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Monthly Archives: August 2016

25
Aug
2016

Harmful Hacking Tools Released to the Public

by Bill

Recently, some hackers in a group known as the Shadow Brokers, who had broken into NSA sites released some powerful hacking tools that were developed by the NSA themselves. The release came with instructions and tips for how to use these tools. Now anyone who has a basic understanding of how to use these hacking tools can hack a lot more effectively.

One security researcher at NYU wanted to see if people were even using these hacks, and the results he found were somewhat scary. He set up a lure which had one of the problems exposed by the release, a vulnerability in Cisco technology, and then let it sit out there. By the time a day has passed there had already been hacking attempts, and there have been some every day since then.

The interesting portion of the problem is that typically, when vulnerabilities are discovered by a business or exterior researcher, it is able to be fixed because everyone knows about it. However, the NSA had been holding on to these vulnerabilities which puts hackers in a unique position at this point to get into places they are not supposed to be before companies have a chance to shore up their security. Even if the companies create a fix, users will still have to implement it, which may take even longer, leaving clients and users vulnerable.

This is why is it more important than ever to go with a hosting company like National Net that puts security first. As you can see we have our ear to the ground when it comes to security news and our techs are working hard to ensure our clients utmost privacy and security. If you value those attributes, then you will likely be happy with the secure hosting services National Net provides.

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15
Aug
2016

Critical Security Vulnerability With TCP Found And Fixed

by Bill

Researchers recently discovered a critical bug that affected more than 96% of the websites in existence right now, and left them vulnerable to attack. What’s ironic is that the bug was actually created when computer scientists tried to fix another bug, but ended up leaving this giant vulnerability open to attack. Fortunately, this huge vulnerability has now been repaired, but it does make one wonder what other protocols were at risk and how much data was accessible to hackers via this industry standard hacking opportunity prior to the patch.

The vulnerability allowed hackers and attackers to intercept data if two terminals were communicating with each other using TCP (transmission control protocol), a fundamental connection method of all digital communication on the internet. A hacker could terminate any TCP connection and inject their own data into the stream to perform attacks. Some also worried that this could have affected those using anonymous TOR browsing, and have breached their veil of anonymity, but TOR engineers assured users that this was not so. However, the thought of such a widespread bug that could affect nearly every single website out there is quite scary to many. What remains even scarier are the many hosts and site owners who are too slow to apply security patches even after vulnerabilities are repaired globally.

With data security in mind, it’s more important than ever to use secure hosting provided by reputable collocating hosting providers like National Net. Safety and security is number one on our list of priorities, which is why our data center has 24/7 on site security, and why we offer advanced monitoring of our servers 24 hours each day, 7 days every week, and implement security patches within moments of their creation and acceptance from reputable sources. There is no panacea for data loss, but vigilance is the key to keeping your data safe as humanly possible and our technicians are always on call to do all we can to keep your data available only to those you intend to access it.

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04
Aug
2016

Virtual Reality May Be More About Productivity Than Entertainment

by Bill

A recent article on Motherboard describes a full day working in one of the first VR offices. Rather than extolling the virtues of being able to turn your head to track a target in a VR air-to-air combat game, the article’s author Aaron Frank discusses the impact of being able to have dozens of virtual screens floating in front of you as a game changing way to view desktop data.

“Recently, I had the opportunity to try one of these systems” explained Mr. Frank. “A product made by the Bellevue Washington based startup Envelop VR. Their platform runs any Windows application—Microsoft Office, Spotify, Chrome browsers, whatever—all inside VR.”

The article focuses on the increased productivity of sitting in an office where the screens, software, environment and apps can all be seamlessly interchanged with a couple clicks. However, what this new era appears to be ushering in, of even more importance, is a complete obviation of the distinction between being a ‘remote’ employee and an ‘in house employee.’ Of course many technical fields and trades will never be replaced by VR, a hosting server technician needs to be able to physically touch a broken device in order to repair or replace it – but for many careers, virtually being on site will soon be identical to actually being in the office.

Rather than worrying what time a remote employee actually starts working each day, managers will be able to see them and talk to them as they virtually walk into work almost exactly the same way they do now. Sharing a cup of coffee around the office water cooler will be possible without ever getting up from your seat.

Conference rooms are already better optimized by virtual reality than they ever could be with antiquated laser pointers, slide shows on a physical screen or clunky tabletop telephony systems. The same way many of us now prefer to play a board game on an iPad rather than with physical pieces, and the millennial generation has adapted to intimate interactions via mobile devices with emojis, the work environment is quickly trending toward remote VR access as well.

Decades ago computing was made popular as a new form of entertainment, over time it also completely replaced the way business was done. These days people rarely write with a pen, fax machines are defunct, most people don’t carry cash, and calls are far less frequent than digital tickets, emails or texts. In the coming decades you can expect the apparatus of business to be replaced again, with contact lens VR portals that connect every member of the office staff to each other from anywhere, as if they are all sitting in the same room together.

It’s an exciting, and somewhat overwhelming idea, that will require improvements of enormous magnitude in terms of data security and reliable connectivity. National Net will continue doing our part to provide the kind of fundamental collocated and managed hosting services necessary to support these new evolutions of the business world, with the exact same focus on customer service that has allowed us to prosper in previous eras of global commerce moved here.

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