News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon

Daily Archives: August 21, 2019

  • Patch Lady – ransomware attacks

    Posted on August 21st, 2019 at 22:42 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Have you seen the news about all of the small Texas towns hit with ransomware? Bobby Allyn at NPR has a good overview.

    Texas is the latest state to be hit with a cyberattack, with state officials confirming this week that computer systems in 22 municipalities have been infiltrated by hackers demanding a ransom. A mayor of one of those cities said the attackers are asking for $2.5 million to unlock the files.

    Scary, huh!

    So if you are a small business and you use consultants ask them if they use two factor authentication in order to access your resources.  If they say no, tell them to check out Duo.  And it’s free for up to 10 users.

    I had it recommended to me today (and no this isn’t a vendor plug, I’m just pointing out options to small businesses)

    Bottom line have a backup.  Have another one.

  • Patch Lady – How to avoid using RDP in Windows

    Posted on August 21st, 2019 at 09:46 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    An important new article from Susan Bradley in CIO Online:

    BlueKeep and DejaBlue are both potent threats. All of the variants depend on using Remote Desktop Services (commonly abbreviated RDP). Susan Bradley takes you through the steps to avoid or hide RDP, particularly in an enterprise.

    I still recommend that you not install the August Windows patches, which include DejaBlue fixes, specifically because they’re throwing errors like flowers at a wedding. (The May patches for BlueKeep are another story entirely. You should’ve installed those long ago.) But if you have RDP enabled on an internet-facing connection, it’s time to shut it off.

    Those of you connected to corporate servers should follow Susan’s advice and figure out an alternative to public-facing RDP. Those of you with standalone computers can take a couple of simple steps:

    In Vista or Win7, click My Computer and choose Computer. At the top, click System properties. On the left, click Remote Settings. You should be on the Remote tab, and the button under Remote Desktop marked “Don’t allow connections to this computer” should be selected. If it isn’t, click it and click OK.

    In Win10, right-click Start and choose System. On the left, choose Remote Desktop. Make sure the slider to Enable Remote Desktop is set Off.

    I’m not going to guarantee that those simple steps will ward off the Blue Evil Eyes, if and when they appear. But they’ll make breaking your system with the Blues just that much harder.

    If you need to get into your system remotely, there are dozens of alternatives. I use the free Chrome Remote Desktop, but my needs are tiny and I’m not overly concerned about Google snooping me even more. If you want the Tesla version, check out Solarwinds from Dameware. – which is $380 per site.