Archive for December, 2010

Windows 7 Professional TOP BENEFITS for small and medium business

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Business customers just like you told Microsoft what they were looking for in their PCs. The answer came in loud and clear: performance, ease of use, and security. Designed with these needs in mind, the Windows® 7 Professional operating system delivers a powerful combination of innovation, improved performance, and productivity. Why is Windows 7 Professional right for your business?

1. It’s fast and reliable. Responsive and ready—you can start using your PC quickly with fast startup, shutdown, sleep, and resume from Standby. Further performance improvements lead to fewer interruptions and prompts, as well as faster recovery from problems when they happen.

2. It works with what you have today. Specifically designed with compatibility in mind, Windows 7 Professional works with a broad set of devices and applications. In addition, Windows XP Mode* provides you with the flexibility to run many older Windows XP productivity applications right from the Windows 7 desktop.

3. Helps you find what you need quickly. Find what you need fast with instant search, Jump Lists, and a larger, customizable taskbar with pop-up previews. Type a few letters in the search box, and files, applications, or even menus appear in seconds. Similar types of documents (such as financial records or customer lists) can be grouped into Libraries—making it easy to find them even if they are stored in different folders or on different PCs.

4. Makes the things you do every day easier. Everyday tasks are streamlined and simplified—with commonly used resources put within easy access and clutter minimized on the desktop. Enhancements to the Windows Aero® desktop experience (such as Aero Snap, Aero Peek, and Aero Shake) help you intuitively navigate, arrange, and work with multiple open windows on the desktop.

5. Helps you easily share your files and printers. If you’re a small business without a server, you can easily share documents, printers, and devices across multiple PCs running Windows 7. For businesses with a server, Windows 7 Professional lets you connect PCs quickly and more securely to both your wired and wireless domain networks. This can better help you manage security and the costs of multiple PCs. In addition, with Location-Aware Printing, your documents automatically get sent to the right printer—whether you’re at work or at home.

6. Allows mobile workers to stay productive anywhere. Windows 7 Professional makes mobile computing on the go easier with access to all your mobile settings in one place and greater connection and networking options. Now you can access and share all your work computer programs, files, and network resources—whether you’re at home or on the road. You can even disconnect from the network, work offline, and then have your network files automatically and seamlessly updated with any new changes.

7. Helps you easily restore deleted files or folders. Windows 7 Professional lets you schedule automatic periodic backups to save your data or an entire system image to a network location or a local drive. This helps you quickly restore individual files or folders that get accidentally deleted or even an entire PC in the event of a hard drive failure or the presence of malicious software.

8. Helps you better protect and secure confidential information. Protect your business’s confidential information, such as credit card numbers or employee information, with the Encrypting File System. This provides user-level file and folder encryption, enabling strong data protection and control.

9. Quickly find what you’re looking for. Use Windows Search to find a specific file, program or e-mail in a few seconds.

10. Manage open windows and gain quicker access to all your stuff. Resize and arrange windows simply by dragging their borders to the edge of the screen. Use Pin and Jump Lists to keep the programs and files you use the most right at your fingertips.

11. Offers greater online protection. Help keep your business up and running with Windows Defender offering enhanced protection from Internet threats, spyware, and other forms of malicious software. At the same time, the Windows Internet Explorer® 8 Internet browser helps protect your data and business information by delivering improved protection against security and privacy threats.

12. Helps you solve PC problems quickly. Windows 7 Action Center gives you one place to view, diagnose, and solve common PC problems. Now you can easily access built-in troubleshooters for several different types of problems, such as printing, Internet connections, performance, or power issues.

13. Upgrades are quick and easy. If you start with Windows 7 Home Premium and realize you want the extended business functionality of Windows 7 Professional, it’s a quick and easy process. All you have to do is purchase an upgrade key to unlock the additional features. In just 10 minutes, the whole process is complete. Simply go to the Start menu, under Extras and Upgrades, to begin.

14. Allows you to easily set your PC to presentation mode. When presentation settings are turned on, your mobile PC stays awake—yet system notifications, instant messages (IMs), and other interruptions get turned off so they don’t disrupt your presentation. You can also choose to turn off your screen saver, adjust the volume, and change your desktop background image. Your settings are then automatically saved and applied each time you give a presentation.

15. You’ll experience fewer security prompts and update requests. Stay safer with fewer interuptions.  In Windows 7 Professional, all your updates and alerts are managed under active controls, so you can deal with them on your own time.

Micrsoft releases 40 critical patches this week!

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Microsoft said that two of the new patches were of the highest priority and should be deployed right away to protect against criminal attacks on Windows and Internet Explorer.
Dec 14 (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) issued one of its biggest-ever security fixes on Tuesday, including repairs to its ubiquitous Windows operating system and Internet Explorer browser for flaws that could let hackers take control of a PC. Microsoft said on Tuesday that two of the new patches — software updates that write over glitches — were of the highest priority and should be deployed immediately to protect
users from potential criminal attacks on Windows and Internet Explorer.  The world’s largest software maker said it also repaired other less serious security weaknesses in Windows, along with security problems in its widely used Office software
for PCs and Microsoft Exchange email software.
Altogether, Microsoft released 17 security patches to address 40 problems in its products.
The constant patching of PCs is time consuming for corporate users, who need to test the fixes before they deploy them to make sure they do not cause machines to crash because of
compatibility problems with existing software. (Reporting by Jim Finkle; editing by Andre Grenon)

Google DoubleClick Unknowingly Served Up Malicious Ad

Monday, December 13th, 2010


JavaScript-based drive-by attack automatically infected website visitors with fake antivirus

By Kelly Jackson Higgins
DarkreadingOriginal Article

Major online ad network Google DoubleClick this month inadvertently posted a malicious advertisement on websites that infected users visiting sites running the ad.

This was no typical malvertising campaign attack, says Wayne Huang, CTO and researcher at Armorize, who discovered the threat. The ad automatically installs a rogue antivirus program on the victim’s computer and holds it for ransom until the user purchases software to “fix” it.

“It’s a JavaScript program that tries to exploit multiple vulnerabilities in your browser. It will succeed and then a malicious program is installed without the website or malicious ad tricking you to” install it,” Huang says.

The malicious program includes both a backdoor Trojan and the fake AV. “It’s a real Windows program, and if you try to execute another program, it won’t let you do anything. It tells you your hard disk is failing,” he says.

The malware in question is HDD Plus, which has been mysteriously spreading around the Internet during the past few days, including via msn.com, according to Armorize. “A lot of people were talking about it, but no one said one of the means it was spreading was through DoubleClick,” Huang says.

The attackers used a name similar to the legitimate AdShuffle online ad firm, but with an extra letter “f,” just enough to fool DoubleClick into posting the ad on websites. The ads first appeared around Dec. 4, and DoubleClick had caught and removed the malicious ad, which featured greeting cards as well as other items, by Dec. 8, according to Huang, who says he doesn’t know how many users might have been infected.

The malware targets Internet Explorer, but it also uses exploits that go after PDF plug-in flaws in other types of browsers. Huang says most AV packages should detect the malware now. The attack demonstrates just how easy malvertising attacks can be executed, he says.

“You don’t need to compromise a website, just submit an ad on an exchange,” he says. “It’s as easy as registering a similar domain name as an existing advertiser.”

Jonathan: This is exactly the reason why every computer needs a good anti-virus program installed.  More than that, it illustrates the importance of having all Windows Updates performed along with regular application maintenance.

While no security system is completely hacker-proof, having an updated anti-virus program is at least a line of defense.  The days where you had to visit a “bad” site to get a virus are gone.  Viruses don’t just come from adult sites or sites with questionable content anymore.   At Greyhound, we’ve received similar reports in the past where users were browsing reputable news sites or sites relevant to their business and ended up with viruses on their PCs.

Consider this: the average amount of time it takes to remediate a virus attack is in the neighborhood of 4-6 hours.  It can be less, or more depending on the virus and the severity.  During that time, that employee cannot complete their work.  Also consider the rate of recurrence on many of these viruses.   Compare that productivity loss and repair cost with a regular maintenance cycle.  A little prevention goes a long way.