Please be careful with all URLs presented to you in email or web searches, as an excellent example was posted by the ISC. In phishing attacks malicious folks, will use site names that closely ressemble the real website name. Browser phishing filters and up-to-date AV protection can help, but they won't stop all attacks. Security safeguards may not prevent infections if users select these sites in the early stages, where definitions may not be present. Thankfully, this one incident was a parked URL name that wasn't malicious and it was quickly corrected.
Be careful with URLs - every dot matters
QUOTE: Couple of days ago, one of our readers, Lee Dickey, reported a strange behavior of a link on Microsoft's Technet web page with information about SP2 for Vista. At first look, it appeared that a web page hosted by Microsoft was compromised as it redirected the browser to an external web site which was simply some kind of a search engine.
The screenshot of the page is shown below, can you spot the error?
That's right – a dot is missing between technet and microsoft.com, so the link actually pointed to technetmicrosoft.com, which is a domain registered by someone in the USA as easily checked with WHOIS.
So what happened here? Nothing malicious – it was simply an error by someone at Microsoft or a typo, however, what should be stressed out is the importance of link validation – if the owner of the technetmicrosoft.com domain was malicious, he could have done some serious damage. Luckily, Lee notified Microsoft as well and this was fixed quickly.
This informative article shares the need to protect data from unexpected events. Unfortunately, lost or stolen laptops are a fairly common and troubling occurrence. Sometimes recovery can be made and I hope it occurs for the author of this article.
Some ideas to protect them include:
-- Bitlocker, EFS, or other file encryption for sensitve folders
-- Backing up all critical documents to other PCs or a network server share
-- Storing the most critical files on the network server instead of the laptop
-- Use of LoJack and other "phone home" capabilities for PCs
-- Use of security cables or locks to secure them while users are away from the desk
In most cases, the theft is for the physical hardware to quickly resell. However, sophisticated criminals may want to misuse any sensitive information on the hard drive for bank withdrawals, false credit charges, or for identity theft.
Theft is a completely unexpected event, but sometimes Murphy's Law will strike unexpectantly. Thus, it's important to take precautions, actively backup data, and think about the best ways to store information securely for mobile needs.
Stolen Laptop - Data Loss Lessons Learned The Hard Way
QUOTE: I experienced what felt like a death in the family recently when my own laptop was stolen right from my office, along with all of my work, personal financial data, and most importantly to me, family photos. Being a security analyst, I felt a sense of complicity for not being better prepared for this eventuality. Don't let what happened to me happen to you. You can fight back, and on the cheap.
By most estimates, the overwhelming majority of damaging data loss happens via stolen laptops and handheld devices. And yet, most IT shops are egregiously underprepared to respond to the threat of damaging data leakage through asset theft, and that includes my own IT shop.
The first thing that occurred to me after I lost my laptop was that I had no capability to remotely destroy the data on my laptop. For most shops running Blackberry Enterprise Server, you may already be familiar with the ability to send a remote kill signal to a stolen Blackberry in the event of handheld loss.
Based on Conficker and other malware attacks, Microsoft will be changing the behavior of the Autorun to improve security for all users. This is a welcome change in balancing improved security with the convenience of automatically starting music or other services on a plugged in device.
Microsoft is turning off Auto-Run!
QUOTE: Yesterday morning Microsoft through their MSRC announced that they were going to further protection of Windows customers by disabling the Auto-Run "feature" in Windows for everything *except* optical media (read-only CDs). I feel this is a good idea. There have always been virus/malware that liked to attach itself to things like thumbdrives and removable media. All the Windows environments that I've ever functioned in my whole career have always had Auto-Run disabled, so this is just good security practice by now.
Microsoft Security - AutoRun will be disabled in Windows 7, Vista, and XP
QUOTE: Because we’ve seen such a marked increase in malicious software abusing AutoRun to propagate, we’ve decided that it makes sense to adjust the balance between security and usability around removable media. We’ve tried to be very measured in this adjustment to maximize both customer convenience and protection. Since non-writable media such as CD-ROMs generally aren’t avenues for malicious software propagation (because they’re not writable) we felt it made sense to keep the current behavior around AutoPlay for these devices and make this change only for generic mass storage class devices.
This change will be present in the Release Candidate build of Windows 7. In addition, we are planning to release an update in the future for Windows Vista and Windows XP that will implement this new behavior.