Over the years we keep preaching, you need good anti-virus software on all your computers. I must talk about it every time someone asks me about a new computer. For years the Mac users always told me, I dont need anti-virus software for my Mac it does not get viruses. Well for the most part that was true. However, it is not true because Macs are impervious to viruses. The simple fact is that they are not that popular yet with the masses. I am sure the Mac addict will call me on the floor with this but it is true, the world is still running Windows. Windows has a much larger market penetration than Macs do. However, this is starting to change as more and more folks get Macs. The hacker and malware writers are seeing that more and more consumers are using Macs.
Recently this month there was a new Mac Defender virus that came out. It is a bit like the fake Windows Anti-Virus application. It pops up on your screen telling you that you have a virus. See a full write up at ARS Technica. If you have the virus or may be victim to this scam please review the Mac support article.
I say it again. If you own a pc, mobile phone or even a tablet and surf the internet a lot doing research or doing whatever it is that you do. We highly suggest that you get a good anti-virus program for your pc. When you get it make sure you have it setup properly to protect you and your data from the hackers and data thieves. If you are looking for a few good suggestions take a look at the following: Vipre, Kaspersky, ESET (PC and Mac). For our clients we suggest Vipre. The others that are listed are good as well.
As you may or may not know, Kotori Technologies, LLC uses Sunbelt Vipre for most of our clients' Anti-Virus needs. Here is an interesting article from Sunbelt in reference to the Antivirus Product Wars:
All antivirus companies are being hit with the next wave of malware: Rogue antivirus tools like Antivirus 2010. This code throws messages on the user's screen that they are infected, and "download here to get rid of the malware". Sure enough, that gets the trojan installed.
Our CEO Alex wrote about this: "For what it's worth, as someone who is on the inside of an AV company and is intimately familiar with these threats, the reality is that no AV vendor, ESET, McAfee, Sunbelt, Sophos, Symantec, etc. can give you 100% coverage against it.
These new fake antivirus variants are some of the most vicious, polymorphic trojans this industry has seen. They use extremely complex obfuscation techniques which make detection quite challenging by even the best antivirus engine. Many of these rogues are also service-side polymorphic. That means every time an exe is downloaded, it's recompiled on the server-side into a different piece of code.
And, there are about 75,000 new tier-1 pieces of malware coming out every day. So your AV vendor, realistically, is only going to be one layer of protection, no matter what the sales guy might say. (That being said, AV is a must. Just look at viruses like Conficker, Sality, Virut, etc. These are viruses that the industry does a pretty good job at, and if they get into your network and you don't have endpoint protection, it's quite messy.)
Key things to do are:
a. No Admin Privs. Try to run as many users on Limited User accounts as you can (always difficult, I know). It won't stop all infections, but it does make a difference -- probably 80% reduced infection vector.
b. Patch aggressively. The key exploit vectors right now are PDF and Flash, then Windows/IE. When I browse the web, I obsessively check Adobe and Flash to make sure I'm fully patched, and I constantly check Windows update. If you're tight on funds and can't afford a professional patch management solution like Shavlik or Lumension, Secunia has an excellent free / inexpensive solution. Or do it yourself, which depending on your network size, can be challenging. However, it really is an absolute must.
c. Educate your users. The vast majority of infections these days are caused by social engineering. A user will get a funny video link on Facebook or some other social networking site, click on it, and it will say that they need to "install a special codec", or "update Flash". Or they will be doing a Google search and a malware site will have attached itself to an innocent keyword. The user will click and start getting crazy warnings that their machine is infected. This is the malware trying to get the user to install.
d. Do malicious web filtering. There are tens of thousands of pieces of malware daily, but only a few thousand new malware sites a day. Many endpoint protection tools, including ours, offer malicious web filtering. Or use a web gateway proxy. If you're tight on funds, setup a simple Linux gateway and download URL block lists places like malwaredomainlist.com. It's not perfect but it's not bad either.
e. Submit malware files to AV vendors. Most, if not all, AV vendors take customer submissions very seriously, and the internal escalations are always senior to anything else.
See original articel by Sunbelt at: http://www.wservernews.com/archives/wservernews-20100322.html
The typical computer user must be aware of the possible threats their computer faces each time you connect to the internet. It is a treacherous place for a computer and the security threats are growing every day. It all so confusing, viruses, spyware, malware, and adware, just to name a few. Why are they all so different?
In the old days we used to call everything a virus, however now days we have more specific names to further classify them.
What is Malware?
Malware is a software program that has bad objectives. It can either be installed by the computer user unintentionally or it can sneak into your computer through various ways. Its not the same as a piece of software that unintentionally causes harm to your computer, malware is software that has been developed with the intent of causing problems with your computer.
What is Spyware?
Spyware is a type of malware program that invades your computer and basically spies on you. There are different types of spyware that collect different information. A common spyware type is a keylogger which records keystrokes typed on your keyboard. This is how people lose their bank account details. Other spyware will record your actions and browsing practices on the internet. Any information collected by spyware is usually with the goal to sell.
What is Adware?
Adware is another form of malware and is precisely as the name suggests, software with advertising. Adware can be downloaded and sometimes included in free programs. For example Windows Live messenger and Yahoo messenger contain adware. Although some programs give the option not to install the extra adware, others seem to sneak it in without permission.
What is Virus?
A virus is a small program designed to contaminate your computer and cause errors, computer crashes, and even destroy your computer hardware. Unlike spyware, a virus can grow and replicate itself. It can also travel from one computer to another via an internet connection. Of course you can get viruses from discs with virus infected files stored on them; however the internet is the most common entry point. Some common symptoms of a virus are emails being sent to all contacts when you didn't send them, being taken to web pages that you didn't choose, or being told you have a virus and to download a program to fix it.
If you think your computer may have been infected by any of these, please give us a call at 843-553-8800 or visit our website at www.kotoritechnologies.com. We offer a variety of computer security services from computer troubleshooting to email solutions to intrusion detection to firewall security encryption. So whatever the problem, we can help to clean up your computer and protect it from future occurrences.
In todays unsure economy, budgets are tight, forcing business owners to do more with less
Preventive maintenance such as regularly installing Microsoft Windows updates, routinely running the disk cleanup utility found in Windows and keeping anti-spyware software up to date will keep computers running at their highest efficiency level. But we suggest not running computers until they die, as it can be more cost-effective to invest in new hardware systems than aging ones.
Most modern technologies, such as computers, have life spans of about three to four years. In evaluating whether to invest in a new system, business owners should ask themselves a couple of key questions: Has more than 80 percent of the hard drive capacity been used? Does the computer need to be rebooted periodically throughout the day? If the answers are yes, it may be time for new hardware.
If mobility is not a requirement, desktop computers are less expensive. If purchasing laptops is essential, business owners should buy three-year extended warranties, as accidents happen more frequently with mobile technology.
Regarding computer software, business owners may not need to update their applications every time a new version hits the shelves. However, software should be no more than two versions behind the current one.
At minimum, business owners should consider investing in the following software:
Microsoft Office Suite, or a word processing and a spreadsheet program
E-mail contact and calendar program (i.e. Microsoft Outlook or legal specific applications such as Time Matters)
Adobe Acrobat for PDF capabilities
Accounting software (i.e. Quickbooks Pro)
Time and billing software
Accounting, time and billing software packagesoften called back office softwareare particularly important in this economy because they allow business owners to budget expenses and income for the year ahead. Such tools can help business owners pinpoint which areas of their practice are most profitable and, conversely, the least. Even business owners who practice with a flat fee structure should track the time they spend in order to find their optimal hourly rates and understand where they stand financially.