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Ransomware Attacks Shift to Mid-Sized Targets
Computers, Tech News, Tech Talk

Ransomware Attacks Shift to Mid-Sized Targets

The latest Coveware research has been posted with some startling trends in ransomware attacks for the third quarter of 2021. There were numerous takeaways collected from the data and many of them paint a dangerous picture of things to come. As the government begins a serious crackdown on attacks against large corporations, the focus of attackers has shifted to smaller and mid-sized targets. The government's reaction has been attributed to the massive Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. The focus towards smaller targets can be seen in the median ransomware payment of $71,674, which is a 52.2% increase since the second quarter of this year. The average ransomware payment of $139,739 is essentially unchanged. This is attributed to a smaller number of larger ransomware payments, but a...
Music and the Mac
Computers, Tech News, Tech Talk

Music and the Mac

The latest Apple event was clearly focused on two things - music and the Mac. In fact, that's exactly what Apple's Tim Cook said right from the get-go. It was also quite nostalgic to hear a traditional Mac startup sound mixed in at the beginning. Audio Stuff Apple has created a new Apple Music subscription called Voice Plan for $4.99/month. This will be the cheapest plan available to access Apple's music library.New colors for the Home Pod Mini in yellow, orange, and blue, priced at $99. All of the colors look fantastic.The third generation of AirPods is being released with spatial audio for $179. Lots of new features in these AirPods. MacBook Pro Apple is calling the new MacBook Pro a "beast of a machine" with an impressive set of specs and features. MacBook Pro has th...
Facebook Down! Facebook Down!
Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk

Facebook Down! Facebook Down!

Users around the world probably noticed the massive Facebook outage on Monday, October 4, 2021. If you're a regular user of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, or Oculus, then you were probably affected. There were many rumors circulating around the Internet as to what was causing the problem. Everything from an expired domain to a hacker attack was blamed for the outage, but ultimately, indications were pointing to a DNS error due to improper BGP routing. What are DNS and BGP? DNS is short for Domain Name System (or Domain Name Server) and is the method by which domains (like facebook.com) are translated into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. DNS basically works like a directory, pointing domain names to the IP addresses of servers on the Internet. When DNS fails, traf...
Apple Event Highlights from September 14, 2021
Tech News

Apple Event Highlights from September 14, 2021

Apple CEO Tim Cook presented the Apple Keynote on September 14, 2021. Like all Apple event openings, this one was dramatic and well-executed. This is just a brief overview of some of the things I took note of during the keynote. iPad The new iPad has a more powerful A13 Bionic chip. Apple says it's 3x faster than the closest Chromebook and 6x faster than the closest Android tablet. The new iPad has a better 12-megapixel camera with a wide 122-degree view and will get iPad Pro's Center Stage. The new iPad will ship with iPadOS 15. The new iPad starts at $329 with 64GB of storage (double the amount from the previous model). iPad mini Apple is giving the iPad mini an all-new design with a liquid retina display. It will come in several new colors: purple, pink, starlight, and ...
Apple Security Updates and Event Announcements
Tech News, Tech Talk

Apple Security Updates and Event Announcements

On Monday, September 13, 2021, Apple issued an urgent update for its devices to fix two security vulnerabilities. The patch fixed two issues. The first was CoreGraphics, in which a PDF could execute malicious code on a device. The second problem was with WebKit, which could lead to malicious code on a website exploiting a device. Apple admits that both problems have been actively exploited. Both of these problems do not require any interaction from the user, which is a serious vulnerability (also known as a zero-click attack). Apple has recommended that everyone update their devices immediately to fix the vulnerability. In response, the company has issued iOS 14.8, macOS Big Sur 11.6, and watchOS 7.6.2. Apple Event Announcements Following on the heels of the unexpected securi...
White House Urges Companies to Take Steps Against Ransomware Attacks
Computers, Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk

White House Urges Companies to Take Steps Against Ransomware Attacks

As previously stated on this blog, ransomware attacks are up 485% year-over-year according to an industry report. In just the last few months, several high-profile ransomware attacks have impacted corporations, sending shockwaves that have not only impacted large corporations but individuals and their personal wallets. The White House penned an open letter urging private companies of all sizes to take ransomware more seriously. The letter outlines several steps that companies need to take in order to secure themselves against a ransomware attack: Implement best practices to help prevent and stop the spread of cybersecurity threats.Backup data, system images, and configurations. Regularly test backup systems and keep backups offline.Update and patch systems promptly.Develop and t...
Ransomware Attacks Up 485%
Computers, Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk

Ransomware Attacks Up 485%

According to the most recent Bitdefender 2020 Consumer Threat Landscape Report, ransomware attacks were up 485% in 2020 compared to 2019. And there's no indication that 2021 will see a reduction in attacks. That's a number that should shock most business owners into taking immediate action. Indeed, Apheus is actively warning all of our customers to do something - take action to defend your business against these types of cyberattacks. A ransomware attack can cripple a business. This past weekend, a major pipeline company called Colonial Pipeline was struck by a ransomware attack that effectively shut down the delivery of fuel to the northeast portion of the United States. While there were some immediate ramifications, there will be long-term effects as well. This attack is being ca...
What Are NFTs?
Computers, Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk

What Are NFTs?

So here's something new that my intern alerted me to last week: NFTs. Now you may be asking yourself (just like I did), what are NFTs? NFT stands for non-fungible tokens, which in itself, still doesn't quite answer our question. According to Forbes, an NFT is "a digital asset that represents real-world objects like art, music, in-game items and videos." So again, what does that mean? Basically, you have a digital asset such as a cat GIF. You purchase that GIF from the creator for say, $100,000, usually in cryptocurrency. You now own that asset. But you may be asking yourself one of several questions: Why buy it?Why does it cost so much?If it's already spread across the internet, how do you own it?What's the point?! I'm still struggling with understanding this whole NFT thing....
Critical Bug Can Corrupt a Windows 10 Hard Drive with Little to No Effort
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Critical Bug Can Corrupt a Windows 10 Hard Drive with Little to No Effort

The tech website BleepingComputer recently published an article discussing a strange and dangerous zero-day vulnerability in Windows 10. The problem is extremely critical and simple, according to the article: In multiple tests by BleepingComputer, this one-liner can be delivered hidden inside a Windows shortcut file, a ZIP archive, batch files, or various other vectors to trigger hard drive errors that corrupt the filesystem index instantly.https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/windows-10-bug-corrupts-your-hard-drive-on-seeing-this-files-icon/ This super-harmful exploit is so simple that almost anyone following the simple instructions outlined in the article and corrupt their NTFS-formatted hard drive without even opening a file. Commonly referr...
The End of Adobe Flash
Computers, Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk, Websites

The End of Adobe Flash

I think everyone can agree that 2020 sucked. However, there was one bright spot on December 31, 2020. It was the end of Adobe Flash. Made popular in the early days of the internet, Flash made moving graphics a mainstay for websites. Movie studio websites and online games took advantage of the software, but it quickly became apparent that Flash had a number of security holes. Constant patching by Adobe couldn't stop the eventual adaptation of HTML 5. Goodbye, old friend.