malware

Can malware get onto my backup?

Malware Types

Episode 1623

Martin from Hayward, WI

Martin has a backup running on his computer all the time, and he's worried that malware can get onto it. Leo says that current malware is "wormable" and can actually take advantage of Microsoft's networking, spreading through the network. It's called "eternal blue." So if you have hot storage that's online and current, you have to treat it as vulnerable. The only real good backup is a disconnectable backup. 

Did I lose my photos?

Windows 10

Episode 1620

Joe from Brea, CA

Joe is a high school computer teacher, and he had scanned a bunch of photographs that he scanned on his computer. He took that folder and moved it to another folder, but it disappeared and was replaced with a file cabinet folder. Leo says that a CAB file is a compressed folder. He searched the entire computer for the folder, and it was gone. Fortunately, he had a backup. But what happened? A virus?

Have I been hacked?

:(

Episode 1617

Ross from Manhattan Beach, CA

Ross is worried he may have been hacked after searching for the Quicken Support number online and calling them. Could he have gotten a phony number? Leo says never Google phone numbers unless you go directly to their website. Leo says that hackers will buy ads for specific search error messages, and it could be that Ross had been compromised after giving them access to scanning the computer. Leo says it would be prudent to scan his system. Before doing that, since Ross is very savvy, he could do a search with Malwarebytes first. Ross did and found nothing. That's good news.

How Does Malware Work?

 Tiny Hardware Firewall

Episode 1612

Manny from Greenwood, Louisiana

Manny got a Tiny Hardware Firewall, and he really likes it for when he's on the road. It was recently updated by THF and he wants to know how often he has to send it in to get updated. Leo says that security flaws have to be acted upon by getting one to click on something so the malware can take advantage of it. Often, so-called zero-day exploits are designed around this, and people have no real way of knowing they've been hacked. But keeping a system and THF patched, will mitigate vulnerability, except for zero-day exploits, which are patched pretty quickly. 

Do Not Download/Open Email Attachments

Do not open email attachments, as they are one of the most common causes of innocent computer users getting infected with malicious malware. Email attachments are "the kiss of death." Ask the sender to place the attachment in Dropbox, etc. or other safer alternatives. Furthermore, Mac and Windows 10 users can open PDF files by themselves, so no need to download and install additional software like Adobe Reader. There are too many vulnerabilities these days regarding email attachments and outdated Adobe software.

Is Ransomware Really Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

CHUBB

Episode 1588

Murray from New Jersey

Murray's home owner's insurance is now covering cyber-related incidents, including ransomware at up to $250k. What does Leo think? Leo says that's interesting because many insurance companies have declined to cover it because it's considered an "act of war" as part of a nation state's cyber warfare campaign. So Murray would have to read the policy very carefully to be sure there isn't an act of war clause that they can use to get out of paying any losses. Leo says that LifeLock will cover him up to $1 million with their backup service.