Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water….
For those of you who run offices with computers, you may be aware of a virus in the wild called Cryptolocker. Cryptolocker is a virus which encrypts your files and then requires you to pay a ransom to get your files back. In fact, it recently happened with this hospital. Now, that virus is attacking WordPress based websites. Instead of being unable to get your files, the website files become encrypted and the system replaces the index.php or index.html files with a version that demands payment. The author will then prove to you that your files are still attainable by giving you two of them back for free, but keeps every other document encrypted.
The ransom note displayed on your encrypted website, shown above, provides a link to a news story where an FBI spokesman advised victims to pay the ransom. The article is true, but the advice is not.
Reports from The Register show that hundreds of sites have most likely been attacked. Many of these sites are running out-of-date versions of WordPress, poorly configured or have plugins with security holes. Website owners should back up their websites regularly and make sure everything is up-to-date, patched and protected. Owners should also strengthen the authentication measures in the backend of their sites.
If you think you’ve been attacked by this ransomware or want to make sure your site is protected, give our specialists a call at (703)-790-0400 or send us an email at email@example.com.
With 2016 underway, there are a lot of technology trends that small businesses could possibly take advantage of. We have highlighted what we expect to be the top three trends:
1. Utilizing the Cloud
As businesses continue to grow and utilize more data, it might be a better move to switch from using an on-premise server to using a cloud-based system. Cloud service providers take care of keeping your files secure and know how to take care of all the technology so you don’t have to. Things to keep in mind are that switching can lead to slower internet when everyone is trying to access files or uploading large files. There are many different ways to store your files and many companies that provide cloud storage but the most important thing to keep in mind is how they are keeping your data secure.
2. Maintaining Security
Security can become very complex but when done correctly, can help protect you against ransomware and other cyberattacks that can cost you large sums of money and valuable work time. The easiest way to stay secure is to keep the most important data protected the most. Another way is to provide training to employees about what they should be doing in the office to help prevent their workstation from being attacked.
3. Mobile Technology for Small Businesses
As users become more mobile, it would seem inevitable that small businesses should also become mobile in some capacity as well. The best way to gauge which features to make mobile would be to think about how you want customers and employees to interact with your company. Small Businesses should focus on what its users will be utilizing the most. For example, a law firm doesn’t need an app to place orders but could strongly benefit from a mobile-friendly website, whereas a retailer can utilize both.
If you’re interested in learning more about the cloud, security or mobile technology for your business, give us a call at (703)-790-0400 ext 394 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Avoiding telemarketers can be done as easily as not answering the phone but now there is an easier way. Recent models of Android smart phones come equipped with a feature to blacklist phone numbers. Older devices won’t be equipped with this features but most of the newer models will have a similar way of blocking phone numbers. Here are three ways to block phone numbers:
Block All Incoming Calls
These steps will vary based on which device you are using but in general you will want to go open the Phone application. Then tap the three-dot menu in the top right corner, select Settings and choose Call. There will be the option Call Rejection, select it. There you will be able to reject all incoming calls by selecting Auto Reject Mode. This feature is useful if you want to stop all incoming calls but there are also ways to block specific numbers too.
Block Specific Numbers
A list of numbers that your phone blocks can be found under Auto Reject Mode by selecting the + sign in the top-right corner. An option is also available to block any unknown caller but that can stop you from getting some potentially important calls. This method is similar to a spam filter for your emails since it just helps you avoid it all together.
If you’ve blocked someone’s phone number you can have your device send them a text message with whatever text you want. So when you’re too busy to answer the phone you can easily say “Sorry, I’m busy but I’ll call you back soon!” To create these messages go to Rejection Messages under the Auto Reject List
Ring is a Wi-Fi doorbell that sends a message to a user’s mobile device when someone approaches the doorbell. It can also be used to lock and unlock the door to the user’s house.
Researchers at Pen Test Partners have found that Ring had very insufficient security measures. The orange setup button to the device was easily accessible, the only thing protecting it was a back plate and two standard screws. After removing the back plate, the team pushed the setup button on the back of the device and discovered that the doorbell’s wireless module automatically went into Access Point mode. Next the team found that they could communicate with the server and were able to get the Wi-Fi SSID and pre-shared key (PSK).
Ring responded to the vulnerability report a few minutes after being submitted and issued a patch 2 weeks later. In a statement Ring said “This security vulnerability was remedied with Ring’s firmware update 1.5 on August 11, 2015. Ring is now on firmware version 1.6. Every time Ring is activated, whether with motion or a doorbell ring, it automatically searches for available firmware updates.”
If you are unsure of which version is being run, you can go to Settings in the app and check which firmware you are running there.
It has been stated that the best passwords are longer with symbols, numbers, upper and lower case letters. While long passwords are considered the strongest, they are difficult to remember and prone to error input.
Small Business Computing detailed how Windows 10 now offers several different options for you to log into your PC that doesn’t involve using a password. It is a refreshing change to a mind numbing standard. The alternative log in styles include..
1) A PIN – Using the PIN option you can add a digit password of at least four (4) numbers. Once you have created your PIN, Windows 10 will prompt you for a your PIN versus a password. However, if you enter an incorrect PIN four (4) times you will be prompted to answer a challenge questions to prevent an attack of the Dark Side.
2) Picture Password – This option gives the opportunity to choose a picture from the gallery on your PC. You then draw with gestures using the mouse or your finder for confirmation of your imgage.
3) Fingerprint Scan – In Windows 10 third-party utilities are no longer required for PC support. Using an inexpensive USB scanner, you can access your computer with a fingerprint scan when prompted by the Wizard. The option can be set to use multiple fingers.
4) Facial Recognition – While this option may not be readily available, it requires a PC with a special 3D and IR-capable camera. Windows 10 would require a RealSense device that is only available in a limited amount of laptops, tablets and all-in-one PCs.
In the nature of all good things when a password is not used, it tends to be forgotten. It may be a good practice to have your password in a safe place, because it would be needed should you have to start Windows 10 in safe mode.
Ad Blockers and the possible threat to websites
Do you hate those banner ads that you see on websites?
September 23, 2015 03:00 PM EST
According to an article on WTOP, Apple is now permitting apps to block them on their iPhone and iPad.
The idea is to help users navigate on the webpage. However, ad blocking could potentially threaten the livelihoods of websites and publishers that rely on the ad revenue. While Ad blocking isn’t causing a panic yet, content creators are keeping on things. According to the article, providers will be looking at;
1) Reducing the annoyance so users won’t turn on Ad blockers
2) The number of blocked Ads
3) A way to make ads less intrusive with a smoother experience
If Ad practices get too annoying they could be a thing of the past like “Pop-Ups”, which are automatically blocked. Meanwhile some companies are paying developers for the rights to bypass blockers. Smaller websites can get a pass for Ad blockers, if they forego the revenue from the ads. The industry is always looking for the next best thing and it may be that Ads only load when part of the page is visible. This way sites load faster and advertisers don’t have to pay for what isn’t seen.