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15 May

Facebook Messenger Spam and scam is targeting its victims via a video link malware

Facebook Messenger Spam & Scam Spreading Malicious Chrome Extensions, Adware

Beware Facebook Messenger users, as cybercriminals are targeting victims by spreading malware through links sent by their friends.

The malware campaign was discovered by David Jacoby, a senior security researcher in the global research and analysis team at Kaspersky Lab, who was himself targeted after a Facebook friend with whom he rarely interacts, sent a link to a purported video file in Messenger.

After just a few minutes analyzing the message, I understood that I was just peeking at the top of this iceberg. This malware was spreading via Facebook Messenger, serving multi platform malware/adware, using tons of domains to prevent tracking, and earning clicks,” David said.

So, how does this malware spread? Apparently, the malicious message containing a bit.ly or t.cn link and the name of the user plus the word “Video” arrives through one of your friends account on Messenger to make the potential victims believe that it is a legitimate video link. When the victim clicks on the link, it will take the user to a Google Docs page that has a screenshot photo of that Facebook friend. The message is made to look like a playable movie.

But when clicked on that video, the victim is redirected to external sites depending on their browser, location and operating system that ultimately attempt to lure them into installing the malware. This malicious software, if downloaded, will cause the victim to spread the virus to their contacts on Facebook Messenger.

By doing this, it basically moves your browser through a set of websites and, using tracking cookies, monitors your activity, displays certain ads for you and even, in some cases, social engineers you to click on links,” Jacoby writes.

 

facebook_messenger_malware

For example, a Google Chrome user is redirected to a fake YouTube page with a fake error message designed to push the user in downloading a malicious Chrome extension.

Meanwhile, on Firefox, the users get directed to a website displaying a fake Flash Update notice, which attempts to run a Windows executable to deliver the adware. Since this malware is cross-platform, it affects MacOS Safari too and offers the download of a .dmg file, which is also adware.

It is unclear how the malware spreads via Messenger.

The initial spreading mechanism seems to be Facebook Messenger, but how it actually spreads via Messenger is still unknown. It may be from stolen credentials, hijacked browsers or clickjacking,” David speculated.

The people behind this are most likely making a lot of money in ads and getting access to a lot of Facebook accounts,” said David.

We know that clicking on unknown links is not recommended, but through this technique they basically force you to do so.

Please make sure that you don’t click on these links, and please update your antivirus!,” added David.

When ZDNet got in touch with Facebook regarding the matter, a spokesperson for the social media giant said: “We maintain a number of automated systems to help stop harmful links and files from appearing on Facebook.

“If we suspect your computer is infected with malware, we will provide you with a free antivirus scan from our trusted partners. We share tips on how to stay secure and links to these scanners on facebook.com/help.

Source: ZDNet

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17 Oct

Should you leave your smartphone plugged into the charger overnight? We asked an expert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

chargingaphone

Should you leave your smartphone plugged into the charger overnight?

It’s an issue that has plagued humanity since the dawn of the mobile phone. We use our trusty pocket computers so much that they rarely get through a day with any power left. Many of us plug them in at night and fall asleep, content in the knowledge that we’ll wake up to a fully charged device.

But is it really safe to leave our phones plugged into the charger once they’re fully charged? Is it damaging the battery — or shortening its lifespan?

There are lots of myths and questionable ideas on this topic. You’ll find the Internet awash with opinions masquerading as facts. What’s the truth? We’ve got some answers for you.

Should you leave your phone plugged into the charger overnight?

“Leaving your phone plugged in overnight is okay to do, it will not drastically harm your device,” says Shane Broesky, co-founder of Farbe Technik, a company that makes charging accessories. “Your phone is very smart. Once it’s fully charged, it knows when to stop the current from coming in to protect your phone from overcharging.”

Eventually the battery is going to noticeably degrade.

So far so good, but there are situations when leaving that smartphone plugged in overnight can slowly reduce the lifespan of your battery.

“Lithium-ion batteries can react poorly if your phone experiences elevated temperatures, leading to a damaging effect,” explains Shane. “If you have a case on your device that does not allow heat to escape, this heat will increase the temperature of the battery and will cause cell oxidation, which will shrink the capacity and shorten the lifespan.”

Make sure you take your phone case off at night if you’re going to leave your phone plugged in and charging, in other words.

What’s the optimum way to charge your phone?

“The sweet spot for lithium-ion batteries is to keep them charged between 50 and 80 percent. This allows for the charged ions to continue to work and protect the life of your battery,” says Shane. “Charging your device in short spurts throughout the day will give these ions just enough energy to keep them going.”

So frequent top-ups, rather than one daily charge up, is healthier for your battery. It’s not convenient, but that’s the optimal way to charge your smartphone if you want to ensure the longest life possible.

What to avoid

“The major threat to your battery is charge cycles,” Shane explains. “A charge cycle is where your battery goes from empty or near-empty to full — and every phone battery has a limited number of charge cycles before the end of its life.”

leaving-your-phone-charging-2

Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock

You may have a high number of charge cycles before that limit is reached, but eventually the battery is going to noticeably degrade. When it does, you’ll find that it lasts only a very short amount of time, or it will simply not turn on at all.

“Try to avoid going from 0 to 100 percent whenever possible, this will start to break down your battery and give your device a shorter lifespan.” Shane suggests.

Use quality accessories

There’s one other factor to consider when charging your smartphone and it concerns the quality of the accessories you use. It’s always best to use the charger and cable that shipped with your smartphone. Failing that, you can buy another official charger and cable.

Cheap counterfeits are not built with safety in mind and can be very dangerous.

Sometimes official chargers and cables are eye-wateringly expensive. But you can find reputable alternatives. Manufacturers like Farbe Technik produce safe accessories that are fully tested, certified by the likes of Apple and Samsung, and compliant with legislation. If you are going to buy a charger from a third-party just make sure to stick to big brand names.

It’s also important to ensure that the charger and cable you buy has the correct rating. Cross-check the amp or watt rating with your phone’s specifications.

 

The real risks are found at the cheap end of the market. Cheap counterfeits are not built with safety in mind and can be very dangerous. They often don’t meet safety standards. The London Fire Brigade released a report last year warning about the dangers of electrocution, burns, and even house fires after a number of incidents caused by counterfeit iPhone chargers. The report also offers some advice on how to spot fakes.

Quick recap

You can leave your phone plugged into the charger overnight without too much risk, provided it’s not a counterfeit charger, and you don’t let your phone overheat. For best results with your smartphone charging, here’s what to remember:

  • Always use official chargers and cables, or certified alternatives from reputable brands and retailers.
  • Don’t let your phone get too hot. Remove the case when charging overnight.
  • For the longest battery life possible, try to keep your battery between 50 and 80 percent.
  • Avoid letting phone battery completely discharge, and don’t charge it from 0 percent up to 100 percent too often.

 

Courtesy of  DIGITRENDS

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13 Oct
15 Aug

9 Ways to Lose Your Data

9 Ways to Lose Your Data

Every time I hear this , “Hey the database is almost crashing – and please we can’t have our data lost or the downtime affected,” I just smile and shake my head because to a layman  honestly,  technology is seriously difficult.

Ok to illustrate, here’s a collection of client stories i happen to get from the internet

1) The DBCC CHECKDB job ran every week just like it was supposed to – but it failed due to corruption every week. No one got email alerts because the SQL Agent mail was no longer valid – internal email server changes meant the mail was just piling up in SQL Server. CHECKDB had been failing for three years, longer than the backups were kept. Data was permanently lost.
2)  The DBA configured his backups to write to a file share. The sysadmins never understood they were supposed to back up that file share. When the DBA asked for a restore, he was surprised to find there were no backups.
3) Three SQL Servers were all replicating data to each other. When I asked the DBA where the backups were run, he looked at one server, then another, then the third. He sheepishly admitted – in front of his manager – that there were no backups done anywhere.
4) The DBA set up full backups daily, plus log backups of all databases in full recovery mode. Later, she put a few databases into simple recovery mode in order to fix an issue. She forgot to put them back into full recovery mode. When problems struck and she needed to recover a database, she lost all data back to the prior full backup.
5) The SQL Server ran out of space on the C drive. During emergency troubleshooting, someone deleted a bunch of BAK files. The server started up, but databases were offline and corrupt. Turned out the user databases were on the C drive, as were all of the backups – the very backups that were just deleted to free up space.
6) The DBA started getting odd corruption errors on one of his servers, then more, and quickly all of them. The SAN admin had flashed the storage with new firmware – which had a bug. The DBA was writing his backups to that same SAN, and sure enough, some of the corrupt databases had corrupt backups too.
7) The admin wanted to restore the production databases onto another server. He tried, but it kept saying the files were in use. He stopped the SQL Server service, deleted the files, started it again, and finally his restore worked – but his phone lit up. Turned out he’d remote desk topped into the wrong server – he was on production.
8) The developer did a deployment on Friday afternoon, tested it, and went home. However, the deployment had an UPDATE script that wrote invalid data to a percentage of the rows in a critical table. Over the weekend, people worked in that table, putting in valid data and changing some invalid data. On Monday, by the time the team figured out what had happened, the data in the table was a total mess – with real valuable data that shouldn’t be restored over.
9) The team built a complex Always Availability Groups infrastructure for really reliable databases, and full backups every night, and log backups every 4 hours. When someone accidentally issued a delete statement, that delete was instantly replicated across to the other replica. They could still recover back to a point in time – but it meant serious downtime for the AG since you can’t restore databases in an AG. While they debated what to do, more valid data went into their production database – meaning they could no longer simply do a point-in-time restore.

Each of these teams thought their data was safe.

They were wrong.

Kendra says: OK, I’ve got to admit it– I’ve been part of teams where we’ve fallen victim to more than one of these scenarios. And I work on teams with smart people! This can happen to you, look at these stories and your own environment slowly and carefully.

So if you are like me, a little precaution when it comes to saving your data is important: Things you must have on your phone record:

  • Disaster Data Rescue team ( You can count on us East African Data handlers )
  • Capital for Data recovery services ( This is like an insurance to safeguard your data )
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