Computer Systems, Service and Repairs

Is your Business Network Secure and Ready for The Latest Virus, Malware or Ransomware Attack?

Is your Business Network Secure and Ready for The Latest Virus, Malware or Ransomware Attack?

Custom Computers Inc. Can help you protect your business.

Is your Business Network Secure and Ready for The Latest Virus, Malware or Ransomware Attack? When was the last time you updated your Anti-virus Software? How about updating your Internet Router? Did one of your employees click on something they shouldn’t have or visit a website that compromised your network security? These are just a few great questions you need to ask yourself on a regular basis. With the onslaught of new threats to computers lately, is more important today than ever to keep your business safe from these online threats. I know that this may seem overwhelming for some, but we can help. Our professional support staff can perform a network security analysis and make suggestions on how Custom Computers, Inc. can protect your business. Our number one goal is to keep you protected while keeping your employees working. Computer downtime is a huge productivity killer in businesses today which could be prevented with routine maintenance and monitoring.

According to MALWAREBYTES Cybercriminals are Targeting Businesses Over Consumers in Early 2019

Enterprises, beware. Threat actors are continuing to eye businesses for high returns on investment in Q1 2019, breaching infrastructure, exfiltrating or holding data hostage, and abusing weak credentials for continued, targeted monitoring. From a steadfast increase of pervasive Trojans, such as Emotet, to a resurgence of ransomware lodged against corporate targets, learn how cybercriminals are going after organizations with a vengeance—and slowing down their attacks against individuals—in the Malwarebytes Cybercrime Tactics and Techniques Q1 2019 report.

Key Takeaways From The Report Include:

Overall threats against businesses have increased more than 200 percent year over year, while consumer detections declined by nearly 40 percent from the previous quarter.
Detections of Emotet against businesses have risen by more than 200 percent from Q4 2018.
Ransomware is back and targeting organizations with an increase of 195 percent in detections quarter over quarter.
Mac and mobile malware increased quarter over quarter by more than 60 percent, with adware, in particular, seeing a sharp increase.
A new section on privacy highlights user concerns about the safety of their personal information and demonstrates how businesses are failing at protecting their customers’—and their own—data

Here are some of the protection services we offer.

Protecting your business involves many different pieces all coming together to prevent your computers from being compromised.

  • Business Class Router (SonicWall, Cisco, Zyxel, Etc.)
  • Business Class Antivirus Solution (Avast CloudCare or Business Products)
  • Business Class Malware Solution (MalwareBytes Cloud or Business Products)
  • Routine Password Changes every 90 Days
  • Using a Corporate Email Service such as Microsoft Office 365 or Hosted Exchange with optional Encryption services available.
  • Backup Solution For All Your Servers, Desktops and Laptops (CrashPlan or Code42, Windows Server Backup, External Hard Drive or Acronis Solutions).
  • Managed Services real-time network monitoring via Avast Managed Workplace.

These are just a few of the solutions needed to properly protect your business.

How do I get started protecting my business?

Your first step is to give us a call at 570-283-8215 and talk to our staff about your concerns. We will then set up an appointment to come out to your office to perform an evaluation of your current setup. We will then provide you with a few quotes on different solutions on how to protect your business. We will offer a wide range of options with different budgets in mind.

URGENT – CCleaner Vulnerability found – Update To The Latest Version

***URGENT***

This morning we have learned about a vulnerability in CCleaner, one of the popular programs we use in our toolkit. CCleaner has already put out an update and we encourage all users of CCleaner to update to the latest version. We have uploaded the latest version to our website so you are sure to get the right download. You can click the link below to download and then install the new version to your computer.

New Version Of CCleaner

Stagefright bug affects 95% of Android users -Avast

Mobile Security: Protect your mobile device from Stagefright – new Android vulnerability

What is Stagefright and how to protect my device?

Stagefright is believed to be the worst Android vulnerability yet discovered. All devices running Android versions Froyo 2.2 to Lollipop 5.1.1 are affected, which are used by approximately 95% of all Android devices, by nearly 1 billion people. Hackers only need to know your phone number to infect your device.

The malware is delivered via a multimedia message (MMS) sent to any messenger app that can process a specific video format – like an Android device’s native messaging app, Google Hangouts and WhatsApp.

If you want to learn more about this issue, please visit Avast blog.

The most common Android messaging apps load videos automatically. You can protect yourself by disabling the Auto retrievefeature in your default messaging app, so that videos cannot be loaded in the background and infect your device.

Instructions for the most common messaging apps can be found in the following articles:

Intel Unleashes NVMe SSD 750 Series For Consumer PCs

02The PC storage world was undeniably boring, and spinning, before SSDs came along. SSDs were expensive and somewhat exotic at first, but still worth every penny. SSDs deliver revolutionary speed that unlocks the true potential of the CPU, and youcannot seriously claim to have a performance PC today if it doesn’t have a slab of flash attached to the SATA port.

Therein lies the problem. The SATA connection was designed for old spinning HDDs and not optimized to provide the ultra-low latency and blistering speed that SSDs crave. SSDs outstripped the limitations of the trusty old SATA port over the last few years, and prices have dropped to the point of commoditization. New SSDs are only making small incremental gains with each release, and it seems the days of big performance boosts are over.

…until NVMe came to save the day. NVMe is a refined interface designed from the ground up for non-volatile memories, which includes DRAM and future PCM/MRAM, and it runs over the inherently faster PCIe bus. In other words, it’s more than fast enough for a bunch of NAND chips packed onto a PCB. Unfortunately, NVMe made its debut in the enterprise space. Salivating enthusiasts the world over had to live vicariously through enterprise hardware reviews, impatiently waiting for the day NVMe finally made its way to the desktop.

Intel has ended the waiting with the new NVMe Intel SSD 750 Series, designed for enthusiasts and gamers alike, that lays claim to the title of the fastest storage hardware available to consumers.

The 750 Series comes in two capacities of 400 GB and 1.2 TB and leverages a PCIe 3.0 x4 connection to blast out up to 2,400 MBps of sequential read speed and 1,200 MBps of sequential write speed (1.2 TB model). For IOPS, the 750 offers up to 440,000 read and 290,000 write. That is nearly quadruple the IOPS performance of anything else on the market, including the latest m.2 models.

The Intel 750 Series SSDs certainly aren’t going to fit in your laptop, but Intel is turning the storage world on its ear by also offering 2.5″ versions. These still communicate via PCIe 3.0 x4 and offer the same exceptional performance as the larger Add-In Cards (AIC). Most 2.5″ SSDs are 7 mm thick, but the 750 Series are 15 mm and will leverage an SFF-8639-compatible connector to connect to special connectors on motherboards. The cable will connect to an SFF-8643 connector, and motherboard manufacturers already have embedded connectors coming to market. ASUS also has an m.2-to-8643 connector, and we expect others will use this approach as well.

The 750s are bootable with the UEFI stack, but Intel is only guaranteeing compatibility with Z97 and X99 platforms with Windows 7 64-bit (and up) at this time. This doesn’t mean the drives will not work with all prior chipsets, just that compatibility (particularly for booting) will be spotty. Intel is compiling a compatibility matrix for older hardware that will be available to the public. There is the chance that motherboard vendors will update older UEFI stacks to be compatible with the new cards, but that remains to be seen.

The 750 Series is a re-purposed and slightly modified version of the Intel P3x00 DC (Data Center) Series. The 750 features Intel L85C 20 nm MLC NAND connected to a monstrous 18-channel controller, and 9 percent overprovisioning provides 70 GB of write endurance per day for the five-year warrantied period. This will be more than enough for the average consumer, and even enough for some prosumer applications.

04_w_600
What else could one possibly want? Well, a reasonable price is going to be at the top of the list for most. The 750 Series features an MSRP of $389 for the 400 GB model and $1,029 for the 1.2 TB. Perhaps the only oddity is the lack of an 800 GB model. With the amazingly low cost, especially when compared to the price of other PCIe SSDs with a fraction of the performance, Intel should have a winner on its hands.

There really is no other storage hardware on the market to even compare to the Intel 750; it simply doesn’t get faster for consumers. Did I say fire-breathing? The 750 Series is available now, and at less than $1 per GB we hope Intel has a few million of these in stock. 01

Create Strong Passwords

Create strong passwords

Passwords are the first line of defense against break-ins to your online accounts and computer, tablet, or phone. Poorly chosen passwords can render your information vulnerable to criminals, so it’s important to make your passwords strong.

To help you create strong passwords, follow the same network security guidelines required of all Microsoft employees:

  • Strong passwords are phrases (or sentences) at least eight characters long—longer is better—that include at least three of the following: uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, punctuation marks, and symbols.
  • Give passwords the thought they deserve, and make them memorable. One way is to base them on the title of a favorite song or book, or a familiar slogan or other phrase. (Don’t use the examples below!)Example phrases: I love my new Xbox One

    Example passwords: Ilove!mynewxbox1

  • Don’t share passwords with others or store them on the device they’re designed to protect. (Get more tips for protecting your password.)

Once you’ve come up with your password, you can test its strength below.

https://howsecureismypassword.net/

Avoid common password pitfalls

Cybercriminals use sophisticated tools to rapidly crack passwords, but you can help foil their attempts.
DO NOT USE:

  • Personal identity information that could be guessed or easily discovered, like pet names, nicknames, birth date, address, or driver’s license number.
  • Dictionary words in any language (including the word password—the most common password in the English language!).
  • Words spelled backwards, abbreviations, and common misspellings (accommodate, remember).
  • Common letter-to-symbol conversions, such as changing “o” to “0” or “i” to “1” or “!”.
  • Sequences or repeated characters. Examples: 12345678, 222222, abcdefg, or adjacent letters on your keyboard (such as qwerty).

Avoid tech support phone scams

Avoid tech support phone scams

Cybercriminals don’t just send fraudulent email messages and set up fake websites. They might also call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:

  • Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
  • Convince you to visit legitimate websites (like www.ammyy.com) to download software that will allow them to take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
  • Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
  • Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.

Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.

Telephone tech support scams: What you need to know

Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories, so they might know your name and other personal information when they call you. They might even guess what operating system you’re using.

Once they’ve gained your trust, they might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a legitimate website (such as www.ammyy.com) to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it. Once you do this, your computer and your personal information are vulnerable.

Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.

Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:

  • Windows Helpdesk
  • Windows Service Center
  • Microsoft Tech Support
  • Microsoft Support
  • Windows Technical Department Support Group
  • Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)

Report phone scams

  • Help Microsoft stop cybercriminals by reporting information about your phone scam.
  • In the United States, use the FTC Complaint Assistant form.
  • In Canada, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre can provide support.
  • In the United Kingdom, you can report fraud as well as unsolicited calls.

Whenever you receive a phone call or see a pop-up window on your PC and feel uncertain whether it is from someone at Microsoft, don’t take the risk. Reach out directly to one of our technical support experts dedicated to helping you at theMicrosoft Answer Desk. Or you can simply call us at 1-800-426-9400 or one of our customer service phone numbers for people located around the world.

How to protect yourself from telephone tech support scams

If someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support calls you:

  • Do not purchase any software or services.
  • Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the “service.” If there is, hang up.
  • Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.
  • Take the caller’s information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.
  • Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.

What to do if you already gave information to a tech support person

If you think that you might have downloaded malware from a phone tech support scam website or allowed a cybercriminal to access your computer, take these steps:

  • Change your computer’s password, change the password on your main email account, and change the password for any financial accounts, especially your bank and credit card.
  • Scan your computer with the Microsoft Safety Scanner to find out if you have malware installed on your computer.
  • Install Microsoft Security Essentials. (Microsoft Security Essentials is a free program. If someone calls you to install this product and then charge you for it, this is also a scam.)

    Note: In Windows 8, Windows Defender replaces Microsoft Security Essentials. Windows Defender runs in the background and notifies you when you need to take specific action. However, you can use it anytime to scan for malware if your computer isn’t working properly or you clicked a suspicious link online or in an email message.

    Learn more about Windows Defender

Will Microsoft ever call me?

There are some cases where Microsoft will work with your Internet service provider and call you to fix a malware-infected computer—such as during the recent cleanup effort begun in our botnet takedown actions. These calls will be made by someone with whom you can verify you already are a customer. You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or our partners to charge you for computer fixes.

Tech Support Scams

phone scamTo start it is most important to know that the ONLY company that should ever call you directly about a computer, internet or security issue is your own internet provider. That is whom you pay a monthly fee to for internet access such as Verizon, Frontier, Comcast, Service Electric, etc. Any calls in regards to your computer and it’s security status that come from anyone else is almost always guaranteed to be a scam.

Scam artists are using the phone to try to break into your computer. They call, claiming to be computer techs associated with well-known companies like Microsoft. They say that they’ve detected viruses or other malware on your computer to trick you into giving them remote access or paying for software you don’t need.

These scammers take advantage of your reasonable concerns about viruses and other threats. They know that computer users have heard time and again that it’s important to install security software. But the purpose behind their elaborate scheme isn’t to protect your computer; it’s to make money.

How Tech Support Scams Work

Scammers have been peddling bogus security software for years. They set up fake websites, offer free “security” scans, and send alarming messages to try to convince you that your computer is infected. Then, they try to sell you software to fix the problem. At best, the software is worthless or available elsewhere for free. At worst, it could be malware — software designed to give criminals access to your computer and your personal information.

The latest version of the scam begins with a phone call. Scammers can get your name and other basic information from public directories. They might even guess what computer software you’re using.

Once they have you on the phone, they often try to gain your trust by pretending to be associated with well-known companies or confusing you with a barrage of technical terms. They may ask you to go to your computer and perform a series of complex tasks. Sometimes, they target legitimate computer files and claim that they are viruses. Their tactics are designed to scare you into believing they can help fix your “problem.”

Once they’ve gained your trust, they may:

  • ask you to give them remote access to your computer and then make changes to your settings that could leave your computer vulnerable
  • try to enroll you in a worthless computer maintenance or warranty program
  • ask for credit card information so they can bill you for phony services — or services you could get elsewhere for free
  • trick you into installing malware that could steal sensitive data, like user names and passwords
  • direct you to websites and ask you to enter your credit card number and other personal information

Regardless of the tactics they use, they have one purpose: to make money.

If You Get a Call

If you get a call from someone who claims to be a tech support person, hang up and call the company yourself on a phone number you know to be genuine. A caller who creates a sense of urgency or uses high-pressure tactics is probably a scam artist.

Keep these other tips in mind:

  • Don’t give control of your computer to a third party who calls you out of the blue.
  • Do not rely on caller ID alone to authenticate a caller. Criminals spoof caller ID numbers. They may appear to be calling from a legitimate company or a local number, when they’re not even in the same country as you.
  • Online search results might not be the best way to find technical support or get a company’s contact information. Scammers sometimes place online ads to convince you to call them. They pay to boost their ranking in search results so their websites and phone numbers appear above those of legitimate companies. If you want tech support, look for a company’s contact information on their software package or on your receipt.
  • Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone who calls and claims to be from tech support.
  • If a caller pressures you to buy a computer security product or says there is a subscription fee associated with the call, hang up. If you’re concerned about your computer, call your security software company directly and ask for help.
  • Never give your password on the phone. No legitimate organization calls you and asks for your password.
  • Put your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, and then report illegal sales calls.

If You’ve Responded to a Scam

If you think you might have downloaded malware from a scam site or allowed a cybercriminal to access your computer, don’t panic. Instead:

  • Get rid of malware. Update or download legitimate security software and scan your computer. Delete anything it identifies as a problem.
  • Change any passwords that you gave out. If you use these passwords for other accounts, change those accounts, too.
  • If you paid for bogus services with a credit card, call your credit card provider and ask to reverse the charges. Check your statements for any other charges you didn’t make, and ask to reverse those, too.
  • If you believe that someone may have accessed your personal or financial information, visit the FTC’s identity theft website. You can minimize your risk of further damage and repair any problems already in place.
  • File a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

How to Spot a Refund Scam

If you paid for tech support services, and you later get a call about a refund, don’t give out any personal information, like your credit card or bank account number. The call is almost certainly another trick to take your money.

The refund scam works like this: Several months after the purchase, someone might call to ask if you were happy with the service. When you say you weren’t, the scammer offers a refund.

Or the caller may say that the company is going out of business and providing refunds for “warranties” and other services.

In either case, the scammers eventually ask for a bank or credit card account number. Or they ask you to create a Western Union account. They might even ask for remote access to your computer to help you fill out the necessary forms. But instead of putting money in your account, the scammers withdraw money from your account.

If you get a call like this, hang up, and report it at ftc.gov/complaint.

Computer Service in the Back Mountain – Dallas Area

back mountain computer repair serviceCustom Computers, inc. is now providing service to both residential and commercial clients in the Back Mountain, Dallas, Shavertown and Trucksville areas. With existing clients such as Dominic’s Equipment, Dallas Hardware and Dallas Township in the area we are happy to provide our full range of services such as network setup, troubleshooting, wireless setup, virus and malware cleaning and general troubleshooting to other clients in the area as well.