Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Internet Explorer 11

We are now in the second week since Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) has been deployed, and there are a few things worth noting to be prepared in advance.

For starters, IE11 is only being made available to Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers.  If you are still using XP or Vista, look no further as IE11 will not be deployed to your computer.

We have found that the majority of websites are not having compatibility issues, as most modern sites with good cross-browser compatibility are already up to par.  However, if you are using any sites which require specific versions of Internet Explorer, there is a good chance that IE11 will not work.  Government and healthcare related sites tend to be the most browser specific.

With that in mind, we would like to note that we are not yet deploying IE11 to any of our CommonFocus customers, pending approval from each of those customers' vendors that IE11 compatibility is supported.

For those of you not using our CommonFocus service, you may discover that the update will take place automatically.  Largely, the change may go unnoticed, although if you find throughout the course of doing your work that some websites are giving you errors or trouble, then it may be worth rolling back to a previous version of Internet Explorer.  Do not hesitate to contact your IT provider for assistance, as these types of issues are expected in the field anytime new software is rolled out.

Lastly, we would like to note that our own internal testing has found IE11 to be both more stable and less resource-intensive (meaning it will run quicker) than previous versions of Internet Explorer.  Additionally, Microsoft has closed security loopholes present in previous versions.  Therefore, we do advise the upgrade if it is possible to do, assuming no compatibility issues arise.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cracked.com infection

For those not familiar, Cracked.com is a comedy site similar to Mad Magazine.  According to Alexa surveys, which rank website popularity, it is the 289th most-visited site in the US.  While the content on the site can be humorous, it is typically not risky (except for the lost productivity when reading instead of working).  However, the folks at Barracuda Labs have discovered that the site has been hosting malware for at least a week now.

Visitors to the site are exposed to a javascript exploit which downloads and installs itself onto the visitors' computer and leaves "little indication that their system has been compromised except that the java plugin has launched and the system is low on memory" according to Barracuda Labs.

Full technical details from Barracuda Labs can be found at the link below.

http://barracudalabs.com/2013/11/yesterday-on-cracked-com-malware/

According to virustotal.com, as of 8:00 AM EST on 11/14/13, 24 of the 47 antivirus engines tested will detect the infection.  Full results are available at the link below.

https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/0fb9613582fd025b6fd14dcd003973c676db3798b733851a6b37ef6b0bc5f3be/analysis/

If you are a reader of Cracked.com and are concerned about your system potentially having been exposed, contact your IT provider for assistance, even if your system shows no signs of infection.  We here at Pointsolve Technology are pleased to note that our recommended antivirus vendor, Vipre Antivirus, does in fact detect this attack.  However, we are still advising not visiting the site until the infection has been removed.

If you are not using Vipre Antivirus but would like to inquire about how to get started, feel free to contact our very own Nick Stevenson at nstevenson@pointsolve.com or 866-336-3106 ext 2.