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15
Feb
2017

Protecting Digital Communications Becoming Popular

by Bill
Ever since Edward Snowden became a fugitive and revealed the extent to which the NSA was spying on Americans and foreigners alike, people have had a heightened understanding of just how insecure digital communications have become using standard transmission methods. Now, many people who aren’t doing anything nefarious are taking a strong interest in encrypted communications simply because they don’t like the idea of getting spied on by big brother. Adding that demographic to the number of business savvy people who have always sought out secure communication methods to avoid corporate espionage, and the market for a more powerful set of communication tools is clearly on the rise.

One of the products available now is called Signal and was created by Open Whisper Systems. It claims to be a fully encrypted chat app that some say is better than others because it is dedicated to security issues specifically. The app does have a calling feature, but unless you are connected to wifi, it has been known to lack call quality, and video chat has just been a dream until now. Open Whisper Systems announced this week that they are now in beta testing for a video chat feature which will allow people to have face to face conversations over the web, and again they claim it is fully encrypted.

Critics point out that the app requires access to your phone contact list on install, and some believe that Open Whisper itself is aggregating too much sensitive data, making it a target for hacking by governmental spooks or third party hackers. However, its popularity proves a different point – the public is seeking to cling to the last shreds of privacy it can get, and while yottabytes of intercepted data are now being recoded by the NSA and other entities, many are willing to pay to be (or at least feel) more data secure when communicating with others.

Whether you are selling privacy services or want to keep your own data as secure as possible, it’s also important to have secure hosting, which is something that NationalNet provides each of our clients. We help build custom hosting solution for you, and our techs are online 24 hours a day, every single day of the year, to address any concerns you may have. We also offer advanced monitoring for increased security because we understand that our continual vigilance is a big part of your peace of mind online. To learn more, contact us today… via unencrypted telephone, email, encrypted communication or any other means that help you feel the most comfortable.

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06
Feb
2017

Pac-Man Creator Passes Away And Leaves An Enormous Digital Legacy

by Bill

Thanks to innovators like Masaya Nakamura, the guy who invented the game Pac-Man, we have all of the technology we have today. The line to be drawn might not seem clear but it’s easy to see when you think about it just a little bit. Video games were one of the first technologies that people have a huge desire for in their homes. They are part of what led to the development of personal in home computers, so people could play pac-man whenever they wanted and not just when they were at the arcade. From this rose the Internet, because everyone had a desire to become better connected, and the speed of hosting become crucial as gamers sought to minimize latency with many innovative ways to optimize their ping rates.

Video games and other forms of digital entertainment are always pushing the envelope of graphics, sound and technology, and nowadays online games require heavy duty hosting and high powered technology with experts at the helm, which just happens to be what we provide. It is thanks to guys like Mr. Nakamura that we are here today, able to offer you such powerful products that pack a punch whether you are playing highly graphics based games on the internet, or simply playing an online version of Pac-Man. Video games have helped to develop live chatting technology, video chats and even the motion capture filters on your favorite social media apps.

Without gamers, things might be a whole lot different today with the net. Games are one of the reasons that technology has developed to be smaller, more sleek and have higher storage capabilities. Thanks to the innovation of Mr. Nakamura, and those like him who developed games, technology and ideas in the days when we didn’t even have a framework for what they should be like, we now have the capabilities to store, send and access vast amounts of data from just about anywhere in the world. NationalNet, and everyone else who enjoys the connected world we live in owes that yellow dot munching character Mr. Nakamura created a big debt of gratitude worth remembering.

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30
Jan
2017

Higher Quality Content Now Requires Much Larger Storage and Server Needs

by Bill

Seagate has announced that they are now focused on making a new external hard drive that will be the biggest consumer targeted Hard drive released to date. A 16TB product using a helium filled drive, with 12TB and 14TB options in the product line available as well. The company also announced that they would like to have 20TB drives out for public consumption by the year 2020.

What is driving the need for much larger data capacity? There are new technologies, including virtual reality and 4K HD video which require a lot of digital space to hold the much larger final file sizes that end consumers are now downloading. With higher drive storage sizes, users can accept more data and as bandwidth speeds accelerate the storage capacity just a few months ago would become a serious bottleneck for most customers.

Processing data on the server side of the equation is also becoming more important than ever as even the smallest percentage of a speed increase becomes magnified significantly when a user is downloading files that are reach 4 of 5 GB each. NationalNet continues to evolve all of the infrastructure our client’s sites are hosted on to maintain our position on the leading edge of data speed, security and reliability.

If you’ve been searching for a solution for your large data streams, the rise of big data on the personal community side of the market should be a strong catalyst toward doing all you can to maximize your own data efficiency and speed. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week every single day of the year – even on major holidays. We don’t take a break so we can ensure that your site and internet properties stay up and running the way you want it to every single day whether you are sending a tiny text file or a massive virtual reality video that requires many Gigs of data to execute effectively.

 

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19
Jan
2017

Even The Hackers Are Getting Hacked

by Bill

Everyone needs secure hosting, including hackers. In fact hackers should be the people who know best how to avoid hacks, and how important it is to work with a secure hosting provider. However, Cellbrite (a well-known company that provides hacking tools) has now reported that they had their own servers hacked recently!

An Israeli company selling products that can be used to hack into mobile devices, Cellbrite has disclosed that they got hacked and had a whopping 900GB of data stolen! Not only did hackers steal the data, they also provided it to all to Motherboard, a popular technology publication which is part of the Vice Media family.

Cellbrite’s products are often utilized by governmental agencies, and while the disclosure suggests the data stolen was mostly logins to the site’s customer accounts where you might login to update your software, nobody has independently confirmed that the hack did not go far deeper as of yet top article. More stunning was the fact that there were actual data releases from seized mobile devices in the leak too, retrieved by Cellbrite customers.

With the world the way it is now, and how dependent we have all become on technology to communicate or to perform the most basic tasks, it is increasingly important that anyone who does business online remain vigilant with regard to the security of their servers online. If a hacking tools company can be hacked, so can you, and while nothing is ever entirely secure, there are many steps you can take to protect your data, starting with choosing a collocated hosting provider that shares your sense of urgency about these issues.

NationalNet security experts review our practices and the measures we have in place to protect client data on a continuous basis. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. If you see something, say something, and our security team will immediately take action to safeguard your server, your business and the privacy of your end users. In this day and age, data security is a goal every digital business should aspire to achieve with each and every decision made along the way.

 

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09
Jan
2017

Mobile Internet About To Get Big Boost From Battery Life Improvements

by Bill

When cell phones first became common consumer items it was all about form and signal strength. Flip phones that got more than 3 bars of service were all the rage. Then the iPhone and its competitors took over thanks to feature sets that expanded Mobile to include all kinds of games, productivity apps and data services. Now the next step is happening and if this week’s presenters at CES are right, it will be all about expanding battery life far beyond the few hours most devices offer customers already.

George Zhao, the president of Huawei’s Honor brand spent the majority of his time on stage speaking about the improvements to the Honor 6X smartphone’s battery life. Asus proudly declared that their new ZenFone 3 Zoom features an enormous 5000MaH battery that they claim will last up to 42 full days on standby without recharging. Qualcomm explained the entire design of their new Snapdragon 835 processor (which will be part of many new phones) is designed almost entirely around maximizing battery life in every possible way. HP got in on the act with a new 15-inch Spectre X360 that boasts a bigger battery life as its main leap forward from the previous model.

A survey often touted at CES 2017 claims that battery life improvements are by far the most often requested upgrade of mobile device consumers, coming in at more than double the number of the second place finisher “shatterproof screens.”

“Consumers use these devices all day long,” says Avi Greengart, of Current Analysis, “and are using more of the capabilities—the camera, GPS, background data, streaming.” Snapchat, FaceTime, Pokémon Go and many other aps are chasing greater functionality with little regard for the amount of power they require beyond the needs of traditional phone calls and text messaging. “The camera takes up a larger portion of the battery,” said Randall Grilli, of Asus. “The flash takes up a lot, too, more than people think.”

Others made the inference that the maturation of the app markets and phone functionality are causing manufacturers to focus now on more mundane but perhaps even more important aspects of mobile connectivity. “Devices are mature enough now in other ways that differentiation can shift to things like battery life that have been kept at parity while working on other things,” said Jan Dawson, of Jackdaw Research.”

From a hosting and e-commerce perspective, one thing is becoming abundantly clear. The rise of mobile is still far from over, and the move toward an always on mobile apparatus for consumers is likely to make responsive design, mobile load speeds, CDN services and mobile data security even more essential to the continued health of any every business.

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08
Dec
2016

Rockstar Joan Jett Data Exposed Online By Label Insecurities

by Bill

As an ever-increasing amount of sensitive information continues to be digitally stored online, researches are finding it easier and easier to access that data without using any advanced techniques of complicated hacking tools. Researchers at the MacKeeper Security Research Center exposed the most recent example of delicate information available to the public according to a thorough piece published on Motherboard. The team discovered a tremendous amount of information regarding Joan Jett and the Blackhearts band members was left almost entirely unprotected.

Joan Jett and her band became famous in the 1980s for classic rock songs she performed as Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, which was also preceded by her success with the Runaways including their hit song “Cherry Bomb”. The Blackhearts album “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 from March 20 to May 1, 1982, and their other popular hits included “Crimson and Clover”, “I Hate Myself for Loving You”, “Do You Wanna Touch Me”, “Light of Day”, “Love Is All Around” and “Bad Reputation.”

The recent hack revealed scanned photos of her and a band members’ passports, Ms. Jett’s social security number, invoices, banking information, credit card data, social media account login credentials, copies of scanned checks from royalty payments, previously unreleased song demos and more. “I just can’t believe they were so ignorant when dealing with cybersecurity,” Bob Diachenko, a researcher at MacKeeper, told Motherboard in an email.

The cybersecurity expert goes on to explain that he accessed the information with simple consumer level tools like the search engine Shodan. Diachenko explained that he and his colleagues looked for vulnerable ports in different databases and protocols including MongoDB or rsync. When they found a misconfigured backup server belonging to Blackheart Records that didn’t have any password protection or authentication protection in place whatsoever, with port 873 (typically used for the file synchronization protocol rsync) left open they poked around inside. To their amazement they found more than 200 gigabytes of sensitive data. Nobody knows how long that data has been vulnerable or how many other people have accessed it before the researches brought it to light.

The implications from reports like these should be obvious. Even the most secure data center and best team of data security experts working on your behalf at the hosting level is only as strong as the steps you take to restrict your information in properly passworded and authentication secured locations. There are millions of scripts and plenty of people scouring the Internet each day in search of sensitive information, and while National Net will always do our part to safeguard the data of every client whose hosting we fully manage, we also want to remind everyone that leaving ports open or using “admin / password” as your login credentials is not something your team should be doing anywhere online.

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30
Nov
2016

Tech Media Actively Promoting False Sense of Privacy

by Bill

A new Swedish website at Deseat.me claims to allow people to “clean up your existence” and Wired magazine online recently touted the service with an article titled “You can now delete (almost) all trace of yourself from the web at the click of a button” as if to suggest that the indelible footprint people are creating for themselves online is somehow capable of being deleted by a simple web app. Now reputation experts are cautioning the public to act with care and to overlook the dangerous hyperbole being published in the face of new sweeping security regulations that make virtually any privacy service worthless before it even has a chance to launch.

Deseat.me is designed by two Swedish programmers named Wille Dahlbo and Linus Unnebäck. The concept is a simple one. Using Google’s own OAuth Protocol, it allows anyone with a Google account to grant third-party access to the app so that the app can create a list of services associated with your account and allow you to delete any or all of them with a click or two.

While that sounds good in theory, and tech media is irresponsibly acting like it may be a panacea for the recent assault on privacy by governmental, corporate and personal interests, in reality it does almost nothing to actually keep your information concealed from anyone who wants to access it.

“There is a great degree of gullibility among the general public with regard to the evisceration of their own privacy in the last decade, and that’s understandable for anyone who is not professionally attuned to this sort of thing” said Stewart Tongue of ReputationCurator.com “What troubles me is seeing reputable sources like Wired.com, OZY.com and others posting clickbait headlines about a web app to promote this false sense of control when in reality there is nothing anyone can do to delete things from the Internet. We specialize in diluting that data, but outright erasing it or suggesting it can be deleted with a simple click of a button is dangerous nonsense.”

Deseat is only able to find accounts linked to a Gmail account, so any accounts created using other means will not be found. There is also very little external testing done to show how effective Deseat is at correctly accessing all of the accounts associated with a gmail account. Further, this is a new service and there is no history showing that it is being maintained in ways that will account for future updates to OAuth or the other relevant platforms.  Most importantly, information or pictures on a Facebook account or a website can be stored anywhere offline or republished anywhere online and none of that is affected by Deseat or any other point and click web app service.

“We aren’t even sure how safe it is to give Deseat access to a full list of your social media accounts,” explained Mr. Tongue. “They claim your privacy is important to them… but so does Google and Facebook and we all know that is meaningless. Services like the online Wayback Machine make it simple to find historical data, many companies now scrape information from platforms like Facebook and independent websites as well. When you post an image online, you have no idea how many copies of it exist elsewhere or where they might end up… and neither does Deseat.me – In fact, what Deseat.me does best is delete your Facebook account so you can’t see Facebook as a user, which is like telling you to put a blindfold on because it makes it hard for someone in the room to see you, when all it really does is obscure your ability to see the people who are watching you.”

The UK recently passed the Snooper’s Charter, officially titled the Investigatory Powers Bill, which includes a massive overhaul of governmental surveillance powers allowing security services and police forces to access communications data for their investigations including Internet history data stored for 12 months. That means at least 48 public authorities including police forces across the UK will be able to access your online activities. As Edward Snowden has repeatedly shown, the announced surveillance is just the tip of the iceberg. Clandestine services like the CIA and NSA in the US collect Yattobytes (a unit of information equal to one septillion bytes) of data each year including every bit of text, photo or video file they can find.

“What people need to know is that anything you post online publicly and most of what you think you posted online privately is completely spied upon, stored, cataloged and searched by governments and corporate interests on a daily basis” said Stewart. “That by itself is a very dangerous fact, but the added insult of major tech media capitulating by providing a false sense of privacy to people over a silly web app is far more frightening. This article has already been saved to a governmental server somewhere… and so has the fact that you read it.”

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17
Nov
2016

NatNet Blog: China Barricading Trade Under The Guise of Improving Cyber Security

by Bill

China has now passed new legislation under the name “The Cyber Security Law” which would grant Beijing unprecedented access to the foreign technology of companies seeking to do business within the world’s second largest economy. The new law was passed by China’s national legislature and will take effect starting in June of 2017 according to government officials.

Among many other things, the law will require Internet operators to cooperate with any investigations involving crime or national security. It also imposes mandatory testing and certification of all computer equipment, which necessitates each company granting the Chinese government’s investigators full access to their data if any wrongdoing is suspected (or alleged).

Logically, foreign companies are concerned that these policies give Chinese companies a major advantage over international competitors. “This is a step backwards for innovation in China that won’t do much to improve security,” according to James Zimmerman, Chairman of The American Chamber of Commerce in China. “The Chinese government is right in wanting to ensure the security of digital systems and information here, but this law doesn’t achieve that. What it does do is create barriers to trade and innovation” he told reporters via email.

The move has now caused more than 40 business groups from the U.S., Europe and Japan to send a letter to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, arguing it will prevent foreign entry of outside companies and slow China’s growth over time click this over here now. The measure is seen by many as part of a huge wave of regulations under President Xi Jinping to gain control over all aspects of the Internet in China.

For his part, Zhao Zeliang, director-general of the bureau of cybersecurity for the Cyberspace Administration of China said: “The law fits international trade protocol and its purpose is to safeguard national security. China’s cybersecurity requirements are not being used as a trade barrier.”

All of this is happening as President-Elect Trump prepares to take office after a campaign that included the threat of labeling China a currency manipulator and promises of tariffs to remedy a trade imbalance may foreshadow a strained financial relationship between two superpowers with data security and infrastructure technology at the epicenter. Will compromises be made or will tech trade become more insular in each nation? Only time will tell.

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16
Nov
2016

Carbon Nanotubes May Soon Replace The Need For Silicon In Silicon Valley

by Bill

Silicon may soon be a secondary source of material for microchip design as researchers hone in on new technologies that may finally make carbon nanotubes a revolutionary component of next generation chip design. The theory isn’t new, and many have hypothesized in the past that these microscopic structures might be capable of accelerating chip speeds to as much as ten times faster than today’s silicon examples while using far less electricity in the process.

Faster and lighter more power efficient chips would be crucial to the kinds of mobile devices that already exist, but far more important is the fact that carbon nanotubes would also make flexible screens and bendable devices or injectable microchips and nanomachines that could be an important component of medical advancement. A team of IBM researchers now claims to have made a breakthrough that should bring nanotube tech a reality soon.

IBM Research materials scientist George Tulevski, is unveiling the work during TED@IBM, and has explained to media in advance that the new process revolves around coaxing nanotubes into specific structures by using chemistry instead of a top-down approach, which is more similar to growing a crystal than carving a statue.

Tulevski’s work comes on the heels of a previous IBM milestone reached last year when another team developed a new way to pack carbon nanotube transistors into a smaller space. Other companies like Nanotronics Imaging are developing new tools like custom microscopes to make it easier to manufacture nanoscale devices.

Skeptics warn that this new research will take years to yield a working model in the field for commoditization, and during that timeframe silicon chips will continue to become faster as well. So the target is moving because the nanochip teams aren’t really competing with what is already available, they would need to leapfrog years worth of incremental improvements to provide a product capable of dominating a space that silicon has satisfied up to this point.

Still, the notion of a faster, lighter and more malleable chip material would have applications as far ranging as medical science, space travel, convenience electronics and from a Hosting perspective might greatly reduce the environmental footprint of data centers by orders of magnitude that would never be attainable with traditional silicon hardware. That insatiable urge to move technology forward is what has brought us all this far, and NationalNet remains eager to be fully engaged in the next wave of innovation as it becomes available as well.

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11
Nov
2016

Thank you veterans

by Bill


All of us at NationalNet would like to say thank you to all veterans for everything you have done. We truly appreciate your service to us and our country

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