Archive for McAfee

Infographic: A Christmas Carol: Scam Edition

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 20, 2019 by itnerd

‘Tis the season to be scammed: McAfee survey shows cybercriminals target Canadian shoppers in-store, online and through mobile 

A new survey from cybersecurity company McAfee, called A Christmas Carol: Scam Edition, found 40 per cent of Canadians have been a victim of, or know someone who has been a victim of, email phishing in 2019. While email was the most popular vehicle for hackers, robocalling (39 per cent) and text phishing (30 per cent) also ranked highly.

Of those who lost money to a scam, 65 per cent lost more than $100 and 33 per cent lost more than $500. A new trend that may hit unsavvy consumers hard this holiday season is phony gift cards. McAfee’s advanced threats team says phony gift cards are being sold on the cybercriminal underground. The survey found that not even one-third (29 per cent) of respondents are aware of bogus gift cards.

McAfee listed several tips that can help consumers shop safely this holiday season:

  • Stop and pause. Instead of clicking on a link in an email, it is always best to check directly with the source to verify an offer or shipment.
  • Browse with security protection. Use comprehensive security protection, like McAfee Total Protection, which can help protect devices against malware, phishing attacks and other threats. It includes McAfee WebAdvisor, which can help identify malicious websites.
  • Use a tool to help protect your personal information. A solution like McAfee Identity Theft Protection takes a proactive approach to help protect identities with personal and financial monitoring and recovery tools to help keep identities personal and secure.


College Students Putting Personal Information In Jeopardy: McAfee

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 16, 2019 by itnerd

Today, as students across Canada prepare to start or return to college, McAfee revealed new findings indicating that many are not proactively protecting their academic data. A survey of 1,000 Canadians, ages 18-25, who attend or have attended college, unveiled
only  15%  take extra steps to protect their school and academic records compared to 72% of students who proactively protect their bank or financial information. The survey also uncovered a discrepancy between students’ observations and actions regarding cybersecurity; the majority (81%)  of respondents confirm that they know someone who has been affected by a cyberattack, whether it be themselves, or a friend/family member. Yet, approximately a third (37%)  claim they do not think they will be a victim of a cybercrime in the future.

Compounding the issue, data from McAfee Labs indicates cybercriminals are actively targeting the education sector, with publicly disclosed attacks increasing 50% in Q1.

Online safety programs, protection overlooked

While educational institutions are careful to promote physical safety by implementing various programs, only a third  (33%) of Canadian students claim they have learned how to keep personal information safe through school resources. Interestingly, students learn the most about cybersecurity best practices from the news, as 40% say that is their top source of cybersecurity education.

To amplify the potential risks, many students fail to secure all their devices, although
they are equally as vulnerable. More than half (57%) of students have installed cybersecurity software on their personal computers – but only  approximately a third (30%)  have smartphone protection, and even less (12%)  have tablet protection. Meanwhile, nearly one in five (18%) students  do not use any cybersecurity products
at all.

Cyberattacks targeting education are on the rise

According to data from McAfee Labs, cyberattacks targeting education in Q1 of 2019 have increased by 50% from the previous quarter. This rise in cybercriminal activity targets all parties, as the most popular attack vectors aim for students and institutions alike. From January through May of 2019, more than 70% of attacks utilized account hijacking and malware.

However, while cybercriminals are seeing an opportunity to target education, students appear unfazed. According to the recent McAfee survey, 40% of Canadian students do not consider cybersecurity to be “extremely important” to them. McAfee’s tips for students to protect their personal data:

1. Never reuse passwords. Use unique passwords for each one of your accounts, even if it’s for an account that doesn’t hold a lot of personal information. Use a password manager to simplify your password management needs.

2. Always set privacy and security settings. Anyone with access to the internet can view your social media if it’s public, so protect your identity by turning your profiles to private in order to have control over who can follow you. You should also take the time to understand the various security and privacy settings to see which work best for your

3. Use the cloud with caution. If you plan to store your documents in the cloud, be sure to set up an additional layer of access security (one way of doing this is through two-factor authentication) to keep your data available and secure.

4. Always connect with caution. If you must conduct transactions, especially those financial in nature, on a public Wi-Fi connection, use a virtual private network (VPN) to help keep your connection secure.

5. Discuss cyber safety often and with due seriousness. It’s just as important for families to discuss cyber safety as it is for them to discuss privacy on social media. Talk to your family about ways to identify phishing scams, what to do if you may have been involved in a data breach and invest in security software that scans for malware and untrusted sites that protects your entire family.

Research methodology  McAfee conducted research into cybercriminal activity during back to school season, and within the education sector. The education sector includes universities, public schools and community colleges.  McAfee additionally commissioned 3Gem to conduct a survey of 1,000 adults in Canada, ages 18-25, who attend or have attended college, on their behaviors and sentiments regarding cybercrime in July 2019.

McAfee Survey Shows Cybercriminals Target Canadians Planning Summer Vacations To Beach Cities and Other Destinations

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 12, 2019 by itnerd

McAfee today revealed how cybercriminals are capitalizing on Canadian consumers’ risky travel booking habits. The findings show popular beach destinations around the world and cities in the U.S. generate the riskiest search results when people are hunting for vacation deals online.

Highlights of the survey include:

  • Approximately one in eight Canadians (13%) have been scammed or nearly scammed when booking a vacation online
  • 30% of travel-related scam victims reported that they lost between $1,000 and $3,000 as a result of the fraudulent activity
  • Nearly one third (33%) of vacation scam victims were defrauded after spotting a deal that was too good to be true.
  • A third (30%) of Canadians put their companies at risk of cyber-attacks by using their work devices while traveling and connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks

Top summer destinations hackers are targeting via potentially malicious sites:

  1.    Palm Springs, California
  2.    Male, Maldives
  3.    Belize City, Belize
  4.    Chicago, Illinois
  5.    Cancun, Mexico

Canmore among most malicious destinations for U.S. travel searches

Canmore, AB is a popular travel destination for American tourists because of its proximity to scenic Banff National Park. It’s so popular in fact that Canmore made the U.S. top-5 list of most dangerous summer vacations for U.S. travellers searching for vacation deals online.

McAfee’s survey confirms that cybercriminals’ tactic of targeting vacation goers is paying off, with one in eight (13%) people reporting that they have been scammed or came very close to being scammed, when booking a vacation online. Bargain-hunting Canadians are most at risk, with nearly a third of vacation scam victims (33%) being defrauded after spotting a deal that was too good to be true.

McAfee’s tips for identifying authentic booking sites and safe surfing on holiday include:

Only access verified websites. Only click on websites that your security software has identified as being safe. For example McAfee WebAdvisorwill identify safe websites with a green check and will block malware and phishing sites if you accidentally click on a malicious link from your search results.

Use trusted platforms and verified payment methods when finalizing your bookings. Fraudsters may try to lure you away from a trusted platform with the promise of discounted rates. Remember to keep all your communications and bookings to trusted platforms, such as; and verify the site before entering payment information. This will help protect you from phishing and other cyber fraud.

Utilize an identity theft solution. With all this personal data floating around online, it’s important that you protect your identity. Use an identity theft solution, such as McAfee Identity Theft Protection, to help protect personally identifiable information from identity theft and fraud.

Always connect with caution. If you have to conduct transactions on a public Wi-Fi connection use a virtual private network (VPN) like McAfee Safe Connectto help keep your connection secure.



Infographic: McAfee Labs 2019 Threats Predictions

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 17, 2018 by itnerd

McAfee_Threat Predictions Infographic 2019-1

These predictions and other recent security stats are available on McAfee’s website on the Canadian security landscape. The site is updated regularly and it’s a one-stop shop for the latest statistics and studies.

McAfee 2019 Predictions: Attackers Will Use Artificial Intelligence To Avoid Detection

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 29, 2018 by itnerd

McAfee’s cyber threats predictions for 2019 are pretty scary. Bots will soon target companies instead of political figures. Cybercriminals groups will attempt to extort organizations and undermine their brands with this tactic.

There will be a period of consolidation in cybercrime, with malware-as-a-service families that are fewer in number but stronger, and designed to work together. The use of affiliate structures in ransomware will continue.

Artificial intelligence will play a larger role in cyber attacks, and be used to avoid detection, automate target selection, or to check infected environments before deploying later stages of attacks.

Cybercrime will become more sophisticated, with different kinds of threats used in tandem (such as crypto jacking, random ware, phishing). These synergistic threats are hard to classify, and harder to mitigate.

New mobile malware will target Internet of Things devices in the home. Smartphones, tablets and routers will be used to gain access to digital assistants and the IoT devices they control. This “picklock” approach will give criminals access to consumers’ homes while supplying botnets.

The full predictions are discussed in further detail in this blog post:

McAfee Survey Highlights Risky Behaviour Of Online Holiday Shoppers

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 13, 2018 by itnerd

Findings from a new survey released by McAfee today show more than half of online holiday shoppers are willing to risk purchasing from potentially fake websites if it will save them money. Called Holiday Stresses, the survey revealed that online shoppers can be more careless while shopping online during the holiday shopping season.

Some of the survey’s other key findings included:

  • 53 per cent of online shoppers said the stress of the holiday season caused them to behave carelessly online
  • 31 per cent clicked on links in suspicious emails in a search for better deals
  • 22 per cent said they engaged in risky online behavior, such as using public Wi-Fi access for their shopping
  • 56 per cent are willing to use an unfamiliar site, if it allows them to save money

McAfee offered several tips for consumers who want to shop more safely online:

  • Connect with caution. Using public Wi-Fi might seem like a good idea in the moment, but if consumers are not careful, they could be unknowingly exposing their personal information or credit card details to cybercriminals who are snooping on the network. If public Wi-Fi must be used to conduct transactions, use a virtual private network (VPN) to help ensure a secure connection.
  • Think before you click. One of the easiest ways for a cybercriminal to target victims is by using phishing emails disguised as holiday savings or shipping notification, to lure consumers into clicking links that could lead to malware, or a phony website designed to steal personal information. Instead of clicking on a link in an email, it is always best to check directly with the source to verify an offer or shipment.
  • Browse with security protection. Use comprehensive security protection, like McAfee Total Protection, which can help protect devices against malware, phishing attacks and other threats. It includes McAfee WebAdvisorwhich can help identify malicious websites.
  • Use a tool to help protect your personal information. A solution like McAfee Identity Theft Protection, takes a proactive approach to help protect identities with personal and financial monitoring and recovery tools to help keep identities personal and secure.


Sharing Sensitive Data With An Open Link Has Grown by 23% Since Last Year: McAfee

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 1, 2018 by itnerd

Enterprises everywhere take advantage of cloud for speed, scale, increased agility and collaboration. But the new Cloud Adoption and Risk Report from McAfee finds that this can leave data more exposed than organizations might think.

The report is based on anonymized cloud usage data for over 30 million McAfee MVISION Cloud users worldwide in industries including financial services, healthcare, public sector, energy and legal.

Key findings:

  • 22% of cloud users share files externally, up 21% year over year
  • The number of files shared in the cloud with sensitive data has increased 53% year-over-year (YoY)
  • Sharing sensitive data with an open, publicly accessible link has increased by 23% YoY
  • Sensitive data sent to a personal email address also increased by 12% YoY.
  • Threat events in the cloud, such as a compromised account, privileged user, or insider threat, have increased 27.7% YoY
  • Most organizations think they use about 30 unique cloud services, while findings demonstrate they use close to 2,000
  • 21% of all files in the cloud contain sensitive data, demonstrating a steady increase year-over-year (YoY)
  • Enterprise organizations have an average of 14 misconfigured IaaS/PaaS instances running at one time, resulting in over 2,200 individual misconfiguration incidents per month
  • 5.5% of AWS S3 buckets have world read permissions, making them open to the public
  • 80% of all organizations experience at least one compromised account threat per month
  • 92% of all organizations have stolen cloud credentials for sale on the Dark Web
  • Threats in Office 365 have grown by 63%YoY

You can read the full study here.

Survey Methodology:

For the Cloud Adoption and Risk Report, McAfee analyzed aggregated, anonymized cloud usage data for over 30 million McAfee MVISION Cloud users worldwide at companies across all major industries including financial services, healthcare, public sector, education, retail, high tech, manufacturing, energy, utilities, legal, real estate, transportation and business services. Collectively, these users generate billions of unique transactions in the cloud each day. The McAfee cloud service registry tracks over 50 attributes of enterprise readiness, which provides the ability to track behavior using detailed data signatures for over 25,000 cloud services. Additional contextual data was sourced from our 2018 survey of 1,400 security professionals in 11 countries, all using public or private cloud services.

McAfee Study Names Jann Arden As The Most Dangerous Canadian Celebrity

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 3, 2018 by itnerd

McAfee’s annual Most Dangerous Celebrity study found this year’s most dangerous Canadian celebrity is singer-songwriter Jann Arden. Arden supplanted Shawn Mendes who topped last year’s list. The Most Dangerous Celebrity study, which is in its twelfth year, reveals the celebrities who generate the riskiest search results that could expose fans to malicious websites.

This year’s list of dangerous Canadian celebrities includes:

Position Celebrity
1 Jann Arden
2 Cobie Smulders
3 Carrie-Anne Moss
4 Ellen Page
5 Evangeline Lilly
6 Rachel McAdams
7 Neve Campbell
8 Avril Lavigne
9 Celine Dion
10 Pamela Anderson


Half of the celebrities in the top ten have appeared in superhero movies, including The Avengers’ Cobie Smulders (No. 2), Carrie-Anne Moss of Jessica Jones (No. 3), Ellen Page, who appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand (No. 4), and Evangeline Lilly of Ant-Man and the Wasp (No. 5).

McAfee offered tips on how consumers can search for news on their favourite celebrities more safely.

How to Search Safely

  • Be careful what you click. Users looking for a sneak-peek of Jann Arden’s upcoming CTV mockumentary series Jannshould be cautious and only download directly from a reliable source. The safest thing to do is to wait for the official release instead of visiting a third-party website that could contain malware.
  • Apply system and application updates as soon as they are available. Very often the operating system and application updates include security fixes. Applying updates is an important step to help ensure devices stay protected.
  • Browse with security protection. McAfee Total Protection is a comprehensive security solution that can help keep devices protected against malware, phishing attacks, and other threats. It includes McAfee WebAdvisor which can help protect against going to malicious websites.
  • Use parental control software. Kids are fans of celebrities too, so ensure that limits are set on the child’s device and use software that can help minimize exposure to potentially malicious or inappropriate websites.


If You Run McAfee Endpoint, Don’t Install The August Patch

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 27, 2018 by itnerd

A week ago McAfee began getting complaints from users who said that the August update for Endpoint Security 10.5.4 was causing both blue screen crashes and random restarts. After investigating it, the company is now taken down the update and is advising the world plus dog not to install it if they have already downloaded it. If you have installed it, your only option is to remove it and install an older version. As for when a fixed version will hit the streets, no word on that front as of yet.

Consider yourselves warned.

Canadian Parents Ignore Their Own Concerns About Sharing Images Of Their Children Online: McAfee

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 24, 2018 by itnerd

McAfee unveiled its latest survey, The Age of Consent, which found 15 per cent of Canadian parents post a photo or video of their child at least once a day on their social media accounts with four per cent posting four or more times per day. Most parents identified the following concerns associated with sharing images online including pedophilia (53 per cent), stalking (48 per cent), kidnapping (42 per cent) and cyberbullying (38 per cent), but many (40 per cent) don’t even consider if their child would consent to their image being posted online.

Despite voicing these worries, this concern doesn’t translate into action, as many parents admit to still including children’s personal information and private details in online images. For example, a quarter of the parents surveyed admit that they have or would share a photo of their child in their school uniform despite the risk of giving away personal information. Yet, it’s comforting to see the majority (74 per cent) of parents are only sharing photos of children on private social media accounts. This is certainly a good first step, but there is much more needed to be done to ensure parents are protecting their children’s identity.


McAfee shared some tips for parents looking to share photos of their children.

Parental Tips for Safe Sharing

Watch out for geo-tagging. Many social networks will tag a user’s location when a photo is uploaded. Parents should ensure this feature is turned off to avoid disclosing their location. This is especially important when posting photos away from home.

Lock down privacy settings. Parents should only share photos and other social media posts with their intended audience. Services like Facebook and Instagram have features that allow posts to be shared only with confirmed connections, but everything posted on a social network should be treated as if it’s public.

Set ground rules with friends, family and children. Be clear with friends and family about guidelines when posting images. These rules can help avoid unwanted situations where a family member has shared photos without explicit permission. Don’t forget that these ground rules should also apply to parents to protect the children in the images from embarrassment, anxiety or even cyberbullying.

Take control of your personal information. As the number of reported data breaches continue to rise, so too does the possibility of identity theft. For children who are too young for a credit card, parents should freeze their credit to avoid any unauthorized use. An identity theft protection solution like McAfee Identity Theft Protection can help consumers proactively protect their identity and keep their personal information secured from misuse.

Survey Methodology

McAfee commissioned OnePoll to conduct a survey of 1,000 parents of children aged 1 month to 16 years old in Canada.