McAfee Annual Labs Day 2017 

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This event took place in London just before Easter 2017 and for the second year I was invited to be among the two dozen European journalists there. Of course the big Malware threat ‘Ransomware’ was high on the list of topics discussed however as always you left with many new concerns.

Firstly let me ask a question, how many connected devices do you have in your home?

McAfee themselves have just gone through a big chance in the last week their ownership has shifted away from Intel (who still own 49%) and again they have become an independent company.

May I suggest you look at a site that McAfee has created and in a lot of cases has found ways to help those who have suffered attacks. They knew it would attract a lot of attacks itself and so they asked if anyone would be able to host it for them and Amazon Web Services have done so free of charge,  we were told that since launch it has been up continuously despite numerous prolonged attacks, so well done McAfee for trying to solve the Ransomware encryption problem and perhaps a big pat on the back for Amazon also, the latter may give reassurance to anyone buying from Amazon.

McAfee have worked with another security company Kaspersky on the ‘Nomoreransom’ side.

A couple more figure before I move on there were 10 ransomware variants at the end of 2016 and now four months later there are 500.

A new idea is to protect everything from your Router as so many things connect via the router and never get near the PC, as examples you can turn lights on remotely, turn your heating up while still on the way home and many more basic tasks all get into your home through your router.

While I cannot answer how many connected devices you have in your home the figure worldwide is expected to be 20 billion worldwide by 2020 with at least four for each person yes person not each family.   

You can buy a SmartPlug such as those used to turn lights on remotely for $24 we were told and once hacked which we were told is easy to do then it can shut down your home.

There are 305 new threats every minute and that is more than 5 every second.

Of course everyone can be careful about where they visit online and what links received in emails they click on but these criminals are clever, another shocking figure, last year 72% or all crimes were Cyber.

Most cars have an entertainment console these can be hacked, your central heating could be hacked and in some homes even the fridge is connected, you get the message, all can be attacked. Let’s say the criminals put your heating up by a degree a day it costs you a lot more and gets very uncomfortable.

So what would you do if you were met with a Ransomware message you could pay but then in a lot of cases you would not get your data back anyway, you could take the time to restore from backup –  have you got backups? – you could ask for help and from the ‘Nomoreransom’ website you might get help but if you are running a business all this takes time and in that time you could go bust. 

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