August 2014

The SOS Newsletter: Help for your web stuff – August 2014



August has come and gone and its back to school for many.  Malware seems to be in the rise.  What can you do if you find malware on your Facebook account?  How can you decrypt your files being held for ransom by malware?  In this newsletter you can learn how to handle both successfully.  What’s the best malware protection out there?  We’ll take a look at the ratings   And my home tech tip is a car hackability chart!

SOS Security Support

 DecryptDecrypt Those Ransomed Files for Free with DecyptoLocker

We’ve talked about CryptoLocker before (Ransomware) – that malware that likes to hold your files for ransom until you pay up.  There are several variants out there but one in particular, CryptoLocker, has now got a fix: DecryptoLocker  provided by FireEye and FoxIT.

When you provide the site with your email address (which will not be given out or sold) and an encrypted file, they will email you a master decryption key to be used along with their recovery program.

They advise that you don’t give them any files of a sensitive or personal nature.  And each infected system will need its own master decryption key.



What’s the Best Malware Protection For My Computer?

In a recent test done by the independant Anti-virus research group, AV-TEST 
Malwarebytes came out on top as the best malware protection with a score of 100% in total system repair!   They beat out even paid security programs like Bit Defender, F-Secure and Kaspersky.  While Malwarebytes doesn’t include anti-virus support and protection, it says a lot for a FREE security program.

How did the FREE anti-virus programs fare?  AVAST! and AVG came out on top ahead of MSSE.  But read the report for yourself


SOS Featured Social Media Security Support

FacebookStrange “likes” and Posts Showing Up On Your Account? You May Have Malware

When you have a malware infection from Facebook it can show up as strange “likes” to many pages or comments or postings you didn’t make or a sudden surge in following a lot of people on Facebook. One particular malware that’s been recently re-spotted on Facebook this August is the “Color Changer” app.   According to Information Week:

Cheetah Mobile found that this iteration of the scam stems from an apparent vulnerability in Facebook’s app page. This vulnerability lets hackers implant viruses and malicious code into Facebook-based applications, which direct users to phishing sites, it said.

The latest version of the scam works in two ways. First, it asks users who click the link to view a color changer tutorial video. If users view the video, it steals their Facebook access tokens, which gives the hackers temporary access to the user’s Facebook friends, Cheetah Mobile said.

What should you do if you suspect malware on your Facebook account?  Go to the “Apps” tab and remove it.  Then the following steps apply to any and all other malware scenarios on Facebook.

  1. Change your password
  2. Scan your computer.  Use a couple of anti virus programs (internal and external)* and a Malware scan
  3. If you are using Chrome, use a browser-specific scan.
  4. Make sure you are using the latest browser version.  If not, Upgrade!
  5. Remove suspicious browser-add ons
  6. Review your recent account activity and delete anything you did not post.

Facebook provides the links to some scanners and you can review the steps there.  *While I normally recommend MSSE (Microsoft Security Essentials), I’m recommending a switch to a combination of Avast! or AVG and Malwarebytes for now (as far as FREE Anti-virus goes) PAID Anti-virus such as Bit-Defender, F-Secure, and Kaspersky will give you stronger anti-virus protection .  If you continue to use MSSE, please use it in combination with Malwarebytes.

Home Tech SOS

Access the ‘Hackability’ of Your Car 

Questions have been raised since 2 hackers successfully hijacked the steering and brakes of both a Ford Escape and a Toyota Prius.  Want to assess the ‘hackability’ of your car?  Try the *chart below from



























*DISCLAIMER: This chart is not considered conclusive or comprehensive.  According to the article:

All the cars’ ratings were based on three factors: The first was the size of their wireless “attack surface”—features like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular network connections, keyless entry systems, and even radio-readable tire pressure monitoring systems. Any of those radio connections could potentially be used by a hacker to find a security vulnerability and gain an initial foothold onto a car’s network. Second, they examined the vehicles’ network architecture, how much access those possible footholds offered to more critical systems steering and brakes. And third, Miller and Valasek assessed what they call the cars’ “cyberphysical” features: capabilities like automated braking, parking and lane assist that could transform a few spoofed digital commands into an actual out-of-control car.

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