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Monthly Archives: April 2017

21
Apr
2017

Proliferation of DDOS And Other Attacks May Quickly Grow Due to Human Ignorance

by Bill

We have reported several times about the dangers caused by third-party attacks against individual websites and entire data centers. Many of the recent attacks are being done by criminals utilizing IoT (internet of things) devices to amass a huge volume of addressable connections without much human interaction. However, that may all be about to change.

There are many digital security experts working to secure devices like home thermostats, and connected appliances to overcome IoT attacks in the future, but new initiatives that seem to be aimed at making use of idle computing power are about to open up an entirely new ecosystem for coordinated attacks by unwitting human participants.

A recent article on OZY.com detailed one initiative that is presenting itself as the Airbnb of Computing and lauding the enterprise as a way for people to earn small residual income by essentially renting out CPU time and storage space on a home computer while they are away from their keyboards.

The basic problem with the premise is that an Airbnb guestroom doesn’t attack someone when you rent it out to a guest, but your internet connected computer can easily be added to a botnet by a nefarious customer and become a serious security concern for you, and everyone else once you give a clandestine third-party access to its connection protocols.

Legislative ways to prevent a garage door opener from shutting down websites are already being drafted, but perhaps we should all back up a bit further and start helping our neighbors understand that their computer isn’t something they should be renting out to anyone for pennies per hour in this day and age.

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12
Apr
2017

Details of New Congressional Rules On Selling User Data Revealed

by Bill

Recently Congress voted to change the way companies can utilize user data. More importantly they removed restrictions on what kinds of information a company can collect and sell with regard to its customer’s information. Some shrugged off these changes with a ‘business as usual’ sort of apathy, but now as the facts become more clear it appears these changes go a lot deeper than they may have expected.

A recent motherboard report exposed the details of the new legislation and privacy watchdog groups are far from happy. Financial and medical information is at risk, Social Security numbers which were once considered completely private, web browsing history information, mobile app usage, and even the content of your emails or online chats may all be included under the broad umbrella of what House Republicans decided to let ISPs sell.

The house action was quickly pushed through Congress by a 215-205 majority vote on largely partisan grounds. The Senate passed its own version during the previous week and President Trump has already said he strongly supports the FCC privacy rollback.

The big winners of course are the corporate giants including Comcast, AT&T and Verizon whose billions of dollars from internet, cable, and mobile subscriptions may soon become secondary income streams when compared to the new data mining treasure trove they are now authorized to monetize.

“What the heck are you thinking?” said Rep. Michael Capuano, the Massachusetts Democrat, during floor debates earlier Tuesday. “What is in your mind? Why would you want to give out any of your personal information to a faceless corporation for the sole purpose of them selling it?”

It’s a fair question, and one that may go largely unanswered publicly, unless those same ISPs start selling the previously private chat logs and email histories of legislators who discussed passing these bills in the first place a few months ago when those communications were properly protected.

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06
Apr
2017

Net Neutrality on Legislative Chopping Block Again

by Bill
With the new presidential administration there have been a lot of changes in many different areas politically which impact the way we communicate digitally. Most recently, congress passed legislation that would allow your internet service providers to sell your browser history to companies including marketing entities.

Now, the newest technological aspect that may be up for change are the net neutrality laws that were put in place a few years ago. Net Neutrality ensures that ISPs can’t throttle access to sites if they don’t like them, or charge sites money in order to give them priority over others. The new white house press secretary Sean Spicer said in a press conference that the new administration views these laws, which were put into place in 2015 as an “overreach” on the part of the Obama administration, and it is one more piece of legislation that they hope to reverse.

This administration feels that the privacy laws and net neutrality laws currently in place are harmful to job growth and other economic factors, including technological innovation. However, simply repealing these new net neutrality laws might not be as simple as the other recent changes that have happened, since it was not a law that was passed through congress, but legislation that was decided upon by the FCC itself. In addition, when the FCC was taking comments on the topic of net neutrality, they received over 1 million comments, most of which were in favor of keeping the internet open for everyone. This suggests that a large number of people are going to become really disappointed if these regulations go away and the net becomes a capitalistic free for all for ISPs.

Whatever happens, you can always be sure that NationalNet will continue to do everything we can to protect our client’s data, expedite website loading speeds and to keep you informed of the latest legislative changes so that you can make the best decisions for your business.

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