Your Phone’s SIM Card Vulnerable To Hackers

July 23rd, 2013

Sim card

We all have mobile phones. In fact, an often quoted statistic floating around the web claims more people have cell phones than have toothbrushes. Whether or not you believe that, you have to believe that hackers view phones as a juicy target.

You may not realize that it’s your SIM card that could be most vulnerable. That tiny little card usually found parked next to your battery gives away a lot of information. Jeremy Kirk, of PC World, reports that their are 7-billion SIM cards currently in use worldwide and many still use a weak form of encryption capable of being broken in mere minutes.

You may still be wondering exactly how outdated encryption from your SIM card results in your data being stolen. Let’s say a cyber criminal sends a piece of code, which can be anything but in this case we’ll call it a malicious software update, over SMS to your phone. Your phone rejects that code because it wasn’t authenticated by a trusted source. However, your SIM card responds with an error message carrying it’s encrypted key. Once that encryption is broken, the cyber criminal has the key and can send any malicious software they want to your phone and your device will accept them as coming from a trusted source.

SIM cards were thought by many to be the final piece of unhackable tech in your phone. These new revelations reveal that new security measures are needed to protect you from evolving cyber crime tactics. In order to keep your phone secure and your data safe, contact Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335. We use the latest security software and measures to keep criminals out of your private data.

Follow These Tips To Keep Your Company’s Data Secure

July 22nd, 2013

Security Camera

Nearly every day, we hear about another catastrophic leak of data suffered by some of the world’s top companies. Either information vital to the way the company does business is intercepted, or customer’s personal identifiable information is. Both are crippling to the success of the company.

You need to take precautions in order to be as protected as possible against these devastating attacks. At the Up and Running blog, Emily Green has some suggestions for how to protect your company’s most important information.

  • Change Your Passwords- You shouldn’t wait until your system is hacked to decide your passwords need to be strengthened. Make sure your passwords are as strong as possible and change them regularly to something equally strong. Changing user names is a good practice as well.
  • Learn About Your ISP- When choosing an internet service provider, you may only consider the price and the speed of your connection. Your ISP should provide an extra measure of security, however, and if it doesn’t, it’s time to find a new one.
  • Utilize Antivirus Software- Quality antivirus software keeps out viruses, malware, spyware and protects email from spam and phishing attacks. It also provides a firewall to further protect you. It is only effective, however, if you keep it updated.
  • Use Encryption- Whatever data your company keeps, someone may find it valuable. Keeping it encrypted ensures that even if your network is compromised, your important data is still safe.
  • Block Sites- Many times, the biggest threat to your security is your own employees. Unfortunately, human error results in most of the virus, malware and spam infections. Blocking potentially dangerous sites erases these possibilities.

To get the most protected, secure network available, contact Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335. We tailor a security infrastructure to your business and help keep your software updated and ready. Ask about our exclusive Safety Net service for the best in security solutions. 

If Your Email Gets Hacked, Do This

July 19th, 2013

Email Security

Despite your best efforts, it’s fairly likely you’ll click on a bad link or open an email you shouldn’t have at some point. When that happens and you get an email from a contact informing you that your address has been spamming everyone with malicious links, you’ll need to take action. Adam Levin has some tips on how you come back from an email hacking at Huffington Post.

  • Change Your Passwords- It’s possible that whoever gained access to your email already changed your password and locked you out. If not, change to a stronger password to lock them out. Don’t limit the change to just the hacked email account either. Take this opportunity to make all of your important online accounts more secure. You have to assume every account associated with your email could have been compromised. You may want to do this on a different device than you usually access your email in case malware is allowing the hacker to steal your passwords.
  • Report The Hack- Your email provider has a plan in place for compromised attacks. They will help you through this process. It’s also a good idea to tell any business you have an account with associated with the hacked email, especially a bank. And, of course, warn everyone in your contacts list to be wary of emails from your account.
  • Scan With An Antivirus Program- As I mentioned, the hacker may have gotten your password initially thanks to a monitoring malware on your computer. Without checking for malicious programs, you may open yourself up to hacks of other accounts.
  • Review Email Settings- The cyber criminal may have set up a forward email to continue monitoring your activity and stealing information. Be sure to delete those and make sure everything else is the way you want it.

Even after taking these necessary steps, you’ll want to closely monitor your bank accounts and credit score. Unfortunately, knowing your email has been hacked doesn’t mean you know all of the personal information the hacker gained access to. To keep your computer, email and identifiable information safe online, call Geek Rescue ta 918-369-4335. We use the latest software to keep your system safe from intelligent, and ever-evolving, attacks. 

Vulnerability In Smartphone Security Leaks Your Data

July 16th, 2013

Smartphone

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a smartphone user. And if you’re a smartphone user, chances are you’ve been wondering lately about how secure your phone is. The NSA has been spying on you, but perhaps more troubling is the likelihood that ordinary citizens have had access to your phone and all the data you access it with.

Adam Clark Estes, of Lifehacker, details a recently discovered, and fairly sizable, hole in Verizon’s security that allows anyone with a little desire and know-how to hack into your device and monitor your activity. After learning of the weakness in their security, Verizon was quick to patch it, but this news creates a number of questions for all smartphone users.

The team that exploited Verizon’s security says there are more holes just waiting to be breached. That goes for Verizon and nearly any other provider in the U.S. Also, for any hacker who gained access to a device before the update to security still has access.

The lesson here is that none of us are safe when using smartphones. If you haven’t been victimized yet, it’s only a matter of time. Your provider’s security clearly isn’t enough to protect your data and information, so invest in something more substantial. Bring your device to Geek Rescue to make it fully secure. Our Geeks give you a variety of options to keep any device safe from hacks, viruses and malware. Come by or call us at 918-369-4335.

FBI Virus Becoming An Epidemic

July 12th, 2013

FBI seal

The FBI virus has been making plenty of headlines in the past few weeks. Since it’s capable of locking down your computer and attempts to extort money from its victims, there’s good reason for the media frenzy.

The virus, part of a classification called ransomware, uses an official looking FBI seal to make victims believe their computer has been locked due to illegal activity. A ransom is asked for to unlock the computer and keep the victim out of prison. A giveaway that the virus is a tool of scam artists is revealed, however, when the only acceptable payment method is an untraceable, prepaid credit card.

It’s frightening to think criminals from an ocean away can hijack your personal computer and demand money to let it go. Recent reports of FBI virus sightings reveal even more sinister characteristics though. As reported by an NBC affiliate, one teenager in a Chicago suburb says the virus first showed images of child pornography on her screen, then used her webcam to take her picture before locking down her computer and demanding $450.

Similar reports are cropping up all over the US. SILive has a story of an FBI virus victim in New York.  WKMG in Orlando reported another case of the FBI virus in Florida, but this one had a slight twist. After the victim’s computer was locked down, a number listed as belonging to the Department of Justice appeared and connected the man to an accented voice claiming to be able to fix his computer for a fee of $189.95.

Officials warn that the virus likely infects your computer when you click on an email from an unknown sender or visit a harmful website. It then uses fear-based tactics to attempt to steal your money or personal information. The FBI virus is just like any other virus, however. It can be cleaned and your computer can be restored. The FBI, that’s the real FBI, recommends seeking help from a professional so you can be sure the virus is gone. Geek Rescue specializes in the identification and eradication of computer viruses. They save you from viruses like the FBI virus and safeguard your computer with the latest antivirus software to keep you safe. Call a Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335.