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Windows 7: MS Support & Remote Access/my PC-Recomend any xtra Security Measures?

08 Sep 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Not So Premium 64 bit SP1
MS Support & Remote Access/my PC-Recomend any xtra Security Measures?

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE MS SUPPORT will take remote access in a few hours. If there is anything else you recommend I do for security purposes let me know asap.

Short story - MS Support working to resolve issues started after restart hangs during the install process for Aug 9, 2011 Windows Updates.

The MS team leader on my account calls this morning requesting that she and the two other MS analysts be allowed to take over my Dell by Remote Access tonight and work hands on my system.

I use the involved PC mostly to support software I use when consulting to a US Agency. So I started with the Operations Manager. These are the items in place:
  • MS Support is on approved list for the government agency I work for as a consultant.
  • MS identity confirmed by my employer.
  • MS already under non-disclosure agreement with employer.
  • Employer had me install a program today that protects the files with their data in it that is stronger than what I normally use.
  • A clean boot has been done and there are no non-Microsoft services running
  • The installed program also requires me to click a button once per minutes to show I am watching and kind of like UAC will make me respond affrimatively to allow them to proceed to open any folder, run any exe, run cmd
  • Employer had me shred some files (temp, %temp%, some of their files, and some individual files using my software which meets Dept of Defence 5220.24-M(ECE) protocol
  • There were a few files and folders they had me shred with the Guttman method that was the shredder on the software package .
  • Don't need to worry about backups, they are done.
  • There were very few personal files or photos so I have moved them to a flash drive and external hard drive and then disconnected both.
  • I have run the lowest level Kaspersky 2012, malwarebytes and Super AntiSpyware to check for anything unclean.
  • For no reason, but I have disconnected all devices uneeded like the printer and this machine has never had anything like I-tunes installed.
  • Cache for IE8, Office, Adobe and Java are cleared.
  • Cleared
So even though I trust the MS team, and my employer give a thumbs up, am I missing anything that should be move. monitored, removed or installed?

But here is the one that made me turn to you all. The MS prework checklist requests i leave the PC attached to the network and do not make any changes to any groups settings. My employers guide says they prefer (but never says require) to have my PC go through this as a stand alone unit and use a hard wired connection while support is on?

The normal state is not even connected to the Internet or the Intranet but I am going leave homegroups alone and leave network up and connected so it is the same state as when the Windows Updates were happening, unless someone posts a reason not to do so.

Should I copy to flash and then delete all Carbonite directories?
Do anything with Event Viewer logs or IIS, other logs or DNS cache?

I have used and experienced remote access before but is there anything about having MS support doing the probing that I shoud be aware/look out for?

MS has said they will not get off tonight as lons as I can keep awake and click that button or until it is resolved. So I will try to watch sevenforuims an maybe be on IM on the other pc if still connected.

I hope this is actually my train pulling into the station but somehow I do not hold out more hope than all of the other fails. But we must be getting close, they spent an hour looking at what is happening when the Cryptographinc Services start, the log on and password , the what is happening as Cypto tried to open certain files and cannot. They seemed excited but let on nothing to me I could make heads or tails of.

Fingers Crossed.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2011   #2

Windows 7 & Windows Vista Ultimate

You indicated that you have already confirmed this is Microsoft Support and have gone through the steps required by employer. I see no reason not to proceed and get the issues resolved so that you can properly do your job.

Do NOT use the contracted Support Space services, which provides free support for Virus & Malware Removal and Windows Update from Online Support Services .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Not So Premium 64 bit SP1

Corrine, thanks so much. I did proceed but have been offline most of the time since.

I had wanted to know, ....You say "Do NOT use the contracted Support Space services" but do not say why and what is the alternative that would be better.

This did start with an update and you can read details here on this forum should you need to fall asleep.

Tier one and two did nothing more than hand hold me through a repeat of the website support items. Until finally the 3 tier person asked questions and for logs almost identical to Niemiro here. But on a couple of occassions Richard (Niemiro) punched some holes in even the tier 3 guys approach.

So finally we get to the remote access three days ago. She acted like a true analyst and she looked at a lot of files and logs and asked for the folder that had all of the documentation from Kaspersky, specifically analysis titled WU Failure sub folder Intel Rapid Storage with two logs and the the program that created those two files. She did not make any attempt to fix or change anything. It ended and she said she would be back in touch, bye.

Sunday 9 pm eastern she just called and wants to involve a "Gold Cerified Partner" SHE SAYS is best to look into this, but she would stay with me unitl this is resolve and I will not get passed on any more

I asked her, at over one month into this, why weren't they just telling me to toss in the towel. She had no answer me.

SO I hope I am well past the level of staff covered by your big NOT. But what should have been my concern earlier?

Most here on this forum suggested, despite my financial issue caused by a clean reinstall, to bag trying to fix this three weeks ago, but MS is still helping and is clearly getting more interested not less. They don't even know about my financial issue, so what is their angle?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Sep 2011   #4

Windows 7 & Windows Vista Ultimate

Hi, Jim.

The reason I said not to use SupportSpace was what you included in your initial post:
  • MS Support is on approved list for the government agency I work for as a consultant.
  • MS identity confirmed by my employer.
Support Space is not Microsoft, merely a free service for Windows Update and malware removal made available by Microsoft. Those services are pay services if obtained directly through the vendor, as are the additional services provided at the above link.

Based on the information regarding security in your initial post, I suggest you obtain permission from your employer before including the "Gold Certified Partner". Don't let that give the impression that a vendor has any close relationship with Microsoft. There is no vetting to become a registered Microsoft partner. All it means is that the company employs the requisite number of certified professionals and has completed the registration process, nothing more.

Microsoft Certified Partner Requirements |
What is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner? |
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Not So Premium 64 bit SP1

Emails that say Microsoft, people that answer the phone Microsoft, Microsoft Titles they porbably even have Microsoft coffee mugs, but after all of that, they might not be Microsoft at all. Scary.

So now I need to dig a little deeper into who I am actually speaking with. It is like the MS Matrix. I am so glad to have learned this, but it sure is going to be painful to go in to the Director tomorrow and say"Microsoft Support" is approved in the handbook for consultants but I may have not been working with the real Microsoft and I can't even tell you who exactly I was working with. I feel sick to my stomach.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2011   #6

Windows 7 & Windows Vista Ultimate

Hi, Jim.

If you have followed the links I provided, you will note that Support Space only provides assistance via the links I provided. If you did not go that route, then you are working with Microsoft. Support space does not provide telephone or e-mail help only via the links I provided.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2011   #7

Windows 7 Home Not So Premium 64 bit SP1

I see a tiny little "support space" in the corner. But those links are not where I started. Although even tonight I could not get an answer to the question that seemed complete. or made me feel entirely confident. But I am doing a consulting job for NGIC, the National Ground Intelligence Center here in Virginia and since the data is not sensitive and I wanted to save face I have been going it alone. Today I bit the bullet and got the MIO Officer involved and I think the next call I get will be from the right department.

Thanks for the education.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2011   #8

Windows 7 & Windows Vista Ultimate

You're welcome, Jim.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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