I’ve got Anti-Virus….. Why do I need Heimdal Security?

It really is a very fair question……. So what is the answer?

In general Anti-Virus performs a limited range of tasks:-

  • File and signature based scanning
  • Two way firewall
  • Application control
  • Some provide Phishing protection

Unfortunately the hackers have long ago found other ways to infect our computers.

Heimdal SecurityIn a recent security brief we found out that it is not unusual for hackers to spend £400 or £500 on an advert in an online national newspaper for a genuine product. Unfortunately the advert is code for their logo is linked to a server on the dark web that will then send a very small piece of code to memory in your computer. This code simple reports back details of your security settings such as anti-virus system, versions, updates, as well as application versions and update status.

Lets say that you have Java on your PC (most people do) and you have not updated it for a while, that will have been reported back to the hackers server. So, at some point in time, the server uses the fact that you have failed to apply a particular security patch in your Java application and so it exploits the vulnerability and sends its chosen malware through to your PC, lets say it sends Locky.

Within a week you have a big red screen telling you that your files have been encrypted and more are being encrypted all the while, in 7 days time your computer will be unusable unless you pay 1 Bitcoin to the bitcoin account shown below. So now you have a decision to make; pay the 1 Bitcoin (£862 at the time of writing) or you wipe your computer and restore from a backup (you have got a backup that you have tested recently yes?) or you lose your computer and all its data!

You could just as easily have been infected by a Phishing email or a Spear Phishing email.

Hackers hate Heimdal Security.

The theft of $81m from an account belonging to the Bangladesh central bank in February 2016 was a watershed event, according to Alain Desausoi, CISO at financial messaging service Swift.

“We were surprised by the gap between the skills of the attackers and the cyber security practices in the banking industry,” he told the FT Cyber Security Summit in London.

The heist was part of a wider campaign that would have netted the cyber thieves almost $1bn if a typo had not alerted bank officials, who managed to block a further fraudulent transaction of $870m.

We would all like to believe that we could spot a phishing attack, but could we spot a spear phishing attack?

It really is about the skills gap between the attackers and not just the cyber security practices of companies like banks, but also between the attackers and the diligence of your staff! Remember hackers hate Heimdal Security.

Even if we could spot phishing or spear phishing emails (obviously you are interested in security or you wouldn’t be reading this), what about others that work for you? Are they all as wary, all of the time? Can you catch every attempt to infect?


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