Office Document Strategies Blog

Wannacry Ransom Attacks Show Updating Is Necessary

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, May 17, 2017 @ 07:05 AM

While the stories are continuing of the massive number of institutions and major businesses which have been affected world wide by the Wannacry Ransomware attack over the past few days there are a few trends which seem to be coming evident.  

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Topics: IT Scams, network security

Pay Attention To Avoid Ransomware

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Dec 7, 2016 @ 07:12 AM

At the risk of appearing to hammer the topic to death it is time to take another crack at warnings about Ransomware Malware attacks.  

This time of year is potentially even more challenging to IT managers and users alike as everyone is rushing to get things done before the holiday season really locks in.  It means that normal caution can easily be thrown away as people try to clear their email, deal with online activities and perhaps not take that extra two seconds that avoidance can take.

Why now?  Simply because the predators can.  A recent IT World Canada article outlines how late last month Carlton University had over 3000 of their computers affected, some in research labs by an attempted ransom ware attack.  It appears that the IT people got it under control pretty quickly and it was isolated to only a portion of the university network.

It did mean however that thousands of students, faculty and administrators were unable to use the network for a period of time while the details of the attack were sorted through.  Eventually, users were advised they could login to their network but many hours of productive time was lost due to the issues.

Another attack in Calgary saw that university paying out $20,000 to the ransomers.  Again much time and effort was expended to deal with the circumstances.  These are just two of the known instances where Canadian organizations have been impacted by such attacks.

The are for certain many others where users and organizations have not publicized their problems with malware.

 For some reason Canada is reported as being more prepared to send compensation for removing the attack when compared to other jurisdictions.  Why this would be the case is subject to speculation but unfortunately if it gets known in the perpetrators world it could lead to Canadian targets becoming even more frequent.

What do you do?

The first line of defense is the users on the network.  Encouraging everyone to take a little time to investigate whether an email from an unfamiliar source is legit.  If a user is not CERTAIN of the sender then the default response should be to NO OPEN IT.  Either delete it and take the chance someone legit has to try again, or contact IT support to have it checked out.  

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Topics: IT Scams, network security, data security

Ransomware Attacks Come To Hamilton Burlington

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, May 4, 2016 @ 10:05 AM

Sometimes we all get complacent when we hear about cyber attacks on businesses and organizations.  We figure, too bad, it is unfortunate that someone got caught by this nefarious practice but it doesn't happen around here.  Recent events have brought this right to our doors in the Hamilton, Burlington area.

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Topics: data security, network security, IT Scams

Cloud Document Management Fights Crypto Ransomware

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 @ 09:04 AM

One of the most insidious kinds of spam and malware that is currently active around the world is what is known as Cryptoware or Ransomware.  This attack gets users to open a type of malware which starts working on the user's workstation to attack files with extensions from common document type software.  

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Topics: docucapture, IT network, IT Scams, digital filing

2015 Canadian IT Data Breaches Hit Big and Small Firms

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Dec 23, 2015 @ 08:12 AM

When a big IT data breach occurs there is lots of media coverage and we all hear some of the gory details on how serious the impact may be.  Unfortunately, we do not hear as much about the smaller breaches that also occur and that means that many companies do not work as hard as they should to protect their computer networks.  

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Topics: network security, IT Scams, Canadian IT

There Can Be Humour In MFP Toner Piracy

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Sep 2, 2015 @ 09:09 AM

A true story in her own words:  

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Topics: MFP, toner, IT Scams

Domain Registration Scams Abound | IT Owners Beware

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Wed, Jan 14, 2015 @ 08:01 AM

One common IT related scam that often flies under the radar is the domain registration scam.  In this situation a notification gets sent to a registered owner of a website domain address from some official looking email address such as 

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Topics: software tools, spam, IT Scams