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Good day to create some computer backups

 
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ArtBest23



Joined: 02 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: 05/15/17 8:43 am    ::: Good day to create some computer backups Reply Reply with quote

With the ransomware mess still growing, decided it would be a good day to break out a copy of Acronis True Image and create some disk image backups of our main PCs before we fall victim.

Supposedly if you've been keeping Windows properly updated, this security hole was patched back in March, but I'm not convinced they really have their hands around this one yet.

Evidently the British National Health System has a serious problem because they are still using old PCs running Windows XP for which Microsoft stopped writing security and other updates several years ago.


justintyme



Joined: 08 Jul 2012
Posts: 6528
Location: Northfield, MN


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PostPosted: 05/15/17 11:10 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Yeah XP had stopped getting support years ago.

For personal computers auto update is your friend. Make sure it is turned on and issues like these are much less likely to affect you. And with how cheap memory/hardrives are these days, everyone should be keeping a backup of important files at the least. Not only for security purposes, but also because hardware fails over time and things can get lost. It's just the smart thing to do.



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ArtBest23



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PostPosted: 05/15/17 1:24 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

justintyme wrote:
Yeah XP had stopped getting support years ago.

For personal computers auto update is your friend. Make sure it is turned on and issues like these are much less likely to affect you. And with how cheap memory/hardrives are these days, everyone should be keeping a backup of important files at the least. Not only for security purposes, but also because hardware fails over time and things can get lost. It's just the smart thing to do.


Well, I actually install an extra hard disk in all of my desktops just to store automatic backups for that pc. That's great in the event of a hard disk or SSD failure, but having your backups on a hard disk that's always connected to your computer or network is useless in dealing with ransomware. That disk will get encrypted and be lost just like your other disks.

Plus, I want a full disk image backup of each pc so that I can easily restore it to a clean disk. Hence an Acronis image of each of on a removable disk occasionally. Today seemed like a good day to refresh those with current images.

When I build desktops these days, my standard configuration is a 180 or 240 GB SSD for system and program files, a 1 TB hard disk for data, and a 2 TB hard disk for backup.

As you say, disks are cheap these days. My first pc (a Compaq Deskpro) had a twenty megabyte (yes, that's megabyte) Microscience hard disk which was a $750 add-on and was slow as mollasses. So that I can store my external backups in one place, I recently ordered an eight Terrabyte external hard disk (which of course includes not only the disk but also the controller, case, interface, and power supply) for $179. That's four hundred thousand times bigger than the 20 MB disk for less than a quarter of the price.


justintyme



Joined: 08 Jul 2012
Posts: 6528
Location: Northfield, MN


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PostPosted: 05/15/17 1:49 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

ArtBest23 wrote:


Well, I actually install an extra hard disk in all of my desktops just to store automatic backups for that pc. That's great in the event of a hard disk or SSD failure, but having your backups on a hard disk that's always connected to your computer or network is useless in dealing with ransomware. That disk will get encrypted and be lost just like your other disks.


That depends on how you have your external devices set up as far as security goes. I keep all external devices encrypted with VeraCrypt and they aren't even recognized until I use my password. So unless the ransomware hit just as my backup program was running (and thus opened access to those devices) they would be safe. There are also ways to set up internal partitions to keep sensitive files safe from malware, but as with all things, the more security measures taken, the less accessible these things are for quick daily use. Keeping full disk images that are unconnected is a good way to make sure these things won't be lost without resorting to those other methods with diminished accessibility.

That all said, excluding these methods, you are correct. The average user's plugged in backups are likely at risk.



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ArtBest23



Joined: 02 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: 05/15/17 2:14 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

justintyme wrote:
ArtBest23 wrote:


Well, I actually install an extra hard disk in all of my desktops just to store automatic backups for that pc. That's great in the event of a hard disk or SSD failure, but having your backups on a hard disk that's always connected to your computer or network is useless in dealing with ransomware. That disk will get encrypted and be lost just like your other disks.


That depends on how you have your external devices set up as far as security goes. I keep all external devices encrypted with VeraCrypt and they aren't even recognized until I use my password. So unless the ransomware hit just as my backup program was running (and thus opened access to those devices) they would be safe. There are also ways to set up internal partitions to keep sensitive files safe from malware, but as with all things, the more security measures taken, the less accessible these things are for quick daily use. Keeping full disk images that are unconnected is a good way to make sure these things won't be lost without resorting to those other methods with diminished accessibility.

That all said, excluding these methods, you are correct. The average user's plugged in backups are likely at risk.


I don't know enough about how these ransomware programs work to be confident they won't find a disk or encrypt an encrypted volume.


ArtBest23



Joined: 02 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: 05/15/17 2:43 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

BTW, the place evidently getting hammered by this WannaCry ransomware campaign is China for the simple reason that a large share of Chinese PCs use bootlegged copies of Windows that can't download security updates because they're not authenticated.

Something about "what goes around. . ."


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