Canadian researchers find Windows bugs, watch for fake URLs and more
Welcome to Cyber Security Today. It’s Friday October 15th. I’m Howard Solomon, contributing writer on cybersecurity for ITWorldCanada.com.
Earlier this week Microsoft released its latest patches for Windows. One of them fixed the last of seven vulnerabilities found by a Canadian managed detection and response firm called Field Effect. With patches for all seven now available Field Effect felt comfortable releasing details. Collectively the vulnerabilities have been dubbed Blackswan. The six zero day vulnerabilities and one information leak date back to Windows Visa, which was released in 2007. Therefore almost every one of the 1.3 billion Windows computers could be hacked. Warned about the problem, Microsoft issued fixes in July and September, with the last hole plugged on Tuesday. Now that word about these vulnerabilities is out its imperative that Windows administrators and users at home install the latest security updates.
A report this week underscores the importance of carefully watching the links you click on and the websites they take you to. The report by researchers at HP Wolf Security recounts how crooks set up a phony website that looked like a real one run by the Ugandan National Social Security Fund. The real website is nssfug.org. The fake website was nssfuq.org. The attackers were hoping people wouldn’t see the one-letter difference in the web address. The goal of the scam is to get victims to download a supposed Microsoft Word document pretending to be a member statement. It’s another lesson in doing everything slowly when you handle email and text messages.
This report also warns that crooks don’t always use email or text messages for spreading malware. They also use legitimate services that allow users to upload and share files. One of them is the Discord messaging site. Think twice every time you download a file.
Linux administrators may be interested to know there’s now a Linux version of the Windows Sysmon monitoring utility. However, it will take more than clicking a button to use it. Linux users will have to compile the program themselves.
Finally, don’t forget later today the week in review edition will be available. Today Dinah Davis of Arctic Wolf and I will talk about Australia’s proposed new laws to fight ransomware.
Remember links to details about podcast stories are in the text version at ITWorldCanada.com. That’s where you’ll also find other stories of mine.
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