Temporary Servers Cut Off Any Day Now; Are You Prepared?
Maybe replacing infected servers with clean, though temporary, ones was a mistake on the FBI’s part. Many, including executives at large enterprises, have taken their sweet old time about having the DNSChanger malware removed from their computers. According to an article on the Internet Identity website, as of Jun. 28, 2012, approximately 12% of Fortune 500 companies throughout the U.S. remained infected. Well, come Jul. 9, 2012, if those same companies remain infected when the FBI shuts down the temporary clean servers it had provided so that people could retain Internet access until they found a way to eradicate DNSChanger from their systems, those Fortune 500 companies – and anyone else whose computer remains infected – will lose that access completely.
Back in November 2011, the FBI began warning people about the DNSChanger malware that allowed Estonian-based hackers to gain control of people's computers and redirect close to 600,000 unsuspecting victims to websites with bogus software or money-making advertisements. Two “symptoms” of the malware include a sluggish Web browser and an inability to update, activate or install security software.
The FBI used government servers to help people with infected computers retain Internet access; however, the FBI never intended for this to be a permanent solution. It was a temporary fix that will expire on Jul. 9. Anyone who hasn’t rid his computer of the DNS Changer malware by then will no longer have access to the Internet.
On its website, the FBI warns, “It is important to note that the replacement servers will not remove the DNSChanger malware — or other viruses it may have facilitated — from infected computers. Users who believe their computers may be infected should contact a computer professional. And the FBI’s Office for Victim Assistance will provide case updates periodically at 877-236-8947.”
According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer online, “Facebook and Google are sending notices to users who browse their sites from DNSChanger-infected computers; however, even if you haven’t been notified of an infection, you shouldn’t breathe a sigh of relief and consider yourself free and clear.”
If you don’t know whether or not your computer has been infected with this virus but would like to find out, you can do so on the FBI’s security partner’s website DCWG.org.
Small- and medium-business owners who know that their computers are infected but don’t have on-staff IT professionals and don’t know how to remove the malware themselves might want to consult a local managed IT services provider for advice.
There’s no more time to waste; the deadline for the FBI to shut down its temporary servers is a mere three days away.
COMPUTER SUPPORT Tips from the Waterford Computer Pro –
3 Good Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 7.
Windows 7 has been out since October 2009, and many users still working with Vista or XP continue to hold out, wondering… “is it safe to upgrade to Windows 7 now?” After all, only about 19% of XP users made the switch to Vista, and the vast majority agrees… it was a step in the wrong direction.
Well, I’m happy to report that Windows 7 definitely shows some solid improvements over its predecessors. When providing computer support in Michigan, I have been upgrading my clients regularly now, and the majority of the users are quite happy with the new improvements.
- The driver support is greatly improved over the earlier versions of Vista, which had so many users frustrated and sometimes downright angry that they simply couldn’t get their older (but not necessarily old) products to work.
This problem has been addressed in the new version of Windows and many more products are compatible and can be easily installed.
- Security is always a great concern. I know when I provide computer support in Waterford, Michigan, my clients regularly make it clear that security is of primary importance. The security in Windows 7 has been greatly improved over earlier versions and now includes UAC (User Access Control), DEP (data execution prevention), ASLR (address space layout randomization) as well as improved operating system kernel protection. Plus, the Ultimate version includes BitLocker and BitLocker-to-Go encryption, which protects your files from loss to hackers or theft.
- Keep up with technology. Now that we know that Windows 7 is a solid and widely accepted new Operating System, we can be sure that support for the older versions of Windows will disappear soon enough. I always make sure that for my clients of IT support in Michigan keep up to date, as I know how much my customers like their new toys… and few things are more frustrating than bringing home a new device just to find out it won’t work with your outdated computer.
The biggest deciding factor in upgrading to Windows 7 probably won’t be whether or not you should make the move, but rather should you make the move NOW? And that will be decided by the age of your current computer.
Did you just buy your machine in the last year or so and it came with a version of Vista or XP? Then it might make sense to upgrade to Windows 7 sooner rather than later so that you can take full advantage of all of the new features as soon as possible.
If your computer however is several years old, then you’re probably best off waiting until it’s time to replace your computer completely, where Windows 7 will come preinstalled. As Windows 7 is more powerful than its predecessors, it also requires more powerful hardware to run it properly, and your older computer might not be equipped to handle it.
RCS Technology is a provider of professional computer support in Michigan. If you need IT SUPPORT for your small business, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org