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Ransomware Gone Wild~

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a subclass of malware that is characterized by holding device control—and therefore locally stored data—for a ransom, which is typically paid using virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.
WannaCry, perhaps the most well-known single ransomware attack, uses a flaw in Microsoft’s SMB protocol, leaving any unpatched, internet-connected computer vulnerable to attack.

Ransomware is constantly evolving with new variants. Here’s one of the Petya ransomware family. (unfortunate person’s screen below, Doah!).

petya-ransom-note

 

How do I defend against attackers and avoid ransom demands?

95% of ransomware attacks use phishing emails as the attack vector so diligent system patching and daily cyber security practices are very important to protect yourself at home, work or even when mobile.

Steps of defense

Ryan Sommers, manager of threat intelligence and incident response at LogRhythm Labs, recommended the following five steps of defense against ransomware:

1. Preparation: Patch aggressively so vulnerabilities are eliminated and access routes are contained. Protect endpoints with tools that can automatically detect and respond to infections.

2. Detection: Use threat intelligence sources to block or at least alert you to the presence of anomalies in your network traffic. Screen emails for malicious links.

3. Containment: If infected, ensure you have an endpoint protection system that can detect the execution and kill the process. Block and isolate the local host from the network to prevent additional files from being encrypted.

4. Eradication: Replace machines affected by ransomware. You can also clean network locations such as mailboxes or file shares, removing the malicious message. If you chose to clean rather than replace, continue to monitor to prevent the same attack from reemerging.

5. Recovery: Restore from a backup if you have one. Investigate what specific infection vector was used against the system, and how to protect it next time.


 
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VR ~ AR and Hardy Har Har

 

Virtual reality and Augmented reality both are amazing but 👀 perception is where they differ.


VR -Virtual reality

It transports you out of the current space and puts your presence elsewhere.

Here are a few examples: (click the graphic to see more types).

Google CardboardCardboard

Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus – (Compatibility- Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, S7, S7 edge,Note5, S6 edge+, S6, S6 edge).

Gear VR

Gear VR
Oculus Rift, With over 700 VR apps the space is growing daily the Oculus mobile platform transforms your smartphone into a portable VR device that lets you experience anything, anywhere.  Oculus radically redefines digital entertainment. Immerse yourself in games or go inside your favorite movies. Time travel, space travel, or hang out with friends in VR.

AR- Augmented reality
It “augments” our current state of presence.

Augmented reality takes our current reality and adds something to it. Apps like Pokemon Go and SnapChat are examples of AR.  In it’s infancy now but rapidly increasing with the pace of technology.
Check out the video below of Monitorless AR glasses, which would connect to smartphones or PCs via WIFI and replace the screen on those devices to view content and can be used for both Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality functionality thanks to the electro chromic glass featured on the glasses.

 

 

In  2014 Pepsi Max surprise commuters with an ‘unbelievable’ augmented reality experience at a bus shelter on New Oxford Street in London.  A great effect that will only improve over time.

However great an effect it is, it will not make me run out and purchase a Pepsi or a Pepsi Max.

Hardy Har Har
 Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters


 

 
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2016 – “That’s all folks”

It was a thrilling year for technology with all of it’s ups and downs we had a good run and some great progress in the tech sector.  Crowdfunding gone wild! Here were a few Kickstarters for 2016.

Ruggie™ – The World’s Best Alarm Clock

Ra: World’s First Strap Light!

DOTT: The Smart Dog Tag

Enlaps – World 1st unlimited time lapse photography solution

LiquidOff: The Magical, Self-Cleaning, Water Repelling Spray

Immersit – Awesome Motion & Vibration Device Under Your Sofa

So many cool inventions and gadgets in 2016 make Apple’s iPod and iPhone look like childrens toy’s in today’s modern world.  Click here for a list of Apple’s year of ups and downs.

The strive to keep on innovating technology is in the spirit of the human evolution and nothing will stop it now.
Indiegogo also had gadgets a plenty in 2016.

 

But it wasn’t all roses for Kickstarter and Indiegogo and a few projects failed as well as a bunch of web servers.
Let me share some screen shots I saved over the past year of 2016 for those “down” times when web browsing.
So just keep your chin up and keep clicking.

Vince.

 

 

Sans.org


404 papge


404


404 gerber


office 365


google


facebookfail


 

indeigogo


AL


Google


WB


geni


office 365


Pixlr


xerox


ATT


404


 🎉Happy New Year 2017!


 

 
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Apple and Microsoft’s latest for 2016

The tech giants Apple and Microsoft are at it again with some cool hardware and software integrations.

Apple just released 2 versions of the 2016 MacBook Pro with a small second touch screen – called the TouchBar (amazingly similar to the one that came out on the LG V10 smartphone two years ago) shown below- it’s right above the keyboard area. touchbar
It makes certain tasks more convenient if your hands are already on the keyboard, but high end professionals still prefer a mouse. Apple has gotten the closest it has ever been to adding a touch screen without adding a touch screen.
touchbar

** review of the 2016 Apple Macbook Pro

Microsoft has push its technology skills to the far limits of the universe with its Surface Studio and Surface Dial.
Surface Studio is an entirely new device designed for the creative process. Its roomy and adjustable 28-inch Display provides a huge canvas for all kinds of work. Position it upright to sketch, paint, and edit photos, or lay it flat to draw on it like a drafting table, the possibilities are limitless. The minimal and modern design sits perfectly on your well thought out desk, with clean lines and a small footprint.surfacestudio

Interact with Surface Studio in a whole new way using Surface Dial.  This is alien-like technology never seen before.
Press and hold to display a radial menu of tools to do the things you love in applications like Adobe Premiere Pro, Autodesk, Microsoft Office and SOLIDWORKS.
Or, simply place Surface Dial directly on the screen and watch as a color picker or a ruler magically appear.
Haptic feedback provides helpful vibrations through the aluminum body into your fingertips, to help you stay in the moment and feel totally in touch with your work.
surfacedial

 
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Spring Cleaning …….hashtag #springcleaning

Every now and then you have to clean out a drawer or cabinet to make room for the future. Here are some items I came across this week.

IBM Fixed Disk Organizer is a simple menu program for DOS. Using this shell, you will no longer have to repeatedly muddle through DOS commands to get to your commonly accessed applications. You can customize your menu items, and organize them in customizable categories. It also lets you set a password for menu items, and you may customize the screen colors. While there were many, many better menu programs produced for DOS, Fixed Disk Organizer was a standard IBM offering.

IBM PC5 1/4″ Floppy Disks – IBM Personal Computer AT (screenshots below)

ibm-fixed-disk-organizer-100-1
ibm-fixed-disk-organizer-100-2
ibm-fixed-disk-organizer-100-4

 

Sideways Printing software was used to print large spreadsheets in a vertical direction so that all the data would print on the paper rather than wrap around.

20160525_113057Sideways Printing software

 

WordPerfect – During the late 1980’s, WordPerfect was THE standard word processor for DOS based PCs in big business. Under DOS, it competed mostly against Wordstar. WordPerfect for Windows enjoyed some success in the early Windows environments, but was quickly displaced by Microsoft Word for Windows.

20160525_112535Later Windows versions were part of Corel Office, then Microsoft Office. (screenshots below).

5x-dos-57015085390ba61da28451a13992801d-WordPerfect 5.1 - Splash 5x-dos-284f003a59458b87e1d10d24d7405d36-WordPerfect 5.1 - Files 5x-dos-a559929a888425c7cd465e0ce76fc149-WordPerfect 5.1 - Edit

 

The Hercules Graphics Card (HGC) was a computer graphics controller made by Hercules Computer Technology, Inc. that combined IBM’s text-only MDA display standard with a bitmapped graphics mode.

20160525_113212Hercules Graphic Cards – before the days of NVIDIA (Magazine ad below)
hgc1

 

Windows 3.1 ran on top of MS/PC-DOS.  As such, a Windows 3.1 computer may either start Windows automatically when it is turned on or it will start in DOS. If it starts in DOS the user must type “WIN” at the command prompt to start Windows.

20160520_1049453 1/2″ diskettes – Microsoft Windows 3.1 Graphical Environment (screenshots below)

win31logo
doswin31

 

Xtree2 by Executive Systems has been around for several years.  Its popularity is due in large part to the graphic display it offers of the hard disk directory and subdirectory.  Unlike DOS’s “dir” command, Xtree visually distinguishes the directory, subdirectories, subdirectories, sub-subdirectories, etc. so that the user can gain a better perspective of the hundreds of files on their disk.

20160610_113847Xtree 2.0 from 1990. (screen shots below)

xtreedir
xt2sc

 

The very first CD drives on some PC’s and Mac’s had these Disc caddies that the CD was put into first then the caddie was inserted into the drive of the PC.  This was an extra step and a pain in the butt, they did not last long.

20160608_105010CD Trays!

 

“You Got Mail” – If you lived in the United States in the 1990s, you remember these. They started as 3.5-inch floppies and transitioned into CDs. And I’m not exaggerating. I got one just about every single day. You’ve got mail, indeed. Here is a tin can mailer below.
AOL 7.0AOL CD’s mailed to you in a tin can

 

Microsoft MS-Dos User Guide and Reference
20160422_121527MS-DOS Reference Guides (Bibles) were printed on paper back in the day, paper is expensive and shipping them is too so now you have to download the PDF and print it yourself.

 
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Hacking the Hacker

Every day users log into corporate computers when in the office during business hours and even remotely from home, but when someone logs on at 2am and starts running database queries is it legit or a hacker? Maybe it’s your pimple faced database administrator performing after hours maintenance, but maybe it isn’t. Old school perimeter defenses are no longer adequate in the new age of hacking.

But by using User Behavior Analytics we can eliminate this guesswork using these machine learning algorithms to assess the risk in real-time. Is it normal or is it a risk?

Risk = Likelihood x Impact
Likelihood = refers to the probability that the user behavior in question is anomalous. It is determined by behavior modeling algorithms.
Impact = is based on the classification and criticality of the information accessed, and what controls have been imposed on that data.

User Behavior Analytics is transforming security and fraud management because it enables enterprises to detect when legitimate user accounts/identities have been compromised by external attackers or are being abused by insiders for malicious purposes.

Hack the hacker

 
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