Is It Malware or a Virus? | Corona, CA

headache over computer problems

In a world where it seems everything is getting hacked, it is easy to panic when something goes wrong with your computer equipment. The slightest glitch or stall and we are thinking the worst. And when we think of the worst thing that can happen to this equipment, we will generally think about computer viruses. Yes, the evil computer virus is the original enemy of the typical computer user, and in this day and age, it is impossible to not use some type of computer in our daily lives.

Then you hear about malware and a whole new set of questions and concerns come to mind. Let’s break it down – a virus is just one kind of malware, but the actual term is largely used by the public and the only way to protect yourself is to have some type of an anti-virus. The following are various types of malware designed to infect your computer or mobile device:

Adware. Adware is the least dangerous and most profitable malware. It displays ads on your computer.

Spyware. This software spies on you by tracking your internet activity in order to send adware back to your machine.

Worms. A worm replicates itself and destroys data and files on your computer until the drive is completely empty.

Trojan horse. One of the most dangerous malwares, Trojans are designed to discover your financial information and take over your computer’s system resources.

Ransomware. If you see a screen that warns you that you have been locked out of your computer until you pay for your “cybercrimes”, you have ransomware.

Call Up & Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA for help with malware protection at 951-737-8558. Learn more at our website at www.urcs.net.

Up & Running Computer Solutions proudly serve Corona and all surrounding areas.

Secure Your Cyber Fortress | Corona, CA

Data BreachWithin the Department of Homeland Security lies the National Cyber Security Division. Every October they team up with the National Security Alliance to sponsor National Cyber Security Awareness Month, every October to focus on encouraging individuals to be cautious and to use protection while accessing the internet.

Seems every time we blink there is a new story about someone getting hacked or their identity stolen. And since we use the internet to connect with family and friends, to handle business and other services supported by online systems. Technology has prompted advancements in business, healthcare, music, government and many other industries. Unfortunately, as things become easier, they are also more prone to tampering. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep yourself, your assets and personal information safe online. So, in honor of National Cyber Security Month, take a look at your current online presence. If you find you could be too exposed, follow these helpful tips. They can not only help you to stay safe from identity theft and other account tampering, but it can also protect your family and friends:

  • Create strong passwords and keep them private by downloading apps and other resources available to protect your passwords from being stolen
  • Keep operating system, browser and other critical software up-to-date
  • Limit the amount of personal information you share online and use privacy setting to avoid sharing information widely
  • Be very cautious about what you receive or read online – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Call Up & Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA for help with your backup equipment at 951-737-8558. Learn more at our website at www.urcs.net.

Up & Running Computer Solutions proudly serve Corona and all surrounding areas.

Having Computer Problems? You Aren’t Alone | Corona, CA

headache over computer problems

In this day and age, having some type of computer is necessary. Whether it be a desktop, a laptop or a tablet, we all have some way to connect to the information superhighway. Otherwise, kit feels like we are out of touch. Unfortunately, like everything else, that computer will eventually have problems. These problems could be big and complicated or small and simple to fix. It’s especially a problem if you don’t know as much about computers as you would like. The good thing is, if you have little computer knowledge or don’t have the time to learn, a computer repair company can help get you back on your proverbial feet. But while you wait to get your computer looked at, here are five common computer problems and what is going on internally:

Malicious software. Otherwise known as viruses, spyware, adware, etc. Either way you look at it, all versions can harm your computer and attain access to your private information.

Computer won’t turn on. One of the more basic of issues, power issues could be due to a loose cord or a power supply that has gone bad.

Slow computer. All deleted files and applications are still on your computer taking up space and need to be cleaned up. Low hard drive space and not enough RAM can also cause your computer to be slow.

Blue screen of death. This happens when your computer freezes, resulting in a blue screen with an error message. This could be many things – overheating, hard drive failing, or buggy software.

Noisy computer. A fan, or your entire hard drive could be going out. Back up your files immediately so you don’t lose anything in the process.

Call Up & Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA for help with managed IT services at 951-737-8558. Learn more at our website at www.urcs.net.

What Is Cryptolocker? | Corona, CA

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Cryptolocker is a ransomware that’s designed by cyber criminals. This malicious malware attacks operating systems by encrypting all of the files from the machine. According to security researchers there has been an exponential growth in ransomware infections in the last year. Ransomware such as Cryptolocker and newer versions like Locky are now utilizing new methods to attack machines and encrypt their files before their victims have any idea. Tens of thousands of machines have been affected by this ransomware. These victims are either forced to pay a ransom or hope they have backup recent enough that they don’t lose too much data.

To help prevent your machine from being infected I have complied a few tips on how you can avoid this malicious malware.

  • Be sure to update your operating system and security software on a regular basis.
  • Always backup important data and keep it on unconnected storage.
  • Be sure to keep up with the most recent security patches and other fixes.
  • Always keep your anti-virus and internet security up-to-date.
  • Never open any attachments from suspicious email addresses.
  • If you suspect that your machine has been infected make sure to change network passwords and online account passwords immediately.

If your machine does become infected and you don’t have any backup copies of your data, paying the ransom not recommended. Paying the ransom is never a good solution, as this only turns the malware business into a thriving and profitable business.

If suspect that your machine has been infected with Cryptolocker or another type of malware, contact Up & Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA at 951-737-8558 today.

Proudly serving Corona, Riverside, Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Beach, Tustin, and all surrounding areas.

3 World Famous Hackers

Now there are actually two types of hackers. First, you have the type of hackers that are often portrayed by Hollywood as antisocial nerds that are out to rule the online world by breaking into secure networks and screwing things up. Second, you have the type of hackers who just enjoy fiddling around with software source code and hardware.

For those that don’t know, the term “hacker” originally referred to the second type, which didn’t have any malicious implications. However, recently the term is primarily used to describe criminal masterminds. There are both good and bad hackers. These days, harmless hackers are called “white hats”, while the more mischievous hackers are called “black hats”.  I have complied a list of three famous hackers that are termed black hats, and include the following:

Jonathan James- Jonathan James, known as “c0mrade” in the cyber world, was convicted of and sent to prison for hacking the United States government agencies. This all happened while he was a minor.  At the age of just fifteen, James managed to hack into networks, including those belonging to NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense.

James hacked into NASA’s network and downloaded enough source code to learn how the International Space Station operated. The total value of the assets he downloaded equaled nearly 1.7 million. To top it off, NASA had to shut down their network for three weeks while they investigated, which ended up costing them $41,000.

Kevin Mitnick- Kevin Mitnick was deemed the “most wanted” computer hacker in U.S. history. After Mitnick served his time for hacking into Digital Equipment Corporation’s network, he was let out for three years of supervised release. However, near the end of that period he went on a two and a half year hacking spree. This hack spree involved breaching national defense warning systems and stealing corporate secrets.

He was eventually caught and convicted, resulting in a five year prison sentence. After Mitnick served his time, he became a consultant and public speaker for computer security. Mitnick now runs Mitnick Security Consulting, LLC.

Kevin Poulsen- Kevin Poulsen, also known as “Dark Dante”, gained his fame by utilizing his elaborate knowledge in telephone systems. At one point, Poulsen hack into radio station phone lines and fixed himself as a winning caller, which landed him a new Porsche. According to the media at the time he was called the “Hannibal Lecter of computer crime”. Poulsen earned his way onto the FBI’s wanted list when he hacked into the federal system and stole wiretap information. He was captured later in a supermarket and was sentence to 51 months prison time, as well as paying $56,000 in compensation.

Be sure to protect your network from potential hackers. Contact Up and Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA 951-737-8558 to learn how to best protect you and your business from cyber attacks. Or visit www.urcs.net for information regarding the services we offer.

Up and Running Computer Solutions proudly serves Corona, Riverside, Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Beach, Tustin and all surrounding areas.

32 Million Passwords for Twitter Accounts May Have Been Hacked

Woman on Computer

Yet another hack for users of popular social media sites to worry about. LeakedSource, a website with a search engine of leaked login credentials, stated in a blog post that 32 million Twitter login credentials were collected by hackers and are now being sold on the dark web. However, Twitter has stated that their systems have not been breached.

LeakedSource said in their blog post that it received a copy of the user information from “Tessa88@exploit.im”, which happens to be the same alias name used by the person who’s linked to the recent Myspace, LinkedIn and Tumblr data breach. LeakedSource also states that its unlikely Twitter was breached and rather the consumer was. They pointed out that malware may be the culprit.

“The explanation for this is that tens of millions of people have become infected by a malware, and the malware sent every saved username and password from browsers, like Chrome  and Firefox, back to the hackers from all websites including Twitter.” the blog post states. LeakedSource said that it was able to verify the passwords associated with 15 users.

Twitter writes in blog post “We’ve investigated the claims of Twitter @names and passwords available on the “dark web”, and we’re confident the information was not obtained from a hack of Twitters servers.” And goes on to say “The purported Twitter @names and passwords may have been amassed from combining information from other recent breaches, malware on victim machines that are stealing passwords for all sites, or a combination of both. Regardless of origin, we’re acting swiftly to protect your Twitter account.”

As LeakedSource says in their blog post, “The lesson here? It’s not just big companies that can be hacked, users need to be careful too.”

Be sure to protect yourself as much as possible from potential hackers. Contact Up and Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA 951-737-8558 to learn how to best protect you and your family from cyber attacks. Or visit www.urcs.net for information regarding the services we offer here URCS.

Up and Running Computer Solutions proudly serves Corona, Riverside, Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Beach, Tustin and all surrounding areas.

Hacker Gives Away Email Account Information from Major Email Services

Data Breach

Just recently, hundreds of millions of hacked usernames and passwords for major email accounts are being traded in Russia’s crime circle.

There were 272 million stolen accounts, which included a majority of users of Mail.ru, Russia’s most popular email service, and a smaller amount Google, Yahoo and Microsoft users. It’s been said that this is one of the largest known hacks since cyberattack hit U.S. Banks and retailers about two years ago.

This cybercriminal ended up being young Russian hacker, and was mysteriously willing to sell the entire accumulation of stolen legal documents for 50 rubles, which equals less than a one dollar! Included in these stolen accounts were some usernames that appeared to belong to employee’s at large banks, manufactures and retailers in the U.S.

However, Hold Security researching from Milwaukee was able to get the hacker to give up the sensitive information after they agreed to post favorable comments about him in the hacker forum. Hold security has found that cyber threats in forums and chatrooms are what make up the internet’s criminal circle.

The following is a simple breakdown of the major services that were affected by the cyberattack and the number of stolen accounts:

  • Gmail-24 million
  • Microsoft Hotmail- 33 million
  • Yahoo- 40 million
  • Mail.ru ( Russian Popular Email Service)- 57 million

These numbers are astounding, and to think that this hacker was selling the entire cache for less than a dollar is mind blowing. This type of sensitive information is extremely “potent” if it ends up in the hands of a cybercriminal.

Be sure to protect yourself as much as possible from potential hackers, contact Up and Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA 951-737-8558 to learn how to best protect you and your family from cyberattacks. Or visit www.urcs.net for information regarding the services we offer here at Up and Running Computer Solutions.

Up and Running Computer Solutions proudly serves Corona, Riverside, Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Beach, Tustin and all surrounding areas.

Scottrade Data Breach Affects 4.6 Million Accounts | Cyber Security

Data BreachEarlier this month on October 1st, Scottrade announced that they had suffered a data breach affecting 4.6 million of their customers. Federal law enforcements informed Scottrade that they had been investigating the cybersecurity crimes involving theft of information from Scottrade and other finical services.

“Based on our investigation and information provided by federal authorities” Scottrade states in a post on their website “we believe the illegal activity involving our network occurred between late 2013 and early 2014, and targeted client names and street addresses.” The attackers were able to take contact details from the system they hacked into, despite the system having sensitive data such as Social Security numbers, it appeared that the contact information was the focus of the incident.

In the post the company also states “We have no reason to believe that Scottrade’s trading platforms or any client funds were compromised. Client passwords remained fully encrypted at all times and we have not seen any indication of fraudulent activity as a result of this incident.” But despite believing that Social Security numbers were not compromised, Scottrade will being offering those 4.5 million affected customer’s identity protection services.

Scottrade has now secured the intrusion point and has even conducted their own internal data forensics investigation on the incident with assistance from a top computer security firm, while also fully cooperating with authorities. As you can tell the company has since taken the appropriate action to strengthen their network defenses. Click Here to Read Scottrade’s Cyber Security Update.

If you’re interested in staying protected from cybersecurity risks, contact Up & Running Computer Solutions in Corona, CA at 951-737-8558 or visit our website at www.urcs.net for information regarding the services we offer.

Proudly serving Corona, Riverside, Anaheim, Irvine, Newport Beach, Tustin, and all surrounding areas.