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20 Aug

Why CEO’s Shouldn’t Ignore the Human Factor in Cyber Security in Kenya

Why CEO’s Shouldn’t Ignore the Human Factor in Cyber Security in Kenya

In this era and with the world COVID pandemic, the majority of CEO’s are still taking cyber security requirements too lightly leading to serious consequences. The human element is still playing the biggest role in rendering most businesses vulnerable to cyber security threats and attacks. A recent study conducted by Kaspersky Lab on over 5,000 businesses around the globe revealed that about 52% (which is more than half) of businesses believe they are at risk from within. This is to say, the staff, either intentionally or unintentionally through acts of carelessness or lack of knowledge put the businesses they work for at great risk of cyber-related threats. 

Kenya is not exceptional when it comes to cyber risks, therefore CEO’s ought to be aware of how easy it is for employees or the human factor to impact a company’s security by exposing the companies to security breaches. On many occasions, the same employees can be used as the attack vectors by being careless or uninformed hence becoming prone to threats such as phishing and social engineering since they do not know how to spot the difference between a legitimate application or fake one to lure them opening a malicious malware or virus application.

It is very important for businesses not to consider policies alone as a way of covering cyber-related risks since not all policies are always followed. CEO’s therefore should consider solutions that provide more visibility and centralized security management of corporate networks, regular employee awareness training on cyber security so that they can be conscious of the impacts if they are ignoring the risk, they are exposing the company by their null or negative actions to safeguard the company data.

Any individual with access to an organization’s systems and data is a potential vulnerability. Most if not all of the high-profile corporate security incidents and breaches involve a human error or intentional, malicious actions. This is because many of them are usually successful cyber-attacks from external attackers who take advantage of the human weaknesses to lure insiders within organizations to provide them with access to sensitive company information. 

Below are the Human Factor Strategies to consider for your organization

  1. Cyber workforce development:  Build a cyber workforce, capable of rising to the challenge of cyber security through recruiting and retaining efforts. 
  2. Training and awareness: Take a fresh look at information security training & awareness efforts; provide immersive learning opportunities to reinforce behavior change.
  3. Stakeholder and leadership engagement: Set up partnerships with leadership across organizations and ensure that leadership engages and supports cyber security programs.
  4. Finance Security initiatives: Organizations must also adopt more comprehensive strategies and increase their cyber security budgets. Of most importance is the adoption of threat intelligence which is not only based on technology but also human expertise. Threat intelligence systems usually automate the process of identifying important attacks out of vast data, tracking events as they occur with a real-time analysis that monitors the behavior of software, systems, and the human factory to detect a malicious incident. All this has to be planned with a budget in mind.

Do you need a cyber security training or the implementation of threat intelligence systems? 

Call East African Data Handlers today ( +254 0711 051 000) remember your employees urgently need an online cyber security training to protect themselves and the company data against any cyber-attacks. Remember by making employees aware of security threats, how they might present, and what procedures to follow when a threat is identified, you‘re indeed strengthening the most vulnerable links in the chain.

Did you know that Threat Intelligence also enables organizations to draw on evidence-based knowledge, including but not limited to the context, mechanisms, indicators, implications, and actionable advice, about an existing or emerging menace or hazard? Since the event is logged, Threat Intelligence platforms provide forensic data that can be used to conduct the root cause analysis by determining the patterns, predict possible attacks and attack vectors, and help to prevent future attacks.

Did you recently experience a data breach? Get in touch with us today so that we can help you discover when, how, who, and why the breach was successful.  Call now ( +254 0711 051 000) 

The most effective strategy is therefore to recreate an actual working environment and putting employees amid a very real cyber-attack that they must defend against. 

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20 Feb

Chinese Spyware Pre-Installed on All Samsung Phones (& Tablets)

Chinese Spyware Pre-Installed on All Samsung Phones (& Tablets)

The reddit user throws light on the Samsung’s involvement with Qihoo 360,

I know the title is rather sensational, however it couldn’t get any closer to the truth.

For those who are too busy to read the whole post, here’s the TL;DR version: The storage scanner in the Device Care section is made by a super shady Chinese data-mining/antivirus company called Qihoo 360. It comes pre-installed on your Samsung phone or tablet, communicates with Chinese servers, and you CANNOT REMOVE it (unless using ADB or other means).

This is by no means signaling hate toward Samsung. I have ordered the Galaxy S10+ once it’s available in my region and I’m very happy with it. I have been a long time lurker on r/samsung and r/galaxys10 reading tips and tricks about my phone. However, I want to detail my point of view on this situation.

For those who don’t know, there’s a Device Care function in Settings. For me, it’s very useful for optimizing my battery usage and I believe most users have a positive feedback about this addition that Samsung has put in our devices. With that being said, I want to go into details regarding the storage cleaner inside Device Care.

If you go inside the Storage section of Device Care, you’ll see a very tiny printed line “powered by 360”. Those in the west may not be familiar with this company, but it’s a very shady company from China that has utilized many dirty tricks to attempt getting a larger market share. Its antivirus (for PC) is so notorious that it has garnered a meme status in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other Chinese speaking countries’ Internet communities. For example, 360 Antivirus on PC would ACTIVELY search for and mark other competitors’ products as a threat and remove them. Others include force installation of 360’s browser bars, using misleading advertisements (e.g. those ‘YOUR DEVICE HAS 2 VIRUSES, DOWNLOAD OUR APP TO SCAN NOW’ ads). These tactics has even got the attention of the Chinese government, and several court cases has already been opened in China to address 360’s terrible business deeds. (On the Chinese version of Wikipedia you can read further about the long list of their terrible misconducts, but there’s already many on its English Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qihoo_360).

If the company’s ethics are not troublesome enough, let me introduce you to the ‘Spyware’ allegation I made in the title. A news report from the Chinese government’s mouthpiece ChinaDaily back in 2017 reveals 360’s plan to partner up with the government to provide more big data insights. In another Taiwanese news report back in 2014, 360’s executive even admits that 360 would hand the data over to the Chinese government whenever he is asked to in an interview (https://www.ithome.com.tw/news/89998). The Storage scanner on your phone have full access to all your personal data (since it’s part of the system), and by Chinese laws and regulations, would send these data to the government when required.

With that in mind, for those who know intermediate computer networking, I setup a testing environment on my laptop with Wireshark trying to capture the packets and see what domains my phone are talking to. I head over to Device Care’s storage section and tapped update database (this manual update function seems to be missing from One UI 2.0), and voila, I immediately saw my phone communicating to many Chinese servers (including 360 [dot] cn, wshifen [dot] com). I have collected the packets and import them into NetworkMiner, here’s the screenshot of the domains: https://imgur.com/EtfInqv. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to parse what exactly was transferred to the servers, since it would require me to do a man in a middle attack on my phone which required root access (and rooting seemed to be impossible on my Snapdragon variant). If you have a deeper knowledge about how to parse the encrypted packets, please let me know.

Some may say that it’s paranoia, but please think about it. Being the digital dictatorship that is the Chinese government, it can force 360 to push an update to the storage scanner and scan for files that are against their sentiment, marking these users on their “Big Data platform”, and then swiftly remove all traces through another update. OnePlus has already done something similar by pushing a sketchy Clipboard Capturer to beta versions of Oxygen OS (which compared clipboard contents to a ‘badword’ list), and just call it a mistake later. Since it’s close source, we may really know what’s being transmitted to the said servers. Maybe it was simply contacting the servers for updates and sending none of our personal data, but this may change anytime (considering 360’s notorious history).

I discovered that the Device Care could not even be disabled in Settings. I went ahead and bought an app called PD MDM (not available on Play Store) and it can disable builtin packages without root (by abusing Samsung’s Knox mechanism, I assume). However I suffered a great battery performance loss by disabling the package, since the battery optimizer is also disabled too.

After a bit of digging, the storage cleaning in Device Care seemed to be present for a long time, but I’m not sure since which version of Android. It previously seemed to be handled by another sketchy Chinese company called JinShan (but that’s another story), but got replaced by 360 recently.

Personally, I’m extremely disappointed in Samsung’s business decision. I didn’t know about 360 software’s presence on my phone until I bought it, and no information was ever mentioned about 360 in the initial Setup screen. I could have opted for a OnePlus or Xiaomi with the same specs and spending much less money, but I chose Samsung for its premium build quality, and of course, less involvement from the Chinese government. We, as consumers, paid a premium on our devices, but why are we exposed to the same privacy threats rampant on Chinese phone brands? I get it that Samsung somehow has to monetize their devices with partnerships, but please, partner with a much more reputable company. Even Chinese’s Internet users show a great distrust about the Qihoo 360 company, how can we trust this shady and sketchy company’s software running on our devices?

This is not about politics, and for those who say ‘USA is doing the same, why aren’t you triggered?’, I want to clarify that, no, if the same type of behavior is observed on USA companies, I will be equally upset. As for those who have the “nothing to hide” mentality, you can buy a Chinese phone brand anytime you like. That is your choice. We choose Samsung because we believe it stand by its values, but this is a clear violation of this kind of trust.

If you share the same concern, please, let our voices be heard by Samsung. I love Reddit and I believe it’s a great way to get the community’s attention about this issue. Our personal data is at great risk.
To Samsung, if you’re reading this, please 1.) Partner with an entirely different company or 2.) At least make the Storage scanner optional for us. We really like your devices, please give us a reason to continue buying them.

Temporary Solution and Concern to note also.

Just in case in all the apps you’ve downloaded you spot ads , please note  also the developers of those apps are sharing and selling your data as part of adverts, nothing personal so to speak but those terms and conditions we all ignore to read before installing or are made difficult to locate where the links are. This is what screws everyone for ignoring them. Please read and know what you are bound to or about to give conceit for them to access.

The authorized system tracks or monitor your browser history, apps, the  music you listen or even stuff you normally buy on Amazon, eBay or even in google and to make matters worse triangulate your location. Well this is the future of A.I for big data being sold shared and sold out by the giants.

Solution: As a temporary solution, change all your settings for your apps, clear your browser’s history, daily clean all your cache’s out, delete apps you don’t use or need. Please read the terms before installing. This will minimize your exposure.

Contact us now:

Call now 0711 051 000. We are the Data recovery Experts in Kenya and Africa.  We also do digital forensics.
Do not Suffer in Silence we can help.  We are located at Chiromo Court 3rd floor Nairobi Kenya.

 

This blog is Courtesy of Reddit.com

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04 Dec

Cyber Criminals Are Using YouTube To Install Cryptojacking Malware

Cyber Criminals Are Using YouTube To Install Cryptojacking Malware

 At East African Data Handlers we have discovered that the  Slovakian software security firm Eset  uncovered that cyber criminals  are behind Cryptojacking Malware, the Stantinko botnet which has been distributed as a Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency mining module via Youtube.

We wish to warn the public to be careful. Further research indicate that, On Nov. 26, the major antivirus software supplier Eset reported that the Stantinko botnet operators have expanded their criminal reach from click fraud, ad injection, social network fraud and password stealing attacks, into installing Cryptojacking Malware on victims’ devices using Youtube.

Stantinko botnet has been active since at least 2012

The Stantinko botnet, which has been active since at least 2012 and predominantly targets users in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, reportedly uses YouTube channels to distribute its Cryptojacking Malware module, which mines the privacy-focused crypto coin Monero on the CPUs of unsuspecting victims.

This cryptocurrency-stealing malware has reportedly infected around 500,000 devices, and is similar to the recently discovered malicious malware, Dexphot, malware discovered by Microsoft that has already infected more than 80,000 computers.

These crypto-hijacking codes steal processing resources, take over legitimate system processes and disguise the nefarious activity with the ultimate goal of running a crypto miner on the infected devices.

Eset informed YouTube, which reportedly responded by removing all the channels that contained traces of Stantinko’s code.

Malware on Monero’s official website was stealing crypto

In November, Monero’s core development team said that the software available for download on Monero’s official website might have been compromised to steal cryptocurrency. A professional investigator going by the name of Serhack confirmed that the software distributed after the server was compromised was indeed malicious:

“I can confirm that the malicious binary is stealing coins. Roughly 9 hours after I ran the binary a single transaction drained the wallet. I downloaded the build yesterday around 6pm Pacific time.”

 Be warned of this trend that  is now slowly coming to Africa. 

Courtesy of https://cointelegraph.com/

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