Integrated IT Solutions News November 2014
 

 

Cryptowall ransomware information 

Cryptographic ransmoware is a form of malware that, after successfully infecting your computer, will encrypt your files (Office documents and PDF files) and demand payment of a ransom for access to the software and decryption keys necessary to reverse the encryption. The first cryptographic ransomware threat was called CryptoLocker and it spread through email. It used fairly sophisticated self-encryption techniques to escape detection; however, it required the user to open the attachment in order to successfully compromise his or her computer. There is a new wave of cryptographic ransomware threats, best exemplified by a particularly nasty malware called CryptoWall. It spreads through specially crafted banner ads that are syndicated into legitimate websites, and requires no user intervention to achieve its goal. Like its predecessor, it encrypts your files and demands payment of a ransom to unlock them. The victim is typically instructed to pay in bitcoin through methods that make it difficult, if not impossible, to trace the transaction and, therefore, the perpetrator.

While there are reports of people who have recovered access to their files after making a payment, there are as many, of not more, accounts of people who paid but received no response, and lost both the money and their files. This should come as no surprise: the people behind these attacks are criminals. Our support team has noticed a very significant increase in the number of CryptoWall attacks over the last for weeks. If you fall victim to a cryptographic threat, the only 100% reliable way to recover your data is by restoring it from a healthy backup (after the infected machine has been cleaned.)

It is of utmost importance to ensure your backup is working properly before the attack takes place. In order to mitigate the risk of infection, try to keep your browsing to a minimum. If you need to browse, try using a tablet (iPad or Android are safe, at least for now) or a non-Windows PC, such as a Mac.

Remember, you don't need to browse the 'dark corridors' of the Internet to be at risk, and several legitimate, everyday sites have been shown to have (unwittingly) served as vectors for this infection.

Our engineering team is looking for other ways to make your PC safer, and we'll reach out to you soon with some suggestions for reducing the risk.

To all of our loyal clients and friends - a special thank you for your continued support this year. We wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

Microsoft to offer unlimited OneDrive

Only four months after bumping OneDrive capacity for Office 365 customers to 1 TB, Microsoft announced that it's removing the cap entirely and making OneDrive unlimited.

Moving forward, all Office 365 customers will get unlimited OneDrive storage at no additional cost. They have started rolling this out to Office 365 Home, Personal, and University customers. The roll out will continue over the coming months, so if you want to be one of the very first to get more storage, go here to sign up.


Windows 2003 End of Life Countdown: 251 Days

Do not risk your infrastructure with unsupported, unsecure, and non-compliant software! Contact your sales rep to begin a migration plan!

 

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