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Popular Bitcoin Attracts Malware Too

You’ve seen the news and Bitcoin trading has gone through the roof this year.  For those of you who  aren’t familiar, Bitcoin is the biggest cryptocurrency out there.  Not only can Bitcoins be used as a form of payment, but they also can be mined.  Mining involves using a computer, or more commonly, a server farm of computers to do intense calculations.  Completing these calculations rewards you with Bitcoins.  Bitcoins can then be used for purchases and are managed in your Bitcoin wallet.

So here’s where the fun comes in.  Since Bitcoins are completely digital, anything involved in the process of mining, storing, and purchasing Bitcoins can be a big target for would be hackers and Malware creators.

Here’s some of the stuff we are seeing out there currently:

  1. Mining– Many people want to get into mining.  There are many legit ways to do it, but watch out, there’s a lot of fake software out there that is actually malware disguised as mining software.
  2. DDOS attacks– Distributed denial of server attacks.  Cryptocurrency exchanges were the eighth most targeted sector by DDoS attackers following sectors such as gambling, internet services, financial services and retailers.
  3. Mining marketplace NiceHash recently announced that it was hacked and 4,700 bitcoins were stolen.
  4. Picking your Wallet– Multiple attacks have been recorded hacking into Coinbase wallets.

So the moral of the story here is the same we’ve seen for years and years.  Protect your digital assets.  Keep strong malware protection and firewalls in place.  Following these practices can go a long way in protecting your systems.

Posted in: Data Security, Tech Tips for Everyone

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Apple Bug Found In New High Sierra OS

Apple has shipped its latest operating system with a serious flaw.  It seems that anyone, without a password, can easily create a new root account.  What this means is that this account can have access to all files on the computer!  The root account is the most powerful account on a computer because it has access to all files.  This is why we recommend never using a root account on your computer to keep it secure.  But in this case, Apple seemed to leave this horrible loophole in place for hackers to easily install a keylogger or other malware on your computer.  Word is out that a patch was released yesterday to fix this.  This is still quite a big oversight on the part of Apple’s quality control.

Posted in: Data Security, Tech Tips for Business Owners

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Google Docs Locking Users Out Of Files

Do you use Googles Docs, Boxx or a similar data sharing platform?  Within the past couple weeks, reports have been flooding in on social media.  Users are complaining that their Google docs files are getting locked due to a violation of the Google Terms of Services.  An error message pops up saying “this item has been flagged as inappropriate and can no longer be shared.”  You can either request a review from Google or dismiss the error.

Unfortunately, it appears that this is a bug instead of an actual violation.  Take a look at the Google Docs Twitter account.  It seems they are aware of the situation and looking into it…

Seeing things like this is a great reminder that although these types of services are typically safe, they are not 100% protected from bugs, human error, and ransomware.  The only way to really guarantee your data is safe is to make sure you have a third party solution in place to protect your data.

Posted in: Data Security, Tech Tips for Business Owners

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Bad Rabbit Ransomware Strikes Eastern Europe

There’s a new strain of ransomware out there and it’s spreading in Eastern Europe called Bad Rabbit. This is dropped from a website looking like a flash update. As we always recommend, be very careful where you click. If you are running a premium version of malwarebytes, it should catch it. If not, pay attention when browsing. Here’s a link to malwarebytes blog if you want to read more.

BadRabbit ransomware strikes Eastern Europe

Posted in: Tech Tips for Business Owners

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What is a PDF and why have they stuck around?

Anyone who has used a computer for long has likely encountered a PDF file. The ubiquitous file type is a must-have for exchanging files.  According to Makeuseof.com, the PDF file was originally introduced by Adobe in the early 1990s.  It was then released as an open format in 2008 which allowed anyone to create their own viewers and editors.

Before the appearance of the PDF, professionals looking to create documents with graphics resulted in painfully large files being created because they had to store all of the elements together in that file. Due to the power of those early computers, it made handling those files a daunting task.

The PDF solved the problem by developing a system that gathered all parts of a file into a smaller whole. This allowed for easier handling of the file. Because of the way the file was created, it also looked the same on any device that the user might be opening it on. This property keeps the tech relevant, as today’s consumer is just as likely to be opening the file on a smartphone as a PC.

Posted in: General Info

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