As of January 14, 2020, Microsoft will stop releasing updates and patches for Windows 7.

What does this mean for us?

If you’re using Windows 7 and encounter a problem, Microsoft may not offer support to fix it.

An even bigger issue once Windows 7 enters the End of Life phase is that it won’t be patched for new viruses or security issues.

This will leave your system extremely vulnerable to malware and Trojan horses that could not only compromise your computer, but will also expose your data to hackers.

What can we do?

We strongly advise you to purchase a new machine with Windows 10 already installed. Moving your files to a new PC is easy with the use of an external hard drive or large thumb drive.

Do we have to get new computers? Why can’t we upgrade our current systems?

Even if your current system meets the requirements for a Windows 10 upgrade, it won’t function well. (ie: slower speed, crashes, etc.)

Our team will be happy to assist you in upgrading to a new Windows 10 equipped operating system. Make the switch sooner rather than later for a seamless transition.
Email: sandy@brashconcepts.com

Fear is a fantastic way to spread malware, which is why hackers around the world are using the fear of a flu pandemic as a hook to install a nasty strain of ransomware.

Researchers at MyOnlineSecurity have detected a cunning email campaign which spoofs the Centers for Disease Control and bears headlines warning of a Flu Pandemic.

The message is short and to the point, explaining that a flu pandemic has been detected and urges recipients to read the attached document for further instructions to protect their families and help keep it from spreading.  The instructions also helpfully include the note that in order to view the document properly you’ll need to click the ‘Enable Editing’ button.

The attachment bears the name “Flu Pandemic Warning,” which reinforces the message itself. It’s an excellent choice from the perspective of the hackers, because they know that a relatively high percentage of those who receive this message from what appears to be a trusted agency will open it.

Unfortunately, the moment they open the file and click to enable editing, they doom themselves.  The word document is poisoned and contains scripts that will install the GrandCrab v5.2 ransomware on the victim’s machine, which will promptly lock their files and demand a hefty payment.

While this is a nasty and especially effective campaign, it’s not the only one that the creators of Grand Crab are engaged in.  Recently, the Chinese government issued their own alert, stating that beginning on March 11, various government departments were bombarded with phishing-style emails intent on installing ransomware on their servers.

All that to say, vigilance is more important now than ever.  There’s no telling how long this campaign will run, or what may come after it, but one thing you can be sure of.  They’re not going to stop.

Faceless hooded anonymous computer hacker with programming code from monitor, dark web concept

The “Dark Web” or “Deep Web” is a part of the World Wide Web we know and love that is ONLY accessible via a special software. This software allows users and website operators to remain completely anonymous and untraceable. That’s why it’s the playground for hackers and cybercriminals.

Because hacking IS a for-profit business, there are criminal entities who steal, combine and sell personal information on the Dark Web. Passwords, social security numbers, bank account information and credit cards are all at risk. There is a VERY HIGH probability YOUR information is being sold on the Dark Web – so how do you know?

Call us or email for a free Dark Web scan for your organization. You can also have us monitor the Dark Web for you. When the login credentials for someone on your team are “for sale,” we can notify you so you can immediately change your password and avoid a breach. Also, be careful going to various sites OFFERING a free Dark Web scan. Many are scams designed to get your e-mail and potentially verify that your password is correct, where it’s active, etc.

Cybercrime is at an all-time high, and hackers are setting their sights on small and medium businesses who are “low hanging fruit.” Don’t be their next victim! Click here to download this free report that reveals the most common ways that hackers get in and how to protect yourself today.