Post

Aug 11
Ransomware Warning

​(Originally posted November, 2014)

I wanted to alert you to a growing area of concern, the proliferation of "ransomware" viruses and malware.  We've seen a huge increase in the amount of these viruses in the last month, and I am communicating to you as the primary contact of your firm in an abundance of caution.

Most notably, remind your employees of the following three principles: 1) Use your machine for work-related purposes only; 2) Do not visit websites outside of those required for your employment; 3) Do not download attachments that are suspicious or from unknown sources.

If everyone follows these three suggestions, the chance of you receiving a debilitating virus or malware are reduced exponentially.  Since most of your users have "administrator"-level access to their workstations, there is no anti-virus or anti-malware product that will completely protect them from themselves.

Ransomware such as "CryptoWall 2.0" is an exploit from overseas designed to extort $1000.00 or more from whomever is infected.  Unfortunately, there is no known protection or remedy.  The hard drive in your PC will be encrypted by the exploit, rendering it useless and all files on the server accessible to the infected user will have to be recovered from offsite backup.

Added information on this issue available here (cfleener note – this is a safe link):

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/cryptowall-ransomware-information

Be safe, and let us know if we can help further.

Mar 28
Welcome to the blog!

A Simple Idea

Our core business revolves around the ideal of bringing information assets to the people.  We help small business build a technology presence that influences the bottom line

Mar 27
Virus or Malware Suspected

We often have occasion to speak with clients and consumers about virus and malware infections.  We've excerpted a recent reply to offer an insight to how you might choose to deal with unexpected pop-ups or other activity:

​If your PC has "pop-ups" or redirects you to unknown/unwanted websites it is likely that your workstation has either a) a virus or b) malware.  Now “malware” is a much, much more likely infestation than a virus, and they are historically presented by companies either cautioning you that your PC has some type of problem, or attempting to have you purchase something or (as is often the case) redirect your Internet Explorer browser to alternate sites.  They spread through 1) infected websites including social media; 2) email, particularly attachments.

The best guard against virus and spyware is of course not visiting unknown sites or downloading attachments from unknown sources, but you can also get assistance with software programs like we use for our corporate clients.  If you visit the webpage: http://www.malwarebytes.org/mwb-download/ and download/install/update and run the free Malwarebytes application, you will likely find a variety of malicious items, all of which should be removed as instructed.

After doing so, you may also want to reset your Internet Explorer browser to its default settings, deleting any cached objects.  Manual instructions located here:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/923737

If you do not have a commercial-grade anti-virus product, you should get one.

If, after performing each of these steps you have residual problems, it might be necessary to take your machine to a technology provider who specializes in the removal of virus/malware.  Be advised this is not for the faint of heart as the last time checked, national providers like "Geek Squad" charged $199 if you bring the machine to them and $299 if they visit the home.   Of course our team of engineers would be happy to assist in this regard as well.

I hope this is helpful information.

Mar 24
Reducing unsolicited/bulk email - aka "SPAM"

A Few Tips To Reduce Your Junk Mail

SPAM - SPAM is an attempt to deliver email to persons who would not otherwise choose to receive it. At this point you should know what we are talking about, but in case you don't, search your deleted mail, or inbox for Viagra ads, mortgage refinance ads, stock alerts, and even emails with subjects that would make a trucker blush.

Usually, this unsolicited email contains fraudulent credentials (email headers containing inaccurate information). Headers are the "return address" of the email world. If a person wants to send you a postal letter and not allow you to track them down, they put a bogus return address; same thing with spam.  They may even go so far as to create a return address as someone from your OWN domain!

How did SPAMMERS get my e-mail address and what can I do to prevent them from getting it?

First, don't post your real e-mail address on public websites such as newsgroups, chat rooms, web sites, etc. Spammers use automatic programs that scan these publicly accessible sites in order to collect email addresses. Instead, use a free "throw-away" e-mail account like ones from Google or Outlook.com. If you don't have a free email account go get one today, you will be amazed how easy they are to get... so easy in fact, that many of the junk mail messages you receive will be from an @yahoo.com or @hotmail.com address!

Before filling out forms on a website that require personal information about you (like your e-mail address), ALWAYS read the privacy policy on a website. If the policy mentions anything about the right to share your address with "marketing partners" and/or "affiliates", be extremely cautious. You have no idea who those partners are or how many, nor do you know what those partners may do with your information once it's shared with them (like sell it to even more "affiliates"). Unless the privacy policy contains language stating exactly who will get the information, and what they are allowed to do with it, sharing and otherwise, the recommendation is not to submit any personal information that you want to keep private. If there is no privacy policy at all, the recommendation is not to submit any information at all. Also, consider using a "throw-away" account mentioned above.

Many SPAM e-mails contain a link that purportedly will unsubscribe you from their list. Clicking on this link only serves to verify to the SPAMMER that there is a live active e-mail address at the other end. When you reply, you verify that your email address is "deliverable" which in turn makes your address more valuable to the spammer, since deliverable addresses sell for a higher price. So this is a catch 22. If you reply you verify, but if its really a remove link and you don't click it you will never be removed.

What are you guys doing about SPAM?

InertLogic employs advanced anti-spam controls that target the source of the unwanted or unsolicited email, the offending servers themselves. Regrettably, many of these servers are run by reputable companies who have unwittingly been “hacked” by the unscrupulous purveyors of bulk email.

In 2014, it expected that nearly 18 trillion terabytes of data will move via email.  Much of this is in the form of unsolicited and unwanted junk mail.  Our intent is to work with other mail users to reduce the amount of unwanted email.  This vigilance has a price, however. 

Occasionally, we are challenged with scenarios where wanted email is rejected.  Certainly this can be frustrating as it is usually through no “fault” of the sender or recipient.  In those instances, it is important for the person who SENT the message to contact their ISP or mail service provider.  The chances are very good that MUCH email is being returned because of the domain’s listing. 

As one of our customers, we also have options for you.  On those occasions when it is critically important for you to receive mail from a source identified in the blacklist database, we will add it to your domain’s list of authorized senders.  Regrettably, until there is a problem with delivery, we can’t predict which messages will bounce.  Forward those messages to support@inertlogic.com.

Finally, we have a number of client side anti-spam controls that work right on your workstation and are easily configurable. For less than a cup of coffee each day, you can protect yourself from the deluge of unwanted mail that has become a mainstay of the Internet age.  Call your account representative for more details.

We also suggest you contact us and allow us to help you determine if the link is a real removal link. Feel free to email us or call us at 1-800.817.4183 to speak with one of our engineers.