FixMeStick’s Weekly Cybersecurity Round-Up: Dec 9th – 15th

Can you believe it’s the last Cybersecurity Round-Up of the decade? This week the city of New Orleans was the victim of a ransomware attack, an unfortunate addition to the list of local and municipal governments that have experienced cyber attacks this year. iPhones made the news again, with a malware designed specifically to target them, additional parental control features, and a change to location services. Read more on these top stories below!

Ransomware Alert: the City of New Orleans has declared a State of Emergency after a ransomware attack on December 13.

There have been quite a few attacks on local governments within the past few months, including on the state of Louisiana and Texas, which you can read more about by clicking here.

Many types of ransomware are incredibly difficult to detect when they are lying dormant, which is part of what makes them so dangerous. Employees can play a key part in preventing ransomware attacks by knowing the signs of phishing scams, and reporting any suspicious activity to their IT department. Click here for tips on how to spot suspicious advertisements around the holiday season.

It is always important to back up your computer to retain a copy of your files, in case you fall victim to a ransomware attack. You can click here for information on how to back up your files. For more details on the ransomware attack, and the city’s response click here.

iPhone 11 users not interested in having their whereabouts tracked will have to be extra diligent with how they disable location services. Apple has installed a new feature called Ultra Wideband in the iPhone 11, which allows users to share files over short distances.

Since this feature is built into the phone, it means users will need to turn off the “Location Services” feature, as opposed to only turning off location services in each individual application. For more information on Ultra Wideband and how it works, click here.

A malware specifically designed to target iPhone users, Krampus-3pc, has arrived just in time for the holidays. It was distributed through malicious ads, which snuck their way onto over 100 legitimate websites, such as online newspapers, through a reputable advertising source.

One click on this malicious ad allows the malware to hijack a user’s browser, and gain access to important information. Phishing scams are all too common around the holidays, you can click here for helpful tips on how to spot these scams so you don’t fall victim. To read more about Krampus-3PC malware, click here.

In other Apple news, they added new features to the parent controls for iPhones. These newest features allow parents to control the contact list – giving them the ability to manage who children can text, call, and FaceTime.

Settings for contacts, as well as application use can now be programmed to change during various times of the day, allowing children to only contact parental figures and use educational apps during “downtime”. If you are looking for more ways to keep your family cyber safe, click here. Looking to read more about these iPhone settings and how they can be enabled? Click here for the full article. Know a parent who would find this helpful? Be sure to share!

That’s all for this decade’s Round-Up folks! We look forward to bringing you more news in 2020. Stay cyber safe and enjoy your holidays!