Google Ad Study: A new scam has been making the rounds on Facebook called the “Google Ad Study." The perpetrators recruit victims through social media with the promise of a laptop, which is "theirs to keep upon completion of the study." In exchange they demand access to login credentials for a primary Gmail account that's existed for a minimum of two years. Additionally, they require the recipient to connect the laptop to power and wi-fi, launch TeamViewer, and let it sit unused for 2-4 months, or "until the study is complete." To summarize, they prompt their victims to set up a laptop with a webcam in their home and leave it undisturbed while the perpetrators can access it remotely at any time. From enabling a camera with a live feed in your home, to granting access to a private email account, the required parameters are nothing short of suspicious; yet some have still fallen victim to this scam. Although the number of people targeted is relatively small, the potential damage is staggering. We advise that if you see friends or family sharing posts on Facebook that promise a "free laptop," you intervene and help to spread the word about the risks involved in engaging with the offer. 

Chipotle Hack: In late April, it was announced that the popular chain restaurant Chipotle was hit with an attack that targeted customer credit card information. Investigators were able to determine that the malware was deployed between March 24 and April 18, with "most, but not all restaurants involved." Targeting cash registers, this malware captured  "track data," or the information stored on the magnetic strip found on all credit cards. Chipotle recently created a locator tool on their website to help customers determine if their information might have been at risk. 

WannaCry Ransomware: Although this strain of ransomware came and went relatively quickly, chances are you still heard about it through various channels due to the large number of systems compromised. As it spread, researchers noticed that upon infecting a computer, it would redirect to a specific URL. If the ransomware connected to a server it deemed valid at that domain, it would retreat. Enter Marcus Hutchins, a 22-year-old employed with Kryptos Logic who, after seeing the malware reach out to the same URL again and again, made the simple but effective choice to register the domain in WannaCry's code. By doing so, he managed to drastically decrease the number of potential victims, and has become somewhat of a hero in the tech world. 

Worried you might have been susceptible to this attack? If you're one of our valued ClearIT Partners, we're pleased to report you would not have been at risk, thanks to our strategic partnerships with Webroot and Cisco Umbrella (formerly known as OpenDNS). Within hours of the initial WannaCry attack, both Webroot and Cisco Umbrella were able to implement measures to protect their customers (which in turn extended to our ClearIT Partners). For more information on our ClearIT Partner program, get in touch with us today!

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