Tech News

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
Computers, Tech News, Tech Talk

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.
Monitors are in Short Supply
Computers, Tech News, Tech Talk, Technology

Monitors are in Short Supply

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a difficult year. Especially for those of us who work in the information technology field. In late 2019 we were facing a shortage of processors. That was quickly followed by a shortage of desktop computer systems in early 2020 that lasted nearly half the year. That was followed by a shortage of laptops and webcams. And that was just the hardware difficulties. Now that we're finishing out the year, we're faced with another hardware shortage - this time with monitors. If you can get a monitor, it's probably more expensive. There's no doubt about it, we are in the midst of a monitor shortage and it's not going to get any better anytime soon. The most recent round of problems (they say) is due to a strong earthquake in Taiwan and a power o...
You Weren’t Alone – Google Was Down Yesterday
Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk

You Weren’t Alone – Google Was Down Yesterday

If you were having trouble accessing Google services yesterday (Gmail, YouTube, Google Docs, etc.) you weren't alone. Google experienced a widespread outage on December 14, 2020. It has since been reported that the issue was related to an authentication problem. According to Google's Cloud Status page: Google Cloud Platform and Google Workspace experienced a global outage affecting all services which require Google account authentication for a duration of 50 minutes. The root cause was an issue in our automated quota management system which reduced capacity for Google's central identity management system, causing it to return errors globally. As a result, we couldn’t verify that user requests were authenticated and served errors to our users.https://status.cloud.google.com/incid...
Outages Caused Problems in 2020
Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk

Outages Caused Problems in 2020

The internet is a magical place. In fact, it's so magical that I don't think that any of us really understand how it works. Apparently, I'm not alone. Even the big guys have experienced outages throughout the year. Let's look back at some of the biggest outages of 2020. Microsoft Microsoft Azure had a failure on March 3, 2020, that lasted more than six hours. It impacted Microsoft's East US region and was caused by a "malfunction in building automation control caused temperatures in multiple rooms of a data center in the East US region to spike impacting Storage, Compute, Networking and other dependent services." This was followed up by another outage impacting European customers between March 24th and 26th. This "outage" was caused when Microsoft's system were overwhelmed by...
The New Apple M1 Processor Set to Change Everything
Computers, Tech News, Tech Talk, Technology

The New Apple M1 Processor Set to Change Everything

At Apple's event on November 10th, they unveiled the new M1 processor - a chip designed to replace the Intel processors previously used in their desktop and laptop computer products. The new M1 chip is debuting in new versions of the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. The first of these products are set to start arriving today. You can watch the whole video event below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AwdkGKmZ0I&ab_channel=Apple I have some take-aways from the event... First of all, you could tell that Apple was excited. In fact, it almost seemed like they were surprised by the power of their first Apple Silicon processor. These processors are fast, packed with features, and a step above anything else Apple has ever offered. Indeed, it may be one of the most...
How COVID-19 Has Changed the World of Technology
Computers, Internet, Tech News, Tech Talk, Technology

How COVID-19 Has Changed the World of Technology

You can listen to Tech Talk on WTCA AM 1050 and FM 106.1 in Plymouth, Indiana, every Tuesday morning at 8:30 am. Join Bob and Rusty and they discuss the latest technology news and whatever else comes to mind. It's been less than a year since COVID-19 hit the United States and it has left lasting effects on almost everyone. Those of us who work in the information technology fields know how difficult it has been to adjust, innovate, and deploy. In fact, our industry has changed so quickly it has been difficult to come up with solutions that meet the needs of our customers. The biggest change has been how most customers now realize how important technology is to their daily operations. Remote Work Many of our customers, particularly local municipalities, have never given remote ...