New “Tech Support” Scam for Mac Users

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Recently we have been hearing news stories about how Mac computers are being compromised. But there is another, more subtle compromise that has also been going on. The common element to these other issues happens when users visit a site in Safari, and they get a warning page pop-up:

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The message will continue to pop up about the infection - even if you hit okay, it will reappear about a second later - and you can not get it off your screen until you call, according to the information in the image. From this, most users are concerned because they believe that their computer is infected. But what is really going on is the work of scammers. (If you call the number, they will ask you to pay a few hundred dollars to have their “technicians” remove your “virus.”) Here are some steps to get rid of these messages, as your computer has not been infected, it is your browser that has been compromised and is getting re-directed, and a web program that runs once you get to this site, that has caused the problem.

Steps to get rid of the message:

  1. Force Quit from Safari. In order to do this you can Force Quit a couple of ways. Go the the Apple icon with Safari as the program highlighted.forcequit
  2. Another option is to open the Force Quit Applications menu. (Combination of keys: Alt/Option + Command + ESC will bring up the Force Quit Menu.)
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The reason the popups keep happening even after you close multiple times is because Safari re-opens the last session by default. In order to remove the message, we need to open Safari in a new session. To do that, hold down the Shift key, then click on the Safari icon. This will bring Safari up with no more error message. To clean this from your system, you need to clear out your browsing history.

  • Choose History > Show History, select history entries and daily sets of entries, then press Delete.

For the most part Macs do not get viruses or malware easily because of the security features that Apple has implemented. There are still some that are getting around that, but most of the time the application has to get your permission to install on your system.

If you are concerned about viruses, malware, or other potential dangers on your work Mac or PC, give us a call at Everon. Our techs are available for our clients 24/7, 365. Call us at 888-244-1748. Or email us at [email protected] We’re here for you.

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New iPhone/Mac Vulnerabilities That Can Impact Your Business

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Recently Apple was hit with two big issues in the same month. These gave rise to concerns that Apple products might not be as secure as most think. The first of the two came in the form of a text message that can be sent to Apple iPhones.

The text, which is entirely in Arabic, can be sent to anyone with an iPhone, and it will immediately shut down the phone. While this is more of an annoying bug than a security concern (although it definitely can be viewed as a security concern, depending on the owner of the phone and his/her need for uptime), it doesn’t seem to be harmful to the devices. Users in the  Reddit.com forums found the bug, and it appears they did so by accident.

Credit: parts of this image are reproduced with permission from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Unibody_Macbook.JPG.

Credit: parts of this image are reproduced with permission from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Unibody_Macbook.JPG.

If your phone receives the dreaded text message, you will need to turn on your phone and delete that message. One workaround to the text issue is to go into the settings,and turn off text message previews that appear on the home screen. Apple is aware of the bug and will resolve the issue in its latest update, which should be coming very soon.

The second security concern, and one that is very critical to businesses is the latest exploit which allows someone to put a permanent backdoor onto your Mac by rewriting the firmware for the BIOS to allow remote connection to the device. This affects all Macs older than mid-2014.

The reason this security concern is so troubling is, unlike other types of exploits, where if you were to be hacked you could wipe your hard drive and start clean with the appropriate updates, this targets the BIOS, meaning no matter how often you wipe your hard drive, hackers can exploit the vulnerability over and over again.

The vulnerability can be enacted as soon as a machine is woken from Sleep Mode. The security researcher who found the exploit, Pedro Vilaca, stated you can stop your machine from going into Sleep Mode to bypass the exploit. However, Apple is aware of the exploit and should patch it soon. Vilaca also stated that this is very similar to last year’s “Thunderstrike Proof-of-Concept” exploit.

While nothing will protect against this current exploit (i.e. antivirus, anti-malware), it does show that as Macs become more popular, holes are being found in the OS and, in this case, in the hardware itself. Business owners must be aware of both where their employees go on the Internet and how to protect their assets from hacking attempts.

Everon offers antivirus for Macs, as well as PCs, with a product called Webroot Secure Anywhere. We can assist in setting up hardware proxies that will prevent unauthorized access to the Internet. If you have any questions about what we can do for your Apple environment, feel free to call our techs at 1-888-244-1748 (or email at [email protected]). We’re here for you. Twenty-four/seven, 365.

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Chrome Extensions – Taking Your Web Browser to the Next Level

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Your web browser is probably the most used piece of software on your PC, tablet, or phone. They are our chariot to a nearly limitless amount of information on the web. While finding information is their main function, you can supercharge your browser by using extensions or plug ins. Here are few examples of how you can get more out of Google Chrome. (Don’t worry if you are an Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox user: those browsers also have the abilities to take on similar-type plugins.)

YoWindow Weather

Weather extensions are pretty common, and there are a lot out there. But not all are created equal. This is one I recently started using. I like that it adds a little icon, which displays current temperature, to the right of your address bar. Clicking on the icon expands the extension, so you see an extended forecast, along with a ton of other information. You can change backgrounds, which also reflect current conditions, for an extra visual. Overall, YoWindow does a great job of quickly telling you what the weather is doing in one or multiple locations.

Search by Image

This is great if you find an image and want to find others similar to it, one of better quality, or find out more about it whatever is in the picture. You simply right-click on the image and search Google (look for the blue camera), which will go out and bring back all kinds of related information. For example, I right-clicked on this picture, and the Search Image brought back a plethora of useful information about Albert Einstein.

 

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Momentum

This extension helps spice up a new tab when you open it — along with providing some nifty features — instead of just showing the plain white background with previously-visited sites. It will greet you, provide the time, temperature, a daily goal set by you, a to-do list, and an inspirational quote. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery!

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Of course, these  plugins only scratch the surface of what’s available. Extensions are easy to install and can usually be done in a click or two.  Head over to the Chrome webstore to check out all of the extensions, apps, and themes available. And remember, if you need help getting any of these installed on your work computers, give us a call at Everon (888-244-1748). We’re here for you, 24/7, 365.

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How to Get iOS Devices to Work with Windows Servers

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A while ago a client asked, “How can I use my Apple iPad with my documents at work?” 

Initially, it seemed like an easy question. Windows computers and iPads are both very popular products; of course there would be an easy solution. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be.

These two large competitors are not very interested in working together. My client, who had his shares on a Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 Server and wanted his Apple iPad to access those shares, had presented a challenge.

There were obvious solutions. You could use any number of remote desktop apps, such as Teamviewer, to get into your company’s terminal server, to work on the server’s desktop. But my client did not want to remote-in to anything. He wanted to access the documents without needing any device. He wanted to be able to use his domain credentials to authenticate and access shares.

I realized my solution needed to be broken out into a few parts. The first was to get an iOS device onto a Windows domain network. That’s actually the easiest part out of this entire process; every iOS device has a VPN tool built-in. As long as your network has RRAS (PPTP on port 1723), you can join the device to the network. If you are inside the network and have WiFi, even easier. To find the VPN tool on your iOS device, go to Settings -> VPN. It will request your information for connecting, simple as that. WiFi is in the exact same location (Settings -> WiFi).

Jeff's iOS devices and Windows servers blog-1

FileBrowser

Once connected to the network, you need to browse SMB shares. Unfortunately, Apple decided not to build this portion into their devices. You need a separate app. I tried out many, but the one I liked most was FileBrowser ($5.99). For any business looking to complete this task, it’s worth the price. FileBrowser allows you to set up locations in your iOS device, called Remote Servers, and connect to see all shares to which your domain credentials have access. For my example we joined a VPN, then mapped a “Remote Server” to an internal IP address where his file server existed, and then reviewed the various shares related to that file server.

If you have your shares locked down in the appropriate security groups, you will only see the shares to which you have access. (FileBrowser doesn’t get around any security flaws that could be present. It’s all based on your domain credentials.

Jeff's iOS devices and Windows servers blog-2

Google Docs

My client loved this, but he added one last piece to the puzzle. His company didn’t want to just view the files, they wanted to edit them, too. After much searching, I found the best tool for this job in another app (a free one) called QuickOffice, by Google (later replaced by a more powerful version of Office editing, Google Docs.) With Google Docs you can pull up any of the FileBrowser-searched documents, edit them with tools very similar to Microsoft’s Office suite, and then place them back on the server.

Although it sounds complicated, all the apps worked together seamlessly to allow my client’s company to review and edit files in their Windows environment, thus allowing them to integrate Apple devices into their Windows domain. And in the end, my client was happy.

For more information on how you can integrate your Apple products into a Windows domain, call Everon at 1-888-244-1748.

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Why You Might Want to Turn Off Your Phone’s Location Services

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How well do you know your Facebook friends? Would you want any — or all — of them knowing where you are, at any given time? Chances are, they can. Your smartphone logs everywhere you go, via location services. These are usually defaults in applications. If you don’t manually turn them off, others can find out where you are. Or where you’ve been. Common ones are Apple’s “Find My Friends” and Android’s “Locate My Friends!” apps. Your Facebook friends can use these to track you. Additionally, there are so many sub-services to location services that there are many, many more apps like these, which can “find” you and invade your privacy. (Note: this is different from the GPS tracking services used by maps, or methods the Feds can use to track criminals, etc.) Here’s how to turn off location services (and any sub-service) on Android, iPhone, and Windows phones.

Android/ Google Users:

If you’re an Android user, Google’s location services is broken down into two features:

  • Location Reporting is the feature that gives apps like Google Now, Google Maps, Foursquare, Twitter, and even your camera app access to your position. Whenever an app shows you something nearby, suggests local businesses, or helps you find the closest gas station, it’s using Location Reporting.
  • Location History is the feature that keeps track of where you’ve been, and any addresses you type-in or navigate-to. It’s how Google figures out where “Home” and “Work” are, so Google Now can estimate your commute time or give you traffic information for those places. Turning it off will still give you traffic information, but it means Google won’t try to guess where you’re going based on your previous searches.

To disable Location Reporting or History in Android:

  1. Open the App Drawer and go to Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap Location.
  3. Scroll down and tap Google Location Settings.
  4. Tap Location Reporting and Location History, and switch the slider to off for each one.
  5. To delete your phone’s location cache, tap “Delete Location History” at the bottom of the screen under Location History.
  6. Repeat this process for each Google Account you have on your Android device. 

iPhone Users:

To disable location services in iOS:

  1. Open the Settings App.
  2. Scroll down to Privacy, and select Location Services.
  3. Disable all Location Services by swiping the slider at the top, or scroll down to disable location services for specific apps, including Google and Google Maps.
  4. Select System Services to deny location data from specific features, like location-based advertisements, turn off Frequent Locations, or disable the “Popular Near Me” feature

Windows Phone users:

This is for Windows Phone 8.1. If your phone is running Windows Phone 8, some options and features may not be available.

To turn Location Services on or off

  1. In the App list, tap Settings -> Location.
  2. Turn Location services on or off.

To turn the Location icon on

You can see when an app is accessing your phone’s location information by looking for the Location icon. To make sure this icon is turned on:

  1. In the App list, tap Settings -> Location.
  2. Select the Show icon check box.

For more help with your smartphone, or for other computer help with your small-to-medium business, please contact us at Everon: 888-244-1748 or [email protected] We are your virtual IT department.

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