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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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Hackers Target Municipalities and Why That’s a Problem for Your Business

Hackers Target Municipalities and Why That’s a Problem for Your Business

On March 22, 2018, a remote-triggered ransomware called “SamSam” demanded a one-time payment of $51,000 be made to restore the city of Atlanta, Georgia’s, data. Despite an operating budget somewhere in the neighborhood of $625 million, Atlanta’s municipal leaders refused to pay the fine. The “hostage situation” has cost the city over $2 million already with an expected $9.5 million more likely to be spent restoring and re-enforcing the municipality’s network and infrastructure. This doesn’t take into account downtime and the significant amount of data lost in the hack. Whether or not you think it’s a good idea to not pay the ransom, if a whole city - especially one as large as Atlanta - can effectively be crippled by a single hack, you better believe that your business has to get serious about its cybersecurity efforts.

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Could Your Business Be a Victim of Targeted Ransomware?

Could Your Business Be a Victim of Targeted Ransomware?

If you were a cybercriminal, what would be your preferred method of launching a ransomware attack? Would you rather create a catch-all threat that could capture as many potential victims as possible, or a calculated approach to land a big one? Despite the proven results of larger ransomware initiatives, most cybercriminals have made the shift to smaller, more targeted attacks against specific companies, and in some cases, individuals.

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Bad Rabbit Ransomware Strikes Targets in Eastern Europe

Bad Rabbit Ransomware Strikes Targets in Eastern Europe

In yet another widespread ransomware attack, Eastern European countries saw an assortment of their critical establishments and infrastructures struck by an infection known as Bad Rabbit. Government buildings, media establishments, and transportation centers were among the targets of this attack.

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Tip of the Week: 5 Reminders To Protect You Against Ransomware

Tip of the Week: 5 Reminders To Protect You Against Ransomware

The Internet is a vast place filled to the brim with threats, especially for businesses that need to preserve the integrity of their infrastructure and keep critical data safe. The Cisco 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report states that ransomware is growing at a yearly rate of 350%, which is a considerable number to say the least. Here are five tips that can help you keep your business safe from ransomware infections.

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LeakerLocker Takes Exposure to New Heights By Sharing Your Mobile Browser History

ransomware_leakerlocker_400

Ransomware, the malware that locks down its victim’s files until they pay up, has always been a frustrating issue to deal with. However, a recent mobile ransomware will make the issue a little more personal… by sharing the victim’s mobile browsing history.

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Sadly, the WannaCry Ransomware Disaster Could Have Been Easily Prevented

Sadly, the WannaCry Ransomware Disaster Could Have Been Easily Prevented

On May 11, 2017, the WannaCry ransomware spread around the globe like wildfire and disabled computing infrastructures belonging to organizations of all shapes and sizes. As the world watched the news unfold, it seemed as if practically no business was immune to this ultra-powerful ransomware. Yet, many quick-thinking organizations were. All because they had the foresight to follow IT best practices.

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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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Year in Review: 2016’s Biggest Breaches

Year in Review: 2016’s Biggest Breaches

2016 was quite the year for cybersecurity and the assorted issues, threats, and concerns associated with it. As 2017 rolls along, we may be able to anticipate what this year might bring by reflecting on the events of the last.

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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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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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New Maktub Locker Ransomware Knows Where You Live

b2ap3_thumbnail_ransomware_maktub_400.jpgRansomware is so common in the world of online threats that even the FBI has labeled it a massive threat to businesses of all kinds. Unlike other types of malware, ransomware has a unique return on investment that’s measurable and highly lucrative for hackers. A new variant of ransomware called Maktub Locker lures victims into a false sense of security by tailoring phishing emails to match their street address.

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Ransomware Hit PC Users for $325 Million in 2015 Alone

b2ap3_thumbnail_randomware_issues_400.jpgOf the many types of malware in the online environment, few are as dangerous as the notorious ransomware. As a threat that’s capable of instantaneously locking down your files and preventing you from accessing them, hackers will add insult to injury by demanding a ransom for the safe return of your files. How can your business prevent this growing threat from setting its sights on your assets?

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Alert: Apple OS X Now at Risk of Ransomware

b2ap3_thumbnail_ransomware_now_affecting_apple_400.jpgRansomware is a major problem in both the personal and private sectors of computing, but up until very recently, Apple users had little to fear from potential ransomware hacks. Security researchers at Palo Alto Networks have discovered what’s known to be the first completed ransomware on an Apple device. The threat, called KeRanger, is officially “in the wild,” and is a danger to any Mac user.

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New CryptoJoker Ransomware is No Laughing Matter

b2ap3_thumbnail_problems_with_ransomware_400.jpgToday’s various versions of ransomware are dangerous. By forcibly locking down important files on a victim’s computer, threats like CryptoLocker and CryptoWall are posing significant threats to both businesses and ordinary computer users. However, a new type of ransomware has appeared called CryptoJoker; and we assure you, there’s nothing funny at all about this one.

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Warning: CryptoWall Targets Businesses and It’s Just as Nasty as Its Cousin, CryptoLocker

b2ap3_thumbnail_cryptowall_400.jpgIn the wake of a ransomware takeover, it seems like the world can’t go a few months without some sort of data loss disaster occurring. The antics of hackers grow more dangerous and difficult to dodge, and IT departments have their hands full dealing with the fallout. What’s keeping you from contracting this ransomware, and how can you keep your business from suffering its consequences?

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