Whack-A-Hack: Contemplating the Timing of Hacking Notifications

August 31st, 2015 by Jennifer Lough

UntitledGiven the upset around whether or not the UCLA should have notified people of its system breach in October 2014 (as opposed to May 2015 when they decided hackers had accessed patient information after all), the appropriate time for companies to notify customers of a breach is unclear. Notification laws vary  between states, so everything from personal information to reasonable delay is essentially undefined. For example, California (home of the UCLA) requires notification that there was a breach only if data were compromised; however, Michigan does require Read the rest of this entry »


Urgent: Internet Explorer Emergency Update Required

August 24th, 2015 by Jennifer Lough

Micro Visions Emergency PatchContrary to our previous assertion, Internet Explorer hasn’t finished with us yet. According to Microsoft Security Bulletin MS15-093, a memory corruption vulnerability “could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user.” This roughly translates to “your administrative privileges just transferred to Mr. Hacker over at remote location 3.” Corrupt memory allows a hacker to take complete control of a computer with all the privileges of a user (so if you aren’t an administrator, things are slightly less painful for you. Not much, but sometimes beggars can’t be choosers).

While Microsoft Edge, which shipped with Windows 10 in addition to Internet Explorer, doesn’t have this vulnerability, all supported versions of IE (7 to 11) are susceptible to attack and should be updated as soon as possible to prevent breaches. Microsoft considers the update critical and strongly advises immediate update as all Windows operating system versions are affected. On the upside, the only way for the vulnerability to be exploited is the user clicking on the wrong thing, so if you stay away from email attachments you aren’t expecting and all internet browsing, it might be possible to avoid the problem. Not advisable, but possible.

To update, go to the Start menu in Windows, click All Programs, and click Windows Updates. The update will be there and available. Likewise, you can also go directly to Microsoft’s site and download the patch from there.

As always, Micro Visions’ Securelink Managed Services clients do not need to take any action. We have already pushed through the update to your system to prevent this issue.

If you are not a Securelink client and would like to learn more about our proactive managed services, please contact us today.


Outlook Web App Changing to “Outlook on the web.” Exciting Enhancements Announced.

August 19th, 2015 by Pamela Michael

Micro Visions Updates to OWAMicrosoft’s Outlook on the web, formerly called Outlook Web Application or OWA for short, is sporting a new set of sails these days. New features include an improved user interface, new tools for sorting emails, design capabilities to create more engaging emails, improvements to Calendar, mobile browsing enhancements, and a Feedback icon to foster communication and provide a more direct line of communication with the Outlook team.

Members of the First Release program have already received many of the updates, while the rest are scheduled to receive them in September.

For a more comprehensive look at what’s on the way, continue reading or Click Here to be taken to the full article at Office.com which will open in a new window.          Micro Visions, Inc.

Read the rest of this entry »


Distinguishing Common Types of Malware

August 11th, 2015 by Pamela Michael

Malware is short for “malicious software,” and is an umbrella term for any software designed to damage or take partial control over the operation of a computer, mobile device or computer network. Malware includes viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, ransomware, adware, and more.

Surely by now you’ve heard most of these terms and have been warned to protect yourself against them. However, not understanding the differences between these types of malware could make protecting yourself more difficult. Here’s a quick rundown of the most common types of malware and some easy ways to protect yourself from them:

Virus

Probably the most well-known type of malware, a virus is a piece of code that it capable of “infecting” a computer by copying itself from file to file. When these infected files (germs) are shared between computers, Read the rest of this entry »


Saving for a Cloudy Day: Chicago Introduces 9% Cloud Tax

August 6th, 2015 by Jennifer Lough

cloud taxIn another stroke of taxation brilliance the city government of Chicago has imposed a 9% cloud tax (cloud: that mystical connection of multiple servers that allows things like Google Docs and Netflix to work). The city believes the tax, which supposedly is an extension of the Amusement Tax, will bring in around twelve million dollars annually, but nobody else is especially excited about the additional costs, and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are particularly cantankerous. Understandably so.

Many SMBs use cloud-based services, and the increased costs are significant. Chicago-based business owners, like Justin Massa, have concerns about sales, now that their products and services are 9% more expensive for Chicago residents. Although the city is considering exemptions for startups, Read the rest of this entry »