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Computerware Blog

Computerware has been serving the Vienna area since 1976, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Ransomware Revisited

Ransomware Revisited

Ransom: a sum of money is demanded in order for the release of goods.
Software: the programs and other operating information used by a computer.

What do you get when you combine the two? Ransomware. 

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Your Guide to the Malware You Could Encounter

Your Guide to the Malware You Could Encounter

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone nowadays who hasn’t heard of malware, although they may have difficulty identifying different threats as they encounter them. Does this sound like the people that you work with? We’re here with a simple solution to assist you and your team in spotting the different kinds of threats - a malware guide to distribute among your staff so they can better spot the usual suspects.

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Phishing Attacks and How to Avoid Them

Phishing Attacks and How to Avoid Them

Phishing attacks are the bane of modern businesses, and any organization’s employees need to be cognizant of the threat they pose. Unfortunately, no matter how much you protect against them, hackers are usually crafty enough to work their way around even the most well-defended security measures. However, not even the best security measures can keep your employees from making a split-second decision to click on a link or download an infected attachment.

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Google Play Works to Reduce Ad-Fraud

Google Play Works to Reduce Ad-Fraud

What’s a smartphone without some apps to download to it? With millions of apps to choose from, developers might often have less-than-virtuous motives that put their users at risk for their own benefit. Recently, Google has removed 22 apps from the Google Play Store that were found to contain automated click-fraud scripts. We’ll delve into what these developers were up to with these fraudulent applications, as well as how they would affect the two-million users that downloaded them.

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A Look at this Year’s Worst Cybercrimes

A Look at this Year’s Worst Cybercrimes

It’s fair to say that today's organizations are faced with more online threats than ever before. To properly manage the information systems that they depend on for productivity, redundancy, and operational management, they need to ensure that they are doing what they need to do to mitigate problems stemming from the continuous flow of threats.

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Surveying the Damage of Meltdown and Spectre

Surveying the Damage of Meltdown and Spectre

At the time of this writing, it has only been about a half a year since the Meltdown and Spectre exploits became public knowledge. Fortunately, patches were swiftly rolled out to mitigate the problems that these exploits could cause, but that doesn’t mean that these exploits are dead and buried. Let’s look back at Meltdown and Spectre to help us establish where we stand today.

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Email Malware is the New Schrӧdinger’s Cat

Email Malware is the New Schrӧdinger’s Cat

There is a famous thought experiment devised by physicist Erwin Schrӧdinger, describing a very particular paradox in quantum physics through the experience of a cat. While Schrӧdinger’s cat was initially intended to demonstrate a very different phenomenon, it can also be applied to something that all businesses need to consider: their email security.

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20-Year-Old Exploit Finds New Life as ROBOT

20-Year-Old Exploit Finds New Life as ROBOT

There is no shortage of threats on the Internet, from situational issues to deliberate attacks meant to damage your company or steal your valuable data. While new threats pop up almost every day, some have been around for some time--so long, that many seem to not consider them as viable threats.

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A DDoS Attack Hits Your Productivity and Profits

A DDoS Attack Hits Your Productivity and Profits

How quickly could your business recover if it were suddenly hit by a Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, attack? Are you protected against the effects they could have on your operations? If asked these questions, most businesses should want to say yes, but in reality, over half lack the means to defend against DDoS.

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What It Means To Disinfect Your Computer

What It Means To Disinfect Your Computer

We have no problem going on the record as saying that there are more than enough strains of malware to go around. As such, it’s important that you know what to do if your workstation is struck by an infection.

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Lowlife Ransomware Hackers Now Asking for More Than $1k Per Attack

Lowlife Ransomware Hackers Now Asking for More Than $1k Per Attack

Ransomware remains a very real threat, and is arguably only getting worse. Attacks are now able to come more frequently, and there are opportunities for even relative amateurs to level an attack against some unfortunate victim. However, this is not to say that there is nothing you can do to keep your business from becoming another cautionary tale.

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Don’t Assume Your New Device is Free of Malware

Don’t Assume Your New Device is Free of Malware

Imagine that, despite the extreme care you took to avoid threats from infecting your devices, they turned out to be infected anyway. However, what if the device had been infected before you had even gotten your hands on it?

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This Malware Only Needs 2 Minutes to Turn a Security Camera Into a Zombie

This Malware Only Needs 2 Minutes to Turn a Security Camera Into a Zombie

There are billions of devices that now connect to the Internet, even devices that may seem to not have any practical reason to do so. However, there is a new type of malware that uses these devices to perform attacks on the networks of all types of organizations: Mirai.

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Don’t Overlook Internal Threats as You Safeguard Your Network From External Ones

Don’t Overlook Internal Threats as You Safeguard Your Network From External Ones

Doing business on the Internet is a dangerous gambit, and not one which should be taken lightly. Every small business uses some kind of sensitive information that is valuable to hackers. Most think that preventative measures are enough to ensure their security, but the fact remains that only through threat detection and elimination can you guarantee that all issues are promptly handled.


The threats to your organization’s infrastructure are numerous and plentiful, and while some will make themselves known immediately, others will hide in plain sight. These threats are designed to either leak information or provide new outlets for hacking attacks. Regardless, it’s important to identify attacks that have weaseled their way through your defenses before they have been around long enough to cause damage.

Breaches are Inevitable
To truly understand how threat detection is just as important as threat prevention, you need to come to grips with the worst-case scenario. It’s not an uncertainty that you’ll be hacked at some point--in fact, it’s very likely, and as such, you need to make sure that you’re prepared for any and all situations, including a data breach. Even large organizations and enterprises that pride themselves on security can experience data breaches. Consider the high-profile hacks of Sony and the United States Office of Personnel, as well as the health care provider Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. If these organizations had anticipated data breaches, perhaps they may have been able to prevent them--or at least mitigate the damage.

This is why you absolutely need to expect the worst in order to keep it from happening. While preventative solutions can help, it’s also imperative that you implement ways to detect intrusions, as well as ways to eliminate threats. Only then can you be ready to tackle any and all threats that want to hurt your business.

What You Can Do
CIO recommends what they call a preventative “triad” of sorts. This includes protection, detection, and reaction. You’ll need both security solutions like a firewall, and monitoring tools that allow you to check (and eject) threats from your network.

Computerware can get your business started with solutions designed to mitigate threats and prevent infections in the first place. A Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution provides a firewall, antivirus, spam blocker, and content filter, which is a great way to keep threats from accessing your network. Furthermore, we also offer a Remote Monitoring and maintenance (RMM) tool that can help our technicians keep an eye on your network for any discrepancies or inefficiencies.

To learn more, reach out to us at (703) 821-8200.

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Alert: Largest Recorded Breach of Android Nets Hackers a Big Pay Day

Alert: Largest Recorded Breach of Android Nets Hackers a Big Pay Day

A previously known malware called Ghost Push now has a component that has caused countless problems for over a million Android users. This component, called Gooligan, is the source of the trouble, and it adds to this chaos by infecting over 13,000 new devices every day.

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5 Steps Every Business Can Take to Avoid Ransomware

5 Steps Every Business Can Take to Avoid Ransomware

Ransomware is a dangerous online entity that continues to cause problems for businesses of all sizes. Thanks to its ability to encrypt workstations and even entire networks, ransomware has made its way to the top of the threat food chain, and it’s your responsibility to protect your business from it. Since infections are (more or less) impossible to remove, your best option is to prevent infections from happening in the first place.


Here are five of the best practices you need to keep in mind to protect your business from ransomware.

Have a Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Solution
If your business is struck with ransomware, the only reliable way to resolve the problem is to restore a data backup. The reasoning is simple; while you could pay for the decryption key, you would only be further funding their ransomware campaigns, and there’s no guarantee that the decryption key will work in the first place. You’re better off not taking the risk and just restoring a backup… assuming you have one.

Set a Routine for Scheduled Backups
You’ll want your backup and disaster recovery solution to be able to restore your data as close as possible to the point of incident. Computerware has a BDR solution available that can create backups of your data as often as every fifteen minutes. This is crucial if you want to ensure that your data recovery process is sound.

Educate Your Employees About Phishing Scams
Keeping your team in-the-know of how to avoid phishing scams and identify threats is a good step to take for any and all security risks. Teach them not to download unsolicited attachments or click on suspicious links. It also helps to remind them to look for signs of phony email domains, spelling errors, and other irregularities.

Regularly Update Your Software Solutions
The latest patches and security updates can go a long way toward keeping your organization from experiencing hacking attacks. As such, ransomware works the same way. Keep comprehensive security solutions on-hand that can keep phishing attacks from hitting your email inbox in the first place.

Keep Corporate Data Separate From Personal Data
If you have corporate data that’s stored on your in-house workstations, you’ll want to keep it separate from data that’s stored on employee mobile devices. If you use laptops or smartphones to work remotely, this can be challenging. You should stress that employees keep these two types of information as separate as possible. One way to do this is by storing corporate data in a cloud environment, so that employees don’t have to store it on their mobile devices at all.

The best way to guarantee your business’s assets aren’t being put at risk is to keep ransomware from happening in the first place. Take the time to reinforce your infrastructure and educate your team, and you might be surprised by the results. To learn more about how to do this, reach out to us at (703) 821-8200.

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Alert: New Mobile Malware Spreads via Twitter and Takes Over Your Phone

Alert: New Mobile Malware Spreads via Twitter and Takes Over Your Phone

There are countless threats out there that can mean danger for your business, but one of the most innovative to date utilizes a malicious Twitter account to administer commands to a botnet made up of infected Android devices. In fact, this is widely considered the first threat to actively use a social network in this manner, making it a wake-up call for security professionals and social media users alike.

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Did You Know Early Ransomware Spread via Floppy Disk?

Did You Know Early Ransomware Spread via Floppy Disk?

Ransomware might be a relatively new player in the battle for the Internet, but its short history shouldn’t belittle the damage that it can do to both businesses and users of personal computers. Perhaps you’ve had the misfortune to encounter it for yourself, and your files were locked down because of it. Regardless, ransomware is now a prevalent part of the online crime scene, and people are using it to extort money from innocent users, making it a considerable threat.

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When Pyramid Scheme Meets Ransomware

When Pyramid Scheme Meets Ransomware

First hackers created a formidable ransomware. Then, when word got out about how to avoid this ransomware, they began to bundle a second ransomware to create an encryption catch-22. Now, the developers of the Petya and Mischa ransomware have adopted a Ransomware-as-a-Service model and have opened their nefarious malware up to distribution.

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A Classic Example of Why You Should Only Allow Trusted Apps to Access Your Data

A Classic Example of Why You Should Only Allow Trusted Apps to Access Your Data

If your employees are given an Android device to use for work, or if they bring in their own as a part of a Bring Your Own Device strategy, you may want to pay special attention to what follows.

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