Petya Virus

Another Battle in the War of Cybersecurity

The Petya Virus is the newest cyber attack circling the globe and experts believe it to be even more dangerous than other recent threats. The Petya Virus first originated in Ukraine and was thought to be ransomware, but has been discovered to be something much worse. When the attack hits, a message appears on a user’s computer monitor stating that their data is being held until they pay a fee of about $300. In return the user receives a digital key that they are assured will unlock their data. However, unless the user has a recent backup of their data they are often forced to pay the price or lose their files.

This process describes a typical ransomware attack, but as mentioned before there is something different about the Petya Virus. Matt Suiche, founder of the cyber security firm Comae, analyzed the virus and came to the conclusion that the virus is a “wiper.” This means that Petya completely destroys the computer’s hard drive and a victim of the attack will not receive their data back even after electing to pay the fee.

There are speculations that the hackers behind the Petya Virus are not a group of cyber thieves looking to make money, but potentially a national state looking to cause harm on other states and nations. Over 60% of attacks occurred in the Ukraine, but the other 40% spread across the globe to the United States, Asia and other parts of Europe. Constant cyber attacks, especially one as destructive as Petya, are causing concern among nations across the world.

The rise in cyber attacks makes it even more imperative that users are constantly updating their tech systems with the latest software and security. To learn more about the importance of updates, read ABS’s recent blog, Protect Your Devices with Routine Updates

With security breaches on the rise, it is imperative for all companies to have a backup and recovery plan in place. Read more about disaster recovery and ways to protect your crucial data here, Back up and Disaster Recovery

We understand that ransomware and security can be a complicated topic, but we are here for you. If you have questions or concerns about the security of your IT, contact ABS. We can find the right solution for your needs.

Microsoft Releases Security Patch due to Looming Threats

Could last month’s WannaCry Ransomware attacks be considered a “warning shot” in the war of cybersecurity? Microsoft seems to think so.

On June 13, 2017 Microsoft released new security patches with the purpose of protecting computers from the “elevated risk for destructive cyberattacks.” The looming threat is so imminent that Microsoft not only sent out the update to supported versions of Windows, but toWindows XP and Windows Server 2003 as well. This is especially notable because these two operating systems are no longer under support of Microsoft, yet received downloadable protection anyways.

It is currently unknown if Microsoft has a confirmed suspicion of an upcoming attack from government officials or security researchers. But it seems this patch is more than just a routine security update. Eric Doerr, general manager of the Microsoft Security Response Center, states that security updates “address vulnerabilities that are at [heightened] risk of exploitation due to past nation-state activity and disclosures.” This means it is likely Microsoft has received some type of warning of future strikes.

As the battle of of cybersecurity continues forward, it is important to protect yourself and your computer with all the shields possible. So keep on the lookout for critical updates to assure software safety.

Protect Your Devices with Routine Updates

If you have a smartphone, computer, or just about any other tech device, you’re all too familiar with push notifications or messages prompting you to update. And whether the update is needed for adding features, fixing bugs, or larger scale program and security improvements, studies from Pew Research Center among others show that nearly 50% of people choose to delay updates simply because it’s not “convenient” in that moment.

We get it. Maybe you’re working quickly to meet a deadline, send an email, or just want to finish that video you’re watching on your phone. Regardless, the last thing you want to do is stop what you’re doing and wait for that time-consuming update to run its course. If you’ve experienced this, you’re probably more likely to select the “remind me later” option rather than “update now”, without much debate.

While lack of convenience or bad timing has a lot to do with why we choose to delay or ignore updates altogether, it’s becoming crucial now more than ever that we break that cycle. Whether you realize it or not, ransomware strikes are causing even the larger players in the tech world to rethink security. From Apple, Microsoft, and their competitors, no one is immune to a cyber attack. And with ransomware and cyber security breaches on the rise these days, yearly software and security updates just don’t cut it anymore.

We can only do our very best to put the right systems and practices in place to stay ahead of malicious activity, and ultimately, keep our data secure. So, next time you get interrupted with that update reminder, take a second to ask yourself, “Can I spare some time?”

Have questions about updates? ABS can help. Our trained team of IT professionals know what to look for when updating your devices and work systems, and will get you on your way to working as safely and efficiently as possible.

Disclaimer: If you’re a BYOD company, be sure to ask before updating on your own. Your company may have specified rules, restrictions, & policies in place.

Netshape Technologies Logo

SUCCESS STORY: NetShape Technologies Partners with ABS for Data Center Migration and SAN Consolidation

When NetShape Technologies (http://www.netshapetech.com/), a global manufacturer and metal components supplier with sites located in North America, Asia and Europe, needed to move their data center, they came to ABS for help. The complex project involved relocating their hardware from Louisville to Chicago as well as implementing and configuring a new Storage Area Network (SAN)—and a smooth transition was crucial to NetShape’s operations.

“These are the kinds of high-level coordination and integration projects that many ABS clients aren’t aware we provide,” said Jeff Hall, ABS’s Sales Director. “But as evidenced here, not only do we offer these services, we excel at them.”

Roy Hayes, Systems Administrator for NetShape, would agree. “The help that ABS provided has been incredible,” he said. “We had planned to be down for three days and there was doubt if it could actually be done on a three-day holiday weekend. But the ABS team was able to make it happen in one day. We really appreciate the time they put into this project to make it a success.”

Patty Burkland, CFO at NetShape, added, “Many hours went into planning this move to ensure it would go smoothly and the results speak for themselves. The ABS team provided invaluable assistance and we truly appreciate the partnership.”

The NetShape project is a prime example of ABS’s ability to deliver on time and on budget, no matter the expectations. It’s also proof positive of our commitment to accomplishing each project’s technical goals while also helping our clients achieve their larger business goals by ensuring they receive the full benefit of our wide-ranging expertise and knowledge.

Whatever the project, whenever the deadline—even on holidays—ABS has IT covered.