Saturday, July 28, 2012

600,000 Macs are currently infected with a nasty Trojan horse virus called “Flashback.” Find out if you have the virus!

Macs can get viruses too!                                   

Find out if you are infected with the Flashback Trojan and how to fix it – fast and easy

Apple computer users have not had to worry about getting a virus infection in the past, but a Russian antivirus company is reporting that 600,000 Macs are currently infected with a nasty Trojan horse virus called “Flashback.”
Doctor Web issued a report on Wednesday that said 550,000 computers with Mac OSX have picked up the virus. An analyst at Doctor Web later sent a tweet noting that 600,000 Mac computers have actually been infected and some — about 274 — are actually based in the same city as Apple’s headquarters, Cupertino, Calif.
Flashback was originally discovered in September 2011 and was designed to disguise itself as an Adobe Flash Player installer, using Flash player logos. After installing Flashback, the malware seeks out user names and passwords that are stored on your Mac.
Two AppleScripts have been developed to determine whether or not your computer has been infected with this virus.  Why two? Well, there are actually two areas of your hard drive that need to be checked for nasty files.
These files simply run the terminal commands and let users know if they have anything to worry about. They aren’t the most beautiful creations, but they do the job.
You can download the scripts at the CloudApp ( After unzipping, simply double-click on “trojan-check” and “trojan-check-2.”
If you get an image that looks like the image below, you’re in the clear.

There are no visible symptoms for this Mac virus, except for making sporadic connections to unknown servers that can be only seen in the firewall logs, if any firewall is in place. The symptoms also depend on the payload that may be downloaded upon the command from the control server.
Although it’s difficult to prevent contracting the virus, it’s not impossible.
The bad thing about these types of infections is that it is hard to prevent them without disconnecting one’s computer from the Internet all together We advise Mac users to strictly follow Apple’s security updates. Don’t neglect them.
To protect your computer from contracting the virus now, download Apple’s latest software update. Click the Apple logo located in the top-left section of the desktop and select Software Update. Install all of the available updates as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, the number of infected computers is still increasing.  We encourage Mac users to install anti-virus software, even though many think it’s unnecessary to do so for Apple computers.
Although symptoms are minimal, there are a few things you can do to see if you are infected. iComputer suggests the following steps (note: we posted the html below so you could read the full code):
  • Go to the Mac’s Library folder and select LaunchAgents. There should be several files in that catalog.
  • Search all files in the folder for the following contents:
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC”-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN” “”>
<plist version=”1.0″>
<key>Label</key><string>com zeobit keep</string>
  • Look for the file name specified in the ProgramArguments key. This is where the file BackDoor.Flashback.39 would be located. If the file is empty, it means that none of your programs are meant to start automatically. It also means that you are not infected.
  •  To see if this is the Trojan, scan it with anti-virus software for Mac OS or upload it to VirusTotal website.
  • To cure the machine, delete both files.
  • Removing the files should restore your computer.
The news comes after Apple continues to position OS X as a more secure alternative to other computer makers.
“A Mac isn’t susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers,” Apples notes on its homepage. “That’s thanks to built-in defenses in Mac OS X that keep you safe, without any work on your part.”  This is partially true as Macs are not as susceptible as Windows computers but safety measures should definitely be taken to make sure that you don’t have a virus.  Call iComputer if you have any questions or need help with any of these steps!
                                                                 DNSChanger Virus
DNSChanger Virus

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mountain Lion to be Released July 2012 -- Find Out About Features and What Macs Are Not Compatible

There has been a lot of chatter over the Internet for last few months about OS X Mountain Lion, Apple’s latest OS for the Mac.  Apple has opted for a new direction with Mountain Lion with an offering that shows the first signs of unity between desktop and mobile.

Apple has finally deemed Mountain Lion stable enough to bless it with a “near final” Developer Preview 4 tag, available for download by developers enrolled in the OS X development program. The release of the Developer Preview 4 version of the new operating system means that Apple is pretty much done applying the polish and finishing touches to the software, with a prime time public release coming sometime this month.
Please call iComputer if you have any questions.

The Mountain Lion OS has seemingly split public opinion since its announcement, but it definitely goes some way to showing the world just what Apple’s future plans are. The company describes the OS as bringing a whole host of new features that have been inspired by the hugely successful iPad and re-imagined for the Mac, with the hope that it makes the Mac experience smarter, easier and a lot more intuitive and fun.

Deeper integration with iCloud allows users to sign-in with a registered Apple ID to automatically have iCloud support across the whole system, something that will greatly benefit features such as mail, calendars and documents. OS X Mountain Lion also brings a significant and much needed update to the iChat application, rebranding it to ‘Messages’ and bringing the ability to send unlimited free of charge iMessages to users of Macs, iPhones, iPads and iPod touches.

Popular iOS-based applications such as Reminders, Notes, Notification Center have also been integrated into Mountain Lion, as well as sharing sheets being littered throughout the system for complete social interaction with services such as Vimeo, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter. Mountain Lion represents a monumental change for Mac users and goes way beyond being an evolutionary operating system upgrade, feeling more like a new relationship is being formed with OS X and iOS.

Apple introduced AirDrop in OS X Lion, making it easy to set up a secure, configuration free file sharing session between two Macs on the same network. In Mountain Lion, Apple makes the feature accessible all over through the new Share Sheets feature.  Share Sheets presents a "send" icon familiar to iOS users in a variety of places throughout OS X Mountain Lion, from Quick Look panels to Open File dialogs to Contacts, Safari and Photo Booth.  Clicking on a Share Sheet icon opens a menu displaying a variety of contextually relevant sharing options based on the accounts configured in the "Mail Contacts & Calendars" pane of System Preferences.

Quick Look an image, for example, and Share Sheets present options to send via Email, Message, Twitter, AirDrop or Flickr.
As mentioned earlier, the released DP4 build of Mountain Lion is only available to registered Mac OS X developers, so if that applies to you then head on over to the Developer Center and download your copy now.

Apple released a full list of Macs compatible with OS X Mountain Lion.
Although most of the details with regards to Apple’s much anticipated OS X Mountain Lion are already public domain, the Apple has now revealed which specific Macs will be upgradable once the next iteration of its desktop operating system does emerge. If you’re in ownership of a MacBook released prior to 2007, you’ll be disappointed to learn that you’ll need to grab yourself some new hardware if you wish to sink your teeth into Mountain Lion, since it’s thought it will simply not run on 32-bit GPUs.

As such, if you’re a Mac Mini user and purchased your little computing box before 2009, you will also need to consider investing in a newer unit if you want to run the heavily iOS-influenced iteration of OS X.

Last year’s release of OS X Lion saw many old favorites left behind, and Mountain Lion will follow a similar pattern. With each iteration of OS X there’s always a list of machines that have been left behind, and Mountain Lion is no different, it would seem. Apple hasn’t stated any specific reasons as to why certain models have been left out of contention, but presumption seems to be that graphics on 64-bit systems are the main source of the problem.

The details regarding Mountain Lion, which dropped earlier this week, indicates the older machines depend on specific 32-bit GPU drivers, and it appears as though Apple has decided to leave the older devices out as opposed to going through the painstaking rigmarole of writing new drivers for each one.  Apple will obviously continue to support the older machines with security patches and performance enhancements, but from an OS X point of view, Mountain Lion is simply a step too far.  Here is the fully classified list of devices compliant with Mountain Lion, which will be arriving later this month for the upgrade price of $19.99.  Please call iComputer if you have any questions.

◦                      iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
◦                      MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
◦                      MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
◦                      MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
◦                      Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
◦                      Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
◦                      Xserve (Early 2009)

Although it’s always a shame to see older machines left out in the cold, but Apple will continue to support Snow Leopard and Lion so computers on those operating systems will be eligible for Apple security patches etc.  Additionally, with every new release of an operating system there are bugs that have not been ironed out, so if you do not upgrade to Mountain Lion immediately it is not a such a bad thing.

Windows 8 Features: Answers To All Your Questions and What PCs Will Be Compatible

Windows 8 Features: Answers To All Your Questions and What PCs Will Be Compatible

Microsoft's "re-imagining" of Windows 8 is focused very heavily on a new, Metro-style touch-based interface. However, they make a big deal of saying that it is just as usable with a mouse and keyboard—and no matter what device you're on, you can switch between the simple Metro interface and the traditional Windows desktop to fit whatever your needs are at that given moment.  Please call iComputer if you have any questions.

Performance Increases

One of the issues that have been a concern with the new interface was if it would bog Windows down with more running processes, and whether running a full Windows desktop on a low-powered tablet was really a good idea.
Microsoft has addressed these issues: Windows 8 is supposed to have better performance than Windows 7, even with this metro interface running on top of a desktop.
Tablet users and netbook users especially should notice a fairly significant performance increase with Windows 8. Microsoft has engineered Windows 8 to suspend your tablet-based apps when you jump into the traditional desktop, so they don't take up any of your resources.

The Home Screen

The home screen is very familiar to anyone who's used Windows Phone. You've got a set of tiles, each of which represents an application, and many of which show information and notifications that correspond to the app. For example, your email tile will tell you how many unread emails you have (and who they're from), your calendar tile will show upcoming events, your music tile will show you what's playing, and so on. You can also create tiles for games, contacts, and even traditional Windows apps that will pull you into the Windows desktop.

Running Apps

Running a basic app works as you expect—you tap on its home screen icon and it goes full screen. The browser has lots of touch-based controls, like pinch to zoom and copy and paste, and you can access options like search, share, and settings through the Charms bar, which you can get by swiping from the right edge of the screen or pressing Win+C. Apps can share information one another easily, such as selected text or photos. After picking your media from one app, you'll then be able to choose which app you want to share with, and work with it from there. For example, you can share photos to Facebook, send text from a web page in an email, and so on.
None of this is brand new to touch-based platforms, but what is new is the ability to not only multi-task, but run these apps side by side. Say you want to watch a video and keep an eye on your news feed at the same time. Just like in Windows 7 for the desktop, you can dock an app to one side of the screen while docking another app at the opposite side. This feature allows you to ignore the full desktop interface more often and stay in the touch-friendly, tablet view.

The Windows Store

The Windows Store, which is now available in the Consumer Preview, looks much like the home screen, with tiles that correspond to different categories and featured apps. From there, you can look at a more detailed list of the available apps in a given section. And, the store contains not only touch-based apps for the tablet interface, but some of the more traditional desktop Windows apps you're used to, so you have one portal to discover all your Windows apps no matter what interface you're using.
Right now, the Windows Store is full of free apps from Microsoft and its partners, so you can check out some of the upcoming apps now. When Windows 8 officially releases to the public, though, you should find many more apps in the store, including paid ones. What's really cool about the app store is that you can try apps before you buy, and then download the full version without losing your place in the app or reinstalling anything.

Sync All Your Data to the Cloud

The cloud is taking center stage, with your Microsoft account driving all the syncing in Windows 8. Your address book, photos, SkyDrive data, and even data within third-party apps can sync up to the cloud, and you can access them on any Windows 8 device—even a brand new one. Just sign in, and you'll have access to everything (not unlike Chrome OS, which immediately loaded your themes and extensions when you logged in—great for lending your computer to a friend). The address book also syncs with other services like Facebook and Twitter as well. You can even sync all of your settings from one Windows 8 PC to another. Just sign onto your Windows 8 with a Microsoft account and you'll get all your themes, languages, app settings, taskbar, and other preferences will show right up. It's a pretty neat feature if you have multiple Windows 8 PCs and don't want to set them all up separately.

The Desktop

The traditional desktop is still there, though it may be a little different than what you're used to. First, there's no start button.  Your taskbar merely shows the apps you have pinned, with your system tray on the right, as usual. You can jump back to the start screen (that is, the Metro screen) by pressing the Windows key or by moving your mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen. Other than that, everything looks pretty similar (though the windows no longer have rounded corners). The Control Panel has been updated a bit, as well as the Task Manager and Windows Explorer, which we'll discuss below.

A New Task Manager

Microsoft's finally redesigned the task manager, and it looks pretty great. You have a very simple task manager for basic task killing, but if you're a more advanced user, you can bring up the detailed task manager filled with information on CPU and RAM usage, Metro app history, and even startup tweaking—so you can get rid of apps that launch on startup without going all the way into msconfig.

Windows Explorer

They didn't show us a super in-depth look at the new Windows Explorer, but we did get a little peek. Most of it isn't new information: Windows 8 Supports Native ISO Mounting, a new Office-style ribbon, and a one folder up button found in older versions of Windows Explorer.  It also has a "quick access" toolbar in the left-hand corner of the title bar, giving you quick access to your favorite buttons from the ribbon.
One of the most common complaints about the Explorer interface in Windows 7 was that it dumped the ‘up’ button used to move up in the directory structure. The good news is that it’s returning in Windows 8. Microsoft will achieve that by using the Ribbon interface.
On the surface, the ribbon looks inconsistent with the tile-based, Windows Phone-style design and fonts that Microsoft has adopted for the default Start screen in Windows 8.  Microsoft will be giving more details on Windows 8 in the near future, and it will be interesting to see how the company bridges the new and old elements of the overall Windows interface.

Other Features

Along with these cool features, Windows 8 also comes with other features we've become familiar with in our mobile OSes. It has a system-wide spellcheck, so you don't have to rely on a specific app to keep your spelling correct, as well as a system-wide search feature, that lets you search anything from your music library to your contacts to the web itself. It also has a feature for desktop users that lets your run the Metro UI on one monitor while running the traditional desktop on the other.

Windows 8 Requirements

Windows 8 Consumer Preview should run on the same hardware that powers Windows 7 today. In general, you can expect Windows 8 Consumer Preview to run on a PC with the following: Please call iComputer if you have any questions.
  • 1 GHz or faster processor
  • 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
  • 1024 x 768 minimum screen resolution
However, there are some additional requirements to take into consideration in order to use certain features in Windows 8. In order to use the Snap feature, you will need a PC with a 1366x768 resolution or higher. If you want to use touch, you will need a multi-touch-capable laptop, tablet, or display. Windows 8 supports at least five simultaneous touch points, so if your hardware does not, you may find typing on the onscreen keyboard and using certain controls more of a challenge. You will also need an internet connection to try out the Windows Store, to download and install apps, and to take your settings and files with you from one Windows 8 PC to another.  Call iComputer for any questions!

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Computer is pleased to announce a partnership with Denver SEO Inc. Colorado's leading SEO Company, Denver SEO Inc provides award winning solutions for small business web marketing.  We are dedicated to continue providing premier internet marketing services that have 100% success rate with our clients.

We know that effective marketing strategies are being applied by more and more webmasters.  That’s why SEO services are more of a necessity, than a luxury, in this Web 2.0 world. We help you sustain and grow your business by providing you with the support, information and resources you need most in order to achieve the best possible organic Search Engine Optimization for your business.

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  • Full Website Audit (HTML, CSS, SITE LOAD SPEED, Keyword usage, etc.)
  • Internal and External SEO Linking strategy
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Using the web effectively is truly the beginning of any online success for new or existing websites. iComputer and SEO Denver Inc. give you the tools you need to reach your targets faster, better, and more effectively.  Your ROI increases substantially when you apply the strategies, services, techniques, and resources as spelled out in your custom SEO services plan. Pricing may vary depending on the size of your business, its location, number of competitors, and the product or service offered.

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Best Practices to Protect Yourself From Computer Viruses, Malware and Hackers

Computer hackers are unauthorized users who break into computer systems in order to steal, change or destroy information, often by installing dangerous malware without your knowledge or consent. These computer hackers use viruses and malware to access information you really don’t want them to have such as your credit card information.  Please call iComputer if you have any questions or need help removing a virus.

Anyone who uses a computer connected to the Internet is susceptible to the threats that computer hackers and predators pose. These online thieves typically use phishing scams, spam email or instant messages and bogus Web sites to deliver dangerous malware to your computer and compromise your computer security.

Email Phishing scams are carried out online by tech-savvy con artists and identity theft criminals. They use spam, fake websites constructed to look identical to real sites, email and instant messages to trick you into divulging sensitive information, like bank account passwords and credit card numbers. Once you take the phisher’s bait, they can use the information to create fake accounts in your name, ruin your credit, and steal your money or even your identity.

Here are 10 things you can do to prevent these cyber-criminals from infecting your computer with viruses, malware or spyware:

1.  Windows Updates: It’s important for you to keep your OS up to speed in order to minimize the possibility of having worms or viruses compromise your system.

2.  Software Updates: Make sure to get the latest fixes or versions of your favorite applications in order to never let hackers find the opportunity to infect your network and computer. Make sure that your web browsers and other web-based programs are given good upgrades or patches.

3.  Anti-Virus Software: Running your machine without an anti-virus software—especially if it’s regularly connected to the Internet—is downright suicidal in these modern, computer-virus-ridden times. Get one as soon as you can, and always confirm if its virus definitions are regularly updated.

4.  Anti-Spyware Software: Spyware remains to be a continuous threat to computer users everywhere.
5.  Switch to Macintosh: Macs get a pass for the simple fact that it’s not as commonly targeted as, Windows-based computers.

6.  Hacker-Controlled Websites: Common sense dictates that you should avoid going to bad neighborhoods, especially if you carry a lot of valuables. Avoid getting snared by dubious sites dedicated to porn, free downloads, online games, and so on; this way, there are less chances for you to be hacked.

7.  Firewall: If you don’t have a third-party firewall then it’s highly recommended for you to activate your Windows firewall (available on all Windows versions from XP and up). Firewalls help filter your traffic, and there are some products that even filter both incoming and outgoing data streams.

8.  Spam Email: Unsolicited messages should never be opened, and that goes double for unsolicited messages with file attachments. Fortunately, web-based email sites like Gmail have an extra layer of protection integrated in them although it’s still not recommended for you to overly rely on them. When in doubt, just delete the message.

9.  Data Backup: If you have critical data, work-related documents, or personal files, then you must back them up as often as possible, because you never know what will happen to your computer. From viruses to system crashes, these sensitive bits of information can be wiped clean from your hard drive in the blink of an eye, so it’s best to always have a backup at hand.

10.  Password Policies: The passwords you pick could mean the difference between a breached computer and a safe computer. At any rate, the most common recommendations when it comes to picking a password includes not using the same password on every one of your accounts, using combinations of letters and numbers, and making sure that your password is as arcane as possible without necessarily making it too difficult for you to remember it.

Never give out your password to anyone.

There is no way of completely protecting yourself 100% from computer viruses but if the above 10 measures are taken the likelihood of a virus infection on your network and computer will be greatly reduced.

Call iComputer if you suspect a computer virus infection.  The certified technicians will remove all traces of the virus and install a good free anti-virus for no additional charge and even perform a hardware diagnostic to make sure everything is running smoothly.

iComputer Blog - Useful Tips and Breaking News on Computer Repair and IT Support

iComputer is conveniently located near Downtown Denver. Our team provides comprehensive computer solutions for your every technical and IT need. iComputer technicians are both Apple Certified and CompTIA A+ / Network+ Certified and well-trained in Mac and PC repair and technical support. We can fix any Apple or Windows-based machines. Let us give you great advice on computer software, hardware, IT Support and cloud services.