Tag Archives: Rosey Walls

Potentially Malicious Emails

In a previous post about internet security and potentially malicious emails, I described what to look out for in terms of emails might contain a virus like Zeus. Now I can show you what to look out for after one landed in my ‘Junk’ box –

outlookemail

1. As I said, luckily this email ended in my ‘Junk’ folder, but that is not always the case. Yes, it might be a genuine email but considering points 2 and 3…I think not.

2. The name ‘Frieda Barker’ means absolutely nothing to me, and the email address it came from – wiszbbcoi @ theteedgroup . com – seems suspicious, especially considering the name. A quick Google tells me that The Teed Group is in fact a real company, but they sell water front property in Connecticut which, let’s be honest, is not something I can fiscally even consider investing in. In 50+ years maybe…

3. Invoice is spelt wrong and the invoice number means nothing to me. Be warned, sometimes you’ll receive an email from an address that seems legit and that you order from a lot but the invoice number will not correlate with any that you have been issued.

4. This symbol means the email has an attachment; it is in this attachment where the Trojan is that will download the virus/viruses onto your PC.

Suffice to say this email has now been deleted.

Please, be safe online and don’t open any email or attachment unless sure it is genuine.

If you believe you have lost money due to malware you can report your loss to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.

Written by Rosey Walls 16/06/2014

GOZeuS, Are You Ready?

zeus

We have all received dodgy, suspicious emails, and they keep getting harder and harder to spot – I mean it’s not like they come from fraud@iwantyourmoney.co.uk or openme@virus.com.

Nowadays these emails come from addresses pretending to be your bank, huge organisations or Government Bodies.  These can be spotted usually by looking at the subject line (for order numbers that are incorrect or notification of a tax rebate) or the address it was sent from being incorrect or unfamiliar to the normal ones used.

Zeus was not the
nice God Disney would have you believe

However, sometimes malignant emails come from contacts we have in our address books. This week the NCA (National Crime Agency) issued a warning that we have a little under two weeks to protect our computers, and ourselves, against two powerful pieces of software; CryptoLocker and – the aptly named – GOZeuS (Zeus was not the nice God Disney would have you believe, just ask Prometheus). So far these two viruses have fraudulently transferred millions of pounds into the accounts of cyber criminals. Once these viruses infect your computer (via a Trojan link or attachment in an email you open) it can send emails containing the Trojan links to all of your contacts (infecting more computers) and monitor everything you do – some reports have even suggest they can gain control of your webcam…

ransoming your data for
anywhere between £200 to £300

Once infected, your PC will be joined onto a network of other infected PCs known as a BotNet where your activity is monitored. What makes these viruses so profitable to the criminals is that they work together. If GOZeuS is unable to find information on your PC that will make a good enough profit, the CryptoLocker will take over. CryptoLocker works by encrypting and locking your files without your knowing, until you get a popup that is essentially ransoming your data for anywhere between £200 to £300 – what do you think the chances are that your files will actually be unlocked if you pay up? Exactly.

To keep yourself and your data safe please take the following precautions – make sure your security software is installed on all of your PCs and fully updated, run scans on your PC and check your operating systems and applications are all up to date and that you have an effective backup system in place with a good retention period.

warning signs to look out for

Some warning signs to look out for include; your operating system running very slowly, unauthorised logins to accounts or unauthorised money transfers and your curser moving around erratically with no input from yourself. It has been suggested that over 15,500 computers in the UK are currently infected so the sooner you address your security systems, the better.

However, if your PC has already been infected with CryptoLocker and GOZeuS it is too late, this is when a good retention period on the backup system you have in place will come in handy. If you have to buy new PCs etc, you will be able to restore all of the information you have backed up to before your PC was infected.

If you believe you have lost money due to malware you can report your loss to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.

Potentially Malicious Emails 5/6/2014

Godzilla-Proofing

Godzilla-Proofing.

I am not a technician

I have been asked to write a post for our Safe Date Storage blog – I had a bit of trouble in coming up with a concept for the post, while I know that data backup and disaster recovery are import services, I am not a technician so I’m not exactly the fount of all knowledge when it comes to the ins and outs of the technical services we provide…

To be honest I’m not really sure how my train of thought lead me to my decided post subject, I think it went something along the lines of –

Disaster recovery > disaster/destruction > destroyed office > natural or unnatural disaster > unnatural >meteors > aliens > or monsters…

…Thus Godzilla-proofing was born!

Today in the Safe Data Storage I have coined a (hopefully) new phrase…Godzilla-proofing. This is, in essence, backing up your data in case a giant monster destroys your office. I was considering Zombie-proofing but to be honest no one is going to go back to work after a Zombie outbreak. We’ve all seen The Walking Dead – humanity will all be too busy running, hiding, going insane and decapitating the undead to worry about backup reports and if you left your computer on.

END OF THE WORLD scenario

Anyway, my point is that a monster invasion is an “inconvenience” rather than a full blown END OF THE WORLD scenario as they usually end up being killed or dying. Think; Godzilla being killed by the Oxygen Destroyer device in the 1954 classic, Iron Man shoving a nuclear warhead into the wormhole and killing the Chitauri in The Avengers, Mars Attacks! Martian’s heads exploding to Slim Whitman’s Indian Love Call song, the Tripods in War of the Worlds becoming infected with the germs that humans have become immune to over time, the HUGE alien in Super 8 going home after the kid shouts at him…yeah.

godzilla

Once the major threat of the invasion of the unwanted visitor has been dealt with by whomever takes it upon themselves to save the day, the population of the town/city/county etc will all have to go back to work. And with Safe Data Storage’s Bare Metal Back Up – or as I would like to call it Godzilla-Proofing scheme – while your office and all company possessions have been destroyed – you have access to a complete copy of the hard disks in your server stored at our two datacentres. Hey presto – you’re back in business!

DISCLAIMER – While this post is light hearted the core point is serious. As we in England have seen this year, natural disasters can have a devastating effect on homes and businesses. Please make sure that all your important data is backed up.

Written by Rosey Walls 25/03/2014