FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Round-Up: Aug 19th-25th

It’s time to get your weekly cybersecurity news fix with the FixMeStick Cybersecurity Round-Up! The biggest buzz of the week was the massive ransomware attack in Texas, but there was also an Instagram security scare, some sneaky new findings about Xbox’s spying habits, and some updates about the end of Windows 7. Read on to stay secure!

You may have seen in the news that 22 Texas towns were hit with a massive ransomware attack last week, which left many local government organizations’ computer systems infiltrated and compromised. But wait, what is ransomware? And how can it affect you? We’ll fill you in with our full article on the attack here

Use Instagram? Users had a scare this week with a phishing scam that was going around asking users to use a fake 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) code to ‘sign in’ to their accounts.

With 2FA being such a steadfast tool in the cybersecurity world these days, these clever crooks used it to scheme a believable warning email about 2FA to fool users into handing over their personal information. Phishing scams may be getting sneakier than ever before, but there’s still lots you can do to stay out of trouble. Click here to see our guide to recognizing phishing scams for what they really are.

Employees at Portland Public Schools came close to losing $3 million dollars this week after they caught a BEC (Business Email Compromise) scam just in the knick of time.

BEC scams consist of criminals impersonating third party companies who then contact an organization convincing them to wire money. In this case, two employees at Portland Public Schools were contacted by a fraudster pretending to be from one of the institution’s construction contractors, asking them to send payment to an account. The employees mistakenly approved the payments, sending $2.9 million without thinking twice.

Luckily, Portland Schools moved quickly to stop the transaction. Learn how it happened and how to prevent your workplace from falling victim to similar scams by reading the full story here.

Remember when we reported on Apple using Siri to spy on iPhone users? Well Microsoft joined the club of spies this week when it was reported that up until a few months ago, Xbox users were being recorded by a feature on the device called Xbox audio. The clips were being sent to contractors for analysis. It’s the same thing that’s been happening with Siri: Xbox’s audio assistant is getting triggered accidentally by ambient sounds, and then records without its user’s explicit permission.

And last but certainly not least, some news from Microsoft on Windows 7 security updates: if you didn’t know already, Windows 7 will reach its end in 4 months time. At that point Microsoft will no longer offer Windows 7 users security updates and software patches for the operating system. But Microsoft released a document this week that said customers with top-tier subscriptions will still receive free security updates for at least 1 year after Windows 7 officially ends. Read the full story to find out more.

That’s all for this week. Check back again next week for more news stories. Stay cybersafe, FixMeFans!