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Kaspersky defends the Mac

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With the increasing number of threats aimed at the Mac OS, Kaspersky Lab has released the Kaspersky Security for Mac solution, designed to protect user’s personal data as well as offering parental control with a simplified user interface.

Kaspersky Lab announces Kaspersky Security for Mac, the all-new security solution designed to protect users of Apple computers from emerging threats. Kaspersky Security protects the Mac OS X environment from all kinds of threats, combining traditional security technologies with cloud-based methods and offering a rapid response to the latest dangers. Besides protecting computers from Mac-specific threats, the new solution also prevents Windows and Linux malware from spreading to other computers and, for the first time, provides an effective Parental Control feature set, protecting your kids from viewing inappropriate content online.

Mac Threat Landscape: Stable Growth with Significant Outbreaks:

Why should Apple computers be protected with a proper solution, offering the best-in-class protection against all types of threats? We at Kaspersky Lab think that the value of your personal data is the most significant reason. As the market share of Apple computers grows, cybercriminals are paying much more attention to it. The result is a steady growth in the number of malicious programmes for Macs, and a number of highly dangerous incidents that are emerging more often.

The most recent example is the Flashfake Trojan, which has turned at least 700,000 Mac computers into zombie machines meaning they could be controlled fully by the attacker. Considering the market share of 6 to 10% (depending on the source) for Mac computers, such a high number of infected computers from just one malicious program is a truly alarming fact. The rise of Flashfake started from a large number of hacked online blogs that criminals seeded with the malicious component. When visiting these blogs, users were prompted to update Adobe Flash Player a seemingly legitimate request. However the downloaded package exploited vulnerabilities in the installed software, resulting in a massive epidemic.

Apple’s reaction to similar threats in the past has been to release patches closing the software vulnerabilities however up to two months after the breach is discovered. Until that happens, a computer operating without a third-party security solution remains vulnerable.

New Protection Technologies:

Kaspersky Security for Mac utilises the latest protection technologies to better fight all types of threats, including Trojans, worms, spyware, adware and keyloggers. The file scanning module is activated during start-up and checks new and updated files automatically, minimising impact on system resources. The ability to detect and block Mac-, Windows- or Linux-specific malware also prevents the spread of malicious objects to other computers at home, or those belonging to friends and colleagues. The antivirus database is updated hourly to ensure protection against the latest threats, while cloud-based security technology reacts to the most recent malicious objects within minutes.

To provide even better protection, Kaspersky Security for Mac now provides Web Protection features that detect and block malicious, fraudulent and phishing websites and alert users about each online threat detected.

Anti-phishing technology makes your Mac more secure, especially when you are using online banking or payment services. To protect confidential data such as credit card numbers or passwords, Kaspersky Security introduces the Virtual Keyboard. It comes as an extension to the standard Safari browser and also works with Google Chrome and Firefox. Using this keyboard to enter sensitive information makes it impossible for criminals to intercept sensitive data using keyloggers. The keyboard pops up on screen at your request, and is accessible from all relevant password forms on web pages.

Feature-rich Parental Controls:

Parental Control is the latest addition to Kaspersky Lab’s new Mac product, providing a safe and regulated online experience for your children. Parents are able to set a time limit on their kids’ Internet activities, or specify the exact times each day when children are allowed to go online. Kaspersky Security for Mac will ensure that SafeSearch in search engines like Google will always be enabled, ensuring that only appropriate content will be displayed in search results.

Specific file types can be restricted for downloading when your child uses the computer. Of course, certain undesired websites may be blocked as well: either manually or by category. Moreover, Kaspersky Security monitors kids’ activity in social networks like Facebook. This feature allows parents to monitor who the child communicates with, and to restrict certain contacts or whole social networks. The extensive reporting functionality ensures that parents always know when and how their children use the World Wide Web.

Better performance and simplified user interface:

Overall, the new Kaspersky Security for Mac provides better performance and usability. Kaspersky Lab’s own set of iSwift technologies offers intelligent file scanning, checking only items which have been created or modified since the previous run. The revised user interface, with easy-to-understand settings and all necessary information in the main windows, makes it as user-friendly as possible.

Availability:

Kaspersky Security for Mac is currently available online at a Recommended Retail Price of approximately R509.58.

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Scammers cleaning up with gullible computer users

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Kaspersky experts have detected a two-fold rise in the number of users being attacked with fake system cleaners – fraudulent programmes designed to trick users into paying for alleged serious computer issues to be fixed. The number of users hit reached 1,456,219 in the first half of 2019, compared to just 747,322 for the same period in 2018. During this time, some of the attacks have become more sophisticated and dangerous.

A slow-working or poorly performing computer is a common complaint among PC users, and there are many legitimate tools available to solve such issues. However, alongside genuine system cleaners, there are fake ones developed by fraudsters that are designed to trick users into believing their computer is in critical danger, for example through memory overload, and needs immediate cleaning. The attackers then offer to provide such a service in return for payment. Kaspersky defines and detects such programmes as ‘hoax system cleaners’.

Upon receiving user permission and payment, the fraudsters install the hoax programmes that claim to clean the PC, but which often either do nothing or install adware – an annoying, but not critical, storm of unsolicited advertising – on the computer. Increasingly, however, the cybercriminals are using the installation of hoax cleaners to download or disguise malware such as Trojans or ransomware.

The countries most affected by attacks with hoax cleaners in the first half of 2019 show how geographically widespread the threat is; leading the list is Japan with 12% of affectedusers, followed by Germany (10%), Belarus (10%), Italy (10%) and Brazil (9%).

“We’ve been watching how the phenomenon of hoax cleaners has been growing for the last couple of years, and it is a curious threat. On the one hand, many samples that we have seen are spreading more widely and becoming more dangerous, evolving from a simple ‘fraudulent’ scheme into fully functioning and dangerous malware. On the other hand, they are so widespread and seemingly innocent, that it is much easier for them to trick users into paying for a service, rather than frightening them with screen blockers and other unpleasant malware. However, these two ways end up with the same results with users losing their money,” says Artemiy Ovchinnikov, security researcher at Kaspersky.

Kaspersky detects hoax system cleaners as:

Hoax.Win32.PCFixer.*

Hoax.Win32.PCRepair.*

Hoax.Win32.DeceptPCClean.*

Hoax.Win32.Optimizer.*

Hoax.MSIL.Optimizer.*

To avoid falling victim to hoax threats, Kaspersky researchers advise users to:

  • Always check that the PC services that you are about to adopt are legitimate and easy to understand. If it sounds confusing, use a search engine to find out more about the service as there may be a more detailed explanation available
  • Use a reliable security solution for comprehensive protection with a clean-up function for a wide range of threats and PC cleansing, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud.
  • If you are purposely looking for a PC cleaner, use reliable, IT-targeted sources of information for recommendations, with a long-built reputation and software reviews.

Read the full report on Kaspersky Daily.

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Trend Micro unveils security suite for Azure in Africa

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Cybersecurity leader Trend Micro Incorporated has announced highly optimised security solutions for Microsoft Azure workloads for customers in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Trend Micro Deep Security suite takes into consideration that a customer needs to approach cloud security differently than one would traditional security. As a result, it is fully optimised for Microsoft Azure. The suite ensures that a customer can tap into a solution that provides flexible, scalable protection of operating systems, applications, and data without slowing you down.

“Microsoft is an important partner to Trend Micro and as a result we have built a series of technologies that support their position in the cloud,” says Indi Siriniwasa, vice president at Trend Micro Sub-Saharan Africa. “Our security solutions are uniquely optimised for Microsoft Azure and complement Microsoft Azure Security Centre so customers across the world continue to turn to Trend Micro to help better secure their Azure real estate. With Microsoft Azure now available from new cloud regions in South Africa, customers can rest assured that we support the use of Microsoft to streamline provisioning of security for Windows virtual machines and SharePoint workloads. 

“This will help customers to ensure that their security follows them from their physical environment to the cloud and back again, customers can automate security with Microsoft PowerShell scripting to streamline provisioning of security for Windows virtual machines and SharePoint workloads plus many other orchestration tools for Azure, including Chef, Puppet, and RightScale, we can also help clients to better automate security control deployments.”

With Deep Security for Azure, businesses can detect and protect against intrusions as well as protect their business against serious vulnerabilities with intrusion detection and prevention (IDS/IPS). The solution will also help uncover suspicious changes to a system and immediately highlight and alert the business to these activities – without security admins having to manually sort through logs.

It also has the ability to keep malware off of workloads by using predictive machine learning mechanisms to detect unknown threats and prevalent attacks, so that a user can identify and then remove malware and blacklist domains known to be command-and-control (C&C) servers. Customers can also stop applications attached with IPS rules that block XSS or SQL attacks and other serious vulnerabilities until systems can be patched, as well as increase application visibility and control.

A particularly relevant feature within the South African context is that Deep Security is able to speed up a client’s route to PCI DSS compliance. The Deep Security solution allows a client to meet multiple PCI requirements with a single product, including intrusion detection and prevention, file integrity monitoring, and log inspection.

“Trend Micro’s integration with Microsoft Azure reduces the dependence on multiple point security tools, helping you to identify and address security and configuration issues quickly,” says Adwait Joshi, director, Azure Product Marketing at Microsoft Corp.

Trend Micro provided the following information:

Trend Micro’s Deep Security currently secures more servers globally than any other solution and specialises in protection for cloud and virtualised workload. It acts as part of the Trend Micro Hybrid Cloud Security solution, powered by XGen and provides comprehensive, flexible security for Azure workloads in a single product, so you can build new applications or move existing resources to the cloud with confidence.

Deep Security protects workloads by:

  • Defending against network threats with intrusion detection and prevention (IDS/IPS)
  • Immediately protecting against vulnerabilities like Shellshock and Heartbleed
  • Keeping malware off Windows and Linux workloads
  • Alerting when unplanned or suspicious changes are made to systems
  • Stopping SQL injection and XSS attacks on applications
  • Gaining visibility and control of elastic workloads with application control that fits DevOps

Local Trend Micro customers can also turn to the company’s Trend Micro Cloud App Security which is directly integrated into Office 365 via APIs. This includes advanced email protection, as well as compliance on third-party cloud file sharing services such as: Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business.

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