Cyber-Criminals Using Ebola Epidemic to Launch Phishing Attacks

Phishing scams

Scammers are extensively using big news event to entice people into giving up their personal information. This time they are making use of the Ebola virus, which is increasingly receiving media coverage in the past couple of months, making it a perfect atmosphere for scammers to launch phishing attacks and spread malware.

An increase in phishing attempts are seen when cybercriminals use social engineering techniques to scare people during such events. The eagerness of knowing more and more about the disease online, takes the user to a malicious website or phishing page.

Also, during such events, unsuspecting users are sent phishing emails informing them about the latest health news and in this case, such emails may provide the current status of Ebola virus. Phishing emails are fake emails sent on behalf of a legitimate source. It may contain links that direct users to malicious websites where users are enticed to provide their personal details such as login credentials, credit/debit card numbers etc. It may also contain malicious attachments that can even infect a system.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) issued an alert on October 16, 2014 to remind users to protect against email scams and cyber campaigns using the Ebola virus disease as a theme.

US-CERT encourages users to use caution when encountering these types of email messages and take the following preventative measures to protect themselves:

For complete security against phishing attacks and to protect your computer system always remember to use eScan Total Security Suite with Cloud Security.

For a free trial of eScan Total Security Suite with Cloud Security follow this link: http://bit.ly/1rLWjxg

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Your Online Privacy Is At Risk- Protect It From Identity Theft

Why Is It Significant To Secure Your Identity?

Identity Theft Protection

In today’s information-based world, the most valuable thing is your identity.  It includes all your personal details such as your name, credit/debit card number, address, phone number or your online profile. Identity theft is a white collar crime that strikes millions of online users annually. An identity thief steals your identity, your credit and damages your reputation. With your personal information and a little knowledge, these thieves can easily use your identity for their gain.

Additionally, with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, cyber criminals are able to access a wealth of personal details online. These criminals thoroughly go through your social networks to see what they can find to help them steal your money. This information available online can help cyber-criminals to hack into your other accounts, such as banking and online storage as well.

Moreover, users carelessly post their opinions, photos, and personal data on social networking sites. There are many examples where TMI (too-much-information) sharing online has led to bad outcomes for those users who over-share. A campaign in the US called ProtectYourProfile.org, shows how easily a computer hacker can breach a consumer’s data from their own Facebook account.

Hence, it is extremely important to do all you can to help prevent identity theft. Here are few tips to avoid it:

  • Update your system with the latest antivirus software such as eScan that provides enhanced protection against evolving internet threats.
  • Never keep an easy password based on personal information for your online accounts. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Split your emails, rather than connecting Facebook, Twitter, newsgroups, shopping and banking sites to one email address.
  • Be suspicious of URLs sent in unsolicited email or text messages.
  • Do not provide sensitive information through email, and use caution when clicking on links in email messages.
  • Regularly check your accounts for any unusual activity.
  • Before providing personal or financial information, check the website’s privacy policy.
  • Monitor your child’s online activity to protect him/her from online danger and consider implementing parental controls in your computer, tablet and mobile. Additionally, parents need to educate their kids about the online dangers too.

However for enhanced Identity Protection, Install eScan Total Security Suite with Cloud Security that efficiently protects your sensitive personal information, such as credit card numbers, mobile numbers or passwords for online services. Upon detecting any attempt to send protected information to the Internet, eScan blocks the transmission automatically, thus protecting you from falling prey of Identity theft.

To get the free trial of eScan Total Security Suite with Cloud Security, click the following link: http://bit.ly/1rLWjxg

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Protect Your Computer System From Hackers

Microsoft security bulletin summary

Microsoft has released a Security Bulletin Summary for October 2014 that will help you address vulnerabilities in Windows, Office, Office Services, Web Apps, Developer Tools, .NET Framework, and Internet Explorer. This month, Microsoft has released eight security bulletins (3 Critical) and updates to address them. These vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution, elevation of privilege, or security feature bypass.

Here is a quick summary of the various vulnerabilities and fixes from this month’s Microsoft Security Bulletin

Executive Summary

  • A total of 8 security bulletins addressing 24 vulnerabilities have been released this month.
  • Affected by vulnerabilities are Windows, Office, Office Services, Web Apps, Developer Tools, .NET Framework, and Internet Explorer.
  • Three of these eight security bulletins are rated Critical.
  • Top deployment this month is MS14-056, a critical bulletin that addresses issues in Internet Explorer.

Below listed are reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, rated as most critical:

In Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2- Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8 are affected.

In Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2-Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8 are affected.

In Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems-Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7 are affected.

In Windows Vista Service Pack 2-Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 are affected.

In Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2-Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 are affected.

In Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2-Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 are affected.

In Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2-Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 are affected.

In Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2-Internet Explorer 7 is affected.

In Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1-Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10 and Internet Explorer 11 are affected.

In Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1-Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10 and Internet Explorer 11 are affected.

In Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1-Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10 and Internet Explorer 11 are affected.

In Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1-Internet Explorer 8 is affected.

In Windows 8 for 32-bit Systems-Internet Explorer 10 is affected.

In Windows 8 for x64-based Systems-Internet Explorer 10 is affected.

In Windows 8.1 for 32-bit Systems-Internet Explorer 11 is affected.

In Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems-Internet Explorer 11 is affected.

In Windows Server 2012-Internet Explorer 10 is affected.

In Windows Server 2012 R2-Internet Explorer 11 is affected.

In Windows RT-Internet Explorer 10 is affected.

In Windows RT 8.1-Internet Explorer 11 is affected.

However, these vulnerabilities did not affect Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2 (Server Core installation), Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2 (Server Core installation), Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1 (Server Core installation), Windows Server 2012 (Server Core installation), Windows Server 2012 R2 (Server Core installation).

For more information on all the affected software visit the following Microsoft website: https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/ms14-oct

For information about how to receive automatic notifications whenever Microsoft security bulletins are issued, visit Microsoft Technical Security Notifications.

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Are Google search results biased?

Are Google search results biased?

Almost all of us have believed that Google gives us the best answers from across the web when we search for something. It gives us the correct addresses of almost everyone from a president to a clerk. It provides us the best shopping experience by bringing in front of us all possible brands available on the web. It gives us information about everything that we ask for. But the question is, are all the responses delivered by Google actually genuine?

According to many researches, Google does not actually use its normal organic search algorithm to deliver the answers for our question that we see on the first screen. Instead, on the very first page, it showcases results drawn from Google+ ahead of other relevant ones that we can get from using Google’s organic search algorithm. Many say that Google’s search results appear to be biased in favor of its shopping results and other services.

Are we being manipulated each day when you are using the web?

The new age Google not only provide us with answers to our questions but it also helps us determine what we see and how. Most of the times we get influenced by the search engine results that we see on the first page.

Psychologist Robert Epstein conducted a research on the India’s national election, 2014 with a group of more than 1,800 study participants – all undecided voters in India — the research team was able to shift votes by an average of 12.5 percent to favored candidates by altering their rankings in search results. Robert Epstein added that altering the rankings of preferred sites in the search engine results can actually shift voter preferences dramatically.

Some outside experts agree that a dominant search engine such as Google does have extraordinary power to alter how people and events are viewed. Fewer are convinced that anyone in a position to deploy this power would do so.

But, is Google really biased to some sites over others?

Yelp and a coalition of like-minded travel and shopping web sites have created an elegant demonstration to show that Google biases search results in favor of Google’s own pages. Yelp says, it is a Chrome browser extension that actually strips Google+ pages from Google’s search results.

They created a tool, Focus on the User – Local, and tested its results with thousands of users to show that consumers prefer results that aren’t exclusively powered by Google+; rather consumers would prefer to get most relevant ‘organic’ results that Google would serve if it wasn’t biased in favor of Google’s own sites.

Apparently, Yelp and Tripadvisor have hundreds or thousands of consumer reviews per venue, and still they are shunted down into the search engine’s result. However, Google’s reviews appear higher up the page despite having reviews from handful of people. Yelp claims that if Google did not automatically put its own links there, then reviews on sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor would appear higher up the page.

However, Google has said time and again that it focuses on users, not websites. That is, Google filters out results based on user preferences. Users are not always aware that if they log into their account, Google will personalize a search for them. And in such case, results will be different for someone else.

If you are an average user searching for the word ‘Java’ then you might receive the general definitions and history of the programming language first. But if you are a seasoned programmer, then the very same keyword might show results referring to more advanced concepts within Java – such as Java’s JDK and JRE. That is, for the very same search key word or phrase; two users can get very different results, which will be relevant to their past searches.

So, can we really term Google as biased?

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