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LATEST UPDATE: October 28 with updating listing of known HOWDECRYPT e-mail subjects. What is 'ransomware' and what is the HOWDECRYPT infection? Ransomware is an infection (typically known as malware or a crypto-virus) that locks a computer system, encrypts the files on the machine, and demands a payment to criminal elements in order to de-encrypt the files and release the computer. The HOWDECRYPT virus (also known as the how_decrypt virus)...

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In short: YES Microsoft is ending the ability of retailers to sell PC's loaded with Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium and/or Ultimate on October 31, 2014.  However, Microsoft has not yet announced an end-date for Windows 7 Professional on pre-loaded systems.  Due to the failure of Windows 8 to catch fire in the marketplace, many businesses have continued to rely on Windows 7 Pro.  Here at...

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As our clients know, we at ESG have not been fans of Windows 8.  User acceptance of the OS has been luck-warm at best, software issues have plagued the OS since the start, and the learning curve required for the 'metro' interface was not justified in efficiency enhancement.  Microsoft appears to be feeling the same to such a degree that the stigma of Windows 8...

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E-mails that you receive have hidden information included with them that tells the story of how they arrived in your Inbox. This information can be very useful to us. For example, we might ask you to send us the e-mail headers of an e-mail when we need to determine how an e-mail got past the spam filtering or why a particular e-mail was delayed in...

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Phishing attempts are on the rise.  A phishing e-mail is one that is sent to you in the hopes of getting you to open an attachment or click on a link.  That attachment or link actually infects your system or tries to get you to enter login/password information so it can steal data from you.  More details on phishing can be found here and here. We...

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Ransomware is the offshoot of malware in which a hacker crafts a package such that, once deployed to your system, your files become encrypted and you are forced to pay the hacker a 'ransom' in real dollars to decrypt the data. The most widely known variation of ransomware to date has been Cryptolocker. Ransomware made big inroads during 2012 and 2013, but was curtailed in...

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