Phishing Scam With Fake Invoices Spreads Across US and UK

A malware called Emotet is spreading through the US and UK, specifically targeting banks and financial sectors according to a report published by Menlo Security. Cybercriminals have implemented a malware campaign that spreads via phishing emails, with the attachment of a malicious Microsoft Word document attachment. The email is made to look official through mention of financial topics such as invoices or banking details in the subject line, attracting victims to click on the file. 

Emotet malware use was on the decline back in December 2019, yet began to pick up momentum again early into the new year as cybercriminals use it for new malicious purposes. 

These targeted attacks are meant to disrupt multiple sectors including media/entertainment, transportation, and food/beverage in locations such as the US, UK, Philippines, Spain, and India. Emotet attacks have largely been focused on the financial services sector, with half of these campaign attacks affecting the US and a quarter affecting the UK. 

After a user clicks to download the infected Word file and presses on “enable editing”, embedded macros are deployed onto the victim’s computer, which then successfully transfers the Emotet malware. Once transferred over to the user’s device, Emotet not only steals sensitive information, but can also facilitate the spread of more malware to other computers that use a shared network.  

Emotet can’t be traced to just one source of administration, since its function as a botnet infects Windows computers globally, which then spreads further through those infected devices. 

As Emotet continues to wreak havoc, business employees should take precautionary measures in avoiding any suspicious emails that arrive in their inbox, as documents or any links attached could very well be infected with malware. Users should be cautious of those emails that ask to “enable macros”. Keeping computer operating systems up-to-date is also an important step to take in order to stay safe.

Microsoft Ends Support for Older Internet Explorer Browsers

Are you running on Internet Explorer? If so, now might be a good time to upgrade to the latest browser. If you’re running on IE 8, 9, or 10, Microsoft wants you to know that they will no longer be supporting the previous versions of the web browser on most Windows computers. In an attempt to phase out of IE and over to their new default browser, Edge, Microsoft will be issuing security updates and bug fixes to IE 11 only.

If you decide to continue using an out-of-date browser, consider yourselves warned. You could be putting yourself at risk for malware and cyber attacks, since Microsoft will no longer push security updates and bug fixes. However, if you are running on Windows Vista, Microsoft will continue to support IE 9.

In this day in age, most of what we do is inter-connected. We can run entire businesses from a single web page, or collaborate with others on cloud-based file storage and sharing sites. By using an out-of-date web browser with known vulnerabilities, you are susceptible to cyber attacks that could be prevented with a single update – and that is what Microsoft is trying to avoid.  So to prevent any mishaps, let the automatic updates do what they’re meant to do.

With that in mind, there is still a continued and very urgent need to have proper security software in place. By ensuring that you have the proper security, new threats can be responded to in a matter of minutes as opposed to handling the fallout of attacks. If you’re lacking proper security software and need to get something in place, Inverselogic can help with that. Visit the ‘Contact Us’ form on our website and we will get in touch with you.

Microsoft first made the announcement to end support for older IE web browsers back in 2014. With the launch of Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft gave users the newest default browser, Edge, which is said to be quite the improvement over Internet Explorer. Interestingly enough, the logo for Edge looks almost exactly like IE’s famous ‘e’ logo.

Microsoft encourages you to upgrade by letting you know the benefits of a newer web browser. “Microsoft recommends customers upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer available in order to experience increased performance, improved security, better backward compatibility, and support for the modern web technologies that power today’s websites and services.” (More Lifecycle Support information here)

Clearing Up The Windows 10 Licensing Confusion

In just a few days, we’ll be coming up on one month until the release of Microsoft’s long awaited Windows 10 operating system. There has been a lot of confusion recently regarding who does and who does not receive Windows 10 for free, and whether or not they’re getting the full license. Microsoft posted a blog on June 20th that provided some information that appeared contradictory to many readers, but later clarified what to expect by posing two simple questions:

  • Do you want to continue as a Windows Insider and keep getting preview builds after July 29th?
  • Or do you want to upgrade your genuine Windows 7 or 8.1 device to Windows 10 and stop being a Windows Insider on July 29th?
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From Windows 10 website.

As a brief overview on Windows Insider Program, anyone who has downloaded the Windows 10 preview has received the BETA version of the operating system. There was a misconception that you received the full license and could use it on any Windows device, but in reality, you have only received the test system. It was advised that it not be downloaded on any primary home or business PC, as the tests could cause crashing and you may lose all of your work. (It was also noted that backups are crucial so you don’t lose any files while testing out Windows 10.) Microsoft Insider Program will continue to run way after the release of Windows 10 on July 29th, as it will be used for beta testing and soliciting end-user feedback.

So if you do want to remain a Windows Insider, you will still be running on the preview version of Windows 10, given that you have a MSA (Microsoft Account) associated to it. Since the beta version expires after a certain point in time, just be sure to continue updating your PC, as Microsoft is set to release future builds with substantial time before the expiration.

If you do not want to remain a Windows Insider and would like to upgrade your Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10, you can do so for free, as long as you download it within one year from July 29th, 2015. However, it must be updated from a genuine Windows 7 or 8.1 operating system, as the license will remain activated. If it isn’t and you do not roll back to your previous OS or purchase a new Windows 10 license, the build will eventually expire.

There was a lot of confusion about this so we hope that this was a plain-English explanation that will help you determine whether or not you are eligible for receiving a full license Windows 10 upgrade.

Are you a Windows Insider? Tell us what you think about the highly anticipated operating software!

Is the iPad Fit for Enterprise?

Tablets have been part of the workplace long before they were popular for personal media consumption. We’ve deployed iPads for clients, but more clients use tablets like Dell Latitudes, Hewlett-Packard’s ElitePads, and Lenovo ThinkPads. Since most iPads are bought for personal use, it is somewhat surprising to see its popularity in the work place. This might be related to the rise of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend in many enterprises.

Image c/o Silicon Angle
Image c/o Silicon Angle

But is there a better way to integrate iPads into the workplace? The reason most of our clients use hardware with a Windows based OS is that they support the many tools and services of the Windows based enterprise. This includes VPN clients, credential managers, Active Directory, and many others. If you want iPads for more than checking emails, taking notes, and browsing online, you might need to develop custom applications. This can take some time, and for most smaller businesses the cost to create these apps may be more than the cost to train employees on how to use Windows based tablets.

c/o CNET.com
c/o CNET.com

Does this mean the iPad is unfit for your enterprise? Not necessarily. It all depends on what you plan to use it for and what industry you are in. The iPad can come in handy in different scenarios like when visiting clients, and some users prefer iOS because they are more familiar with the interface. We’ve actually found the compact iPad mini a better option for our work place. It is more convenient to carry than the full size iPad and more practical for basic needs like internet browsing, email, and note taking. If you are considering tablets for your business, take the time to weigh the importance of factors like Windows compatibility, the cost of custom designed applications, the specs of potential tablet models, the need and ability to expand the tablets, and the preferences of your end user. For more information on hardware solutions or advice on what options best fit your business visit our site.