Category Archives for Security Alerts

Major Mac High Sierra Vulnerability

    ​If you're running Mac OSX 10.13 or "High Sierra" a major security vulnerability was found that could allow anyone with physical access to your computer have full access to it.

    What was found was that if you tried to log in with the username "root" and a blank password over and over again it would eventually let you in. In case you don't know "root" is Apple's equivalent of "administrator". So that person would have full permission once in to do what ever they like.

    Since then, Apple has released a security update to patch the issue. So it is highly recommended that you check the App Store to make sure you are up to date on all security updates. To do this simply open the App Store and go to the "Updates" tab and install all of the updates until there's no updates available when you refresh the page by hitting command+R.

    If you have anymore questions or concerns about your PC or Macs security feel free to reach out and let us know. That's what we're here for.

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    Who Else is Using Your Email Address

    Imagine this scenario. You get into your office in the morning and start checking your email. Everything seems business as usual, until you come upon an email that tells you that your email to someone has failed. You look and don't recall sending an email to that email address. You don't even know who that email address belongs to!

    This isn't an uncommon scenario. As email has become the primary method of communication for businesses, more and more people are trying to figure out how to gain access to email addresses to send spam emails or access sensitive or valuable information. If you feel this has happened to you, don't freak out. It's probably one of two situations.

    • 1
      Your email has been spoofed. This is the most common one. It's when a spammer sends spam emails but makes it look like they're coming from your email address. The spammer does not have access to your inbox but any replies to the spoofed emails will show up in your inbox. There's not much you can do about this. Frankly, spoofing email addresses are very easy to do. Having your email address spoofed is annoying but your data is safe.
    • 2
      Create a policy that forces your users to change their email password every 60 or 90 days.

    It won't prevent anyone from spoofing your email address but you can at least feel confident that if someone had access to your inbox they don't anymore. Here's a few more things you can do to make your email inbox hack-proof.


    ​As always, if you have any more questions or need help we're here for you!

    • 1
      Create a policy that forces your users to change their email password every 60 or 90 days.
    • 2
      Turn on Two-Factor Authentication for your email address.
    • 3
      If you check your email from your phone, make sure that your phone requires a separate password or pin.

    If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to let us know.  That's what we're here for.

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    Global Ransomware Attack Makes History

    Well, history was made this weekend. But not really in a good way. This weekend we witnessed the fastest spreading, largest scale ransomware attack ever. The latest numbers I read reported that since Friday 5/12/17 to Sunday 5/14/17 over 200,000 computers were infected across 150 countries.

    So far, most of the infections have been in Russia and Europe forcing hospitals in the UK to have to reschedule surgeries, the German public rail system to halt it's system, and even the Russian Interior Ministry.

    But there are concerns that the virus will pick up steam on Monday morning as western workers turn on their computers. So here is a condensed list of what you can do to keep your PC's and business safe.

    1.   Be cautious of emails. The reports all weekend have agreed that the virus was delivered by a spam email, a lot of times posing as a fake invoice. Be sure to have your employees be paranoid of unknown email senders, and make sure your email spam filter is finely tuned.

    2.   Update your systems. The virus is able to work because of a known vulnerability in Windows. The good news is that Microsoft released a patch. Be sure all your PC's are up to date on their Windows updates.

    3.   Check your backups. There is currently no way to salvage data on a computer infected with the ransomware. So good cloud backups are your best bet to save your data. The FBI suggests not paying the ransom to get your data back, and honestly I haven't heard if the hacker's hold true to their word when paid. Reliable cloud backups are your best bet to stay safe from this threat.

    4.   Be alert. One way this virus has spread so fast, is because once it gets on one PC in a network it can spread to all the other PCs over the internal network. If any of the PC's in your office shows this message. Cut the power immediately!
    SMLXL

    Please reach out and let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Our mission is to help businesses to continue to operate in the midst of these situations, unscathed.

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    The Most Vulnerable Software of 2016

    There's a really helpful website called cvedetails.com. They categorize and keep track of all security vulnerabilities found in any software or operating system. I was browsing their website last week and saw that they announced their 50 most vulnerable software of 2016 list. If you want to browse it for yourself, you can view it here:


    Unfortunately, I noticed that Adobe products held 4 of the top 10 positions on the list, which is more then a little alarming. Those products are Flash Player(#4), Acrobat Reader DC(#7), Acrobat DC(#8), Acrobat(#9), and an honorable mention goes to Reader at #12. Fortunately there are alternatives to Adobe. If you use any of these products, read on to learn how to move away from them.


    The Acrobat and Reader products are all centered around viewing and editing PDF's. If you are using any of these products a good alternative is Foxit. They offer a free reader for simply viewing PDF's and an affordably priced PDF editor. You can find all of this on their website here:


    Flash Player is used for some content on websites. But with the growing concern over security issues surrounding Flash Player, more and more websites have been moving away from it. If you'd like to rid your PC of Flash Player and see if you can go without it, you can follow the instructions in this very helpful article. Worse case scenario is that you realize an important website you visit requires it and you need to reinstall it. Best case scenario is that your web browsing is significantly safer(and faster).
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    Maybe you are an avid Adobe user and can't go without them. Then please be sure that you're using the most recent version and are installing updates. That goes for any software that you're running. At Triad Tech Guys your internet security is our top priority. Happy web surfing!


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    The iPhone Has Finally Been Hacked

    If you're one of those iPhone user's who doesn't let your phone install it's updates, instead opting to let the little number "1" sit over top of your "Settings" button, then you may want to reconsider.

    The first legitimate iPhone hack has been uncovered. Hackers are sending iPhone users link's in the form of text messages warning of overdue bills, and credit card charges. When that link is opened then the hacker can silently listen in and view all communication from that point on.

    Apple has released an update to correct the vulnerability. To check your phone and make sure you have that update installed go to "Settings"->"General"->"Software Update". Once you go into there it will begin checking for any available updates. You will either be told that you're up to date or that an update is available. Just follow the on screen instructions to install the update.

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    Norton Users Beware

    A few weeks ago the company Symantec (producers of Norton, a well known anti-virus) was found to have vulnerabilities and bugs in their code. This code is found in over twenty-five of their products, and has the potential to do massive damage to your computer, network, or server. It has the potential to cause failure in your computer that leads to what is commonly known as “blue sceen” or “blue screen of death”.


    What can I do?

    • 1
      I recommend that you immediately switch to a different anti-virus product such as; Avg (Free or Paid) or Malwarebytes (Premium). Why switch? The company was aware they were using seven year old libraries in their unpackers, it’s possible they are using outdated information for other parts of their product.1
    • 2
      Don’t want to switch? Make sure that you update your product to the latest version as Symantec has published updates to address the vulnerability.
    • 3
      Several of our customers have found comfort signing up for our Safe Surfer Initiative. When you sign up you get one year of AVG Antivirus, quarterly virus checks and PC maintenance. You can learn more here.

    Sources:

    1. https://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com/2016/06/how-to-compromise-enterprise-endpoint.html

    2. http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/06/25-symantec-products-open-to-wormable-attack-by-unopened-e-mail-or-links/

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    Time to Say Goodbye to Quicktime

    Quicktime is a media player created by Apple in the early-mid 90's. In many ways it led the way in computer media players. But recently some MAJOR security vulnerabilities have been found in Quicktime. With these vulnerabilities hackers could transfer malicious viruses to your computer. But what makes this more dangerous is that Apple has ended support for Quicktime for Windows, which means that the patch that Apple made to fix these vulnerabilities is not available for Windows users.


    What this means for anyone running Windows is that, it is in your best interest to follow the below steps to make sure you do not have Quicktime installed. If so, I recommend you remove it.


    To Check for and Remove Quicktime:


    For Windows 10 and 8.1

    • 1
      Right click the Windows icon on the bottom right corner of your desktop and select "Programs and Features".
    • 2
      Scroll down the list and if you see "Quicktime" click on it and then click "Uninstall"

    For Windows 7:

    • 1
      1. Click the Start menu and select "Control Panel"
    • 2
      2. Click "Programs" and then "Programs and Features"
    • 3
      Scroll down the list. If you see "Quicktime" click on it and then click "Uninstall".

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    Security Newsletter: The End for Server 2003

    ​Like Windows XP, Server 2003 was one of those ole' faithful systems that just ran great. Chances are you may even have a server in your office running Server 2003 and you don't even know it because you don't have to mess with it. But alas, the powers that be at Microsoft have decreed that July 2015 is the "End of Life" for Server 2003.


    So what does End of Life mean?

    It means that Microsoft will no longer provide support or security updates for Server 2003 starting in July. Your server will continue to run like it always has, just without the most recent updates.


    So what does that have to do with you and your faithful server?

    Really, two main things:

    1.  Security.  As certain viruses and security vulnerabilities are discovered, Microsoft will release updates to it's Windows operating systems to protect them in the form of Windows Updates.  But starting in July, Server 2003 won't be getting those anymore.  For some, this is just a security risk.  For others, that are regulated by governing parties like HIPAA or ALTA, you could be in legal trouble for running Server 2003 after July.


    2.  Scalability.  If you just use your Server 2003 server to share files, then after July it's going to keep on sharing files like it used to.  If you use your server to share a CRM database or Quickbooks and you want to update to the newest version, then you won't be able to put it on your old server.  New server software won't be compatible with Server 2003, mostly for the reasons listed above for security and these tech companies don't want to be liable


    So what are my options then?


    1.  Upgrade.  If you have a lot of specific needs that are being met by your server, then you probably just need to bite the bullet and get a Server 2012 server.  And that is going to be a full overhaul, new hardware and everything.  But if your business runs off this server, then it will be worth it


    2.  Go to "the Cloud".  A lot of services are now available on the Cloud for a monthly subscription.  For cost purposes, it's usually very affordable until you get to a certain number of users.  Some people also understand that "the Cloud" is fancy terms for "my data on someone elses stuff" and have trust issues with that.  Both of those points are valid and worth considering which is why the Cloud isn't a good choice for everyone.


    3.  Server alternatives.  I see a lot of folks get ready to throw down several thousand on a file server that's going to serve 5 people in an office and have only 20 GB of data on it.  I then recommend a network hard drive instead and save them a bundle.  There's tons of alternate solutions to a server, depending on your need and situation.


    Should I be scared?

    No, but you should be informed. And I love informing people. Let me know if I can help.

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    Dell PC Security Alert

    If you own a Dell PC or laptop you might want to keep reading. Dell offers a nifty tool called Dell System Detect from their support website. You install it and it scans your computer to tell you what drivers and software you need for your computer. Great right?


    Well it was discovered not long ago that once you've installed that program and used it, it keeps running in the background even though it doesn't need to be for everyday use. And if you go to a website with "dell" anywhere in the name, hackers can remotely run scripts and programs on your computer to gather personal information or damage your computer. A group of tech's tested this and went to "notreallydell.com" and were able to open several programs on a computer with Dell System Detect on it.


    Now within the last couple of months Dell has released a newer version of the program that fixes this issue. But if you have an older version of the software you're going to want to remove it.


    If you want to see if you have it installed and then remove it, follow one of the links below for your version of Windows on how to uninstall a program:


    Windows XP:

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/307895


    Windows 7:

     http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uninstall-change-program#uninstall-change-program=windows-7


    Windows 8:

     http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/uninstall-change-program


    Once you're at the list of programs you have installed, just look for Dell System Detect. If you see it click remove or uninstall. It won't impact the everyday use of your computer. If you're confused or have any questions feel free to get in touch with me at my contact page.

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    Lenovo Malware Scare

    Good morning everyone. The Japanese computer company, Lenovo, made the news in a big way this week. It was revealed that several models of laptops they released last year were bundled with a software called Superfish. 


    Superfish was intended to be a shopping aid that helped you find items online even if you didn't know what they were called. But it backfired when hackers discovered they could use this software to hijack peoples web activity and traffic. Needless to say if you have this software on your computer it needs to be removed immediately!


    If you're not sure if this applies to you, you can go to to this website on your Lenovo and it will check your computer and let you know if you are safe or not. If it detects that you are not safe it will give you detailed instructions on how to remove it.


    As always the purpose of these newsletters is to inform and to empower so feel free to forward this to anyone that you know(especially if they recently bought a Lenovo). Feel free to reply with any questions or concerns.

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