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Ransomware


What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a form of malicious software that, once it’s taken over your computer, denies you access to your data. The attacker demands a ransom from the victim, promising — not always truthfully — to restore access to the data upon payment.

Users are shown instructions for how to pay to get the decryption key. The costs can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, payable to cybercriminals in Bitcoin or other untraceable cryptocurrencies.


How Ransomware works.

There are a number of vectors ransomware can take to access a computer but the most common delivery systems is phishing spam — attachments that come to the victim in an email, masquerading as a file they should trust. Once they’re downloaded and opened, they can take over the victim’s computer, especially if they have built-in social engineering tools that trick users into allowing administrative access.

There are several things the malware might do once it’s taken over the victim’s computer, but by far the most common action is to encrypt some or all of the user’s files.

Once encrypted, the user is presented with a message explaining that their files are now are now inaccessible and will only be decrypted if the victim sends an untraceable Bitcoin payment to the attacker.


How to prevent Ransomware.

There are a number of defensive steps you can take to prevent ransomware infection. These steps are a of course good security practices in general, so following them improves your defenses from all sorts of attacks:

1. Keep your operating system patched and up-to-date, to ensure you have fewer vulnerabilities to exploit.

2. Don’t install software or give it administrative privileges unless you know exactly what it is and what it does.

3. Install antivirus software, which detects malicious programs like ransomware as they arrive.

And, of course

4. Back up your files, frequently and automatically! It won’t stop a malware attack, but it can make the damage much less significant.

Emsisoft Internet Security

Farmville Tired Fingers

If you are anything like me – you like the cuteness and easygoing gaming of farmville but HATE HATE HATE the stupid acceptance thing they make you go through at the beginning of the game where you thank everybody. I’ve never found out if it helps or hinders the game if you skip it so I feel duty bound to click that accept/help button anything from 200-400 times. Repetitive Strain Injury causing so it is.

Getting fed up I wondered if there was an easy way to make the computer click the mouse for me. Not during the game – but just to agree to those 300-400 stupid pop-ups at the beginning; and I found it in the simple piece of software and a little scripting.

The software is available here: AutoHotKey.

1. Click on the download and run the install.

2. When it finishes installing choose Run AutoHotKey
It should say “Your script it running in the Background”
And you will have a small green H showing in the notification area at the bottom right.
(click on the little white up arrow if it doesn’t show up)

3. Right Click on the small green H and choose edit this script. A script shows up in notepad.
Use cut and paste to add the script below in the blue box to the bottom of the script in notepad

4. Save the notepad script and close the window.

5. Right click on the H again and choose reload this script.

6. Now you have a hotkey script that when your farmville starts – you put your cursor on the first button – note the number of messages in the little red envelope and hit Win+Q. The script will ask you how many times to click the mouse and you enter the number of messages. Hit enter and it will do the clicking for you.

#q::
mynum1 = 1
InputBox mynum1, “Mouse Clicker”, “Enter # of Mouse Clicks”
if ( mynum1 < 500 ) AND ( mynum1 > 0 )
{
Loop %mynum1%
{
Click
}
}
return

Fixing Windows 7 exe Links

If you find that you have malware issues that have disabled your running of executables in Windows 7, the following page will walk you though downloading the registry fix.

Don’t click the DOWNLOAD button.

Scroll down until you find the “exe” link and click on that. When the file has downloaded, right click the file and choose Merge. Click OK. Then reboot.

Seven Forums Executable Reg Fix

27in Planar 1080p LCD Monitor $230

Planar 27 inch monitor

Dell Home has 27″ Planar PX2710MW 1080p Widescreen LCD Monitor for $230 with Free Shipping.

(It’s normally $469!)

Use Coupon Code : 0LQ0SW30D3M3LB

Specs:
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Response time: 2ms
Contrast ratio: 1200:1
Image Aspect: 16:9
Viewing Angles: 170 H/160 V
Inputs
1x HDMI , 1x DVI-D , 1x VGA
Buy Here

Kindle Fire – $199

Amazon Kindle Fire

I rarely see technology that truly excites me these days – but Amazon with their Kindle Fire did just that. I’d always liked the Apple iPad but the $600+ price has always put me off – and black and white readers which ONLY allow you to read and have no ability to do anything else seem like a waste of technology.

When HP dumped their touchpad onto the market at $100 I was one of those people who thought “hey for that money I’ll buy it and THEN work out what I can use it for”… regardless of whether there was any new software being written for it. This simply because having the ability to surf the web on something that was portable and easier to read than an iphone just sounded cool.

Unfortunately like 1000′s of others I missed out on that particular opportunity, but I am wondering now if that was actually a lucky break since Amazon now has the Kindle Fire.

At $199 this is double the impulse-buy that the touchpads were being sold at, but with some distinct advantages:

a company that looks like they actively WANT to support this form factor
a mass of media ready for consumption
a size and weight that means you don’t need 2 hands to hold it when you ARE reading
and cloud storage which means that you aren’t restricted by the amount of memory in the device.

I’m now wondering how I can persuade Sarah to let me have one for Christmas!

Technical Details:
7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment
1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.
7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm).
14.6 ounces (413 grams).
8GB storage. That’s enough for 80 apps, plus 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.
Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
Up to 8 hours Battery life – continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off.
Fully charges in approximately 4 hours via included U.S. power adapter.
Also supports charging from your computer via USB.
Wi-Fi Connectivity
USB Port
Audio 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.
Content Formats Supported Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.
More Info

HP PC & 20in WS Monitor Bundle – $429

Office Depot has a deal on for an HP Dual-Core Phenom II PC & 20″ WS Monitor for $429.99 and they still seem to have stock…

HP Phenom II Bundle

Specs:
AMD Phenom II Dual-Core
4 GB PC3-10600 DDR3 memory (expands to 16Gb)
750 GB SATA Hard Drive
Optical: DVD±RW/DVD-RAM/DVD±R Double Layer
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
802.11b/g/n Wireless
6 USB 2.0; 1 Ethernet; 1 DVI-D; 1 VGA 15-pin D-sub
ATI Radeon HD 4200 integrated graphics with up to 1919MB shared memory
peripherals included LCD monitor; keyboard; optical mouse
1-year limited warranty
20 inch Monitor
screen resolution 1600 x 900
Buy Here
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