Return of the Ransomware has begun. CryptoLocker has sprung up a botnet of servers to spread the virus, but were soon seized by the FBI after a few hundred thousand English speaking users were infected. That does not mean you should forget about it since the developers will find new ways to spread it, if you do not have it already. So keep your anitvirus and antimalware updated!
Once you get the infection, it takes roughly 72 hours to complete its duty, then it interrupts your workflow with prompts, ads, notification and changes your background, then asks you to pay to fix what they have broken, technically what they encrypted. CryptoLocker targets all your document files, like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and encrypts them so you cannot open it.
The first one we found we tried all our tools from Malwarebytes Antimalware and Combofix to Trend Micro and Offline Windows Defender. While there are several tools that can remove the CryptoLocker virus, there is no way to undo their nasty 256-bit encryption–besides sending your money to the virus developers in the form of bit coins (which can be used for many illegal things like in the black market).
There is hope, however. The virus does not seem to target network files yet, so if you save files to a server, you might be in luck. But, there is no telling when the virus will evolve start targeting remote file systems. The best way to prevent this is to take backups of your data, then take offsite backups, then take backups of your offsite backups..offsite.
We offer a comprehensive backup solution. For more information and a fancy video, click here.
If you haven’t used Windows 8 before, you might not be too familiar with Microsoft’s OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive). It’s been around for a while now, but with Windows 8, it was more in your face. Many of the apps from the Microsoft Store can interact with files in your OneDrive, and with 8.1, OneDrive has deep integration with the Windows Explorer.
If you have a Windows LIVE account, you already have OneDrive (probably the 7GB they give to everyone for free). If you want more storage, you pay an annual subscription for the amount you need. It’s pretty simple, and not at all expensive (plans from 20GB to 200GB, all for $0.50/GB), but Microsoft is trying to lure in users to search with Bing and use their cloud storage by offering 100GB ($50 value) for free.
Let’s not mince words, though. This is not perpetual storage. If you want to keep that 100GB of data in your OneDrive after a year, you will need to fork over $50/year. Also, in order to get it, you need to sign up for Bing Rewards. Bing Rewards is free, and basically pays you to search. There are other actions you can perform for bonus reward points, but the bread and butter of it is that you earn points for searching with Bing. Then you redeem those points for cool stuff like gift cards to Amazon, Gamestop, restaurants, Starbucks, and more, as well as sweepstakes, and various online services.
If the idea of dropping $50 next year to keep your cloud storage isn’t a dealbreaker, I highly recommend you clicking the links and taking advantage of the offer while it lasts.
Some of you may know this and some of you don’t, but we recently moved into a new office. It’s not too far down the road from our old office, but it’s a different city and zip so it looks further away on paper ;). If you need directions to our new office, check out our Google Maps listing here. Although the sign has not been installed, here is a mockup of what will be coming shortly, along with a picture of our conference room (the rest of our office is very office-like with some small offices and cubicles, so I won’t bore you with those pictures).
We now have a decent sized warehouse and are doing some renovations to convert an unused closet and adjacent room to a nice service area with a workbench for customer PC builds and repairs. We’re all pretty happy with our new diggs, and if you want to see where we call home, stop out and see us. We’re always looking for new customers and like to show off our headquarters to existing customers just the same!
In today’s age, just about everyone is into social networking, from blogs to Facebook/MySpace to Twitter and the like. Considering Vision One is in the IT industry, it was only a matter of time before we got involved with some of these social networks, and it started with out Facebook page. That was pretty successful, and this blog was born shortly after. More recently, we really took the plunge and *dramatic drumroll* created a Twitter account. None of us have really used Twitter much in the past, so bear with us as we get familiar with it, and if you see fit, follow us to see what we’re up to!
On Thursday, 4/15/10, Microsoft released Office 2010 to manufacturers, and it will be available to the general public sometime in June. For those of you who can’t wait, Vision One will be able to sell Volume License copies starting May 1st (that’s only 3 days away!). If you just can’t wait, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote :).
This blog was started as v1corp.wordpress.com to kick the tires, so to speak, but now that we’ve seen what it has to offer, we’ve moved it to blog.v1corp.com. The original URL will be left in place for legacy reasons, but it will just redirect to the new URL.