Channel Partners, 11/6/15
Remember CryptoWall ransomware? It’s back with a vengeance, says security firm Bitdefender. This time around, CryptoWall 4.0 encrypts the names of files along with the data — want to know what’s locked? Too bad, you just get a list of random numbers and letters. And it will cost customers $700 in Bitcoin, sent to a Tor site within three days, to get their data back.
Bitdefender says CryptoWall has been active since April 2014 under three known versions. It has inflicted more than $1 million in losses every month in the United States alone, according to the FBI. It uses RSA-2048 encryption, so forget cracking the algorithm.
The (sort of) good news is that the propagation method has not changed: Most infections come from an employee opening an infected email attachment. This prevention advice still stands.
Still Miss Your Physical Keyboard?
Today AT&T becomes the first U.S. carrier to offer the new BlackBerry Priv. I know what you’re thinking, but stay with me here. The device is not your father’s BlackBerry. It sports a 5.4-inch curved Gorilla Glass screen and runs Android 5.1 — and the million or so Play Store apps. The QWERTY keyboard slides out from under the display and can be used as a trackpad. No more smudgy screen.
Playing on its reputation for security, RIM included a function to monitor the Priv’s security level and show exactly what apps are accessing the microphone, location, camera and other functions. It’s got an 18 megapixel camera, up to 22.5 hours of power, and the ability to expand the 32 GB of standard on-board storage up to 2 TB with a micro SD5 slot. At $699, the cost is competitive with similarly tricked-out Apple and Samsung devices.