*New Android Malware Infects Over 36.5 Million Phones

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Security researchers at Check Point Security recently discovered a malware scam in Google’s Play Store. The malware dubbed “Judy” has been hiding behind the scenes on 41 specific apps that have been available in the Play Store for years, so it’s unclear how long they have been infecting devices.

The malicious apps were developed by the Korean company, Kiniwini, listed in the Play Store as ENISTUDIO corp. The impacted apps have been downloaded millions of times and may have been spread to over 36 million users.

Moreover, the researchers also uncovered a few more apps, published by other developers on the Apple Store, inexplicably containing the same the malware in them. The connection between the two campaigns remains unclear, though researchers believe it is possible that one developer borrowed code from the other.

This is how it works — the user downloads an app from the Play Store and at that point, it’s not malicious. But once the user opens the app, it connects to its Command and Control server (C&C) and installs the malicious code.

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* Why You Need a VPN

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Virtual Private networks (VPN) have become more popular since Edward Snowden’s revelation on government snooping. But recently the rash of corporate and communications data grabbing has expanded the interest levels even further.

If you’re concerned about online privacy, a virtual private network (VPN) will help keep snoopers at bay.

Over the past few years public awareness of VPNs has grown, but for many they are still a mystery. Traditionally, they were used by businesses to enable their employees to access a company’s internal network securely. Nowadays people use them for two main things: viewing content in other countries, and personal privacy.

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*Traveling With Your Laptop

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Many people travel with their laptop for work. And most of those ‘road warriors’ already know how to protect themselves while traveling.

But what about vacationing? What if you just can’t feel like unplugging for a few days? Maybe you have to stay connected for email, or news, or even (gasp) Facebook???

Fortunately, online connectivity and portable devices have made it easy to pick up our work (and play) and take it on the road with us. However, it’s crucial to find a way to make sure the personal information we store on our portable devices is completely protected from online thieves who target travelers.

If you’re heading out of town to celebrate the seasonal change, here are six essential security measures you should take to protect your device(s) and your information while you work remotely.

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*Extensive Breach of Medical Records Leaves 918K seniors vulnerable

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Cybercriminals want your private data … as much as they can get. Why? Because they can sell it to online advertisers (like Google, Facebook & Microsoft), as well as other hackers for all kinds of nefarious uses.

What we’re talking about is an extensive data breach that was recently discovered. A database belonging to the telemarketing company, HealthNow Networks, was found after being stolen and uploaded to the internet. The company provides equipment and medical supplies to patients with diabetes.

The personal information of nearly 1 million patients was left exposed online. Unprotected data included:

  • Patient names
  • Social Security numbers
  • Dates of birth
  • Physical addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Health insurance information
  • Health condition information including medications and required equipment

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* Is Amazon Echo always listening?

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Do you use Amazon’s Alexa?

The Amazon Echo has seven built-in microphones so it can hear you from across the room, even if you have music playing. It’s an amazing piece of technology.

However, having a device in your home that’s always listening poses some privacy concerns. For example, is everything you say being recorded and if so, who has access to the recordings?

That’s why you need to know about these essential Echo security settings to help alleviate those concerns.

So … Is Amazon Echo always listening?

The short answer is yes.

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*Are Password Managers Safe?

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Every time we hear about another data breach in a major company we hear the same plea, ‘change your password’. By now the average Internet user has multiple online accounts for shopping, banking, health care, and other sites that require you to log in. There are also those passwords that are necessary for logging in and using email.

The vast majority of people use the same, or similar, passwords for most or all of those accounts. And why not? It’s almost impossible to keep track of a large number of passwords, much less remember them.

And so, the Password Manager was developed. It’s a small piece of software that takes your login information for any account, and generates a unique, secure password just for that account.

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* Automated Scripts Allow Hackers to Attack Every 39 Seconds

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In the movies most hackers have been portrayed as people with grudges who target specific institutions and manually try to hack into their computers. But in reality, most of these attacks employ automated scripts that indiscriminately seek out thousands of computers at a time, looking for vulnerabilities.

You may not be a major corporation that is an easily identifiable target for hackers, but your computers, even home computers, are constantly under attack.

The automated scripts simply run through hundreds of thousands of IP addresses and probe computer systems until it finds an open door. This opening is usually an unchanged administrative password or a system without a secure firewall.

A Clark School study at the University of Maryland is one of the first to quantify the near-constant rate of hacker attacks of computers with Internet access—every 39 seconds on average—and the non-secure usernames and passwords we use that give attackers more chance of success.

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