Greenville Computer Virus Cleanup and Removal Experts

JohnMHoyt Apple, Business, Computer Repair, Computer Security, Computer Service, Computer Support, Homeland Secure IT, Homeland Secure IT Promotions, Linux, Microsoft, security, Windows, Windows Server Leave a Comment

Greenville Virus Experts Logo

If you see mention of “Greenville Virus Experts”, that’s us!

We have created a new website especially designed to attract the eye of someone who might be experiencing a computer security issue such as a virus, worm, trojan or other malware.  Searching for “Greenville virus cleanup” might result in a person finding the Homeland Secure IT site, but our home page was not designed for that purpose and may be confusing.

The new site is ONLY for virus cleanup and removal.  It might help someone determine if we are the right business for them.

You can find the new site here: http://www.GreenvilleVirusExperts.com

We have a facebook page too, but nothing is posted there – give us a like!

https://www.facebook.com/GreenvilleVirusExperts

As always, if we can help with your computer security issues in the Greenville and Upstate SC area, or any computer service for home or business, please call us!

Upgrade paths for Microsoft Windows 10

JohnMHoyt Microsoft, Technology, Windows Leave a Comment

It was announced recently that the Microsoft Windows 10 release will feature several upgrade paths and licensing options…   Here’s a summary of what was posted on the Microsoft Australia Partner Network site a couple days ago:

The new Microsoft Windows 10 editions are Home, Pro, Enterprise, Education, Mobile, and Mobile Enterprise.

 

Microsoft will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 for qualified Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the first year, and after the first year, upgrades will be paid via boxed product and VL Upgrades.

Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 7 Home Basic and Home Premium devices can be upgraded to Windows 10 Home, and Windows 8/8.1 Pro and Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate devices can be updated to Windows 10 Pro.

If a device is upgraded within the first 12 months after the Windows 10 launch, it will continue to receive Windows 10 updates for free throughout its life. However, this excludes Windows Enterprise and RT devices. You’ll be able to get your free Windows 10 upgrade through Windows Update.

At Ignite 2015, Microsoft stated that it will provide a free Windows Update for Business service to Windows Pro and Windows Enterprise devices. This will provide business users with the most up-to-date security defenses in Windows.

Windows 10 is set to be released this summer, likely by the end of July. Microsoft has already announced that Windows 10 will be the last “version” of its operating system. Following its release, Microsoft will continue to make system improvements over time.

As always, Homeland Secure IT will provide complete computer service, computer repair and computer upgrades to individuals and businesses in the Greenville, SC area. Give us a call if we can assist in any IT support matter, or computer sales. 864-990-4748

PSA: The Annual International Internet Spring Cleaning Day is once again upon us!

JohnMHoyt Android, Apple, Business, Computer Repair, Computer Service, Computer Support, Fun Stuff, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Microsoft, Windows, Windows Server Leave a Comment

Public Service AnnouncementSpring has sprung and with it comes Annual International Internet Spring Cleaning Day!

This year ISPs (Internet Service Providers) around the world are increasing their efforts to keep our networks in tip-top shape so that they perform as fast as possible.

Perhaps you may have missed the stories on the news and the endless emails flying around for the last week or so, I will go over the details here.

In the past, Internet Cleaning Day has taken place during a 24hr period, but due to new techniques, ISPs have managed to compress the process down to only 1 hour which they have conveniently scheduled for 12pm to 1pm in each time zone.

So with that said, on Wednesday (2015-04-01), at noon, before you leave your office for lunch, you should take some precautions to protect your electronics and fine furnishings from the chemicals that are blown through the lines. We have found that simply unplugging the network cable from the back of your computer and placing it into a trashcan with a liner is best, but you can use an empty water bottle or even a coffee cup in a pinch. If using a coffee cup, or bottle though, you may want to put a layer of newspaper or other papers under it in case of any splashes or spills.

While normal analog phone systems are not going to be affected, VoIP systems WILL be… This is often overlooked! You should follow the same procedure if your business is using Voice over IP technology. If you are unsure, it is best to disconnect the cables and place in the same container as your network cables.

If you are using wireless devices, simply turning off the radio or disconnecting from all access points should work, but to be on the safe side, we recommend that you turn it off completely.
Should you require assistance with computer, server, network or even your internet spring cleaning in the Greenville, SC or Upstate, SC area, please call us at 864.990.4748

A Plethora of Patches for Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday – March 2015

JohnMHoyt Business, Computer Security, Computer Service, Computer Support, Microsoft, Secure IT Alert, security, Windows, Windows Server Leave a Comment

FREAK vulnerabilities fixedOn Monday 2015-03-09, Apple released a slew of updates to address security issues, and on the regularly scheduled “Patch Tuesday” 2015-03-10, Microsoft made a rather large bundle of security updates available.

Many security experts did not believe Microsoft would correct the FREAK vulnerability during this batch of patches, however it appears that they did.

It is estimated that the FREAK vulnerability affects hundreds of millions of PCs and it seems that those who apply the patches on their Apple, iOS and Microsoft machines may be secure.

If you question whether your computer or business network is up to date and secure, please seek out proper IT support. Homeland Secure IT would be more than happy to talk with you if you use our CONTACT FORM or call us at 864.990.4748 – we provide IT service, support and complete outsourcing to Greenville and the entire Upstate SC area.

What follows is the Microsoft summary of their patches.

Bulletin ID Bulletin Title and Executive Summary Maximum Severity Rating Restart Affected
& Vulnerability Impact Software
MS15-018 Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (3032359) Critical  Requires restart Microsoft Windows
This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the current user. Customers whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights. Remote Code Execution Internet Explorer
MS15-019 Vulnerability in VBScript Scripting Engine Could Allow Remote Code Execution (3040297) Critical  May require restart Microsoft Windows
This security update resolves a vulnerability in the VBScript scripting engine in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user visits a specially crafted website. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Remote Code Execution
MS15-020 Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows Could Allow Remote Code Execution (3041836) Critical  May require restart Microsoft Windows
This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if an attacker successfully convinces a user to browse to a specially crafted website, open a specially crafted file, or browse to a working directory that contains a specially crafted DLL file. Remote Code Execution
MS15-021 Vulnerabilities in Adobe Font Driver Could Allow Remote Code Execution (3032323) Critical  Requires restart Microsoft Windows
This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted file or website. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Remote Code Execution
MS15-022 Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Could Allow Remote Code Execution (3038999) Critical  May require restart Microsoft Office,
This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Microsoft Office file. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerabilities could run arbitrary code in the context of the current user. Customers whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights. Remote Code Execution Microsoft Server Software
MS15-023 Vulnerabilities in Kernel-Mode Driver Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (3034344) Important  Requires restart Microsoft Windows
This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker logs on to the system and runs a specially crafted application designed to increase privileges. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full administrative rights. Elevation of Privilege
MS15-024 Vulnerability in PNG Processing Could Allow Information Disclosure (3035132) Important  May require restart Microsoft Windows
This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow information disclosure if an attacker convinces a user to visit a website that contains specially crafted PNG images. Information Disclosure
MS15-025 Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (3038680) Important  Requires restart Microsoft Windows
This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker logs on to an affected system and runs a specially crafted application. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could run arbitrary code in the security context of the account of another user who is logged on to the affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts potentially with full user rights. Elevation of Privilege
MS15-026 Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (3040856) Important  Does not require restart Microsoft Exchange
This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege if a user clicks a specially crafted URL that takes them to a targeted Outlook Web App site. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit a specially crafted website. Instead, an attacker would have to convince them to visit the website, typically by getting them to click a link in an instant messenger or email message that takes them to the attacker’s website, and then convince them to click the specially crafted URL. Elevation of Privilege
MS15-027 Vulnerability in NETLOGON Could Allow Spoofing (3002657) Important  Requires restart Microsoft Windows
This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow spoofing if an attacker who is logged onto a domain-joined system runs a specially crafted application that could establish a connection with other domain-joined systems as the impersonated user or system. The attacker must be logged onto a domain-joined system and be able to observe network traffic. Spoofing
MS15-028 Vulnerability in Windows Task Scheduler Could Allow Security Feature Bypass (3030377) Important  Requires restart Microsoft Windows
This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow a user with limited privileges on an affected system to leverage Task Scheduler to execute files that they do not have permissions to run. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could bypass ACL checks and run privileged executables. Security Feature Bypass
MS15-029 Vulnerability in Windows Photo Decoder Component Could Allow Information Disclosure (3035126) Important  May require restart Microsoft Windows
This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow information disclosure if a user browses to a website containing a specially crafted JPEG XR (.JXR) image. This vulnerability would not allow an attacker to execute code or to elevate their user rights directly, but it could be used to obtain information that could be used to try to further compromise the affected system. Information Disclosure
MS15-030 Vulnerability in Remote Desktop Protocol Could Allow Denial of Service (3039976) Important  Requires restart Microsoft Windows
This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow denial of service if an attacker creates multiple Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) sessions that fail to properly free objects in memory. By default, RDP is not enabled on any Windows operating system. Systems that do not have RDP enabled are not at risk. Denial of Service
MS15-031 Vulnerability in Schannel Could Allow Security Feature Bypass (3046049) Important  Requires restart Microsoft Windows
This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that facilitates exploitation of the publicly disclosed FREAK technique, an industry-wide issue that is not specific to Windows operating systems. The vulnerability could allow a man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attacker to force the downgrading of the key length of an RSA key to EXPORT-grade length in a TLS connection. Any Windows system using Schannel to connect to a remote TLS server with an insecure cipher suite is affected. Security Feature Bypass

Don’t FREAK out – Apple has fixed their vulnerabilities

JohnMHoyt Android, Apple, Business, Computer Security, Computer Service, Computer Support, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Microsoft, OS X, Secure IT Alert, security, Windows, Windows Server Leave a Comment

Apple FREAK vulnerabilities fixed There’s a major web encryption flaw that has been documented and widely covered in the media which permits a “man in the middle” type attack to occur from your web browser

How does it work? It allows an attacker to intercept HTTPS traffic between vulnerable clients and servers, and then forces them to use an export-grade cryptography, which can then be decrypted and/or altered.

Who does it affect? Well, end users who are utilizing common browsers such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Google Chrome on Mac OS and Android, Safari on Mac OS and iOS, Blackberry Browser and Opera on Mac OS and Linux.

Fortunately, on Monday 2015-03-09, Apple addressed these issues and patches are available.

iOS 8.2 addresses this in your iPhone and iPad, and you should not hesitate to update.  One word of caution however: If you are using an iPad 2/3 and opt to update from iOS 7x to 8.2 to fix this issue, you may experience extremely poor performance from your older iPad. The trade off is that you will be secure, but you might not enjoy the user experience. Also, you can NOT go backwards from iOS 8x to iOS 7x.

It is reported that ALL versions of Microsoft Windows operating system are vulnerable to FREAK, but no update yet. Expect an “out of band” solution to be released any minute to help the hundreds of millions of PC users to say safe out there.

If you question the security of your PC or your business network and are in the Greenville, or Upstate SC area, please call upon us or use this CONTACT FORM. Computer technical support is what we do! 864.990.4748.

Homeland Secure IT is your Upstate Adobe Reseller

JohnMHoyt Apple, Homeland Secure IT, Mac, Microsoft, OS X, Sales, Windows Leave a Comment

IGreenville SC Registered Adobe Resellerf you or your business needs Adobe Acrobat Pro, Illustrator or Photoshop for one computer, you will likely make an online purchase or buy from a big box store.

However, if you are buying for users, or 100, or even 1000, then you will want to turn to an authorized Adobe reseller.

Homeland Secure IT is your Upstate Adobe Reseller and that allows us to offer your next new computer bundled with the software you want and need, or we can give you a quote on multiple licenses so you can upgrade your whole company.

The Adobe fleet of software and services currently consists of more products than you want to read about here.

We offer sales Adobe, including these popular offerings:

  • Acrobat XI Pro PDF editing suite
  • Creative Cloud (Membership, for teams, Photography Plan)
  • Dreamweaver CC web and mobile app design
  • Illustrator CC vector graphics and illustration suite
  • Photoshop CC image editing and compositing
  • Photoshop Lightroom digital processing and editing

Please use our CONTACT FORM or call us at 864.990.4748 if we can provide you with a quote for Adobe products!

 

Lenovo issues statement to partners concerning Superfish debacle

JohnMHoyt Business, Computer Repair, Computer Sales, Computer Security, Computer Service, Computer Support, Lenovo, Partners, Secure IT Alert, security Leave a Comment

Secure IT Alert Header

Homeland Secure IT Alert

If you have been watching the news or reading about computer security, you probably are already aware of the fact that Lenovo, one of the top computer manufacturers, has included a malicious piece of software called Superfish with new computers.

Being a Lenovo dealer and having sold many of their products, we want to make sure you are aware of it and how to check for it.

LastPass created this tool which will detect the presence of Superfish.  Please visit that site and determine if it is a concern for you. Should you need help with this or any other computer or network security concern in Greenville or the Upstate, please do not hesitate to call us at 864.990.4748 or use our contact form.

I also posted similar information on our sister site, Greenville Virus Experts, that your computer may have come factory equipped with malware just yesterday.

Here’s the official statement from Lenovo, sent out to their partners today:

LENOVO STATEMENT ON SUPERFISH

Dear Valued Partner,As you may have heard, select Lenovo consumer notebooks shipped after September 2014 included Superfish Visual Discovery software as a shopping aid to customers. Superfish is a TrustE certified third-party software vendor, with offices in Palo Alto, CA.

User feedback on the software was not positive and we received some reports of security concerns.

Please note that Lenovo has NOT loaded this software on any ThinkPad notebooks, nor any desktops, tablets, workstations, servers or smartphones. The only impacted models are the following consumer notebook series: Z-series, Y-Series, U-Series, G-Series, S-Series, Flex-Series, Yoga, Miix and E-Series. If you use any of these Lenovo consumer models in your enterprise, please refer to the Customer Support information below.

While this software does not impact the models typically used by businesses, we wanted to let you know that we take user feedback seriously at Lenovo. We know that millions of people rely on our devices every day, and it is our responsibility to deliver quality, reliability, innovation and security to each and every customer. We make every effort to provide a great user experience for our customers.

We recognize that the Superfish software has caused concern. Lenovo has taken steps to address that concern.

 

Superfish has completely disabled server side interactions (since January) on all Lenovo products so that the software is no longer active.
Lenovo has stopped preloading the software and will not preload this software again in the future.
Lenovo has provided instructions for uninstalling this software and will soon provide a software removal patch.

For more information on this, or for instructions on Superfish software removal, please visit http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/product_security/superfish.We appreciate your confidence in Lenovo.

 

Is your business ready for Microsoft Server 2003 End of Support?

JohnMHoyt Business, Computer Sales, Computer Security, Computer Support, Homeland Secure IT, Licensing, Microsoft, Sales, Secure IT Alert, security, Windows, Windows Server Leave a Comment

Windows Server 2003 Support Ends in:

days
4
6
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Windows Server 2003 End of Support

Microsoft has scheduled the End of Support for their Server 2003 product to for July 14th, 2015, after which, there will be no support, no updates, and no patches to help protect your business from security issues.

That’s right, any of your line-of-business systems which are running on Windows 2003 are at risk!

Staying with Windows Server 2003 could result in additional security and maintenance costs, and unexpected downtime. New modern servers running Windows Server 2012 R2 could ultimately reduce your costs and improve security.

Typically, organizations on older hardware and operating systems are interested in improving their capabilities in several key areas including:
  1. Better performance and scalability
  2. Cost-effective storage
  3. Reliable backup and disaster recovery
  4. Simplified IT management
Newer server offerings preloaded with Windows Server 2012 R2 can help you  get there, by offering a number of benefits including:
  1. Latest technology – new hardware is more energy-efficient. Windows Server 2012 R2 is a big step forward in capabilities and features, including virtualization and adds support for cost-effective storage, disaster recovery and remote access.
  2. Full support – new hardware is more secure and includes warranties for available parts and service
  3. More powerful servers – more power means improved processing and throughput for server hardware.
  4. Reduced server footprint – virtualization enables users to get more from each server and eliminate server sprawl.
  5. Simplified management – standards-based management simplifies compute, storage and networking functions.
  6. Pre-installed for simplicity – set-up is faster and easier.

Common Questions:

  1. What is the hurry?
    • End of support for Windows Server 2003 is July 14, 2015, which is a lot sooner than you may think. Having enough lead time is crucial to smooth migration. The risks and the costs increase significantly the longer you wait. Now is the time to get started!
  2. Is upgrading going to be expensive?
    • Actually, in the long term, upgrading will reduce costs. Outdated hardware and software costs more to run and maintain. The latest systems are more energy efficient, so not only will you be able to reduce energy costs, but with Windows Server 2012 R2, you can take advantage of more cost-effective storage and built-in disaster recovery. You’ll also benefit from easier remote access and a consistent user experience.
  3. We don’t have the time or resources to handle a migration project right now, how can we manage?
    • That’s why we’re here. We want to make this easy for your now, before end of support makes things more challenging. Why don’t you let us conduct a free assessment of your IT infrastructure? We can put together a plan that will show you exactly what it would take. Many clients discover that upgrading is more reasonable than they expected and the benefits received far outweigh the risks.

Give us a call at 864-990-4748 or use our CONTACT FORM to start a discussion about how we can migrate your Greenville / Upstate SC business to Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2!

We offer sales of Microsoft software and licensing, as well as servers, and consultation, installation, migration and the support you need to keep your business running smoothly!

Pardon our dust – we’re revamping our website

JohnMHoyt Business, Computer Repair, Computer Sales, Computer Service, Fun Stuff, Homeland Secure IT, John M. Hoyt's Personal Stuff, Sales, Technology Leave a Comment

Website redesign in progressIt’s time for a cool change.  We’re going to spend the next few weeks toying with our website and ways to make it more useful to our clients and to us.

A web based store for some of our most common products may be in the works and an additional website that is specific to one service we offer will also be forthcoming.

When the dust settles, hopefully it will be both functional and easier to navigate.

Why don’t we just do it on a test platform instead of working on our live site? Because with the amount of traffic we receive, we can monitor the effectiveness of changes in real-time.

As always, your input is appreciated, so feel free to shoot us an email, use our CONTACT FORM or even reply to this post.

We’ll still have plenty of time to accomplish all the computer repair, sales and consultation we do, so don’t worry! Call us if you need us.

We offer Greenville computer virus removal and cleanup services

JohnMHoyt Apple, Business, Computer Repair, Computer Security, Computer Service, Homeland Secure IT, Microsoft, security, Windows, Windows Server Leave a Comment

Our number one phone call question is, “Can you remove a virus from my computer?”

The short answer is, “yes”.  The long answer is, “it depends on the severity of the infection.”

While most malware occurrences may be nothing more than annoying, some of them will include a much more sinister payload, one that installs keylogging, or rootkits with complete command and control. The worst of the issues may require a “wipe and reload”, and is much more involved than simply running clean up tools as it could mean locating drivers for specific components, in addition to full backups of the system and then restoring the files after insuring they are clean.

But, back to the short answer… Yes! Give us a call at 864-990-4748 or use our CONTACT FORM and let’s see what we can do for you.

We perform repairs in our Greenville based office, or we can go to your location.  Business and home users are both welcome!