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CryptoLocker and CryptoWall Update

Posted: September 12, 2014    

We wanted to provide another update since our last communication regarding the CryptoLocker and CryptoWall malware infection.

This strand of malware is constantly evolving and although the servers have been shut down that handled the encryption for CryptoLocker and the encryption keys released, the latest variants are still causing extensive damage.

Internally, we have developed and successfully tested a preventative measure using our managed services tools to protect against the latest CryptoWall infection. If you have an AssistIT or SimplifyIT agreement, the new protection method has been deployed to your network.

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CryptoLocker and CryptoWall Service Notification

Posted: August 12, 2014    

We wanted to give you an update since our last communication regarding the CryptoLocker and CryptoWall malware infection.

First, it appears that some security researchers were able to break into the main CryptoLocker database and have retrieved the keys to decrypt the files. They have released this information to the public, so people can decrypt their files without paying the ransom. We are investigating to see if this release is safe to use and if it will work. This only applies to the CryptoLocker malware and not the new variant, CryptoWall, which has a stronger encryption method. More information below:

* http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28661463
* http://www.fireeye.com/blog/corporate/2014/08/your-locker-of-information-for-cryptolocker-decryption.html

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CryptoLocker and CryptoWall Service Notification

Posted: August 6, 2014    

We recently reached out to you with a service notification updated about a type of malware called CryptoLocker and a new variant, CryptoWall. This is a crippling infection and has the potential of encrypting all of your files. Over the last 2 weeks, 4 of our customers have been infected with this malware, so we wanted to reach out again and stress the importance of user education in protecting your network.

As a brief summary, CryptoLocker and CryptoWall typically infects through malicious attachments or links in emails that are designed to look legitimate. The emails are altered to look like they are coming from a legitimate company like FedEx, UPS, ADP, etc, and aimed to trick the user, so they click on the attachment or link. Therefore, it’s of the upmost importance to educate your users to not open attachments or click on links in emails they were not expecting. Once infected, the malware will proceed to encrypt files on the infected computer and any network shares that the computer has access to. After the files are encrypted, you will not be able to access them and have 2 options to decrypt. You can either pay the required ransom or restore from back-up. Having a solid back-up solution is also very important, so that if your network does get infected, we are able to restore the files from a good back-up. Depending on when the last good back-up was done, it could result in losing days’ worth of work.

Any anti-virus program you have running will not protect against this malware infection because it requires a user to click on something, which over-writes the protection the anti-virus software provides. User education is the best defense against CrytoLocker or CrptoWall.

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CryptoLocker Update

Posted: July 25, 2014    

Protect yourself from CryptoLocker and CryptoWall Protect yourself from CryptoLocker and CryptoWall

We wanted to take this opportunity to give an update in regards to the CryptoLocker malware that we first notified you of last October. Since our original communications, there have been some concerning evolutions in this genus of malware including variations in its aggressiveness and infection path. The latest variant of this infection goes by the name CryptoWall.

Like CryptoLocker before it, CryptoWall can infect PC’s via targeted email, and proceeds to encrypt files on the infected computer and on any network shares that the computer has access to. It also demands a ransom to decrypt your data and provides a deadline for payment. Unlike CryptoLocker CryptoWall can also infect machines through hijacked web advertisements and through infected downloads, demands ransom be paid in difficult to obtain BitCoin, and the ransom has increased to $500.

At TNSC, we are constantly striving to stay ahead of emerging malware threats, and as such, have already been re-enforcing our existing defenses against CryptoLocker and developing new defenses against CryptoWall. Even if you already had our original CryptoLocker block installed on your network, to get maximum coverage you will need to have us apply the latest defenses we have against the new variants. Applying these defenses through our managed services could create a temporary impact as we fine tune them for your unique environment, however this discomfort is minimal compared to the impact of actual infection.

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The United Way Day of Caring 2014

Posted: July 15, 2014    

The United Way Day of Caring 2014 The United Way Day of Caring 2014

More than a dozen TNSC employees were given the day off from work to volunteer on June 4 for the United Way’s annual Day of Action.
Our team worked hard at weeding, mulching, planting, and weed-wacking at several nonprofit agencies in the Danbury area as well as cleaning and building cots at a men’s homeless shelter. It was a very rewarding and productive day for all involved and once again, TNSC was proud to be a part of such a wonderful community event where we were able to give back and really make a difference.



 

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Just before the Industrial Revolution, the manufacture of goods took place in the homes of workers all over the United States. Workers were paid per unit, and goods were transported every few days to be distributed. Eventually someone realized that they could reduce the per unit cost by having all of those workers commute to a single location, and thus improve productivity. The hourly wage was introduced, and a new model of working was born.

Fast forward several decades, and our economy is increasingly being built on products that are digital, rather than physical. As a result of this, and the ability to securely transmit digital information over the internet anywhere in the world, the tools that employees need to complete their tasks are no longer bound to a physical location. This represents a profound shift in how employment is viewed, just as it did decades ago when things were moving the other direction.

With that shift, a large number of companies, technologies, and solutions have emerged for accommodating businesses who wish to telecommute. Below is an overview of the different models and approaches to this practice, along with some recommendations.

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Entrepreneur of the Year

Posted: January 27, 2014    

DANBURY, CONN. — Jim Kennedy, founder and chief executive officer of The Network Support Company in Danbury, will receive the 2013 Macricostas Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Western Connecticut State University at a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, at the Amber Room Colonnade, 1 Stacey Road in Danbury.

Kennedy, whose pioneering business ventures in computer and information technology services span more than three decades, will be recognized for his entrepreneurial achievements as recipient of the annual WCSU award sponsored by the foundation of Brookfield industrialist and philanthropist Constantine “Deno” Macricostas and his wife Marie. Reservations for the luncheon at a fee of $50 per person may be made by calling the Office of Institutional Advancement at (203) 837-8279 or online at www.wcsu.edu/ia/entrepreneur.


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Top Workplaces 2013

Posted: January 27, 2014    

Growing up in Putnam County, N.Y., James Kennedy lived in a house built in 1719 that seemed to be in a constant state of falling apart.

“My dad worked at IBM, but he was always a do-ityourselfer,” he says. “Every weekend was a project. We would work on the bathroom, for example, to change the linoleum and discover it’s wet under there, that there’s a leaking pipe. So now we’re fixing pipes and replacing rotten floorboards and then there’s electrical work.”

For Kennedy, who’s now 54 and CEO of The Network Support Co. in Danbury, those experiences fostered a sense of self-reliance, persistence and entrepreneurship.

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VIRUS ALERT- CRYPTO LOCKER MALWARE INFECTION -

Posted: October 29, 2013    

TNSC was made aware of a potentially damaging Malware threat called CryptoLocker that is spread primarily through e-mail attachments. CryptoLocker has started targeting businesses actively.

Note: A CryptoLocker Malware infection requires a member of your staff to actively click on an e-mail attachment. The infection will not activate just by opening an e-mail.

Why CryptoLocker is dangerous to your business

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Jim Kennedy, recipient of the Constantine S. Macricostos Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2013 Jim Kennedy, recipient of the Constantine S. Macricostos Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2013

DANBURY -- For local businessman Jim Kennedy the spirit of entrepreneurship means perseverance, faith, a dash of humor and the passion to create something beautiful.

Kennedy, founder of the Network Support Co., was honored Thursday by Western Connecticut State University as the Constantine S. Macricostas Entrepreneur of the Year.

Kennedy started the information technology company in 1996 and today employes 55 people. The firm has quickly become a leading provider of services for organizations in Connecticut and Florida.

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