SamSam ransomware

ZDNet has reported a ransomware attack named “SamSam” which is believed to be using RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) to attack servers.  Once a server is breached, it attempts to spread throughout connected servers.  Cisco’s security intelligence team Talos notes that the attacks seem to be tied to the same BitCoin wallet and has more details about the how the ransomware encrypts and decrypts files.  Several businesses, including some U.S. hospitals, have had their files locked by this ransomware according to BleepingComputer.com.

Keyboard shortcut lists for Microsoft Windows and related apps

A list of keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Windows 10, 8.1, and 7 is displayed at  https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12445/windows-keyboard-shortcuts.

Additional shortcuts for Windows apps such as Edge browser, WordPad, Calculator, etc. may be found at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13805/windows-keyboard-shortcuts-in-apps.

Microsoft Excel function lists and keyboard shortcuts

Microsoft has provided some web pages that list Excel functions and keyboard shortcuts:

The Microsoft Excel Community has additional helpful hints regarding Excel.

Google Ads Settings and AdChoices allows users more control over displayed ads

Google released a statement announcing Google Ads Settings, a new feature that allows users the ability to have more control regarding which ads will appear when browsing the web.

The Ad settings page is found by logging into https://adssettings.google.com/ with a Google user account.

Clicking on the Visit AdChoices option near the bottom of the above page will connect you to WebChoices, the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Consumer Choice Tool for the Web.  This allows you to change ad settings for other websites.  Links to privacy statements are available for many of the listed companies.

Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) support ends July 31st 2018

Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) was a free tool that allowed Windows users additional security protection against hackers.

Microsoft released a statement stating its Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) would be supported until July 31st 2018.  Microsoft recommends updating devices to Windows 10 since the toolkit’s protections are built into the operating system and provide better protection.

EMET can be downloaded from www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54264. A user guide is available at www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=53355

EMET currently runs on Windows 10, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2.

dbatools.io – PowerShell scripts for SQL Server

The open source dbatools.io project allows you to download free PowerShell scripts or cmdlets to help with various SQL Server tasks.  A list of current commands is available at dbatools.io/commands.  A keyword search can be done at docs.dbatools.io.

Microsoft Windows Privacy Dashboard

Microsoft announced a new web-based Windows Privacy Dashboard which allows users to control how such data as their browsing history, search history, ad settings, location activity, and Cortana’s Notebook is collected and used.

Log into account.microsoft.com/privacy with your Microsoft account to access the Privacy Dashboard.

Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer

Microsoft announced the release of Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer which will allow users to see all diagnostic data collected on a Windows 10 device.  The Windows Store app shows data sent to Microsoft by the Universal Telemetry Client.  TechRepublic.com noted that this application was previously only available for builds of Windows 10 under the Windows Insider program.

More information is available at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/configuration/diagnostic-data-viewer-overview.

eBay states that PayPal will longer be its primary payments processor

eBay released a statement announcing that PayPal will no longer be its primary payments processor on Jan 31st 2018.  Adyen will have this role in the future.  eBay did confirm that PayPal would be an option for payment on its website until July 2023 and that PayPal was still an important business partner.