Antivirus and CPU Cooler. Wait, what???

 

  • CPU Cooler
  • Junk Cleaner
  • RAM Booster
  • Battery Saver
  • Game Master
  • Notification Cleaner
  • Wi-Fi Speed Test

… and so on.

Lately, we have seen the Google Play Store filled with a mix of Antivirus -Optimization Tools. There are dozens of features that Antivirus applications have. The ones you see listed above are one of them.

However, these features have nothing to do with protection at all. They are just little helpers for users to make them feel like they did something for their device.

Actually, they do nothing, sometimes they can even make the situation worse.

For example, RAM Booster kills your application to make your phone look faster. However, you will run those applications again and again. Most Operating Systems have the same feature to kill unnecessary applications.

Another example is the Junk Cleaner which deletes your caches. In the first few minutes, your device will be faster but later on, the Internet connection will be required more and more to re-download those cached files.

What is our point here?

Antiviruses should protect users and solve their infection problems. They should not spend any time on those unrelated features. The vendors can release such products but they should be connected with a security application.

Nowadays, we have major issues and big security problems but unfortunately, AV vendors try to solve optimization issues instead of security issues. The developer term for that situation is premature optimization.

Let us know your thoughts.

Release notes: In 2019 let’s clean that malware, shall we?

Maybe last year we have been quiet but this year we will be loud. So, we yell:

  • REMOVE that malware
  • MAKE that PC clean
  • WE want a fast scan
  • WE don’t want malware!

You know how they say, send out positive energy to the universe and the universe will give you back more. Well, we don’t know if that sh*t works, but we know that when we listen to our users we build and work better.

So, we did that. In the past 12 months, we have been working heavily on our new product that contains all the suggestions you had been sending us over the years.

All these suggestions, hard work, and blood sweat and tears of Zemana team are packed in software named Zemana AntiMalware 3.0 Beta.

Why 12 months you ask? We developed this product from scratch. Everything you see is brand new, developed with the spirits of young 20+ people eager to satisfy their users.

Ok, less talk and more action. Let us show you what we did:

Super Scan Speed

One of the most recognizable and favorite traits of our Zemana 2.0 was its fast scanner. It was designed to scan your PC in less than 5 min. But this time, we went even further.

We improved the scanning speed of ZAM 3.0 by decreasing it to 20 sec.

Sure, this depends on the state of your device.

Improved Detection

A bunch of our users wrote to us and expressed their discontent with our detection rate and removal efficiency in ZAM 2.0. So, it became obvious we needed to work on this feature.

We raised to the latest trends in technology and with the help of deep learning methods we successfully enhanced this part of our product.

Scanning in Safe Mode

Safe Mode scanning feature was not available in ZAM 2.0. Therefore, you will be happy to learn that we implemented this feature. From now on, with ZAM 3.0, you will be able to scan your PC in Safe Mode without any problems. We wrote more stuff about safe mode here.

Out with the Old, In with the New

We also gave a new, fresh look to our ZAM 3.0. We made the user interface simpler, friendlier, much more engaging, and effective in meeting your needs.

But there is one more very important part of Zemana AntiMalware 3.0 Beta.

We put our product road-map in your hands

We faced the reality and we like this new reality a lot. We listen to you guys, we talk, we implement what you like, we solve your problems. You are happy and we are even happier.

How did we do that?

We added a special Feedback section that appears after you perform a scan.

Here, you will be able to tell us:

  • if the product was successful in solving your problems or not
  • what kind of issues you experienced
  • what features you would like to see in the next versions of the product
  • basically, anything you want to tell us. You can even drop us a simple Hi.

We put our product road-map in your hands. You are the ones who will lay foundations and then it is up to us to craft and improve the product based on that foundation.

Transparent (Openness)

Being transparent and open about everything across the company is a new way of life at Zemana.

All our actions here at Zemana will be totally transparent and available to you. So, since this post is about Zemana AntiMalware, we would like to mention here that all development steps for this product will be open to you.

We have created a public board where you can see all bug reports, feature requests, ideas, feedbacks and many more. No need to describe it further, you can see it by yourself here.

New Way

Today is a big day for us. We are entering a new era for Zemana with a clear and straightforward vision.

Using our products should be simple, easy and satisfying. They should help you and solve your problems. We realized that the only way to grow is together with our users.

So, what now? Download Zemana AntiMalware 3.0 Beta and let’s rock.

Facebook Account Mysteriously Hacked: The Police Was Not Able To Help

As we all know, social media can take all our free time and even create addiction.  This was the case with one Australian software support specialist, who recently decided to deactivate her Facebook account precisely to fight her social media addiction.

However, several months later, the account mysteriously appeared.

Different Password

According to 9news.com, an Australian website, Louise tried to login to her account, but she realized that the password has been changed. She was confused at first but eventually decided to forget about it.

The matter would have probably stayed forgotten if other two strange circumstances hadn’t happened. Few months later, Louise realized that she can’t access her other Facebook account either. This caused more confusion, so she decided to check her Instagram account.

This is when she realized that her Instagram account has been lost.

It Didn’t Stop There

This time she couldn’t just drop the matter and forget about it. Her active accounts have been lost and inaccessible. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there.

One day, after a short travel, she needed to check her emails but while trying to assign in to her account, she realized that somebody changed her password. At this point, it was rather obvious that someone hacked all her accounts.

The most frightening part was that they did this to try to gain access to her bank and Centrelink accounts.

 “There was also an address changed on my Centrelink account to an address that I have never heard of in my life.”

No Help From Facebook

Louise’s friends informed everyone on their social media profiles that Louise’s accounts have been hacked. Louise also wrote to Facebook and explained her situation, hoping the could help her.

The only idea that came to her mind was to write a private message to her hacked account. So, she did it. Several hours later, her message was read, which only proved that there was someone using her account and watching all her photos and conversations.

“This person was seeing everything – clear copies of my bank details, cards, visa and passport details, copies of drivers’ license, Medicare – and more over personal images and messages.”

391054-PCEIQK-500

No Help From The Police

The only thing left to do was contact the police. Louise reported the matter to Queensland police, but their answer brought no comfort. They told her they cannot help her because the issue was not under their jurisdiction.

Desperate, Louise then turned to ACORN (Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network) and ID CARE, the national identity and cyber support service, hoping they would take the matter more seriously.

Unfortunately, this was not the case. They too gave no assistance.

Help Comes at Last

The website 9news.com, found out about Louise’s case and decided to help her out. They contacted Facebook and received a reply from them and managed to regain Louise’s accounts in 48 hours.

Louise was grateful for this but frustrated at the same time because even though the news website was able to help her, how come the police and the government agencies couldn’t?

It Can Happen to Anyone

According to 9new.com, Louise wanted her experience to be a warning to others.

“I’m not a naive person when it comes to the dark side of the cyber world. I did my certificates in Information Technology, I work in the IT industry, I take all the security measures available like an antivirus program, regular scanning of my computer, not clicking on emails or links that look suspicious, changing my passwords often.”

“I know there are people out there that aren’t as aware as I am and are even more of a vulnerability than myself, yet they still got me.”

Conclusion

When it comes to social media accounts, keep in mind that your deactivated accounts are in same danger as your active accounts. Deactivation implies that even though the account is in no longer in active use the data is still there. The same goes for old accounts that may have been forgotten.

 

 

 

 

Modern Day Assassination Tool: Spyware

What is Spyware?

As the name itself suggests, spyware is a malicious software used to spy on someone’s privacy. It can be used to capture data through screenshots or webcam captures. Another common way is through a technique called keylogging. This technique allows the malicious software to record every keystroke made by the user, which means it can steal your passwords, credentials or any other confidential information.

It is often used to record your phone calls as well or steal your phone contacts information. The use of spyware increased rapidly in 2017 by 30%. Modern day criminals are using this piece of malware as a tool in performing different attacks, including assassinations.

Hiding in the Background

Spyware is not easy to detect because it hides in the background. Many people don’t have a clue that someone is watching them or recording their data right at this moment. However, there are some indicators that can tell you if this threat is hidden somewhere on your device. You PC or mobile device could slow down or freeze from time to time, but this doesn’t have to happen necessarily.

Khashoggi Murder

Few days ago, US whistle-blower, Edward Snowden stated that Saudi Arabia used Israeli spyware to track and murder Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Snowden claimed that Saudi used software that was designed by Israeli cyber intelligence company to track and target Khashoggi, which lead to his murder on 2 October inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

He believes that there is no way Saudi Arabia could have known Khashoggi’s plans and movements without using the technology developed by NSO Group Technologies. This company is known for developing the “Pegasus” software which can be used to remotely infect a target’s mobile phone and then relay back data accessed by the device.

It has already been revealed that Saudi Arabia used Pegasus software in October to eavesdrop on Khashoggi’s friend, a 27-year-old Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz, who was a prominent critic of the Saudi government on social media. The revelation was made by the Canadian research group Citizen Lab. They proved that the software had been used to hack Abdulaziz’ iPhone between June and August this year.

Snowden also reminded everyone that Israel is routinely at the top of the US’ classified threat list of hackers along with Russia and China.

Increased Usage of Spyware

In his speech, Snowden emphasized that Mexico used NSO Group’s most notorious software to target journalists. It is believed that the Mexican government started using the Pegasus software in 2011, which coincided with a dramatic increase in the assassinations of Mexican journalists.

In 2017, Mexico was rated as the second-deadliest country for journalists in the world just behind war-torn Syria due to the high number of murders.

The NSO Group responded directly to Snowden’s claims with assertions that it only sells Pegasus software to clients on the condition that it be exclusively used to investigate or prevent crime and terrorism.

A Killing Device or a Protection Tool?

Even though, NSO Group claims their software is used in preventive purposes, the evidence does not support this claim.

There are many organizations who do not use spyware because they believe these tools and practices cross a legal line. However, not everyone shares this viewpoint. Lobbyists are trying actively to prevent anti-spyware regulation.

Therefore, one question keeps rising. Do governments use this sophisticated software to target dissidents and members of the press rather than criminals or terrorists?

 

A Leading Media Company, Media Prima Attacked by Ransomware

Ransomware Hits Again

It seems the situation is not getting any better because there are more and more major companies and networks reporting to have been victims of ransomware attacks.

The most recent one is Malaysia’s leading media company, Media Prima, a company that runs TV, radio channels, newspapers and digital media. In the past four days, its computer systems have been breached and infected with ransomware. The attackers are demanding 1 000 bitcoins, which is around US$6.45 million.

How Does Ransomware Work?

When a ransomware attacks occurs, it encrypts all your system and your files until you pay the ransom. You get instructions on the screen on how to do it. The payment is done in Bitcoin. Many pay he ransom in hopes of retreating their data.

However, usually there is a timer attached to the Ransomware lock that ticks down to when the files become lost forever. Yes, this happens too. Ransomware can start destroying all the keys required for decryption if you don’t pay the ransom by given deadline.

Aside from offsite backups, there are no alternatives available today to recover the files without paying the ransom – and once the keys are destroyed, the files are gone forever.

Latest News

Latest information show that this attack was most probably designed specially to target Media Prima. We don’t have the exact information on whether Media Prima’s data has been breached, and whether the media group would be suffering financial losses due to the ransomware attack.

Some sources claim that Media Prima’s office email has been affected but that the company has migrated the email to another system. For now, Media Prima is not considering paying the ransom.

Businesses: Ransomware’s New Target

Ransomware attacks are getting more agile, complex and widespread. They have increasingly started targeting businesses of all sizes in all sectors, rather than consumers.

One of the attackers’ most common and favorite ways to spread ransomware is by sending malicious emails to employees of the company. Once they open the email or sometimes even click on the link in the email, the ransomware starts automatically downloading in the background.

The ease with which it can be shared, and spread is precisely one of the reasons why ransomware is becoming more and more popular among cyber criminals. Attacks have been spread to mobile devices through the help of different banking Trojans.

We cannot emphasize and highlight enough the importance of individual companies educating their own employees on how to identify a ransomware attack before becoming a victim.

Luck is not something you should rely on when it comes to ransomware because it can happen to any company. The consequences can be potentially catastrophic, because such an attack could destroy business if offline backups haven’t been stored.

Ransomware Turning Into a Business

The ransomware distribution techniques are running like a business today. Developing, buying, selling, trading and distributing different ransomware variants enabled hackers to create micro-economies that turned into a global network. The main reason for this is the fact that hackers realized they can get huge sums of money this way.

This image was designed by Vectorpocket and can be found at https://www.freepik.com

Created by Vectorpocket – Freepik.com

Protect Yourself in Time

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should not wait for ransomware to attack you or your business. Protect your corporate network as well as your home devices in time. Install a necessary antivirus solution and enhance your protection with an anti-malware solution, that will serve as an additional layer of your protection.

Together, they will detect any suspicious behavior on your devices and block it immediately, keeping your data safe from anyone who wants to invade your privacy and keeping you from becoming another victim.

New Wave of Browser Hijackers

New Phishing Campaign

A new phishing campaign that was redirecting users to a browser hijacker has been discovered recently. The attackers used fake alert messages to trick the users into thinking they are infected with malware. After that, scared users called the number that was shown in the notifications asking for technical support to help them remove malware. Unfortunately, they were paying for unnecessary technical support.

Phishing Emails

It all starts with a user receiving an email asking them to click on the box to display a message. The message in the email is often designed to convince you that you are infected with malware. Apart form the message, there is a technical support phone number as well.

If you click on it, you might be redirected to a website and tricked into providing your credentials. Meanwhile, the malware shifts the browser to a full-screen display and does not allow users to close the fake outlook page.

Since both home and business users use email every day and rely on it, experts believe that this new phishing campaign targeted both groups.

Namecheap Domain Names

According to experts, the domains used by the attackers to send the phishing email were all purchased from Namecheap. Namecheap provides services on the domain name registration and offers domain names that are registered to third parties for sale.

Why Do Browser Hijackers Pose Such a Threat?

Browser hijackers are one of the most common threats in today’s online world. Many with not enough technical background often don’t even realize they have been infected with it. This is precisely why browser hijacking can be very dangerous.

How Can I Recognize It?

Whenever a software tries to modify your browser settings, default search engine or homepage, you are infected with a browser hijacker. It performs the changes without your permission. Browser hijackers also redirect you to websites you don’t want to visit with the sole purpose of trying to trick you into giving out your credentials.

It often comes in the form of an adware, displaying annoying ads on your screen making it difficult for you to close them. There are high chances you will even accidentally if not on purpose click on the ad and be redirected to a website that you don’t want to visit. There you might be asked to share your email address or your financial credentials.

How Can I Protect Myself From Browser Hijackers?

Here are some necessary steps you need to take to ensure your protection:

  1. Update your OS and your browser software
  2. Install an antivirus and antimalware protection
  3. Use your antivirus software’s “Real-time protection” feature
  4. Don’t click on suspicious links in your emails
  5. Be suspicious of free programs (double check how secure and legit it really is)

How To Remove Browser Hijackers?

Removing a browser hijacker is often a rigorous process. It’s best to start with your browser and work your way to your operating system to see how far-reaching the browser hijacker is.

We advise you to remove suspicious and unnecessary toolbars and extensions. After that, you can close your browser and restart your computer.

Once your computer has restarted, check if that what you removed is still gone. If it is, change your browser settings — default search engine, homepage, etc. — and everything will return to normal. If you’re still being redirected or an extension won’t uninstall, you’ll have to go deeper.

In That Case, Install Zemana AntiMalware

Zemana AntiMalware had been known as the best tool on the market to help you detect and remove browser hijackers. It has always been highly efficient in this and the best thing is that you can download it for free (it comes with 15-days free trial).

However, if you decide to continue using the Trial and do not wish to purchase the Premium subscription at the end of the trial, your Zemana AntiMalware program will disable premium features. All other (basic) features will remain unchanged.

zma english UI

Stay safe with Zemana! 🙂

GDPR in the Cyber Security World

What Is GDPR?

We have all heard talks about GDPR. But some of you might still have questions about what it really is. In this blog post, we are going to explain shortly what GDPR is all about. Later, in our future posts, you will be able to learn more about it.

General Data Protection Regulation is a European privacy regulation that is going to be implemented on May 25, 2018, across the entire EU and EEA region.

Why Do We Need It?

GDPR will provide citizens with better control over their personal data and giving them certainty that their information is being protected. They will have an insight to how their data is used, and they will know who has access to their data. Every gathering of data by companies will be possible only if an individual has been informed about it.

To implement GDPR, companies should constantly invest in their technology to improve their security against cyber-attacks, rapidly detect and respond to malicious threats, and minimize security risks.

GDPR will give people more power over their personal data. On the other hand, it will decrease the power of some organizations who collect and use such data for monetary gain. Even though GDPR does create challenges and efforts for companies, it also creates opportunities.

Will It Be Difficult For Companies to Adjust to These Requirements?

For many companies it will probably be difficult. However, they will have to adjust because EU has set up very tough penalties for all those companies that do not comply – a fine of 20 million euros.