World’s Largest Contract Chipmaker Recovering After Ransomware Attack
Taiwan tech firm and Apple chipmaker, TSMC, said it was recovering from a ransomware attack over the weekend. Apparently one machine was online when it shouldn’t have been and this lead to the infection of more than 10,000 of their manufacturing machines in multiple factories. The ransomware was a variant of WannaCry which is a type of ransomware cryptoworm used by bad guys to encrypt computer data and hold it for ransom. TSMC says they are now back in full production again.
Always make sure you have a good antivirus program installed and up to date! Just as important, make sure you have a good, solid back up of any data that’s important to you!
Security firm Avast released this report earlier today stating that certain games on Google Play, once downloaded, infect your device with adware, a type of malware that causes unwanted ads to constantly pop up on your screen. “Durak,” one of the infected games, has had 5 to 10 million downloads in both English speaking countries and foreign nations.
Avast researcher Filip Chytry found adware in over a dozen apps including an IQ Test and a history app.
Once downloaded, the apps don’t start showing ads right away, often taking up to 30 days to start serving ads. According to TechCrunch, your phone has to be rebooted at least once before the adware begins but once it does, an ad will appear each time the user unlocks their phone. A warning will be shown stating that the phone is infected, in need of updating, or full of porn. The ad will ask users to be redirected to a site to fix the problem, but that site will simply collect information and personal data.
Some of the ads were from legitimate companies. Even more surprising, some were from real online security apps, such as Quihoo 360. To be sure you’re not installing dangerous apps, read descriptions carefully. Many of the descriptions of the adware-laden apps are written in broken English.
OK, here it is – THE most asked question at cat-man-du:
“I have antivirus installed – how did I get a virus on my computer?” To answer this question I will use one of my favorite movies as an analogy – Smokey and the Bandit.
“East bound and down, eighteen wheels are rollin’, we’re gonna do what they say can’t be done.
We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there. I’m west bound, just watch ol’ “Bandit” run.
Ol’ Smokey’s got them ears on and he’s hot on your trail. He aint gonna rest ’til you’re in jail.
So you got to dodge ‘im and you got to duck ‘im, you got to keep that diesel truckin’.
Just put that hammer down and give it hell.”
How could modern technology even remotely relate to a movie from 1977 about making a beer run across the U.S.? Read on…
I’m not going to get into the technical details of what Viruses and Malware are, let’s just say that it’s software on your computer that you don’t want for now. In my analogy, Smokey (the law, Sheriff Buford T. Justice) is the virus.
You get to play the part of The Bandit (If anyone reading this sports a mustache, cowboy hat and drives a Pontiac Trans Am, please post pics).
The most important part of this analogy that I want readers to get is that throughout the movie (and subsequent sequels) Smokey is constantly chasing The Bandit, he doesn’t give up, and if he catches The Bandit, it’s going to be a very bad day for The Bandit.
I know, several minutes into reading this you may still be thinking this analogy isn’t working – hang in there.
Virus and Malware creators are very much like Smokey, they don’t stop and they don’t let up. The people who write viruses are constantly looking under the hood of programs like Microsoft Windows, Java and Internet Browsers like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer looking for flaws that they can take advantage of. A very important thing to remember is that the Virus writers set the pace, they create Virus/ Malware AND THEN antivirus companies REACT by updating their antivirus software to catch the virus. There are constant moments when antivirus software isn’t aware of the latest viruses and threats. These threats are called “Zero-day attacks.” Are you seeing how vulnerable we all are? Smokey was always setting up road blocks, traps and in constant “hot pursuit” always looking for a way to catch The Bandit off guard.
Antivirus software – you say you’ve got the latest antivirus software installed and updated, you’ve got a Firewall – this isn’t your first rodeo. You can relax right? WRONG! Relying solely on technology to protect yourself from a man-made, ever evolving threat is like only relying on a security system to protect your family.
In my analogy, it’s like The Bandit only relying on his 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, W72/WS6 options, Black & Gold Special to keep him out of jail. What kept The Bandit safe was his cunning and caution and good ol’ boy know-how.
The Bandit had a very powerful piece of technology at his disposal. That power came from a Pontiac 455 engine and a host of other upgrades that made his car screaming fast. But he didn’t set the cruise control and head down the highway. He was always on his toes for the latest trap being laid out by Smokey. He also performed regular maintenance and upgraded (updated) his car on a regular basis. You keep your technology updated by performing Windows Updates, Java updates and any other updates to stay protected (well… as protected as possible).
But the biggest weapon The Bandit had in his arsenal was his brain – and it is your best defense against an ever changing cyber-war. You have to be the one that smells a trap when that email comes into your in-box. You have to be on your toes when surfing the web and you have to decide that you are going to avoid seedy websites to download pirated movies and music.
Above all, The Bandit knew that the race he was in was high risk and even if he had the fastest car and his keen wits, he could still end up being caught by one of Smokey’s traps. So safe truckin’ good buddies, put the hammer down and enjoy this PG-13 Video (virus free).