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Windows Server 2016 Licensing Changes

Since the Windows 2016 Server release date back in October, Microsoft has drastically changed the licensing model for Microsoft Server licensing. These recent changes will impact your buying decisions as pricing is now based on the number of physical cores in a server. This new licensing also affects Software Assurance customers who can expect to be transitioned to core-based licensing at their first renewal after the general availability of Windows Server 2016. Below you can learn everything you need to know about changes to Windows Server 2016 licensing.

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Ransomware-as-a-Service?

The latest news in the IT security industry is all about Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS for short) which is a strain of malware designed to be easy to use, deploy, and infect victims. Ultimately, the goal of these viruses is to collect a ransom in exchange for decrypting the victims files. With RaaS, the host of the malware (where the servers live and are maintained) gets a percentage of the ransom – usually around 5% to 20% – and the remaining cash goes to the RaaS subscriber who actually deployed the virus.

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What’s New With Windows Server 2016?

Windows Server 2016 was released on October 12, 2016 and here is why you should think about upgrading your datacenter. Striking the right balance between your organization’s desire to innovate and the daily needs of key departments can be a challenge. Windows Server 2016 provides a robust, flexible solution. With a strong posture, a software-defined datacenter, and innovative application platform, Windows Server 2016 is the right choice for your business. What’s new with Windows Server 2016? A whole bunch! 

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New Gmail Phishing Scam Is Highly Effective

There is a new Phishing scam that is impacting many Gmail users. This is a highly effective technique used to garner the victims account login information and then use their compromised account to further spread the scam to others in your contact book. There is no sure fire way to verify if your account has been compromised but if you are unsure, change your password immediately. Since there is no programatical way to prevent this sophisticated attack I ask that you spread the word, and share this article around to alert as many people as possible. 

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Popcorn Time: New Ransomware on the Rise

Just when you thought ransomware couldn????????t possibly get any worse, it has. A new ransomware has popped up called popcorn time. Popcorn time works the same as every other forms of ransomware with a twist. You can pay to have your files decrypted or you can decrypt it for free by infecting two other users. The required payment for this type of ransomware is usually 1 bit coin. Today, this equates to $810. That????????s quite a steep payment for your data and the hackers know this, so they offer you the chance to infect 2 other users. 

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Yahoo Hacked: 1 Billion User Accounts Compromised

In the wake of criticism and security concerns over Yahoo’s 2014 breach, the internet giant came forward in a statement yesterday revealing that they had been victims of an aparent hack that impacted over 1 billion user accounts. They go on to state that,

 

For potentially affected accounts, the stolen user account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (using MD5) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.

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Microsoft at It Again: Forced Office Upgrades

Microsoft will be ending support for Office 2013 through Office 365 ProPlus on February 28th, 2017. According to their TechNet article, “We recommend that you upgrade to the Office 2016 version of Office 365 ProPlus as soon as possible.”. While Microsoft will force users to upgrade their Office installation this does not include Office installations through Professional Plus, Professional, and Standard editions. So basically, if you are leveraging Office licensing via Office 365 you will be forced to upgrade. 

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Apple Stops Support for PPTP VPN on MacOS Sierra & iOS 10

Apple has stopped support for PPTP VPN on MacOS Sierra & iOS 10 as of the September release. While adding many great features (like Siri, Universal Clipboard for cross-device copying and pasting, auto unlock) the out-of-the-box functionality for PPTP VPN was removed. There are solutions available to configure and use your existing PPTP VPN but they all require installing a 3rd party application. The most main stream solution is a 3rd party application called Shimo. The major downside is having to pay $50 because Apple decided to pull support for this VPN type. The free alternative to Shimo is another application called FlowVPN, just be sure to overwrite the default VPN server address when setting up your VPN connection. 

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If You Experienced an Internet Outage Today, Here’s Why

There was a huge internet outage today for most users in America due to a major Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on a major Domain Name System (DNS)  provider. The company in question, Dyn Inc., began investigating the issues that began about 6am today. While the provider is actively attempting to mitigate these attacks, there is no current ETA for service restoration.

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Microsoft Stream for Office 365

Microsoft has released a new Office 365 video product called Stream. Microsoft Stream is a video sharing app for companies that resembles YouTube. You can add videos, organized by channel and hashtags, and share them with your coworkers.  Stream would be useful for sharing training videos, clips for collaborating on company videos such as advertisements, or informational videos for blog writers. Anyone in your organization can upload videos. Stream gives you the ability share videos across your entire organization, with a select group, or keep the them private for yourself.

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