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After Mexico, ATM Malware Targets English-speaking Countries

After Mexico, attackers of Ploutus will target an unidentified ATM brand to steal money in English-speaking countries. Attackers of Ploutus have further improved the software program and also translated in English language to be used for an unidentified ATM brand in English-speaking countries, Symantec Security Response suggests. Symantec antivirus vendor has also suggested they have discovered two versions of the Ploutus malware which are designed to clear out an unidentified type of ATM. So, how will this ATM malware work?

 How does the Ploutus malware work?              

Unlike usual malware software, attackers have chosen to install the malware by inserting the CD boot disk to the innards of the ATM systems based on Microsoft Windows operating system. On the basis of the nature of installation method used for Ploutus malware, Symantec suggests that attackers are targeting standalone ATM machines wherein they can operate and access data without difficulty.

Symantec has also revealed that Ploutus malware developers have made changes to the binary name of the malware. Earlier the binary name of the software was ‘Ploutus.exe’ which is now changed to ‘PloutusService.exe’, as the researcher of the Symantec Security Response revealed to the SCMagazine.

Attackers transfer this ‘PloutusService.exe’ to the ATM using an optical drive and send a 16-digit command code using the ATM keypad. Then, the dispatcher sends a 33-digit instruction to the software using the command line and scheduled a timer when they plan to dispense cash from the ATM machine. The program is aimed at ATM model which takes in four cassettes for dispensing cash. The ATM machine calculates cash to be dispensed on the basis of the number of bills. If the cassettes have less than 40 bills, the machine releases cash until it is empty. The software consisting of “Spanish function names and poor English grammar” is an indication that it has been developed by Spanish developers, Symantec Security Response has cleared.

How ATMs can prevent Ploutus malware attack? 

Symantec has advised some precautions for ATM machines to prevent Ploutus malware attack. These include changing BIOS boot order, booting from the hard disk instead of optical drive or USB drive and to keep BIOS password protected.

New Computer Virus Steals Files and Claims for Hundreds of Ransom!

Here is one more security threat to scare you this Halloween! Have you been only scared and apprehensive about your kids being kidnapped or taken hostage by any malicious neighbor – well, you need to be careful of your computer data too! A new computer virus has recently emerged to take hostage of your computer files which you will not be able to open those files anymore. This new virus, named Ransomware or CryptoLocker, will emerge on your inbox as an email from a legitimate or renowned company such as FedEx, UPS or even legitimate security organizations such as FBI or Homeland Security. As per the news, CryptoLocker or Ransomware has already intruded in several computers across the United States, including a company in Central Texas. The virus is designed with the purpose to extort money from its victims.

How CryptoLocker or Ransomware computer virus infects files?           

According to Shawn Richeson, the computer technician of Click-A-Nerd, has warned that one hasty or incautious click may lead users to lose all of their vital information on their computers. The computer virus will hide under the guise of a fake mail from UPS, FBI, FedEx or other legitimate company; as the user will click on such mail, the virus file will be installed and starts prying for documents, images, videos and other types of files. Later, the victim will notice a window displaying countdown clock stating that the user is running out of time to recover their files.

“It uses a key and it changes the file contents to something that’s unusable and unopenable on your computer,” says Richeson of Click-A-Nerd. They want a ransom of $100-$300 which victims need to pay to get the key to unlock their files which are encrypted by the virus author. If the victims fails to pay the money within the stipulated time, they will never be able to regain their files; all their corrupted files will be deleted.

How to protect your computer against CryptoLocker or Ransomware?

However, Richeson has offered a viable solution to solve this computer virus problem. “The best that we’ve come up with to prevent further damage is to once you confirm that you’re infected with it the only smart move is to just shut the computer off completely.” He further suggested taking the computer to a local repair shop to stop the clock and stop further losses.

So, are you ready to compromise the safety of your computer and the data to CryptoLocker or Ransomware computer virus? Protect your computer against such computer virus by downloading TechGenie Free Antivirus today!

5 best free virus removal tools for your computer

Having antivirus software on your computer is a must. Virus destroys your computer and you always need to check for viruses on your computer if you want to stay safe. You can buy the antivirus software online but why buy software when you can use the free tools that are available on the internet. Here are five best free virus removal tools for your computer.

Symantec Virus Removal Tool

Symantec gives you free virus removal tools, which you can download from here. This is a free spyware and virus removal tool that you can download for free from their website. Download these tools and check for viruses on your computer.

Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool

When you download anything from an unreliable source, your computer might be infected with malicious software that try and modify your computer. Microsoft has a great free tool called Malicious Software Removal Tool, which is completely free. You can download the tool from here.

McAfee AVERT Stinger

AVERT Stinger is a great free tool from McAfee, which can be used to check for variety of threats that your computer might be facing. The virus definitions of this tool are updated regularly by McAfee so it makes a great virus removal tool for your computer. You can download McAfee AVERT Stinger from here.

F-Secure virus removal tool

F-Secure offers a set of virus removal tools that are completely free. F-Secure is another option, another set of virus and malware removal tools for your computer, which can be downloaded from here. Make sure you download these tools and check for viruses on your computer.

Recovery Disk tool

When it’s too late, you always use a Recovery disk to recover the operating system that’s lost to a virus. A recovery disk is an important tool to have ready, always. Do you know how to create a recovery disk for your computer? It doesn’t take much time to create a recovery disk and it helps you in more than one ways. Create a recovery disk for your computer today!

Worried about your computer’s safety?

Top three ways to keep your computer secure

Whenever you browse the Internet, remember, your computer is always at constant risk. At anytime your computer can get a virus infection and you won’t even realize it. And when your computer gets infected with a virus, the consequences can be really devastating. Getting worried? Here are five quick tips that can help protect your computer from all the potential intruders and emerging virus threats.

Get an antivirus

Installing a latest antivirus is one of the safest ways to keep your computer secured from known and unknown threats. However, installing an antivirus is not enough. It is extremely important to update the antivirus on a regular basis and run automated scans regularly. It should automatically scan anything you download from the Internet. Antivirus can help detect and delete all malicious threats at the initial level.

Use recommended firewall

When you are connected to the Internet, always make sure your computer’s firewall is active. It prevents hackers and malicious programs from spying on you or damaging your computer.

Use a safe Internet connection

If you use a home wireless network, remember to make the network password-protected. However, if it isn’t, anyone within range can easily connect to it and spy on your Internet activity. Apart from this, whenever you are connected to a public network, never submit any kind of sensitive information like your account number.

Note: Since hackers and malicious viruses are always looking for new ways to get into your computer to corrupt the data, it is recommended to take a backup. Safeguard the important items that are in your computer so they won’t be lost if a virus strikes, your computer crashes, or there is some other kind of disaster.

Suggestions for protection from viruses

Each day some new viruses are developed, which are aimed at damaging computers or the data stored on them. To counter this problem, antivirus programmers develop new virus definitions and updates for dealing with new security threats. Though there are many antivirus and antispyware programs available in the market, still there is a lot which we often neglect and fall prey to these attacks. Let us see some ways by which we can protect our computers.

Step 1. Backups – It is good to implement many security measures. You should regularly backup your hard drive or folders to stay protected and prepared to deal with situations of hard drive failures or data damage caused by viruses.

Step 2. Installation Disks – You should always keep a separate copy of restore disks ready with you. These disks can be used for restoring the entire operating system along with the other software so that you can easily reinstall the entire operating system and software in case needed. Just imagine a situation when your operating system fails and you do not have any disk to reinstall it.

Step 3. Firewall – Firewall is a software which protects your computer from any incoming infections, attacks, or intrusions. It works as a boundary of your computer and checks the authenticity of every data packet before it could enter your computer. Microsoft has bundled firewall in all its operating systems since Windows XP SP2 and you should always keep it ON and updated.

Step 4. Antivirus – A good quality antivirus software has become a must for any computer and most of the computer manufacturers sell their computers with some good antivirus pre-installed on them. Antivirus software is necessary to detect and remove any kind of viruses. They work with the help of virus definitions and thus it is very important to keep your antivirus software regularly updated.

Step 5. Windows Update – Since most of the viruses are written for Windows operating system, so even Microsoft regularly releases security updates to close all the loop holes for minimizing virus attacks. Thus it is always good to have Windows Update ON and let them install as and when required.

Step 6. Be aware of security risks – Many a times while browsing through CDs, or websites we install many small games, programs, add-ons, plug-ins etc just for the sake of checking what they do. Try avoiding this habit. You should not install anything and everything on your computer as such files may carry infections. Also do not open e-mails which contain attachments and you do not know who the sender is. E-mail attachments are the easiest mode of spreading Internet viruses.

Step 7. Use Strong Password – Always use strong password on your computer so that no one can access it without your consent. Keep your computer security tight enough so that an administrator password is required before installing any new application.

Step 8. Use advanced web browsers – Web browsers are vulnerable to virus attacks. Most of the viruses are scripted keeping the architecture of specific browsers in mind. So if your browser gets infected, switch to some other browser with advanced security features.

Step 9. Block spam – As already mentioned, e-mails are the easiest mode of spreading infections, so do install some kind of spam protection in your e-mail client so that spam mails are discarded.

Malware attacks pose a huge challenge

Over the last couple of years, we have seen phenomenal growth in collaboration trends over cloud computing. This growth in technology, has given an impetus to development on various levels, the scariest of them being, collaboration by malware creators with planned and focused attack strategies. In the last few years, players on a single platform, like antivirus and security software, change the rules of the game, by collaborating with each other at different instances for different projects, to fight virus and malware, as also spam and phishing. This year, reports from various corners bring about scary situations of arch rival malware creators, tying hands and working together, to bring about unprecedented levels of damage, is thought provoking.

Some of the targets for malware attacks are websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. These social networking sites, generally, are used by the young and unaware teen and pre-teen population, making them easy targets. Distribution of fake apps, and hijacking of a browser seem to be the commonest and easiest ways for hackers and malware distributors to spread their wings in a simple and easy manner.

The DDoS attack on WordPress, Mastercard, Visa and PayPal are clear examples of group efforts of cyber criminals waging war with the system. Fake antivirus software, Trojans, attacks on smartphones and tablets and focused attacks on the Macs and Windows 7, seem to be the latest trends. HTML 5 is also a target for attackers. The pre-mature introduction and use of platforms like HTML 5 in their nascent stages, are interesting targets for such cyber activists.

Twitter has launched a free browser plug-in, developed by Finjan Inc. with an aim to aid users restrain clicking on malware and malicious links which could target the click to spyware and malware servers. The Finjan SecureBrowser plug-in has been made available for Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. However, the Finjan plug-in missed out on some links like shortened URLs, while the LongURL Mobile Expander Add-on on Firefox was more effective.

The complex IT environment of today, the new cloud and other technologies entering the fray, and with the smartphones and tablets explosion underway, it has become all the more easy for malware to flourish. The various new manufacturers and developers are yet to incorporate stringent security measures on all their offerings. While various security software and application firms claim to have set their developmental activities, well in advance of products and processes being released, security literacy is yet to see the light of day, amongst enthusiastic new comers, worldwide.

Users need to educate themselves on viruses, worms, Trojans, adware and spyware, malware, rootkits, malicious mobile codes and blended threats. User awareness increase is the only road to safety.

Call Now: +1 315-226-4249
Call Now: +1 315-226-4249
Call Now: +1 315-226-4249