As 2015 comes to a close, it’s time to gain perspective of the future by taking a look back at the present year’s events – in this case, the ransomware.

Some Quick Stats about the Ransomware’s Menace in 2015

• A new variant of the ransomware family – Teslacrypt, was seen in early 2015. It specifically targets computers with saved games files. Read more about Teslacrypt here.

• A massive surge was detected in the CTB Ransomware – a relatively new variant.

• India seemed to have been hit with the highest number of ransomware attacks this year; accounting to 16000 infections.

• The FBI reported a loss of $18 million because of ransomware attacks worldwide.

Ransomware infections are deemed nasty to such a level that even the FBI stated that they often advise people to pay the ransom. Joseph Bonavolonta, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Cyber and Counterintelligence Program in the FBI’s Boston office quoted “The ransomware is that good… To be honest, we often advise people just to pay the ransom.”

So, what’s the prediction for ransomware in 2016?

By the looks of the alarming rate at which the ransomware family is growing, it is wise to assume that this malware is here to stay and not going away anytime soon. For 2016, here’s what ransomware authors may be gearing up for:

1. Getting more personal – hackers may threaten people of releasing encrypted information in public. Instances of this have already occurred. ‘Chimera’ – a recently launched ransomware campaign in Germany, threatened to release the victims’ encrypted files in public, if the ransom was not paid.

2. Targeting Macs – with Mac becoming more popular among users, they are likely to become an attractive prey for ransomware.

3. Extending the ransomware circle – rookie cybercriminals may start offering ransomware as a service, transforming it into a large-scale business-like operation.

4. Targeting Android – attempts of bringing ransomware to the mobile platform have already been noticed in 2015; a popular example is SimpleLocker. In the coming year, we can expect advanced and more complex variants of the same and others alike.

5. Better delivery – hackers will use more sophisticated mechanisms to spread ransomware and more valuable ways to extort money from their victims.

6. Other targets – as more users are becoming aware and getting educated about how to fight ransomware, hackers will target avenues which are still security-deficient such as smart TVs, smart houses, smart fridges, Internet-enabled cars; in short, the Internet of Things.

7. Life Threatening – Frighteningly, ransomware attacks can turn out to be more than a digital threat to people – it can become life-threatening. Attackers are now suspected to go after lifesaving medical devices. There could be a horrid situation where a patient is demanded to pay a ransom in order for their pacemaker to be released from a ransomware’s clutches. Read more on this here.


Steps you Must Take

Cyber criminals don’t take time off from creating and improving upon their tactics and that’s why it is essential that we don’t let our guard down against them. Here are some of the best ways you can protect your device from ransomware:

• Never download attachments or click links in emails received from unwanted or unexpected sources, even if the source looks familiar.

• Don’t respond to unwanted pop-up ads or alerts while visiting unfamiliar or even familiar websites.

• Apply all recommended security updates to your OS, software, and Internet browsers, if not already.

• Take regular backups of all the important files you have on your computer. We recommend you to begin the backup procedure offline and not when you are connected to the Internet. Doing this will ensure that you do not have to meet the ransomware’s demands.

• Have a security software installed in your PC that efficiently blocks spam and malicious emails, and automatically restricts access to malicious websites. Antivirus has an inbuilt anti-ransomware defense that detects and stops ransomware that encrypt data. This defense mechanism works on a behavior-based module – which means, it analyzes programs based on their behavior and the activities carried by them on the users machine. This helps Quick Heal detect malware like ransomware in real-time and prevent possible infections. This anti-ransomware feature remains active in the system even if the antivirus software itself is turned off for some reason.

Courtesy :- Quick Heal

Simplified email routing settings in the Google Apps Admin console

The email routing settings in the Admin console allow Google Apps admins to set up default mail routing options across their domain, or for specific organizational units. For example, you may want to route certain incoming mail to different server locations or recipients based on the nature of its content, or require that outbound mail pass through a gateway before being sent for greater security.

These settings provide admins with a high level of granular control, but we realized that they can be complicated to find and use in their current structure in the Admin console. That’s why with today’s launch, we’re taking the first step towards significantly simplifying the experience for email routing settings by adding a new section called Routing under Gmail > Advanced settings > General settings.

email routing
This new Routing section will consolidate the following existing settings into one location, making them easier to manage: Sending routing, Receiving routing, Outbound gateway, Default routing, and Email routing. The new Routing settings will coexist with your existing routing settings for the short term, and any routing policies previously set will not be impacted.

In the future, we’ll further improve the email routing experience by migrating and consolidating additional existing settings into the new centralized location. Stay tuned for more information on these plans.

Admins creating new email routing policies are encouraged to use the new Routing settings for enhanced functionality. In addition to being easier to use, the new Routing settings will apply to SMTP-relayed messages as well as messages sent to email groups. These features are not available using the previous settings.

Check out the Help Center for more details on the new Routing settings.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1-3 days for feature visibility)

Admins only

Admin action suggested/FYI

Reference by Google.com

Use templates to create files in the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides mobile apps

Templates allow you to quickly and easily create files with specific purposes—for instance, you can pull together a project proposal in Google Docs, an invoice in Google Sheets, or a case study in Google Slides without spending unnecessary time or resources on formatting. In September, we launched templates in Docs, Sheets, and Slides on the web; today, we’re rolling out that same functionality for their corresponding Android and iOS apps.

Starting now, when you go to create a new document, spreadsheet, or presentation on your Android or iOS device (by clicking the red “+” button in the bottom right corner of your screen), you’ll be given the option to choose a template. These templates will be the same as those available to you in Docs, Sheets, and Slides on the web, including a meeting agenda, pitch deck, expense report, and more.











Focus on your content, not your formatting. Check out the Help Center article below for more information on getting started with templates.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid release and Scheduled release

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (potentially longer than 3 days for feature visibility)

All end users

Change management suggested/FYI

Reference by google.com



Phishing is essentially an online con game and phishers are nothing more than tech-savvy con artists and identity thieves. They use SPAM, malicious Web sites, email messages and instant messages to trick people into divulging sensitive information, such as bank and credit card accounts.
How Do You Know
· Phishers, pretending to be legitimate companies, may use email to request personal information and direct recipients to respond through malicious web sites
· Phishers tend to use emotional language using scare tactics or urgent requests to entice recipients to respond
· The phish sites can look remarkably like legitimate sites because they tend to use the copyrighted images from legitimate sites
· Requests for confidential information via email or Instant Message tend to not be legitimate
· Fraudulent messages are often not personalized and may share similar properties like details in the header and footer


Vulnerabilities are flaws in computer software that create weaknesses in the overall security of the computer or network. Vulnerabilities can also be created by improper computer or security configurations. Threats exploit the weaknesses of vulnerabilities resulting in potential damage to the computer or personal data.
How Do You Know
· Companies announce vulnerabilities as they are discovered and quickly work to fix the vulnerabilities with software and security “patches”
What To Do
· Keep software and security patches up to date
· Configure security settings for operating system, internet browser and security software
· Develop personal security policies for online behavior
· Install a proactive security solution like Norton Internet Security to block threats targeting vulnerabilities

Courtesy :- Symantec

How Spyware Attacks

spywareSpyware can be downloaded from Web sites, email messages, instant messages, and from direct file-sharing connections.Additionally, a user may unknowingly receive spyware by accepting an End User License Agreement from a software program.

How Do You Know You Need Anti spyware

Spyware frequently attempts to remain unnoticed, either by actively hiding or by simply not making its presence on a system known to the user

What To Do: Anti-spyware Protection

Use Antivirus to provide anti-spyware protection and proactively protect from other security risks Configure the firewall in Norton Internet Security to block unsolicited requests for outbound communication.Do not accept or open suspicious error dialog’s from within the browser.Spyware may come as part of a “free deal” offer – do not accept free deals.Always read carefully the End User License agreement at Install time and cancel if other “programs” are being installed as part of the desired program Keep software and security patches up to date.

How Do I Avoid Spyware?

Be selective about what you download to your computer.
Read licensing agreement.
Watch out for anti-spyware scams.
Beware of clickable ads.
Keep your Internet browser up to date Scan your computer often

Courtesy :- Symantec

Malware Information

How They Attack

Malware is a category of malicious code that includes viruses, worms, and Trojan horses.
Destructive malware will utilize popular communication tools to spread, including worms sent through email and instant messages, Trojan horses dropped from web sites, and virus-infected files downloaded from peer-to-peer connections. Malware will also seek to exploit existing vulnerabilities on systems making their entry quiet and easy.

How Do You Know

Malware works to remain unnoticed, either by actively hiding or by simply not making its presence on a system known to the user

What To Do

Only open email or IM attachments that come from a trusted source and that are expected
Have email attachments scanned by Norton Internet Security prior to opening
Delete all unwanted messages without opening
Do not click on Web links sent by someone you do not know
If a person on your Buddy list is sending strange messages, files, or web site links, terminate your IM session

  • Scan all files with an Internet Security solution before transferring them to your system
  • Only transfer files from a well known source
  • Use Norton Internet Security to block all unsolicited outbound communication
  • Keep security patches up to date

Courtesy :- Symantec