Tag Archives: Kaspersky Internet Security

Fact Check : AirAsia Banned Wheeled Cabin Luggage?

Fact Check : AirAsia Banned Wheeled Cabin Luggage?

People are outraged that AirAsia has apparently banned wheeled cabin luggage to facilitate social distancing during embarkation and disembarkation.

Find out what is this AirAsia cabin luggage ban all about, and what the facts really are…

 

Claim : AirAsia Temporarily Bans Wheeled Cabin Luggage!

Quite a few websites are sharing what they claimed are a new AirAsia cabin baggage policy, which temporarily bans wheeled luggage to ensure social distancing during embarkation and disembarkation.

All guests (except infants) are allowed to carry on board ONLY 1 piece of cabin baggage which can be either:

One (1) Laptop bag or one (1) handbag or one (1) small bag:

  • MUST NOT exceed the dimensions of 40cm (H) X 30cm (W) X 10cm (L).
  • MUST FIT under the seat in front of you.
  • MUST NOT weigh more than 7kg.

If your cabin baggage cannot fit under the seat in front of you:

  • You will be given a complimentary check in for the cabin bag that weighs less than 7kg. Please check-in your baggage at the counter.
  • If the bag weighs more than 7kg, extra airport charges apply for each kg of weight.
  • The 7kg complimentary check-in baggage should be treated separately from the standard check-in baggage.

People also shared the news on social media. Here is one example :

This new policy sure is shocking because it would mean that AirAsia travellers will have to cough up for checked luggage, or worse – end up paying A LOT MORE at the airport.

But wait… is this even true? Let’s find out…

 

AirAsia Banned Wheeled Cabin Luggage : Yes, But No Longer…

This temporary AirAsia cabin luggage policy which got everyone riled up is true, but is no longer in effect… starting tomorrow! Here are the facts…

Fact #1 : AirAsia Did Temporarily Ban Wheeled Cabin Luggage

First of all, we have to point out that this isn’t exactly fake news. It is just OLD NEWS.

The restricted cabin luggage policy was part of preventive measures against COVID-19, when AirAsia was permitted to restart domestic flights in:

  • Malaysia (29 April 2020),
  • Thailand (1 May 2020),
  • the Philippines (1 June 2020),
  • India (4 May 2020), and
  • Indonesia (7 May 2020).

Here is the relevant section on their FAQ on precautionary measures while flying with AirAsia during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was posted on 29 April 2020 :

7. What are my cabin baggage limits?

To facilitate social distancing and minimise physical contact when boarding and disembarkation, only ONE piece of cabin baggage is allowed for each guest. More details are available here. All other baggage aside from handbags or laptop bags will need to be checked-in. Please proceed to the check-in counter if you have any enquiry.

Fact #2 : That Restricted Cabin Luggage Policy Ends 6 July 2020

AirAsia actually updated the cabin luggage policy page today, to state that the old policy will be reinstated effective 7 July 2020.

In other words, the restricted cabin luggage policy they introduced on 29 April 2020, ends today.

You are allowed to bring onboard two (2) pieces of bag as part of your cabin baggage allowance with the total weight of both items not exceeding 7kg.

One (1) piece of cabin bag must not exceed 56cm x 36cm x 23cm including the handles, wheels and side pockets. This bag must be able to fit in the overhead compartment in the aircraft cabin.

You may also carry one (1) piece of laptop bag, handbag, backpack or any other small bag which must not exceed 40cm x 30cm x 10cm. This item must be able to fit under the seat in front of you.

Fact #3 : Infants < 2 Years Old Never Had Cabin Baggage Allowance

At least one website claimed that infants under the age of 2 no longer have any cabin luggage allowance, under the new policy.

However, that was always the case even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Only children 2 years and older have cabin luggage allowances – 7 kg, the same as adults.

The only exception is on AirAsia India flights – starting 10 July 2020, infants below 2 years of age will be allocated 7 kg of hand baggage.

Fact #4 : Baby Strollers / Buggies / Prams Are Carried FOC

At least one website claimed that baby strollers must meet cabin baggage allowable dimensions, or you must purchase a checked baggage allowance.

That is not true.

Baby strollers / buggies / prams are carried free of charge on AirAsia flights as checked baggage, provided they are being used by a child or infant.

Those who wish to carry their strollers into the cabin must make sure it can be folded to fit the cabin baggage allowances.

 

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Kaspersky Lab – Mobile Threats Are On The Rise!

Kaspersky Lab warns that mobile threats are on the rise. It is important for the public to be aware, and to take the right precautions. On their part, they are raising awareness through greater media outreach and special events.

Back in June 2018, Kaspersky Lab entered the Malaysian Book of Records, with 1,931 anti-virus for mobile devices activated at a single event.  That event was held in partnership with Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC), in conjunction with Kaspersky Lab’s 20th anniversary.

 

Kaspersky Lab – Mobile Threats Are On The Rise!

According to the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission Hand Phone Users Survey, the percentage of smartphone users continue to rise from 68.7% in 2016 to 75.9% in 2017. Awareness to protect personal data among Malaysians has increased with 64.5% of users vigilant in protecting their mobile phones using passwords and 44.5% backing up their photos and contacts. However, the number of Malaysians with mobile device security solutions on their smartphones is still low.

“Smart device users need protection for their devices.  When you buy a PC or laptop, the first thing most people would do is to install an antivirus solution.  However, the same cautious approach does not apply to smart devices like smartphones and tablets.  Instead, most would install the physical essentials such as screen protector or protective case when they purchase their new smart devices,” says Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager, SEA, Kaspersky Lab. 

At the sidelines of the 2018 CIMB Classics, Siang Tiong added that majority of people relying heavily on smart devices, on calendar reminders, emails, contacts, making payments using e-wallets and online banking. The risks of mobile threats exposing those data to hackers is increasing with our reliance on smart devices.

“We used the Malaysian Book of Records as a platform to raise the awareness so more users will take the similar precautious approach on their smart devices.  Mobile device security goes beyond password-protecting a device, and backing up data serves as an extension of your brain.  As mobile devices become the primary device for more people, identify theft becomes easier, as online banking and in-app e-commerce transactions become more frequent.  The need to educate on securing mobile devices is urgent. This is why Kaspersky Lab held this record-breaking mobile device security activation drive in conjunction with our 20th anniversary,” Siang Tiong added.

In Q2 2018, Kaspersky Lab detected 1,744,244 million mobile malicious installation packages. That is  421,666 more mobile threats than were detected in the previous quarter.  Other kinds of mobile threats like mobile banking Trojans were also on the rise, with Kaspersky Lab detecting 3.2 times more instances than Q1 2018.  Mobile ransomware Trojans were also on the rise, with 14,119 installation packages detected.

It is clear that while many of us are not yet affected by mobile threats like banking or ransomware Trojans, we need to start taking precautions. Kaspersky Lab offers a few options :

  • Kaspersky Internet Security for Mobile (Android) : RM 7
  • Kaspersky Internet Security for PC / Mac / Mobile (1 Device)  : RM 59 | £14.99 | $54.50
  • Kaspersky Internet Security for PC / Mac / Mobile (3 Device)  : RM 69£19.85 | $37.64
  • Kaspersky Internet Security for PC / Mac / Mobile (5 Device)  : RM 129£24

 

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Lunar New Year Online Shopping Tips From Kaspersky

Every festive season turns into a shopping frenzy, and the action has moved increasingly online. With the convenience of online payment and in-app purchases, with delivery to your door, comes the very real risk of cybercrime, with you as the target. So here are some online shopping tips from Kaspersky!

Everyone loves a great deal during the Lunar New Year, and throughout the year. For cyber criminals, your frenzied shopping to get all the items you need delivered before the festivities begin is a prime opportunity. This is because in the euphoria and adrenaline rush of shopping, you will be more likely to make basic mistakes that can expose your personal data.

General Manager for Kaspersky Lab Southeast Asia, Sylvia Ng explained that the brand understands festive season shopping is a priority for consumers but reminds that it is also a prime opportunity for cyber criminals.

“Get your shopping done safely. Sipping on an espresso at a local coffee house and doing your Internet shopping does seems convenient. However, you open yourself up to criminal activity by doing so. Public Wi-Fi networks are often less secure than private ones, and you risk the possibility of logging onto a phantom network instead of the real one, opening you up to potential identity theft”.

Everyone needs to be wary of public Wi-Fi when using your smartphones and tablets. If you have to do your shopping on any Wi-Fi network, you first need to ensure that it is secure and a network you can trust. Cyber criminals know consumers are more likely to visit sites with login accounts or financial information during busy shopping times.

They can easily monitor all the information sent across public Wi-Fi networks, which can include your bank account or credit card number. Is that deal really so attractive that you are willing to put your online identity and finances at risk? Probably not.

Lunar New Year Online Shopping Tips

This year, don’t let your last minute shopping frenzy lead you down a path of bad security decisions. Here are some common mistakes, and how you can avoid them.

  • Check that you are using the authentic website of your bank or payment system – this should be obvious, but it is a common mistake that can be very costly!
  • Pay attention to the https prefix, which indicates an encrypted connection – makes a world of difference.
  • Check the spelling of the website – a misspelled address is an obvious sign of a fake phishing page.
  • Use that virtual keyboards to protect your password from being intercepted by key loggers.

Also, consider the following when shopping online:

Avoid ransomware — don’t open email attachments from unknown shopping sites, and always back up your files.

Be aware of phishing links — don’t click on unexpected links sent via email, SMS, or messengers.

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Create strong passwords — combine letters, number and special characters to make them harder to hack.

Shop at safe sites — browse reviews before trusting online shopping sites with your credit card info.

Avoid shopping on public Wi-Fi — criminals love to snoop for your credentials in unsecured wireless networks.

Turn off Bluetooth, connect via cellular — these simple steps will make your smartphone connection much more secure.

Deny suspicious freeware — these ‘gifts’ might include adware or something even worse.

Avoid forged shipping confirmation emails — it could be a phishers’ bait for a quick click.

“These tips that we share are culled from real-life experiences of people. So, before you click on any deal, make sure that you are going to trusted sites. If you find a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is,” added Sylvia Ng.

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Kaspersky Lab Protection For Household 2.0 Revealed!

Kaspersky Lab is not letting their woes with the US Department of Homeland Security detract them from their core business of protecting consumers against cyberthreats. That was the message they conveyed when they presented the Kaspersky Lab protection options for Household 2.0.

 

Household 2.0

The modern home has changed. In the new era of Household 2.0 which consists of 2.4 people and 0.3 pets, there is an average of 6.3 connected devices per house! Yet, the Kaspersky Cybersecurity Index found that 39% of people are leaving their devices unprotected from cyberthreats like hacking, malware, financial fraud and more.

To protect these connected devices that play such a prominent role in Household 2.0, Kaspersky Lab is introducing updated versions of Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Total Security.

 

Kaspersky Lab Protection For Household 2.0

The updated Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Total Security come with anti-phishing technology to prevent users from falling victim to fake or spam emails, fake websites and fraud.

In addition, the updated URL Advisor tells a user whether a link in the search engine leads to a trusted, suspicious, dangerous or phishing website, or a website that may cause their computer harm, via a special indicator close to each link.

Many people are also worried about ransomware and the loss of their digital memories. To give them peace of mind, the new Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Total Security have updated anti-ransomware features.

Protecting your mobile devices is the new App Lock feature for Android. You can now protect specific apps like instant messaging services, social media or email accounts with a secret code. You can also use the Kaspersky Secure Connection service to encrypt your network traffic whenever you use a public or insecure Wi-Fi network.

Children are also increasingly connected to the Internet. To protect them, parents can use Kaspersky Safe Kids parental controls in Kaspersky Total Security to set time limits, restrict applications and prevent access to pages with adult content, obscene language or information on drugs and weapons.

 

The 2018 Kaspersky Lab Product Price List

Products One Device Three Devices Five Devices
Kaspersky Total Security RM 109 / ~US$ 27 RM 199 / ~US$ 49 NA
Kaspersky Internet Security RM 100 / ~US$ 24 RM 179 / ~US$ 44 RM 249 / ~US$ 68
Kaspersky Anti-Virus RM 39.90 / ~US$ 9.70 RM 119 / ~US$ 29 RM 199 / ~US$ 49

Here are some Amazon purchase links :

 

The Kaspersky Think Security Campaign

In conjunction with the announcement of the new Kaspersky Lab protection fo household 2.0, Techlane Resources, the Kaspersky Lab distributor in Malaysia, announced the Kaspersky Think Security Campaign.

You can now purchase Kaspersky Internet Security 3 Devices 1 Year at RM 179 / US$ 44 and get the following Kaspersky products absolutely FREE :

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  • Kaspersky Internet Security 1 Device 1 Year,
  • Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac 1 Year, and
  • Kaspersky Internet Security for Android 1 Device 1 Year

You can also purchase Kaspersky Anti-virus 1 Device 1 Year at RM39.90 / ~US$ 9.70 and get the following Kaspersky products absolutely FREE :

  • Kaspersky Anti-Virus 1 Device 1 Year,
  • Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac 1 Year, and
  • Kaspersky Internet Security for Android 1 Device 1 Year

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Kaspersky Lab Launches The Goondus Awards!

Petaling Jaya, 18 August 2017Kaspersky Lab just launched a campaign in Asia Pacific to educate the public and spread awareness on Internet safety. Known as the Goondus Awards, the campaign is inviting submissions from the public on Internet mistakes and faux pas that have led to reputational, financial or property damage or loss for individuals.

 

The Goodus Awards

The Goondus Awards website which features the submissions anonymously, highlights real life incidents where a naïve or ill-informed Internet practice led to some form of misfortune.

“We want to educate people about safer Internet behaviours and to showcase real world examples of missteps leading to some form of loss or damage. While some stories may be humorous and even incredulous, the repercussions and damage were real and in some cases severe,” explained Sylvia Ng, General Manager, South East Asia. “As our entries are entirely anonymous, we’re encouraging a community led campaign to drive home the message that only safe practices will make the Internet safer for users.”

The Goondus Awards showcases a wide array of stories ranging from humorous occurrences to unintelligent acts and sad episodes involving monetary or reputational loss. The campaign acts as an initiative to raise cyber security awareness in an engaging form through the sharing of personal stories. It also serves to help web visitors foster positive and pleasant online experiences.

With the ease of access to the Internet, users have developed a sense of complacency or even a mild form of naivety in their daily digital lives, potentially lending themselves to becoming victims of cybercrime.

The Goondus Awards aim to remind users that they are not completely safe from cybercriminals and that they need to be vigilant, practice and maintain Internet etiquette to protect themselves.

Malaysians, including millennials and Gen Y professionals have also been burnt by the infamous love scams. According to a report by the Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) in 2016, a total of 2,497 love scam cases were reported with losses close to RM100 million. It proves that Goondus are fools for love.

The fact that identity theft can happen so close to home and lead to financial loss was very disturbing and shocking to the individuals in this example.

 

Goondus Awards Submission & Contest Details

The criteria for the story entries are that they must be based on actual events leading to tangible or intangible losses concerning Internet use. The winning stories will be selected by a panel of judges where participants stand a chance of winning an iPad Mini or a Tablet and even monthly prizes like a Kaspersky Lab premiums hamper.

The website also includes tips and advice from cyber security experts and elaborations on the different types of scams such as Internet love sex scams, credit for sex scams and phishing scams, to further inform users.

To submit a story, fill in the requested information such as your name, email address and contact number, along with the type of scam, story title and the full story in the website. The “Tips” section of the website features articles from the Kaspersky Lab blog and are categorised based on the various issues and forms of scams highlighted in the website. This educational content serves to advise users on how to prevent such incidents from occurring.

 

Cybersecurity Incidents In Malaysia

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In 2016 alone, CyberSecurity Malaysia received 8,334 reports related to cyber security incidents. Between 2012 to 2016, CyberSecurity Malaysia received a total of 50,789 cyber security incidents. Of the figure, fraud contributes to almost 40 per cent or 20,141 followed by hacktivism (9,918), spam (9,210) and cyber threats (2,333).

More than 70 per cent of the incidents reported involved financial implications, including phishing, online banking fraud, credit card fraud and online scams among others. Statistics from The Royal Malaysian Police recorded 113 phishing cases resulting in total losses of RM1.91.

Comparing last year’s May and 2017’s May result in terms of cybercrime rate, is it evident that the figure has grown and especially cyber harassment case has rose over 50% according to CyberSecurity Malaysia. It is also evident that, statistics in May shows cases such as frauds, spams and malicious codes rose compared to last year.

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Kaspersky : Attackers Hiding Ztorg Trojan Inside Trojan SMS

Kaspersky Lab experts have discovered Ztorg apps on the Google Play Store that appear to show cybercriminals trying different ways to get their malware past security – in this case by installing their malicious code in stages and wrapping a Trojan SMS around an encrypted rooting Trojan.

The attackers used the Trojan SMS to make money from victims through Premium-rate SMS while they waited to execute the rooting Trojan. The apps were downloaded more than 50,000 times since mid-May, 2017, but have now been removed from Google Play.

 

Attackers Hiding Ztorg Trojan Inside Trojan SMS

The determination of cybercriminals to infect Android devices with Ztorg malware through the Google Play Store shows no signs of slowing down, with attackers constantly adapting their tools and techniques to avoid discovery.  In May 2017, Kaspersky Lab researchers discovered what appeared to be a standalone Ztorg variant, a Trojan SMS.

On closer inspection, it turned out to contain an encrypted Ztorg rooting Trojan. The Ztorg SMS was found in two apps, a browser and a “noise detection” application. The browser app, which was downloaded 50,000 times, was uploaded to Google Play on 15 May, and never updated – possibly because it was a test run to see if the functionality worked.

The researchers were able to make a more detailed study of the “noise detection” app, uploaded on 20 May and installed more than 10,000 times before being deleted by Google. Their analysis suggests the cybercriminals’ ultimate aim was to execute a regular version of the Ztorg Trojan.

But since they had opted for a stage-by-stage approach involving a series of clean and then malicious updates, they added some supplementary malicious functionality to make money while they were waiting to run the rooting malware.

The Ztorg SMS functionality allows the app to send premium rate SMS, delete incoming SMS and switch off sound.

The Ztorg Trojan continues to appear on the Google Play Store, accompanied by new tricks to bypass security and infect as many different Android devices and OS versions as possible. Even if a victim downloads what is clearly a clean app, there is no guarantee that it will still be clean in a few days’ time. Users, Google and security researchers need to remain vigilant at all times and to be proactive about protection,” said Roman Unuchek, Senior Malware Analyst, Kaspersky Lab.

Kaspersky Lab advises users to install a reliable security solution, such as Kaspersky Internet Security for Android (Amazon | Lazada), on their device, always check that apps have been created by a reputable developer, to keep their OS and application software up-to-date, and not to download anything that looks at all suspicious or whose source cannot be verified.

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Kaspersky Lab: Financial Cyberthreats In Asia Pacific

19 October 2016 – One of the key topics of Kaspersky Lab’s Cyber Security Weekend for Asia Pacific Countries that took place recently in Indonesia was financial cybersecurity. The company’s experts and guests discussed financial cyberthreats that are currently on the rise globally and starting to penetrate the APAC region.

 

Kaspersky Lab Warns about Financial Cyberthreats in Asia Pacific

“Financial threats vary, from online fraud and banking Trojans that affect PCs, tablets and smartphones, to attacks on financial organizations, ATMs and even point-of-sale terminals. Analyzing our statistics, we see that as the financial sector in Asia-Pacific countries is developing fast, cybercriminals are increasingly looking for ways they can profit from it. Since a lot of organizations and individuals often forget about security when adopting new technologies, we believe it’s important to remind them about cybersecurity principles that will help them stay safe,” said Vitaly Kamluk, Kaspersky Lab’s Director of Global Research & Analysis Team in APAC.

The Consumer Security Risks Survey 2016, conducted by B2B International and Kaspersky Lab, showed that 67% of respondents in APAC countries are worried about online banking fraud and 63% said they often worry about their vulnerability when making financial transactions online. 62% stated they would use online payments more often if they had reliable protection for financial transactions. Consumer concerns about financial security are well-founded; 5% of consumers globally have lost money online as a result of scams or fraud, with the average sum lost reaching $476.

“Spam, phishing and banking Trojans are among the most widespread financial threats. So users should be attentive to fake web pages, unexpected e-mails asking to provide financial information, and secure their mobile devices if transactions are made from them. While organizations should also regularly check their IT infrastructure and especially computers from which financial transactions are made,” explains Vitaly Kamluk.

Banking Trojans remain one of the most dangerous online threats. They are often propagated via compromised or fraudulent websites and spam emails and, after infecting users, steal personal information such as bank account details, passwords, or payment card details.

According to Kaspersky Security Network data, in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the same period of 2015 the number of banking Trojans increased in the Philippines (by 24%), India (by 31%), China (by 43%) and Vietnam (by 104%). Vietnam and India were the countries with the largest number of victims. Other countries saw decrease in the number of victims, one of the reasons for which might be the effect of the raised awareness of users, new government initiatives or even a geographical preference defined by the criminals behind banking Trojan malware campaigns.

 

Advice to Individuals

  • Regularly check your computer for malware – you can use free tools such as Kaspersky Security Scan, but it is better to install a permanent security solution on all devices from which you arrange financial transactions or access personal accounts.

Use only legal software and keep it updated.

  • Make sure you use strong and regularly renewed passwords.
    Avoid clicking on links in unexpected messages from people or organizations.
    Be cautious at all times when visiting websites: if something looks even slightly suspicious, it probably is.

 

Advice to Businesses

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  • Report suspected attacks to the bank or police.
  • Use proven security solutions.
  • Make sure your software, especially for banking and IT security, is up to date.
  • Educate your employees.
  • Apply strict IT security policies.

Banks are advised to use specialized security solutions, such as Kaspersky Fraud Prevention that helps reduce the fraud risks for online and mobile financial transactions among their users. As a preventive measure it is also important to draw on the expertise of IT specialists, bringing in external experts and their intelligence data when needed.

 

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Kaspersky Lab’s Secure Your Ferrari Experience Contest

PETALING JAYA, April 8, 2016 – Roar into the Singapore Grand Prix F1 with an experience worth USD19,500 when you buy any specially marked Kaspersky Internet Security 2016 or Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2016 at retail, from now until May 31st , 2016.

 

Win Singapore Night Race Hospitality Passes!

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2016 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2016 were developed specfically to protect what matters most to users: their privacy, data, identity, money and the device itself. The solution includes updated technologies ensuring that users are protected whatever they do on their devices online and whichever platforms they choose: Windows, OS X or Android.

There will be one winner from each of the participating countries. Each winner will receive 2016 Singapore hospitality passes to witness the adrenaline-pumping race. The experience also includes return flights and three-night accommodation for the winner and his or her companion.

This luxurious experience is made available to one lucky Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2016 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2016 purchaser from Malaysia. To increase your chances of winning, ensure that all your devices, and the devices of your loved ones, co-workers, and neighbors, and more receive Kaspersky Lab’s award-winning world-class protection.

 

How To Secure Your Ferrari Experience

To stand a chance to win, participants will need to adopt secured cyber practices by purchasing Kaspersky Internet Security 2016 or Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2016 at any authorized retail dealers nationwide.

Enter the product license code, and you’re off to answer an online quiz of five multiple-choice questions, and you can see the results immediately upon completion. One license code entitles you to one entry, and the multiple choice questions may not be the same each time.

“The ‘Secure Your Ferrari Experience Competition’ is our way of bringing our partnership with Ferrari to the next level of engagement, and giving our users an unforgettable Formula One experience for choosing the right protection to secure their devices! So send in your entries now!” said Sylvia Ng, Acting General Manager, SEA, Kaspersky Lab.

Kaspersky Lab first partnered with Scuderia Ferrari back in 2010. Since the 2012 F1 racing season, the Kaspersky Lab logo has been prominently featured on the car nose cones and sides, and on the drivers’ overalls and team uniforms.

From its iconic Maranello factory complex, all the way to the chequered flag, Ferrari’s IT systems have been protected by bespoke Kaspersky Lab security solutions since 2013.

Specially marked Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2016 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2016 are now available at Digital Mall (Petaling Jaya), Lowyat Plaza (Kuala Lumpur), Harvey Norman (Klang Valley) and all authorised IT stores nationwide.

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Kaspersky Lab Finds Security Weaknesses in Clinic IT

25 March 2016 – A Kaspersky Lab Global Research & Analysis Team (GReAT) expert has conducted real field research at one private clinic in an attempt to explore its security weaknesses and how to address them. Vulnerabilities were found in medical devices that opened a door for cybercriminals to access the personal data of patients, as well as their physical well-being.

A modern clinic is a complicated system. It has sophisticated medical devices that comprise fully functional computers with an operating system and applications installed on them. Doctors rely on computers, and all information is stored in a digital format. In addition, all healthcare technologies are connected to the Internet.

So, it comes as no surprise that both medical devices and hospital IT infrastructure have previously been targeted by hackers. The most recent examples of such incidents are ransomware attacks against hospitals in the US and Canada. But a massive malicious attack is only one way in which criminals could exploit the IT infrastructure of a modern hospital.

 

Clinics store personal information about their patients. They also own and use very expensive, hard to fix and replace equipment, which makes them a potentially valuable target for extortion and data theft.

The outcome of a successful cyberattack against a medical organization could differ in detail but will always be dangerous. It could involve the following:

  • The felonious use of personal patient data: the resale of information to third parties or demanding the clinic pay a ransom to get back sensitive information about patients;
  • The intentional falsification of patient results or diagnoses;
  • Medical equipment damage may cause both physical damage to patients and huge financial losses to a clinic;
  • Negative impact on the reputation of a clinic.

 

Exposure to the Internet

The first thing that a Kaspersky Lab expert decided to explore, while conducting this research, was to understand how many medical devices around the globe are now connected to the Internet. Modern medical devices are fully-functional computers with an operating system and most of these have a communication channel to the Internet. By hacking them, criminals could interfere with their functionality.

A quick look over the Shodan search engine for Internet-connected devices showed hundreds of devices – from MRI scanners, to cardiology equipment, radioactive medical equipment and other related devices are registered there. This discovery leads to worrisome conclusions – some of these devices still work on old operational systems such as Windows XP, with unpatched vulnerabilities, and some even use default passwords that can be easily found in public manuals.

Using these vulnerabilities criminals could access a device interface and potentially affect the way it works.

 

Inside clinic’s local network

The above mentioned scenario was one of the ways in which cybercriminals could get access to the clinic’s critical infrastructure. But the most obvious and logical way is to try to attack its local network. And here we go: during the research a vulnerability was found in the clinic’s Wi-Fi connection. Through a weak communications protocol access to the local network was gained.

Exploring the local clinic’s network, the Kaspersky Lab expert found some medical equipment that was previously found on Shodan. This time however, to get access to the equipment one didn’t need any password at all – because the local network was a trusted network for medical equipment applications and users. This is how a cybercriminal can gain access to a medical device.

Further exploring the network, the Kaspersky Lab expert discovered a new vulnerability in a medical device application. A command shell was implemented in the user’s interface that could give cybercriminals access to personal patient information, including their clinical history and information about medical analysis, as well as their addresses and ID details. Moreover, through this vulnerability the whole device controlled with this application could be compromised. For example, among these devices could be MRI scanners, cardiology equipment, radioactive and surgical equipment.

Firstly, criminals could alter the way the device works and cause physical damage to the patients. Secondly, criminals could damage the device itself at immense cost to the hospital.

“Clinics are no longer only doctors and medical equipment, but IT services too. The work of a clinic’s internal security services affects the safety of patient data and the functionality of its devices. Medical software and equipment engineers put a lot of effort into creating a useful medical device that will save and protect human life, but they sometimes completely forget about protecting it from unauthorized external access. When it comes to new technologies, safety issues should be addressed at the first stage of the research and development (R&D) process.

IT security companies could help at this stage to address safety issues”, mentions Sergey Lozhkin, senior researcher at Kaspersky Lab’s GReAT.

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Kaspersky Lab experts recommend implementing the following measures to protect clinics from unauthorized access:

  • Use strong passwords to protect all external connection points;
  • Update IT security policies, develop on time patch management and vulnerability assessments;
  • Protect medical equipment applications in the local network with passwords in case of an unauthorized access to the trusted area;
  • Protect infrastructure from threats like malware and hacking attacks with a reliable security solution;
  • Backup critical information regularly and keep a backup copy offline.

 

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Kaspersky Internet Security For Android Now Smartwatch-Ready

9 March 2016, Kaspersky Lab unveils a new version of Kaspersky Internet Security for Android that, in addition to offering improved performance speed and protection quality, includes an option for managing protection via Android Wear devices.

In 2015 alone, Kaspersky Lab registered nearly 17 million attacks by malicious mobile software. These included programs designed for surveillance, extortion, stealing money and other criminal activities.

Kaspersky Internet Security for Android provides protection from these kinds of threats. To make it even more user-friendly and accessible, Kaspersky Lab has released an update that includes control via Android Wear smart watches.

A user’s smartwatch can now display notifications from Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, installed on a paired smartphone or tablet. This could include, for example, notifications about a threat detected on the device. A user can also remotely issue commands to the product via a watch by pressing keys on the screen or via voice control. These commands can activate an audible alarm to find a lost phone, run a scan for Android malware and update anti-virus databases.

In addition, the new version of the security solution is now compatible with Android 6.0, which provides effective protection against online threats to even more owners of Android devices.

“Statistics show that Android continues to be the second most attacked platform after Microsoft Windows, which is why owners of Android-based devices are strongly recommended to use security solutions. At the same time, the Internet of Things market is rapidly developing, attracting more and more users. This means that security solution vendors need to make it possible for customers to use the IoT in combination with their protection solutions,” says Alexey Chikov, Product Manager at Kaspersky Lab.

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Kaspersky Internet Security For Android Availability

The new Kaspersky Internet Security for Android is now available from Google Play, on the Kaspersky Lab site, and as part of Kaspersky Internet Security – Multi-Device, and Kaspersky Total Security – Multi-Device. In 2015, Kaspersky Lab was awarded the Top Developer prize from Google for its innovative approach and high quality products.

In addition to protection against malicious software and websites, the solution includes tools to remotely control a device if it lost or stolen, to filter out unwanted calls and messages, and to hide personal data from prying eyes. The product can also be controlled remotely via the My Kaspersky portal, for example, to activate the Anti-Theft function, to enable or disable the Privacy Protection function or to update anti-virus databases.

 

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If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participate in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donate to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!