Monday, June 5, 2017

Déjà vu feeling

A year ago, today ...

Do you know that feeling when you enter a place and suddenly you feel that you had been there before? No matter that you know for sure that you have never stepped on that place, a part inside of you is convinced that you have already lived that moment. This is that we call déjà vu. Some theorists think that it is related to dreams, others relate it to parapsychology, and the sciences attribute it to an anomaly in memory, specifically in the overlap between short and long term memory.

In the world of cybersecurity the feeling of déjà vu involves us over and over again. It does not matter that we fight against all types of malware, cybercriminals, etc. We find in the present many situations that already happened in the past. Today in our return to the past we have a perfect example of this effect.

WannaCry has shown to the more "neophyte" people what a ransomware is and how it acts, but that does not mean that in the past it was not already one of our main concerns. A year ago we discovered that the use of ransomware had increased 700% in just three months. However, that was not the only alarming figure, since according to this study there were up to 124 different types of families.

A variant of ransomware is Cerber. This type of malware infects the system of its victims and stores all its data like a hostage until a specific amount of money is paid. Well, a year ago we discovered that this threat increased in a vertiginous way their attempts of infection day after day. The problem is that it was very difficult to stop it since it mutated every 15 seconds, becoming a danger.

But just as it happens in the present, ransomware is not the only threat we can find on the internet. There are also other dangers lurking to take advantage of our oversights. For example, the assault to the accounts of the remote access provider TeamViewers. The service, used in large and medium-sized businesses to share and control desktops, online meetings, video conferencing and file transfer between computers, would have been used by criminals to drain PayPal and its bank accounts.

And without leaving aside the credentials stealing, we pass the leading role to Mark Zuckerberg, who  year ago suffered the theft of his credentials for Twitter and Pinterest at the hands of the group OurMine. The curious thing is that this group wrote several tweets in the wall of the victim, announcing that the password for both networks was "dadada". This was never denied by the founder of Facebook.

The feeling of déjà vu is an anomaly of memory (because by now we do not believe in ghosts) that in the world of cybersecurity happens to be real. The new malware attacks remind us of the old ones, many times because we do not make sure to eradicate the mistakes from the past. So if you do not want to feel a little confused, you’d better get informed so the ghosts from the past do not torment you.

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