The Good, The Bad and the Browser Extension
When downloading files from the internet, many of us have a healthy suspicion of what we are downloading. We can check the file name and run scans on downloads to ensure integrity of the download. However, these healthy habits do not translate over to browser extensions for many of us. Extensions are very easy to add on, and seem safe enough. Unfortunately many companies have been exposed to be pre-loading their extensions with tracking software. These companies then sell your browsing history to the highest bidder. The website “How to Geek” exposed multiple extensions and add-ons that have known trackers built in, check out the somewhat outdated list here. If you are using an extension that is on the list, delete it.
If you would like to download a beneficial add on that lists and blocks all trackers on any website you visit, join the 2 million people already using Ghostery. Ghostery will show you every tracker, including Google, attempting to mine your data. Keep your browsing history and personal data safe and secure with these quick solutions.
Contact ITDATA today if you are in need of higher level internet security.
Zachery Albeitawi
Help Desk Technician, ITDATA, Inc.

Tips and Techniques

An Attempt to Capture Credentials

If you receive an email with the subject “VALIDATION Required for” with a “Continue with Verification” link that redirects you to what appears to be a Google Sign In page, do not click on the embedded link or enter your information.
A member of our team recently received a phishing email appearing to be from Google, requesting verification.
This is an attempt to harvest log in credentials.  Take note of the “From” line in the phishing email.  Both Google and gmail in the email address are spelled incorrectly.  The salutation is from “The Adrnin tearn” instead of “The Admin Team.”
Noticing these small details can be helpful in spotting phishing emails and avoiding being scammed.
Please share this alert with your business colleagues that you think could be affected. If you are unsure of how this email phishing tactic pertains to your company, feel free to contact us to receive more information.

Security Insights

Having Trouble Viewing Streams in Internet Explorer?
If you have experienced issues with streaming video in Internet Explorer 11 in Youtube or elsewhere on the internet, you are not alone. If you have to be in Internet Explorer to run a certain application for work, this can be a frustrating issue to deal with. One quick fix is to enable ActiveX Filtering. This will block certain apps and content from loading in the browser. By default ActiveX filtering is turned off. Enable it by going to tools- scroll down to the ActiveX filtering tab and release to enable. Restart Internet Explorer and hopefully your stream now works.
If you can pinpoint when the issue started occurring you may be able to narrow it down to an Adobe Flash upgrade. Before you revert back to an older version of Flash that you know worked, first make sure there is not a newer update that you need to install first. Adobe usually catches these issues and will release a patched version so check to make sure before you revert back. If you end up needing to revert back, check out Adobe’s guide here.  To see which version you have installed click the gear icon a the top right and scroll down to “Manage Add-ons”. Click on “ Toolbar and Extensions and click on “Shockwave Flash Object”. You should be able to see the version listed at the bottom.
Another solution is to turn off Enhanced protected Mode in Internet Options. Go to the gear icon in the upper right hand corner and click on Internet options. Click on the Advanced tab and then scroll down to the Enable Enhanced protected Mode check box.
The last option is to add the website you are having problems with to the Compatibility View Settings list. To do this go back to the gear icon and choose Compatibility view settings. Add the website you are using. If you are stuck using IE for a specific application and are not able to use it, try these solutions to be able to view your stream.
For more information about how we setup networks to avoid small glitches like this  Contact ITDATA today.
Zachery Albeitawi
Help Desk Technician, ITDATA, Inc.

Tips and Techniques

Ensure File Integrity by Comparing Hashes

Downloading a program off of the internet these days is all too easy. Often times you may go through two or more websites trying to find a good file that is not corrupt, or has not been altered in any way from the original. Saving documents onto a shared drive at work may feel a little less secure than you would like. How do you know that the file was not altered while you may have been away? Luckily most files and programs have what is called a “digital signature”. When someone wants to ensure that a file is not altered from when they last utilize it, they can input a hash algorithm to the file which will generate a unique key of different characters. You can then compare this key with the digital signature of the file or program when you come back to it to make sure that nothing has been altered. If the file has been altered in any way, the hash value will be completely different, no matter how small or large the change might be. This ensures file integrity, a key concept in IT security.
Many companies already offer their hash values so that users are not fooled into downloading files that may contain malware. Microsoft offers their hash values to be compared with the file downloaded.

If you are using  a windows machine and want to start generating some hash values for your documents and programs, you need to download a third party software to generate and compare hash values. There are many options on the market, a very easy one to use is called “Hash my files” and can be downloaded here You can also generate hash values for your own files at home or work, to make sure that no one is altering important documents without your approval. Many times you can find a hash value of a program or file and copy and past it into a browser like Google. If it is a common file, the search results may be able to tell you that the file is known to have malware attached to it. Spending a few minutes researching a hash value before you click the download button may save you hours of battling a Trojan virus or other malware. You don’t have to be an IT forensics specialist to utilize this great tool to keep your files safe.
For more information about file hashing and data secure, contact ITDATA today.
Zachery Albeitawi
Help Desk Technician, ITDATA, Inc.

Tips and Techniques

Two New Kinds of Android Malware: SlemBunk and Marcher

May 2016
ITDATA’s cybersecurity partner, Layer 8 Security, has an on-going relationship with local and federal law enforcement. We receive bulletins from the FBI on a continuous basis. We are sending this alert because it is important to us that your company stays informed on the latest cybersecurity updates to keep you and your business protected. If you have questions or concerns regarding this alert please contact us at
The FBI has identified two new kinds of Android Malware; SlemBunk and Marcher -designed to target US financial institution customers. These two bugs are phishing for specified US financial institutions’ customer credentials. The malware monitors the infected phone for the launch of a targeted mobile banking application to inject a phishing overlay over the legitimate application’s user interface. The malware then displays an indistinguishable fake login interface to steal the victim’s banking credentials. It defeats two factor authentication by its ability to monitor SMS (Short Message Service) messages. This also obscures the cell phone as the source of the infection. The Slembunk malware infects social media phone apps as well as instant messaging apps, using the same fake login overlay to collect data.

The malware is downloaded to the phone in one of the following ways: 

  • SMS or MMS phishing, with messages requesting the user to install malicious Adobe Flash Player software
  • Malvertisements or pop-ups from an adult website prompting the user to download malicious Adobe Flash update
  • Mobile applications downloaded from third-party vendor sites
  • Phishing emails

For further details regarding this alert and recommended cyber hygiene protocol to avoid infection please see our blog, Savvy New Android Malware – Buyer Beware.
For more information about avoiding malware and system security, Contact ITDATA today.

Security Insights
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