26 May 2017

WannaCry Round-Up

The WannaCry ransomware virus has caused chaos around the world recently. Now that the panic has died down and the virus has been halted, let’s take a look at the main stories that are dominating the news.

 

WannaCry attack ‘linked’ to North Korea hacking group

A hacking group closely tied to North Korea was behind the massive WannaCry attack earlier this month, security company Symantec says..

The way the attack was set up made it “highly likely” that the Lazarus group was responsible, it said.

Lazarus has been blamed for a 2014 attack on Sony and the theft of $81m (£62m) from Bangladesh’s central bank.

In those attacks, the group is believed to have worked on behalf of North Korea’s government.

Rather than being a nation-state campaign, it said, it looked more like a “typical” cyber-crime campaign that sought to enrich its operators.

North Korea has denied any involvement with WannaCry, branding any claims it was behind it “ridiculous”.

The virulent WannaCry worm is believed to have infected computers at more than 200,000 companies.

Victims included more than 60 NHS trusts in the UK as well as Fedex, Renault and Telefonica.

On compromised computers, the worm encrypted files and demanded a ransom of $300 (£231) in bitcoins to unlock them.

So far, 300 victims are believed to have paid to have their files unlocked, generating a total ransom payment of $109,245.

Sony was attacked for releasing The Interview, which involves a plot to kill the North Korean leader A hacking group closely tied to North Korea was behind the massive WannaCry attack earlier this month, security company Symantec says. . The way the attack was set up made it “highly […]

 

NHS cyber-attack: No ‘second spike’ but disruption continues

A “second spike” in cyber-attacks has not hit the NHS but some hospital trusts are suffering ongoing disruption due to Friday’s ransomware attack.

Routine surgery and GP appointments have been cancelled across the NHS as it recovers from the global outbreak.

But the number of hospitals diverting patients from A&E has decreased from seven on Sunday to two.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who attended a Cobra committee meeting on cyber-security on Monday, said it was “encouraging” that there has not been any fresh attacks, although the National Crime Agency said this did not mean there would not be one in the future.

At least 16 trusts out of 47 that were hit are still facing issues, leading to further cancellations and delays to services, BBC research suggests.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who chaired the Cobra meeting on cyber security, said the UK was working with international partners in the global manhunt to find the ransomware’s creators.

“The National Cyber Security Centre and the NCA are working with Europol and other international partners to make sure that we all collect the right evidence, which we need to do, to make sure we have the right material to find out who has done this and go after them, which we will,” she said.

In July last year, the Care Quality Commission and National Data Guardian, Dame Fiona Caldicott, wrote to Mr Hunt warning that an “external cyber threat is becoming a bigger consideration” within the NHS.

It said a data security review of 60 hospitals, GP surgeries and dental practices found there was a “lack of understanding of security issues” and data breaches were caused by time-pressed staff often working “with ineffective processes and technology”.

Meanwhile, Security Minister Ben Wallace has insisted NHS trusts have enough money to protect themselves against cyber-attacks.

The “real key” was whether trusts had regularly backed up data and whether they were installing security patches, he said.

The government is insisting that the NHS had been repeatedly warned about the cyber-threat to its IT systems, with Defence Secretary Michael Fallon stating £50m was being spent on NHS systems to improve their security.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth pointed to a report from the National Audit Office six months ago.

It highlighted how, in February 2016, the Department of Health had “transferred £950m of its £4.6bn budget for capital projects, such as building works and IT, to revenue budgets to fund the day-to-day activities of NHS bodies”.

WannaCry: What can you do to protect your business?

The WannaCry cyber-attack infected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries, affecting government, healthcare and private company systems. But how easily could it have been avoided and how can firms protect themselves against future attacks?

On the face of it, the accepted narrative seems simple. Microsoft issued a patch, or update, for the vulnerability in its older Windows operating systems in March.

If all IT departments everywhere had implemented this patch immediately, the WannaCry ransomware worm wouldn’t have been able to run riot across the globe.

Top priorities

As well as keeping antivirus, firewall, application and OS software up-to-date, backing up key data regularly to offline hard drives should be a top priority, most cyber experts agree.

This is because data breaches and cyber-attacks are inevitable these days.

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18 May 2017

Ransomware - Security Bulletin

Ransomware has been in the news as over 100 countries were hit including the UK.  Many NHS trusts were hit causing cancelled appointments, but what does this mean for end users like yourself?

 

Ransomware is a type of virus which encrypts (locks) your files with a key which means they can cannot be accessed without the encryption key. To obtain the key, a fee needs to be paid to the attacker, however there are varying reports as to whether the key will actually be supplied at the point of payment. This being said, the best option is to avoid being hit, or in the worst case scenario, if you are hit that you have a backup to restore your files. Here’s a list of ways you can protect yourself from the various types of ransomware.

 

  1. Make sure your Windows operating system has all updates installed and ensure updates are set to automatically install.
  2. Ensure you have an anti-virus system that has a firewall and anti-ransomware protection.
  3. Backup up your data online. Backing up your files to an external USB drive or network drive will not protect you as the virus can also encrypt the files on the external drive.

 

If you are not following these procedures, then you may be vulnerable. Geeks Remote Support recommend the following products to keep you safe online:

 

Bitdefender Internet Security

This antivirus product provides the most thorough malware protection on the market. It has advanced anti-ransomware protection to stop your files being encrypted. It also has a firewall, password manager, secure file shredder and will not slow down your PC.

 

Malwarebytes 3

With 4 layers of protection, Malwarebytes is also a great solution to keep you safe online. It will protect you from malware, ransomware, exploits and malicious websites.

 

iDrive

Backing up online is the only way to ensure that if you get hit that you can get your files back. iDrive backs up all of your files safely to the cloud where the virus cannot get to them. It also keeps 10 historical versions of each file, so even if a file gets locked or corrupted, you can restore a previous version.

Check out our recommended security and backup solutions

If you’re unsure if your PC is safe or would like to install any of these products, but don’t know how to get started, Geeks Remote Support can help.

You can book an appointment online at http://geeksremotesupport.com and an expert technician can remotely connect to your computer, ensure your PC is safe and install and configure any required products.

 

If you would like to talk to a technician, call us now on 0203 637 6370

 

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09 May 2017

Windows 10 - Beginners Guide, Tips and Tricks and Known Issues 

Windows 10 is nearly 2 years old and there are 400 million people in 192 countries who have upgraded. It has not been a smooth ride, with many bugs and security problems.

We’ve put together some articles which take you from learning Windows 10 basics to advanced features and secret tips and tricks.

Finally, there is an article detailing the various known problems and how to fix them.

 

 

This article from laptopmag.com runs through the basics, customization, problems, Cortana, Edge, performance, security and backup.

How to Use Windows 10 – Guide for Beginners & Power Users

Feb 6, 2017 … In this article, you’ll find 100 Windows 10 tips and tutorials, split into eight categories, and designed to coach you from beginner to pro.

 

 

 

Next up Komando.com with tips on customization, updates, search, explorer, task view and virtual desktops

5 Windows 10 secrets you need to know now | One Page | Komando …

Apr 30, 2017 … Windows 10 has grown in popularity, but have you taken the time to start learning the ins and outs? … And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

 

 

 

Ed Botts from ZDnet offers 34 tricks and shortcuts for more advanced users.

Tips, tricks and shortcuts: Ed Bott makes Windows 10 work for you …

Dec 5, 2016 … Need help navigating Windows 10? Let Windows pro Ed Bott be your guide.

 

Guiding tech have 19 tips and tricks covering customization, productivity, and Windows shortcuts.

19 Best Windows 10 Tips and Tricks

Feb 28, 2017 … Presenting a list of Windows 10 Tips and Tricks that will help in making way for a smoother Windows experience. Read on!

 

prophethacker.com have another 10 tips and tricks from resetting your password, to activating God mode.

Amazing Window 10 Tips, Tricks, and Hacks you Need to Know

Here I post the collection of best and new Window 10 tips, tricks and hacks that every window user need to know. With these cool window 10 tricks, you can …

 

 

 

If you’re an IT Pro, tomsitpro.com have 24 tutorials about installation and configuration in a business environment.

Windows 10 Guide for IT Pros: Tutorials, Tips & Tricks

Apr 18, 2017 … Here is a compilation of tips, tricks and solutions for IT professionals administering Windows 10 machines and networks.

 

Lastly, 10 of the most common issues users have experienced, including activation problems and hardware not working.

10 quick fixes for Windows 10 problems – BT

Jan 20, 2017 … Windows 10 isn’t without its foibles and undesirable features. Here’s how to deal with 10 of the most common.

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03 May 2017

Best Laptops 2017 - Round-Up

There have been many “Best Laptops of 2017″ so far this year. We’ve put together a bumper list of reviews from top review sites. It seems that screens are getting smaller with only a couple of 15″ laptops making the list. It sounds like 13″ is the new 15”. Ironically, two sites report that the best laptop for 2017 is the Macbook Pro from 2016! The Dell XPS and the HP Spectre also fair well.

 

First up we have cnet reviews of the Apple Macbook Pro 2016, Dell XPS 13, Apple Macbook 2016, HP Spectre x360 13, Lenovo Yoga 910, Dell Inspriron 15 7000, HP Spectre x360 15, Razer Blade Stealth, Origin PC Evo 15-S, Asus Chromebook Flip, Samsung Chromebook Pro, Microsoft Surface Pro 4, and Lenovo Miix 510

Best Laptops of 2017 – CNET

Apr 19, 2017 … CNET editors choose the best laptops and notebooks, covering … Updated 19 Apr 2017 … £1,100.00 at Amazon.co.uk See all prices.

Read More…

 

Next up, Expert Reviews offerings: Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre 13, Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet, Lenovo Yogabook, Acer Switch Alpha 12, Dell XPS 15, Razer Blade Stealth, Microsoft Surface Pro 4, HP Chromebook 13, and Acer Chromebook R11

Best laptop 2017: The TOP award-winning laptops you can buy right …

Feb 20, 2017 … We here at Expert Reviews test hundreds of laptops every year, with the best
coverage in the UK. We’ve sifted through the laptops we believe …

 

Alphr are next on our list with reviews of Apple Macbook Pro 2016, Dell XPS 13, Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Dell XPS 15, Microsoft Surface Book, Dell XPS 13 2in1, Apple Macbook 12, Asus Zenbook 3, HP ZBook G3, Dell Chromebook 13 7310, and HP Stream 11

Best laptops 2017: The TOP laptops you can buy in the UK | Alphr

Here the best laptops you need to buy in 2017, with the fastest, cheapest and lightest all put to the test.

Read More…

 

Finally, we have reviews from PC Mag: Dell XPS 13 9360, Asus Zenbook UX310UA, Dell XPS 159560, Acer Swift 3, Lenovo Yoga 710 11″, Dell Latitude 13 7370, HP Envy 13, Acer S 13 S5-371, Microsoft Surface Book, Macbook 12″, HP Spectre 13, Macbook Pro 2016, Lenovo Yoga 900, Macbook AIr 13″ 2015, Dell Inspiron 13 5000, Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Microsoft Surface Pro 3, Asus Zenbook, Acer Swift 7,

2

Best Laptops 2017: Windows and MacBook Laptop Reviews …

Mar 23, 2017 … What’s the best laptop you can buy in the UK? Dell XPS 13 9360; Asus ZenBook UX310UA; Dell XPS 15 9560; Acer Swift 3; Lenovo Yoga 710.

Read More…

 

 

 

 

 

Check out these great laptops deals on Amazon – 10% to 40% off!

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02 May 2017

What is a NAS drive and why do I need one?

Ever wondered what a NAS drive is and/or if one would be any use to you? Essentially, a NAS drive is one or more hard drives (just like the drives that are in desktop PC’s) which are connected to a network. They can also protect your data and do other tricks as well.
Check out these 3 articles which will put you in the picture

 

Do You Need Network Attached Storage (NAS)? – Tech for Anyone

Apr 5, 2016 … The most obvious reason to get an NAS device over an external hard drive is how many things can access it. … Should You Use an NAS?

7 Reasons to Use a NAS for Data Storage & Backups

Jul 27, 2016 … If you’re wondering what, how often, and where you should back up your files, we have straight forward answers. Read More. Using a NAS you …

What is a NAS and why do I need one? | Seagate

Aug 12, 2010 … NAS or Network Attached Storage is a system consisting of 1 or more hard drives, an Ethernet connection and an operating system.

 

Up to 42% off these NAS drives

 

 

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31 Mar 2017

Businesses benefit from remote IT support

The way businesses benefit from remote IT support is on the increase as the digital revolution has forced SMEs and large corporations to build an effective IT infrastructure, as many core business functions are now supported by tech such as the cloud and ultrafast broadband. The endless march of new technology and the growing expectations of customers means IT has to be optimised on a daily basis, which can be challenging without expert assistance.

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29 Mar 2017

Best Smart Home Devices 2017

The advent of the “internet of things” has made it possible to bring your home to life with automation and monitoring. With the press of a button, or a voice command, you can control a wide range of “smart” devices. Here’s a roundup of the best smart home devices on the market right now.

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07 Feb 2017

POP and IMAP Email - Which one should you use?

POP and IMAP Email

Choosing between POP and IMAP email these days is an easy choice. Most email programs and apps will automatically setup your accounts just by entering your username and password. However, if the process fails, you may need to enter the settings manually. If you are like me and have been using email accounts since the late 90’s then you have probably heard of POP and IMAP email, but what is the difference? read more

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24 Nov 2016

Why do I need a secure password?

Having a secure password for your email and website logins is the single most important thing you can do to avoid being the victim of hacking, fraud and other related criminal activities.

Before we explain how to create and manage secure passwords, let’s look at how passwords are stolen and the potential consequences.

Acquisition and Consequences

Brute-force attack

The main way passwords are stolen is by using a “brute-force” attack. As the name suggests, the thief will use a piece of software which will keep banging against your user account until is guesses your password. Brute-force attacks are especially successful if you use dictionary words and names, as the software will check your password against every word in the dictionary and any common name within minutes. Conversely, if a secure password in used, it could take hundreds of years, making it not worth the hackers’ time and in practical terms un-crackable. The thing to remember is that anything can be hacked, it just depends whether it’s worth the time and effort.

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22 Nov 2016

Office 365 Benefits - Why Should I Migrate?

Office 365 benefits, here are 10 reasons why you should migrate

All your favourite applications with added benefits

Office 365 provides all of the programs you already know including Outlook, Word, Excel, OneNote & PowerPoint. They all work in the same way as the previous versions but have extra features that make collaboration easy. For example, you can tell if colleagues are editing a document, and checking documents in and out ensures that changes you make to shared files will not be overwritten by colleagues.

Access your email and files anywhere

One of the many  Office 365 benefits is that you can access your email, contacts, calendar and files from any internet-enabled device including Apple and Windows PC’s, smartphones and tablets. This frees you up to work anywhere, anytime. You can install Office 365 apps on your mobile devices for “on the move” access or even from any device with a web browser.

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