Archive for September, 2016

Be careful when installing Java Updates – more FoistWare

Be careful when installing Java updates - more FoistWare installed

Exercise Caution when installing Java Updates

Caution when installing Java Updates is required or you may be tricked into installing FoistWare.

What is FoistWare (also called CrapWare)?

Firstly, lets explain what we mean by FoistWare.  FoistWare is a tactic used by software developers to install additional software during the installation process, sometimes without the users knowledge or consent or with deceptive messages that trick the user into installing the additional software.
Often if you accept the default installation options, the unrelated third-party software is installed.
The FoistWare itself may be a legitimate program, though the manner in which it is installed makes it FoistWare.
The software developers try to make a quick buck by tricking users into installing software they don’t need, which can impact on system performance.
Some FoistWare applications are browser hijacks that modify your web browser’s settings without user’s permission, which can inject unwanted advertising, replace your existing home or search pages.

This tactic is sometimes used by Freeware software developers and has been used by Oracle for many years when installing updates to their popular Java software.

What is Java (by Oracle)?

Java is a programming language and computing platform used on many devices from laptops to datacenters, game consoles and mobile phones. Lots of applications and websites will not work unless you have Java installed.
For Australian Accounting firms and Businesses, one especially relevant application that needs Java is the Australian Government’s AUSkey secure login, used to access participating Government websites.

Oracle is at it again installing deceptive software with Java Updates

Java Updates have previously tricked users to install the Google Toolbar, Yahoo and Ask Toolbar and Search App.  Here’s one example of what users were prompted with when installing previous Java Updates:

Caution installing Java Updates - Previous Java Update defaulting to install Ask Search

Previous Java Update defaulting to install Ask Search

The latest Java updates now try to trick you into installing the Teoma Search App:

Caution installing Java Updates - Latest Java Update Install Offer Teoma Search App

Latest Java Update Install Offer Teoma Search App

Other vendors that have been purveyors of FoistWare include:

  • Adobe when you download Flash Player, included Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer or when you download Reader downloaded Google Chrome.
  • Skype

Our Recommendations for Caution installing Java Updates

It is important to install patches and updates for all software, including Java. If you don’t install the latest Java update, you may not be able to use your AUSkey to access Government websites.
When installing software, including updates, always review installation questions/options, rather than simply accepting the Defaults and clicking Next, Next, Next.

If you require any assistance with installing updates, removing any unwanted FoistWare inadvertently installed, or removing any browser hijacks, please Contact Us.

See the following articles for more information on Java Updates installing FoistWare:

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Can Small Businesses Afford Proactive Managed IT Support?

Can Small Businesses Afford Proactive Managed IT Support?

Affordable Small Business IT Support

When determining the affordability and Return on Investment (ROI) of engaging with Proactive Managed IT Support Providers, Small Business Owners often find themselves in a position of trying to balance a limited budget while making sure they have the proper tools to grow their business.  It is a challenge many business owners face, in that they recognise the need for additional products or services that will allow their business to continue to thrive.   However, funds may be in short supply to achieve these goals.

Faced with this challenge, many small business owners are forced to make difficult decisions as to where they can afford to spend money to improve their business.  One of the areas in which business owners are on the fence is whether or not hiring a Proactive Managed IT Support Services Provider is something they can afford.  In some cases the cost is not worth the benefits, however there are many situations where cutting costs will end up costing you more money in the long run.  Here are a few reasons why managed IT support service providers may be more affordable than the alternative.

Technology – In order to be competitive today, small businesses must remain up-to-speed with current technology.  The amount of money invested in this area can be quite large, making it necessary to ensure you have someone in your corner who can help manage and support the technology used in your business.  While the average person is becoming increasingly well versed in the use of basic technology, there remains a need for experts in the industry to ensure your business can stay up and running on a daily basis as well as in the event of a natural or man made emergency.

Internal IT Department – Larger corporations have the budget necessary to support an internal IT department that provides expertise and support of the technology used by the company. Small businesses do not have the same resources and often find themselves either without backup or paying a high price when they have to bring in an outside expert.

Services provided by Proactive Managed IT Support Providers, also known as Manged Service Providers (MSP’s) – When a small business enlists the help of a Proactive Managed IT Support Service Provider, they will agree to a Service Level Agreement (SLA) which covers specific services at a specific price.  This allows the the small business owner to see upfront what they are paying for and how it will work in the budget.

Depending on the business, these services can be customised to meet the specific needs of the client, making it possible to reduce costs in certain areas.  There are many reasons why a small business owner might feel Proactive Managed IT Support service providers are not something they can afford.  Unfortunately the services provided are often not realised until there is an emergency, where small business owners quickly discover the amount of money spent to “fix” a problem or recover from a disaster is much more expensive than planning for it in the first place.  In this case it is not a matter of if you can afford Proactive Managed IT Support services, rather if you can afford NOT to have them.

Click here to learn how [contentblock id=company] can help you save on IT costs with our Proactive Managed IT Support Services for your business in [contentblock id=location].


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WARNING – new document virus threat in your Inbox

Warning Document virus threat in your Inbox

Another new Document based virus threat is doing the rounds via email.

Several clients in the last few days have reported receiving an email with a Word Document attachment, almost identical to the following email.  It is highly likely the Word document contains a new Virus, MalWare or Trojan Threat.

Check out our previous Blog article for more information on Document Based Malware on the Rise.

Our Business IT Solutions gurus have scanned the suspicious Word doc and although leading anti-virus solutions are not as yet detecting any Threats, telltale signs the email is bogus include:

  • Sender email address domain name ( does not match the company name (Onto It Web Services)
  • Sender email address name (phys-mgmt) does not match the senders name (Leigh Wilson)
  • ABN is bogus an not listed on Australian Business Register
  • Very few accounting systems email invoices as Word docs, most are sent as PDFs
  • Highly irregular for the body of an email to be addressed to persons Full Name and Title.  It is interesting that the Full Name, Title, and matching email address have been harvested from somewhere.

Due to our suspicions, we submitted the Word doc to several leading anti-virus vendors for assessment.  In addition to reporting back to us, we also expect updates to their anti-virus definitions soon.

UPDATE: Symantec Security Response have responded to our file submission and confirmed:

  • Determination: New Threat
  • Submission Detail: This file is detected as W97M.Downloader (a Word macro trojan) with our existing Rapid Release definition set.  Protection is (now) available in Rapid Release definitions with a sequence number of 180266 or greater.

What should your virus strategy include for Document based threats?

As new threats are not immediately detected by anti-virus software, please continue to exercise caution when opening email attachments.  You are the first line of defence against Virus, Torjan, MalWare and other Threats.

Contact Us if you need any assistance with your anti-virus strategy or Network Security.

Email received with Word document virus threat attachment:

From: “Leigh Wilson” <>
Date: 31/08/2016 01:21 PM
Subject: iT and Beyond Pty Ltd; Neville, See and Remit – NET-30 01C956044

Dear Neville Rose,
CEO and Founder

I am getting in touch to let you know that we haven’t received deposit of AUD 1,402.00 from iT and Beyond Pty Ltd (), which appears unpaid.
Since you are our returning client, we are offering you 7 additional days to make the payment. Please check the inserted document for payment requisites.

Best Regards,
Leigh Wilson
Onto It Web Services | Accounts Department
A.B.N 29 740797125
Burke Road Camberwell Victoria 3124

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