Adobe out of band patch fixes flash vulnerability (Windows / Mac / Linux)

JohnMHoyt Apple, Computer Security, Linux, Mac, Microsoft, OS X, Secure IT Alert, security, Windows, Windows Server Leave a Comment

Adobe has released an out of band patch that corrects a flaw in Flash player which could permit an attacker to take control of an exploited system.

This is actively being exploited by hackers and we recommend that the patch be applied immediately.

More information about this security issue can be found on Adobe’s security website.

If you require any assistance with this computer security issue or any other for your Greenville based business or your home system, please do not hesitate to call us at 864.990.4748 or use our contact form.

UPDATE: Greenville News Best of the Upstate – Best Computer Service

JohnMHoyt Computer Repair, Computer Service Leave a Comment

Whoops!   Yesterday’s post had an error in the URL for the vote link for “Best Computer Service”.

Here it is again, this time, I hope it is correct: BEST COMPUTER SERVICE VOTE

Thank you to those who notified us that the link was not working in the original post!!!!!

You have our appreciation for taking the time to vote for Homeland Secure IT for the “Best Computer Service” in the Upstate!

– John

Thank you for the Best of the Upstate nomination for BEST COMPUTER SERVICE!

JohnMHoyt Computer Repair, Computer Service, Contests and Promotions, Fun Stuff, Homeland Secure IT Leave a Comment

The Greenville News has a yearly “Best of the Upstate” program where people nominate businesses, organizations and individuals who they feel are the best our area has to offer.

This year, someone (or multiple someones?) nominated us, Homeland Secure IT, in the category of “Best Computer Service”!  I don’t know who this kind stranger was (or kind strangers), but we thank you for putting your faith into our business and for supporting us in this way!

It’s an honor to even be nominated, but if you want to help us further, you could vote for us and who knows, maybe, just maybe, we could win it!?!

The direct link to vote is here:

Vote for Homeland Secure IT, LLC – BEST COMPUTER SERVICE – Upstate SC!

We hope that you actually feel we are the best too!

One other thing – if while you were there, you could vote for my band, Hot As A Pepper, that would be swell, as we have a lot of awesome competition there too!

Vote for Hot As A Pepper – Best Local Band – Upstate, SC

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule, we appreciate you!

– John & Pamela Hoyt, Greg Varner, Wes Ellison, and the members of Hot As A Pepper

EDIT: Apparently – you can vote once per day!   We have been voting for each of our supporters and friends too!

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.