Get ready for a bumpy ride, because here we go again. Reports are coming in of a massive wave of malware laced ads that are hitting mainstream website and infecting people with Cryptolocking viruses just from browsing a website.
You can find the details on Ars Technica here: Big-name sites hit by rash of malicious ads
The key to remember here is that most of these attacks cannot be prevented by your antivirus. They often use exploits found in Flash or Silverlight (two common and far too buggy ways of delivering ads) to bypass protections. The real problem is that you can be infected by a tiny ad on a page that begins playing without any interaction from you. This happens when the ad provider gets compromised and the sites generally have nothing to do with that interaction.
We’ve said this many times, but make sure your backups are current! Whether you are a business or home user, check them and make sure they are running. And yes, this applies to Mac users too, as a new crypto attack on Mac systems was recently uncovered.
As always, if you have questions, contact us and we’ll discuss options with you and how you can protect yourself, including whether it is a good idea to remove Flash and run adblocking software.
There has been some news of late that Microsoft is making some changes in the new year to how it is rolling out Windows 10 for people still on Windows 7 or 8. Reports have indicated that MS will be making the upgrade into a recommended update that will upgrade your system if you have automatic updates set up on your computer, whether you want it or not.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate. MS did some clarification on this and we’d like to clarify our thoughts on that too.
We like Windows 10. A lot. We think it’s one of the best OS releases Microsoft has ever done and that it is actually better than the fantastic Windows 7 (and definitely superior to Windows 8). Despite that, we’ve been recommending to most of our client that there is no rush to upgrade to it. There is a major update (something called Threshold) due later this fall that will change a lot in Windows 10, almost an early Service Pack release, even though MS says they aren’t doing service packs anymore. With this coming down the pipe and the upgrade still free until the middle of 2016, we’ve been telling people to hold off until the upgrade path has stabilized a bit and they are ready to do it.
The news recently has made it seem that Microsoft is going to force this change whether you want it or not. That is a major problem for many corporate or small businesses who run software that isn’t ready to upgrade from Windows 7 yet, or that aren’t ready for the employee learning curve any new OS brings on. So hold on, as you are not going to be forced to do anything against your will.
See this report via ZDNET: Microsoft Clarifies Next Phase of Windows 10 Rollout. Yes, Microsoft is moving the upgrade from being a reserved update to being optional and then recommended. Despite that, you will always have to manually choose to do the upgrade, even if your Windows Update are set to automatically install (as they should be). If by chance you click-through to do it and realize that something doesn’t work after the upgrade, or that you just don’t like it, you have a full month in which you can roll back to your previous install with virtually no issues.
So don’t panic! You can keep the Windows version you prefer. Though…Windows 10 is REALLY good.