Amazing Real Time Cyber Threat Map by Kaspersky

Kaspersky Real Time Map Globe

Kaspersky has created an interactive Cyber Threat Map website where you can track statistics of it’s security product results in real time. And it is amazing!

The picture above shows the Global view, but you can also view the display as a flat map:

Kaspersky Real Time Map

You can also move the map around and click on any country to see it’s current statistics, as seen below:

Kaspersky Real Time Map Poland

I know it just shows one company’s results, but wow what a slick representation of what is going on in the world. I honestly found myself a bit entranced while viewing it, somewhat like watching a campsite fire.

And to think that these are malware results from around the world. Just stunning!

I can foresee a lot of companies displaying this on large monitors in their security centers.

Great job!



Hackers could Control your Home Webcam and Microphone from Afar

A recent surfacing of some old ransomeware malware has had some people really concerned. But viruses can be much more sinister (and creepy) than just encrypting your files and holding them ransom. What if hackers could come into the privacy of your home and use your webcam to spy on you?

Well, they can.

And they are.

We have firewalls, Anti-Virus programs and defense in depth to prevent people from getting access to our precious data. But what many don’t realize is how incredible simple it is for malware to turn on a victim’s webcam and microphone to record a person from almost anywhere in the world.

Let me give you an example.

What if a hacker sent a teen, your teen in fact, a malicious file? And what if your daughter ran it and it allowed the creep to access her webcam and watch her?

So in essence, the teen is just checking her mail, or social media messages, and clicks on a file that doesn’t seem to do anything. So she just goes on to the next message.

But on the attacker side, he see’s this:

Remote Webcam

A live video feed!

Okay, before I get a ton of e-mail complaints, this is my daughter and she volunteered to be the “victim” for this article.

But she in fact did run a program that allowed me to fully control her laptop webcam.

And I could control her microphone too…

It is not just malware that is of concern. Putting an unsecured or lightly secured video cam out on the web can be just as unnerving.

Recently, a dad came into their two year old daughter’s room to hear some guy on their internet enabled baby monitor talking to her:

“As Gilbert walked down the hall and entered the room, he says he heard the voice say, “Wake up Allyson, you little [expletive].” The camera on their trusted baby monitor then rotated to watch Marc walk into the room as he rushed to unplug it.”

There are tons of open and lightly secured video cams out on the web and all are easily findable by using the Shodan search engine.

Users need to be aware of these possible invasions of privacy and need to secure their systems against them.

Do not put any device on the internet that is just using the default password. Use long complex passwords. Or better yet, don’t put it on the internet at all!

To secure your home systems – Keep your Anti-Virus, Operating System, and security software up to date. Never click on unsolicited links or programs sent to you in e-mail or social media sites.

Some may even prefer to turn off, block or unplug their cameras or microphones when not in use.

Be safe out there. Remember that many current threats can easily bypass Anti-Virus. You need to practice and teach your children safe surfing techniques.

Viruses making a Comeback according to Microsoft Security Report

Just when you thought Viruses where on the way out, it looks like they may be raising their ugly head yet again. According to Microsoft, virus global detection rate hit 7.8% in the fourth quarter of 2012 with some nations reaching over 40%.

With the increase of Trojans and credential stealers, many thought we had seen the last days of old fashioned file infecting viruses. But Tim Rain, Microsoft’s Director of Trustworthy Computing, says that it looks like Virus use is again trending upwards, with some locations being hit harder than others:

“Locations with high levels of Viruses included Pakistan (Viruses found on 44% of systems with detections), Indonesia (40%), Ethiopia (40%), Bangladesh (38%), Somalia (37%), Egypt (36%), and Afghanistan (35%).  Looking at this list of locations it seems that most of these places don’t have the same levels of Internet connectivity/bandwidth that locations in North America and Europe have.”

And one virus seems to stand above the rest – Win32/Sality, a polymorphic file infector. According to Microsoft, Sality was detected on over 8 Million Windows XP machines in 2012. The virus was not as effective against Microsoft’s newer operating systems.

Just a reminder to keep your systems and anti-virus program up to date and if your company is still running Windows XP, it is really time to move on to Windows 7 at least. Windows 7 has several security enhancements making it inherently more secure against online threats as compared to the aging XP.

For more information check out the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report.

620,000 Android Phones in China hit by Most Costly Malware in History

Flag of the People's Republic of China

China may be the source for a lot of international cyber attacks and malware, but they get hit by it too. 620,000 Android phones in China were infected with a nasty virus that takes over the phone, collects personal information from it and begins to send costly  text messages to benefit the malware maker.

Yesterday, security research company NQ Mobile created a press release about the discovery of the Android malware they dubbed “Bill Shocker”. Based on their findings they claim, “Bill Shocker is an SDK designed by malware developers that infects several of the most popular apps in China, including Tencent QQ Messenger and Sohu News.”

Bill Shocker then downloads itself in the background and takes over control of the phone, including dialing and texting features. And “Once the malware has turned the phone into a “zombie,” the infection uses the device to send text message to the profit of advertisers. In many cases, the threat will overrun the user’s bundling quota, which subjects the user to additional charges,” the report says.

The malware could affect phones outside China and has the potential to be the most costly malware in history, according to NQ.

So what can you do to keep your phone safe? NQ offers several tips to avoid infection including:

  • Only download apps from trusted sources
  • Never accept application requests from unknown sources
  • Closely monitor permissions requested by any application
  • And be alert for abnormal behavior from your smart device

NQ Mobile also offers a mobile device security solution that is already protects against threats like Bill Shocker.

With mobile malware becoming more prevalent, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is really starting to increase the attack surface of corporate networks. Companies really need to take a good look at their Mobile user security policy if they haven’t done so already.