infrastructure

Podcast 2 – Small Business Cyber Threats

Jack and Chuck discuss cyber threats against small businesses in the second Quanexus podcast. What threats are we seeing out there, and how to we prevent these threats against small business targets? Watch to find out!

Posted by Charles Wright in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Recent Posts, Small Business

Hacked Hospital Results in Patient Death

A hospital in Germany suffered a ransomware attack that resulted in the death of one of their patients. University Hospital of Düsseldorf Germany suffered a ransomware attack on September 9th. Hackers disabled hospital computers and caused emergency patients to be transferred to other hospitals. A female patient who was scheduled to receive a lifesaving treatment, had to be transferred to a neighboring hospital 20 miles away. German authorities are treating the incident as a negligent homicide.

This is the first recorded case of a death directly resulting from a malware attack. The BBC reports they had other near death incidents of critical care patients forced to be transferred from a hospital that had been attacked, but this was the first known death.

Phishing and malware attacks have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic. Hackers attack hospitals and medical facilities looking for sensitive personal and medical data. Hospital staff are under increased stress, and are more likely to click on something they would not normally click on, opening the doors for hackers to come in.

The hackers took advantage of well-known vulnerabilities in VPN software from Citrix. The software is used by government agencies, educational institutions, hospitals, and major corporations. Citrix patched the vulnerabilities in January, but not all businesses keep up on patching and updating. Germany’s national IT security group is assisting the hospital to recover from the incident and collect forensic data. When the hackers were informed of the outcome of their attack, they dropped the ransom and provided the decryption key before disappearing.

This is a tragic overlap of the stories we have been following all summer. We have seen malware attacks increase every month. We have seen attacks on small businesses and even cities who are often too small to keep an IT specialist on staff. Many of these businesses are large enough to house a server with client data, and a network of workstations, but are not able to support the technology after the initial investment. When vulnerabilities are found and patched, the news of these vulnerabilities is reported in the IT news industry. Hackers then go looking for computer systems that have not been updated and attempt to exploit these systems and data.

Quanexus IT Support Services for Dayton and Cincinnati

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If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

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Posted by Charles Wright in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Small Business

More IT Security in the News

We have seen more IT Security news stories getting mainstream attention this summer. Below are the IT Security news events we are following at Quanexus.

Adobe Releases out of Schedule Patches After Flash Announcement

After we published our blog last week about the end of Flash, Adobe released a series of patches outside of their normal schedule. Read our previous blog here. Adobe patched Flash, as well as some of their professional tools against 18 known vulnerabilities. The programs affected were Adobe After Effects, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Premiere Rush and Audition. If you use any of these programs in the Adobe suite, be sure to update to the most recent version.

Zoom Adding More Security Defenses

The video conferencing software that has ruled during the pandemic lockdown is still catching up to its popularity. There have been multiple news stories of security breaches of Zoom meetings over the last six months while most employees and students have been working from home. Shortly after the term Zoom became part of the public lexicon, the term ‘Zoom-bombing’ did as well.

The most recent security update enables two-factor authentication (2FA) for all users, not just browser users and on September 27th, all Zoom meetings will require either a password or a waiting room. For reoccurring meetings that do not have either of these measures in place now, Zoom will add a waiting room to the meeting. If you already have one of these measures enabled on your meetings, there will be no change. You can read more about the security change here.

TikTok updates and US Buyer

TikTok is still in the news, and probably will continue to be in the near future. The attention is well deserved. TikTok skyrocketed in popularity in the US during the pandemic, and the parent company is the most valuable privately held company in the world.

TikTok patched vulnerabilities on the Android platform this week that could have given criminals the ability to take over user accounts. At the same time that news was breaking, Microsoft announced they would not be buying the social media company and released a statement emphasizing privacy and security.

“ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft. We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests. To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation. We made these principles clear in our August statement. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas.” ~Microsoft – September 13, 2020

The winning bid is expected to go to California based Oracle.

Quanexus IT Support Services for Dayton and Cincinnati

Request your free network assessment today. There is no hassle, or obligation.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

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Posted by Charles Wright in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Recent Posts, Small Business

The End of Flash

The End of FlashMicrosoft announced this week it will discontinue security support for Flash on Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer 11, at the end of 2020. Adobe and Microsoft started planning the end of Flash in July of 2017 because of the lack of use from web developers, as well as security vulnerabilities. HTML5 provides a more secure web developing environment, while also keeping up with modern technologies and browsing experiences.

Let’s use this milestone as a time to look back at the evolution of Flash, and how it fell out of favor. At its core, Flash enables animation on web pages. It began as a piece of software called FutureWave in 1993 for a computer that used a pen on the screen. The computer system failed, and FutureWave was ported over to Mac and PC operating systems. The creators of the software approached Adobe in 1995, but Adobe passed on the software, only to buy it later from Macromedia.

Macromedia bought the software in 1996 and named it Flash. They incorporated it into their design suite that was competing with Adobe at the time. Macromedia owned the leading web site builder at the time named Dreamweaver. The web-based animation software fit well into the lineup. Macromedia enjoyed almost ten years of success with Flash and owned it during its peak. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s there were endless Flash based online games, and it seemed like every website had a Flash based intro.

Adobe bought Macromedia at the end of 2005, absorbing Flash, and their other web tools. YouTube launched earlier that year and began using Flash tools to play video seamlessly online. However, just a year and a half after the acquisition of Flash, Adobe could not develop a version of the software that would satisfy Apple. The first iPhone was introduced in June 2007 without Flash support. The iOS platform would never include Flash support and began the downward trajectory for the multimedia software. YouTube quickly abandoned Flash in order for the first iPhone to ship with a working YouTube player. Web developers stopped using the software practically overnight, because any website built on Flash could not be accessed by the growing iPhone community.

Web developers abandoned the platform, and Adobe finally gave up on the software as well. Flash has not had a major version update since 2011. The latest statistics show that 2.5% of websites are still using Flash, however Microsoft and Adobe have made it clear they are not supporting the platform in 2021.

Quanexus IT Support Services for Dayton and Cincinnati

Request your free network assessment today. There is no hassle, or obligation.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn and stay up to date on by subscribing to our email list.

Posted by Charles Wright in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Small Business