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Craig discusses problems that businesses can face when using VPNs and why you should be looking to a Zero-trust network if you are running a business today.

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Automated Machine-Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] What is going on with malware? There’ve been some major changes just over the last few months. That’s what we’re going to talk about right now. What do you need to watch out for? What should you be doing in your business as well as your home?

Hey, you’re listening to Craig Peterson.

 We know that they’re here. I have been a lot of attacks over the years. That’s what we’re trying to stop. Isn’t it with our businesses, with our home users? That’s why we buy antivirus software or why we have a firewall at the edge. Maybe we even upgraded your firewall. You got rid of that piece of junk that was provided by your internet service providers. Most of them are frankly, pieces of junk, maybe you’re lucky and have a great internet service provider that is giving you really what you need. I have yet, by the way, to see any of those internet service providers out there, that are really giving you what you need.

So there is a lot to consider here when we’re talking about preventing and preventing malware. What we have found is that malware attacks declined this year in the second quarter, but here’s what’s happening. Right? They are getting through more.

Historically, we had things that have hit us that have been various types of malware. I remember when I first got nailed back in 91. I had a Unix server that I was running, as you probably know, I’ve been using Unix since the early eighties, 81, 82.

I was using Unix, and I had my own Unix machines because I was helping to develop the protocols that later on became the internet about a decade or more later.

The Unix world was on rather an open world. Was everybody on the internet was pretty friendly. Most people were involved in research, either government research or businesses doing research online, a lot of smart people and we actually had some fun back in the days’, puns, and everything.

We weren’t that worried about security, unlike today, where security really is a top of mind thing for so many people. We weren’t worried about who’s going to do this to me or that to me.

I had a Unix server that I was using, actually at a few of them that I was using for my business. Now, one of those servers was running emails, a program called Sendmail. That’s still around today. It was the email package that was ruling the internet back at the time.  I got nailed with something called a worm. It was the Morris Worm. In fact, it got onto my computer through no act of my own.

I didn’t click on anything. It got onto my computer because it came through the internet. That was back in the days when we really didn’t have much in the line of firewalls so it just talked to my mail server. One of these days we’ll have to tell some stories about how we really trusted everybody back then.

You could query to see if an email address was good. You could get onto the machine and say, Hey guy, I noticed that you had this problem so I went in and fixed it for you, and here’s what I did. Much, much different world back then.

But that’s how malware used to spread. It was something, it was just kind of automated. It went out and they just checked everybody’s machine to checked firewalls, to see what they were to see if they were open.

We’ve been doing that for a very long time, haven’t, we? We have been nailed with it. That’s what the viruses were and are still. Where it gets onto your computer.

Maybe you installed some software that you shouldn’t have, and that software now takes over part of your computer. It affects other files. It might be something that’s part of a Word macro or an Excel macro. And it now spreads through your sharing of that file and other people opening it.

Worms are like what I got nailed with, just start crawling around through the internet. So they run some software on your machine and that looks for other machines and today things have changed again. 

They are changing pretty frequently out there. What we have seen so far here in 2020 is a decrease in malware detections. Now, just because there’s been a decrease in malware detections, I don’t want you to think that the threat has diminished because it hasn’t. But the signature-based antivirus system is real problems.

Now, what’s a signature-based antivirus system. That’s any antivirus software, like your McAfee’s like your Norton’s, the Symantec stuff, any antivirus software, that is working like your body’s immune system.

What happens with your body’s immune system? You get a virus and you’re your body says, okay, what’s going on here? It starts to multiply. Eventually, the body figures it out. It develops antibodies for it. So the next time it sees that particular virus, you’re likely to be pretty much immune from it. Your body’s going to say, Whoa, that’s a virus and it goes in and kills it pretty darn quickly.

That’s the whole idea behind trying to stop the WuHan virus that is spreading out there. How do we stop it while we stop it, by just developing antibodies? Right? That’s herd immunity. We could also develop antibodies by an antivirus shot that is designed to stop that virus from spreading and prevents you from coming down with COVID-19 symptoms.

In the computer world, it’s much the same as most of the software signature-based antivirus software is exactly the same as the way your body’s immune system has been working. In many, many ways.

Here’s what happens. Someone gets infected with a virus and they reported to Symantec or Norton, or maybe the software reported itself. Usually, it’s a third party that reports that and they look at it and they say, okay, so what does this virus look like? There is in this program the developers’ names embedded or the name of the hacker group is embedded in it. So we are going to now say any piece of software that it has this hacker group’s name in it, we’re going to ban. Right?  It recognizes it. So when the file comes onto your computer your computer looks at it. It looks at the signatures. These are called signatures. To say, okay, how does it match? Or it doesn’t match at all and it might be through a string that’s somewhere embedded in there. So it might be through a name. It might be through a number of other things. That’s signature-based.

The malware, that was not detectable by signature-based antivirus systems jumped 12%. In the second quarter of 2020. That is amazing. Amazing, absolutely amazing. Seven in 10 attacks that organizations encountered in the second quarter this year. In fact, involved malware designed to circumvent anti-virus signatures.

Most cyber-attacks last year and this is probably going to be true in 2020 as well as we get into the fourth quarter. But most cyberattacks in 2019 came about without malware. That means that there were hackers behind this.

We’re going to talk about that. What’s going on some of the data also from CrowdStrike and what they have found CrowdStrike is an anti-malware anti-hacker company. They’ve got a lot of great people working for them as well. What they have found.

It’s like the bad old days of hacking and they’re back on us right now.

So make sure you stick around. Cause we’re going to get into that when we get back. And of course, we got a whole lot more, including a major windows bug that’s now under exploit and how does this all fit together?

You are listening to Craig Peterson.

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