Integrated IT Solutions News August 2015
 
Windows 10 message

Last week marked the official release of Windows 10 by Microsoft. This is the latest and greatest version of the operating system, which Microsoft has decided to make available as a free upgrade to many of their users. If your system qualifies, you may get prompted by your computer about taking advantage of this free upgrade. If this happens, we would like to ask that for now you decline the offer.

Windows 10 is a major rewrite of the operating system, and it will have a major impact on how applications, drivers and utilities work; many will have to be rewritten to some degree, and will likely fail until their publishers can issue a new version. Upgrading your production computer system to Windows 10 before we’ve had a chance to fully review and test it with your applications and tools may result in failures that we cannot rapidly repair. Please don't hesitate to contact us with questions.

Android vulnerabilities

Two bugs were announced last week that affect Android mobile devices. Both are apparently able to target Android devices running versions 4.3 through 5.1.1, the current release, which amounts to more than half of all Android devices on the planet.

The "Stagefright" bug reported last Monday could gain access to a user's phone from a simple media message that you look at without even opening. The attacker could send a specific type of multimedia message, or MMS, to an individual's phone and steal their data, including photographs and video. The attacker could also take new pictures or record audio from a compromised device. Google says they will provide a fix in a future version of Android. Unfortunately, Google has many partners and phone manufacturers like Samsung and Motorola are responsible for patching these devices. Keep a lookout for updates from your carrier.

Apple security patch

Apple is not immune to security flaws either, it seems. A bug in Apple OS X called DYLD has been found and is considered a serious hole as it could allow hackers to remotely run a program on a Mac using administrator rights, which potentially opens up wide access to the entire operating system.

In response, Apple will fix the bug in the next update to its Mac OS X which is still in beta testing. Typically, a public beta of an update to the operating system takes around two weeks before it reaches Mac users. So OS X users should expect the fix to roll out in the next week or so.

 

Windows 10 scam alert

Please be warned of an email, pretending to be from Microsoft, that provides you with a link to install the newly released Windows 10 operating system. Instead of installing a brand new OS your system will be infected with cryptographic ransomware. If you receive an email like this, simply delete it immediately. Note that this is an active infection and that your best defense is the education of your staff. Access to Windows 10 is not controlled by an email-based link and the terms under which you can opt to upgrade without additional lincensing costs are long terms and not subject to any short term windows of opportunity.

Integrated IT Solutions is an Employee-Owned, ISO 9001 Certified Company.

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