* Cyber Security is now a Girl Scout Merit Badge

TechViews News   …..

The Girl Scouts have come a long way since making clothes for dolls. With today’s emphasis on technical security and computing skills, the Girl Scouts now offer a Merit Badge in Cyber Security.

The Boy Scouts have already offered a series of Merit Badges on various skills related to computing. Now the Girl Scouts have joined the ranks to teaching our kids the importance of protecting themselves online.

Starting next year, they will now have an opportunity to earn a badge in cyber security. The new badge will be available to participants from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade. The cyber education program will encourage girls to pursue a career in cyber security. Members will learn about data privacy, cyber bullying, and how to protect themselves online.

This is one of the best releases of news for training our youth that has come along in a long time. If you have children in Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, please encourage and support them to achieve these Merit Badges.

It’s important for their future and ours.

Be Safe – Backup Your Data Regularly!

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*Microsoft is patching Windows XP … again

TechViews News   …..

Microsoft stopped support for Windows XP three years ago. It has ceased to release security updates to help secure the operating system … until last month. The WannaCry ransomware was devastating to computer networks that still use the popular OS. Most individual computer users either upgraded their machines, or simply unplugged their XP box from the Internet.

I have a buddy that has a large storehouse of personal photos on an XP unit. He still uses it as a place to work at home, and build his personal/family library of photos and diaries. For that machine, he has no use for the Internet. All his other computers that need Internet access use a more recent operating system.

And there are many more like him still having a need for an XP box that is still very productive.

But last month Microsoft released a security update for Windows XP to help protect against the WannaCry ransomware, and its potential variants.

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* 10 cybersecurity myths inside corporate culture

TechViews news   …..

There are a lot of misconceptions out there concerning the importance of cybersecurity. Most people just hear the term and think it is someone else’s responsibility. But the most common misconceptions about cybersecurity may surprise you. See if you’ve heard a few of these myths and what the truth is.

Myth #1: The only worthwhile targets are large corporations

Everyone is a target and no one is immune from cybercrime’s impact. Of the companies that experienced cyberattacks in 2016, 31% were small and mid-sized companies that had less than 250 employees.

Myth #2: Users aren’t facing that many threats in a given day

The average organization with 1,000 to 3,000 employees will see anywhere from 11 to 20 incidents in a single day. Larger organizations that have 3,001 to 5,000 employees? Well, they’re a bit busier and see 21 to 30 incidents a day. The largest organizations that have 5,001+ employees will see 31 to 50 incidents in any given day, all according to McAfee Labs’ Threats Report.

Myth #3: Outsiders are the bad guys

Though you may not want to think about your own staff and users acting against you, it happens more often than most people realize. Roughly a third of all incidents are actually caused by insiders, whether that’s due to negligence, accident, or actual malicious intent. This number is backed up both by a Radware report and a study conducted by Verizon.

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*151 million records of Americans’ calls collected by the NSA in 2016

The NSA collected 151 million records of Americans’ phone calls last year despite the USA Freedom Act of 2015. The NSA also complied with requests from government officials to reveal the identities of 1,934 U.S. persons ensnared in the foreign surveillance.

Metadata about the calls such as the number of the caller and recipient, as well as the duration and time of the call was also collected.

The annual report, issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, provides the first assessment of the effectiveness of the 2015 USA Freedom Act which was meant to limit dragnet surveillance of millions of Americans’ phone records.

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*Answers to 18 basic questions regarding WannaCry ransomware

TechViews News   …..

The WannaCry ransomware attack dominated tech headlines through the weekend. According to Europol,  WannaCry infected  200,000 computers in more than 150 countries, tied the UK health service in knots, knocked out the Spanish phone company, troubled train travelers in Germany, and took big swipes out of FedEx, Renault, a reported 29,000 Chinese institutions, and networks all over Russia—including the Russian Interior Ministry.

Although it looks like the worm started spreading on Thursday night (5-11-17), the real effects started showing up the next day on Friday.

For the most part, people are asking basic questions.

Here is what I have learned so far:

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*HP Computers Found with Keyloggers Pre-Installed

TechViews News   …..

Security firm ‘Modzero AG’ in Switzerland released a white paper (PDF) that contains details about a keylogger in some HP audio drivers. The keylogger is built-into the driver, by Conexent, and records of all of your keystrokes into a text file located in the public folder C:\Users\Public\MicTray.log.

The Security Advisory, lists almost 30 HP machines known to use the bad drivers, including EliteBook, ProBook, ZBook, and Elite x2 models running both Windows 10 and Win7. It’s an large lineup, including many current models.

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*Massive Cyber-attack spreads across 74 countries

TechViews News   …..

Tens of thousands of ransomware attacks are targeting organizations around the world on Friday. The Cyber-attacks that hit 74 countries across Europe and Asia Friday, impacting the public health system in Britain, apparently involved a leaked hacking tool from the National Security Agency.

Security firm Kaspersky Lab has recorded more than 45,000 attacks in 74 countries in the past 10 hours, with many of the attacks targeting Russia.

The attack used ransomware, which is malware that encrypts data and locks a user from their data until they pay a ransom. The tool, which was leaked by a group known as Shadow Brokers, had been stolen from the N.S.A. as part of a wide swath of tools illegally released in 2016.

The ransomware, called “WannaCry,” locks down all the files on an infected computer and asks the computer’s administrator to pay in order to regain control of them. Researchers say it is spreading through a Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) Windows exploit called “EternalBlue,” which Microsoft released a patch for in March.

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