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Press Start Ltd Blog

Press Start Ltd has been serving the East Anglia area since 1996, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Three Key Steps to Stop Malware

The Three Key Steps to Stop Malware

Malware is a bad thing. It’s right there in the name, as the prefix mal- comes from the Latin malus, which literally translates to “bad.” So, it only makes sense to try to keep it out of your business. Let’s discuss a few basics to form the foundation of your greater cybersecurity strategy.

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Cryptomining Becoming a Big Issue for Businesses

Cryptomining Becoming a Big Issue for Businesses

Cryptojacking is one of the upcoming threats that your business should have on its radar in the upcoming years. This process involves a malicious entity installed cryptomining malware on a device without the user’s permission. What this provides the hacker with is a steady stream of income at the expense of the victim’s device. What can you do to keep your business’ devices from falling prey to this?

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Did You Know Your Router Can be Infected?

Did You Know Your Router Can be Infected?

A new type of malware is targeting routers in what is considered a large enough threat that even the FBI is addressing it. Even worse, a router isn’t necessarily a device that you think would be vulnerable to attack from a hacker. What can you do to keep your business’ Internet access points secure from hacking attacks? Let’s dig in to the details about what the VPNFilter malware does and how you can address it.

Explaining VPNFilter
The malware in question, VPNFilter, hides in routers for both individual users and small businesses with the intention of persisting even if the device has been rebooted. VPNFilter targets devices that are Ukraine-based most of the time, but others have been known to fall victim to this as well. It’s thought that the VPNFilter malware originated from a group called Sofacy. The malware itself takes three steps to become an issue for your organisation.

The first is that the malware sets itself up so that it will persist even if the device is rebooted or turned off. The second stage of the attack consists of the malware installing permissions for itself to change router settings, manage files, and execute commands. This allows the router to essentially brick itself, leading to considerable connectivity problems. The final stage of this malware lets the hackers look at the data packets passing to and from the device, as well as the ability to issue commands and communicate through the Tor web browser.

The reason why the FBI recommends resetting your router is because the second and third steps are wiped when you do so, but the first stage remains regardless.

Is Your Router Affected?
While not all routers are affected, there is still a sizeable list of confirmed contaminated devices. Some of the affected brands include:

  • Asus
  • D-Link
  • Huawei
  • Linksys
  • MikroTik
  • Netgear
  • TP-Link
  • Ubiquiti
  • Upvel
  • ZTE

For a comprehensive list of affected devices, you can see specifics for each brand at Symantec’s website: https://www.symantec.com/blogs/threat-intelligence/vpnfilter-iot-malware

How to Fix It
The best way to resolve these issues with VPNFilter is to perform a factory reset for your router, which completely deletes anything installed during the first stage of the threat. If the router’s manufacturer has administered a patch for the vulnerability, you can also install it following a factory reset so that you’ll never have to deal with this vulnerability again.

For more updates and tips on some of the latest threats, keep an eye on Press Start Ltd’s blog.

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How to Spot Three Forms of Phishing Attacks

How to Spot Three Forms of Phishing Attacks

One of the crazy things about hackers is that they will do whatever it takes to ensure that they steal as much information and sensitive data as possible. One of the more innovative ways that hackers spread threats is through spam. Unwanted messages have grown from simple annoyances, to the spread of unwanted software and malware, all the way to sophisticated attacks on targeted individuals known as phishing attacks. Do you have ways to secure your business?

Phishing attacks come in various shapes and forms. Here are some of the most common ways that hackers will use elaborate phishing attacks to scam your business, including phone calls, normal emails and social media.

Phishing Calls
If you receive calls from strange numbers that don’t leave messages, there’s a solid chance that you could be the target of a phishing call. These messages are designed to target specific employees within your organisation to coax information out of them. They might try to be from IT support to steal a printer model number, or perhaps they are hoping to steal usernames and passwords. Either way, the point stands that your organisation contains lots of information that a scammer finds helpful.

It’s incredibly important that you teach your employees to know the difference between a fake phone call and a real one. Put them through the ringer when they call and try to guarantee their authenticity (or lack thereof). You should always cross-check contact information before giving up any information to anyone. When in doubt, simply don’t give away anything important.

Phishing Emails
While a phishing phone call will be pressuring your staff to make an immediate decision, a phishing email will likely give you more time to decide if you want to hand over information or commit to a decision. Tailor-made and customised phishing messages have risen in popularity with the intention of stealing specific information from a specific user. Often times, phishing emails will convince the user to click on a malicious link or download an attachment.

Implementing a spam filter and employee training exercises can go a long way to secure your company from phishing attacks. However, it’s still important to be able to identify the throwaway signs of spam and phishing. You should look for spelling errors or incorrect grammar, falsified information and just about anything else that doesn’t necessarily belong. Still, phishing messages have become more elaborate than ever before, so make sure to consult security professionals if you truly can’t tell the difference between a real and fake message.

Phishing Accounts
It’s easy to use social media for bad purposes. Hackers can use them to attack their targets through the identity of someone else. A hacker can take on any identity they want, which makes phishing accounts even more difficult to identify--particularly if they have taken the identity of someone you might know. In general, just try to avoid messages that come out of the blue and use your previous interactions with the sender to see if they are (or aren’t) who they claim to be.

Overall, just ensure that you approach potential phishing incidents with scepticism. It’s the best way to make sure that your business doesn’t fall to spam and phishing attacks. To learn more about how you can secure your company, call us on 01638 603204.

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Collaboration: it is the gold standard of teamwork that so many businesses seek. If your employees aren’t naturally drawn to the idea, however, there are some ways that you can help to sell the concept. Let’s discuss a few of the ways that you can coax your users into collab...

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Press Start Ltd launches new website!

Press Start Ltd is proud to announce the launch of our new website at www.pressstart.co.uk. The goal of the new website is to make it easier for our existing clients to submit and manage support requests, and provide more information about our services for prospective clients.

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