Attacks are being launched against servers, with the aim of holding them hostage and only returning them to operation after a cryptocurrency ransom has been paid. Ransomware attacks against servers often lead to demands for payments of hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for decrypting the systems, and can be accompanied by a threat to destroy the data if the ransom isn't paid.

However, it's also believed than rather than being offered to anyone who wants it, the service is offered as a bespoke tool, only available to cyber-criminal operations that can afford to pay a significant sum in the first place.

These tools have been used by some of the most prolific cyber-criminal groups operating today, including Cobalt Gang and FIN6 -- and the ransomware shares code with previous campaigns by these hacking gangs. It indicates that PureLocker is designed for criminals who know what they're doing and know how to hit a large organisation where it hurts.

It's currently uncertain how exactly PureLocker is delivered to victims, but researchers note that more_eggs campaigns begin with phishing emails, so the ransomware attacks could begin in the same way, with the final payload likely to be the final part of a multi-staged attack.

Those who become infected with PureLocker ransomware are presented with a ransom note telling the victim that they need to contact an email address to negotiate a fee for decrypting the files. The user is also warned that they only have seven days to pay the ransom and that if they don't the private key will be deleted, meaning the files can't be recovered.
We have all had the problem at some time or another, when the operating system comes on and is very slow, as to how to fix a slow computer!

These are the necessary steps below needed to fix a slow computer:

1. Delete all of the unnecessary items at start up that you do not need. It is only worth keeping antivirus, malware and spyware programs, as well as work documents that you need, when windows loads up.

2. Free up space on the hard drive. No matter if you keep your computer tidy, if your hard drive becomes too full, it will affect the speed of your PC.

3. Uninstall unused programs. Whenever you buy a new PC, there are a load of programs pre-installed onto it. Most of these you'll never use and some of them can often run in the background without you knowing, slowing your computer down in the process.

To remove programs that you do not need, go to start,control panel, then click programs and features, removing items that you do not need! Please do not remove Microsoft updates, as these are all needed to make windows operate properly!

4. Delete temporary files. Whenever you go online and browse different websites, especially in Internet Explorer, all your browsing history remains in the depths of your PC. To delete all of your browsing history, just press control and h at the same time and it will bring up the websites that you have been browsing for the day! Then you can delete accordingly!

5. Run a disk clean up and use a registry cleaner. The disk clean up looks for unnecessary large files. To perform this click "Start" then go to All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.

It is also very important to use a registry cleaner because when you install and uninstall programs, little remnants get left behind which could slow down your operating system! Little registry cleaner is a very good tool that can rid of these problems!

6. Clean out the dust with a can of compressed air. Dust always get stuck on the air vents, which is vital to keeping your system temperature down and if it overheats, its performance will slow.
When it comes to choosing a computer brand, the most important thing is to consider your budget, how the computer will be used and choosing a brand that is reliable which meets your needs, has a one year warranty and uses very good components.

1. Assess how the computer will be used. Is it for kids completing school assignments will it be installed with lots of games, or will you be using it to run your business?

2. Once the above step has been established, It would be necessary to consider your budget!

3. Choose a brand that meets your needs. Choose a reliable brand. Choose a computer model that uses high quality components. Always do your research on the hard and CD drives and video, network and sound cards of the computer.

4. Almost all manufacturers have one year warranties. It is important to keep this in mind, so if your computer has a problem and needs to be repaired, as long as the problem arises within a year after the computer was purchased, any repair can be done for free. It is important to have a warranty for this reason because otherwise it would be expensive to keep paying for repairs.
Realizing your PC or laptop might be infected with a virus or malware is worrying, but with careful and decisive action, removing a virus is quicker and easier than you might think.

How do I detect a virus?

It’s not always obvious that your computer is infected. Some of the warning signs your PC or laptop might have a virus are:

A very slow running computer ;

Pop-up messages that appear out of nowhere and are hard to get rid of ;

Computer programs starting that you don’t recognize or didn’t start up yourself ;

You can hear the sound of the hard drive in constant action.

Any one of these symptoms might be caused by a virus. If you’re experiencing two or three of them at the same time, that’s a strong indication that you’ve got a virus. If you haven't already, download an antivirus program now.
If the monitor is on, and you do not see a power LED (blue, green, or orange light) on the front of the monitor, press the power button until it comes on. If no light comes on after several attempts, make sure the connections are properly connected.

If your computer monitor was on and you stepped away from the computer, then upon returning, it was black, it is likely that the computer is asleep. Try moving your mouse, clicking the mouse buttons, or pressing any key (eg, spacebar) on the keyboard to wake it up.

If the data cable is plugged in, make sure the monitor is getting power by verifying there is a light (blue, green, or orange) on the front of the monitor.

If you see no lights on the monitor, make sure it is connected to a working wall outlet. If the power cord is removable from the back of the monitor, try replacing it with another power cable. If you still cannot power on the monitor after trying another wall outlet and cable, the monitor is bad and should be replaced.

If the monitor has a light on the front, but that status light is orange or flashing, make sure the monitor is not in a suspend mode by moving the mouse or pressing a key on the keyboard. If this does not help, turn the computer and monitor off and reconnect the data cable on the back of the computer and, if removable, on the back of the monitor, turn the computer and monitor back on.
There are many reasons why a computer display may go blank or black. Most often than not, this issue is related to some piece of hardware, whether it's the video card, cables, monitor, RAM or motherboard.

Occasionally, it can be software related issue also. The worst case scenario is having to get a piece of hardware replaced on your computer.

Check the power. Check to make sure the monitor is turned on, which is usually indicated by some kind of light on the power button itself. If the light is on, the monitor is on and you should see some message.

If the monitor is on, but nothing is showing up, try to press the menu button to bring up the built in monitor controls. If you still have a blank screen, then this could mean there is a problem with your monitor.

Check the cables. Whether you are using VGA, DVI, HDMI OR DisplayPort to connect your computer to your monitor, cables can sometimes become detached. This is especially true for cables that don't screw into the back of a monitor.

Make sure you check the connection at the PC and on the monitor. For those of you who have more than one video card, you need to be careful how you connect the monitors.

Check the BIOS and Recovery Options. If you can see the initial boot screen when you turn on your computer, but it goes blank once Windows starts to load, then you know it's an issue with Windows.

If Windows is corrupt, then your only option is to boot into safe mode and then try to repair Windows either using System Restore/ Automatic Repair or using the Reset or Refresh My PC feature.

If system restore or automatic repair do not work, then try resetting your PC. Resetting your PC will preserve all your programs and data, but reinstall the Windows system files.

Finally, the last step is to check the hardware. Before you do anything else, you should try disconnecting all devices and peripherals from the computer like the keyboard, mouse, external hard drive, speakers, printers, etc.

Sometimes a problem with another piece of hardware can cause the display to go blank. If that doesn't work, then you need to check the actual port connectors on the computer and on the monitor for damage.

There are times when someone doesn't properly take out a cable and it ends up bending the video port on the computer.

Sometimes, people try to stick a cable into a connection that doesn't match and that can end up damaging the gold or silver connectors that you see inside the port.
When you start your Windows PC in Safe Mode, you can solve all kinds of problems, especially those involving device drivers and DLL files. You may also be able to troubleshoot some Blue Screen of Death errors and other similar problems that interrupt or prevent Windows from starting normally.

To launch Safe Mode in Windows 10, open the Settings window by pressing the Win + I. From the Update and Security section, select the Recovery option along the left-side menu, then click the grey "Restart now" box in the Advanced Startup section of the Recovery screen.

When your PC restarts, you'll see a screen titled "Choose an option," from which you should follow the menu options of Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart. The PC will restart again; when it does, select Safe Mode (or press F4) or Safe Mode with Networking (or press F5) if you need the networking drivers activated as well.

Short-cut the Settings window by just restarting your PC. Hold the shift key while you select Power from the login window. When you restart, you'll be directed to the "Choose an option screen."

Starting Windows in Safe Mode on older PCs is fairly simple but the exact method differs a little depending on the age of your operating system—whether you're using Windows 8 or Windows 7. You'll need to verify what version of Windows you have, if you're not sure which of those several versions of Windows is installed on your computer.

Starting Windows in Safe Mode does not, in itself, solve, prevent or cause any kind of Windows problem. Safe Mode is simply a way of starting Windows with a minimum set of drivers and services in the theory that the operating system will run correctly enough to let you fix the problem with whatever driver or service interferes with normal startup.

If you can access Windows normally, you also have the option of configuring Windows to start in Safe Mode automatically the next time your computer starts by using the System Configuration utility.
A Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), also called a STOP Error, will appear when an issue is so serious that Windows must stop completely.

A Blue Screen of Death is usually hardware or driver related. Most BSODs show a STOP code that can be used to help figure out the root cause of the Blue Screen of Death.

The most important BSOD troubleshooting step you can take is to ask yourself what you just did!

Did you install a new program or a piece of hardware, update a driver, install a Windows update, etc.? If so, there's a very good chance that the change you made caused the BSOD.

Undo the change you made and test again for the STOP error. Depending on what it was that changed, some solutions might include :

Starting up using Last Known Good Configuration to undo recent registry and driver changes.

Using System Restore to undo recent system changes.

Rolling Back the device driver to a version prior to your driver update.

Check that there's enough free space left on the drive Windows is installed on. BSOD and other serious issues, like data corruption, can occur if there's not enough free space on your primary partition used for the Windows operating system.

Microsoft recommends that you maintain at least 100 MB of free space. I usually advise Windows users to keep at least 15% of a drive's capacity free at all times.

Scan your computer for viruses. Some viruses can cause a BSOD, especially ones that infect the Master Boot Record (MBR) or boot sector.

Make sure your virus scanning software is completely up to date and that it's configured to scan the MBR and boot sector.

Update drivers for your hardware. Most BSOD are hardware or driver related, so updated drivers could fix the cause of the STOP error.

Check the System and Application logs in Event Viewer for errors or warnings that might provide more clues on the cause of the BSOD. See how to start Event Viewer if you need help.

Return BIOS settings to their default levels. An overclocked or misconfigured BIOS can cause all sorts of random issues, including BSODs.
Sometimes your computer may actually turn on but an error message during the Power On Self Test (POST) will stop the boot process.

Other times your PC may simply freeze during the POST with no error at all. Sometimes all you will see is your computer maker's logo.

There are a number of BIOS error messages that can display on your monitor and several reasons why a PC might freeze during the POST so it's important that
you step through a logical process.

Troubleshoot the cause of the BIOS error message you see on the monitor. These errors during the POST are usually very specific so if you receive one, your best course of action is to troubleshoot to the specific error you see.

Disconnect any USB storage devices and remove any discs in any optical drives. If your computer is trying to boot from a location that does not have actually have bootable data on it, your computer could freeze somewhere during the POST.

Clear the CMOS. Clearing the BIOS memory on your motherboard will reset the BIOS settings to their factory default levels. A misconfigured BIOS is a common cause of a computer locking up during the POST.

If clearing the CMOS does fix your problem, make any future settings change in BIOS one at a time so if the problem returns, you will know which change caused your issue.

The most common way that a computer "won't turn on" is when the PC actually does power on but does not display anything on the monitor.

You see lights on the computer case, probably hear fans running from inside, and may even hear sounds, but nothing at all shows up on your screen.

Test your monitor. Before you begin more complicated and time consuming troubleshooting with the rest of your computer, make sure your monitor is working properly.

It is possible that your computer is working fine and your monitor is your only problem.

Verify that your PC has fully power cycled. In other words, make sure your computer has completely restarted - ensure that it is coming on from a completely powered off state.

Often times a computer will appear to "not be on" when actually it is having problems resuming from either Standby/Sleep or Hibernate power saving mode in Windows.

You can power off your computer completely while in a power saving mode by holding the power button down for 3 to 5 seconds. After the power is completely off, turn on your PC and test to see if it will boot normally.

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