malware

Malware Warning - Global Ransomware Attack

Global Malware Warning

A new Ransomware Malware has hit organisations worldwide. It appears to have taken down hospitals and other major companies in the UK.

So far this virus has not targeted Australia, but even still we have seen it in Townsville. Now is the time to reinforce good email security policy with your staff, and to check your anti-virus definitions are up to date. In addition you can help shield yourself from this virus by making sure your Windows is up to date.

Ransomware is a particularly nasty virus which encrypts all of the accessible data on your computers and networks. You are then asked to pay a sum to receive a password to unlock these files. The ransom amount is usually far beyond reasonable.

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself:

  1. Ensure your anti virus definitions are up to date
  2. Ensure your anti malware definitions are up to date
  3. Make sure Windows is up to date
  4. Test your backups

Media Releases and Further Information

Microsoft has released the following statement in a blog related to this ransomware:

Today many of our customers around the world and the critical systems they depend on were victims of malicious “WannaCrypt” software. Seeing businesses and individuals affected by cyberattacks, such as the ones reported today, was painful. Microsoft worked throughout the day to ensure we understood the attack and were taking all possible actions to protect our customers. This blog spells out the steps every individual and business should take to stay protected. Additionally, we are taking the highly unusual step of providing a security update for all customers to protect Windows platforms that are in custom support only, including Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003. Customers running Windows 10 were not targeted by the attack today.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/msrc/customer-guidance-for-wannacrypt-attacks

You can find further information from the Australian government by visiting the following site:

https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/alert-service/update-wanacry-global-ransomware-incident

If you want more information or would like Deltas IT Department to perform a network security check for your business please contact us today on 07 4771 7888.

 


Work-Life Balance

Delta has begun a work-life balance trial for our Townsville employees.  After careful review of our service activity we have found that Friday afternoons are typically very quiet. Through discussions with our staff we have agreed on a working hours re-shuffle which means Delta will now close at 3pm on Friday each week.

Phone calls after this time will be directed to a voicemail with an emergency phone number available. Any service calls logged after 3pm will be prioritised for Monday morning in keeping with our 4 hour response KPI.

As a family owned and operated business, Delta appreciates your understanding as we attempt to promote a healthy work-life balance for our staff.

If you have any concerns or questions, please give us a call on 07 4771 7888

Work-Life Balance Secrets from CEOs


Today’s technological environment is always on, making it difficult for us to ever truly be away from our jobs. Whether by smartphone or computer, you’re only a tap or a click away from work. In a recent LinkedIn article, coach and author Steve Tappin shared some work-life balance insights from interviews with top CEOs. We’ve collected a few of the best tips here to help you maintain a healthy balance.

1. Balance is Your Responsibility – “It is totally possible to have a balance and in fact it’s essential…It’s totally easy to become stale when you don’t have time to sit with family and friends. Treadmills do not make for good leaders and managers; stressed people do not get the best results…” – Sir John Parker, Chairman Anglo American PLC

2. Protect Your Time – “Twenty years ago, I set two very simple rules for myself: I do not take or make calls in the evening and I take my vacation. These rules clear time to think and be with my family, and they are all I need. I advise everyone to come up with rules that work for them and apply them carefully.” – Cris Conde, former CEO Sungard Computer Services

3. Take Your Leave – “The most important thing is my family and friends: I take every holiday I’m entitled to.” – Richard Baker, former CEO Boots

4. Recharge Regularly – “You need to recharge your spirituality and you cannot do that easily in an urban environment or working situation… Fishing is meditation for me.” – Brad Mills, CEO Mandalay Resources

5. Really Disconnect – “I don’t lie in bed worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow. My business is on my mind all day, but the next business day does not arrive until 5 a.m., the next day.” – Terry Duddy, former CEO Home Retail Group

6. Build a Support Network – “If you work hard and have the right people around you, you can make it work.” – Paul Walker, CEO Sage

7. Get Some Perspective – “When you are faced with big and difficult life experiences, you must take a deep breath and realize that business experiences are seldom the end of the world.” – Mitch Garber, CEO Caesars Acquisition Company

With some effort, you can create the balance you want and truly thrive at work and at home. Check out more insights from Tappin and Andrew Cave’s book, The Secrets of CEOs.


#localssupportinglocals - Ronald McDonald House North Queensland

Delta Office Solutions Townsville is stepping up to support the Ronald McDonald House North Queensland by covering the cost to fix 1 of their breast pumps.
If you think you could help cover the cost of the other machine please contact Debbie/Brad 07 4775 5600
‪#‎localssupportinglocals‬

“RMHNQ supporters we really need your help! We try and help provide our NICU families with Breast Pumps, so that they can help feed their very small and hungry babies. Sadly at the moment we have two broken pumps which will cost over $900 to fix. This means we only have 10 in working condition and currently we have 18 NICU or Special Care families staying with us.

If anyone is able to help/donate funds to get these pumps fixed for our families we would be incredibly grateful!

Please contact the house for more information on 07 4775 5600 and ask for Debbie or Brad.

Thank you”


How Cloud Based backup can give you better Data Security

Backing up to the cloud has always been an interesting subject, clients not sure that they want their data stored in some remote server, the added cost of data transfer over slow internet connections, high ongoing cost.

Then there are the benefits, with faster internet connections (NBN) high speed and fast backups, no need to remember to take the backup off site or to change the backup device, and not the real kicker, security from the latest crypto locker/ransomware variants, the cost is now much more attractive too.

Yes, by backing up to a remote service you could well be protecting yourselves against a ransomware attack.

The latest variant of crypto locker not only encrypts your data but turns of any local images and wipes attached backup devices and any network storage or other devices it can gain access to.

So if you have looked at backing up to the cloud before maybe it’s time to look again, if you haven’t maybe you should be looking now.

Cloud Backup should be part of your Business Disaster Recovery Plan.

If you would like to discuss your options give us a call.

 

David Halberg

Delta Office Solutions

www.deltaoffice.com.au


How to avoid getting Ransomware (CryptoLocker – CryptoWall)

So Ransomware as it implies holds your data to ransom having first encrypted it, dependant on the variant it may also have encrypted any attached USB drive and network attached storage that it can access.
Now if that sounds scary, it should, more than 650,000 PC’s and over 5.25 billion files have been infected in the last 3 years and in 2015 in the USA alone well in excess of $325 million was extorted by this method.
So how to defend yourself.
Ensure that you have good anti-virus and anti-malware protection, it doesn’t cot the earth.
Restrict user network access to only what they need.
Manage network traffic and access points.
Backup everything and ensure that you have a copy of your backup that is not connected to your network.
Have a Business Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity plan so if the worst happens you are prepared.

Speak to you IT service provider and work with them to help ensure you are safe.

If you need help or advice, please get in touch.

David Halberg
davidh@www.deltaoffice.com.au
www.deltaoffice.com.au


Your next security breach is already in your business.

The likelihood of having a security breach or malware attack is currently at an all-time high. The most likely attack will come from some form of “ransomware”, this is where malicious software encrypts your files and demands payment to decrypt the files.

 

The like hood is that the way the infection will get onto your systems is already in your business, this form of attack is normally a result of someone within the business opening an infected email attachment. So it will be you or your employees that let it in.

 

So what can you do to minimise the risk?

Start with Employee awareness training, let them know the dangers and use examples if you can. Explain how attachments and click through options on email should be avoided unless you are 100% sure of the source and were expecting it.

Ensure that your Anti-Virus \ Malware are up to date.

Ensure that your systems are having security patches applied.

Check you Backup and Business Disaster Recovery policy.

Work with your IT provider to check your systems security.

For more ideas on how to protect your Business why not contact us at Delta Office Solutions.

David Halberg

Davidh@www.deltaoffice.com.au

www.deltaoffice.com.au


How Organised Are Your Network's Shared Files?

A fairly universal experience of office workers is the dreaded feeling you get when you can’t find a file. Whether it’s a word processing document, an image, scanned data, or a different type of digital file, odds are that you’ve experienced the time-consuming and aggravating task of not being able to find the data you’re looking for in your business’ shared network. Panic and, ultimately, frustration set in as you have to pull coworkers away from their tasks to help locate the file—or worse—you begin to recreate it.

So, what can you do to bypass all of the undue stress that comes with an unruly digital filing system?

The first step is to determine and standardize filing labels throughout your organisation. For example, name your document “ABC Company Invoice 30.5.16” instead of “ABC” or simply “30.5.16,” because descriptive labeling will help users locate the file later. Maintaining standardised folders and subfolders—logically arranged and implemented by your entire staff—can also be incredibly useful when organizing and maintaining a network’s shared files.

However, for most businesses, it can be difficult to enforce standardization rules or to retroactively apply them to thousands of existing files. Luckily, a much more reliable and accurate solution for the uniform naming and storing of digital documents is by implementing a Document Management System (DMS) to keep your business data organized.

DMS software will name, index, and store your documents using a standardized system, without having to rely on each employee to remember and consistently apply the agreed-upon naming convention. Each file name will also include the date that the document was originally created and track dates of all modifications to that file.

DMS also authorizes you to search in a variety of ways, which allows you to find documents faster than you could with standard searches. For example, if you’re replicating an event from last May, with DMS you can search for a date range, the event’s name, or even the author of the document. Another useful search tool with DMS is the ability to search the actual contents of all of the documents in your shared system via keywords. Not unlike a Google search, you can even use words like “and” or “or” to add or subtract distinct phrases and keywords while searching through your system’s files.

Sophisticated DMS technology not only helps you quickly locate the exact files needed on your network, but also can track and limit viewing, editing, or deleting capabilities based on specific users. This security feature protects your business, customers, and employees’ confidential data.

In addition to its long list of additional capabilities—like workflow automation, email integration, and document recovery solutions—the first step is to organize your shared network by implementing the automated filing rules offered by DMS software. Once put into effect, your next file search will be fast, instead of frustrating.

Contact us today to learn more about Document Management Systems and automation solutions!


Microsoft Edge Update Automatically Pauses Flash Ads

In yet another blow to Adobe Flash, Microsoft’s most recent update to its Edge browser automatically pauses Flash ads. The Next Web reports, “Peripheral content – ads, random animations, etc. – will be paused until a user actively clicks on it. Microsoft says the update will ‘significantly reduce power consumption.'” Microsoft also claims that the new feature is “smart enough to distinguish between peripheral content and ‘central’ content, such as video or games.” Microsoft Edge isn’t the first browser to release a feature like this. Google Chrome began sidelining Flash-based ads in version 42 in a bid to improve cybersecurity and conserve power usage.

Taken from Spiceworks Originals SNAP! Forum


A New Kind of Ransomware Knows Where You Live

A new malware attack is bundling ransomware that Malwarebytes calls “beautiful and dangerous” with sophisticated social engineering that lures victims in by masquerading as a bank notice replete with home addresses and account details. According to ZDNet, “The well-worded email appears to come from a legitimate email address and domain name, and raises very few irregularities. The email comes with an demand for money for an arbitrary service, along with a link that purports to be an ‘overdue invoice.'” Once you’ve clicked the link and opened what looks like a Word document, you’ll quickly be looking at a full-on ransomware attack. Unlike other, more typical attacks, however, the “longer you wait, the larger the ransom you have to pay.” The bank is a UK-based company called Ludlow and says it is “as much [the] victim as those who got the emails.”

Taken from Spiceworks Originals SNAP! Forum


New 'Fully Functional' OS X Ransomware Discovered

New ‘fully functional’ OS X ransomware discovered: Alert Priority Moderate

From the Stay Smart Online Site

www.staysmartonline.gov.au

Security researchers are reporting a new case of ‘fully functional’ ransomware targeting Apple Mac computers running the OS X operating system.

The report highlights the fact that users of Apple Macs and other Apple devices need to be just as alert to the threat posed by ransomware as users of computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system.

According to the report, attackers targeted Mac users over the weekend with ransomware known as ‘KeRanger’ that encrypts files on infected machines and demands victims pay a ransom in digital currency for the key to recover the files.

The source of the infection is believed to be software used to install Transmission, a product used to transfer data on file-sharing nework BitTorrent, on OS X computers.

According to the reports, the KeRanger malware starts encrypting files three days after being installed. Once the encryption process is completed, the ransomware demands payment equivalent to USD$400 in the digital current ‘bitcoin’ to a specified address for the key.

Transmission is understood to have removed the installers involved, while Apple has revoked a security certificate that allowed the malware to bypass some of its security measures. Transmission posted a message on its website that reads: ‘Everyone running [version] 2.90 on OS X should immediately upgrade to and run 2.92 as they may have downloaded a malware-infected file.

This new version will make sure the ‘OSX.KeRanger.A ransomware is correctly removed from your computer. Users of 2.91 should also immediately upgrade to and run 2.92. Even though 2.91 was never infected, it did not automatically remove the malware-infected file.’

Staying safe
Here are some tips that may help your business or family and other members of your personal network recover from a ransomware attack.

Locate the source of infection. You (or a staff or family member) may have opened an attachment to a fake but official-looking email, or visited a website that hosts malicious software (malware). The website may be fake or legitimate but compromised by attackers in order to distribute malware. Once you have identified likely sources of infection, warn your staff and/or family not to interact with them.

Identify the scope and scale of the attack. What files has the ransomware encrypted and how important are they to you, your family or your business? What are the effects of not being able to access these files on yourself, your family or your business? Does the ransomware perform secondary unwanted tasks (such as stealing passwords) as well as locking your files and demanding payment?

To answer these and other relevant questions, you can apply your own knowledge and review your own records of your family’s computer usage, analyse business computer usage records (provided they have not been encrypted) and review commentary online from reputable publications and sources. This exercise will enable you to understand how serious the attack is and the time and resources you should devote to recovery.

You may be tempted to pay the ransom to unlock your files. Stay Smart Online recommends against this course of action as meeting the criminals’ demands may encourage them to launch future attacks against your computer or files. Instead, you should inform local law enforcement authorities of the incident, including forwarding them the relevant emails and website addresses.

Remove the ransomware infection from your computer. There are tools available to help you remove your ransomware infection. Detailed instructions for downloading, installing and using these tools to eradicate the malware are available online. However, there are no guarantees that using these tools will recover any compromised files or avoid permanent damage to them. Decrypter tools are typically specific to a certain strain of ransomware. Criminals may also update their ransomware at any time to beat decryption attempts that use these tools.

The best way of restoring access to your files is through a backup system not connected to the computer at the time it was attacked by the ransomware. To do this, you need to maintain regular backups of important files. Stay Smart Online has information about how to do this, and we recommend you seek technical advice if you are unsure about the next steps you should take.

Once you have eliminated the ransomware from your computer, you should educate your family and/or staff not to click on links to websites of dubious origin, or open attachments to emails from unexpected or unknown sources. Use authoritative sources to understand and update yourself on new ransomware variants that may perform other unwanted tasks such as stealing passwords. We also recommend that you keep your antivirus programs and computer systems updated at all times.

Ransomware is a particularly insidious and nasty way of attempting to extract payment from computer users. However, by adopting the right systems and processes, you can minimise the risk of your computer being infected by ransomware, and the impact on your personal and business operations if an infection does occur.