News

Some say…

Some say there are two great days in a person’s life: the day you were born and the day you discover why. I want to encourage you to seek what you were put on this earth to do. Then pursue it.  – #jermsmit #jermfit

Largest FREE Microsoft eBook Giveaway! 

FREE MICROSOFT EBOOK GIVEAWAY extravaganza!

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/mssmallbiz/2017/07/11/largest-free-microsoft-ebook-giveaway-im-giving-away-millions-of-free-microsoft-ebooks-again-including-windows-10-office-365-office-2016-power-bi-azure-windows-8-1-office-2013-sharepo/

Ubuntu Linux for Windows 10 Released On Windows App Store

We can now get Ubuntu Linux for Windows 10 from the Windows App Store. Hows that for an amazing new feature. Simply open the Windows store and search for “Ubuntu”. I would be remiss if i didn’t mention that Windows Insiders Members get first go at this new application.

Also to note that this is not a full version of the Linux Operating System “Ubuntu”. This application is mainly utilizing terminal via bash with included gui-less utilities such as  ssh, git, apt, etc…

  • Navigate to Control Panel > Program and Features
  • Select Turn Windows features on or off
  • Select Windows Subsystems for Linux and Click OK
  • Reboot

 

 

 

New Phishing Scam Using Microsoft Office 365

*** Attention Required ***

It seems that the bad guys are at it once again with an attempt to collect information by phishing credentials from those of us using Office 365 for corporate emails.  The characteristics of this particular attack the hackers intention is to deceive Office 365 users into providing their login credentials”.

The user sees a fake Office 365 login page, which requests their credentials. Once the Office 365 usernames and passwords have been compromised, the hackers can:

  • Send emails to other users in the victim’s address book, asking them for anything, sending fake invoices, sending more phishing emails, etc.
  • Access the user’s OneDrive account, to download files, install more malware, infect files with malware, etc.
  • Access the users SharePoint account, to download files, install more malware, etc.
  • Steal company intellectual property or other customer information such as customer SSNs, credit card numbers, email addresses, etc.

One of the characteristic of this recent attack is an email being sent with an embedded image which resembles an Microsoft Office Word document containing a link back to a site with a fake Office 365 logon page.  In addition to this the site URL ends in php?userid= syntax.

I have provided the following YouTube video to illustrate the interaction of the fake Office 365 logon page.

Link: https://youtu.be/wHxkzxGF4JY

 

Advice:

It’s an important part of your responsibility to be cautious when accessing emails even from known senders to ensure its legitimate by reviewing the email to ensure that its legitimate.

If in doubt do not open the email and reach out to the sender to ensure they sent you the email.  If you self-determine an email to be suspicious immediately report incidents as soon as they happen.

 

Here are a few guidelines below that could be followed.  Please review:

 

Check the sender.

Sometimes, cybercriminals and hackers will fake (or “spoof”) the sender of an email. If the “from” address doesn’t match the alleged sender of the email, or if it doesn’t make sense in the context of the email, something may be suspicious.

Check for (in)sanity.

Many typical phishing emails are mass-produced by hackers using templates or generic messages. While sophisticated attacks may use more convincing fake emails, scammers looking to hit as many different inboxes as possible may send out large numbers of mismatched and badly written emails. If the email’s content is nonsensical or doesn’t match the subject, something may be suspicious.

Check the salutation.

Many business and commercial emails from legitimate organizations will be addressed to you by name. If an email claims to come from an organization you know but has a generic salutation, something may be suspicious.

Check the links.

A large number of phishing emails try to get victims to click on links to malicious websites in order to steal data or download malware. Always verify that link addresses are spelled correctly, and hover your mouse over a link to check its true destination. Beware of shortened links like http://bit.ly, http://goog.le, and http://tinyurl.com. If an email links to a suspicious website, something may be suspicious.

Don’t let them scare you.

Cyber criminals may use threats or a false sense of urgency to trick you into acting without thinking. If an email threatens you with consequences for not doing something immediately, something may be suspicious.

Don’t open suspicious attachments.

Some phishing emails try to get you to open an attached file. These attachments often contain malware that will infect your device; if you open them, you could be giving hackers access to your data or control of your device. If you get an unexpected or suspicious attachment in an email, something may be suspicious.

Don’t believe names and logos alone.

With the rise in spear phishing, cybercriminals may include real names, logos, and other information in their emails to more convincingly impersonate an individual or group that you trust. Just because an email contains a name or logo you recognize doesn’t mean that it’s trustworthy. If an email misuses logos or names, or contains made-up names, something may be suspicious.

If you still aren’t sure, verify!

If you think a message could be legitimate, but you aren’t sure, try verifying it. Contact the alleged sender separately (e.g., by phone) to ask about the message. If you received an email instructing you to check your account settings or perform some similar action, go to your account page separately to check for notices or settings.

 

 

Darrell’s Flashback Ugly 90s Fashion Show! – #DoubleFML FatDarrellPalooza!

Really cool that I got the honorable mention in this post. Brings back good memories.  

https://doublefml.com/2017/07/11/darrells-flashback-ugly-90s-fashion-show/

‘WannaCry’ Malware Attack

By now many of you have read reports on various news channels, blog posts, etc… This flaw was patched in Microsoft’s March 2017 update cycle (MS17-10).

The ‘WannaCry’ (‘WannaCrypt’, ‘WCRY’) was reported worldwide on May 12th 2017 as a ransomeware worm targeting out-of-date systems.  WannaCry is leveraging vulnerabilities that were previously fixed on systems that have been updated.  Unfortunately many computers in enterprises have not been updated due to delay in deployments of new patches.  This is a common theme for many companies as they apply the IIABDEF (if it ain’t broke don’t ever fix) rule.

Microsoft issued critical security bulletin MS17-010 listing patches for the various affected operating systems.

Here is a following list of hotfixes you may wan ensure you have installed

 

# List Host by OS Version
# KB4012212 – Windows Server 2008
# KB4012217 KB4015551 KB4019216 – Windows Server 2012
# KB4012216 KB4015550 KB4019215 – Windows Server 2012 R2
# KB4013429 KB4019472 KB4015217 KB4015438 KB4016635 – Windows Server 2016

If any or all of these are missing you should apply the MS17-010 fix

What can you do to help prevent the spread of such ?

  • Keep software up-to-date, including operating systems
  • Avoid dangerous web locations
  • Educate users on how detect potential cyberattacks delivered via phishing emails, infected banners, spam emails, social engineering attempts, etc.

 

 

The Ten Immutable Laws Of Security: Version 2

You can’t patch these, but you can take steps to be more aware of these law’s.

 

Law #1: If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it’s not solely your computer anymore.

Law #2: If a bad guy can alter the operating system on your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.

Law #3: If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.

Law #4: If you allow a bad guy to run active content in your website, it’s not your website any more.

Law #5: Weak passwords trump strong security.

Law #6: A computer is only as secure as the administrator is trustworthy.

Law #7: Encrypted data is only as secure as its decryption key.

Law #8: An out-of-date anti-malware scanner is only marginally better than no scanner at all.

Law #9: Absolute anonymity isn’t practically achievable, online or offline.

Law #10: Technology is not a panacea.

 

Ref: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh278941.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

Introducing Power BI Report Server for on-premises Power BI report publishing | SQL Server Reporting Services Team Blog

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlrsteamblog/2017/05/03/introducing-power-bi-report-server-for-on-premises-power-bi-report-publishing/

Maintaining Professionalism At Work

Summary: Few qualities are as key as professionalism. The consummate business professional combines the right attitude, competence, and awareness of image and etiquette. Moreover, professionalism does not stop when you leave the office. Professionals lead by example whether they are at a meeting or a business social event. Upholding business professionalism is fundamental to making others feel comfortable doing business with you.

 

Tips To Maintaining Business Professionalism:

1. Portray A Professional Image – The majority of companies in the U.S. enforce a mandatory dress code; therefore, it is your responsibility to adhere to these requirements, even if it is not discussed during orientation. Although dress codes will vary from organization to organization, most corporate dress codes prohibit shorts or excessively tight clothing.

Always be aware of what is appropriate for the industry and situation. For example, a construction supervisor might meet with a client while wearing jeans and a flannel shirt; however, an entry-level office worker who wears the same clothing would not be considered appropriate. To get an idea of what is acceptable, observe the leaders at your company and follow their example.

2. Embody Professional Qualities ¬- Much like a dress code, standards of business professionalism can vary by industry and company. Nevertheless, the core values of professionalism exist in every industry. Companies are always in search of employees that embody the following qualities: integrity, credibility, pride, promptness, accountability, and competence. Additionally, lauded professionals are excellent communicators who are eager to learn and elevate the work of others.

3. Remember: You Are Always “On” ¬- Never forget that when
you interact with others in and out of the office, you are always on “camera”. Your reactions to challenges, pressure, and stressful situations are always being judged. Regardless of the setting, always consider the consequences of your actions. Remain aware of your behavior even in casual venues, such as holiday parties (especially those involving alcohol) and networking events.

4. The Three Aspects of Professionalism – Numerous variables come together to define “professionalism.” We have distilled the many facets of professionalism into three key areas that you and your team should always reflect on.

Interpersonal Skills – Your interaction with contacts, coworkers, clients, vendors, supervisors, and subordinates sets the tone. Treating these people with respect and consideration is crucial.
Attitude – Always maintain a positive and forward-thinking attitude. Be friendly to others and avoid getting too low when things don’t work out how you expected. Remember, your body language reveals a lot and should radiate confidence and openness, without hostility or aggression.
Leadership – A strong leader is one that unites a team and creates synergy between staff. Leaders that instill value, quality and integrity in their employees are responsible for setting the bar on what is considered professional. Additionally, you want to help your team bring solutions to the table; not complaints. Take the initiative by being a leader.

*Credit* – Dale Carnegie

Rest in Eternal Peace, Dad – Robert Michael Troiano, 73

Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him.

Robert Michael Troiano, 73, of Jersey City, Middletown New Jersey and in this final years in life Danville Virginia, died Thursday, March 9, 2017.

A Retired United States Air Force Veteran and Newark, New Jersey High School Teacher.
Robert leaves his loving wife and best friend Pamela, four children (Robyn, Michael, Jermal, Cornell), 10 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren.

Final Resting Place – Virginia Veterans Cemetery at Amelia
10300 Pridesville Road
Amelia, VA 23002

I shall forever be grateful for the opportunities in life you allowed for me to have. It is truly evident that without you, I may have not become the man I am today. For this I will forever be in your gratitude. Although I was not of your blood, you accepted me as your son. I humbly thank you.

Your work ethic and passions for learning has been a driving force in my life always. You taught me how men should be men and step up and in when called upon. Most importantly how to love through actions and not just words.

I’m not one for goodbyes – Its why you often if not always hear me say see / talk to you later.
I truly believe that one day GOD will bring us back to one another in time.

Today I see my ‘step-father’ and the man whom has been my father/dad for the majority of my life on this earth. I have leaned many things, both positive and negative from this man which has made me a strong willed man over the years.

I never truly had the chance to thank him for all he’s done, but I know in my heart, he knows. Bob (Robert) / Dad, I love you and will forever miss you. Rest in peace, the pain you once felt is no more, and you are on your way to the kingdom we all shall enter at some point. – Love, Your Son – Jermal

You will be remembered always.

Sleep well dad until we once again are re-untied