Ransomware Now Targeting Mac Computers

While ransomware has been around for some time, it has never appeared to pose a threat to Apple’s Mac computers. That recently changed with the first attack of its kind last month. Ransomware is a malicious software that, once downloaded, essentially locks important files on a computer and then prompts users to pay a fee to have those files unlocked. There have undoubtedly been attempts to target Mac users in this way in the past, but this incident involving KeRanger software transmitted through the peer-to-peer file sharing network BitTorrent was the first successful one.

The attack affected approximately 6500 Mac users who downloaded the malicious KeRanger software. In the scheme of things, that number is quite low. The incident, however, proves that Mac users aren’t immune to this type of threat. As John Bambeneck of Fidelis Cybersecurity notes, “It’s a small number but these things always start small and ramp up huge. There’s a lot of Mac users out there and a lot of money to be made.” In this case, Palo Alto Networks detected the ransomware quickly, which is why Apple was able to neutralize the problem.

In the future, however, ransomware attacks on Macs may become more subtle. Apple reports that it has increased its security measures and revoked the digital certificate that was responsible for launching the KeRanger software.

How Apple’s iPad Is Changing Business

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

In the first 80 days, Apple has sold over three million iPads.

I was one of the people who preordered, and picked mine up the day they were released. You might be thinking this is just the latest trend in gadgets, but hear me out.

I really believe that the iPad and other tablets on the horizon will forever change the way we conduct business. Are you prepared for the change?

The iPad is fun and extremely easy to use. Reports of vision impaired and young children using the tablet have steadily popped up on social media sites ever since the release of the iPad.

What Are People Using It For?
Everything! eBooks, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, note-taking, navigating the web, email and countless other tasks with applications that can be downloaded to the tablet. There are thousands of free applications, and thousands more that sell for just a few dollars.

 

How does this affect your business?
Connectivity! Three million of your current and potential clients may have this handy, allday battery powered system within their reach and they might use it to research your business. Make sure you can be found, and when you are, capture your audience’s attention.

You can do this by updating your blog, creating captivating Google ads, and creating a social community by responding to tweets and Facebook postings about your company, services and brand.

A ChadWick Martin Bailey study found consumers were up to 67% more likely to recommend or buy products from a company after following it on social networking sites.

What if your company owns an iPad?
Show your consumers that your company is on the cutting edge of today’s technology. Use it to demonstrate your product or show videos about your service. Download apps that make your iPad into a translator or inventory management system. Take notes on it. Update your calendar. The functionalities are endless and quite a deal starting at only $499.

Could There Be A Tablet PC In Your Future?

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

So far, 2010 has been the year of the tablet.The recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas featured tablet PCs from HP and Lenovo. The word among Apple-watchers is that the latest must-have product from Steve Jobs will be a National Geographic-sized computer called the ‘iSlate.’

Tablets aren’t new – Bill Gates introduced Microsoft’s first attempt way back in 2000. But could 2010 be the year that this technology finally takes off?

I’m not so sure. With e-readers, smart phones and netbooks already popular, will the tablet find a way onto people’s wish lists? What will it offer that isn’t already available?

After all, many devices on the market today – from the Amazon Kindle to the iPhone – offer portability and easy Internet access.

By replacing the keyboard and trackpad of standard laptops, the tablet is able to shed some bulk and weight – a nice feature for travelers and denizens of coffee shops.

But when it comes to actual typing – the basis of productive computer usage – most touch screens fall short. (Of course, I wouldn’t bet against Apple’s ability to once again revolutionize the touch screen and make entering text a breeze.)

I suspect that the tablet PC will find a niche in the consumer market while not quite breaking into the business world.

The tablet’s allure seems mostly limited to passive engagement – watching videos, scanning Facebook feeds reading e-books, etc. In other words, not exactly productive activities from a business standpoint.

Dell and Apple Recall Millions of Laptop Batteries That Could Suddenly Explode or Burst Into Flames

(Or, Why We Don’t Sell or Recommend Dell Computers for Our Clients)

Dell recently issued a recall of 4.1 million Sony-made laptop batteries sold between April 2004 and July 2006 because of a fire-hazard risk.

Following Dell’s announcement, Apple has also issued a recall for 1.8 million laptop batteries for the same reason: the batteries can overheat and cause the laptop to ignite.

If you own a Dell or a Mac laptop, check to see if your battery is on the recall list. If it is, remove the battery and run the laptop from an electrical outlet until you receive a free replacement.

How To Know If Your Laptop Battery Is At Risk
If you own a Dell laptop and want to see if it is affected, visit www.dellbatteryprogram.com. You will be prompted to enter the product number written on the inside of the battery.

If you own an Apple laptop, go to: www.apple.com and type “battery recall” in thesearch option.

This recall is for laptops with PowerPC chips. Newer Mac laptops with Intel chips are not affected by the recall.

Dell confirmed that it worked with Sony over the last few months to improve the battery manufacturing process.

However, Sony batteries are used by many different laptop manufacturers, which means the problem may be more widespread than Dell laptops.

Battery recalls are nothing new, but this recent recall is considered the largest in consumer electronics history.

Not Sure What To Do?
If you have a laptop and you’re concerned about the battery overheating, give us a call. We’ll be more than happy to investigate whether or not your battery needs to be replaced. Just don’t delay!