WannaCry? Don’t Panic!

Synopsis: Guest Contributor, Samuel Rowland, has looked into the recent news articles about the global computer hack known as WannaCry or WannaCrypt.  He offers guidance on what to look for and how to protect yourself.  Enjoy.

To quote The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “Don’t Panic”. Yes, I think we are all aware of the recent and ongoing ransomware cyberattack. For those who don’t know, ransomware is malware that encrypts all of a user’s files before demanding a fee to unlock them. This malware – known as WannaCry or WannaCrypt – specifically says that you have 7 days to pay about $300.00 in BitCoin payments before they lock your files away forever. The program enters your system usually through an attachment to an email that is usually, but not always, a zip file. When this file is opened or previewed, it instills the malware. This sort of virus will force you to wipe your entire hard drive and restore your files from whatever backups you have, so it’s best to learn how to protect yourself.

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Correcting Bloated Images in RTF Templates

HotDocs, DealBuilder and GhostFill all work with RTF Templates.  On occasion, a template may include an image for a watermark, a logo, or some other purpose.  Thanks to an ingenious feature of Word, when you some a document to rich-text format (RTF) the images are converted to a useless, but huge windows metafile.  This ensures compatability with ANCIENT word processors, but does nothing for you.  In fact, a simple company logo can expand the size of a short letter from 20K, to 1,200K (or 1.2 MB).  And that is before you start adding text.  The solution is a simple change in the registry for WORD on each machine.

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