Author: Making IT Right PTY LTD

Two Errors in Outlook this week.

In recent weeks I have had two customers contact me about errors when using outlook.

The first was when attempting to click on any link in outlook. The following error message appeared.  The computer was running windows 10 and office 2007.  It did not matter which web browser was set to be the default browser.  Tried Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, all triggered the same error.

Image result for cannot open link from outlook error

I attempted a repair of office software, and this also did not work.  One suggestion was to copy a registry Key from a working computer with the same setup to the computer with the error and import it into the registry.  Since I did not have another computer to do this, this was not an option.  I tried downloading a fix from Microsoft and this also did not work.

Finally, I found someone on Google who has the same issue with the same versions of software.  Their solution was to upgrade to Office 365 software.  So we created a Microsoft Account and purchased the Office 365 Personal Subscription for $129/year.

The first attempt to install Office 365 over the top of office 2007 failed with an error at the last stage of the install.  The second attempt worked. Go Figure!!  Once installed, when we clicked on links in emails, they opened in the default browser.  PROBLEM SOLVED.

Second Issue : Opening attachments in outlook.  Customer received a message similar to this example.

Outlook error

This happens when the temporary folder which outlook uses to store documents has it’s permissions changed to not allow files to be created in the folder.  I cannot say why this happens.  I located the name of the temp folder for outlook 2010 by following these steps.

If you are using Outlook 2010, follow these steps:

  1. Click My Computer, and then double-click drive C.
  2. On the File menu, click New, and then click Folder.
  3. Name the folder temp0.
  4. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  5. Locate and then click the following registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Security\
  6. In the right pane, double-click OutlookSecureTempFolder.  Copy this value and paste it in windows explorer.  This will take you to this folder location.

You will need to change the permissions to full access in this folder which might have been set to “READ ONLY” and then you will be able to open attachments again.

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Windows 10 “Spring Creator” Update 1803?

I read an article in PC & Tech Authority which reports that the latest planned Windows 10 1803 update is being blocked by a serious Bug “Blocking Bug” that Microsoft developers are trying to resolve.

It was due to arrive as part of the April 10th Tuesday patch, but this has caused a delay of what might be a few weeks.

Make sure your current system is backed up before the planned update is rolled out. This will allow you to have a roll back position should something go wrong with the update. I am sure like other roll-outs, there will be a 30 day period where you can roll back to the earlier version of windows 10. Not everyone will get the update initially as it will be released in phases.

Some notes from the website www.windowscentral.com

  • Fluent Design reveal effects have been softened
  • Fluent Design Acrylic and Reveal effects are now showcased in more areas of the Shell.
  • The Start menu now features Fluent Design “reveal” effects in tiles and the apps list.
  • The “clear all”, “expand”, “collapse” and “see more” text in the Action Center now uses your chosen accent color.
  • You can now use a two finger swipe gesture to dismiss all notifications in the Action Center.
  • Windows will now show you your personalized lock screen when selecting your account on the login page.
  • The Calendar fly-out on the taskbar now features reveal effects.
  • Contacts pinned to the taskbar now show a list of connected apps rather than tiles.
  • The Taskbar now features the Acrylic blur effect.
  • Action Center notifications now feature Fluent Design reveal effects.
  • The “clear all” text in Action Center now says “clear all notifications” instead.
  • Nearby Share is now present in the Share UI and lets you share content between nearby devices.
  • Right-clicking a live tile will give you the option of jumping straight into that apps Settings.
  • Task View now includes Timeline that allows you to go back and resume apps you had open in the past up to 30 days.
  • Virtual Desktops has moved to the top of the Task View UI.
  • Fluent Design effects will be disabled when in battery saver mode.
  • The My People Hub now features Reveal and Acrylic effects.
  • You can now drag to reposition contacts pinned to the Taskbar.
  • You can now drag contacts between the Taskbar and the My People Hub.
  • Quiet Hours has been renamed to Focus Assist and has been updated with new features.
  • Documents and Pictures are now listed in the Start menu hamburger menu by default.
  • On devices with Windows Hello support, users can now setup Hello directly from the login screen.
  • The Xbox Gamebar has been updated with a new Fluent design UI.
  • Users on Windows 10 S can now use the Microsoft Authenticator app to log in to their PC.
    Eye Control has been updated with more functions in the eyebar.

Fake IT Support Calls

In recent weeks I received 3 calls from clients who had received calls or popup warning  from either Microsoft, Telstra or other “Fake companies”.  These calls or fake popups indicated that their systems were compromised and that they could fix the issue if remote access was permitted.  One such company was Smart365.

Smart 365, told the client to remove their useless “Trend Micro” antivirus and let them replace it with another.  This new antivirus was installed and was registered to a 3rd party “Bruce Smith” which was not my clients name.  For the software and 2 years non-existent support they were charged $450.  The computer had a number of other issues so it was decided that the best way forward was to backup all the data and then either rebuild the Windows 7 laptop (6 years old) or replace the laptop with a new Windows 10 model.  The later was chosen.

All emails were recovered as were documents, photos, favorites(Bookmarks).  Programs like Office 2010, Trend Micro reinstalled and configured.  Printer reconnected and tested OK.

Once this was done a backup system was implemented using 3 backup drives.  1 Offsite to be used for the two home computers and one dedicated for each for the two computers.  The offsite to be run as required perhaps monthly (MANUALLY) and the others are either scheduled as daily or weekly backup jobs.

A second customer received a call purporting to be from Telstra.  They asked if they had a credit card.   When they answered “No”, they then asked to process a payment via internet banking and they obtained remote access to the computer.  This customer was an elderly gentleman who I imagine was too trusting.  They then proceeded to withdraw funds out of his bank account.  I had to visit and give his computer a scan and the all clear before the bank would allow further online transactions.

A third customer was presented with a pop up warning that the computer was compromised and to call the number on the screen.  Here they were asked for online bank details which were not available so they then asked for a credit card.  This was provided and $250 Dollars was taken.  I removed all remote access software and scanned computer for other malware or possibly unwanted programs (PUP’s)

From the Microsoft Blog Website:

Helping consumers fight back
Our Customer Support Services team is leading efforts to help impacted customers. If someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support, or affiliated with Microsoft, calls you:

  • Do not purchase any software or services.
  • Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the “service.” If there is, hang up.
  • Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.
  • Take the caller’s information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.
  • Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.

Discussion on Scammers

My father in law took a call from “Telstra”.  He said, “who is Telstra, I have not heard of them?”  They then said they were an internet company.  He said, “Internet?, is that like a fishing net?”  At this point they hung up, frustrated I am sure.

Please be very careful.  They are becoming more sophisticated with their methods of luring you in.

 

 

Dealing With Tel-Co’s

A few weeks ago, I was called into a business who’s owner was complaining about network issues and a few other issues.  OK so I went around to do an audit of the setup and make a recommendation.  The first thing I noticed was that the Modem which was being used (Provided by the Tel-co) was very old. It was using the B and G WiFi Radio Spectrum/protocol 802.11.  For those in the know, the current Spectrum is AC.  Between G and AC there was N.  The Modem was capable of a 54Mbit/s speed on the G protocol. A number of devices in the business could see the WiFi SSID or Signal Name but could not connect even though they knew the password.  So we decided, at the very least to upgrade the modem.

The new modem arrived a week later shipped to client by the Tel-Co.  I did request they send out a current Modem which hopefully would also be a Dual band AC Modem. (2.4ghz and 5 ghz)  No such luck, a single band modem was sent.  Anyway, I configured the modem then all the devices in the business could connect, however, there were constant dropouts of the service and the line rate reported in the modem was very low.  8000 kbps.  I called Tech Support and spoke with a very aggressive engineer.  Eventually, after doing Isolation tests etc, we finally got the line rate up to 11999kbps and the connection was no longer dropping out. This took an hour.  So far so good.

One Day later, business is not getting phone calls in on the same line that the modem was on.  I was then called and spent the better part of my day trying to understand what the issue was.  When talking to my client and Tech support on a conference call, they said that for the phone issue to be fixed, the business had to switch to the NBN.  Really?  I asked, when the NBN was initially available in the area, and I was told that I had to speak with customer service, but that would be a 45 minute wait.  They offered to call me back in an hour to prevent me from having to wait on the phone.  No Problem!!

An hour later, no call received.  2 Hours later, no call received.  I went online to have a online chat with support.  This is how that went.  I was chatting with Harper K

You • 02:53 PM Harper, can you tell me when “The Shop Address”, Double Bay 2028 had the NBN available from.

Harper K • 02:53 PM Sure

Harper K • 02:53 PM Allow me a minute here

You • 02:54 PM ok

Harper K • 02:54 PM I see that NBN is serviceable at “The Shop Address” DOUBLE BAY NSW 2028

You • 02:55 PM I know that it is now available, but how long ago was it available. I know we have around 18 months to make the switch, so how much longer before time runs out? (The 18 months)

Harper K • 02:56 PM There is no time limit it will be available full time

You • 02:57 PM Everywhere I look, I am told that you have to make the switch within 18 months of the NBN being available.
Harper K • 02:58 PM Let me check
Harper K • 03:02 PM Sorry we can not assure that before itself Sometimes it will available sometimes it might lost, we don’t have option to check that here
You • 03:04 PM For the above address, what is the latest that we can make the switch to the NBN before we are cut off
Harper K 3:05PM  The NBN is available at the above address.You 3:06PM I currently have ADSL2+ at the address and I know that the NBN is available also, but from when was it available?

Harper K 3:07PM  The NBN is available at the above address.

You 3:07PM  What date did the NBN become available?

Harper K 3:08PM  The NBN is available at the above address.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!

You 3:09PM.  Do you understand what I am asking you?  Don’t tell me it is available. Tell me when is was first available.

Harper K: 3:10PM.  An email was sent to the customer when the NBN became available.

You 3:11PM  When was the email sent?
Harper K 3:12PM  When the NBN became available at the above address.

Right now I felt I was in the twilight zone

You 3:13PM Can you tell me when that was, so I know how long before current services (ADSL) are cut off.

Harper K 3:15PM  Wait a Moment

Harper K 3:17PM  Be right with you

Harper K 3:19PM  1 Minute please

You 3:20PM I’m waiting.  This is a long minute.

Harper K 3:21PM  90 days from when the email went out.

At the same time I am calling the customer who has looked through their emails and cant find any related to the NBN.

You 3:22PM So I don’t know when this email was received, if it was received at all, no followup emails were sent, so possibly the deadline has arrived and we don’t know about it.

At this point I gave up.  Beaten and bruised.

So I called Customer service again.  This time I explained the situation to level 1 support or level zero.  They passed me onto a higher level support.  After explaining the situation again, I was then asked for the customer name and date of birth which I provided, but now for the first time, I also need to provide a 4 digit Pin????  No other time do I need a pin.  Called customer.  They don’t have a pin.  DEAD END!!!  Won’t speak to me.

The next day, phone service is back but now no internet.  WHAT THE!!!  Have they fixed the phone but broken the internet.  What progress…NOT!!.  DSL LIGHT ON MODEM KEEPS FLASHING.

iOS 11 for iPhone, iPad etc

The iOS update has been developed for a number of devices.  From the apple website, here is a list of devices that support this software update and information about the update.

There have been 2 additional updates since the initial release.  11.0.1 and 11.0.2

iPhone

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5s

iPad

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro
    (2nd generation)
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro
    (1st generation)
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad
    (5th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2

iPod

  • iPod touch
    (6th generation)

I would go a step further and check the actual model number of the rear of the device to truly know if it can accept the update.  I went to do an update for a customer who had an iPad Air 2.  Looking within the iPad’s Setting -> General -> About section, I looked up the  Model number. This will be a letter A followed by 4 numbers.  E.g  Current iPad Pro 12.9″ is a A1670 or A1671.

Using this model number, the device appeared to be compatible, but when I checked using the Model on the rear of the device, it became apparent that the furthest the device could go was 10.3.3

What was in each of the releases.

11.0

App Store

  • All-new App Store designed for discovering great apps and games everyday
  • New Today tab helps you discover new apps and games with stories, how-to guides, and more
  • New Games tab to find new games and see what’s most popular with top game charts
  • Dedicated Apps tab with top picks, dedicated app charts, and app categories
  • App pages include more video previews, Editors’ Choice badges, easier access to user ratings, and information about in-app purchases

 

Siri

  • New Siri voice is more natural and expressive
  • Translate English words and phrases into Chinese, French, German, Italian or Spanish (beta)
  • Siri suggestions based on your usage of Safari, News, Mail, and Messages
  • Works with notes apps to create to-do lists, notes and reminders
  • Works with banking apps for account transfer and balances
  • Works with apps that display QR codes
  • Hindi and Shanghainese dictation

 

Camera

  • Portrait mode now supports optical image stabilization, HDR and True Tone flash
  • Photos and videos will take up half the space with the new HEIF and HEVC image and video formats
  • Redesigned set of nine filters optimized for natural skin tones
  • Automatically identify and scan QR codes

 

Photos

  • Loop, Bounce, and Long Exposure Live Photo effects
  • Mute, trim, or choose a new key photo for Live Photos
  • Memory Movies automatically adapt content for portrait and landscape orientation
  • More than a dozen new memory types including pets, babies, weddings, and sporting events
  • People album is more accurate and stays up to date across devices with iCloud Photo Library
  • Animated GIF support

 

Maps

  • Indoor maps for major airports and shopping centers
  • Lane guidance and speed limit information with Turn-by-turn directions
  • One-handed zoom with double tap and swipe
  • Interact with Flyover by moving your device

 

Do Not Disturb while Driving

  • Automatically silences notifications while driving and keeps iPhone silent and display off
  • Optional iMessage auto reply to alert selected contacts that you’re driving

 

New features designed for iPad

  • An all new Dock provides quick access to your favorite and recently used apps and can even be shown on top of active apps
    • Dock resizes so you can add all of your favorite apps
    • Recently used and Continuity apps are available on the right
  • Enhanced Slide Over and Split View
    • Apps can be easily started in Slide Over and Split View from the Dock
    • Slide Over and background apps now run simultaneously
    • Apps in Slide Over and Split View can now be placed on the left side of the screen
  • Drag and drop
    • Move text, images, and files between apps on iPad
    • Multi-Touch to move multiple items at the same time
    • Spring-loading to move content between apps
  • Markup
    • Markup works across documents, PDFs, webpages, photos and more
    • Instant markup anything in iOS – just place Apple Pencil on what you want to mark
    • Create a PDF and markup anything that can be printed
  • Notes
    • Instantly create a new note by tapping on Lock Screen with Apple Pencil
    • Inline drawing available by simply placing Apple Pencil in body of a note
    • Search handwritten text
    • Document scanner autocorrects for skewing and uses image filters to remove shadows
    • Table support to organize and display information
    • Pin important notes to the top of the list
  • Files
    • All-new Files app to browse, search and organize files
    • Works with iCloud Drive and 3rd party cloud file providers
    • Recents view for quick access to recently used files across all apps and cloud services
    • Create folders and sort files by name, date, size and tags

 

QuickType

  • Flick down on letter keys to enter numbers, symbols and punctuation marks on iPad
  • One-handed keyboard support on iPhone
  • New keyboards for Armenian, Azerbaijani, Belarusian, Georgian, Irish, Kannada, Malayalam, Maori, Odia, Swahili, and Welsh
  • English input on the 10-key Pinyin keyboard
  • English input on the Japanese Romaji keyboard

 

HomeKit

  • New accessory types including AirPlay 2 speakers, sprinklers and faucets
  • Expanded occupancy, time and accessory based triggers
  • QR code and tap to pair accessory setup support

 

Augmented Reality

  • Augmented reality technologies that apps from the App Store can use to deliver content on top of real-world scenes for interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences, industrial design and more

 

Machine Learning

  • Core machine learning technologies that apps from the App Store can use to deliver intelligent features with machine learning data processed on device for high performance and user privacy

 

Other features and improvements

  • Control Center redesign brings all controls on one page
  • Control Center custom controls including accessibility, guided access, magnifier, text size, screen recording and Wallet
  • Apple Music now helps you discover music with friends. Create a profile so friends can listen to playlists you’ve shared and see the music you listen to most
  • Apple News now includes Top Stories picked just for you, recommendations from Siri, the best videos of the day in Today View, and great stories selected by our editors in the new Spotlight tab
  • Apple Podcasts has an all-new design. Use Listen Now to easily play new episodes or continue where you left off. Shows can now also contain seasons, trailers and bonus episodes.
  • Automatic Setup signs you in to iCloud, Keychain, iTunes, App Store, iMessage, and FaceTime with your Apple ID
  • Automatic Setup restores device settings including language, region, network, keyboard preferences, places you frequently visit, how you talk to Siri, home and health data
  • Easily share access to your Wi-Fi networks
  • Storage optimization notifications and free up space in Settings for apps like Photos, Messages, and more
  • Emergency SOS calls emergency services based on your current location and automatically notifies emergency contacts, shares your location, and displays your Medical ID
  • FaceTime lets you capture Live Photos from the other person’s Mac or iPhone camera
  • Easily check Flight status in Spotlight and Safari
  • Definitions, conversions and math support in Safari
  • Russian and English bilingual dictionary
  • Portuguese and English bilingual dictionary
  • Arabic system font support

 

Accessibility

  • VoiceOver descriptions support for images
  • VoiceOver tables and lists support in PDFs
  • Type to Siri support for basic search queries
  • Spoken and braille caption support for videos
  • Dynamic Type increases text and app UI to larger sizes
  • Redesigned Invert Colors make media content easier to view
  • Highlight Colors improvements in Speak Selection and Speak Screen
  • Switch Control typing can scan and type whole words at a time

11.0.1

Includes bug fixes and improvements for your iPhone or iPad.

11.0.2

Includes bug fixes and improvements for your iPhone or iPad. This update:

  • Fixes an issue where crackling sounds may occur during calls for a small number of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus devices
  • Addresses an issue that could cause some photos to become hidden
  • Fixes an issue where attachments in S/MIME encrypted emails would not open

Personally, I use the do not disturb while driving feature which activates automatically when I am in a car.  You can also have it only activate if connected to your car Bluetooth.

If I am not driving but still in a car, I can deactivate the feature.  Messages  that are received when this is active, automatically receive a reply  “I’m driving with Do Not Disturb While Driving turned on.  I’ll see your message when I arrive at my destination” and “(I’m not receiving notifications. If this is urgent, reply “urgent” to send a notification through with your original message,)”  The first part of the message you can customize in the Do not Disturb section of the phone settings.

 

Wannacry Ransomware..what is this?

Some of you may have heard of this virus.  On May 12th, 2017 this Virus attack began.  It infected almost a 1/4 of a million computers in around 150 countries.

Windows XP and Microsoft Server 2003 were the most vulnerable but since there are not many computers running those operating systems.  Most of the computers impacted were running Windows 7.  Since the outbreak (in fact within 4 days) patches were applied to windows computers which slowed further infections down dramatically.

A infected computer will have a message displayed on their computer stating that their files have been encrypted.

A demand is made for a payment in “Bitcoin” to the value of $300 and if not paid within 7 days, this amount is raised to $600.  By the end of May 2017, around a little under $130 thousand dollars had been transferred to the Bitcoin Wallet or address.

What can you do to protect yourself?

  1. Backup your data
  2. Backup your backup  (Keep multiple backups)
  3. Keep an “Airbridge” between your computer and your backup.  i.e disconnect the backup once it is complete.
  4. Test your backups work.
  5. Get some decryption tools. There are available for most of the main antivirus companies.  The issues here is that sometimes they need a copy of for example a image file that was encrypted to have as a comparison to the encrypted file.  See what has changed on this file and then work out how to decryped the image file.  This does not always work but worth having.

Apple IOS 10.3.1 Update

Released only 7 days after the 10.3 update.

Make sure you backup your device before performing any update “Just in case” something goes wrong.  You have a recovery point to go back to.

Apple has released the 10.3.1 update for IOS devices.  Iphone 5 and later, iPad 4th generation and later and iPod 6th Gen and later

From the Apple Support Website:

Impact: An attacker within range may be able to execute arbitrary code on the Wi-Fi chip

Description: A stack buffer overflow was addressed through improved input validation.

CVE-2017-6975: Gal Beniamini of Google Project Zero

10.3.2 is already being tested by apple.

Telstra Business- Digital Office Technology (DOT) Department – New Modem Request

Wow. what a drama this has been.  Last week Tuesday the 17th of January 2017, I went to a customer who has a DOT ADSL service to his home.  I was delivering a new laptop for him.  I expected to be able to connect to his Telstra Netgear modem via WiFi.  Well I saw the SSID (signal Name) and new the password and tried connecting.  NO LUCK.  I tried connecting to the modem using my iPhone, again no luck.

Rebooted modem a few times, still no luck.

All the setup work on the laptop pre-delivery was done in my office via WiFi, so I knew the laptop WiFi worked.  I could connect the laptop to my iPhone using my personal hotspot.

I removed all security from the modem WiFi to see if would connect.  No connection permitted.  I simplified the security password.  Again no luck.

At this point the felt that the modem was the issue, so I called Telstra support 132000 to get some advice on what to do.  They suggested everything that I had already tried.

Well after 45minutes to an hour, after speaking initially with Tech support and then to billing to get a new modem ordered, they asked that I stay on the line to make sure that the Modem order was correct and that it would go through.  $20/month for 24 months for the new 7610 Modem, or $480 one off payment.

3-5 business days I am told  OK!!  I get sent a callback link/SMS to my phone from billing, should I need to contact them directly.  These links can only be used once.

I then arranged to return this week (today) to install the newly ordered modem.  Surely this would be enough time.

I received a call from my customer yesterday 23-1-2017 to say that the modem had still not arrived, so I used my call back link to get in touch with Telstra again.  I spoke again to billing, who informed me that the order was rejected by the warehouse because it was incomplete.  They bounced the request back to billing who failed to respond to the return email.  So nothing was ordered.

“NOT HAPPY JAN”

I was then told last night that they are so sorry, and would put through an urgent request to get the modem out ASAP and look to compensate my client for their stuff up.  I was told by the current billing contact to contact her directly using the link she would send me.  I got one of these SMS message last week, so I foolishly though I would receive it again.  My bad.  I hung up before receiving the SMS.  I got no message at all.

Today I called again, but this time was forced to call the 132000 number again, no shortcuts via a SMS link.

After a lengthy wait I again got through to billing who since I did not connect with them using a SMS link, needed to speak to my customer to get authorization.  That was a drama to get again.  I was not onsite this time.

When they managed to get authorization again from my client, they tell me that the order was not place last night.  WHY NOT!!  I am spewing at this point.

Again they said they will place the order and again it will take around 5 days to process and get shipped.  I was sent a one time link SMS, from billing but was also asked, “do you want to stay on the line while we process the order or shall we call you back?”.  HMMM!!  Each time I get asked to stay and wait on the line for 2-3 minutes the clock actually shows more like 20-20 minutes.

I said she could call me back rather than me wait for her call.  I have other work to do.

Well 45 minutes now as I am writing this, and still no call back.  4:45pm now.  Finished call at around 4pm.

Where has customer service gone.  Overseas I expect.

Ransomware Impact

A week or so ago a client of mines office was attacked by a new variant of the Ransomware Virus.  This Virus spread across multiple office computers and also all USB drives connected to the infected computers.

Not all the computers had current anti-virus protection.  (Mcafee was running on one of the computers while another had an expired antivirus subscription ).

There was no backup in place on any of the computers.

End result is.  Most of the companies important data was lost.  MYOB data could be recovered from 2 months ago from the accountant.  Managed to recover around 10 gig worth of data from one infected computer.  This consisted of Excel Files, Work Documents, PDF Documents, Images.  Over 16,000 files were encrypted on 1 of the computers.

Even drop box started to sync the encypted files to the cloud.

The files were changed by having a 6 character random suffix added to the end of each encrypted file after encryption.

A warning message was displayed on screen as a changed desktop wallpaper image.

Where each file was encrypted a text file explaining what had happened was saved together with a HTML file providing links to get your data decrypted providing a ransom was paid in BITCOIN currency.

ransomware-cerber-message

I attempted to get data decrypted using a number of online tools from the major antivirus companies.  None of them could fix the data.  Since each file had a different suffix name added to the file, it was next to impossible to decrypt based on the name of the extension.

Cerber Virus description

cerber

 

BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP!!!

 

Contact me and I can put something in place to minimize the risk to you or your business.

0414405007  (Natan)

Sonos Wireless Sound System

sonos  Note the name allows the system to be inverted and still read correctly.

A few months ago, I was contacted by a gentleman who was in his late 70’s/early 80’s.  He had an existing LG Soundbar and woofer connected to his TV but was unable to get the sound quality he needed to be able to hear the dialogue from the TV.

I did some research on what options were available and finally suggested he try the Sonos sound system.

He went into the stores (Bing Lee/JB Hifi/ Harvey Norman) and tested out a few that I had mentioned (Bose/Samsung/Sonos/B&O) etc and agreed that the best sound appeared to come from the Sonos system.

So he agreed to purchase the soundbar  sonos-playbarand two Play 1 sonos-play-1speakers.

We the initial installation went OK and appeared to go without a hitch with the playbar connecting to the TV via a Optical Cable optical-cable.

The two play 1 speakers were connected as a stereo pair and then grouped with the Playbar to get the TV sound playing out of all three speakers.

The sonos App had to be installed on his iPad mini which acted as a controller and allowed the volume of the Playbar and the Play 1 Pair to be controlled together or separately.  It also allowed the existing TV remote to control the volume.

After having resolved a few issues with setup using Sonos support, I was called back by the customer a few hours later when the play 1 speakers were no longer getting sound, only the playbar had sound.

I chased this issue down with the Sonos Rep who was very helpful.  He told me about a previously unmentioned setting in Sonos which if selected (DEFAULT), will un-group the speakers when the TV s turned off.  Support had not mentioned this feature nor was it in any manual?  Go figure!!

I changed this setting and the connection grouping was retained even when the TV was turned off.

The home where this system was installed was using a Asus Wifi ADSL 2+ Modem Router.  This appears to be less stable than using a Sonos Bridge suggested by Harvey Norman Sales Rep.

This was the cheapest component at under $100  sonos-bridge  Currently, all Sonos speakers communicate via the SonosNet peer-to-peer mesh network, which must be connected directly to a router via the Bridge device. The firmware update will work with all existing Sonos products, but there are a few limitations to the new “wire free” Sonos setup.

The bridge connected to the Modem via a Ethernet cable and the sonos system then talked to the bridge.  Things appeared to be stable for a few months but now again the Play 1 Speakers are having issues.  The sound appears to alternating between the the left and right speakers.

According to Sonos rep, this is probably caused by wifi interference.  They have suggested calling their Melbourne Support line and seeing what they can do or suggest.

Wifi interference can the the modem itself, or even a new wifi signal being turned on nearby(Nearby Apartment) generating a interfering signal, or a cordless phone which also has wifi.

Let me know if you need help with purchasing and implementing a SONOS system.