Chicago IT Support Blog

Lessons learned from the Target PCI Breach

Posted by Steven Thom on Feb 15, 2014 1:51:31 PM

More information has been trickling out regarding the massive Target PCI breach that took place during the 2013 Christmas shopping season. Forensic researchers first learned that hackers penetrated Target's network by means of a business transaction portal. It appears that Fazio Mechanical Services was the source. Fazio is a Pittsburgh-area nationwide mechanical contractor that services many large retailers. Now more details are emerging about the mechanism hackers used to infect the HVAC contractor. There are serious lessons here that businesses of all sizes need to learn. It's safe to say the face of PCI compliance will forever be changed as a result of the findings.

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Topics: 0day, breach, business continuity, cardholder data environment, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, Chicago PC Support, disclosure, exploit, firefox, firewall, hacker, homeland security, internet, internet explorer, java, Mac, malware, PCI, privacy, security, Security, software, update, virus, vulnerability, zero-day

Defend Against the CryptoLocker Virus

Posted by Steven Thom on Nov 16, 2013 7:39:06 PM

The "CryptoLocker" virus has been making a great deal of noise lately. Though we at Thom Infotech have not personally encountered it, we know others who have. We've written this post to help you to understand and defend against the CryptoLocker virus.

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Topics: 0day, adobe, breach, business continuity, Business Continuity, catastrophic data loss, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, Chicago PC Support, cryptolocker, disaster, disclosure, email, encrypt, encryption, ePHI, exploit, explorer, facebook, firefox, firewall, flash, google, hacker, Hipaa, Hippa, homeland security, infection, internet, internet explorer, java, malware, microsoft, oracle, patch, privacy, security, Security, software, update, UTM, virus, viruses, vulnerability, zero-day

179 Reasons to Upgrade Before January 2014

Posted by Steven Thom on Nov 15, 2013 1:06:06 PM

As of this writing there are roughly four useble business weeks left in the current year.  As 2013 winds down, businesses should consider performing needed upgrades sooner rather than later. At the risk of creating a lengthy blog post I'm planning to provide 179 reasons to upgrade before January 2014.

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Topics: business continuity, Business Continuity, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, Chicago PC Support, exploit, firewall, Healthcare IT, Hipaa, Hippa, homeland security, internet, internet explorer, java, malware, microsoft, patch, Section 179, security, Security, software, update, virus, viruses, vulnerability, zero-day

WordPress now offers automatic updates

Posted by Steven Thom on Oct 31, 2013 6:37:41 PM

There is welcome news for web developers this week as WordPress now offers automatic updates to the uber-popular web development platform. Starting out as a blogging tool, WordPress has morphed into a full website development ecosystem. Like many, this author has embraced WordPress due to its simplicity, flexibility, and easy search engine optimization.

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Topics: 0day, adobe, Apple, breach, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, Chicago PC Support, disclosure, email, exploit, firefox, firewall, flash, hacker, Hipaa, homeland security, internet, internet explorer, java, Mac, malware, microsoft, oracle, privacy, security, Security, software, threat, unpatched, update, virus, viruses, vulnerability, Wordpress, zero-day

Trendjacking threats are a growing concern

Posted by Steven Thom on Aug 9, 2013 5:20:25 PM

I'm sure you've seen this, and I hope you haven't fallen for it. Nevertheless, it must work because the bad guys keep doing it. The term is "Trendjacking", and it refers to spammers and malware authors using current trends to trick you into opening malicious email messages.

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Topics: 0day, adobe, breach, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, Chicago PC Support, email, exploit, facebook, google, hacker, homeland security, internet, internet explorer, java, malware, microsoft, patch, security, Security, trendjacking, update, virus, viruses, vulnerability, zero-day

RescueSMB Backup and Disaster Recovery

Posted by Steven Thom on Mar 18, 2013 11:08:54 AM

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Topics: bcp, business continuity, Business Continuity, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, disaster, Hipaa, homeland security, medical, RescueSMB, Virtualization

Business Continuity Planning

Posted by Steven Thom on Mar 10, 2013 2:29:52 PM

Keeping your business afloat after a disaster

As the owner of a technology consulting firm, I'm occasionally asked to assist with Business Continuity Planning (BCP). As the name implies, BCP is a discipline that attempts to answer the "what if" questions that surround the viability of a business when faced with a disruptive event such as a fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, theft, riot, or any number of contingencies that could interfere with the normal course of business. BCP is meant to plan for such a disruption, giving the business a fighting chance to stay afloat and serve their customers until returning to business-as-usual at some point in the future.

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Topics: bcp, business continuity, Business Continuity, business continuity planning, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, disaster, disaster preparedness, Healthcare IT, Hipaa, homeland security, medical, vulnerability

Oracle closes critical Java vulnerability

Posted by Steven Thom on Mar 5, 2013 7:55:43 AM

Oracle announced today the release of updates for Java versions 5, 6, and 7 to patch a critical java vulnerability actively being exploiting in the wild. The patches were reportedly slated for release in April but the timetable was pushed up in response to a recent report demonstrating the active exploit. This further prolongs the life of Java 6, which was slated for retirement last month but continues to receive updates in the wake of a continual barrage of zero-day exploits.

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Topics: 0day, breach, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, chrome, exploit, explorer, firefox, google, hacker, Healthcare IT, Hipaa, homeland security, internet, internet explorer, java, Mac, malware, microsoft, oracle, patch, security, Security, software, update, virus, viruses, vulnerability, zero-day

Yet Another Java Zero-Day

Posted by Steven Thom on Mar 3, 2013 12:09:38 AM

Researchers at the respected security firm FireEye have discovered yet another Java zero-day attack that leverages previously unknown vulnerabilities with the latest versions of Java (as of this writing Java v1.6 Update 41 and Java v1.7 Update 15) to install malware. This comes on the heels of a discovery of two other holes (as yet unexploited) by the Polish firm Security Explorations this past week.

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Topics: 0day, anti-virus, antivirus, breach, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, chrome, exploit, explorer, firefox, google, hacker, homeland security, internet, internet explorer, java, Mac, malware, oracle, patch, security, Security, software, update, virus, viruses, vulnerability, zero-day

Adobe issues two Flash zero-day patches

Posted by Steven Thom on Feb 8, 2013 6:54:43 AM

Today, a Security Bulletin (APSB13-04) has been posted to address security issues in Adobe Flash Player 11.5.502.146 and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh, Adobe Flash Player 11.2.202.261 and earlier versions for Linux, Adobe Flash Player 11.1.115.36 and earlier versions for Android 4.x, and Adobe Flash Player 11.1.111.31 and earlier versions for Android 3.x and 2.x.

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Topics: 0-day, 0day, adobe, Apple, breach, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, email, espionage, exploit, explorer, firefox, flash, hacker, Healthcare IT, Hipaa, Hippa, homeland security, in the wild, industrial, internet, internet explorer, Mac, malware, medical, microsoft, patch, Safari, security, Security, software, update, virus, viruses, vulnerability, wild, zero-day

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Thom Infotech has been providing quality IT support for the Chicago area and beyond since 2000. We deliver proactive IT services that improve security and reliability. Our flexible pricing plans make it possible for small to medium businesses to leverage enterprise-grade solutions for security and business continuity.

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