Cyber Security News & Tips by Glenda R. Snodgrass for The Net Effect

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March 15, 2022

Good morning, everyone!

The latest critical vulnerabilities:
  • Microsoft released more than 70 updates in its last Patch Tuesday (March 8)
  • Linux kernel patches have been released to fix a critical vulnerability just discovered.
  • Mozilla Firefox released an emergency update
  • Mitel released software updates for its MiCollab and MiVoice Business Express collaboration systems. which are currently being used in cyber attacks

Patch All the Things!

Looking Behind the Curtain

Two stories in my newsfeed this past week really hit home to me the importance of looking behind the curtain – don’t accept marketing claims at face value, and don’t just assume something is secure because it’s popular or used in a lot of places.

Home Security Systems

Consumer Reports recently published a report on their testing of do-it-yourself home security systems – how secure are they?

In a series of new tests, Consumer Reports found that five popular DIY home security systems are relatively easy to jam. [...] Two of those systems … are also susceptible to replay disarm signal attacks

The report is worth reading, as it explains these attacks and several others that you should be aware of. It’s always important to do your research before making a purchase, but you should definitely research the security of a security product!

The report also has some really useful advice:

So, how can you protect your system? First, don’t advertise what system you own with its branded yard signs and window decals. Once a burglar knows what system is being used, they can easily figure out which signals they need to jam.

“Security signs and decals can be a useful deterrent to burglars, but you should always use generic, un-branded signs and decals,” says Bernie Deitrick, who oversees CR’s home security system testing. “That way you get the same benefits without tipping burglars off to the brand of system you own.”

WordPress Security Whitepaper

WordPress is probably the most popular website development package on the Internet today, primarily because it’s very easy to use and there are a kajillion plugins available for it.

Unfortunately, one of the great dichotomies of software is “Ease of Use” vs. “Security” – and this whitepaper gives a lot of examples of WordPress plugins with known vulnerabilities that aren’t being patched.

So if you want to use WordPress for your website, choose your plugins carefully. Are they under current development or have they been abandoned? Does that developer have a good reputation? Frankly, it’s a good idea to have your WordPress installation configured and maintained by a professional, someone who really knows WordPress, who can and will carefully vet plugins before installing them for you, and who cares about security. Just because you *can* do something yourself doesn’t mean you *should* do it yourself.

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought this week. Until next time!

Remember, you can read past editions of this newsletter on our website, along with tons more information under the Resources tab.

Talk to you again soon!

Glenda R. Snodgrass

Glenda R. Snodgrass
(251) 433-0196 x107
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