IT News, Solutions and Support

Proactive Computing | Optimizing IT for usability, performance and reliability since 1997

Category: Announcements (page 1 of 2)

Ransomware decryptor | Kaspersky Lab

RANSOMWARE DECRYPTOR

Are you a ransomware victim? The National High Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) of the Netherlands’ police, the Netherlands’ National Prosecutors Office and Kaspersky Lab have been working together to fight the CoinVault ransomware campaign. During our joint investigation we have been able to obtain data that can help you to decrypt the files being held hostage on your PC. We provide both decryption keys and the decryption application. For more information please see this how-to. Please note that this is an ongoing investigation and new keys will be added in the future.

logo_green

via Ransomware decryptor | Kaspersky Lab.

Windows 10 launches this summer in 190 countries

Microsoft’s leaner, meaner, latest iteration of Windows is coming in just a few months. Launching in 170 countries in 111 languages. Don’t forget: Windows 10 is a free upgrade if you’re already using Windows 7 or 8. Hiding in its imposing shadow, and launching at the same time, the company will release special free version of its OS for Internet of Things devices, which Microsoft’s Terry Myerson reckons could well find its way into ATMs and ultrasound machines.

via Windows 10 launches this summer in 190 countries.

Microsoft releases 14 patches for Windows

bug-162019

Microsoft released patches for 14 vulnerabilities in its Windows operating system, Office and Internet Explorer software on Tuesday, including four it deemed critical, it’s highest severity rating.

All four of the critical bugs could allow attackers to remotely execute programs on a targeted system, something that in the past has allowed hackers to steal personal information such as passwords or take over machines for the purpose of sending spam.

The patches were released as part of the company’s monthly “patch Tuesdaysecurity update for its major software products. The company had originally planned to deliver 16 updates Tuesday, but two are marked as yet to appear. They include one that was expected to carry a critical rating.

At 14, the number of patches is a monthly record for 2013 and 2014.

They include a problem with Windows Object Linking and Embedding that could allow remote code execution if the user visits a website containing malicious code. If the user is logged in as the administrator, the attacker could gain the ability to install programs and change and delete data. A related patch for Internet Explorer fixes the vulnerability with malicious websites and 16 other problems with the software, said Microsoft.

A security update for the Microsoft Secure Channel software in Windows fixes a problem that leaves Windows Server vulnerable to attack from specially crafted packets. The fourth critical patch fixes a hole in Windows that allows attackers to invoke Microsoft XML Core Services from a malicious website and then remotely execute code on a target system.

A further seven patches are marked as important—the second highest rank.

One vulnerability in Microsoft Office allows for remote execution of code, four additional problems allow attackers to assign themselves higher privileges and two allow bypass of certain security features in Windows.

via Microsoft releases 14 patches for Windows security problems | PCWorld.

Microsoft Patch Tuesday tackles three critical vulnerabilities, including ‘Sandworm’ | PCWorld

After a relatively quiet few months, Microsoft Patch Tuesday is back in full force, covering three zero-day vulnerabilities that administrators should attend to as quickly as possible.

Microsoft issued eight security bulletins Tuesday, covering a total of 24 vulnerabilities found in Windows, Internet Explorer, Office and the .Net framework. Three of the bulletins are marked as critical, which means administrators should test and apply these patches immediately. A single bulletin can cover multiple vulnerabilities within one technology.

Three of these vulnerabilities are already being exploited by malicious attackers, hence they are being called zero-day vulnerabilities. This is the first time in recent history—and perhaps ever—that Microsoft has fixed three zero-day vulnerabilities in a single round of patches, which Microsoft typically issues on the second Tuesday of each month.

“Sandworm” is the most notorious of the three and is a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that has already been used in attacks on NATO and a number of European government agencies, telecommunication firms and energy companies, according to cyberthreat intelligence firm iSight. Microsoft Bulletin MS14-060 fixes this bug.

“This is an urgent one to fix,” said Wolfgang Kandek, chief technology officer for IT security firm Qualys.

Microsoft marked MS14-060 as important rather than critical because for the attack to work, it would require a user to click on a file. Qualys ranks this vulnerability as more severe in that it is pretty easy to trick a single person into clicking on a file, such as a PowerPoint presentation, which would be all that would be required for an attacker to gain access to an internal network with a well-crafted script, Kandek said.

Sandworm is a good reminder for administrators to make sure that they set the user permissions correctly on desktop and laptop computers, meaning not to give an end user full administrative privileges on the machine, Kandek said.

Internet Explorer gets patched, too

The second zero-day flaw addresses a problem in Internet Explorer and the fix is found in MS14-056. This vulnerability “could allow an attacker to break out of the sandboxing capabilities in Internet Explorer,” said Amol Sarwate, director of vulnerability research at Qualys.

The third zero-day, addressed in MS14-058, also comes from a flaw within Windows, namely from the way the operating system kernel drivers handle TrueType fonts. An attacker could embed some malicious code within a TrueType font. When a user visits a site with these ill fonts, Windows will download the font package and automatically execute the code buried within.

Beyond Microsoft’s patches, administrators will also have a busy week with patches from Adobe and Oracle, Kandek said.

On Tuesday, Adobe released a set of patches for its Flash multimedia player. Oracle is also releasing a wide range of patches for its enterprise software. In particular, administrators should take a look at the Java patches, Kandek advised.

via Microsoft Patch Tuesday tackles three critical vulnerabilities, including ‘Sandworm’ | PCWorld.

Chrome App Launcher – All Shortcuts in One Place

It’s no secret around here that Chrome is our browser of choice, and has been for a long time. There are so many great reasons we stick with Google’s browser that we’d need to dedicate an entire article on the virtues of Chrome vs. anything else. Trust me when I say it wouldn’t be a quick read.

The built-in sync process in Chrome for example, which seamlessly keeps all your devices’ browsers current with your latest bookmarks, history and settings…across all  devices and desktop/mobile platforms…is enough to win me over all by itself.  But one of the coolest features in the Chrome browser is the App store, and the ability to add apps to your home page etc., making it really convenient to access things like Tweetdeck, Evernote, Skype, Facebook, Netflix…you name it…as well as shortcuts to Maps , GMail or just about anything. There are literally tons of apps, many of them both free AND useful, in the Chrome App store.

chromeapplauncher01

Google Chrome apps blur the lines between actual apps and shortcuts to web pages. Some are true apps, while others are a convenient shortcut to regular web content like GMail or Maps. Either way, the launch page makes it easy to create and customize your own personalized launcher with all of your favorite apps and websites in one place.

Chrome App Launcher takes it one step further, by giving you an “Apps” shortcut right on your toolbar, as well as the ability to set the Apps page as your Home page. My favorite feature is the ability to add the Apps shortcut to your Windows Taskbar, making most of my Chrome shortcuts just 2 clicks away.

chromeapplauncher00

You can create a shortcut on your Windows Task Bar really easily. Well, actually all you have to do is install any Desktop App from the Chrome App Store, and Google automatically adds a shortcut on your Task Bar (and Start Menu, inside the Google Chrome folder) for you! The instructions are right below.

Visit the Chrome App store right after you install Chrome (if you haven’t already) and check out all of the free (and not so free) apps available that help make the Chrome experience our ongoing recommendation for trouble free, high performance browsing.

Of course, keep checking back here for more tips on how to make IT get out of your way and start working for you instead!

App Launcher

The Chrome App Launcher is a window where you can quickly access all of your Chrome apps right from your desktop. You can open App Launcher from your Taskbar (Windows) or Dock (Mac).

Install App Launcher

App Launcher installs automatically when you add an app from the “For Your Desktop” collection of the Chrome Web Store. Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to the For Your Desktop section of the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Add an app by clicking the Free or Buy for [price] button.
  3. Look in your taskbar (Windows) or Dock (Mac) to find App Launcher .

When you open App Launcher, you’ll find the app you just added, as well as some other handy Chrome apps.

5 Ways to Create a Password You Can Remember – wikiHow

5 Ways to Create a Password You Can Remember – wikiHow.

Coming up with a password that is both safe and memorable gets harder and harder the more of them we have to memorize. Combining words, phrases, numbers, and coding them with simple substitutions will ensure that your personal information is safe. It is important to be able to come up with passwords that are personal enough to remember but varied and complex enough to be secure, so learning how to create appropriate passwords is a crucial skill that you will undoubtedly use often.

Read more on WikiHow.com

5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked, Check Yours Now

5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked, Check Yours Now.

5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked, Check Yours Now

According to the Daily Dot, nearly 5 million usernames and passwords to Gmail accounts have been leaked on a Russian Bitcoin forum. Here’s what you should know.

The list has since been taken down, and there’s no evidence that Gmail itself was hacked—just that these passwords have been leaked. Most sources are saying that lots of the information is quite old, so chances are they were leaked long ago—though others are claiming 60% of the passwords are still valid (not to mention really, really horrible).

5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked, Check Yours Now

To check if your password was one of the leaked, plug your Gmail address into this tool (which also checks against recent Yandex and Mail.ru leaks). If you’re paranoid, you may also want to change your password at this time. As always, make sure you use a strong password and enable two-factor authentication on  your account. Hit the link to read more.

Update: Looks like the IsLeaked tool is having some trouble due to unusually high traffic—if you get an error message, try reloading the page or checking back later.

5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked to Russian Bitcoin Forum | The Daily Dot

Apple’s next iPhone event confirmed for September 9th

Apple’s next iPhone event confirmed for September 9th.

In case you haven’t heard. iPhone 6, bigger screens, smart watch, hype and ballyhoo.

 

Cloud Services-Web Hosting

Check out our new web hosting plans!

Windows and Linux hosting available, with plans starting at $7.45/mo. Domain registration from $13.95 yr.

Web Hosting, Website, Web Site, Hosting - CE Proactive Technologies, Inc. /DBA Proactive Computing

 

 

Proactive Computing is pleased to announce that we now offer affordable website hosting and a full range of cloud based services. Our new online portal allows you to browse and purchase a full selection of vital Internet services, including:

SSL Certificates from $16.95

Domain Name Registrations from $13.95 (.com, .net .org and more!)
->WOW! Pre-Order all of the new domains!!

Website Hosting starting at $7.45/mo

Find out about our UNLIMITED CLOUD STORAGE plans for $25/mo! (that’s NOT a misprint!!)

And much more…Web Hosting, SSL Certificates, Domain Registration – Proactive Computing.

Dialog boxes may be killing Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer running slow? Dialog boxes could be at fault

Internet Explorer running slow? Dialog boxes could be at fault | PCWorld

 

If you’ve noticed Internet Explorer running slowly lately—or just halting altogether—here’s one possible cause: dialog boxes.

On Friday, the same day that Microsoft recommended users download the latest updates for Windows 7 and 8, Microsoft issued a hotfix for Internet Explorer. According to asupport article issued Friday, “web applications that implement consecutive modal dialog boxes may cause Internet Explorer to become slow and unresponsive over time.”

Microsoft issued the hotfix for Internet Explorer versions 7 through 11—basically every major version.

For more information about how Dialog boxes may be killing Internet Explorer, follow the source link below to check out the PC World article to find out how to fix the problem.

via Internet Explorer running slow? Dialog boxes could be at fault | PCWorld.

Older posts