Browsing Posts in Security

Bob CoppedgeHowdy, folks.  I’ll (Bob Coppedge, that is) will be presenting at the next meeting of the Entrepreneurship Series at the Hudson Library (the series is made possible with a grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation).  The topic will be Cyber Security.

“Bob Coppedge, owner and CEO of Simplex-IT, will discuss how to protect your business by safeguarding your perimeter, critical internal assets, data, remote users, customers, and partners.

Simplex-IT’s Managed Services practices and provides straightforward leadership on many IT issues and provides a wide range of security services to small and medium-sized businesses in the Hudson area and beyond.”

Want to join me?  It’s free, and I think they’ll have cookies.

When:  Monday, March 30, 2015.  6:30-8:30pm (eastern)

Where:  Hudson Library

RSVP (or find details) by clicking here.  If you’d like to attend online, send me an email, and I’ll see what we can do.



IT Security for your business.  It’s a serious topic.  But you’re covered, right?  I mean, you’ve got your anti-virus.  Your firewall is…well, it’s doing what firewalls do.  And you have to enter a password to get into your computer (the proof of which is on your post-it note cleverly concealed on the side of your monitor).

So you’re covered…right?

Let’s see.  What are you doing about:

  • Protecting your backups?
  • Testing your backups?
  • Ransomware
  • Password requirements?
  • BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies?
  • Wi-Fi security?
  • Encryption for devices that leave the building, like laptops and tablets?
  • Users who might share credentials with the best of intentions?
  • Users who like to click on links in emails an on web pages?
  • Users who like to install stuff on their systems because there was a message on their computer telling them to?
  • Procedures to protect data from recently terminated employees?
  • Malware on Mobile devices?

There are a lot of questions here.  Join Bob Coppedge and the rest of Simplex-IT, and we’ll talk about strategies.  Not all companies require every level of security and protection, but management needs to make that judgment call with eyes wide open.

Where: Online or Stow Hampton Inn, 4331 Lakepointe Corporate Dr. off Route 8 at Steels Corners Rd.

When: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 from 11:30am-1:00pm

As a bonus, we will be awarding a door prize of Office 2013 to a lucky attendees. Free food AND free software – how awesome is that!

We remind you, though, seating is limited. To reserve yours, click here, email or call 234.380.1277. Come join the fun!

Hey folks, Brandon here! Something we’ve talked about to for the past year or so is Ransomware, a type of malware designed to encrypt your files causing you to not be able to access them, then demand a monetary ransom to get access to your files again. Every couple of months there seems to be a new wave of these coming out and one seems to have started going out this week……So of course Steve and I decided to download the latest and greatest in Cryptowall and try it out!

So let’s talk about how this new wave of Cryptowall is being distributed and how it works.

Note that this version is using Java to run. When we didn’t have Java installed, the virus couldn’t do anything. Unfortunately, removing Java from all your machines isn’t really a good way to prevent this sort of thing, as it’ll cause new issues. The best thing to do is to keep everything up to date, as companies are constantly releasing security updates.

How it’s being sent

This is being sent to people in an email about new Outlook settings (Subject typically: Important – New Outlook Settings) coming from


The email comes with a URL (different URL each time) that appears to change what it’s doing each time you click it. Sometimes it downloads ‘’ which contains ‘outlook_settings_pdf.exe’ (the virus). Now this is tricky because unless your computer shows file extensions, it just shows as outlook_settings_pdf with a sneaky little Adobe Acrobat icon. Sometimes the site it takes you to loads a blank page. Sometimes it loads what appears to be a…poem? Yeah, a poem. Alaa has actually been reloading the page over and over to make a poem book. We’ll probably put that on Amazon for your Kindle soon.

Bottom line

If you see an out-of-place looking email from anybody, you should probably err on the side of caution. As always, clicking on links if you don’t know where they’re from is typically a bad idea. If there’s anything you’re unsure about, ask your IT support! We in IT would rather you be cautious and secure than click-happy and vulnerable :)

That’s really it. If you want the details of what the virus is doing, keep on reading!

What’s the file doing?

If the outlook_settings_pdf.exe gets run, it will show itself as a process as well as 2 process that *appear* to have randomly generated names. They’re definitely noticeable. Here is resource monitor with the processes (click image to see full-size):

Then it gets to work! It’s using the system Cryptographic Services to start encrypting your precious files to hold for ransom:







(I just realized the bottom task got cut off. But it’s the cryptographic service…)


If you don’t follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, you missed all of these items we thought were interesting.

Crotchety Olde Geek #6: Why mobile apps are free; you’re probably no more careful with your data than Target is:

Wait up, #Google! Now thanks to #Atlas, #Facebook advertisers can follow you everywhere, too. Oh, goody!:

Adorable robot cheerleaders have a ball. Until their eyes are replaced with lasers and they turn on us:

Free Webinar from Simplex-IT! Managing Your Email in Outlook 2013:

Make your cloud safer: How to enable two-factor authentication for the most popular cloud services:

Ok, so a tiny robot learns to fly a real plane. But can it do it to a Kenny Loggins soundtrack?

First chapter of Groups in #Office365:

Simplex-IT’s Sept Lunchinar: Servers in the Cloud – Buying Service vs. Buying Boxes now online:

Threat from within: Disgruntled employees are increasingly e-sabotaging businesses, FBI says:

Best Practices for Windows #Server2003 End-of-Support Migration: Part 3:

Is it *really* such a bad idea to use a password twice?

Office Lens: Free #WindowsPhone App Lets You Capture Notes, Paper Documents, save them in #OneNote:

Home, yes…Kansas, no: #Microsoft Introduces the New #Office365 Home Page:

New Record!! Home Depot breach totals: 56 million credit cards exposed, $62 million in losses:

Microsoft Dumping ‘Office on Demand’ for #Office365 . Is #Azure Remote App coming soon?:

Free Simplex-IT Lunchinar: “When Do You Know Your IT is Obsolete?”

The Art of #SQL Performance Tuning:

#Microsoft To Unveil #Windows9 ‘Technical Preview’ 30 September:

#Apple adds two-step verification for #iCloud (sorta), effective immediately:

#Office365 news round-up:

Best Practices for Windows Server 2003 End-of-Support Migration: Part 2:

Thar’s Gold in them thar old servers! Man buys old servers, accuses Ernst & Young of data breach:

Jeff Buskirk, Simplex-IT tech, featured in National College’s news:

I run Windows…just…Windows: Report: Microsoft Dumping ‘Windows Phone’ and ‘Nokia’ Branding:

Microsoft Boosts OneDrive with 10GB File Uploads, Folder Link Sharing:

Brandon King returns to Simplex-IT after a 3 month hiatus as a Google apprentice:

Seriously, Tim Cook says #Apple *does* care about #iCloud Security. But is that enough? [POLL]:

This is your brain. This is your brain on social media. Any questions?:

How far would your sysadmins go to fix a problem? 60 Sec Security [VIDEO]:

Best Practices for Windows Server 2003 End-of-Support Migration: 

Grasp the Business Value of a Complete SQL Server Health Check:

Free deployment of #Office365 by #Microsoft for new customers with over 150 seats:

#Microsoft is finally beating itself!! Yea!! Windows 8 Use Overtakes #XP Worldwide:

Free training, Windows 9, lunchinars, webinars and ice water.  Simplex-IT’s September eNewsletter is now online:

Faster Cat videos!! Google Ratchets Up Quantum Computing Efforts:

Game of drones: Google readies Project Wing against Amazon’s Prime Air:

There’s been a lot of news about companies whose corporate data was laid open for the taking by hackers.  But I’ll bet most of you have some pretty sensitive information on your mobile phone.

How secure is your information on your phone?  If you’re like most people, the answer is “not terribly.”

State of the Art…in 1908!

The Windows XP computer you bought in late 2001 still seems to work fine. Sure, it takes 15 minutes to fully boot up in the morning, but that’s ok. It gives you time to get a cup of coffee! And your Office 2003 programs are still functional even though they lack the advanced features of more current versions. Why think about upgrading?

If these performance issues aren’t enough to give you pause, consider this. It’s true that, unlike the vehicle sitting in your driveway right now, your IT assets are not going to eventually rust out and fall apart. However, continuing advancements in computer technology will, at some point in time, transform your hardware and software from an asset to a liability, especially in the area of security. And when it comes to keeping your data and your network safe, you don’t really want to be penny wise and pound foolish.

Do you?

Staying current with technology is an ongoing challenge all of us face. More importantly, absent these very clear indicators that upgrades are in order, how do you know when it’s time to upgrade? That’s the question we will attempt to answer at Simplex-IT’s next free Lunchinar: “When Do You Know Your IT is Obsolete?” Whether you’re a business owner or IT pro, you will want to be part of this conversation.

Simplex-IT’s popular monthly Lunchinars are always free, open to all and focused on sharing information. And, as a bonus, we will be awarding a door prize of valuable software (courtesy of our partner, Microsoft). Free food AND free software – how awesome is that?

Where: Stow Hampton Inn, 4331 Lakepointe Corporate Drive, off Route 8 at Steels Corners Road
When: Wednesday, October 15,, 2014 from 11:30am-1:00pm

We remind you, though, seating is limited. To reserve yours email, call 234.380.1277 or go to Come join the fun!

Extra! Extra! Extra!

We will once again be webcasting this LIVE event using Microsoft Lync. It’s free and it’s easy. If you can’t make the lunchinar in person but would like to listen in from the comfort and convenience of your office, contact us at the above numbers and we’ll send the details on how you can connect.

Despite the explosive growth of cloud services in recent years there remain those individuals and companies with deep skepticism around the safety and security of their data when it doesn’t’ reside in their own physical data center. With all the headlines about security breaches at Target, Home Depot and, yes, even the NSA, that mistrust is understandable. And when we talk to clients about cloud services like Microsoft’s Office 365, this is a prime concern that is frequently raised.

Trust is defined by Merriam-Webster as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something” and interestingly it ranks as the 77th most searched term on their website (at least it did today when I looked it up!). So it’s no surprise that companies like Microsoft have a significant challenge when it comes to earning and keeping their clients’ trust. But a recent Office Blog goes a long way in showing the steps they take to accomplish exactly that goal.

To view the entire article go to What Does It Mean To Own Your Data In Office 365? How We Aim To Raise The Bar On Visibility And Control Of Your Organization Data With Office 365.

Alternately, you can simply view the five short embedded videos in the article that will explain:

How Microsoft protects your data at rest
Who has access to your data within Office 365
How Office 365 does continuous compliance
Why trust Office 365? and
What does it mean to own your data in Office 365?

Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world. That fact remains. Stuff happens. But I think you’ll agree after viewing these clips that Microsoft has done its homework. And they continue to work hard to earn your trust. If you haven’t already, maybe it’s time to reconsider how Office 365 can benefit your organization.

Microsoft has announced that Windows Server 2003 will reach its End-of-Life on July 14, 2015. This has important ramifications for those businesses still employing this technology. It means:

  1. No Updates – In 2013 alone there were 37 Critical Updates released for Server 2003. Imagine, if you can, what impact zero updates will have on the security and operation of your infrastructure.
  2. No Compliance – After support ends, continued use of Server 2003 means you will likely fail to meet most industry-wide compliance standard and regulations. Individuals in the health care, financial and legal fields will be particularly affected by this and should be especially concerned.
  3. No Safe Haven – Even virtualized instances of Server 2003 will be unable to pass a compliance audit. Small Business Server 2003 will be similarly affected.
  4. Higher Costs – Steps needed to isolate and protect your 2003 servers will ultimately end up costing you more in the final analysis. Why expose your company to risk and spend more than you have to?

Migrating away from Windows Server 2003 at this time is nothing less than an investment in your organization’s future. And there’s no better time than now to begin the migration process. Here’s what you should do:

Step #1 – Call Simplex-IT! We’ll help you follow a process that will make the transition from Server 2003 as smooth as possible. Together we’ll:

Discover – all the software and workloads running on the server

Assess – and prioritize your applications and workloads based on type, criticality, complexity and risk

Target – a migration destination for each application and workload. Available options include Windows Server 2012, Windows Azure, Cloud OS Network and Office 365. Your choices will be driven by speed, ease of migration, cost and desired functionality

Migrate – Several vendors offer do-it-yourself tools while other migration services are available through Microsoft Partners such as Simplex-IT. We’ll help you choose the one that’s right for you!

Don’t make the mistake of waiting until it’s too late. Take the first step and call Simplex-IT today. Doing so will put you on the shortest path to achieving Vision, Confidence and Strategy in your Business IT!

If you don’t follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook, you missed all of these items we thought were interesting.

15 minute webinar: Busting myths about #Office365 and your small business:

Kim Kardashian Mobile Video Game making $. Suddenly cat videos look like a good use of the internet:

One hoax press release, one $300 million hole in mining company:

Finally! A Motorcycle Helmet to make Iron Man Jealous:

Wanna go get a #WindowsRT tablet? Ah…no you don’t. Not until you read this:

Simplex-IT Announces New “Two-hour Targeted Training” Sessions for Office 2013:

I was annoyed when MS marketed #Surface tablets through just dancing. Now this (safe for work, not sanity):

Still using Windows XP? You’re not alone (neither were other passengers on the Titanic):

Elop on Layoffs: #Microsoft’s Focus Is on Windows Phone:

Wanna migrate to #Office365 but leery of the migration cost (and you have >150 seats)? Wait a couple of months:

Apple and Google told to stop misleading consumers about ‘free’ apps:

Sophos: It’s all about trust! 60 Sec Security [VIDEO]:

Simplex-IT’s 7th Annual Community Appreciation Picnic is Coming! And You’re Invited!

Want to burn a password into your brain (in a good way)?:

The more I read from this guy the more I like him. #Microsoft CEO Nadella to employees: ‘Bold ambition and our core’

Don’t miss our free webinar tomorrow “Charting with #Excel 2013:”

Google’s Android security chief: “Don’t bother with anti-virus.” Quit locking our cars while we’re at it?:

Largest collection of FREE #Microsoft eBooks:

Is #Microsoft getting into the wearable market 4th quarter? The tech isn’t interesting, but the platforms are:

Free Webinar from Simplex-IT Wednesday: “All about #Excel Charts”:


First notes on Microsoft’s Windows 9 or “#Threshold”:


MS announces price hike for #Office365…sorta…for some. Clear as mud:

Simplex-IT Announces 2nd Half 2014 Webinar Schedule:


Some hints on Document collaboration using #Office365:

“Enhancing PowerPoint 2013 Presentations” webinar now online:  Learn what small businesses should know and do for security with computers, software and devices from Bob Coppedge of Simplex-IT.  Our May Lunchinar is now online!