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Then and now. 20 years in-between — all uphill

Then and now. 20 years in-between — all uphill

20 years in business — is that a long time, or no time at all? Or how about 25 years of continuous development of new technologies and products (including the five years pre-KL)?

To answer that properly we need to ask how old the industry — cybersecurity — is itself. Well, the very first antivirus programs appeared just a few years before 25 years ago.

So that means we’re one of a handful of developers around that created cybersecurity! Indeed, we’ve been in the industry since its infancy (when on-demand signature scanners were all the rage), and are still here today (in the new age of big data and machine learning). And that’s...

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Explainer: Bitcoin mining

Explainer: Bitcoin mining

If you’ve shopped for a graphics card lately, you probably know about the worldwide shortage — or you may even have seen something about it in the news. Some sources blame miners for buying everything up. But who are these miners?

Miners is the term for people who collect cryptocurrency. Currency miners mine their cryptocurrency at their farms, specially tricked-out computers dedicated to the task. You’ve no doubt heard of the most famous cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, although it’s not the only one.

But why is cryptocurrency in the news right now; why the commotion? And if everyone else is mining money, should you do it as well? Let us get to the bottom of...

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Kaspersky Lab turns 20: Key events and milestones

Kaspersky Lab turns 20: Key events and milestones

At times everyone needs to slow down, take a break, think about the future, contemplate the past. We at Kaspersky Lab are constantly thinking about the future, so we don’t need a break to do that; however, one usually requires a reason to look into the past. And we have one: Kaspersky Lab has just turned 20!

For a cybersecurity company, 20 years is quite an age. So many things have happened since Eugene Kaspersky founded the company that no one can remember all of them. Here we’ve recapped some of the most important events in Kaspersky Lab’s story and consolidated them into one timeline.

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Сybersecurity becomes an integral part of managed IT services

Сybersecurity becomes an integral part of managed IT services

Managed service providers have a unique position in the market. Providers have to be IT experts in a variety of areas, from hardware to customer support. Their business is built on upholding their clients’ business continuity. Unfortunately, various factors can violate this continuity, and sometimes they cannot be controlled from the MSP side.

As usual, we are talking about cyberthreats. You may protect your infrastructure effectively, but if your clients do not take adequate measures, your efforts may be in vain. That is why providing security services in addition to the other services you offer to your customers is vital...

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End user agreement survival guide

End user agreement survival guide

Can I interest you in a nice, long, legally binding document? It’ll only take a few hours and maybe a law degree. No? You’re not alone.

Despite many years of experience, humorous stories (ha ha, you signed away your baby) and dire warnings, no one reads EULAs — that’s end-user license agreements, those things you have to sign electronically before installing software, signing up for online services, or connecting to a free Wi-Fi hotspot. They are bills of sale that outline what you pay and what you get in return.

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I can’t blame people for not scanning EULAs carefully. They’re boring and usually very long. A few years ago, Time magazine...

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Tip of the week: How to create reports for technical support

Tip of the week: How to create reports for technical support

When problems arise and you need to ask questions, you may be frustrated at being asked for technical information first. If you post on a forum or call tech support, only to be confronted with a request for an “application operation report,” here’s what you need to do, and why.

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An application operation report contains information about how the application works, what it does, and what causes it to crash if an error occurs. Operation reports give additional information, and they provide much more useful detail than a simple forum post like “This is not working. I need help!” The reports are created for developers so...

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The human factor: Can employees learn not to make mistakes?

The human factor: Can employees learn not to make mistakes?

We’ve long maintained that technical means are not enough to protect a business from cyberthreats. It’s entirely possible for a single person to negate the effect of an entire information security team. In many cases, it may be unintentional, the result of lacking basic cybersecurity knowledge, being unaware of threats, or diverted attention. That is why many companies (according to our data, approximately 65%) already invest in employee cybersecurity training.

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There, however, complications may arise. The person who decides staff awareness needs to be raised is not necessarily the person responsible for arranging the...

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Quiz: Will cybersecurity get you fired?

Quiz: Will cybersecurity get you fired?

People can be fired for all kinds of reasons: repeated lateness, safety violations, inebriation, and many others. Mostly stuff that’s in your control.

However, cyberthreats should concern everybody, and although cyberincidents are not yet a common reason for firing workers, many experts believe that will change soon. Do you need to worry? Let’s find out!

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There is no Jayden K. Smith

There is no Jayden K. Smith

If you’ve been lucky enough not to receive a message about him, you’ve still probably heard about him anyway: Jayden K. Smith, aka Facebook hacker extraordinaire.

Well, that’s what we’re being told by our friends and families, anyway. This Facebook hacker is ready to steal your account the instant you or one of your contacts accepts his friend request. The only thing is, it’s not real.

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If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already a pretty switched-on, skeptical person, able to spot a dud a mile off. But for some reason this hoax made the rounds pretty quickly over the weekend.

Well-meaning friends thought it best to share the message...

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Quiz: How much do you know about DDoS?

Quiz: How much do you know about DDoS?

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have become ubiquitous, no longer a problem only for large enterprises with robust online services. According to a recent survey, small and medium businesses also frequently suffer financial and reputation losses because of DDoS attacks.

It’s time to stop and think: Do you know enough about DDoS attacks? Take this short quiz and see for yourself.

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Is someone eavesdropping on you? Not on our watch!

Is someone eavesdropping on you? Not on our watch!

It’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you. Remember when people mocked others for covering up their webcams? After reading the news, no one was laughing; instead, they began covering up their webcams too — or using Kaspersky Internet Security’s feature that blocks unauthorized access to webcams.

But let’s not forget microphones. Tape doesn’t block sound, and moreover, persistent malefactors can even eavesdrop through speakers, which have essentially the same construction as microphones. Disabling the microphone with system software is no solution: an app can turn it back on.

Again, Kaspersky Internet Security comes...

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Think the ExPetr epidemic doesn’t concern you? Think again

Think the ExPetr epidemic doesn’t concern you? Think again

Recent, urgent reports about global cyberattacks revealed that most victims were large businesses. That doesn’t mean ordinary computer users should relax. What causes trouble for big business does affect us personally — and not just because WannaCry or ExPetr (aka Petya and NotPeyta) can infect your computer as well.

It’s easy to forget, but large corporations’ primary focus is the production of goods and services that we rely on. Consider the types of corporations that affect us all directly: food producers, suppliers, shippers, stores. Transportation, from traffic lights to the websites that sell us plane tickets to...

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ExPetr targets serious business

ExPetr targets serious business

We’re witnessing an outbreak of a new breed of cryptomalware. Our experts have named it ExPetr (others call it Petya, PetrWrap, and some other names). The key difference with this new ransomware is that this time, criminals have chosen their targets with greater precision: Most of the victims are businesses, not consumers.

The worst part is that far more critical infrastructure facilities are among the victims of this malware. For example, a few flights were reportedly delayed in Kiev’s Boryspil airport because of the attack. And it gets even worse — the infamous Chernobyl nuclear plant’s radiation-monitoring system was reported to be temporarily...

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Snap Map security concerns

Snap Map security concerns

Do you use Snapchat? If so, you may want to take a deeper look at the Snap Map feature released earlier this week. As the company explains:

With the Snap Map, you can view Snaps of sporting events, celebrations, breaking news, and more from all across the world.

If you and a friend follow one another, you can share your locations with each other so you can see where they’re at and what’s going on around them! Plus, meeting up can be a cinch.
 

Only the people you choose can see your location — so if you’re friends with your boss, you can still keep your location on the down low during a “sick day”.

Snaps you submit to Our Story can still show up...

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New ransomware outbreak

New ransomware outbreak

Just a few hours ago, a global ransomware outbreak began, and it looks to be as big as the WannaCry story that broke not so long ago.

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Those few hours were enough for several large companies from different countries to report infection, and the magnitude of the epidemic is likely to grow even more.

It’s not yet clear what exactly the new ransomware is. Some thought it might be either some variation of Petya (be it Petya.A, Petya.D, or PetrWrap), or that it could be WannaCry (it’s not). Kaspersky Lab experts are now investigating this new threat, and as soon they come up with solid facts, we’ll update this post.

This appears to be a complex attack which...

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The quest for a more secure Dropbox alternative

The quest for a more secure Dropbox alternative

If you use Dropbox, Google Drive, or Yandex.Disk, then you have no doubt appreciated the convenience of always having all of your important files handy on any device. A file can be shared with friends or coworkers in a second. However some find the data security on these popular services lacking, worrying that unauthorized people might gain access to their files.

Accidentally making your private photographs or pay stubs available to employees of your hosting provider would be a horrifying mistake, for example. To minimize that sort of risk, the data on a server needs to be stored in encrypted form, with only you able to grant access to it....

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Whom to be: VAR or MSP

Whom to be: VAR or MSP

Small businesses that outsource information security face a variety of choices, starting with the type of infosec company they hire — options range from simple reseller to system integrator. The most common types for SMBs are value-added resellers (VARs) and managed service providers (MSPs). How will they choose an information security provider?

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In the past, when MSP was a developing market, the natural choice was VAR. Value-added resellers not only supply software (and hardware in some cases), but also help with deployment, provide product support, and answer product questions that may arise. But their main goal...

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Rooting your Android: Advantages, disadvantages, and snags

Rooting your Android: Advantages, disadvantages, and snags

Many users of Android devices sooner or later are tempted to root them. Here we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having root permissions on Android devices — and if your device should be rooted at all.
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Why people root their Android devices

Obtaining superuser access rights, popularly known as rooting, lets owners take full control of their devices. It is possible to do virtually anything with superuser access rights, and quite a few apps (including some in the Google Play store) require root permissions to function properly.

Superuser access privileges are typically sought to expand regular Android capabilities. For...

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Quiz: Digital life 20 years ago

Quiz: Digital life 20 years ago

Kaspersky Lab is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. For a tech company, that’s quite an advanced age. The digital world has changed beyond recognition since 1997.

On this occasion, we’re reliving a bit of the past and thinking back to what life was like 20 years ago. Do you remember it? Was the sun brighter? Was the grass greener? Did you play computer games, conspicuously use your bulky mobile phone, and venture onto the World Wide Web? What were you doing in front of your computer screen — if you had one?

See for yourself how well you remember the ’90s.

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Why Nimses isn’t safe (so far)

Why Nimses isn’t safe (so far)

Nimses is a new social app that was developed in Ukraine and is now trending in Russian-speaking app stores. Why should I be interested in yet another social network, you may ask. Well, the idea behind this one is quite catchy: In Nimses, users can monetize the time they spend in the app.

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For every minute you’re active in Nimses, you earn 1 nim (nims are Nimses’ internal currency; estimated worth is about 1,000 nims to the dollar). You can transfer nims to other users, accept nims, and earn and spend extra nims by performing certain actions such as getting people to like your photos, and liking theirs. The developers stated that it would be possible...

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No, you have not won two free airline tickets

No, you have not won two free airline tickets

Not long ago, Facebook was hit with a wave of posts that falsely claimed to be giving away a suspiciously large number of free flight tickets in honor of airline anniversaries. As one of the conditions of the promotional offer, participants had to like and share the websites that pretended to give away prizes.

As usual, people saw the promise of something free and lost their minds, so Facebook was flooded with those posts. Of course, in reality there were no free tickets to claim, and the airlines had absolutely nothing to do with it. Let’s see what really happened.

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As our analysts found out, the links in the posts led to websites like...

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ICS cybersecurity: A view from the field

ICS cybersecurity: A view from the field

Over the past few years, even mass media have been writing about industrial control systems (ICS) cybersecurity incidents with increasing frequency. Unfortunately, the problem lies not only in targeted attacks, such as BlackEnergy or Operation Ghoul, aimed at the industrial sector, but also in more common cyberthreats that do not target specific victims. The latest example is WannaCry ransomware, which was not explicitly designed to target industrial control systems yet managed to infiltrate a number of ICS networks and in some instances, led to the downtime of industrial processes.

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But how are those in charge of ICS security responding to the...

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Fireball: Adware with potential nuclear consequences

Fireball: Adware with potential nuclear consequences

Advertising can sometimes be annoying — and sometimes it can be malicious. Businesses that make their money selling advertisements sometimes go too far trying to make sure you see their ads. Recently researchers found that one such business — a big digital-marketing agency — went as far as installing adware on 250 million computers running Windows and macOS all over the world.

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What’s even worse, this adware is capable of turning into full-fledged malware that can divert users to malicious sites and drop malware on their computers. And no one seemed to notice it — until now.

The stealthy Fireball

Adware is a type of application...

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Antitrust: Pursue It in Europe We Must.

Antitrust: Pursue It in Europe We Must.

Hi folks!

Herewith, the next chapter in our thriller-detective (antimonopoly) series…

As you’ll probably be aware, late last year we turned to Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) with a complaint against Microsoft. And just recently, we did the same thing in Europe – filing complaints with both the European Commission and German Federal Cartel Office.

So, why are we doing this? Here’s why: we have users – hundreds of millions thereof all around the world. These folks trust us and depend on us to protect their data. They expect only the highest level of protection – that’s why they chose us (and even if they chose different...

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Cloak and Dagger: A hole in Android

Cloak and Dagger: A hole in Android

Everyone, this is not a drill. It applies to all versions of Android, and at the time of this post’s publication, Google has not yet patched the vulnerability. By using this vulnerability, malicious actors can steal data including passwords; install applications with a full set of permissions; and monitor what the user is interacting with or typing on a keyboard on any Android smartphone or tablet. We repeat: This is not a drill…

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The attack, dubbed Cloak and Dagger, was demonstrated by employees of the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of California, Santa Barbara. They drew Google’s attention to the problem three times, but each...

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