FBI's Urgent Warning: Reset Your Routers Now

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had an urgent warning to Americans on May 25, 2018 – reset your routers. The FBI officially stated that, “Foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide.”

VPNFilter malware is apparently being used by these hackers which spot the holes within certain routers. VPNFilter is used to collect information on civilians and businesses alike, and have the power to shut down routers at a moment’s notice.

What does all of this mean to you?

You need to unplug your router for at least 30 seconds. It’s important to unplug the router from the wall outlet with a surge protector, not from the device itself, or you could risk a surge causing your device to be destroyed.

As always, if you need help with this, or if you think your computer may be infected with malware – call us at 903.858.4383, or send us a Facebook message, and we can help you out.

Though it’s recommended for everyone to reboot your routers, these are the devices that are documented to be officially compromised:

LINKSYS DEVICES:
• E1200
• E2500
• WRVS4400N

MIKROTIK ROUTEROS VERSIONS FOR CLOUD CORE ROUTERS:
• 1016
• 1036
• 1072

NETGEAR DEVICES:
• DGN2200
• R6400
• R7000
• R8000
• WNR1000
• WNR2000

QNAP DEVICES:
• TS251
• TS439 Pro
Other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software

TP-LINK DEVICES:
• R600VPN


Large Number of HP Laptops Shipped With A Keylogger

You wouldn't know it from HP's support page, but a large number of their recent laptops with a rudimentary keylogger embedded within the drivers for their touchpads. Fortunately, this isn't a situation where some virus wormed its way into HP's laptop assembly line. Instead, it looks like a security researcher stumbled upon a long disabled chunk of code that Synaptics, a company that makes laptop touchpads for several vendors, originally used to make sure their new touchpad design was working correctly.

Testing code like this is extremely common on new hardware being tested in the lab. The problem here is that neither HP nor Synaptics thought to remove that testing code from the products they shipped to their end customers. Even though the test code shipped in a dormant state, all it would have taken is one small change to re-enable it. Having code that could be used to spy on users baked into the trusted files that ship with HP laptops could have been a major weak point for hackers to exploit.

HP says that there were no known instances of this code being exploited, but there's really no way for them to be entirely sure. The company has since posted replacement drivers on their support site. Individuals and businesses should go about updating to these newer, fixed drivers as soon as possible.


December Deal of the Month

Computer viruses are a hassle. Plain and simple. Seemingly harmless to some, they can pop-up at a moment's notice and wreak havoc on your computer and your computer's stored information. Oftentimes, these pesky viruses degrade the security of your computer's software performance and can even lock your computer from accessing certain files. Yesterday was National Computer Security Day. A day dedicated to spreading awareness of the up-to-date trickery scammers are using and how to prevent such a problem from happening in the first place.

For our December deal of the month and in light of National Computer Security Day, we’re offering a reduced cost of $89.99 security checkups for all desktop and laptop computers. We’ll give your computer a thorough scan and root out any adware, spyware, viruses, or ransomware that has found its way onto your system. We will also install AVG Malware Bytes (free version) to prevent any further issues with your computer's security.

Just because your computer seems to be acting fine doesn’t mean you are completely secure. Get your Mac or PC checked out today from Computer Repair In Tyler. For more information, call us at 903.858.4383 or email us at info@computerrepairintyler.com

Here is a video of owner Jacky Ouin with ETV Software on CBS 19 talking a little about how important it is to keep your computer secure and some tips and tricks to prevent such a disastrous situation from occurring:


Be Careful With Untrused Microsoft Word Files

Most of us who use Microsoft Word on a regular basis begrudgingly work around its default security settings. We've long grown accustom to doing things like switching a Word window out of its "Protected View" to its normal mode so we can edit documents, for instance. Sometimes, though, Word's normal protections aren't good enough. Last week, security firm Trend Micro reported that one hacking group had found a way to spread viruses through Microsoft Word documents without relying on older tricks like embedding "macro" mini programs in the documents.

This new method exploits Microsoft Word's ability embed other files within a Word document. This ability can be useful for doing things like keeping a live, up-to-date, Excel chart within a Word document, but it apparently can also be used to help infect systems. When someone opens one of these altered Word files, Microsoft Word will connect to an outside server to download and then run a virus application!

This new method of infection is another reminder to not open random Word documents that come to your email inbox. Fortunately, this attack does have some signs that it is about to occur and can be stopped by an alert user. If you ever open a Word document and it pops up a dialog box asking to link to outside files you should click "No" then alert someone with the experience to look into what the file is trying to do.


November Deal of the Month

A lot of computer viruses are loud, destructive things. They often throw up pop up advertisements or drastically affect your system's stability and performance, or lock you out of accessing all your files. But there is another set of computer viruses call keyloggers that try to stay sneaky and quiet so they can watch where you go and what you type on the Internet. They try and take special note of whenever you type something that looks like a username and password so they can send off your login details to hackers.

As part of our Novemember deal of the month, we're offering a reduced cost $89 security checkups for all desktop and laptop computers. We'll give your computer a thorough scan and root out any adware, spyware, viruses, or ransomware that has found its way onto your system.

Just because you computer seems to be acting fine doesn't mean you are completely safe. Get your Mac or PC checked out today, before the holiday season truly begins. For more information, call us at 903.858.4383 or email us at info@computerrepairintyler.com


Time To Patch Your Bluetooth Devices

A security research firm called Armis has release information about a new set of flaws they found and exploited in the Bluetooth wireless protocol. Bluetooth is, of course, the short range wireless system that lets our phones talk to our cars and headphones and fitness trackers. By sending the right signals to devices using standard Linux, Android, and Windows implementations of Bluetooth, researchers at Armis have been able to do everything from listening in on network traffic to installing and running potentially damaging viruses and other applications.

This new vulnerability is especially dangerous because Bluetooth has a range of over 30 feet, meaning anyone with the right equipment might be able to hack your phone or computer as long as they are nearby. Fortunately, these security researchers did the right thing and approached companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google who make many of the world's Bluetooth using devices and told them about the flaw they found long before they released info about the flaw to the public.

What should you do to prevent this problem affecting your equipment? If you are using Window, or and Android or Apple phone you should make sure you have the latest OS. For iPhones, this is easy since this problem does not affect the current iOS 10. Windows users will likewise almost certainly get a patch. For Android it might be a little harder to find a patch depending on the age of your phone.

If you need help patching your computer or phone or just want to make sure your devices are safe you can stop on by our location at 1331 South Beckahm. You can also give us a call at 903-858-4383 or email us at info@computerrepairintyler.com


June Deal of the Month: 10% Off Virus & Spyware Removal

Last month, the world saw the release and spread of a much higher than normal number of viruses and spyware programs. Most notably, the dangerous ransomware known as "WannaCry" infected and locked users out of hundreds of thousands of computers in only a few days thanks to targeting a Windows flaw originally discovered by the NSA. In the last few days, there have been rumors of similar hacking groups preparing to release new info on software vulnerabilities that could enable the quick spread of new viruses.

At Computer Repair in Tyler, one of the core services we offer is Virus and Spyware removal for Windows and Apple Macintosh computers, and to help combat this uptick in computer viruses, we're making our June Deal of the Month a discount on our Virus and Malware removal services. If your PC or Mac is acting funny or having weird issues, bring it to us and we can help you diagnosis and remove any viruses and spyware programs that filtered down from the Internet.

We can also help you if your computer has caught a piece of Ransomware that locks you out of your files and demands money to have them restored. In past cases, these ransomware programs have been poorly coded and have had flaws and workarounds that we have been able to research and use to help users get their files back without having to pay money to the hackers.

If you think your computer has caught a virus, bring it to us as soon as you can and mention our Deal of the Month to get a 10% discount. And remember, we can handle all your other computer repair needs, such as laptop screen replacements, operating system reinstalls, and hard drive data recovery, as well.

We are located at:
1331 South Beckham in Tyler, Texas, 75701. Look for us between the Big Lots and the gas station just south of the hospitals.
If you have any questions, you can reach us at 903.858.4383 or by emailing us at info@computerrepairintyler.com


Microsoft Begins Warning About Websites With Outdated Security

Starting last Tuesday, Microsoft's Edge and Internet Explorer browsers started warning users about websites using the older SHA-1 security protocol. All the major browser makers have been recently begun phasing out support for this method of proving a webpage is secure. SHA-1 is mainly just a victim of its age. As our computers have gotten more and more powerful, older encryption standards like SHA-1 have to be discarded and replaced. So, if you see a warning about the security of a site you visit often, it might just be Microsoft doing its part to keep you safe on the internet.

That said, if you ever do see a security warning, double check what you are doing and how you got to that webpage. This is especially important to do if you just followed a link from an email, social media post, or untrustworthy webpage. Often times your browser knows what it is talking about when it puts up a warning. Sure, it may just be telling you about a site using an older security standard, but it might also be preventing you from giving out important personal information to a fake site that was made to look like a site you often visit.

Stay safe out there, and take comfort that Microsoft (and the other major web browser developers) are doing their part to help keep you protected.


Dangerous New Microsoft Word Virus Discovered

A dangerous new Microsoft Word vulnerability was discovered late last week. This flaw triggers when a user opens an infected Microsoft Word document that was emailed to them. The virus is able to direct Word to download a clever virus installing application that is disguised as a Microsoft Word window. This automated program then downloads a variety of other viruses and malware and installs it on the user's computer before cleaning itself up and opening a real Microsoft Word file to make it look like nothing nefarious has happened.

Some anti-virus makers have already updated their programs to detect these infected Word documents, but Microsoft has not yet rolled out a patch. For now, users need to be extra careful about opening Word documents sent to them, especially if they do not have an anti-virus program installed.

If you need help cleaning up your computer after it gets a virus or want help installing an up-to-date anti-virus program, come see us at 1331 South Beckham in Tyler. We're even having a spring cleaning special in April where you can get 10% off our virus cleanup services.


Spring Has Sprung! Time For A Great Spring Cleaning Deal!

As we move away from March, it's becoming more and more evident that Spring is here! The flowers are blooming, the temps are warming, and we're starting to get those quick spring showers that sweep in and out in a days time. In honor of Spring, and the annual cleaning that often comes with it, we wanted to again offer our Spring Cleaning deal on virus and malware removal!

From now until the end of April bring your laptop or desktop by our office and you'll receive 10% off our normal virus removal rates. Our team of technicians will use the best tools avaliable to screen and remove viruses from your computer. They can also update your computer's software and apply any overdue security patches for you to help make sure your computer remains virus free.

We may not be able to help you clean you home, but come visit us at 1331 South Beckham Ave in Tyler if you need a little extra help with your computer. You can also call us at 903.531.0377 or email us at info@computerrepairintyler.com.