Friday, 28 February 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Group Talks Ransomware In New Blog

Hard Drive Recovery Group’s (HDRG)’s recently published article focuses on bringing light to the unexpected resurgence of ransomware attacks in various industries.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software (a.k.a. malware) which essentially blocks users from accessing their personal files or systems. This is done through encryption. The ransomware writer will only reverse the encryption if the user pays the ransom demanded by the writer—formerly sent through snail mail. Now, these ransoms are usually paid in the form of cryptocurrency or through credit card. Hard Drive Recovery Group further expounds on the subject in their blog post “Don’t Be Held Captive By Ransomware”.

“It’s not anything we aren’t too familiar with already,” said Davies. “Ransomware has been around since the late 80s, so we know what we’re dealing with. The thing is, data security is more important than ever. Businesses, especially utility companies, rely on their information databases to operate effectively. And, now that ransomware attacks are targeting industrial control systems (ICS), companies have to take extra measures to ensure that their networks and computers are safe from these threats.”

Ransomware first emerged in 1989. The “AIDS Trojan” was the first known malware extortion attack written by Dr. Joseph Popp. It demanded the user to pay $189 to “PC Cyborg Corp”. Unfortunately for Dr. Popp, his code contained a critical design flaw that made it easy enough to reverse if the user had the computer know-how.

Although it might seem to be the most obvious choice, choosing to pay the ransom isn’t exactly a smart thing to do. There is absolutely no guarantee that the hackers will return your sensitive data. But, if they do, the risk of data exploitation is still very possible. So, the smart thing to do would be to find people who have the expertise to help you recover your data.

Maureen Davies, speaking in place of HDRG, states, “Data loss is always a massive hassle. If you let your guard down, it can cost you millions. But there are ways to avoid it altogether.”

It’s crucial that you take the necessary steps to ensuring that your data is protected. Losing data is more expensive than protecting it. That’s why investing in a good anti-malware software to protect your networks and computers from a malware attack is a step in the right direction. This prevents the attack from ever happening and gives you a chance to recover.

Davies comments, “But data loss is still a major problem, especially in data-reliant industries such as the utility and finance industries. Unfortunately, not everyone is equipped with the necessary facilities and expertise to combat these threats. Some companies are a malware attack away from crumbling and having to start from scratch. This is precisely the reason why Hard Drive Recovery Group insists that you contact them for consultation. “

Hard Drive Recovery Group has the highest recovery rate in the industry and offers over-the-phone data recovery evaluation for free, as noted in previous releases. Even if another data recovery service has advised that one's hard drive is beyond recovery, HDRG insists availing their free evaluation. Whether it’s a simple laptop SSD or a multiple drive RAID array, HDRG provides safe, affordable clean room data recovery with a 95% success rate.

HDRG has been providing professional data recovery services for over 20 years, and they are the only data recovery service that offers a 24-hour turnaround on RAID recovery jobs as well as overnight expedited HDD recovery shipping. HDRG guarantees customers get their money back if HDRG can’t recover their data.

For more information on data recovery, visit HDRG’s website today.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Survive and Thrive Despite Windows 10’s Latest Update Bugs

New year, new updates! Microsoft is finally laying the much-maligned Windows 7 to rest, taking out the support rug under its feet, and introducing Windows 10. And as expected, early adopters to the update have a lot to say. Of course, it is also expected that the Windows 10 updates would still contain a lot of bugs. After all, no update is anticipated to be perfect from the moment of its release. But then, with the ubiquity of Windows, the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, who have already jumped ship and eagerly downloaded the latest updates can’t help but nitpick on features that seem to have dampened their excitement for Windows 10.

More articles:

So, what features of Windows 10 have caught the ire of Windows users? What expected features have we taken for granted in our daily interactions with Windows have suddenly become problematic in this update? Have there been fixes and solutions to go around these bumps?  Let’s look at these common complaints:

Connectivity issues

Those who have updated their operating systems from Windows 8 (or its earlier versions – although are still computers running on Windows XP?) to Windows 10 have complained that once they are finished with their system upgrades, they suddenly cannot access the Internet. In this age where almost everybody’s lifeline hangs on being online, it is simply unacceptable for people to not get connected. But then, most of these updaters got a shock when after updating, they couldn’t get connected to the WWW.

Another incredibly frustrating problem with the latest Windows 10 Update has also emerged, with users complaining that their network connectivity has been impacted - meaning they cannot connect to the internet.


Is an update successful when nobody hears it?

Another thing that caused outrage among Windows 10 updaters was the issue of deafening silence. Once they were finished with the updates, they couldn’t hear anything! Of course, this bug bothered a lot of those who updated their computers because sound is one of the most basic features you would expect when operating a computer. It is quite irritating and unnerving, isn’t it?

Windows 10 update KB4532695, a non-security update for version 1903 and 1909, was implemented to fix the File Explorer Search Bar bugs, but apparently that didn't work. Instead, some users are suffering from the notorious blue screen of death, while others are being hit with crippling internet and sound issues, as reported by Windows Latest.


Nothing got found

Why? That’s because those who have updated to Windows 10 report that anytime they try to type something on the search bar, it’s either they can’t right-click, or no results (i.e., a blank screen) come out. Considering the behavior of Internet users, a search bar that’s not functioning is a hassle that will surely cause a huge riot among them. Fortunately, it appears that there’s a solution already.

With issues like these, it's usually unclear how widespread the issue is, but based on how quickly discussion of the issue is traveling on Reddit, Discord, and Twitter, it appears this issue could be widespread. The issue currently affects my system, though that's just one example of course. Many people online point out that several PCs they own see the same issue.


The ever-present bloatware

This one is quite expected, though. With every new update, it is somehow a foregone conclusion that it will come with programs and software that a lot of users do not really find useful. There are ways to get rid of them, though.

Windows 10 is a powerful, capable operating system, but it can be full of annoyances. In this article, we'll show you some simple tricks for removing some of the more visible annoyances Windows throws at you out-of-the-box, especially for Windows Home users.


Can you still upgrade for free, though?   

Despite all these problems, many Windows users are still excited about the upgrade. It’s a good thing that there are still ways to update your Windows 7 or 8 system to 10 without having to buy a new license.

Despite Microsoft ending its free Windows 10 upgrade offer to all users on July 30, 2016, the company has (in my opinion, knowingly) left open a loophole. There’s just one snag: you will need a legal copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8 to do this.


With all its flaws and bugs, it is inevitable that Windows users will ultimately have to get their machines run on Windows 10. The situation is not hopeless, though, as Microsoft itself has released several patches and fixes to these hiccups in their update. The same is true if you have a data recovery issue. All is not lost because you can find help here: Our team will surely find ways to get back the data you think is already lost. Click here for more information.

Survive and Thrive Despite Windows 10’s Latest Update Bugs is available on Hard Drive Recovery Group


Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Coronavirus: Not Just for Humans Anymore!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would know that the news item that’s been on headlines around the world is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. In China, thousands have been found out to have the virus, hundreds have died, and people who have tested positive for the virus have been discovered in 24 countries and counting. The number of victims is seen to continually increase until warmer climates arrive in some countries that would discourage the virus from spreading.  Unfortunately, the arrival of warm weather will take weeks, if not months.

But then, it’s not only human health that’s been infected by the coronavirus. Apparently, cybercriminals have also capitalized on this unfortunate trend to spread malware and stage email scams. Reports in Japan have verified that this virus has been trying to dupe unsuspecting Japanese email recipients who are currently already a bit cautious because of China’s proximity to the country. Although it has not yet spread in other countries, this Coronavirus also has the potential of spreading worldwide and causes substantial damage to businesses and sadly, people’s lives.

So, what is this Coronavirus about?

Hackers have been taking advantage of people’s fears over the Coronavirus that started in China to open emails that have malware attachments. Japanese email users have been the first reported victims of this malicious gesture.

Researchers with IBM X-Force and Kasperky have discovered that hackers are sending spam emails to people in the hopes of infecting smartphones and computers with malicious software. The malware is disguised as legitimate information about coronavirus.



Emotet? What’s that?

Apparently, the emails that contain the Coronavirus is known as Emotet. It is usually an attachment to the email that is disguised as a document or an mp3 audio or mp4 video file. What’s alarming with Emotet is that it usually goes undetected by various anti-virus programs, even those that scan emails and the files attached to them.

Different iterations of the email have been discovered by cyber security firms IBM X-Force and Kaspersky, with the emails being sent in several different languages. Experts warn it's "quite common for threat actors to exploit basic human emotions such as fear – especially if a global event has already caused terror and panic".



Emotet on the Rise

Take note, however, that this is not the first case of the Emotet malware causing damage. In fact, the cybersecurity agency of the USA has noted in January 2020 that there has been an increase in the incidences of this malware strain’s attacks.

While Emotet started life as a banking Trojan, over the past five years, developers have added additional functionality, including making the malware a dropper - aka downloader - so that it can be used to install additional malicious code on endpoints it's infected, as well as giving it the ability to scrape victims' PCs for contact information.



Taking Advantage of Fear

The lack of information regarding the actual Coronavirus has provided cybercriminals a platform to spread their malware. As people all over the world want to quench their thirst for information on this global medical emergency, hackers have taken advantage of this. Cybersecurity writer Davey Winder opines about this.

Using emails that purport to come from official public health centers, the heartless hackers attach Microsoft Word documents that supposedly contain advice on protection against contracting the virus. It is hardly surprising, given the circumstances, that people open those documents. If they do, however, then a message informing them to enable content will appear, and the infection is made.



What can you do?

Fortunately, unlike the medical Coronavirus situation, it is not that bleak in the malware Coronavirus front. As a citizen of cyberspace who gets emails every day, it is essential that you can spot these fraudulent emails, so that you can avoid falling victim to them. Moreover, you can help your extended network – your company, friends, and family by making them aware of the dangers of these phishing emails.

First, decide what your messages (talking points) are to different audiences about the coronavirus. Remember that most staff believe that management under-communicates, so governments and businesses need to think hard about policies (like travel), procedures and online behaviors that are expected given their unique situations.



Times like these, it is important that all of us become more discerning of where we get our information. It does pay to have reliable sources of information so that we can avoid hackers who are taking advantage of current events. Just like it is very important to know where to with your hard drive or external storage. Let our team of professionals help you by visiting, where you can get more information. Try this link as well.

Coronavirus: Not Just for Humans Anymore! is courtesy of


Thursday, 13 February 2020

Data Recovery Services Company Discusses The Microsoft Edge Browser

Hard Drive Recovery Group’s (HDRG) has just published an article on one of the lesser used web browsers out there: Microsoft Edge.

In the post, “Microsoft Edge: How To Use It”, Hard Drive Recovery Group discusses how you can use Microsoft Edge for your daily web browsing tasks. Despite being on the lower side in terms of usage share, Microsoft Edge still boasts an impressive toolkit when it comes to web browser functionality. It contains many of the same features that can be found in more popular web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, putting it up there in terms of functionality and security.

For quite a while, until the launch of Microsoft Edge in 2015, the default web browser for Windows was Internet Explorer which attained a peak of 95% usage share among web browsers in 2003. This usage share fell promptly after the release of Mozilla Firefox in 2004 and Google Chrome in 2008. This decline in usage share was a product of better alternatives due to lack of innovation and improvement, which is why Internet Explorer today is widely famed as a ridiculously slow and buggy web browser. This has been addressed in recent releases from HDRG.

Maureen Davies, speaking for HDRG, states, “Usually, for Windows users, because of the stigma around the default Windows web browser, one of the first steps people take upon purchasing a new computer or reformatting their own is to download a web browser other than the default.”

In 2015, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Edge would replace Internet Explorer as the default web browser for all its Windows 10 devices, a vastly improved version of its predecessor.

Some key features that Microsoft Edge proudly incorporates as part of its interface are bookmark importing, Cortana (Microsoft’s own virtual productivity assistant), a distraction-free Reading View, and, most importantly, a way to block cookies, pop-ups, and trackers, all great ways to prevent the infiltration of malware from internet sources. Additionally, since Microsoft Edge aims for a fully customizable experience, all of these features can be enabled or disabled according to the user’s preference, giving way to a more productive and satisfying user experience.

“Unfortunately, despite Microsoft Edge’s undeniable superiority to its predecessor, its market share still falls flat from today’s web browser giants,” said Davies. “Microsoft Edge still stands at 5.77% which is even lower than Internet Explorer today, at 7.26%.”

One problem that had been troubling internet users over the years about Internet Explorer was its security and its conformance to industry standards, both of which were relatively lackluster. Among these issues was that malware writers were specifically targeting Internet Explorer as a medium to distribute their malware because of its poor security.

Microsoft Edge has now eliminated those issues and now boasts superior functionality. Despite this, the issue of data loss still persists. In the same way that anti-virus and anti-malware software are improving to combat these malicious software, malware are also constantly being updated and equipped to bypass browser security. This presents a major threat to all businesses and organizations who depend on their data to operate.

Davies comments, “Data loss can cause panic among a lot of people. It poses a major threat for any business or individual. Whether it involves important emails, financial reports, or precious family memories, losing data has huge repercussions on our daily lives. This is precisely why Hard Drive Recovery Group encourages you to contact them even if another data recovery service has advised you that your hard drive is beyond recovery. “

Hard Drive Recovery Group offers over-the-phone data recovery evaluation for free. Whether it’s a simple laptop SSD or a multiple SAS drive RAID array, HDRG provides safe, affordable clean room data recovery with a 95% success rate.

Call HDRG or visit their website today.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

The Search for the Laptop That’s Right for You

Despite the proliferation of mobile devices that can do almost anything except cook your food (we can’t say that for certain in the future, though), laptops have remained to be a dependable tool for anyone immersed in technology. Laptops have stood the test of time and the challenge to its popularity by handier and smaller devices because they combine the best qualities of desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets. They are more mobile, flexible, and almost as, if not equally or more powerful than desktops. On the other hand, laptops edge tablets and smartphones when it comes to power, multi-tasking, and user preference with image sizes. After all, not too many people can appreciate videos or even pictures displayed on a five, seven, or even an eight-inch screen.

Getting the best laptop can be a challenge though, as the market is saturated with different models, different brands, all offering different features that will surely benefit you.

Or not.

You will need to do some introspection on what best suits your needs, then consider your preferences, before finally picking the right one for you.   If you go straight to the store, you will most likely be overwhelmed by the selection. The next laptop will be shinier, sleeker, faster, and more powerful than the other, each one seemingly calling your name. But if you have your choices narrowed down to your specific needs, then you will most likely end up a winner with a sparkling new laptop that’s just right for you.  We’ve scoured the World Wide Web for guides, and here are our recommendations:

For the stylish, light, and practical user: A Chromebook

If you’re the type whose main use for a laptop is to do a lot of surfing and social media, then a Chromebook should be your best option. This machine is best for the trendsetter who mostly prefers style over function (Chrome books are known to be quite light) but still be readily connected, anytime. But with the popularity of the Chromebook with users and manufacturers alike, which one should you go for? Should you stay with Google’s own Pixelbook or Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook tickle your fancy more?

But never, until now, has there been a true competitor to the Pixelbook. More recently, though, the company announced the new Galaxy Chromebook, priced at $1,000 to match the Pixelbook’s price. And, with its beautiful 4K OLED screen, this new Chrome OS 2-in-1 has more than what it takes to go up against Google’s own Pixelbook.



For the student: What are your best options?

True, laptops are a must for the people in the corporate rat race, but a professional’s laptop is often issued by his or her company. This leaves students (and their parents) as the biggest consumer block of laptops. They would prefer something speedy, powerful, with long battery life to withstand the countless hours spent in the library, and lots of storage to keep electronic copies of journals, papers, and video lectures, among others.

The best laptops for students need to fit a few criteria. So, whether you’re heading back to school yourself, or sending your kid off, there are a few things to keep in mind.  For example, you might find budget laptops to be one of the best laptops for students if price is a huge consideration.



For the jet-set crowd: The Hybrid

2-in-1 tablets and laptops may have seen their heyday in the twilight years of the 2010s, but they’re not out of fashion at all.  Mobility is the premier consideration for some people who always must be on the move, and hybrid laptops still satiate that market. Carry a tablet when you’re moving and dock it to its keyboard to do some heavy typing, 2-in-1s are perfect for journalists, writers, and vloggers.

The world of 2-in-1 laptops is becoming increasingly crowded with brilliant devices that marry the best of both worlds, giving you fully rotating or detaching touchscreens so that you can watch movies or play games however you like, while their keyboards also mean that you can get work done, whether that's emailing, writing or whatever else you need to do.



Laptops for Gamers

The market for gaming laptops has considerably widened over the years, with the image of the online gamer evolving from someone in a dark corner, mindlessly pressing controls and staring into a PC monitor to someone who can be in the outdoors (albeit only in a coffee shop, but still). Graphics quality and speed are essential to a machine that gamers would surely love playing in.

With the best gaming laptop, your gaming sessions don't have to stay in one place. You can frag friends in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare at a coffee shop, get lost in Control on a plane, or train up in Mortal Kombat 11 in bed, all while enjoying blistering framerates and high-res visuals.


What about creatives?

For those using laptops in their creative endeavors – photography, video editing – processing power is everything.

Powerful laptops weighing just a few pounds can now handle many of the tasks that editors used to perform on intricate and expensive equipment in a studio. So whether your boss expects you to make first edits in the field, you're a film student, or you just want to review your vacation footage on your flight home, you should consider a laptop with robust enough specs for video editing.



But for all these consumers, storage is of utmost importance. The amount of storage space a creative person needs for storing video, all the photos and footage a vlogger has, and the wide array of online content a student needs to download, can be measured nowadays in terabytes. For those who may encounter problems with laptop storage, there’s to help. For more information, do check on their site.

The following post The Search for the Laptop That’s Right for You is courtesy of HDRG


Thursday, 6 February 2020

Data Recovery Services Company Discusses Antivirus For Windows 10

Hard Drive Recovery Group, a data recovery services provider from Irvine, CA, has just published a blog post which discusses how computer users can protect their Windows 10 unit from viruses. This blog post carries on HDRG’s mission to educate computer users on simple but helpful ways they by which they can safeguard their precious data.

In the post, "How to Secure Windows 10 From Viruses", Hard Drive Recovery Group discusses how you can defend your data from malicious software (AKA malware) using antivirus software. The typical impression people have is that installing a third-party antivirus software is top priority. That was actually true for a time—until Windows 8 came around.

Up until Windows 7, Windows Defender (originally named Microsoft Security Essentials) was offered as a separate download. Since Windows 8, the software is conveniently built-in to all Windows devices, offering users a reliable, hassle-free way to defend their computer against malware. Conveniently, it is also free to use.

Windows Defender also sports a user-friendly interface and functionality. But, despite being free, it is almost as good as its commercial competitors, and is a strong positive of Windows 10, unlike many other issues.

"Computer users typically want to get the best value for their money, that is, getting the best service for the least amount of cash," said Maureen Davies, spokesperson for Hard Drive Recovery Group. “Windows Defender does arguably the best job of providing computer users the value they need. It’s free, there by default, and does the job seamlessly.”

Apart from the default Windows Defender software, users can also opt to protect their computers from viruses using a diverse selection of antivirus software. Avast and Malwarebytes are particularly reliable choices.

Installing Avast will temporarily disable Windows Defender in order to prevent any conflicts from occurring. Malwarebytes, on the other hand, is good to use in tandem with the default Windows Defender. It protects against viruses and other types of malware as well.

Typically, because of the endless waves of confusing computer jargon, computer users will find It difficult, and, oftentimes, pointless, to tell the difference between viruses and malware. The truth is, malware encompasses viruses and various other types of software as well, such as ransomware, spyware, trojans, etc. Because of this, an antivirus alone is inadequate for computer security, so anti-malware software must also be considered in order to maximize a computer’s security and safeguard the data.

“The fact is that antivirus software can only help you so much,” said Davies. “So, the absolute best way to defend yourself against malicious software is to tread the internet with care. It will be useful to familiarize oneself with spotting malware in disguise. Always be wary of pop-up advertisements and avoid downloading files from suspicious sources.”

Another source that malware can come from are email attachments. Although this will typically come as common sense to younger generations who are more familiar with computers, the elderly are not as informed. Virus infected files may accidentally (or intentionally, through spam) be sent through email

Furthermore, because virus writers are intent on getting past antivirus software, virus programs evolve at the same rate as antivirus software. To overcome this, it is essential to keep antivirus software regularly updated to the latest version.

One can also benefit from reducing the damage done by viruses by regularly backing up data on different media such as clouds or hard disk drives, which are commonly kept unconnected to the computer system. By regularly backing up data, damage is significantly reduced.

Hard Drive Recovery Group offers over-the-phone data recovery evaluation for free. Whether it’s a simple laptop SSD or a multiple drive RAID array, HDRG provides safe, affordable clean room data recovery with a 95% success rate.

Call HDRG or visit their website today.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Don’t Be Held Captive By Ransomware

Aside from the Novel coronavirus, the only news that has been hogging the spotlight is the recent spate of cyber-attacks. We've only gone past the first month of the year, but entire companies, industries, and even local governments have already fallen victims to malicious attacks on their systems. These cyber-threats come in the form of ransomware, a malware that has been around for years but has been very active in the last weeks of December up until January. A good number of establishments and their systems have been under threat as user information is bound to be compromised if they do not succumb to the demands of these attackers.

The recent attacks in cyberspace have been brought about supposedly by what is called ransomware. And yes, it does appear threatening as it sounds, as not only do these programs wreak havoc on an entity’s systems, the name further suggests that there is a sort of criminal activity with a ransom demanded in exchange for the malware to not inflict further damage.

But before we get ahead of ourselves and launch into full panic mode, let’s get to know the enemy first. What is ransomware, in the first place? What is this menace that has been making headlines and has caused even big businesses and governments to stir?

Ransomware, All You Need to Know    

Is ransomware just like any computer virus in existence? Not particularly.

The first ransomware, known as PC Cyborg or AIDS, was created in the late 1980s. PC Cyborg would encrypt all files in the C: directory after 90 reboots, and then demand the user renew their license by sending $189 by mail to PC Cyborg Corp. The encryption used was simple enough to reverse, so it posed little threat to those who were computer savvy.



Ransomware Rises Anew

Now, you might say that ransomware has been around the block for quite some time, so why is it scarier in its resurgence? That’s because utility companies and other industries that hold private information of its clientele and customers have become the subject of the latest attacks. Of course, when confidential information has been compromised, public interest is heightened.

The file-encrypting malware—variously referred to as Snake or Ekans (not the Pok√©mon)—first appeared in December 2019. Dragos notes in its report that the ransomware threat appears to be "relatively straightforward" as it encrypts files and shows a ransom note on the screen, requesting payment to return control of computers. But there is something darker about this malware.



Control Systems of Industries Have Been Targeted

Just how dangerous is ransomware? Anyone using any utility – that’s everyone (unless you live in a cave, which won’t allow you to read this) will be compromised now that the ransomware Snake or Ekans has also targeted utility firms.

Cyber criminals are launching ransomware attacks that are specifically targeting industrial control systems (ICS) in what researchers say is the first instance of file-encrypting malware being built to directly infect computer networks that control operations in manufacturing and utilities environments.



Professional Advice: Don’t Engage

Ransomware attacks, as the name suggests, target companies with information that cybercriminals will reveal unless they receive ransom they demand. So, the question now is, should those under a ransomware attack give in and pay?

When it comes to ransomware attacks on municipalities, paying hackers isn't the right solution. First, there's no guarantee hackers will return sensitive data. Second, there's no guarantee cybercriminals won't leverage and monetize the data anyway, returned or not.



Ransomware and You

Finally, what should you do when ransomware attacks?

But you can limit your losses if you take precautions before someone tries to attack you. Those precautions can include protecting your networks and computers from being attacked, preventing the attack from proceeding and allowing you to recover if the attack was successful.



Along with enjoying the benefits of the quantum leaps in technology, having to deal with cybercriminals is one of the challenges we must face, unfortunately. Another is having to deal with problematic hard drives or other storage. Come and visit this site and free yourself from data recovery woes.

The blog post Don’t Be Held Captive By Ransomware was initially published on Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Data Recovery Expert: How To Celebrate A Holiday In Lockdown

Irvine, CA-based Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG) is encouraging their community to avoid being disheartened by the fact that they have had ...