FAKE Microsoft / Windows Support Calls

We’ve been seeing an increase in these cold calls from “Microsoft” or “Windows” technicians… Here is one example of what they do to try and trick you into giving them money to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.

This example is a script they upload to make it look like someone is hacking you. We’ll break down the stages of the script for you. These steps don’t actually do anything, they simply show some predetermined text on the screen…

First command clears the command screen, next it changes the text colour then calls a VBS (Visual Basic Script) which does nothing more than make it pause, appearing like its really doing something…

Now it reports that you have 130 Critical System Files… and Protection expired! Non-sense.

Sleep…

Next it tries to trick us into thinking it’s tracing a hacking attempt, “Tracing hacking information by data security department…” FAKE

Sleeps again, pretending to be working…

OMG! Now it says “Your system is being hacked from New York!” and “Hacked by this IP Adress: 184.79.222.48″ – Spelling fail!

More sleeping…

Some message about “Hacking Attempt 23…” and it goes on to say “Virus executed!” Claiming the virus is being launched from “c:Documents and SettingsAll UsersStart MenuProgramsStartup h4x” Well now… That’s just bad…

Snooze…

“Windows Firewall Crashed…” – No it didn’t, liars…
“stopped all processes…” – More lies…
“viruses activated from startup h4x…” – Don’t believe them!

Quick nap….

“100 viruses has been sent by Hacker!” – Grammar and what kind of hacker nickname is Hacker? Pretty lame…

Sleeping again…

“Please renew the software warrenty protection of your computer to fix all the critical and security systems issues!” – More spelling fails…

Last nap…

Last section I disabled for the video as it would shut down the computer with the message “Your computer has committed suicide.”

And that’s it… at that point they’d be trying to sell you service and software to fix all those evil hacking attempts…

Stay informed, don’t fall for the scams! If in doubt hang up and call us!

Win $1000!!!

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Shop Local & WIN $1000 Spending Money

May 7 – June 11

WIN $1000 simply for shopping locally… you will be rewarded a sticker for every $20 spent at any of the participating merchants listed in the link below. Once you have collected 10 stickers on your ballot(s) simply drop it off at any of the merchants or the Chamber office for your chance to WIN $1000 spending money.

Participating Merchants

Heart Bleed Bug

Things you need to know about Heart Bleed

What is heart bleed all about?

Heart bleed is a bug caused by some “not so good code” written by the authors of OpenSSL. The bug allows attackers to gather information that is stored in the servers memory such as usernames, passwords, conversations and more. The worst part is, it’s completly stealth, leaving no signs or traces that an attack has taken place.

Does this affect me?

Probably. The recommended method to limited damage to your accounts is to change your password, but there is a catch-If the site hasn’t updated yet, they are still vulnerable and your new password could be stolen again.

What can you do about it?

Nothing. This is a problem on the server side, so the companies running services such as your banking and web-mail need to update their software, most of the big names have already done this. Please check the companies main website for updated information regarding their patching of this bug. Until you see official word from the companies you might want to avoid online banking and purchases.

Why does anyone use OpenSSL?

OpenSSL is used to encrypt traffic between two computers. Basically this means the information is scrambled gobblygook until it reaches its destination.

If you want even more details please visit Heartbleed.com as they have a great write up that doesn’t require too much technical knowledge to understand.

End of XP Support

Windows XP Support ending April 8th, 2014

There are still a lot of people running Windows XP and most of them are wondering what will happen after April 8th. These are the facts you need to know about the end of support:

  • Windows XP will not suddenly stop working
  • Security updates and patches will no longer be supplied
  • Automatic updates will stop
  • Microsoft Security Essentials will not be offered to XP installs, updates will continue for an unspecified amount of time
  • MSE will continue to work fine on Vista/7/8/8.1

The big issue here is NO MORE SECURITY UPDATES. This means when the evil hackers find holes in the software (XP) there will be no fixes, making XP extremely vulnerable to viruses and malware.

All is not lost, we can help!

Upgrade to a refurbished desktop with Windows 7 and a full year warranty. That’s the same warranty you get on brand new, much more expensive computers but for a fraction of the cost. Click the photo below for more details or contact us directly to talk about your options.

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Getting started with Windows 8

How to get started on Windows 8

Click any image for a larger view.

Windows 8 changes the way we access our programs. We will show you some tips to get started and learn your way around the new interface.

First thing to note is corners. Windows 8 uses the corners of your screen for some basic functions such as Start menu, Charms and switching between open applications & programs.
win8 Desktop Corners

Next we have some changes that I like to make to new Windows 8.1 systems. If you haven’t upgraded to Win8.1 yet please run all your Windows updates then open the Store app to see the upgrade option. I like to have my Desktop show up when I start my PC rather than the Start menu. So this is how you can make those changes yourself.

Right click your taskbar and select properties.
win8 startmenu change 1

Next, select the tab named Navigation along the top of the window that opens.
win8 startmenu change 2

Now you can make the changes, along with some other ones should you choose to. I check the two options, “When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start” & “Show my desktop background on Start.” Showing your desktop background on Start is purely cosmetic, I like the way it blends the desktop and Start, try it out!
win8 startmenu change 3

Lastly, lets learn how to add, remove, change and group things on our Start menu. Once you master this, you’ll love the new start menu and wonder how you ever made out with the old XP/Win7 menus.

First, right click on any blank space on your Start menu, now you should see customize at the bottom of your screen, click it.
edit start menu1

You can now edit the names of your groups.
edit start menu2

Moving the tiles around (could be called icons) is as easy as clicking and draging the tile into the group you want.
edit start menu3

Last thing you should know is how to find all your installed apps and pin them to the tasbar or Start menu.
Show all apps

Right click an icon and choose “Pin to Start” or “Pin to Taskbar” to make it quick to access your favorite apps. You can also search and sort your apps from this window.
Show all apps2

I hope this helps your adjust to Windows 8. It really is a good operation system once you figure your way around it. I will cover other features that I find useful in Windows 8 in future articles. If you found this information helpful please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or any other social medium.