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Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Buying or building computers for Hauptwerk, recommendations, troubleshooting computer hardware issues.

Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby engrssc » Mon May 15, 2017 8:42 am

Another huge reason not to have a Hauptwerk computer online. I use a separate computer to browse, but never my organ computer(s). Nothing on this computer is of any value to hackers. :mrgreen:

Any others doing similarly?

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby josq » Mon May 15, 2017 9:50 am

Sure. Internet connection and virus scanner don't combine well with high quality audio, so that's an extra reason.

But even if infected, the impact would be limited because all sample sets are either downloadable or on dvd/USB. And if strange things happen with the dongle, I've understand MDA is lenient in providing a replacement.
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Re: Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby Grant_Youngman » Mon May 15, 2017 10:29 am

Best overall advice: https://www.nomoreransom.org/prevention-advice.html

Note the emphasis on BACKUPs :-)

If you don't have an up to date OS version and anti-virus software on your HW computer (and any other machine that may touch the HW computer), even air-gapping might not help. All it takes is for a dormant exploit on some other machine to make it to a bit of removable media and then plugging that media into an air-gapped computer. And you can't keep your OS and AV software up to date if you don't occasionally connect to the network in any case.

I keep AV turned off — but always turn it on BEFORE going on-line, and go-online and update it BEFORE plugging in any kind of removable media. And I keep a series of 3 rolling backups.

This is a case where compulsive paranoia should be normal :mrgreen:
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Re: Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby seh52 » Mon May 15, 2017 11:37 am

My HP i7 Windows 10 with Windows Defender is only used for Hauptwerk purposes, such as downloading another organ. I keep it connected via wifi so that it is always up to date. An occasional audio pop during rehearsal lets me know that things are updating. I disconnect the wifi during performance to assure clean audio.

Last year, I took the HP to a computer service store for a hardware upgrade. In addition, it acquired a virus that even impaired Sophos, its antiviral program. I uninstalled Sophos and enabled Windows Defender, which did a fine job of cleaning up the system, so all is well, for now.
Last edited by seh52 on Mon May 15, 2017 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby jkinkennon » Mon May 15, 2017 11:45 am

It is important to understand that the vulnerable computers were those which had NOT received timely updates. There is an argument to be made for keeping a computer off the internet, but without updates we miss out on operating system improvements and better drivers as well. Now that Microsoft is paying attention to a mode (Game Mode) that shuts down or delays unnecessary background processes for critical audio/video use there's one less reason to stay off the internet.

It remains a tradeoff, but I'd personally only consider safety via isolation for genuinely critical use such as in public performance applications.
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Re: Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby profeluisegarcia » Mon May 15, 2017 11:55 am

Hello all: just a question, not an advertising:

Are we Mac users (relative) inmune to these expected cyberattacks?
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Re: Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby ldeutsch » Mon May 15, 2017 12:13 pm

Mac users are immune to this specific attack. It is based on vulnerabilities to Microsoft Windows. Microsoft has complained that the US Government might have "leaked" these vulnerabilities, making them known to hackers.

However, Mac users are definitely NOT immune for general cyber attacks. As a Mac user, I recommend using standard virus protection software and keeping it up-to-date.

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Re: Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby engrssc » Mon May 15, 2017 12:34 pm

All talk has resulted from the recent "attacks". It's hard to believe that some of those high end Internet users weren't up to date or that they didn't have adequate protection. But "stuff" (for lack of a more definitive word) happens.

Now then how about M & O Rodgers, Johannes organs which run on proprietary software and hardware (computers) . These have (for the most part), never been updated and/or even have the ability to go on line. I ask myself why do I have this insatiable "need" to keep improving at the sake of risking, if nothing more, a lot of work. Risk vs reward, maybe? Or maybe a mental attitude toward an always more 'obesity" posture? Again, I ask myself those questions. And sometimes I do things for no other valid reason than that these things can be done. :roll:

Expecting (and deserving) some flack for those types of thoughts. :shock: I'm certainly not anti-progress, far from it, but can't go with letting it all hang out either. :o

Rgds,
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Re: Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby organtechnology » Mon May 15, 2017 1:29 pm

I concur with Grant in that I believe that air gaps and tennis shoe networks can definitely provide a high impedance to cyber meddling. As long as the disk/drive/DVD/CD or whatever is thoroughly vetted by the best AV available, on a clean machine. Having a Windows based application like Hauptwerk continuously on the web is inviting infiltration and removing it except for short periods of maintenance is probably the current best known defense.

Many 'experts' are now recommending that you turn off your router every time you turn off the computer. The idea being that if you aren't there the robots can not see you or identify your presence or even 'see' that there is anything to examine. Then when you turn on the router and use it for a few hours, there is not enough time for the robots to find you before you go dark again. I have noticed a marked decrease in malware by simply turning off all the computers (leaving the router up) although I do not turn off the router at home.

At the shop, none of the VPO under construction are on the internet except for short sessions for license key requests and short downloads and occasional update sessions. During the installation of the OS all available updates are loaded before the installation of Hauptwerk and extensive AV run after that. There is one laptop that is connected to the internet and it is considered suspect until disconnected and the AV program run.


Best regards,

Thomas
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Re: Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby engrssc » Mon May 15, 2017 1:41 pm

Begs the question as to how vulnerable we are to clicking on links posted here or on other forum type sites? Suspicious links don't advertise malware or such and on the surface look as being ok. I would hate to give up the large amount of resource material available thusly. We keep hearing that the bad stuff can't get into a system, you have to open the door by letting it in by clicking on a corrupt link.

Question being, can links be scanned by the web forum povider for the "threts" prior to their being posted or clicked on? My AVG web security software says it will scan everything incoming and alert me to problems. But then, it, too,has to be up to date.

Doing some further research in answer to how vulnerable some high end users are, many are using older systems - XP, Vista and even older.etc. I know of one medical facility that still uses XP. and for that reason alone, even tho it is closer, I won't go there for treatment. Maybe not prudent, however - - -.

I can see (perhaps) turning off the router between uses, but in my case,the router takes longer to boot than does any of my computers.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby TheOrganDoc » Mon May 15, 2017 3:02 pm

Absolutely Ed,
I have been using my XP Pro, for My MeliTzer for over 8 years, and only updated prior to installing HW4,
it is never connected online, and it still performs beautifully ! I am a bit scared that it will someday kick the bucket, although I do maintain backups, for HW & my organs and Piano, the pains I went through to get everything playing as well as it does, upsets me to no end ! Why Update a computer that performs It's chores without ever a glitch, Offline :roll: ? Best wishes, Mel




engrssc wrote:Another huge reason not to have a Hauptwerk computer online. I use a separate computer to browse, but never my organ computer(s). Nothing on this computer is of any value to hackers. :mrgreen:

Any others doing similarly?

Rgds,
Ed
Mel..............TheOrganDoc...............
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Re: Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby engrssc » Mon May 15, 2017 7:31 pm

organtechnology wrote:Many 'experts' are now recommending that you turn off your router every time you turn off the computer. The idea being that if you aren't there the robots can not see you or identify your presence or even 'see' that there is anything to examine. Then when you turn on the router and use it for a few hours, there is not enough time for the robots to find you before you go dark again. I have noticed a marked decrease in malware by simply turning off all the computers (leaving the router up) although I do not turn off the router at home.


My practice has been to click (off) the Internet connect symbol (looks a little like 6 or so wooden organ pipes)
lower right hand corner on a Win 7 machine leaving the router up and running. Any problem with that method?
Esp the part about leaving the router running?

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby organtechnology » Mon May 15, 2017 7:56 pm

engrssc wrote:
organtechnology wrote:Many 'experts' are now recommending that you turn off your router every time you turn off the computer. The idea being that if you aren't there the robots can not see you or identify your presence or even 'see' that there is anything to examine. Then when you turn on the router and use it for a few hours, there is not enough time for the robots to find you before you go dark again. I have noticed a marked decrease in malware by simply turning off all the computers (leaving the router up) although I do not turn off the router at home.


My practice has been to click (off) the Internet connect symbol (looks a little like 6 or so wooden organ pipes)
lower right hand corner on a Win 7 machine leaving the router up and running. Any problem with that method?
Esp the part about leaving the router running?

Rgds,
Ed


Since I was repeating what someone else said I am probably not in a position to answer that question. But if you ask me what I do I will tell you that I disable the WWW ethernet port on my computer just like you do.
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Re: Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby engrssc » Mon May 15, 2017 8:03 pm

Make sites, esp Forums give you a choice to Make me Invisible .:shock: Believe that is true here too, yes?

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Cyber Attacks and Ransomeware

Postby jbittner » Tue May 16, 2017 10:15 am

engrssc wrote:Make sites, esp Forums give you a choice to Make me Invisible .:shock: Believe that is true here too, yes?

Rgds,
Ed

That simply omits you from the list of users signed into the Forum displayed at the bottom of the page.
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