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MicroComputer Resources, Inc.
Serving Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Broward County, Dade County, the Palm Beaches, South Florida, the United States, South America . . . and the world!

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Network Security

Nothing ruins your day like the dreaded virus alert.Viruses, Trojans and Worms, Oh My!

    In Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, the Red Queen tells Alice, "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place."
    This quote has been used to demonstrate the effect of everything from inflation on day-to-day living, to the relativistic effect of light trying to escape from a black hole. It can also be applied to our technological battle against cyber-crime.
     Malware is a collective term for various types of malicious software that infect a user s computer. These include viruses, worms, Trojans, rootkits, spyware, adware, and several others. The most common types of malware are viruses, Trojan Horses, and unwanted software. The number one baddie is the Conficker worm, which targets Windows and spreads across networks to form a botnet of auto-acting malware which now covers over 200 different countries.
    According to a recent report, over 32 percent of the world s computers are infected with some type of malware. The percentage for the U.S. is 30 percent, the eleventh highest rate of infection, costing us an estimated $4.5 billion.
    What to do? The situation calls for constant vigilance and maybe even a little paranoia.


  • Never click on a hyperlink from an unsolicited email. If you know the sender, email back to confirm it's legitimate.
  • Check the web address when you go on-line. A minor difference in spelling may warn you that you're sitting on a clever copy of a webpage, designed to lure you into revealing personal info, including credit card account numbers.
  • Do not download files and programs from the internet unless you really trust the source, and even then, make sure your anti-virus scanner checks it out before you do.
  • Do not panic! And above all, do not believe the email or computer message that is telling you that your credit card, bank account or operating system has been broken into.  It's a ploy to get you to click on the hyperlink or press the button that will allow the hackers to break in for real. 
  • Most of all, invest in good virus-protection software.  Talk to us. Our network department has the tools to give your systems a clean bill of health.

Windows XP: It Just Won't Die

    When the infamous WannaCry Ransomeware attack hit our digital shores, most Microsoft users were already covered. The security flaw that was breached by WannaCry didn't exist in Windows 10, and Microsoft had already sent security patches to the users of Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. (This, of course, worked only if the users of those systems were set up for automatic updates or were at least diligent enough to manually apply the updates.)
    Left out of that security umbrella was Windows XP, which has not been supported for years. (Microsoft relented enough to send out patches for those systems as well, but this was after most of the damage was done. And they're still left out in the cold when the next breach is made.)
    We are left to wonder why about 140 million users cling to this tired old horse.
     Windows XP was a great system. We get that. And Microsoft did come out with a couple turkeys (like Vista and Windows 8). But it's also had its winners. The powerful Windows 7 remains very popular with nearly half the PC share, and Windows 10 is fast gaining ground.
     Then there is concern that certain legacy programs won't run on the newer Windows software. If that's your worry, you must not have heard of virtual software. This means you can load a desktop instance that runs XP, inside your Window 10 system. You get to run your XP-dependent programs while being protected by your Windows 10 Defender.
    There's even been grumbling that the newer OS won't run on the old PCs that currently run just fine with Windows XP. That means your hardware is about a dozen years old. In computer terms, that's not just a relic, it's Jurassic Park.
    The obvious choice is to accept reality: XP has had it's day. It's time to put it out to pasture, and upgrade to a newer safer model.
    MicroComputer Resources has a longstanding partnership with Symantec Corporation, a trusted global leader in data protection, archiving, eDiscovery and security solutions.
    Tell us your needs, and we will fit you with the package that best meets your information security and management needs.


What to Do if Your Data Is Breached

    You've taken all the precautions, and it still happened: You've been hacked. Yet there are still measures you can take to minimize the damage. According to a TechRepublic article, failing to react immediately to the data breach will only cause more problems down the line. Here are some steps you can take.
  • Take the affected devices offline immediately but do not shut them. The idea is to cut the link with the hacker while keeping keeping logs and other files that might otherwise be automatically deleted.
  • Make sure your auditing and logging systems are still working, and re-enable them if they're not. This will help track what happened.
  • Change all passwords, which sounds a little like closing the barn door after the horse is gone, but it can prevent further damage if the attack is still ongoing.
  • Determine the extent of the damage. The aforementioned logs will help.
  • Figure out how it happened, because you sure don't want it happening again.
  • Figure out the remedy: Is there a stolen mobile device that needs to be wiped remotely? Does software need to be updated? Notify all personnel who need to be involved in the cleanup and in future safeguards.
  • And here's the hard part: If there is the slightest chance that your customer data was compromised, then you owe it to them to alert them immediately so they can also get to work changing passwords and updating security.
  • Finally, when the dust has cleared, conduct a thorough security review so it won't happen again. And don't forget MicroComputer Resources. We're here to help you.

More Hints:
Don't Become the Next Victim of Ransomware
How not to get hooked in a Phishing expedition
Heartbleed: Three years later, it's still a risk