Cyber-crime against children spikes amid stay-at-home orders

The sudden shift to remote work has forced millions of individuals and families to set aside their daily routines and quickly adapt to self-isolating measures to stay safe amid the pandemic

While social distancing helped us flatten the curve, the unprecedented spike in online consumption has opened new doors of exploitation for adults and children alike.

Adults are not the only ones susceptible to the dangers of online exposure. During the stay-at-home orders, millions of children have stored away their backpacks and school gear, participating in online courses along with their teachers and classmates.

While the virtual environment helps teachers and parents struggling to maintain a balanced day-to-day schedule for children, it also serves as a malicious vector for the cyber exploitation of children.

In the first two months of spring, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension observed a 30% increase in cyber-crimes against children. On top of more than 1,000 complaints received by the agency, The National Center of Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) recorded more than 6 million tips during the same period.

While the sudden spike in numbers can be attributed to the increased screen time for minors, John Shehan, the vice-president of NCMEC, says that online predators are discussing their intentions to exploit the lockdown orders on the dark web.

Law enforcement agencies also warn of the dangers of online chatrooms, where an adult may pose as a teenager and manipulate the recipient into sending indecent photos, ultimately blackmailing the child by threatening to expose his actions to his parents or teachers.

“Parents are stretched so thin and asked to do so much right now,” said Minnesota U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald. “It just leads to a very target-rich environment for kids to be preyed upon.”

Parents and caretakers should be the first to start an honest conversation with their children and warn them about the risks they face in the online world, she said.

Parents are advised to keep an eye on their children’s online profiles and monitor their posting patterns. It’s also a good idea to set privacy settings for social media accounts and online gaming platforms. If your little one is more of a night owl, it’s best to try and limit online consumption during late hours or, at least, supervise their interactions.

Cryptojacking is the new ransomware. Is that a good thing?

Cryptojacking is the new ransomware. Is that a good thing?

Browser-based crypto jacking is becoming very popular amongst cybercriminals, especially when end users are concerned.


Making money from mining crypto currencies isn’t just something that people do with their own hardware, malware authors have also been creating malicious software to have other people do the hard work them – and we don’t mean cloud mining. While this represents a new fad in the realm of malware authorship though, it may not be around in this guise for long.

In our history of malware feature, we looked at how malware tends to come in waves. While the latest and most dangerous in recent memory has been ransomware, it’s been pushed far from the top spot of common attacks in recent months by the advent of crypt miners, which look to force infected systems to mine cryptocurrency directly. While it may have been riding high recently though, like the value of cryptocurrencies themselves, it’s a malware type that already seems to be on the decline.

The cybercriminals are always financially motivated, crypto jacking is yet another method for them to generate revenue. Currently, it’s outpacing ransomware reports by a factor of 1 to 100, and these numbers will continue to increase for as long a virtual currencies remain popular and the market demands it.”
It is noted that Crypto mining had become one of the most common malware in recent months. It suggested that it had increased by as much as 4,000 percent in the consumer sector over the last quarter. It was also growing in the business space, with a 27 percent increase in overall detections during last quarter. This increase made it the second most common digital infection. Malwarebytes noted over the past three months, falling only just behind adware. In comparison, ransomware, which has been a major threat for the past few years, saw a notable decline in the consumer space, falling by 35 percent. Part of that could be to do with the more sophisticated targeting of ransomware at businesses and larger enterprises, but it may also be that the top producers of the ransomware software have been halted in their tracks.

Browser-based crypto jacking is becoming very popular amongst cybercriminals, especially when end users are concerned. Deploying it within legitimate and high-traffic websites after they’re breached their security will immediate return-on-investment as each visitor will mine cryptocurrency for as long as the script-based miner remains on the server.

Crypto jacking is definitely here to stay. These numbers will continue to increase for as long as virtual currencies remain popular and the market demands it. The scary part is not knowing where the criminals will go when cryptocurrencies no longer interest them.

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Bitdefender rolls out ‘Total Security-Multi-Device’ computer

Security solutions provider, Bitdefender has expanded its products range in the country with the launch of ‘Total Security-Multi-Device’ in India. Bitdefender Total Security Multi-Device claims to offer four-in-one

Security for Windows, Mac OS, IOS and Android.

The company said that the new product seeks to deliver multiple layers of protection against ransomware. The software uses behavioral threat detection to prevent infections and ransomware encryption attacks. In a statement, the company said that the product emphasizes on the key features of protection, privacy and performance.

Bitdefender Total Security is claimed to work against all threats – from viruses, worms and Trojans, to ransomware, zero-day exploits, rootkits and spyware, bringing complete data protection.

Its autopilot mode is said to run the entire solution by itself and there is no need to configure anything. The Bitdefender Photon in the software claims to save computing resources along with improving speed and performance of the system.

The software’s Bitdefender VPN encrypts all internet traffic up to 200MB for

Windows as well as Android devices to protect users’ privacy on web. With its parental advisor and privacy firewall, the security solution adds another layer of protection against hackers and data snoopers.

It also provides advanced threat defense by deploying unique behavioral detection technique to monitor active apps. The software, as the company says, takes impromptu action if it detects anything suspicious activity.

Features supported include webcam protection, anti-phishing, anti-theft, anti-loss and anti-fraud. It keeps the user’s files safe with secured browsing. Its anti-theft and anti-loss tools help keep track of the device from anywhere in the world.

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Bitdefender gets title of being the ‘Best Product of the Year’ 2017

New Delhi , Feb 16 : AV-Comparatives – an Austrian independent organization test lab providing a rigorous test of security software products, subjected 21 different security products for Windows to the investigation wherein Bitdefender, one of the leading computer security system manufacturers has won the Product of the year award.

Bitdefender is now acknowledged with the Gold Award for the Real-World Protection Test. Along with that, a Silver Award for the Malware Protection Test and Removal test, it is awarded the Bronze Product for the Performance test as well. As far as the Malware Removal Test is concerned, Bitdefender scored over 90 points and have had scored Advanced+ ranking in 7 Tests.

“Bitdefender’s reach is noticeable, globally. Being the frontrunner to detect the malicious ransomware(s) and cyber-security threats in the international frame, we have come up with numerous path-breaking and innovative technology. The consistent progress and tailor-made software products have dignified us to achieve several patents.

The product of the Year Award certainly optimizes us to build-up the advance and elevated security systems for a secured tomorrow,” said Zakir Hussain, CEO of BD Software company, country partner of Bitdefender.

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India must be prepared for HNS botnet attack: Bitdefender

After striking major countries across the globe, malicious cyber threat “Hide and Seek” (HNS) can hit India a severe blow and the country must be prepared to tackle the cyber attack, a senior executive from Romanian cybersecurity and anti-virus software company Bitdefender has said.

“A malicious cyber threat in the shape of HNS botnet now hovers above the ginormous cyber network of India. While the world still healing from the scars of ransomware cyber-attack, we cannot afford to conjure any other of such attack with such tiny or no information — additionally more threatening and effective,” Zakir Hussain, Director, BD soft, Country Partner of Bitdefender, told IANS.

The botnet now controls 32,312 Internet of Things (IoT) devices globally and seems to undergo massive development as new samples compiled for a variety of architectures have been added as payloads.

“This menace being hardly traceable, can hit India a severe blow. Though the latest technology adopted by the governmental departments of India is sophisticated and safeguarded, ‘prevention is always better than cure’,” Hussain added.

“When the world is still in a rivalry to ‘Hide and Seek’, India can be one of the countries on the list and must be prepared,” he added.

The emerging botnet, that uses custom-built peer-to-peer communication to exploit victims, was spotted by security researchers at Bitdefender Labs on January 10 before it disappeared for a few days.

It returned 10 days later on January 20 in a new and significantly improved form, the researchers said.

“The HNS botnet communicates in a complex and decentralized manner and uses multiple anti-tampering techniques to prevent a third party from hijacking/poisoning it. The bot can perform web exploitation against a series of devices,” Bitdefender researchers wrote in a blog post.

Once a device is infected, hackers behind the botnet can use commands to control it.

However, the researchers noted that like most IoT botnets, HNS cannot establish persistence on infected devices. With a simple device reboot, the malware can be automatically removed from the compromised device.

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Bitdefender BOX Upgrade Identifies Weakest Link in a Home’s Defense against Ransomware, Data Theft, Privacy Invasions

Bitdefender BOX, the breakthrough solution that protects all your connected devices, has been upgraded with Vulnerability Assessment, which scans everything in your home to pinpoint weak spots, and Active Threat Control, which stops even never-before-seen malware.

The BOX, which is revolutionizing the way people protect themselves from malware, hackers, ransomware, phishing and other growing threats, recognizes that your network security is only as strong as the weakest link. The new Vulnerability Assessment feature will identify that link to bolster your defenses against data theft, malicious attacks and other intrusions.

Meanwhile, Active Threat Control monitor processes and system events to flag suspicious behavior, thwarting even sophisticated malware yet to be invented. With an estimated 12 million new and variant strains of malware emerging each month, ATC uses machine-learning and behavior-based threat analysis to keep you a level smarter than the criminal masterminds.

Like the BOX itself, labeled `remarkably powerful’ by PCMag, the upgrade heightens protection for all the PCs, Macs, wearables, iPhones, iPads, Android or Jolla devices, Wiis and Xboxes, smart TVs, smart fridges and Wi-Fi-enabled devices in a home

“For years, traditional security solutions have been fighting an uphill battle against online criminals,” said Ciprian Istrate, Vice President Consumer Solutions at Bitdefender. “With the help of the latest innovations in online security, the BOX changes that – it positions you, the users, at the top of the hill, giving you a permanent strategic advantage. It will give you the intelligence you need to strengthen your weak points, and even malware that has not yet been invented will not make it past your guard.”

Bitdefender 2017 Leads Battle against Ransomware across platforms

World’s best security software leads fight against cybercrime with innovative features

Bitdefender, the innovative security software solutions provider, takes the lead in the global battle against internet threats such as ransomware with its 2017 product line for Windows, Mac OSX and Android.

The latest Bitdefender products include cloud and machine learning algorithm to eliminate the threat of ransomware, which is spreading at alarming rates among home users.  Ransomware works by locking down crucial files and photos on users’ computers to then demand a ransom for the decryption key.

Bitdefender’s 2017 line also introduces Wi-Fi Security Advisor, which assesses the security of networks that users connect to on the go, such as those in coffee shops and airports, and reports on any vulnerabilities.

Another important feature is Safepay™ with Wi-Fi Hotspot protection, which secures online transactions and keeps precious personal information safe.

“Bitdefender’s 2017 consumer line has a strategic advantage against other products, in that it was developed starting with the world’s best security software as a baseline,” said Bitdefender’s Vice President Consumer Solution, Ciprian Istrate. “This year, we have made it even better, with a greater level of protection and an extra-light impact on users’ computers.”

Experts and users have praised Bitdefender’s award-winning products for offering the best malware detection and the best performance in the industry. The 2017 consumer line uses the latest technological advancements to thwart all types of viruses, worms, Trojans, phishing, fraud and spyware, as well as hackers and sophisticated new threats.

As always, it runs feather-light to preserve system speed and battery life so users can enjoy doing what they love, knowing they are protected.

Bitdefender’s product line, which includes Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Bitdefender Internet Security and Bitdefender Total Security Multi-Device, comes with powerful features such as online banking protection, protection from phishing and fraud, Password Manager, Secure Browsing and others.

Your Bitdefender Central Portal has now become your seamless operations command center to take care of all the devices in your control, allowing you to manage them if lost or stolen, scan them remotely, check their latest status, optimize their performance, and even request support directly.

Starting with the 2017 generation, you can also take photos from any of your Windows or Android devices through Bitdefender Central, which will further help you track any devices that may be lost or stolen.

And Time Machine Protection for Macs prevents others from accessing or altering your backups, making sure you can restore your system even in the event of a normally devastating ransomware attack.

Bitdefender Named to Cloud Partner Program Guide a 2nd Straight Year

Consistent excellence keeps Bitdefender Partner Program in prestigious listing

Bitdefender, the innovative security software solutions provider, has won entry to the CRN Cloud Partner Program for a second straight year due to the company’s “excellent resources, training and financial incentives” for partners.

The 2016 Cloud Computing Partner Program Guide, a list of leading technology vendors with cloud-related partner programs that enable and accelerate the growth of solution providers’ cloud initiatives, recognizes Bitdefender for its unique set of partner program benefits for solution providers that deliver cloud infrastructure or applications.

“CRN’s 2016 Cloud Computing Partner Program Guide recognizes vendors that provide excellent resources, training and financial incentives for cloud, doing their best to help partners make the most of this now foundational practice area,” said Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company. “We congratulate all the innovative, forward-looking companies on the 2016 list and invite the solution provider community to take full advantage of this terrific resource for finding the right cloud vendors to partner with.”

Bitdefender, which protects more than 500 million people in 150 countries worldwide, is renowned for the quality of its security solutions and, increasingly, its cutting-edge support for channel partners. Earlier this year, the company won a 5-Star rating in CRN’s 2016 Partner Program Guide for offering solution providers the best partnering elements in its channel program.

“We’re particularly proud of the consistency of the results of our partner program,” said Bitdefender Partner Program Manager Raluca Cosciug. “Not only has Bitdefender made it to the top as an innovator in helping ensure the success of our channel partners, but it also shows we are here to stay. In all endeavors, Bitdefender prides itself on outstanding, consistent performance”.


About Bitdefender

Bitdefender is a global security technology company that provides cutting edge end-to-end cyber security solutions and advanced threat protection to more than 500 million users in more than 150 countries. Since 2001, Bitdefender has consistently produced award-winning business and consumer security technology, and is a provider of choice in both hybrid infrastructure security and endpoint protection. Through R&D, alliances and partnerships, Bitdefender is trusted to be ahead and deliver robust security you can rely on. More information is available at

About the Channel Company

The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequaled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace.

Bitdefender opens Bitdefender Italia, Hires Denis Cassinerio to Expand Presence in Italy

Bitdefender focuses on Italian enterprise sector amid international expansion

Bitdefender, the innovative security software solutions provider, has created Bitdefender Italia and appointed Denis Cassinerio, a 20-year-veteran of the IT security industry, as regional sales director for Italy as it continues its rapid expansion in the enterprise market.

Cassinerio, who joins Bitdefender from BT British Telecom, brings extensive experience with Trend Micro, McAfee and Hewlett Packard among others, to Bitdefender’s Italian presence, and an excellent track record in accelerating sales, building channels and developing business in enterprise security.

Bitdefender’s fortified positioning in Italy will help the company intensify its focus on the Italian enterprise and consumer markets at a time when cyber-threats such as ransomware, hacking, corporate espionage and advanced new attack techniques boost demand for IT security in Italy and throughout the world.

“I’m excited to take on such a challenge at a crucial time in the development of the IT security industry,” Cassinerio says. “The possibilities in my new position are immense. I come at a time of rapidly evolving threats to businesses, but also at a time of significant advancements in Bitdefender’s technology to fight those threats off. Italian businesses are more than ready for Bitdefender.”

“With an annual value of more than 300 Million Euro, Italian security market is one of the most developed in Europe, being essential for our growth strategy in EU”, declared Mihai Guran, Vice-President EMEA Sales at Bitdefender. “We count for a double-digit revenue growth in Italy, by developing our team and channel partners in order to approach together more Enterprise customers, protecting them better with our innovative technology“.

As he expands sales in Italy, Cassinerio will leverage recent advancements in Bitdefender’s GravityZone business products such as new anti-exploit techniques integrated in the company’s Advanced Threat Control technology, enhanced update management and others.

Ransomware becomes the main threat on Android in the US, UK, Germany, Denmark, Australia

Ransomware, the fastest-growing cyber threat, became the main danger to users of the Android operating system in the first half of 2016, recent Bitdefender telemetry shows.

Bitdefender’s Android statistics show the Android SLocker ransomware family accounts for almost half of all mobile malware reported by infected devices in H1 2016 in Denmark, and a quarter in Germany. Australia came third, with 21.54 percent, while the UK scored 16.48 percent. In the United States, ransomware accounted for 16 percent.

On Android, the mobile operating system with the largest market share, ransomware has been spotted attempting to lock devices and has become increasingly difficult to remove from one iteration to another.

Android ransomware samples usually lock out users and demand payment to unlock devices, although no actual file encryption takes place. While some may encrypt information on SD cards, recent ransomware variants focus more on simply scaring users into giving in to their demands. One sample changed the lock screen PIN of the infected device and tried to kill the process of the on-device security solution that could have detected and removed the threat.

However, Android ransomware does require user interaction for sideloading the malicious .apk file, stirring suspicion of advanced users but possibly tricking less tech-savvy victims.

Other delivery methods for Android ransomware involved spam messages. A common method for delivering Android ransomware has been through malvertising. In this process, malware developers poison ads on legitimate websites by purchasing advertising space. When clicked, these ads redirect users to fake marketplaces or trick them into downloading seemingly innocuous video players or system updates that infect devices.

A Bitdefender study on ransomware victims in November 2015 revealed that half would be willing to pay up to $500 to recover their data, and half of victims have actually paid. UK consumers are willing to pay most to recover personal documents, photos and job-related documents. Brits are willing to pay as much as £400 to decrypt their files. Germans would dispense as much as €210, while US consumers would part with about $350. This brings the ransomware business staggering amounts of money that further fuels cybercriminal activity.

Here are a couple of steps that could help users stay safe from Android ransomware:

•     Use a known, award-winning mobile security solution

·         Avoid sideloading applications from third-party marketplaces and always install apps from official app stores

•        Back up your data

·         Carefully read app permissions to avoid giving away personal data or allowing cybercriminals to control your device

Companies are strongly encouraged to:

• Use a Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform for managing employee devices and installing mobile security software

• Deploy a backup solution

• Restrict users from installing unvented applications or from untrusted marketplaces

• Protect email servers with content filtering solutions

• Teach employees how to identify spear-phishing emails and other social engineering techniques.

This year, CyberSecMonth will have a theme dedicated to mobile threats. The advocacy campaign takes place every October to raise awareness on cyber security threats, promote cyber security among citizens and provide up to date security information, through education and sharing of good practices. Bitdefender proudly partners the CyberSecMonth initiative supported by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre and ENISA, to raise awareness of mobile cyber threats and their devastating consequences.


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