A Hollywood hospital was hacked a few weeks ago and was essentially unable to operate. The hackers demanded 40 Bitcoins, which comes to about $17,000. This is considered "ransomware," where the hackers get you to run malicious software through a bogus updater like Flash that appears to be legitimate. This malicious software encrypts all data and threatens to delete everything unless you comply with the demands within a certain time frame.
Steve got a copy of Sophos antivirus, but it suddenly stopped working after installing Windows 10. Leo says that's because sometimes security software can cause problems with upgrading, and that sounds like what happened. Leo also says that the version of antivirus may also be the issue here. But Leo says that times have changed and he doesn't really recommend antivirus software anymore. Most security experts don't use them. Here are some tips for staying secure online:
Robert called in to address an issue with Wallapop, a website and app that allows people to buy and sell things locally. It's supposed to be an easier and more local version of Craigslist, but it isn't without its own set of issues. Robert noticed when trying to sell something on Wallapop that there were a significant amount of scammers using the service. He urges people to be careful and cautious when using this service -- especially since they bought a lot of Super Bowl ads and more people may be finding out about it.
With all of the apps available online, it can be difficult to distinguish the trustworthy developers from rogue developers. If you happen to download a malicious app, that is the most dangerous thing you can do because you're giving that rogue developer permission to install software to access your system. There are precautions you can take to make sure you only get trusted apps, however.
If you suspect your Gmail account may have been hacked, there's a quick and easy way to get an activity log. When looking at your inbox, just scroll down to the bottom of the page and look in the lower right side. It will tell you when the last account activity was, and it has a link to "Details." Clicking on that link will show a log of all the recent activity on your account. It will show the IP address of the computer used for each login, as well as the physical location for where that login originated. It also will show you the browser and apps used with the account.
Steve has an iPhone 6s Plus and he's being driven crazy by Apple constantly asking for his password. Leo says Apple has decided to be the security company, but what bugs him is that they already have a secure method with the fingerprint reader. Isn't that enough? He talked to an Apple Genius and they say it's a bug. But Steve Gibson says there's probably a method to their madness and it's by design.
Michele bought a Motorola mobile phone and she's worried about the security of it, with Stagefright and other exploits. She wants to return it. But they're resisting the return unless there's a hardware or software issue. Leo says that an opinion that it isn't secure is not a provable fact, even if it comes from an expert.
Gary has a ton of devices attached to his network, including home automation devices. It's called the "Internet of things," where all those devices are accessible to the Internet. But is it secure? Leo says it's possible that his network can be breached through them, but that's theoretical. It hasn't happened yet. More likely, his router will be overwhelmed by all the connections. So it may be time to upgrade it.
T-Mobile user data was acquired by hackers this week when credit bureau Experian was compromised. Hackers got customer names, addresses, drivers licenses, social security numbers and more. According to T-Mobile CEO John Leger, 15 million people including new applicants requiring a credit check from September 1st, 2013 through September 16th, 2015 were affected. Customers will get two years of free credit monitoring and identity resolution services from Experian.
Julie wants to know how she can understand the IP addresses she sees in her Gmail. Leo says that a cellphone company IP address may be attached somewhere other than where she lives, because they're located in another location. If there's an authorized app, that app can go through her Google Mail and contacts and that could have a different IP address as well.