Lost your mobile device? “Yell” or catch the thief in his nest

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The new Anti-Theft feature in our Avira Online Essentials dashboard has a couple cool tricks to help you get back your lost smartphone or tablet. And, this feature is available on Android and iOS devices – and your home PC.

Here’s how it works:

The first step is simply to register your devices with Avira, activate the “Device Administrator” feature, and afterwards you can remotely control them using the Online Essentials dashboard. Soon after activation, finding your smartphone or tablet will be just a couple of clicks away.

1st scenario: You misplaced the device

Go to the “Can not find your device” section of the Online Essentials dashboard and trigger the “Play Sound” button. A really powerful signal will start sounding and if the device is nearby, you will surely find it. If it’s in somebody else’s hands, just imagine the panic on his face.

After you are sure that the device has been stolen, it’s time to go to “Lock your device” function. Add a PIN code that is known only by you and preset a message with contact details, which will be shown on the smartphone’s screen to its new “owner”.

On iOS, you have an additional contact option. While you can only send a message on an Android device, on iPhone you can directly call the person that has the device. Just go to the closest computer and access your Online Essential account.

Capture1

2nd Scenario: Your device was stolen for sure and you get no answer

Hmmm, that’s nasty! But don’t lose hope. Go to “Think you lost your device?” function, click on “Wipe” and then you can select the data that shouldn’t get into wrong hands: Delete the storage, the SIM card or you can do a factory reset directly. Of course, shortly after this, the Police must be informed about the theft. The “Device data” gives you a complete report on your smartphone and provide all the necessary information for the investigation such as IMEI number and other product details.
Capture2

Locate the device

If you want to solve the theft problem faster and more efficiently, you can always activate the “Locate” function in Online Essentials. This will show you the exact location of the missing device and also a Google Street View of the place where it can be found. But bear in mind that this works only if the location settings are enabled and if the battery is not drained or removed.

Now, that you know what Anti-Theft feature can do, you can start preparing your devices for this kind of situations. Download Avira Free Antivirus, pair one or more devices and make it into a companion that will always be there to help when you can’t find your smartphone or tablet.

Source : blog.avira.com

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Android: The phone is not the target, your money is

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Having grown in popularity, Android devices are naturally the favorite target of cyber-criminals. They are concentrating their efforts in breaching the Google developed OS. The lack of attention that many Android users have is also being manipulated. A key factor is that users aren’t paying attention to what they are downloading from Google Play Store. Many devices are getting infected with malware that gives itself root access after being downloaded, followed by an immediate start of malicious operations.

The most-known malware for mobile platforms is currently the Locker ransomware. It usually starts as a “message” from law enforcement agencies like the FBI, BKA, LKA and they use various tricks to obtain payment from their victims. This malicious software is becoming more and more professional, even offering up alleged “examples” of user misdeeds that could be used as evidence against the user to ensure that payment is made as quickly as possible. The bitcoin payment methods used make it next to impossible to either trace or to recover the ransom money.

But how do you get rid of this malware from your Android device?

One of the most important steps in reducing potential damage from malware is to make a weekly backup of the most important files on the Android device. In this way, after a user restarts in safe mode, the most important data on the phone will remain untouched. Beyond that, the default factory settings may have to be restored if it is not possible to make the device work again due to the malware intrusion.

Most attacks on Android have a clear purpose: making money from users. That is why only a small amount of the malware is focused on directly attacking the phone. The growth curve is developing similarly as it  happened with Windows; as Android becomes more known and apps are more easy to develop, cybercriminal attacks increasingly focus on it. Although they are still, at least at the moment, far lower than the attacks on Windows PCs, the numbers of these attacks are quickly rising over time.

Security you can trust

At Avira, we have developed a free security system for Android which is available in the Google Play Store. Independent testing labs have found that Avira Free Antivirus for Android has a superior detection of mobile device threats when compared to most paid solutions. Also,  Avira prevents unwanted premium calls (a prime way that cybercriminals make money from mobile malware), blocks banking Trojans, and stops Ransomware from restricting access to data or encrypting it. Free Antivirus for Android also includes features that protect your e-mails and browsing and. It contains the Android Optimizer which accelerates the phone’s operation by freeing up extra memory (RAM), protecting your privacy, and extending the device’s battery life.

Source : blog.avira.com

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Android users: beware the porn-clicker Trojan in Play Store

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Android devices are getting infected due to a Clicker Trojan, a family of Android malware, which is hidden in counterfeit versions of various apps. After installation, it uses the browser of the infected device to click on porn ads in the background. The way in which this Trojan manages to infect isn’t at all complicated. The virus is disguised in a version of a very popular game or app, from which it “borrows” even the name and icon. Also, the malicious apps are available for free, and are completely unrelated with the original.

Apps and games to avoid

As we have mentioned before, the Clicker Trojan usually has a popular name such as “Temple Run 3”, “Subway Surfers 2”, “Travel Wallpapers”, etc., and each app has a different icon matching the name. Once they are installed, they start a hidden browsing session, load different porn websites and trick the user to click on ads. This way, the malware authors are collecting revenue.

google-play-fake-app

Avira Antivirus for Android detects the Trojan

Avira Virus Lab ensures that Avira Antivirus detects the Trojan and they explain how it is possible for the porn-clicker to trick Google’s filters:

suspicious-permissions

A common feature of the Clicker family is that it is requesting “draw over other apps” permissions.

“The Clicker Trojan is a family of Android Malware that poses as legitimate apps but once they are installed they click on Porn ads in the background,” said Mihai Grigorescu, Virus Analyst at Avira Protection Lab – ”They are present in Google Play as they have been able to bypass Google’s automatic filters as well as the human review process. Avira Antivirus is detecting the Trojan as Android/Clicker with subtypes like Android/Clicker.B, Android/Clicker.AC, etc. and we are successfully blocking it.”

This type of malware usually deletes the shortcut from the android main menu, so that it apears it is not installed. You can find it by going to Settings and then Applications and safely uninstall it from there.

Also, in order to spot these fake Apps, Avira advises Android users to check carefully the name of the publisher, the number of downloads, and the number of positive reviews. The more comments it has, the better. Otherwise, when you notice plenty of bad reviews for an app, it’s a suspicious sign and please inform our Virus Lab team about this.

Source : blog.avira.com

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Mobile Banking Threats: Secure your mobile device

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Nowadays, we tend to use our mobile phone for browsing on the Internet much more than we do with our PC.  The reason is that it is easier and handier to read an email or pay a bill using our mobile device than to turn the PC on, wait for the browser to load and so on. Unfortunately, we do not pay the same attention when it comes to our smartphone’s security as when it comes to our computers. This is the cause of over 4 million financial attacks targeting mobile phones only in 2014. In 2012 alone, one of the most renowned mobile banking threats also known as Zeus stole about 47.000.000$.

It’s safe to say that phishing emails and infected websites are the weapons of choice to secretly install malware on victims’ phones. Cyber attackers usually wait until their victims log into their online banking accounts to steal their passwords and usernames. With an accomplice – injected code – they secretly add fields to the banking portal, asking for mobile phone numbers. In order to intercept SMS messages, including authorization codes from the bank, they use an infected app, which is sent to the victims as a “security app” via SMS, requesting them to install it. It is very important to know that the bank appears as the “sender” of the SMS.  That’s the reason why many people tend to trust this sort of SMS without realizing that their bank account will soon be drained.

Avira helps you avoid this type of cyber-attacks by offering a host of high-end security apps on both Android and iOS platforms. Important features such as blocking all banking Trojans and infected apps from ever getting onto your smartphone or pinpointing your phone’s location on a map will help you increase the level of security and protect your private data.

When in the modern Wild West, do as banditos do. You can rely on Jesse James’ 6-step Guide  to counter work the tactics used by gunslingers, hardened banditos and garden-variety hackers. Once you read it, you should be sure that outlaws have no chance to threaten your smartphone’s security.

Source : blog.avira.com

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How much is your streaming account worth?

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In fact, more and more people seem to do so. And it’s no wonder – choosing what you want to watch and when definitely has a lot of pros. With its rise in popularity it should come as no surprise that account theft for those (and other) online services is hot, too. So how much would one have to pay to get access to someone else’s account? Apparently not much.

According to The Register “premium sports accounts sell for about $10 while streaming TV can be bought for as low as 50 cents, far less than the $10 monthly subscription.

Comic fans can buy a stolen Marvel Unlimited lifetime account – meaning the victim is unlikely to shutter it – for 50 cents compared to the $10 monthly fee.”

The Marketplace, which is accessible via the Tor network, also offers premium Spotify, ComCast Xfinity, Uber, Apple, and Lynda training video accounts as well as drugs, weapons, malware, and of course credit cards.

The stolen accounts also come with some care instructions for the “new” (and apparently not too bright) owners: Make sure not to change the email address or the legitimate owner will notice.

So, now that you know how much your account might be worth out there in the wild (not a lot apparently, compared to what you are paying for it), you should make sure that it remains your own and will not be sold to who knows how many other people.

  • Make sure you are using a good antivirus that will guard your PC from trojans, keyloggers, and other malware.
  • Use a unique password for each of your accounts. Make it a good one.
  • Change your password regularly.

Source : blog.avira.com

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Dissecting MKero, the premium SMS service subscriber trojan found on Google Play

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In this malware-everywhere context, the best way to stay safe is to install software only from trusted locations, like Google Play. Starting with 2011, Google managed to reduce the amount of malicious applications in its store by using an in-house automated antivirus system, called Google Bouncer.
However, since nowadays everything is continuously evolving and adapting, nothing is bulletproof and the bad guys found various ways (e.g. delayed backdoor trojan, dendroid malware) to trick the automated checker and upload malicious apps in the official store.

This is also the case for today’s case study – a trojan from the MKero family which was recently discovered in Google Play masked as normal gaming applications:
com.likegaming.gtascs (md5 14cdf116704af262174eb0678fd1b368), com.likegaming.rcdtwo (md5 39b84a45e82d547dc967d282d7a7cd1e), com.likegaming.ror (md5 69820ddcab4fe0c6ff6a77865abf30b9), com.likegaming.rprs (md5 8c496957d787861c0b11789a227a32c7), com.likestudio.offroadsimulatoreone (md5 c7478eff0c2eca8bcb5d0611bfec54d6).

This type of malware was discovered in 2014, but for the first time is now found in the official Google Store – which means that its developer(s) added special code to bypass Bouncer. Once installed on the device, the trojan’s logic is very simple: it secretly subscribes the victim to premium SMS services for which the user will be charged monthly with a minimum of $0.5 per message. In addition to bypassing Bouncer, the main peculiarity of this malware is its ability to automatically “resolve” the CAPTCHA image required in the subscription process, by sending it to an online image-to-text real-time service. Furthermore, this trojan is completely silent during the installation and, more importantly, during the infection time by hiding any incoming SMS sent by the premium subscription services.

How exactly is it doing its “thing”?

We know what this trojan does and how it passes the most complicated task (CAPTCHA decoding), so it will definitely be worth to dig further in its internals to find out how it works exactly.

For our analysis, we’ll use the com.likegaming.gtascs (md5 14cdf116704af262174eb0678fd1b368) apk from the above mentioned list of infected packages.

Let’s start by checking the internal APK structure – this can be done by extracting it (or just by listing the files) with any zip tool (e.g. unzip, 7-zip, winzip):
$ tree -L 2
├── AndroidManifest.xml
├── assets
│   └── bin
├── classes.dex
├── lib
│   ├── armeabi-v7a
│   └── x86
├── META-INF
│   ├── CERT.RSA
│   ├── CERT.SF
│   └── MANIFEST.MF
├── res
│   ├──[skipped res folders]
└── resources.arsc

Nothing special so far, all the usual files (manifest, classes, resources) and folders (res, lib, assets) are there and they seem to contain usual APK data.

Since the AndroidManifest.xml file is the entry point of any apk, we’ll continue the analysis here. In order to convert the binary XML into the human readable format, we need android-apktool which will also do some extra decoding required later:
$ apktool if com.likegaming.gtascs.apk
I: Framework installed to: $HOME/apktool/framework/127.apk
$ apktool d com.likegaming.gtascs.apk
I: Using Apktool 2.0.1 on com.likegaming.gtascs.apk
I: Loading resource table...
I: Decoding AndroidManifest.xml with resources...
I: Loading resource table from file: $HOME/apktool/framework/1.apk
I: Regular manifest package...
I: Decoding file-resources...
I: Decoding values */* XMLs...
I: Baksmaling classes.dex...
I: Copying assets and libs...
I: Copying unknown files...
I: Copying original files...

From the decoded XML file, one can usually check various tags/elements like: package name (com.likegaming.gtascs, in our case), needed permissions, activities, services, receivers.
When taking a look at the permissions, some of them seem very suspicious (check the highlighted lines) for an application which is supposed to be a normal gaming app:

permissions

Thus, the required permissions are the first suspicious thing about this app and, if the user is properly cross-checking them with regard to app’s scope/description, the installation should be aborted at this point. But, we all know that this wont happen too often and, usually, the required permissions will be simply ignored and accepted by the regular user.

Next, let’s check the main activity declaration – nothing special from the name, so we’ll have to dig in its code later on:

main-activity

There are also various other activities in the manifest, but we’ll first focus on the declared services which, by definition, are background tasks that are run even when the user is not interacting with the application. There’s not much information though, just some suspect names for the services starting with Mk:

services

Things are getting more interesting for the receivers part – there are 2 of them having a priority of 1000 in the intent-filter element:

receivers

From the information extracted from the manifest file we’ve found the following: suspect permissions, the name of the main activity, the services which can be started by the app and 2 high-priority receivers (one for the SMS_RECEIVED intent and the other one for the BOOT_COMPLETED intent).

It’s now time to start looking into the code after every important activity/service/receiver found above. For this, the file classes.dex, which is in Dalvik VM format, must be decompiled into a human-readable format; we already decompiled it to smali/baksmali with the manifest file conversion, but it’s also possible to convert the dex to jar and then open the jar file with a java decompiler, like jd-gui, in order to view the java code.

Analyzing the main activity, com.unity3d.player.UnityPlayerActivity, appears to be a dead-end because it’s basically calling code from the legit game engine framework, com.unity3d. Therefore, nothing malicious is happening when the user is actually opening and playing the game. That being said, it means that the malicious code is activated by other means, like broadcast receivers. So let’s continue by checking the code of the 2 high-priority broadcast receivers found in the manifest – com.mk.lib.receivers.MkStart and com.mk.lib.receivers.MkSms.

The first receiver, com.mk.lib.receivers.MkStart, which is called whenever the phone is (re)started, is creating an intent which repeatedly starts (using 1h delay) a new service, com.mk.lib.MkProcess:

MkStart

Looking at the onStartCommand method of com.mk.lib.MkProcess service, it appears that this one is starting a new background thread that executes the com.mk.lib.MkProcess$Commands.doInBackgroundmethod which is doing the whole magic (communicates with the C&C servers to get the URL(s) of the SMS premium servers and then starts the registration process):

doInBackground

Now let’s try to find the C&C domains which seem to be returned by the com.mk.lib.heplers.Functions$getDomains (notice the spelling error – heplers instead of helpers) method. Unfortunately, my version of jd-gui tool is unable to decompile the com.mk.lib.heplers.Functions file (probably because of the obfuscation), thus we’ll look into the smali code instead – smali/com/mk/lib/heplers/Functions.smali file. From its smali, the method is calling another private method, com.mk.lib.heplers.Functions$appDomains, which seem to directly return the name of the used domains:

appDomains

Unfortunately, as it is the case with the whole application, the strings are heavily obfuscated (see highlighted areas), so they do not make much sense in this form. Luckily, the domains seem to be in-place decoded with the com.mk.lib.heplers.Data.Http.V method. Looking at the decoding method, one can see that it’s doing a lot of heavy stuff (multiple loops with various bitwise operators) and can’t be easily reversed, so we need another way to obtain the original strings.

Since the method is implemented in the decompiled jar, we can create a simple java program which simply calls the decoding method with the obfuscated string as input. While trying to do so, you’ll get a java compilation error because the decode function is defined as static and is not accessible from the exterior of the package. Fortunately, this can be bypassed using java reflexion – I have implemented a simple java program which loads the method, makes it accessible, then calls it with the provided input and, in the end, prints the result on standard output:

MethodCaller

Finally, running the above java program with our strings, we get the following results:
$ java -cp .:classes-dex2jar.jar MethodCaller 'com.mk.lib.heplers.Data$Http' V "obfuscated_string_1" "obfuscated_string_2"

nosepudymy.biz,areripydok.com,vozicokeboh.biz,hekisanosih.com,yfaqoqysusyfyfa.biz,dewekasadito.biz,zerawyhifuwude.biz,eluheqizomado.biz,ufadaqim.biz,imuwobulok.biz,horodityrowoboni.biz,uqikoxomyturo.biz,wyfokypynogipu.biz,sabumorazuh.biz,ofudylopixen.biz,episykuj.com,rodujuhocafy.biz

ivosupawy.biz,cesobagixisyn.biz,menizyxoxa.biz,ruqijireji.biz,ecymotolimybocos.biz,ozozoqimykoric.biz,fyvefiwo.biz,zehenivi.biz,lytevabasic.biz,ynegymeriw.biz,jytuvyducemek.biz,isucuzyzososare.biz

Thus, the malware tries to communicate with the first responsive C&C server from the above lists and, once it gets a response, it will start the SMS subscription process.

Another interesting service is com.mk.lib.MkPages which handles the CAPTCHA: after extracting the image from the subscription page, it’s sending it to http://antigate.com and then is waiting maximum 2.5 minutes to receive the text. Check the following highlighted text from the com.mk.lib.MkPages$doInBackground method, after deobfuscating the strings:

antigate.com

Let’s move now to the 2nd receiver, com.mk.lib.receivers.MkSms, which will be called before any other broadcast-receiver (due to its high-priority, 1000) whenever the device is receiving a SMS message. After decoding the strings from its onReceive method, one can see that this service is responsible with the SMS code and activation link extraction needed in the subscription process and, also, with blocking of further SMS messages coming from the subscription server:

MkSms

This is pretty much all about the internals of this trojan and, coming back to the Bouncer bypassing, we can see now that the malware passed undetected due to the delayed infection (i.e. is waiting 1h in order to start the subscription process).

In conclusion, no matter how smart the (automated) application checkers are, the bad guys will always find new and sophisticated methods to infiltrate malicious code even in official stores. In this circumstances, Avira is helping you to fight against potential malware – so don’t wait to be infected and install our free Android product today.

Source : blog.avira.com

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Infected Apps in AppStore: How safe is your iOS device?

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Recent discoveries which were made by security researchers from PaloAlto Networks and Fox-IT brought to light an important number of malicious applications available in AppStore.

In the last couple of months, Apple has repeatedly stated that its mobile OS is one of the safest (if it’s not even impenetrable) and that due to their rigorous approval process, no malicious app can be found on the App Store …. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Even if the applications which were discovered as being malicious were not necessarily containing viruses, they behaved either as spyware (by stealing passwords, capturing some sensitive device information etc.) or on a more serious note as ransomware as they could have received commands from attackers to inject the victim’s device clipboard with data, open specific URL’s or prompt fake alerts on the user’s screen.

Again, it looks like security on iOS devices is not perfect and even if malware in a traditional sense is not present there, the users of iDevices are vulnerable to having their private data stolen … This is the next area where security companies like Avira are striving to protect the users and protect their privacy at all costs.

Available for all iOS users,  Avira Mobile Security notifies you whether your email (and your contacts’ email addresses) have been breached and if your credentials were stolen (on various sites where the customer’s registered with them). Downloading it looks like a pretty great first step for those who want to start taking their iDevice security more seriously.

Source : blog.avira.com

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Serialization vulnerability: 6 in 10 Android devices can be hijacked

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If one day, you were asked by your dearly trusted Facebook Messenger app to log in because your session had expired, would you do that? If the answer is yes, you might have just shared your Facebook credentials with an impostor app disguised in, otherwise legit, Facebook Messenger app. A group of researchers at IBM revealed a vulnerability in the Android OS that allows evil-witted guys to mischievously replace an application you trust with something that resembles it but is meant to cause you harm instead.

“In a nutshell, advanced attackers could exploit this arbitrary code execution vulnerability to give a malicious app with no privileges the ability to become a ‘super app’ and help the cyber criminals own the device,” IBM said. The ‘Serialization’ vulnerability is explained in great detail in the paper titled “One Class To Rule Them All“.

Google provided patches that address the exploit, but their way to the end users’ devices is gonna be slow-paced and toilsome, since there are device manufacturers in-between.

As mobile addiction continues to rise, we are paying less and less attention to the legitimacy of the apps we’re installing, while relying fully on the “need an app for this purpose now” impulse. Latest discoveries in terms of vulnerabilities and exploits, plus unfortunate examples of personal data leakage fortifies the need for an increase awareness in consumers rows.

To play it safe, we at Avira highly recommend to use an advanced mobile security solution, such as Avira Antivirus Security and only download applications from trusted sources.

Source : blog.avira.com

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How safe are the apps on your Android ?

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Privacy Advisor

As the name suggests it, the newest feature offered by Avira Antivirus Security for Android allows registered users to increase the level of privacy on their smartphones and tablets by avoiding and potentially uninstalling high risk apps.

The apPrivacy advisor - android appsps that are most likely to be included in this category ask for very sensitive and personal data related permissions during the installation process.

In worst cases, malicious apps can take advantage of SMS permissions to send premium messages and register users for unwanted services, sometimes leading to financial losses.

Even if there are applications that may have an important impact on the users’ privacy, some of them have a high number of permissions related to personal data because their purpose of being demands them. These applications may either be trusted by Avira itself (e.g. Community Trusted applications) due to the developer’s reputation and/or high number of downloads or can be trusted by the user himself if he knows for a fact that the app is not a security risk.

Coming soon… on Android Optimizer

Three months after releasing its Android Optimizer app, we already helped almost 500.000 users optimize the overall speed and performance of their mobile devices. Following users’ feedback, the app has already been localized to three more languages (French, Italian and Portuguese), making it easier to use.

In order to make the app even better, our mobile development team will soon release a version that supports an always-on widget, enabling users to instantly optimize their devices, at the tap of the screen.

12 million downloads and numerous awards

Avira’s efforts of enhancing mobile security are paying off, as Avira Antivirus Security for Android excels in all Independent Labs Test results. Only last month, AV-Test nominated Avira as “The best antivirus software for Android”, with 100% detection rates and a total score of 6/6 on Protection and Usability. PCSL also awarded 5 Stars for Avira in the April edition of its Android Malware Detection Test.

More than that, 12 million users have already downloaded Avira Antivirus Security for Android, making this the best reward for the Product team.

“Avira users should feel safe and protected on every device they use to connect to the Internet. My team has the important mission of securing their mobile devices and preventing all types of attacks from happening. As private data becomes an easier target on smartphones and tablets, protecting the users’ privacy is a top priority for us. We strongly believe that a feature like “Privacy Advisor” will make it easier for people to know which app is interested in their personal information and gives them the power to decide if they agree to share it or not” said Corneliu Balaban, Mobile Development Manager at Avira.

The newest version of Avira Antivirus Security for Android (version 4.1.3643) was uploaded on the Google Play Store and can be downloaded for free.

Source : blog.avira.com

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How to Prevent Holiday Shopping Hacks

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As the holiday times approach, many of us increase our online shopping. But if the 2014 year taught us anything, it is that online criminals have figured out that hacking into the IT systems of retail stores is an easy way to make money. This year there were no fewer than a dozen major retail stores whose customer data was stolen or whose POS systems (Point of Sale systems… their electronic cash registers) were compromised in order to steal customer credit card numbers.

You’ll recognize most of these retailer brands whose customer databases have been breached this year:

  • Home Depot (56,000,000 customer records stolen)
  • Target (40,000,000 records stolen)
  • Michaels Art Supplies (2,600,000 records stolen)
  • Neiman-Marcus (1,100,000 records stolen)
  • Goodwill Stores (868,000 records stolen)
  • UPS Stores (105,000 records stolen)
  • K-Mart (unknown; investigation continues)

In addition, several major retailers have had their POS systems hacked:

  • Dairy Queen (400 stores hacked)
  • Jimmy Johns (200 stores hacked)
  • SuperValu (180 stores hacked)
  • F. Chang’s (33 stores hacked)
  • Staples (unknown; investigation continues)

The burden of security ultimately rests on your shoulders. So here are five simple things you can do to protect yourself from holiday shopping hacks:

1. Shop at trusted online retailers

Search engines will lead you to that perfect present no matter where it is, but if you’ve never seen or heard of the retailer before then think twice before entering your credit card and all your personal information.

2. Don’t shop from the free café Wi-Fi

Public, unsecured Wi-Fi access points can be very easily tampered with; the person sitting next to you could be sniffing and recording every transmission, using simple algorithms to identify credit card numbers and ID information. Use a secured Wi-Fi and/or a VPN for your shopping. Consider also using a dedicated e-mail address just for shopping.

3. Use a credit card instead of a debit card

Credit card companies usually have policies in place to protect users from fraud and limit your personal liability. In addition, many credit card companies offer extended warranties and return policies during holiday shopping season.

4. Be careful where you click

Retailers ramp up their e-mail marketing during the holiday season, but e-mails can be easily spoofed by hackers. Instead of automatically following the URL link from an e-mail offer, consider going directly to the retail vendor’s website and then looking for the product you want. Also be aware of phony emails from UPS and other shippers claiming that “your package could not be delivered.” Often these e-mails contain attachments that install spyware and keyloggers.

5. Patch your computer before you go shopping

If haven’t got around to installing that software patch or antivirus security update, now might be a good time to do it. Most hacks prey on the short window of time between when a vulnerability is discovered and when the software vendors patch the hole. If you are not installing the patch, then the hole is still wide open on your computer and you are just asking for trouble.

If you are worried that your personal identity might have been exposed in recent data breach or hack, you can use Avira’s free Identity Safeguard tool to check: it is included free in both Avira Mobile Security for iOS and in Avira Antivirus Security for Android).

Shopping online is actually safer now than it has ever been before, so just take a few precautions and enjoy the holidays!

Source : blog.avira.com

Avira Tech Support : Blog