We get it (and IT!)

Phone: 1300-728-259 or .

Category Archives: Virus

Black Knight IT – Security Notice (High Alert) 23.10.15

Black Knight IT –

Security Notice (High Alert)

Beware of CryptoLocker:

Over the past few days Black Knight has had numerous reports of CryptoLocker – the file encrypting ransomware strain. This is usually recieved from an email link: is commonly referred to as CryptoLocker or Trojan:Win32/Crilock.A.

This ransomware is particularly nasty because infected users are in danger of losing their personal files forever… To get their data back, infected users are held to ransom: and instructed to pay $300 USD to receive a private key. Infected users also have a time limit to send the payment. If this time elapses, the private key is destroyed, and your files may be lost forever.

To read more about this nasty virus, click here (malwarebytes.org) or here (Dell SonicWall)


 

Be aware of what you click!

Especially when decryption of encrypted files is impossible: which in the case of CryptoLocker it may be, prevention is of the utmost importance.

    • Be wary of what you click: do not fall for the scam. Only open links in emails from a safe sender, ensure you do not fall for pop-up ads.
    • Ensure you have preformed an online and offline backup of all your important files.
    • Users have a reduced risk of falling victim to either CryptoLocker or the malware downloader from the initial email campaign if they keep their Security and Firewall settings updated and monitored…
    • SonicWALL Gateway Antivirus provides protection against this particular threat.

 


 

If in doubt, give us a call.

We would much rather a false alarm then a massive disaster leading to data loss…

Phone: (07) 3806 6717

What to do when your PC slows down

What to do when your PC slows down

When your Windows  PC slows down, often it is a result of applications are installed and used. Whether you are using a word processor, writing a spreadsheet, surfing the internet, playing games or anything else, hard drives fill with temporary files that do not always get removed when no longer needed. Hard disks can succumb to this wear and tear over time, and this article will teach you how to fix that. Read on to learn of ways to help keep a PC running smoothly when this PC slows down.

164_A_HardwareYou just got back from lunch and are settling down into your office chair. You open up your planner to check your schedule, and then wake your PC from sleep. Time to check emails. But wait, something’s wrong. You’re…waiting. Your computer is moving as slow as a brontosaurus and the problem appears to go deeper than internet speed. What happened? When a PC slows down strikes, there can be a number of culprits. Here are a few ideas to alleviate the problem, so you can get back to business in no time.


restart_logo_complete_black1Restart

The most obvious but often overlooked fix is to simply restart your PC. Many people get into the habit of leaving their PC on 24/7 and, instead of turning it off, just leave it in sleep mode when they’re not using it. However, restarting it is like vacuuming a carpet or mopping a floor. If you let either of them sit for a while, a lot of temporary gunk builds up. A simple restart can help clean your computer up but, unlike with household chores, you won’t get dirty in the process.


uninstallUninstall new stuff

Did you recently install new hardware or software? If you did, this could be causing your slowdown and, if you don’t need it, it’s worth uninstalling it. Here’s how:

  1. Go to your Control Panel’s Programs and Features section.
  2. If you think a driver is slowing you down, open Device Manager and double click the new driver.
  3. A dialog box will open. Click the Driver tab followed by the Roll Back Driver button.
  4. If that button is grayed out, it means the problem isn’t with that driver. If not, you can continue with uninstalling.

Using the Device Manager, you can also uninstall new hardware.


hard_disk_fullFree up hard drive space

A lack of hard drive space can slow your PC down as well. To run your system smoothly, it’s recommended you have 15% hard drive space free. Having this extra space gives room for temporary files and swapping.

If you don’t have the space, you may need to purchase a new hard drive or transfer some of your files and programs over to an external one.


npktaqSearch for the bloated program that’s eating your memory

Another potential problem could be a dysfunctional program that is using up too much of your PC’s memory. To see if this is the source of your problem, go to Windows Task Manager and click the Processes tab. Then look in the CPU or memory column. Either of these will show you if there’s one program that’s eating all your memory.

To solve this problem, click on the program in Windows Task Manager; and then hit End Process. Keep in mind that this is only a temporary fix. You’ll have to uninstall this program and replace it with something that will run more efficiently.


computer-virusScan for viruses

Both viruses and malware can also slow down your computer. To check if you’ve been infected, run a system scan. If you do have malicious software on your PC, and your antivirus software hasn’t effectively detected or removed it, contact a local IT Services Provider who will be able to clean your computer and free it of potentially harmful malware. They can also advise you to a reputable solution to avoid future issues.


Want more tips on how to resolve PC slowness and other computer issues? Worried you may have been infected by a virus? Get in touch with us today for help and advice.

This entry was tagged computer, fix, hard drive space, Malware, memory, PC slow, repair, restart, uninstall, Virus.

Computer viruses – 5 common myths

viruses myth

Computers, while used in nearly every office, still mystify the vast majority of users. Sure they know how to operate one, but when it comes to ideas like the Internet and viruses, malware, trojans, etc. most people are lost. This is largely because of the large number of myths and lies about things like viruses, it’s hard to know what is fact or fiction.

Here are five common myths about viruses that confuse people, and the truths associated with them. Before we delve deeper it would be a good idea to explain what a virus is.

A virus is a computer program that infects a computer and can generally copy itself and infect other computers. Most viruses aim to cause havoc by either deleting important files or rendering a computer inoperable. Most viruses have to be installed by the user, and usually come hidden as programs, browser plugins, etc.

You may hear the term malware used interchangeably with virus. Malware is short for malicious software and is more of an umbrella term that covers any software that aims to cause harm. A virus is simply a type of malware.

Myth 1: Error messages = virus
A common thought many have when their computer shows an error message is that they must have a virus. In truth, bugs in the software, a faulty hard drive, memory or even issues with your virus scanner are more likely the cause. The same goes with if your computer crashes, it likely could be because of something other than a virus.

When you do see error messages, or your computer crashes while trying to run a program or open a file, you should scan for viruses, just to rule it out.

Myth 2: Computers can infect themselves with viruses
It’s not uncommon to have clients bring their computers to a techie exclaiming that a virus has magically appeared on the system all by itself. Despite what some may believe, viruses cannot infect computers by themselves. Users have to physically open an infected program, or visit a site that hosts the virus and download it.

To minimize the chance of being infected you should steer clear of any adult oriented sites – they are often loaded with viruses, torrent sites, etc. A good rule of thumb is: If the site has illegal or ‘adult’ content, it likely has viruses that can and will infect your system if visited, or files downloaded from there.

Myth 3: Only PCs can get viruses
If you read the news, you likely know that many of the big viruses and malware infect mostly systems running Windows. This has led users to believe that other systems like Apple’s OS X are virus free.

The truth of the matter is: All systems could be infected by a virus, it’s just that the vast majority of them are written to target Windows machines. This is because most computers run Windows. That being said, there is an increasing number of threats to OS X and Linux, as these systems are becoming more popular. If this trend keeps up, we will see an exponential rise in the number of viruses infecting these systems.

Myth 4: If I reinstall Windows and copy all my old files over, I’ll be ok
Some believe that if their system has been infected, they can simply copy their files onto a hard drive, or backup solution, reinstall Windows and then copy their files back and the virus will be gone.

To be honest, wiping your hard drive and reinstalling Windows will normally get rid of any viruses. However, if the virus is in the files you backed up, your computer will be infected when you move the files back and open them. The key here is that if your system is infected, you need to scan the files and remove the virus before you put them back onto your system.

Myth 5: Firewalls protect networks from viruses
Windows comes with a firewall built into the OS, and many users have been somewhat misled as to what it actually does, and that firewalls can protect from viruses. That’s actually a half truth. Firewalls are actually for network traffic, their main job is to keep networks and computers connected to the network secure; they don’t scan for viruses.

Where they could help is if a virus is sending data to a computer outside of your network. In theory, a firewall will pick up this traffic and alert you to it, or stop the flow of data outright. Some of the bigger viruses actually turn off the firewall, rendering your whole network open to malware attacks.

What can I do?
There are many things you can do to minimize the chances of infection. The most important is to install a virus scanner on all of your systems, keep it up to date and run it regularly. But a defensive strategy like this isn’t enough, you need to be proactive by:

  • Not installing programs from sources you don’t know or trust
  • Being wary of any program that asks you for your password
  • Not installing any browser add-ons or plugins suggested by websites. Instead, download them from the browser’s app store, or the developer’s website.

If you are worried about the security of your systems and network, call us today. Our team of security experts can work with you to provide a plan that will meet your needs.

How to respond to a malware infection

Security_March31_BA malware infection is an attack that you do not want invading your business systems. Malicious software can often make its way on computers without your knowledge, causing various disturbances. What’s even worse, is that vital information saved on your computer or data that you access online could be stolen. Computers must have proper protection. In the event that malware infection is detected an immediate response is required.

Signs of a malware infection

Before proceeding with the steps on how to respond to malware infections, we first need to learn about the signs and symptoms of a malware infection. These include:

  • Several pop-ups appear even when not browsing the Web.
  • Unusual slowness of the computer and Internet connection.
  • System hangs or freezes.
  • Corrupted programs.
  • Antivirus is disabled.
  • E-mails sent to or from your account which you did not send.
  • High network activity, even when not using large programs or accessing huge data.
  • Redirected access to some sites.

How to respond to a malware infection

In case you experience any of these symptoms, the first thing to do is to ensure that your antivirus and antispyware program is updated. This is to make sure that they detect the latest known threats on their database. You should then run scans to see if an infection is detected. If it is, the programs usually have a way to remove the infection. You then need to follow the steps the program recommends.

If this doesn’t work, disconnect the infected computer from the network to prevent the spread of the malware. Furthermore, avoid accessing the Web and using vital information such as bank account and credit card information. Let the technical department or your IT partner handle the concern since they are trained in determining and eradicating system malware infections.

Once the problem has been pinpointed, a tech specialist will go through the process of eliminating the infection. This includes backing up data on the computer and restoring the system to its original state. Depending on the extent of the infection, the computer may need to be wiped clean, or reformatted before restoring backed-up files.

After the whole process, the computer must be tested to ensure that the infection has been totally removed. Moreover, further investigation and studies must also be done to determine where the problem started, as well as to create a strategy as to how to prevent this from happening in the future.

How to prevent a malware attack

Prevention is better than a cure and this definitely applies to malware infections. It’s best to arm yourself with knowledge on how to avoid malware attacks and prevent your systems from being infected.

  1. Ensure that security protection is always updated and that you run system scans on a regular basis.
  2. Avoid downloading attachments or clicking links from unknown sites or senders.
  3. Enable firewall protection.

Malware can hugely affect business operations and the security of private information. One of the best ways to prevent this is to work with an IT partner, like us, who can help recommend and install protection systems. You might want to think about getting help in managing these solutions too, to ensure that your systems are secure at all times.

If you have questions or concerns with regards to malware prevention and resolution, feel free to call us. Our support team is always ready to help.