Tag Archives: malware

The Latest Malware Threat Will Make You Wanna Cry

24 May 17
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Wannacry, Wannacrypt, Wannadecrypter, these are just some of the names of the latest string of malware circulating both the news cycles, and the internet.  They are all part of a Major Ransomware sting that hit the scene last weekend.  In case you don’t know Ransomware is a bug that infects your computer and then encrypts whole drives with an encryption key, making them useless unless you have the key to un-encrypt them.  The bad guys then offer to “Sell” you the key for $300 Bitcoin.  (Bitcoin is an internet currency that is untraceable, and gaining popularity as a global currency, and not just by the bad guys).  Wannacry exploited a vulnerability in Windows to encrypt the computers.  Microsoft had released the Patches back in March, and we had them set up to go out then.  We checked through our software and found that all of our clients that are on the Advantage Care Monitoring packages were already patched (there were a couple of un monitored computers that didn’t have the patch, but we took care of that).  We just wanted to let you know that we are taking these security threats serious, and are doing what we can to help protect you.

Things to watch out for:

  1. Strange attachments that you are not expecting in an email. If you get an email with an attachment that you are not expecting.  Before you open it, reach out and see if the individual actually sent something to you.  It was said that the Wannacry was being distributed via email (worm where bug would replicate itself and email it out to everyone in your contacts list).
  2. If you get that pesky window that pops up saying that it wants to run windows updates… let it.
  3. If you are on a maintenance plan with us, but you shut your computer down every night, we can’t push out the updates to you, and end up trying to push them out during the day, disrupting your work flow. This can be avoided by leaving your computers turned on at night, when we do the updates, and other housekeeping duties to ensure that your computers are up to date, and fresh for you the following day.
  4. Be mindful of where you are going on the internet. The internet is full of corrupted web sites, some are just malicious, and others are corrupt and could infect you just by visiting them.
  5. Nothing on the internet is “Free”. Free games, and Free coupons come with a catch.  They get to install stuff on your computer that sends them info, and leave you vulnerable.  Once these things get on your system, they reach out to their “Paying” friends and invite them to the party on your computer, and now all of a sudden your computer is crawling because all of this unwanted software is clogging everything up, and potentially doing harmful things in the background.
  6. Backup, Backup, Backup!!!!!! The best defense against Ransomware is just blow away the infected computer/files and rebuild it. A backup is essential for this.  An offsite, disconnected version is essential these days as well.  There have been cases where an external hard drive with all of the companies backup files were encrypted also (because they were connected to the computer when it was infected). So just having a backup file may not be enough.

We are taking extra steps to ensure all of our client’s security.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we can  discuss this more.

Viruses in your Social Network

03 Nov 14
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Computer users are smarter today than they used to be, but so are the internet bad guys trying to access your information. The online world is changing and social media has added a new layer to the level of awareness and diligence the average user must employ to stay safe.  Malware authors are becoming more and more creative and are frequently invading our favorite social networking sites with viruses, spam links, spyware and more.  In short, some of your favorite sites are being used against you.  The good news is that these threats can be avoided, but you need to know what to look for.

Most social networking viruses are triggered by users who are tricked into clicking on a link or downloading some software.  Twitter was recently hit with a virus that redirected users who clicked on shortened goo.gl links to a rogue antivirus site. After a quick scan, it incorrectly warned users their computers were infected with a virus and urged them to pay to download a phony software solution to get rid of the virus.

A little common sense goes a long way…but if you’re still not sure what’s safe, consider these tips:

  1. Be extra vigilant about any links you even think about clicking on while browsing your favorite social networking sites. Make sure you know which site you will be redirected to before you click the link. If you can, right-click the link, copy it and paste it into a Word document to see your likely destination. If it is not a site you know or trust, avoid it.
  2. Social networking viruses are often linked to sensationalist posts about celebrities or current news events, so be suspicious of links that boast over-the-top or unrealistic claims.
  3. Avoid third-party plugins that only let you view the information they advertise if you install their app. This is often a gateway to spreading a virus to all your friends and followers.
  4. Ensure that you have a good antivirus software solution that is up to date and running frequent scans on your computer. This is undoubtedly the best defense you can have against viruses on social networking sites. Products like these are the quickest way to detect and remove any viruses you may encounter accidentally.

Social networking sites are just as focused on eradicating this malware as anyone else, and most have their own security centers that are dedicated to finding and removing such threats. However, given the nature of these viruses, users have to accept some of the responsibility because the virus is only activated when someone clicks on it.

So, should you avoid social networking sites? No, but it is important to exercise caution while using them, and to make sure that you have a good antivirus solution on hand in case the worst happens.

Is your business beginning to use social media more in marketing efforts?

Contact us to learn more about antivirus solutions and how you and your employees can stay safe.

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