It's like the story you imagined you never wanted to hear. Wannacry has made it's mark, and it's not over yet. They are estimating this ransomware virus has spread over 200 countries and infected countless millions of systems.
The worst outbreaks predominantly in Asia and Europe, it still could find it's way to systems all over the world.
If you've kept up with your Windows Updates, you would have gotten a patch for the vulnerability back in March, 2017 that this ransomware... virus exploits to infect your computers.
Microsoft has even recently released patches for XP and 2003 in an effort to keep the retired Operating Systems protected.
Make sure you check Windows Updates on your systems to ensure you have the latest patches, and as always, good backups are important, though if you just copy files, be sure to disconnect your backup drives or they could be encrypted as well.
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Ransomware has become one of our most time consuming recoveries. These programs will not only infect your PC's, they will go after all of your shared data including backups, servers, cloud sync's, anything that may be tied to the infected PC through the network shares. A few of our larger clients have sustained multiple encryption events.
CMi employees a specialized strategy to ensure our clients can recover data and programs without having to pay exorbitant ransoms in the ho...pes your data can be saved.
Even with our ability to quickly bring our clients back on line, these ransomware attacks are no joke.
This latest infection is especially sinister; posing as a Windows Update. Be suspect of any pop-up windows on your computer, and contact us immediately so we can help you identify if it is a legitimate warning, or something more nefarious that could jeopardize your systems and data.
Sharing this with everyone; it affects mostly Lawyers and Law offices, but thought it was important enough to post on our page. Reprinted with permission.
NEW YORK STATE CYBER COMMAND CENTER THREAT ALERT
DATE: June 16, 2016...
SUBJECT: Malicious Email Campaign Targeting Attorneys - Spoof Emails From Statewide Legal Organizations - TLP: WHITE
In June 2016 a trusted third party became aware of a malicious email campaign targeting attorneys, which spoofs emails from statewide legal organizations, such as the Bar Association and the Board of Bar Examiners. The subject and body of the emails include claims that “a complaint was filed against your law practice” or that “records indicate your membership dues are past due.” Recipients are asked to respond to the claims by clicking a link which leads to a malicious download, potentially ransomware.
The emails are well written and appear to originate from an appropriate authority, such as an Association official, likely increasing the effectiveness of the email. Reporting from various states indicates a likelihood that this campaign is personalized to individuals practicing in a particular state and may be progressing on a state-by-state basis. The following states have been referenced in public reporting on this campaign: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, and Nevada. This targeting may include attorneys working for state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments.
· Share this information with potentially impacted organizations including Departments of Law/Justice, related law enforcement agencies, and agency-specific offices of counsel.
· Look for spear phishing emails which may include spoofed email addresses, unusual requests, and questionable and/or masked links. This particular series of emails includes what appears to be a link to the state bar association, but when the user hovers over the link it shows that the link is really to a different website. Copying and pasting the link, instead of clicking on it, would defeat this social engineering attempt.
· Perform regular backups of all systems to limit the impact of data loss from ransomware infections. Backups should be stored offline.
· Report any suspicious emails to the Cyber Command Center at CyCom@its.ny.gov
The Cyber Command Center will update this alert as new information is obtained. If there are any questions, please contact the Cyber Command Center at 518-242-5045 or CyCom@its.ny.gov
NYS Cyber Command Center
NYS Enterprise Information Security Office
Office of Information Technology Services (ITS)
1220 Washington Avenue, Building 5 – 1st Floor
Albany, New York 12226
Main Phone: 518-242-5045 | CyCom@its.ny.gov
Another client downed with Ransomware today when an unsuspecting employee opened an attachment from a FedEx spoofed email on a terminal server Remote Desktop, infecting the terminal server and all the shared files for the organization.
A constant and looming threat, costing companies millions of dollars, there seems no end to this criminal mischief making Hackers rich.
Do you know how many of our clients have had to pay to get their data back?...
Having the right backup solution will not only save you money, but help keep your sanity.
Want some peace of mind with the knowledge that your data and systems are safe? Contact CMi and let us set up for you a comprehensive backup plan that will ensure your data is safe.
Microsoft Office 365 or Google Apps for Work?
There was a time when you got a web site, and with it a plethora of email services at your fingertips. Provided, of course, you used a third party email client like outlook, thunderbird, imail, and someone who could manage it for you.
Now you can have even more control, more spam blocking and virus protection, more accessibility, less management, and better collaboration through cloud email services. Microsoft and Google have bot...h stepped up with offerings that we have been recommending to our clients.
How do you know what's best for your business?
We can help. With a free evaluation of your systems and services, we can help steer you in the right direction, determine if these solutions are good for your business, and help you every step of the way to make the transition as smooth and painless as possible!
I had a chance to speak with one of my good friends today, Allan Levine of Allen E Levine Photography (insert shameless plug here - aelphoto.com).
He is always good for an entertaining parlay in the latest technology trends (Allan is well known for his tech prowess; always looking for new technology to push the envelop of his photography applications)
Today's Topic? Solid State Drives (or SSD)....
Since we build our own PC's for our clients, we are always searching for the best products to put in our builds.
We take special care to know exactly what goes into our PC's so our clients can be assured they receive best value for their dollar, running the fastest and most reliable technology while keeping a sensible price point and local warranty service (we warranty all of our equipment).
If you're like Allan; interested in the best technology on the market for your systems, here's a recent article that talks about SSD's. If nothing else, you can impress your techie friends the next time you attend one of those trendy tech gatherings. http://www.hardware-revolution.com/best-sdd-solid-state-dr…/
Shadow Copy is a built in Windows System feature that most are not aware even existed. We use it extensively with out setups, being an integral part of our technology solutions.
Interested in finding out how to better safeguard your data and systems? Contact us for a free evaluation, and see how your technology can work for you.
I've used PC Pitstop on occasion for some basic system bench-marking, and for that it's adequate to get a quick read on your PC.
What I found more interesting was the list of publicly reported Ransomware articles they've compiled. Take a look at some of the major hits this year and why these criminals are getting away with it.
If you're concerned about Ransomware, you should be! Contact us and setup an appointment to better educate you and your staff on how to avoid becom...ing the next statistic.
We can also configure your systems and backups so to minimize the damage in the event you systems fall victim to these types of attacks.
Here's a wonderful article, giving insight into why all the virus protection in the world can't seem to stop the spread of malicious software. The author, though, despite cries for third party solutions, doesn't bother with third party anti-virus programs (I can imagine the collective gasp spreading across the internet).
The article is a bit dated, but it still holds true.
Of course, we're not advocating the end of anti-virus solutions. There are situations where we've foun...d these programs quite helpful, but the author does touch on some interesting points that explain the phenomenon.
I received an email today from Intuit regarding a security vulnerability the desktop version of QuickBooks. Intuit claims to have sent notifications out to all desktop users who are vulnerable.
Since it seems a rare occasion Intuit takes this much time and energy in announcing a system update, I'm going to hazard a guess that this is a serious vulnerability. From what I can gather, it has to do with password security. It appears to span all QuickBooks desktop versions, but... they have only created fixes for version 2013 and later.
Here's the detailed help page at Intuit's site if you need more information, or contact us and we will follow up for you.
Looking for a versatile cloud backup solution for your business? iBackup is the company we recommend to meet your off-site backup needs.
With a wonderful array of tools, affordable storage, multiple sub accounts, and free server side plug-ins to back up your critical server data, it's the Swiss army knife of cloud storage solutions without the price-tag to go with it.
There is a 15 day free trial if you want to test drive their software. Check them out!...
So many small businesses today utilize shared hosting email (provided by web hosting companies) or worse; free email services, such as google, yahoo or aol to name a few. What they don't know is they may be losing business because of it.
With stringent email policies and rampant hacking, 'free' email is not free anymore. It could be costing your business money. Not to mention the image it portrays to your current and prospective clients.
Cloud solutions like Microsoft Offic...e 365 or Google Business Apps can take your email experience to the next level.
With a free evaluation of your systems and services, we can help you better utilize your current technology, and recommend solutions that make sense.
Cloud Services. What are they? Do you need them? Should your business be 'in the cloud?'. I'll bet you're already utilizing some form of cloud services. Do you have a web based email? Store files in apps like Google or DropBox? Use a web-based backup? All cloud services.
There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when moving to cloud services. We can review your systems and processes. Ask the right questions. Help you compare the costs and ROI; everything you... need to make an informed decision that's right for your budget and business.
Contact us for a no obligation evaluation of your systems. We can give you pointers that will help your company run more efficiently. Even help you plan for the future.
Make an appointment today!
Virus, malware and ransomware, oh MY! Two more clients with ransomware this week. When asked why one person infected their computer, the response was "I knew I wasn't supposed to open the attachment, but I wasn't paying attention."
Over half the battle against these rampant issues that plague our technology can be com-batted with some simple restraint. If you follow this single rule, you will dramatically increase your chances of being safe from these malicious attacks:
...Don't EVER open an attachment that you receive via email until you have confirmed with the sender that they sent you an attachment. If you can't, don't open it and delete the email.
If everyone followed this rule, we could put these criminals out of business.
And if you do find yourself with dire messages popping up on your computer, contact us immediately. We are experts in malicious software cleaning and recovery services.
Happy (and Safe) Surfing!