Last week The Register reported on some big box stores taking advantage of tech-ignorant consumers.Read more
Microsoft is re-announcing that the last major update to Windows 10 is ready for mass use.Read more
We know, you’re all tired of changing your passwords and hearing from IT that you’ve got to pick a new one you haven’t used before every 30 nanoseconds. The reason might not be what you think.
At JM Addington Technology Solutions & Kairos Digital Dynamics we’re usually a tad bullish on Windows Updates: they’re put out for good reason(s). However, Microsoft’s latest “Feature Update” (read: a big one, the Fall Creators Update or 1809) has been plagued with issues:
- It deleted data in some cases
- Windows Media Player, and a number of other apps, just stopped working (including Apple iCloud)
- Certain computers with Intel chipsts (which is most of them) don’t work correctly as of yet
This is definitely one to wait to install, maybe even until the next major update is released in the spring of 2019. If you’re a managed customer of either JM Addington Technology Solutions or Kairos Digital Dynamics we’ve you covered already. Otherwise, delay unless you’re either adventurous or ready to hire someone to come undo it for you!
A university just paid $12m to a fraudster. Prevention would have been easy. Read more
Following “isolated” reports of users’ files being completely erased during upgrades Microsoft announced a “pause” of the Windows 2018 Fall Update. Microsoft has gone so far as saying that if you have a copy of the upgrade already, you should delete it instead of installing it.
Starting with the next generation of WiFi devices, WiFi will finally have a comprehensible naming scheme. In the past, different versions of wifi went by various letters, that were hard to keep track of even if you were in the industry. 802.11, 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and so on up to 802.11ay. Each version works with the last version but unless you memorized all the versions it was hard to know which was which.
Now, WiFi will go by simple numbering, and the latest standards will be renamed WiFi 6.
It’s nearly the best thing since sliced bread.
The News Sentinel is reporting that Knox County computer systems were breached the night of the primary. It was a two stage attack, complete with with a distraction. Here is the short version.
First, the website to report election results came under a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. The bad guys sent more traffic to it than it could handle. This is remarkably easy to do today, as multiple services on the dark web will allow you to purchase attacks against websites of your choice. This attack, while real, wasn’t the target, it was just meant to draw IT’s attention away from the core infrastructure and servers.
Sword and Shield, a Knoxville based security company, was contracted to investigate the incident. Their official report says that logs indicate an attempt to access the database sitting behind the webserver. Further testing revealed that there was a security hole that was active on election night, although it would not have been possible to tamper with the election results remotely.
Double staged attacks like this are very common today: as noted above it’s easy to start a DDoS attack against a website, which is highly noticeable. It quickly draws away the top level talent in an organization to deal with it while hackers attempt to quietly infiltrate in a different route. It’s the digital equivalent of setting a paper bag on fire on the front porch and then going and breaking in the basement window. The fire is meant to be noticed.
It’s fortunate that the election results were not tampered with, and the Knox County appears to have done a great job designing the voting system to make hacking it very difficult. This would be a good time for them to look at prevention on website attacks as well.
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.
This afternoon one of our technicians was chatting with a legitimate support rep from a well-known vendor. The support rep correctly said that he could not help with the issue over web chat but to call 855-785-2511. When our technician called it was clearly a scam company behind the operation:
- They wanted to charge for free support
- They wanted to use remote tools that this vendor does not use
- They didn’t have a clue on how to solve the issue
This post exists just to serve as a warning to others that 855-785-2511 is clearly a scam phone number.
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