The President's Message

August 2013

by Sandy Tsutsui-Trujillo, President

Established 1987

"Promoting the Harmony of Computer Education, and Camaraderie"

I want to thank everyone for such a warm welcome. I look forward to the following year. The future is changing. As tablets and smartphones become more common, they are going to be bigger targets. I was shocked to find someone her banking from her smartphone but never installed an antivrus. I suggested Avast. Medical equipment is vulnerable. After reading the article "Can Your Insulin Pump Be Hacked?", I called a friend. Her son was a Insulin Pump beta tester and never upgrade it.

HEPA has force our doctors and hospitals to protect our information. Insurance companies have been trying to protect themselves too. Credit card companies are requiring companies to protect their systems. The Super Bowl blackout sparked attention to our supply chain and infrastructure.

In my opinion Toby's assessment of Apple's security is accurate. I was impressed by the ""Apple Confirms "Intruder" Hacked Its Developer Site" because Apple said, "we have not been able to rule out the possibility that some developers'" information was taken.

I'll leave you with the following: US-CERT has received reports of increased activity concerning an apparently DHS-themed ransomware malware infection occurring in the wild. Users who are being targeted by the ransomware receive a message claiming that use of their computer has been suspended and that the user must pay a fine to unblock it. One iteration of this malware also takes a webcam (if available) photo or video of a recipient and posts it in a pop-up to add to the appearance of legitimacy. The ransomware falsely claims to be from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Division.

Users who are infected with the malware should consult with a reputable security expert to assist in removing the malware, or perform a clean reinstallation of their OS after formatting their computer's hard drive.

US-CERT and DHS encourage users and administrators not to pay the perpetrators and to report the incident to the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Use caution when encountering these types of email messages and take the following preventive measures to protect themselves from phishing scams and malware campaigns that attempt to frighten and deceive a recipient for the purpose of illegal gain.

  • Do not click on or submit any information to webpages.
  • Do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages.
  • Use caution when opening email attachments. Refer to the Security Tip Using Caution with Email Attachments .
  • Users who are infected should change all passwords AFTER removing the malware from their system.

Happy computing!