hiring! Apply now.

For more stories like this, follow @LifeAtMcAfee on Instagram and on Twitter @McAfee to see what working at McAfee is all about.

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The Shifting Risk Profile in Serverless Architecture https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/the-shifting-risk-profile-in-serverless-architecture/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/enterprise/cloud-security/the-shifting-risk-profile-in-serverless-architecture/#respond Fri, 11 Jan 2019 16:00:49 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=93675

This blog was written by Wayne Anderson, previous Enterprise Security Architect at McAfee. Technology is as diverse and advanced as ever, but as tech evolves, so must the way we secure it from potential threats. Serverless architecture, i.e. AWS Lambda, is no exception. As the rapid adoption of this technology has naturally grown, the way […]

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This blog was written by Wayne Anderson, previous Enterprise Security Architect at McAfee.

Technology is as diverse and advanced as ever, but as tech evolves, so must the way we secure it from potential threats. Serverless architecture, i.e. AWS Lambda, is no exception. As the rapid adoption of this technology has naturally grown, the way we approach securing it has to shift. To dive into that shift, let’s explore the past and present of serverless architecture’s risk profile and the resulting implications for security.

Past

For the first generation of cloud applications, we implemented “traditional” approaches to security. Often, this meant taking the familiar “Model-View-Controller” view to initially segment the application, and sometimes we even had the foresight to apply business logic separation to further secure the application.

But our cloud security model was not truly “cloud-native.”  That’s because our application security mechanisms assumed that traffic functioned in a specific way, with specific resources. Plus, our ability to inspect and secure that model relied on an intimate knowledge of how the application worked, and the full control of security resources between its layers. In short, we assumed full control of how the application layers were segmented, thus replicating our data center security in the cloud, giving up some of the economics and scale of the cloud in the process.

Figure 2. Simplified cloud application architecture separated by individual functions.

Present

Now, when it comes to the latest generation of cloud applications, most leverage Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) functions as an invaluable aid in the quest to reduce time-to-market. Essentially, this means getting back to the original value proposition for making the move to cloud in the first place.

And many leaders in the space are already making major headway when it comes to this reduction. Take Microsoft as an example, which cited a 67% reduction in time-to-market for their customer Quest Software by using Microsoft Azure services. Then there’s Oracle, which identified 50% reduction in time-to-market for their customer HEP Group using Oracle Cloud Platform services.

However, for applications built with Platform-as-a-Service, we have to think about risk differently. We must ask ourselves — how do we secure the application when many of the layers between the “blocks” of serverless functions are under cloud service provider (CSP) control and not your own?

Fortunately, there are a few things we can do. We can start by having the architecture of the application become a cornerstone of information security. From there, we must ask ourselves, do the elements relate to each other in a well understood, well-modeled way?  Have we considered how they can be induced to go wrong? Given that our instrumentation is our source of truth, we need to ensure that we’re always in the know when something does go wrong – which can be achieved through a combination of CSP and 3rd party tools.

Additionally, we need to look at how code is checked and deployed at scale and look for opportunities to complete side by side testing. Plus, we must always remember that DevOps, without answering basic security questions, can often unwittingly give away data in any release.

It can be hard to shoot a moving target. But if security strategy can keep pace with the shifting risk profile of serverless architecture, we can reap the benefits of cloud applications without worry. Then, serverless architecture will remain both seamless and secure.

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Meet McAfee WebAdvisor’s New Cryptojacking Blocker https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/webadvisor-cryptojacking-blocker/ https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/consumer/webadvisor-cryptojacking-blocker/#respond Wed, 09 Jan 2019 11:00:46 +0000 https://securingtomorrow.mcafee.com/?p=93626

totalBy now, you’ve probably heard of cryptocurrency, but you may not know exactly what it is. To put it simply, cryptocurrencies are virtual currencies that have actual monetary value in today’s world. They are limited entries of transactions into a single database, or public ledger, that can’t be changed without fulfilling certain conditions. These transactions […]

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totalBy now, you’ve probably heard of cryptocurrency, but you may not know exactly what it is. To put it simply, cryptocurrencies are virtual currencies that have actual monetary value in today’s world. They are limited entries of transactions into a single database, or public ledger, that can’t be changed without fulfilling certain conditions. These transactions are verified and added to the public ledger through cryptocurrency mining. Cryptocurrency miners try to make money by compiling these transactions into blocks and solving complicated mathematical problems to compete with other miners for the cryptocurrency. While this process of mining for cryptocurrencies can be lucrative, it requires large amounts of computing power.

Unfortunately, the need for massive amounts of hardware has provoked cybercriminals to participate in cryptojacking, a method of using malware to exploit victims’ computers to mine for cryptocurrencies. Cybercrooks spread cryptojacking malware through sketchy mobile apps, flawed software, and malware-infected ads. They can even cryptojack your device during a browsing session while you’re perusing a website that appears completely harmless. Once a user’s device becomes infected, the malware drains the device’s CPU, causing the user’s computer fan to be loud while the malware mines for cryptocurrencies in the background. Unfortunately, symptoms of cryptojacking are usually pretty subtle, with poor device performance being one of the few signs of its presence.

Thankfully, McAfee WebAdvisor is here to help. This security solution, which helps block users from malware and phishing attempts, now includes Cryptojacking Blocker. This enhancement is a Windows-based browser add-on available for Google Chrome that helps stop malicious websites from mining for cryptocurrency. So far, our direct and retail McAfee WebAdvisor customers have already started receiving the update that adds Cryptojacking Blocker to their product, and the customers who have WebAdvisor through other partners should begin to see this update roll out during Q1. The same thing goes for those who own McAfee LiveSafe and McAfee Total Protection. Additionally, we’re aiming to add support for Firefox in the coming months. And if you don’t already have WebAdvisor, you can download it for free on our website, with Cryptojacking Blocker included in your download.

In addition to using a security solution like McAfee WebAdvisor, here are some other general tips to help you stay safe online:

  • Create a strong, unique password. Although it may be easier to remember, reusing passwords across multiple accounts puts all of your data at risk even if just one of your accounts is breached. Choosing a complex password for each individual online account will act as a stronger first line of defense. You can also use a password manager so all of your credentials are consolidated into one place.
  • Be careful where you click. If you come across a website that seems sketchy or notice that the URL address looks odd, avoid interacting with the site entirely. Stick to browsing websites you know are reputable.
  • Update, update, update! Cybercriminals can take advantage of old software to spread cryptojacking malware. Keeping your software updated with the latest patches and security fixes can help you combat this threat.

And, as always, to stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats, be sure to follow @McAfee_Home on Twitter, listen to our podcast