Beware of the rise of Ransomware!!

A newer threat we are seeing at Strategic Networks FL to businesses and home users is the rise of ransomware. For those of you who don't know ransomware is a virus that doesn't just destroy your computer it also encrypts all of your data and leaves you a ransom note explaining how to send them a large amount of money usually in the difficult to acquire form of bitcoins. If you manage to navigate the maze of setting up a bitcoin wallet and actually purchasing bit coins to pay the ransom you still have no guarantee of ever receiving the password to your encrypted data. The criminal actually has no motivation to give you the password because then it might be easier for a professional to build a decryption tool for that specific ransomware.

Ransomware Warning encrypted filesMany people ask me how do you get ransomware? While there are several ways to get ransomware you normally get it through a link in an email that you follow accidentally in a fake UPS or FedEx tracking email or some other kind of spoofed email from an acquaintance. You can also get ransomware from an infected website that installs malware when you browse to it. You could even get ransomware from another virus that is already on your computer and that virus maker is paid to execute the ransomware on many infected computers. Therefore, it is important to have a good antivirus software preferably paid but free is better than nothing. Paid antivirus software is updated more often because they have more resources...

How can we protect ourselves from ransomware? Well the first thing I have already mentioned is antivirus software. Even more important than the antivirus software is a good backup software. A good local backup is the first line of protection if ransomware gets past your antivirus software. The only problem is that sometimes the local backup device gets encrypted as well. So finally, I recommend a good offsite backup. There are several and I will not recommend any one.  A good offsite backup will allow you to download your documents when all other copies of your data have been encrypted, corrupted or otherwise destroyed.  Ransomware not only attempts to encrypt all of your data but also encrypts or deletes things like backups and shadow copies of your data so you cannot restore.  For this reason, an offsite copy will give you the level of protection you need in this situation.  Strategic Networks offers a managed offsite backup software and it comes standard with one of our monthly service agreements. 

Ransomware cleanup is difficult.  Once you have been infected with ransomware you need to think about how to recover.  Remove the computer or device from wired or wireless networks.  Contact a professional IT company like Strategic Networks Bradenton Sarasota to setup an appointment to have your computer cleaned and repaired and make sure no other devices are infected.

Ransomware Payment for Encryption Key

So, beware of the rise of ransomware. Never pay as you are only helping bad people attack our country and there is no guarantee you will get your data back. Get a good antivirus software, keep it up to date and scan often. Finally make sure you have a good offsite backup and test it occasionally. If you find your computer or network infected with ransomware don't panic. Unplug it from the network. Contact us at Strategic Networks Bradenton Sarasota. There are things that we can do to help. Every situation is different, but we may be able to find a decryption tool or find a backup of your data on your computer. With luck not all is lost we will do our best to help. If you haven't been infected call Strategic Networks Bradenton Sarasota to help you harden your computers and network against threats. Thanks for checking out our Strategic Networks of Bradenton Sarasota.

Thank you,

Michael A. Masse Jr.

Strategic Networks, LLC

Bradenton / Sarasota FL

Backupper Free Disk Cloning and Backup Software

Since Microsoft did away with their default backup software NT Backup a lot of us IT people lost an important tool.  We at Strategic Networks Bradenton Sarasota used to setup NT Backup by default even if we had another more robust backup tool.  When this happened we looked around and found Backupper.  While nothing beats NT Backup for it's ease of use and inclusion with the operating systems Backupper fills some of the void left from it's parting.

If you are unsure of the status of your backups or just want a professional to take a look at your current measures contact us at Strategic Networks Bradenton Sarasota for an analsys of your protection.  Remember that your backup is only as good as how it is setup.  It is very important to perform test restores several times per year.  What is the use of an expensive backup software or a free on for that matter if you find a problem during an emergency restore.  Find problems with your backup before you lose data not after.  If you are looking for a free and easy backup utility please check out this one...

AOMEI Backupper is the simplest FREE backup software with system/disk/partition/file backups and system/disk clone.

Alternatives to the High Cost of Microsoft Office Products

While there is no denying that Microsoft offers a power packed office package it is difficult to accept the high cost.  For a small business the cost can get quite prohibitive when looking to equip many computers with the Office productivity package.  There are however alternatives...

Are you sick of paying hundreds for Microsoft Office products? Or even worse paying a never ending monthly subscription for only Microsoft Office productivity?  We have an Office Productivity Solution that includes access to your Microsoft Exchange Server and can be configured for much less.  Contact us at Strategic Networks Bradenton Sarasota to discuss alternatives to Microsoft Office and let us help IT work for you...  For as little as $50 you can have a fully functional office with email and or exchange solution. 

New Strategic Backup Solutions Onsite and Offsite Secure Backup

Strategic Solutions Backup

Strategic Networks has you covered.  Whether you want to backup your data to a local USB drive or secure your data offsite with encryption we have what you need.  Our Strategic Backup Solution will allow you to backup your data, Exchange Server down to the folder level, SQL servers and other software and databases.  Give us a call or email to discuss your needs.  Let Strategic Networks make your IT work for you.

Linux / Mac Vulnerability GHOST

New Linux/Mac vulnerability GHOST... We are looking into a new Linux vulnerability today. If you aren't aware all Mac operating systems are now built on Linux technology so this means your Mac could be affected. There is a vulnerability that is being called GHOST because it allows a hacker to remotely take complete control of a victim's system without having any prior knowledge of system credentials. It is a buffer overflow vulnerability that can be triggered both remotely and locally. Look for a new update from Linux / Apple in the coming days to protect your system.

UPDATE:  This hole exists in any Linux system that was built with glibc-2.2, which was released on November 10, 2000.  We will be looking into whether the current MacOS' use this kernel.

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