Hello from the Eldest Geek – Ransomeware (sigh) and Apple vs FBI and other matters

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water!
Last email I reported on some notable successes in the fight against ransomware – but alas with TeslaCrypt 3.01 – the nasties have removed the weakness that allowed TeslaCrypt up to v3 to be decoded with some (but not much) effort.
Current versions are back to pretty much unbreakable.
And we are seeing a new series of Ransomware Attacks.
Last week you heard of Maryland’s MedStar Health hospital network being attacked – it was by a variant called Samsam.  And 10 hospitals had to go without access to their networked files. Samsam is VERY effective – and is a multilayer attack. It gets administrative access to the Windows Servers (one good Reason I NEVER USE WINDOW SERVERS lol) through a variety of well known exploits.  Some of them are old, but all too often Windows Admins dont ever update their Servers!  Talos Labs recently discovered some 2 million systems vulnerable just to one server exploit (Jboss) that has been known for quite a while!
And bear in mind – these attacks are VERY frequent.  And you only hear about them VERY rarely.  Most companies will pay up (as one my customers did) and keep quiet because they don’t want THEIR customers knowing what was going on!  The PR hit and the potential legal liability are not something they would want to share!
So folks – BACK UP BACK UP.  And have at least ONE back up NOT ATTACHED TO YOUR MAIN COMPUTER.  Some of the Ransomware attacks will encrypt anything that is visible as a network share – including backup drives!

As you will have heard the FBI claims they no longer need Apple’s help. And they purchased a cracker from a third party.
I don’t believe a WORD of it.  I think it is VASTLY more likely that Apple in fact sent them a bios chip for installation into an iPhone that does not have the 10 try maximum before deleting data.  And that the FBI just attached a key-logger that just kept simulating new password entries until success.  Of course, Apple would have the FBI Claim they ‘purchased’ something from a third party.  Read the PR and Lawsuit points above 🙂
WINDOWS 10 Issues

Still hearing of problems oddly enough with Outlook – and running on the Surface Pro family!  Still sticking with Windows 7 on my laptop folks.

Still have that wonderful 2011 27in Imac needing a home!
Its and I5 with 16gb of ram and a 4 Terabyte Drive!!  TASTY! $1100
Also got in a 2011 15in Macbook Pro – with a spanking new logic board, screen and topcase from Apple.  Looks BEAUTIFUL!.  worth about $900
Have a 2013 21.5in Imac (one of the new SuperThin models). Has a broken screen, but when it gets an owner I’ll replace it and give a 6 month warranty!