MERIT Solutions Blog

MERIT Solutions has been serving the Chesapeake area since 1982, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

New Ransomware Presents Users With 2 Equally-Terrible Options

New Ransomware Presents Users With 2 Equally-Terrible Options

The Petya ransomware, a particularly vicious monster of a threat, has reared its ugly head once again, only this time, it’s not alone. Petya now comes bundled together with Mischa, yet another ransomware that works well alongside Petya. The ransomware is delivered via an inconspicuous email disguised as a job application, with a resume attached. Once the user downloads the file, Petya encrypts the files located on the device.

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Sharing Your Netflix Password Now Makes You a Federal Criminal

Sharing Your Netflix Password Now Makes You a Federal Criminal

Sharing your Netflix password with a friend so they too can enjoy a vast catalogue of movies seems harmless enough. However, due to a recent ruling by judges of the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals, this common action is now a federal crime.

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Alert: New Malware Infects Millions of Mobile Devices

Alert: New Malware Infects Millions of Mobile Devices

While security experts tend to focus the brunt of their discussions on desktop OS vulnerabilities, there are plenty of mobile malware threats that fly under the radar. One such malware is called Hummer; a trojan that installs unwanted apps and malware on a device, and can be found on over a million phones worldwide.

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DroidJack Malware is Super-Effective Against Impatient Pokémon Go Users

DroidJack Malware is Super-Effective Against Impatient Pokémon Go Users

Augmented reality is a growing trend in the technology industry, and perhaps one of the best known uses of it today can be found in the extremely popular mobile device app, Pokemon Go. However, hackers have seized the opportunity to infect players who want to “catch ‘em all” with a backdoor called DroidJack - something that certainly won’t help gamers “be the very best.”

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4 Important Lessons Learned From Verizon’s Annual Security Report

4 Important Lessons Learned From Verizon’s Annual Security Report

Verizon has taken to publishing a compilation report analyzing data breach statistics with the help of industry partners, a report that is widely regarded as a must-read for the industry. A brief review of the latest edition’s executive summary revealed where information security vulnerabilities lie in industries worldwide and, even more helpfully, what shape those vulnerabilities took. The Data Breach Investigations Report, or DBIR, pulled no punches in outlining what kind of attacks happened in the past year, and how.

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How We Know that Mark Zuckerberg Has Never Seen Spaceballs

How We Know that Mark Zuckerberg Has Never Seen Spaceballs

Twitter recently experienced a major hack where it saw 33 million user login credentials stolen. What may be more alarming than the hack itself is what the stash of stolen credentials reveal about users’ password security habits. Or, to put it more accurately, the lack thereof.

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This Breakthrough By MIT Will Propel Artificial Intelligence to New Heights

This Breakthrough By MIT Will Propel Artificial Intelligence to New Heights

No security solution is perfect. Each one has its own set of pros and cons. For example, relying completely on an automated solution is thorough, but it will flag plenty of threats that aren’t really threats (aka, false positives). Meanwhile, a human overseeing security is great for spotting worrisome trends, but a human can’t possibly catch every single attack. With this dynamic in mind, a team of researchers from MIT has successfully blended the two.

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Alert: Users of 7-Zip Should Immediately Upgrade to the Latest Version

Alert: Users of 7-Zip Should Immediately Upgrade to the Latest Version

One of the latest vulnerabilities in open-source software can be found in 7zip, a file archiver and decompresser. 7zip has been found to have several security vulnerabilities which have software developers rushing to fix their products. The damage done extends far beyond 7zip, reaching both people who use 7zip itself, and developers who have used the technology in the creation of their own tools and software.

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If You’re Running Older Versions of Internet Explorer, Java, or Flash, Your PC is at Risk

If You’re Running Older Versions of Internet Explorer, Java, or Flash, Your PC is at Risk

It’s important that your business uses the most recent version of any operating systems and software solutions used by your workforce, but Internet Explorer “fans” have had a rough start to 2016. Nearly a quarter of all Windows PCs are still using unsupported versions of Internet Explorer, half of which are still running Windows XP.

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How Inconvenient Security Protocols Can Sink Your Company

b2ap3_thumbnail_it_employee_mistakes_400.jpgSecurity is important for much more than just the Internet. It’s an integral part of organized society, to the point where there are several layers of security for public transportation, airports, and so much more. The only problem is that properly taking advantage of security is only as effective as how well your employees adhere to corporate policy.

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Before You Act on a Hack, Know the Extent of the Breach

b2ap3_thumbnail_we_got_hacked_400.jpgGetting hacked is a scary occurrence. It’s a major reason why you have security measures put into place. You try to avoid it as much as you can, but getting outsmarted by hackers happens to the best of us. The good news is that as long as you approach your hacking incident in a reasonable way, you can limit the amount of damage that’s done to your infrastructure.

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10 Common Security Mistakes That Can Sink Your Network

b2ap3_thumbnail_mobile_security_400.jpgMost companies have to have a workforce, generally one of considerable size. Unfortunately, the more users you have, the more potential risks you run into. Of course, your workforce doesn’t collectively intend to be a security risk, but the digital world is a complicated place, with threats around every corner and malicious programs just waiting for your employed end-users to slip up. Here are ten such honest slip-ups to watch out for:

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Forget Backdoors, Hackers Can Now Infiltrate Garage Doors

b2ap3_thumbnail_openseasame_hacks_garages_400.jpgHackers have proven that they will do whatever it takes to get to your valuable assets, even if it means taking advantage of physical objects that work alongside a specific frequency. As it turns out, this is exactly how hacking a garage door works, and all it takes is a decade-old communications device to capture the frequency and unlock any garage door that utilizes it.

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Why Businesses Need to Quickly Distance Themselves From SQL Server 2005

b2ap3_thumbnail_sql_end_of_support_400.jpgWhich database management system is running on your company’s server units? For end users, it’s not something that they put a whole lot of thought into. However, if you completely overlook your Microsoft SQL Server, you may end up running an expired version that puts your data at risk. Case in point, SQL Server 2005, which Microsoft recently ended support for.

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Alert: A New Malware to Worry About for PC Gamers Using Steam

b2ap3_thumbnail_steam_stealer_angers_gamers_400.jpgHackers have always gone after industries that are profitable, or hold sensitive information that can be lucrative when sold under the table. As such, retailers that accumulate financial credentials are often hit by hacks. The entertainment industry is no different, and hackers continue to grow craftier in their pursuit of wealth and power. Not even Steam, the PC gamer’s most valuable software solution, is safe from the dangers of hacking attacks.

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Researchers Investigated Internet-Connected Surveillance Cameras, What They Found is Unbelievable

b2ap3_thumbnail_internet_of_things_presents_risk_400.jpgThere’s a reason why IT professionals think that the Internet of things is a major security discrepancy. Around 5.5 million new devices are being connected to the Internet every day, and are giving security experts a run for their money. The Internet of Things and its devices could potentially become a security hazard for businesses that aren’t prepared to protect their assets from hacks.

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New Technology From LG Lets You See What a Bowling Ball Sees [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_lg_rolling_security_400.jpgNew consumer technology holds a special place in many users’ hearts. In particular, the LG Rolling Bot looks like it will be a nifty little device to leave either in your office or at home. Basically, it’s a rolling security camera that can be controlled remotely through a smartphone.

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Crafty Hackers Find Ways to Intercept Wireless Transmissions

b2ap3_thumbnail_man_in_the_middle_400.jpgThe Internet of Things is constantly growing. Seemingly every commercially-available product now has a corresponding app or some sort of connectivity to the web. As this entity grows bigger still, you begin to see things that have very little intrinsic value coming with Internet connectivity.

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Tip of the Week: Add a PIN to Windows 10 Login to Improve Security

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_10_pin_400.jpgBusinesses all over the world are taking advantage of two-factor authentication, causing the password’s value to depreciate over time. Passwords aren’t powerful enough to keep users safe from advanced threats. Hackers are finding ways to punch holes in even the most comprehensive security solution, forcing users to focus on improving security through other means.

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Your Business Can Learn a Thing or Two From Nuclear Power Plant Security

b2ap3_thumbnail_nuclear_it_security_400.jpgWe talk about a lot of frightening technology scenarios for businesses; data loss, identity theft, and expensive hardware failures that can inflict substantial downtime and, therefore, cripple the ability of your business to sustain operations. One industry that has changed the way they manage risk, specifically the potential failure of important security systems, is the nuclear power industry. Any business can learn how to mitigate disaster by looking into the specifics of the two most horrendous nuclear meltdowns in history, the meltdown at Chernobyl in 1986, and the tsunami-induced disaster at Fukushima in 2011.

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