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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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04
Nov
2016

DMCA Update: It’s Now Legal To Hack Devices You Own

by Bill

Up until today, even if you paid for a device and owned it outright you were in violation of DMCA law the moment you decided to hack its software. Even if you were a trained professional making custom modifications to your own possessions like your car, PC hardware and software, or insulin pump there was a legal risk of being sued each time you reverse-engineered a device. This was especially problematic for security professionals who wanted to fix security vulnerabilities in products without waiting months for manufacturers to release patch updates.

Now a new exemption to the decades-old Digital Millennium Copyright Act has carved out important protections for people willing and able to hack their own devices without fear that the DMCA ban allows lawsuits by the item’s manufacturer or creator. This change enables security research and development of new patches on consumer devices or other digital repairs by individuals in the hope that DIY initiatives will lead to faster fixes by device manufacturers in the long run.

“This is a tremendously important improvement for consumer protection,” according to Andrea Matwyshyn, a professor of law and computer science at Northeastern University, who spoke recently with Wired Magazine. “The Copyright Office has demonstrated that it understands our changed technological reality, that in every aspect of consumers’ lives, we rely on code.”

The exemptions are limited to a two-year trial period for “good-faith” testing in a controlled environment designed to avoid any harm to individuals or to the public. As Matwyshyn explained “We’re not talking about testing your neighbor’s pacemaker while it’s implanted. We’re talking about a controlled lab and a device owned by the researcher.”

As the battle for digital security continues to rage, crowdsourcing some of the challenges to DIY participants makes great sense. However there are dangers from untrained amateurs potentially injuring themselves or causing more significant threats to security through their own negligence. It will be interesting to see how quickly the law and the people can strike a healthy balance of these concerns while combatting hacks or other weaknesses in device code that has become far to common as manufacturers continue to rush products into their inventory.

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03
Nov
2016

Massive DDoS Attacks Shake The Internet Globally

by Bill

The digital world was shaken by the largest Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack in history, as hackers sent as much as 1.2 Terabits per second of data at the DYN network, knocking down several major website domains including Twitter for an extended period of time. The attack started at approximately 7:00AM on 10/21/16 and originated from an Internet of things (IoT) botnet cobbled together from many thousands of devices including cameras, thermostats, printers, computers and just about anything else with a Wi-Fi connection.

Scott Hilton, the Executive Vice President of Products at Dyn, explained in a written statement online that “Early observations of the TCP attack volume from a few of our data centers indicate packet flow bursts 40 to 50 times higher than normal. This magnitude does not take into account a significant portion of traffic that never reached Dyn due to our own mitigation efforts, as well as the mitigation of upstream providers.”

The problem with DDoS attacks is one that has grown more significant as the proliferation of unsecured internet-capable devices continues to gain momentum. Every time a new wave of seemingly innocuous items hits the market and consumers begin unwitting adding items that are easy to hack as new failure points for digital security, the size and speed of DDoS assaults becomes more severe.

At NationalNet we strive to protect our clients from all kinds of attacks and hacks. While no measure of security is entirely bulletproof, it is absolutely true that having mitigation procedures in place prior to the start of an attack is infinitely better than scrambling to successfully halt an attack after one starts. Please contact us any time you think your sites may be the target of an attack, and proactively get in touch with our experienced staff to discuss other ways to improve your preparedness for the unfortunate eventuality of downtime caused by everything from terrorism to state sponsored hacks and amateur script-kiddies seeing to damage your business online.

As Thomas Jefferson once said: Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

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30
Oct
2016

Nothing is Scarier Than Hosting Downtime

by Bill

As Halloween approaches, your neighborhood is sure to be filled with good-natured ghosts, goblins and witches seeking candy with a knock at your door. Anyone doing business online understands that those monsters are nothing to fear when you compare them to the possibility of experiencing downtime for your sites online.

“We wish everyone a happy, safe and healthy Halloween online and offline,” said Bill VanVorst, President of NationalNet. “We hope you enjoy the festivities and family fun that this time of year brings. As always, our staff of technicians will be here on high alert, protecting your business from the kinds of scary monsters that lurk in the darkest corners of the Internet waiting to strike with the award winning 24/7/365 support that all of our dedicated server collocation clients have come to expect from us.”

If you are tired of the tricks ‘discount hosts’ play on you time and again, you can experience the real treat of having properly trained professionals providing you with fully managed hosting by contacting us today for a free quote to see how NationalNet service quickly becomes an important asset for all of your brands.

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18
Oct
2016

Yahoo Adds Insult To Injury With Government Spy Program Acquiesce

by Bill

As the NationalNet Blog reported recently, Yahoo email was hacked with one of the largest data leaks in history, potentially revealing important user information to nefarious entities presently believed to be backed by foreign governments. While a hack is possible no matter how much effort Yahoo put into their online security, the latest news is much more damaging to their company because it involves complicit acquiescence with a government spy program targeting Yahoo Email users

An investigation has discovered that Yahoo knowingly provided access to all of its user emails so that US government entities could perform keyword searches in an effort to spy on US citizens who were never served with any kind of warrant. This new Yahoo story reveals the lengths to which the company will go to conform to government requests, which is very different from the stance Apple and Google have taken, forcing the government into court when asked for access to their platforms

Last year, Yahoo CEO Marisa Mayer agreed to create custom software which would scan all Yahoo e-mails for a certain string of characters specified by the government of the US who asked them to implement such a program. The company implemented the program on all e-mails, in real time. They didn’t necessarily disclose this information either.

This is notable because it’s the first time (that we know about) that a company has agreed to do such a thing. Yes the NSA has been surveilling people for years in a similar manner but that data was captured by them using other methods. No one knows if this request was also sent to other e-mail providers and if they have decided to comply with the request as well. In addition, no one knows if the string of data has ever been found and what it’s implications, or even what the message is about. However, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google and have all denied that they are allowing this type of scanning to occur.

While we can’t ever know the full extent of surveillance occurring, it’s more important than ever to use good hosting to cover yourself when it comes not only to your website and web properties but also to your email servers as well. NationalNet is consistently one of the most trusted providers of internet services such as this, and we are on the job 24/7/365 and we do not allow any access to your private servers without your prior consent.

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05
Oct
2016

US Government Prepares For Move of DNS Oversight to International Third Party

by Bill

Since the inception of the Internet, the United States Government has been responsible for governing the root structure of the entire digital platform. This seems like a good idea to some, especially among those who are concerned with espionage and American digital security interests, but it also makes the most important technological invention of the last century subject to the political whims of one nation, and puts tremendous pressure on widely accepted principles like Net Neutrality.

Now that paradigm is changing fundamentally as the US prepares to hand over their oversight responsibility of DNS (domain name system) to a third party group made up of international consultants who believe this is the right option in order to maintain ultimate freedom on the world wide web.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), fulfills the very important duty of translating domain names into IP addresses and back again. In reality, they have already been managing this function for about a year, but it was only under a contract with the National Telecommunication and Information Administration. After a long legal and political squabble in Congress, the US government is officially handing over the keys. Many groups around the country and the world agree that this move is great, because it will prevent any one country from having too much control over the internet. However, some American politicians worry that this could have grave effects for the national security of the United States.

Some are worried that this will put the internet into the hands of countries that we are not so friendly terms with, but experts assure these politicians that the internet is a decentralized commodity, which can’t be truly owned or controlled by any one nation, and this move solidifies that ideal. Others also worried that the actual handoff would cause technological problems, however, since you’re reading this, it clearly went off without a hitch and now the internet is one step closer to being an even more free place.

In an era of multinational cooperation and globalization, the shared management of the fundamental communication system used by the entire world appears to be a peaceful step toward greater international unity. It also highlights the importance of data security, and competent IT management for companies and countries interested in keeping their own sites free from attacks or negligent oversight. As always, National Net is here to help with any hosting and colocation needs your business faces, and we look forward to working with you in this new era by providing the same high level of service we have provided for our clients throughout the period of US oversight.

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27
Sep
2016

Largest Global Hack Ever Includes 500M Yahoo Users

by Bill

There have been a slew of pretty big hacks in recent years which have left user information exposed to the public or at least to the hackers. The most recent one and perhaps the largest breach to date happened over at Yahoo. The scary thing is that it actually happened back in 2014 but the company only just released the information that this happened. In the hack, more than 500 million accounts were broken into, and the hackers stole valuable data. The reason the information is coming out now is because the company believes that the attack may have been state sponsored, from another country.

The data included in the hack may have included names, birthdays, and even the security questions people have used to set up their Yahoo Accounts. There may have also been phone numbers and addresses included which is also troubling. While people these days have pretty much become used to hacks and attacks being part of everyday life, this one is a bit different seeing as it could be seen as a bit of terrorism from another place on the globe. As a result of the hacks Yahoo is advising people who have not changed their password since 2014 to change it as soon as possible. Those who use it’s different services – even Flickr – may be affected.

The FBI says it is on the claims ever since a hacker known as Peace was allegedly selling the data on the dark web. Due to this most recent hack which affects about half of Yahoo’s 1 billion users, you can easily see how important it is to have a hosting company on your side who has security in mind.

National Net is always on watch to protect our servers and your customer data, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and 366 in a leap year. Your security is our top priority and we do everything we can to prevent hacks like this from happening to your online properties.Even as hacks become more persistent, it is imperative that security professionals remain vigilant, because while all hacks can not be prevented, there is a lot to be said for simply being harder to hack than another alternative target online.

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