FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Round-Up: April 6th -April 13th

Hey there! We hope that you all had a happy Easter this past weekend. Even if you didn’t manage to see some of your family due to travel restrictions, it’s always possible to spend other types of quality time with them – check out our guide on how to stay connected with loved ones during social distancing.

For this week’s roundup we have news regarding hacked Zoom accounts being given away for free on the dark web, how thousands of Android apps contain undocumented backdoors, and more updates on the ongoing situation with governments tracking phones to monitor the spread of the coronavirus.

For those of you unfamiliar with Zoom, it’s a video communication application that allows you to host and join video calls with coworkers, friends, and family. Since the efforts of social distancing have been put into effect, many people have been utilizing the app to maintain communication, though the app has been running into some trouble with instances of trolls – and now hacks are the new thing.

Recently, over 500,000 hacked Zoom accounts have been given away on the dark web. Hackers seem to have gotten a hold of old account credentials and are selling them for low prices, or simply just giving them away. Many of these accounts have been using old passwords, and while some of the account information being posted is dated, many passwords haven’t been changed and are at risk of being exploited.

With that being said, we recommend updating your passwords whenever you get the chance. A new, strong, and secure password is the best way to prevent being hacked. if you have trouble remembering all those complex passwords we recommend using Google’s Chrome Sync feature. The best part is it is compatible across computers, like if you’re using the StartMeStick!

When it comes to apps, iPhones tend to be more secure than their competitor, Android, as many iPhone apps have to pass through levels of verification before they can make it to the app store. Androids, on the other hand, tend to be more casual, as many apps can be uploaded without extensive verification.

Recent studies have shown that over 1000 Android apps actually contain undocumented backdoors, which essentially means that the app can secretly gather user data and other forms of information without the user being aware of it. While many of these apps aren’t malicious, it can lead to unwanted information being leaked, and potential passwords and other vital aspects being compromised.

While this is obviously concerning, there is no apparent way to discern whether or not the app you are using is using a hidden backdoor on your device. Our advice is to do your own research before downloading an app, simply making sure you know exactly what you’re downloading beforehand. 

You can read more about the story here.

For those of you keeping up with the ongoing situation regarding the government’s tracking of coronavirus, we’ve had some interesting developments take place over the past week.

First starting out in countries such as Iran, Israel, and China, now many governments across the world are opting into using smartphone tracking in order to map the spread of the disease. As of April 10th, 2020, both Google and Apple announced that they will be teaming up to trace the virus as it continues to spread. 

Using a form of Bluetooth technology, the two tech giants hope to monitor the spread of the disease, checking to see who is potentially infected, and in turn contacting those who may have been in contact with the virus. If an individual has come in contact, they will receive a message informing them that they should either self-isolate, or look into receiving testing. 

This initiative is said to begin taking place towards the start of May, and is being done without any breach of individual privacy. While this is taking place in the US, other countries across the world are looking into how they may monitor the spread themselves.

You can read up on the situation here.

That’s all for this week, folks! We hope that you’ve all been keeping safe. Make sure to wash your hands, and run your FixMeStick every so often, as you never know what other sorts of viruses may be waiting around the corner.

12 comments

  1. Bron Rooda - Reply

    I lost my FixMeStick and am in need for an other one. However I’m now in Mexico City.
    What can be done?

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Bron, to better assist you with this we sent you a follow-up email. Please check your email, thanks!

  2. Jo Stone - Reply

    I’m so ready to purchase a fix me stick for my phone!! When will you’ll have one?

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Jo, thanks for your interest. Since FixMeSticks do not work on smartphones at the moment, we may look into building one sometime in the future!

  3. Jo Stone - Reply

    Notify me when they go on sale. I’m so tired of being hacked on my phone. Fix me stick for computer is great, so I know for the phone it will be too. Jo

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Jo, thanks for your interest! Please note that at this time both of our products (StartMeStick and FixMeStick) do not work on smartphones.

  4. Arthur Hamilton - Reply

    I used Fi͏x-me-stick on my computer, but since it got an infection I only have my I phone and iPad. Can’t wait for help on these.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Arthur, we sent you a follow-up email with instructions for more ways you can contact us from a smartphone or tablet!

  5. B J Russell - Reply

    Both my fixmestick and startmestick appear to have been nullified!
    I followed instructions with both and they appear to be hacked each time. I can’t factory update or upgrade.
    I use Bell.ca fiber internet (192.168.2.1) thru a Comcast demarcation point. Xfinity. Mississauga, Ontario. Home phone appears hacked as well. Bell tech experts blow me off as white haired old senior.
    What do you recommend?

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi there, to better assist you with this issue we sent you some follow-up questions steps to your email. Please check your email, thanks!

  6. KATHARINE KIBBE - Reply

    WHAT IS A STARTMESTICK? WHERE CAN I BUY A FIXMESTICK I NO LONGER SHOP WHERE I BOUGHT MY LAST ONE. FOR SOME REASON MY LAST NEW ONE STOPPED WORKING. ABOUT WHENEVER U SEEN ME DO MY LAST CHECK. ALONG TIME AGO. THANKS! PLS LET ME KNOW.

    • Linda - Reply

      Hi Katherine, to better assist you we sent you some answers to your email. Please check your email, thanks!

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