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Notes from the Field: Feb 20, 2014

Comcast has made an offer to buy Time Warner Cable. The deal which was accepted by TWC would combine the numbers one and two cable companies in the United States. Comcast which owns a number of media properties such as NBC and MSNBC has already given marching orders to its lobbyists to get the deal approved. In response, there has been some rather heavy criticism of the deal asking both Congress and the Justice Department not to approve the merger.

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CEBUG February 2014 Notes

I was going to combine some new information since the last CEBUG meeting with my notes from the last CEBUG meeting. However, I decided that the new information was significant enough that it probably should be presented in its own article. Hence, this document only covers what I discussed in the February 2014 CEBUG meeting.

Microsoft News:

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CrytoLocker Still Rages on the Internet

One of the things that I’ve been following the past several months has been the CrytoLocker Trojan. Known in the security community as WORM_CRILOCK. CrytoLocker is ransom ware which when downloaded and installed on a PC, will immediately begin to encrypt files on the infected PC and continue until it has done so to every file.  Once completed, the user gets a message to contact the Trojan author to purchase the unlock key using BitCoin as the payment medium.

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Notes from the Field

The McAfee brand is being phased out by Intel. A couple of years ago, Intel bought McAfee and has been incorporating McAfee into its different products. The McAfee products will be renamed “Intel Security”. Expect to see this change complete by the middle of the year.

Intel Security is going to offer free mobility tools for smartphones and tablets to customers running Android, iOS, and other operating Systems to its customers.

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Laptop Security

I thought I'd pass along these guidelines that I read recently from the Security Awareness email from the SANs Institute: 

1. Make sure your security software has not expired. If it has expired, renew or replace it immediately.

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Needless to say, Some Significant Patches are Needed Now

I thought I'd take a minute to update people on a couple of items that are of interest in the computing community:

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Microsoft Releases Out-of Band Patch

Today Microsoft released an out of band patch which affects all Windows operating systems, but only addresses current supported editions. This security update resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability in the Windows Shell. Specifically, this vulnerability addresses how the Windows Shell processes LNK and PIF files which are found in nearly all Windows operating systems from Windows 1 to Windows 7. Unfortunately, this update only addresses the problem on Windows XP SP3, Vista, and Windows 7.

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Are you going to be able to access the Internet come March 8th?

Most people I know are not avid readers of what goes on in the computer world and certainly even less bother to follow the computer security press and the various reports of new malware that arrive every day now. Following computer security issues as we do, it should come as no surprise that a new Trojan is becoming passé’ to the point where we have to continually remind ourselves that vigilance is vital to protecting computers, the networks they are on, and what is stored on the devices on the Internet.

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Symantec Users Get Busy!

After a hiatus for a while because of health problems, I thought to start the New Year by getting back to keeping everyone up to date on happenings in the computer world. Today, I wanted to bring everyone up to date on things Symantec.

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It’s been some time since I posted something in this column and I thought that with the New Year, this would be a good time to restart posting again. With all the work going on with the website during the past several months, I had some concern about losing valuable information that you would need. Fortunately, there was not a lot of major items to mention.

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