WARNING – CryptLocker virus is *really* making the rounds. Short story, if you don’t have a good backup, you likely won’t have your data

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The CryptoLocker ransomware is back with a vengence.  If you have data, you're a potential victim.   CryptoLocker is a nasty piece of ransomware that, once it infects your computer, begins to systematically encrypt every file that you have write access to.  Thistypically includes files stored on your local hard drive, on external hard drives (like the USB backup drives that are very popular) and shared network drives.  Once the damage is done, the malware demands a ransom in exchange for the key to decrypt the files so that you can have access to them again.  It uses very strong (2048 bit) encryption and, to my knowlege, has not been broken yet.  What's more, as the command and control servers are taken down, some users have paid the ransom but been…
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October 2013 Updates & News

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What's New Tech News - Not a lot going on in tech news other than we're still seeing a lot of the FBI / DHS / <insert random scary sounding acronym here> virus as a result of drive by downloads.  As always, keep an eye on our Facebook Page and support center for up-to-date news and info. Updates Microsoft - According to the Advanced Notification, there are 8 bulletins this month including 4 critical and 4 important.  All of the 4 critical bulletins address remote code vulnerabilities and affect Windows (all 4), Internet Explorer and .NET.  The remaining 4 important bulletins address problems with Windows, Windows Server, Office and Silverlight, 3 of which are remote code execution vulnerabilities. Microsoft releases regular updates the second Tuesday of each month, often referred to as 'Patch…
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Adobe systems / network breached, customer data was accessed

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According to this blog entry from Adobe, there was an attack on the Adobe systems / network and as a result some customer data was compromised.  The article is relatively short and does a good job of detailing what information was compromised.  The short story though is that, if you are an Adobe customer, your information was likely compromised.  Adobe is  Below is a snippet from the article: Our investigation currently indicates that the attackers accessed Adobe customer IDs and encrypted passwords on our systems. We also believe the attackers removed from our systems certain information relating to 2.9 million Adobe customers, including customer names, encrypted credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, and other information relating to customer orders. At this time, we do not believe the attackers removed decrypted…
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Why you should not be using Internet Explorer now, and ever, and some options

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In this article, I'm going to try to [quicky] answer the following questions: What is Internet Explorer? What are some alternatives to Internet Explorer? Why shouldn't I use Internet Explorer right now? Why shouldn't I use Internet Explorer ever? Are there any reasons that I should use Internet Explorer? What is Internet Explorer?  Internet Explorer is a web browser.  Simply put, it's a program that allows you to browse / view / search the Internet and / or World Wide Web.  Think of the Internet / World Wide Web as a box with (for the purposes of this discussion) 5 openings.  Internet Explorer is one of those openings and allows you to see what is inside the box.  It's important here to note that it's only 1 of multiple openings…
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A near perfect storm? Hole in all versions of Internet Explorer and a new spin on ransomware?

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I've already posted both of these articles independently to our Facebook page but wanted to also reach here to make sure that you saw it.  If you're using Internet Explorer, there is a good chance (that's growing steadily until Microsoft fixes [rather than mitigates] the bug) that you will get a virus as a result.  Also, there's a new strain of ransomware (FBI virus, DHS virus, etc.) making the rounds that's literally cutting out the middle man when it comes to bad guys making a profit off of you.  Previously, the intent (other than setting up your computer as a timeshare) was to get you to send a $300 Moneypack to them.  Now though, they just turn your computer in to a bitcoin miner and start seeing a return immediately.…
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Official End of Life for Windows XP and other Microsoft Products

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From the Microsoft Website:   "Every Windows product has a lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when a product is released and ends when it's no longer supported or sold. Knowing key dates in this lifecycle helps you make informed decisions about when to upgrade or make other changes to your software. Here are the rights and limits of the Windows lifecycle."   The details of what products will expire and when are available here but the biggest and most relevant information on the page is that MS Windows XP, the flagship operating system from Microsoft for over a decade now is being officially killed off as of April of 2014.  This basically means that there will be no further support from Microsoft on these products including bug fixes and, more importantly, security fixes.  If you…
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September 2013 Updates and News

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What's New Tech News - Of course, there are still lots of threats out there for those who do not keep their computer systems up to date.  Be sure to check out our facebook page for posts on the latest threats and malware that we have found as well as other items of interest.  The rest of this article is about the most recent updates from Microsoft, Adobe and Java. Very few single viruses or virus signatures cause enough of a stir to warrant specific mention here.  The so called FBI Virus (or DHS virus or whatever persona it takes on tomorrow / next) is however one.  The signature of this virus is that it seizes control of your computer and posts an ominous warning on your screen tha the FBI…
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How to spot a fake Facebook password change notification and other malicious email messages

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We are getting more and more of these and, I suspect, some of our clients are getting the same and thought that it may be handy to point out some easy ways to confirm that this was a fake.  The request looks very legitimate and, rather than just offering the link to change your password (which would be an obvious phishing email), they also give you the option to report this immediately if you didn't send the request (it can't be bad if they're giving you an opportunity to report possible fraud, right)?  So, here are a few quick and easy test to see help determine if this is a legitimate request: This scan notes the email that it's being sent to in the footer.  In this case, solarwinds@cybertechcafe.net.  We…
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An up close look at how miscreants are making money off of viruses and malware

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Two questions that we frequently get are how / why do I get viruses and how do the people creating the viruses make money?  I found this article this morning linked to another news story and it does a pretty decent job of answering both.  Basically, the article talks about the Sweet Orange exploit kit and what it does.  There were some really good points in the article but they're mixed in with a good bit of geekspeak.  I've tried to distill the important points of the article in the following 5 bullet points but there's a link to the full article at the bottom. What is an exploit kit?  From the article, an exploit kit is "...an effective and streamlined methodology of distributing malware; they allow the Bad Guys…
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