Notice A Malware Trend Accelerating? Sony… Staples… Target… Many More…

First of all, what is malware. Why should you know? 

You should be concerned if you own a Sony device, have shopped at Neiman Marcus, Home Depot, Target, eaten at P.F. Changs or done any transactions at any business. Do you review your monthly bank statements? If you believe the wikipedia definition of malware it is “software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems” think twice.

This is an incomplete statement.

I would augment that statement and say that malware can also be used to expose, make public and send information to nefarious parties without the recipient knowing what is going on. And then wipe out its existence.

While malware has been around for a long time its use has accelerated in recent years and especially this year. North Korea pretty much demanded that they partner with the US to track down the culprits of the attack on Sony while at the same time the FBI and independent security analysts say that the attack came from North Korea or one of its estimated 1,800 cyber-terrorists at home and abroad.

Just recently, Staples reported what appears to be a malware attack effecting the lives of more than one million customers. It appears the following was stolen: full names, credit card numbers, expiration dates, CVC data. Who cares if they didn’t get addresses. Just tune into Google, Bing, Facebook and and a hacker gets to fill in the holes.

Side point: your date of birth? If you fill it in on Facebook or the world has knowledge to your date of birth. That is pretty obvious. It is silly to post such things. If you feel compelled to give people your general age use January 1st as your DOB and fill in the year. However, know that there are a finite number of guesses to get your actual date of birth this way; how many days are there in a year…

Below is some info from The Wall Street Journal. But lastly, if you get an email that looks even slightly suspicious, if you are tempted to download a file or software that looks even slightly suspicious, if your computer is running slow, if something is out of the ordinary – call your IT contact immediately – it could save your business a lot of money. I suggest you google Sony to see how much they stand to lose over this whole debacle.

“The theft at Staples is the latest in a parade of high-profile attacks on big U.S. retail chains over the past year. The biggest ones were on Home Depot Inc. over this spring which affected 56 million card accounts and a year ago at Target Corp. , in which hackers stole information from 40 million cards.”

Staples first acknowledged the data breach in October but said that it was detected in mid-September at which time the retailer took action to eradicate the malware. A spokesman declined to say how the company’s systems were infected or which outside data security firm it used to conduct an investigation. The company has been working with law enforcement.” –

Jock Pereira | | | 978-666-4000

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