Consumer backup provider Backblaze has released their quarterly hard drive performance report. This report is always notable because it is the largest ongoing study across a variety of non-enterprise hard drives. In other words: it measures what matters.

The #1 takeaway for us? HGST comes out looking really good compared to Seagate and Western Digital (even though Western Digital owns HGST). The 12TB Seagate and 8TB HGST have higher failure rates than we’d want to see for what we assume are newer drives.

Finally, these results are aimed at NAS drives, at JM Addington and Kairos Dynamic Digital we use SSDs nearly exclusively in day-to-day operations, such as workstations and laptops.

Managed services and technology can impact a business and allow for incredible growth

At JM Addington we’re all about making existing businesses better at what they do.

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Costs for managed services providers are going up, that ultimately means higher prices for their customers.

Prices for managed services providers are increasing – that ultimately means higher prices for their customers. Read more

Atlanta, GA suffered a serious ransomeware attack in 2018 and it cost them.

ZDNet reports that Atlanta budgeted approximately $2.6 million to recover from their ransomeware incident earlier this year.

This is a small figure as far as ransomeware recovery goes. It excludes the cost of lost productivity, not just city employees but anyone who couldn’t get work done that day because of the incident. Think of contractors, plumbers, etc. waiting on permits, anyone trying to file business taxes, etc. The true cost of the incident to the city is something far north of the reported figure.

It’s also a clear example of why all organizations need backup now, not later, emergency plans for incidents like this, including how to recover when you get hit. Finally, until you’ve tested your backup and recovery procedures you can’t be sure that they work.

More from ZDNet, Atlanta procurement,

Amazon just announced an expansion of their Amazon Key program, they will now deliver to your car, assuming that you car is compatible.

Currently, compatible 2015 or newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac vehicles with active OnStar accounts, plus 2015 or newer Volvo vehicles with active Volvo On Call accounts can receive in-car deliveries.

We’re not sure that we’re going to take Amazon up on their offer to deliver to our cars yet here, leaving the package on the doorstep is working just fine for now, however, this is a great example of a company combing existing technologies (online shopping, OnStar) to innovate in an industry that is considered “technological” (deliveries). These incremental innovations are how a company uses technology as a lever to compete in their field, not just to keep up.

Read more from Amazon, Ars Technica, or The Verge.

SunTrust Bank quietly announced Friday, April 20th, 2018 that a former employee was working with a “criminal third party” and may have passed along information from as many as 1.5 million client accounts.

Affected customers appear to be being notified by email with this message:

Dear <CUSTOMER>,

SunTrust cares deeply about your privacy and the security of your information. We became aware of potential theft by a former employee of information from some of our client contact lists, as we shared in a news release on Friday, April 20, 2018. We are still investigating in cooperation with law enforcement. We apologize that you are one of our clients who may have been affected, as your continued trust is critical to us.

Given this, we are proactively notifying you that certain information, including your name, address, phone number and certain account balances may have been affected. The contact lists did not include personally identifying information, such as your social security number, account number, PIN, User ID, password, or driver’s license number.

Your confidence is at the core of our purpose, and we want you to know that we have heightened our monitoring of your accounts and increased other related security measures. While we have not identified significant fraudulent activity, know that you will not be responsible for any fraud on your SunTrust accounts as a result of this incident.

At no cost to you, we recommend that you enroll in the IDnotify(tm) service provided by Experian(r) which includes:

*   A personalized Experian credit report at signup;
*   Experian Credit Monitoring for indicators of fraud;
*   Dark Web monitoring;
*   Identity Restoration specialists available for immediate help to address credit and non-credit related fraud; and
*   $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance reimbursement for certain costs associated with a stolen identity event, subject to the terms of the policy.

To enroll in IDnotify:

*   Log into your Online Banking account at www.suntrust.com and follow the instructions; or
*   If you do not have an Online Banking account, please visit https://www.suntrust.com/identity-protection and follow the instructions.

To best protect your information, we recommend you consider additional steps that can be found here<https://www.suntrust.com/fraud-and-security-department>. You also will receive more information from SunTrust in the mail.

Protecting your information is a top priority for SunTrust, and we appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

Mark A. Chancy
Vice Chairman

You can probably expect no to very little follow up on this, ever. As always, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to freeze your credit. In this case, we’d recommend checking your balance every day along with recent transactions as well.

Remember, ACH and checking fraud do not carry the same protections as credit cards. Also, while SunTrust says that personally identifying information was not leaked it’s nearly impossible to know after the fact, which this finding appears to be.

Apple just announced a battery replacement program for certain 13 inch MacBook Pro’s (non touch bar) manufactured between October 2016 and October 2017.

From Apple:

Apple has determined that, in a limited number of 13-inch MacBook Pro (non Touch Bar) units, a component may fail causing the built-in battery to expand. This is not a safety issue and Apple will replace eligible batteries, free of charge. Affected units were manufactured between October 2016 and October 2017 and eligibility is determined by the product serial number.

You can see if your laptop is affected here. All managed services customers of JM Addington and Kairos Dynamic Digital Managed Services have already had their serial numbers run across the the program by JM Addington staff.

Find more reporting by Ars Technica here.

Summary

On Monday, September 18th, Cisco’s Talos reported that the popular computer cleaning utility, CCleaner, was found to distributing Malware for about the last month.

For a period of time, the legitimate signed version of CCleaner 5.33 being distributed by Avast also contained a multi-stage malware payload that rode on top of the installation of CCleaner. CCleaner boasted over 2 billion total downloads by November of 2016 with a growth rate of 5 million additional users per week.

For our managed services customers, we are actively uninstalled CCleaner and running clean up scans immediately.  We highly recommend that anyone that does not have IT managed services actively monitoring and fixing this, uninstall CCleaner themselves (or contact us) and then follow up with an antivirus scan, such as Webroot or MalwareBytes.

Impact

At this point it is too early to know what impact the malware has had, if any. No early reports indicate that it was “activated” in a way to cause malicious actions on end computers. However, we expect to learn more over the next few days and may well discover that it has impacted specific organizations.

Technical

Scripting CCleaner Uninstall: http://www.itninja.com/blog/view/how-to-install-run-and-remove-ccleaner-silently-script-in-k1000

Talos Post: http://blog.talosintelligence.com/2017/09/avast-distributes-malware.html

Piriform’s announcement: http://www.piriform.com/news/blog/2017/9/18/security-notification-for-ccleaner-v5336162-and-ccleaner-cloud-v1073191-for-32-bit-windows-users