Malware, viruses, hacks, and anything else that may compromise your identity online, computer, or digital device.
Security and Privacy
Jim ran GRC Shields Up scanner on his router and he discovered that port 443 was open, not stealth. Is he vulnerable? Leo says you have to have port 443 to run on the internet, but it should be in "stealth mode." You'll also want to find out what's using it. NetStat will help you determine that. Wireshark will also do that. His fan is also running a lot. Leo says that may mean your computer is getting hotter. Probably needs to have the dust cleaned out of it.
Tom wants to set up a virtual private network at home. How can he do that? He's worried about getting bit by ransomware. Will a VPN prevent that? Leo says that no. If you click on something, a VPN can't help you. But a VPN will keep your traffic private, so no one can see where you're going. But even then, it has its limitations. While it burrows an encrypted tunnel to where you're going, once you get there, it's no longer encrypted. So you have to trust that where you're going will keep your privacy. And your provider still sees your traffic.
Alice wants to know which remote software to use. RemotePC or GotoMyPC? Leo says that they're very similar and both do the same thing. RemotePC is an advertiser but is half the price of GotoMyPC. And they have a free trial before you buy.
If you have Windows 10 Professional edition, it comes with its own remote access options, but there is a known security flaw in it, and Leo recommends waiting until Microsoft fixes it.
Pat has a google home hub and she thinks it's been hacked. What can she do? Leo says that it's likely that someone has hacked Pat's Google account. Leo recommends changing her password and turning on 2-factor authentication. Add an account recovery number and email as well. That will keep someone from changing your password. Leo also recommends turning off "share your device" in the settings and set up Voice Match.
Hackers somehow got ahold of a malware exploit that was developed by the NSA and used it to attack the city of Baltimore. The malware, a ransomeware exploit known as Eternal Blue, was taken home by an NSA contractor, and Leo says that Kaspersky antivirus quarantined the malware and then sent it to the home office in Russia.
Alan updated his app and now he gets an annoying popup. Leo says that Quickbooks uses Java, and most browsers have stopped using Java because of security issues. But he needs to have it or he gets that annoying popup. Leo recommends installing the Oracle JRE runtime plugin.
Chuck has to run through a tour at LastPass every time he has to log in. Leo says that he can disable going to the page to log in since he doesn't need to go to the vault every time he logs into LastPass. There's a checkbox in the settings to disable the vault popping up with each login.
Gordon is in the hospital, and wants to know if their public wifi is safe or should he use a VPN? Leo says that if it's using a wide-open network, then anyone can log in. It's a shared, public network. There are some risks, but your banking is safe because it's encrypted. The one thing to worry about is a "man in the middle" attack. Hospitals with public wifis could give the hospital the ability to watch what you do. That's when a VPN can come in handy. It will encrypt all traffic, by burrowing an encrypted tunnel to the internet.
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.
The Weather Channel went down this week for about 90 minutes due to a phishing attack and ransomware. Leo says that it's impressive that the Weather Channel came back up so quickly, but this is going to keep happening as long as people click on attachments.