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Monthly Archives: January 2018

30
Jan
2018

Strava Fitness Tracker May Have Revealed Troop Movements In Syria

by Administrator

Just how ubiquitous and accepted have IoT (internet of things) devices become? A recent dump of data from the fitness tracker company Strava appears to have incidentally revealed a wealth of secret troop movement and base location data in Syria and beyond.

Location data is an important part of many fitness apps for helping users seeking to optimize their routes or for tracking progress of a fitness regimen. However, a new data dump from Strava, one of the main players in that market may now be putting the entire device category under fire with military officials scrambling to identify or overcome potentially serious leaks of classified information including the location of clandestine military bases, patrol routes and more.

UCA analyst Nathan Ruser discovered information in Strava’s publicly available activity map may include fitness routes of soldiers and agents in sensitive locations, including Afghanistan and Syria, as well as airbases in the Falkland Islands, a suspected CIA base in Somalia and some Russian bases have also been outlined as well.

Even at some of the publicly known locations, this data may flesh out secret aspects of the location like the specific coordinates of living quarters, frequently-trafficked paths and hints at patrol or supply routes.

Strava has reminded users that they could turn off location sharing, and that the map doesn’t include private activities or areas deemed private. However, the fact that consumer electronics are now in such widespread use without much thought about security or danger even among military brass does bring into focus how much the world has changed and how transparent it has quickly become.

Your commercial or personal data deserves the highest level of protection, and at NationalNet we strive each day to ensure it is only accessible by those you intend to communicate it with, but this story should serve as a strong reminder that your data security can always be overcome come by inadvertent choices which give away that data without a second thought. To discuss your data security, hosting needs or to obtain references for security audit professionals please feel free to contact NationalNet.com today.

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18
Jan
2018

HTCVive PRO Is Announced For Truly Wireless VR

by Bill

The original Vive VR headset debuted almost two years ago, and now HTC is announcing the next generation Vive headset with a new Pro model that is completely wireless.

Along with the cordless capabilities comes HTC ‘s increase of native resolution on the dual-OLED displays by 78% to 2880 x 1600 (1400 x 1600 per eye, and 615 ppi) over the original Vive headsets. These specs are particularly important because they put the Vive Pro above and beyond the Oculus Rift or Windows Mixed Reality headsets on the market and prompt competitors to up the ante by pushing the limits of VR even harder.

Pricing and availability have been hush-hush so far, but the original Vive now sells for under $400 US and the Vive is heavily subsidized by a partnership with Valve, the world’s leading digital gaming company. So pricing shouldn’t be astronomical and adoption should increase rapidly as people adapt to a whole new era in digital media consumption.

The VR evolution includes 360 video capabilities, new potential for haptic forms of data security that require physical gestures and more. On the flip side, it presents hosting companies with new challenges to put through massive amounts of data more rapidly than ever, as even a slight lag can completely ruin the immersive experience.

NationalNet is well aware of this exciting new vertical and will keep our clients fully informed as we continue to strengthen our networks and offer the fastest most reliable servers available anywhere for clients pursuing the VR gold rush or any other kind of digital business goals into the future.

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10
Jan
2018

Meltdown and Spectre Present New Data Security Challenges

by Bill

If you’ve opened up any news site or paper recently, you may have noticed some headlines about things called Meltdown and Spectre. These are not new video games or box office hits. These are two newly discovered security flaws that affect virtually every single electronic device you own. How could a security breach be so widespread? Well, the problem is that it’s not actually attached to any specific program or software. The issue is in the hardware itself.

Meltdown is a vulnerability in microchips themselves. These chips are found in virtually every single computer and many web servers too. Researchers discovered that the flaw could allow people to read your personal data right off of the hardware, bypassing any security features that software and apps have put into place.

Spectre is another flaw that is based in both Intel microchips and Advanced Mortal Directives. This one could let hackers trick programs like apps and software into giving them information. Basically every computer is affected by these discoveries and it’s a wonder that they haven’t been exposed sooner.

Either of these openings could theoretically affect every single computer using Intel chips made since 1995. However, researchers have only tested computers dating back to 2011.

The tricky thing about both of these bugs is that you can’t tell if anyone has used them on your devices to get at your information. It’s impossible to know if either of these flaws has been used by hackers but given how many leaks and hacks there have been lately, it’s likely.

This just goes to show why it is important to have secure hosting, like that offered by NationalNet. We are feverishly working behind the scenes on these and will do all we can to ensure your hosting is handled to the absolute limit of data security standards. We will continue to monitor this story and your servers to keep all of our clients informed and up to date with the latest patches and fixes as they are available.

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