Cryptojacking: Hackers Don’t Always Want Your Data

Among the various cyberthreats that currently exist, there is an increase in the number of systems that are being hacked for the purpose of cryptomining.  Cryptomining, also known as cryptojacking, which is the illicit  mining of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using compromised systems is rapidly replacing ransomware as the exploit of choice. Hackers are exploiting systems in order to use that computer processing power, storage, and memory to earn cryptocurrency by running programs that mine cryptocurrencies.

The cryptojackers can access your systems through all the standard means of breaking into vulnerable systems that don’t have appropriate security updates. Even network devices like your home router, cellphones, and internet of things devices (like Amazon Echo and Google Home; or a smart fridge or tv) can be susceptible to being exploited. And in the process, they can run up your electricity bill.

You may not know that you’ve been hacked, other than system performance slowdowns (when noticeable) and higher electric bills. The usual ransom notes, or markers of stolen passwords or credit card numbers are not present, because they are not necessarily trying to access your personal data. Moreover these hackers try to avoid detection for as long as possible to increase their potential earnings.

While the primary purpose of the hack is not to steal your data, you still face a threat if someone has compromised your network to perform cryptocurrency mining. It still represents a breach of security and the hackers can at any point maliciously target your data or systems. Additionally, the stealing of your computing resources could adversely affect the operations of your systems, and thus your business.

To limit your exposure to cryptocurrency mining hacks, keep your servers and computer systems up to date. Penetration testing can identify any vulnerabilities in web-based custom applications that you use. As a managed services provider and Miami IT consultants, we keep clients’ systems safe and design solutions that protect the systems and data of businesses. Call us for cybersecurity assessments.

Invizio Co-Founder Kevin Michael to Appear on Entrepreneurship Panel at Johnson & Wales University

On March 21st, the Johnson and Wales College of Business is hosting its spring conference titled Innovation, Information & Inclusivity: Driving Business in the Digital Era. 

Invizio co-founder Kevin Michael will be speaking on a panel about entrepreneurship with Roger Duarte, B.S., Founder and Chairman of George Stone Crab and Co-founder of MyCevicheMadeleine Daryadel, B.S., Partner and President of WeddingQuickQuoteValentina Villarubio, M.B.A., Owner & Creative Director Dopodomani; and Daniel Rotenberg, M.B.A., Managing Director at Ocean Lane Capital.

Suzan McDowell of Circle of One Marketing will deliver the conference’s keynote address.

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter for pictures and updates from the event!




Five Reasons Why You Should Upgrade to Windows 10

On, July 29, 2015 Microsoft released its latest operating system, Windows 10. This came 3 years after the release of their prior major operating system, Windows 8. Windows 8 was widely panned by the tech journalist community but mostly by the general public who never understood the Start Screen and tiles paradigm. As someone who used Windows 8 from the very beginning, I understand mental acrobatics required to successfully make the shift from the user interface of Windows 7 to Windows 8 (I made the transition fairly easily by mostly ignoring the Start Screen).

Microsoft has acknowledged the fact that many users and most importantly many business customers actively avoided moving to Windows 8. Microsoft took the best parts of Windows 7 and Windows 8 and left out the worst parts of each in crafting Windows 10. As someone who regularly has conversations with people about their computers, I understand the trepidation users have about upgrading their computers. To both the users who upgraded or bought a new PC only to be greeted with the dreaded, Start Screen and the user who is completely comfortable and satisfied with the familiarity and stability of their Windows 7 PC, what follow are five reasons why you absolutely should upgrade to Windows 10.

1. Windows 10 is free*

Microsoft made Windows 10 a free upgrade for everyone who has a computer running Windows 7 or higher (Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1). Microsoft wants to avoid what happened with Vista and subsequently with Windows 8 where users, en masse avoided buying new PCs or upgrading to the latest operating system. Microsoft wants to get as many people on the same operating system as possible, so for the first year Windows 10 will be a free upgrade that users can simply download and install.

2. Windows 10 is familiar

Compared to Windows 8, Windows 10 has many similar features to earlier versions of Windows, making it more familiar and intuitive to use.

3. No More Start Screen*

For most users, they will never see the dreaded Start Screen again, Windows 10 brings back the more familiar Start Menu

4. No More Charms Bar

5. Windows 10 is the last version of Windows

Microsoft is moving to a model where Windows is delivered more like a service than as a product. This means that once you have Windows 10 you will receive updates on a regular basis that provide security patches, stability improvements and new features automatically. Microsoft will stop issuing such updates for the older versions, so those version will not be as secure or efficient to use.

If you are hesitant about making the upgrade, contact us and we can help you make the transition.

CryptoLocker Malware

What you need to know to keep your computer secure.

As technology and computer’s advance, so do the viruses, trojans, and malware that plague your operating systems. Perpetual updates to anti-virus programs, malware scanners, and firewalls usually keep up with these nefarious activities, but one such malware has proven to be resistant to security updates. The now infamous CryptoLocker is a ransomware trojan which targets computers using Microsoft Windows. The malware appeared in September of 2013.

A CryptoLocker infection can be acquired from various sources. The most common is from an email attachment. When a computer is infected and CryptoLocker is initiated, the malware encrypts files stored on your PC’s local, mounted, and even networked drives. Your files are encrypted by using an RSA public-key cryptography, which means that the key to access your files is stored on the CryptoLocker’s server. Visit bitcoin code German to see how it operates. When your computer is infected, a message will appear offering you the ability to decrypt your data with a payment through BitCoins or other types of coins and cryptocurrency (find more information at Additionally, you must pay the ransom by a deadline or risk losing the deletion of the private key and therefore losing access to your private files. If the deadline is missed, CryptoLocker offers to decrypt the data for a much higher ransom.

Here’s what you need to know:

– Always avoid email attachments from unknown senders.
– Back up your PC files consistently.
– Avoid storing passwords, sensitive financial data or other personal information on your computer.
– If CryptoLocker infects your PC, removing the malware itself will not give you access to your encrypted files.
– If your computer is infected, do not try to connect a storage device to recover your back up files.
– Most users report that paying the ransom will allow you to recover your files.
– Consult an IT professional if your computer has been infected with CryptoLocker.

With these general safety tips, most users can avoid common viruses and malware. In the event of a computer or network infection, please call our help desk immediately at 1-888-930-1117.

It’s Time To Say Goodbye To Windows XP

The year was 2001 when Microsoft released Windows XP to the world. Windows XP has been a part of our lives for almost 13 years. The original release of Windows XP was by no means perfect, and it required 3 Service Packs and 5 years before Microsoft built what will most likely go down in history as one of it’s most popular operating systems.

Over the past decade PC’s have moved from high-end equipment to be more comparable to an appliance; you need it, but once you’ve decided which one to purchase, you expect to use it until it breaks. Because of this, they are still millions of people still using Windows XP with no major issues. Now, Microsoft has decided that it’s time for users to move on and they have officially announced that as of April 8, 2014 that Windows XP will be considered ‘end of life’, will no longer be supported and they will no longer release security updates/patches for it.

Broken Windows
Image Credit: Deb Hultgren

Why Should You Care?
Both home and business users should pay special attention to Microsoft discontinuing security updates for Windows XP. No more security updates or patches means that any new vulnerabilities in Windows XP will not be fixed. To put this in perspective, Microsoft releases patches for Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8) on the second Tuesday of every month and these updates almost always include security fixes for newly discovered issues. This means that there’s a very high chance that by the second Tuesday in May of this year all of your Windows XP machine will be vulnerable to exploitation. This will likely result in your PCs being infected and placing your entire network at risk. Due to the nature of these vulnerabilities its highly unlikely that anti-virus or anti-malware software will offer any protection.

What Can You Do?
Unfortunately there’s no way around it, the Windows XP machines must go, they will pose a significant and serious security threat to your network if they remain in use. If your organization currently has machines running Windows XP you should start purchasing new machines or plan a desktop infrastructure upgrade project with your IT department or provider. This should include replacing all Windows XP machines with newer systems OR upgrading them to at least Windows Vista (although you’d be much better off with Windows 7 or Windows 8). You may also take this as a chance to evaluate your entire IT infrastructure to ensure all of your equipment is current with the latest, updates and current support subscriptions.

If you need assistance in procuring and migrating to new desktops/laptops in your organization, Invizio provides IT support and desktop infrastructure roll-out services. Give us a call today.