Microsoft admits Outlook.com hacked

Micrsoft Outlook.com hacked

Microsoft has admitted that its Outlook.com platform was hacked. Users of its email system are affected. That includes Outlook.com, MSN and Hotmail email accounts.

A support agent had their credentials compromised by hackers. The hackers had full access to Outlook.com which also hosts the msn and Hotmail email accounts. Microsoft will not admit to how many users are affected but say that they have contacted affected users and also as a precaution made them all change their passwords although they say that there is no user credentials that have been compromised.

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Claims that it has been going on for longer

Microsoft dismissed claims that the breach had been going on for around 6 months and stated that it had only been between January 1st and March 28th 2019.They also claim that only around 6% of the total affected users had been fully breached. Certainly the hackers had full access to email and attachments of those affected.

The Managing Director and a Security Expert at CritchCorp Computers Ltd stated:

It seems unlikely that they had different levels of access to users email accounts and more likely that they had full access to all the accounts. However as Microsoft will not elaborate on breach it is difficult to say.

Screen shots of the breach have been provided to Microsoft, which prompted them to admit that the hack had happened and further screen shots to admit to the extent of the hack.

What they may have done

You may well have noticed more phishing emails during this time and indeed in the future. These emails may come from someone you know and use your name in them. They may well urge you to click a link which will inevitably ask you for money in some way, or infect you with a virus that will steal credentials to banking sites or other high value websites.

You should always be vigilant when receiving email and even more so when it comes from a free email account such as Hotmail or Outlook.com but now you will need to extra vigilant.

There is also a suggestion that they may have used the breach to reset stolen iPhones. Apple has started to tie iPhones to the email address. Therefore only the email address holder can reset the phone to factory default.

What to do if you use Outlook.com

If you know of any Outlook.com users then you should urge them to immediately check their email for a message from Microsoft. In any case perhaps change their password and/or email service provider. We recommend SecuredMail.App, BasicMail or our Cloud Mail accounts as an alternative to any free or paid for email service. All are available from our store and can replace Outlook.com, Gmail, yahoo mail and iCloud mail.

Keep Safe

CritchCorp Computers Ltd

 

How to find out if your website contains malware

How to find out your website is infected

Does Your Website Contain Malware? How can you find out?

When was the last time you checked your website for malware? Maybe, you have a valid reason (business is booming or website is undergoing changes) for not doing so. But this could prove extremely dangerous. Therefore it’s extremely important to check your website for malware from time to time. In this blog, we list some guidelines about how to check for website malware infections and how to protect your websites.

Reactive Ways of Discovering your Website was Hacked

  • Your Website Visitors Are Being Warned By Google Chrome:

    Your users will eventually start complaining about not being able to reach your website and that Google Chrome is blocking it using a message which reads ‘Phishing attack ahead’. If this is the case, it’s a clear sign that your website has been hacked. It’s time you did something about it.

 

  • Your Hosting Provider Takes Your Site Offline:

    This happens when visitors approach your website hosting provider and lodge complaints with them instead of choosing to approach you. When this happens, your website hosting provider has little choice but to remove your infected-website before the infection spreads to the visitors.

 

Proactive Ways of Protecting Against Hackers

  • Using Website Malware Scanner:

If you’re someone who thinks along the lines ‘let me find out whether my website is vulnerable or not and then safeguard it’ (which is very wrong thinking, by the way) then there are plenty of free online website malware scanners(like our very own Web Inspector) which can prove useful to you. All you have to do is give your website’s URL and you’ll know whether your website is vulnerable or not within minutes.

  • Using Website Security Application:

This is probably the best way of offering 24/7 protection to your website. As the name suggests, website security applications are website protection tools which protect your websites from various security attacks like DDoS, Brute-Force, SQL Injection etc., through constant monitoring and by employing various website malware detection and prevention techniques.

Conclusion:

Speaking in non-technical terms, malware typically hides within the website’s code, which website malware scanners find or detect. Whereas a website security application does not stop at just identification or detection. It gets to the root of the issue and removes the malware from the website. That’s the big difference between these website security or protection tools.

Now, proactive monitoring is important when it comes to website protection. Because, well, prevention is always better than cure. Therefore subscribe to the services of a website security application like Comodo cWatch and make sure your website stays safe against various security threats.

Comodo cWatch is available from CritchCorp Computers Ltd with all our hosting plans and you can get even more protection by upgrading to include the CDN and WAF. See the different options on the cWatch Page.

Check Your Website Security Before It’s Too Late!

Check your website security

You’ve probably tried to visit a website before, only to find that your browser has blocked the site because one or more of its webpages contains malware. But how about the website owners? Do they realize that their site is infected? Shouldn’t they have noticed before your browser did? The answer is “yes.” Follow these steps to make sure your site is secured:

Check Out Google

There’s a way to confirm your suspicion if your website does have malware or other issues. Google has a website for diagnosing unsecured websites. Please use http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=[SITE NAME]. Remember to change the [SITE NAME] into your site address. You’ll see a quick report on your website’s condition there. Though, Google won’t show you what kind of malware attacked you.

Stronger Password Combinations

When Google gives you a report and it has malware on it, you need to change all of your passwords. Use a stronger password combination this time. Avoid reusing passwords for different accounts.

The Hidden Danger

Even new hackers will use a certain attribute to display malicious links. The display=none attribute will prevent visitors and site owners from finding the intruder links. Nobody searches for how to eradicate malware until they have undeniable evidence. The average person might not notice malicious links right away, but search engine bots can. You can be deranked from search engines like Google if such links are found. It is easy to find the unwanted links, but you need to look very carefully for them. Here is what you should do:

  • Open your source code on a web browser. (Most browsers let you go to the Page Source under the View menu.)
  • Check for the and tags for strange links.
  • Look for links next to the “display=none” attribute.

 

If you know your code, then you will quickly identify the links that should not be there. If this is the first time you are looking at it, the malicious code will usually lead to porn or gambling websites. You can check the links you found or if they are obvious, just block them.

These steps will lessen or protect you from new attacks. Yet there might be security holes left on your website. Check if you have the most recent updates and look in a couple of days if your code is free of unwanted links. Allot another week for check ups again before you can finally say it’s a closed case.

Further Measures to Take

Having another software to protect your website can give you immense benefits. Not only can it avoid damages, it also lessens the stress of a website security. To secure all of your digital assets, you can use Comodo cWatch.

Comodo cWatch a Managed Security Service for websites and applications that combines a Web Application Firewall (WAF) provisioned over a Secure Content Delivery Network (CDN). It is a fully managed solution from a 24/7 staffed Cyber Security Operation Center (CSOC) of certified security analysts and is powered by a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) center that leverages data from over 85 million endpoints to detect and mitigate threats before they occur. Its other features are Security Monitoring, Web Application Firewall, Malware Removal, and PCI Scanning.

WordPress Flaw found in Social Media plugin

Simple Social Buttons plugin flaw found that can take over your site.

URGENT – If you use the plugin ‘Simple Social Buttons’ in your WordPress installation, you should immediately update it to the latest version as there has been a serious flaw found in it that could allow an attacker to take over the site. The flaw, which was discovered last week by security researcher and developer Luka Šikić, has been discovered and a video showing how to use it to break in to WordPress websites has been released.

The flaw has been fixed by the developer and a patch released. So if you haven’t already then you should update now.

The flaw can only be leveraged in sites that allow user sign-up, which most sites have disabled due to security reasons. Never the less you should update before they figure out how to exploit the flaw without user sign-up requirements.

Any of our customers who have website maintenance contracts will have already been updated to the latest security patch. If you are not sure then you should contact your web development team and/or your host to see if they can help.

If you are really stuck then we may be able to help, please submit a support ticket with your website URL and contact information. Do NOT post your username and password in the ticket we will contact you separately for the information if needed.

If you use the Simple Social Buttons plugin for WordPress then make sure you update your site to correct the security flaw immediately.

Stay Safe

CritchCorp Computers Ltd.