Zion Technologies, Inc. - June 2016 Newsletter | Issue No. 3 - READ THIS!

Published: Thu, 06/16/16

Microsoft Shifts Windows 10 to 'Recommended' Update, Automatically Downloads
As we previously talked about in our February 2016 Newsletter, Microsoft has begun including the update to Windows 10 as a recommended update.  That means anybody using the default Windows Update settings, automatically received the installation bits and a prompt to install the new Operating System, which previously could only be refused by exiting via the X in the corner of the pop-up window.  

Last week, Microsoft altered the Windows 10 download pop-up window, (as seen in picture on the left) to treat exiting the window or clicking the X as consent for the Windows 10 upgrade. 

And if you don't find that small link to reschedule or cancel the Windows 10 upgrade, or if the pop-up appears while you're away from your computer - your system will begin the process at the scheduled time.  In other words, your PC can potentially upgrade to Windows 10 without you asking it to or explicitly approving the upgrade. 
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We have a tech level tool that we have researched that can stop the Windows 10 Upgrade.  We can apply the fix and have it monitor any changes for Windows 10 updates for $10.00.

Also, if your computer has already been upgraded to Windows 10, we can revert you back to the previous operating system within 30 days. 

Vital Technology Information

Ransomware is easy to understand but hard to beat.  It infects the machine, encrypts all files and then demands payment to get the files back.  Ransomware works so well that most variants will even remove themselves when the damage is done, knowing you have the choice of either paying the ransomware author to get your files back, or risk losing them forever. 

Several examples of ransomware have become very well known because of their reach and cost to those infected. 

CRYPTOLOCKER Renders data files unusable unless the victim pays for a key to unlock infected files.  It's usually triggered when a user downloads an attachment or clicks on a link in an email disguised to look like it's coming from a friend or a business associate. 

CRYPTOWALL Incorporates data-theft malware, which allows the virus to steal potentially valuable data from infected systems, whether or not the victim pays the ransom.

TORRENTLOCKER First appearing in August 2014, it's made from components of CryptoLocker and CryptoWall.  It's typically distributed via emails that pretend to be shipping notifications, driving or speeding violations, or other corporate/government correspondence. 

CRYPTOFORTRESS Making headlines in February 2015, it looks similar to TorrentLocker.  It encrypts files with a 2048-bit RSA-AES encryption routine.  This type of encryption would take a standard desktop computer 6.4 quadrillion years to decrypt. 

PACMAN Debuted in early 2015.  It uses very convincing Dropbox links to fool victims.  Its first targets were Danish chiropractors who received emails with the subject line, "Possible new patient".  The email contained Dropbox links to MRI and CT scans, which launched ransomware. 

Your computer is infected with ransomware if you receive a popup
king to pay a specific sum of money usually in bitcoins.  The ransomware will generate files on your computer similar to the following:
  • Cryptowall 4.0: HELP_YOUR_FILES.TXT, HELP_YOUR_FILES.HTML, and HELP_YOUR_FILES.PNG, help_recover_instructions
  • LeChiffre: _help to decode Lechiffre for [Device Name].htm, _secret_code [DeviceName].txt, FileName.LeChiffre
  • Locky:  _Locky_recover_instructions.txt, _HELP_instructions.txt
  • Cerber:  # DECRYPT MY FILES #.html, #DECRYPT MY FILES #.txt, # DECRYPT MY FILES #.vbs
  1. Turn off your computer to prevent infection of network drives and other devices attached to the computer.  We advise that you perform an immediate shutdown of your computer (without pressing the power button).  If you press the power button you may corrupt some of the data if it's in the process of being encrypted. 
  2. Document any relevant information pertaining to the nature of the ransomware (popup messages, name of ransomware, etc.).
  3. Contact Zion Technologies, Inc.

When it comes to preventing any virus, including ransomware, your first step should be to reduce the potential for human error.  It helps to know what to watch out for:
  • Avoid sites that offer pirated or free software, music, movies or TV shows.
  • Watch out for emails claiming to be from banks or government agencies.
  • Don't click on a link or attachment in an email or test message if you don't know the source. 
If your files are being held hostage, Carbonite can help.  Both Carbonite Pro for workstations and Carbonite Server Backup enable you to roll back to a time before your files were infected, so you can restore an uncorrupted version of the file.  The key is making sure you're backing up regularly and using Carbonite before you become a target. 

Contact Zion Technologies, Inc. or click on the following link for more information on Carbonite Backup Solutions
Carbonite Online Backup Solutions
From simple to sophisticated, we have a Carbonite solution for you. 

We've partnered with Carbonite to keep families and businesses running smoothly.  Whether it's computer protection, server backup or both, you can easily find the solution that meets your needs. 
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