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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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26
Jul
2016

Web Security More Important than Ever with Latest DNC Hack

by Bill

Regardless of what side you’re on in the US political game, anyone who has anything on the internet, or who has ever bought anything on the internet, should be concerned about the implications of the latest large hack. It revealed about 20,000 e-mails sent between members of the Democratic National Committee, which included the personal financial information of some people who donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign. The actual hack happened over a month before the information was leaked.

On June 14th the Washington Post reported that “Russian” hackers had infiltrated the DNC database to find the information they had collected about Donald Trump. However, the threat was noticed much earlier than that, way back in April, when a security firm discovered two spies on the network, which were linked to Russia. It was later on revealed that the hacker was none other than Guccifer 2.0, a noted hacker.

With Guccifer 2.0 starting to release the documents on a WordPress website, some information got leaked before the big Wikileaks event happened, which is where the large cache of e-mails got released. The information in the leaks is somewhat damning, and suggests that the DNC favored Hillary over Bernie, when they were supposed to have been impartial. Whatever you believe or whoever you support, the hack and subsequent release of information just proves how important it is to go with a good hosting provider who will be able to protect you against security intrusions.

That’s why we here at National Net always provide the best services possible with high levels of security for our customers. We want to protect you from whoever may be trying to gain access to your information, whether it’s the Russians, Guccifer or your next door neighbor. NationalNet takes extraordinary care to protect you from those who want to spy, or worse, those who want to use your information against you.

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20
Jul
2016

Physicists Develop Atomic Data Storage

by Bill

On the heels of other major news regarding biotech storage systems and new hard drive architectures that we have previously reported here on the National Net Hosting blog, there is another new impressive breakthrough on the atomic side of the spectrum. Researchers from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have created the first rewritable data-storage device that is able to store information at the atomic level by representing single atoms as single bits of data.

The technology, detailed by Motherboard and first detailed in the current issue of <a href="http://nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/nnano.2016 prednisone 20mg dosage.131″ data-saferedirecturl=”https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=http://nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/nnano.2016.131&source=gmail&ust=1469121484304000&usg=AFQjCNHD36tMTg3MpMEcqJYkyD4QCIq8jA”>Nature Nanotechnology, is reportedly capable of packing data at the mindboggling density of 500 terabytes per square inch. Theoretically, an atomic drive would therefore be able to store the entire contents of the US Library of Congress within a 0.1-mm-wide cube.

The researches also created a video explanation that does a surprisingly good job of explaining the mechanics of their discovery in layman’s terms.

Using chlorine atoms on a copper surface and a scanning tunneling microscope, the research team was able to build a prototype drive that provides rewritable information of 1 Kilobyte by using 8,000 atomic bits. That’s 500x denser than other existing data storage devices. It’s far from ready for consumer usage, but there is hope that this technology will make its way out of the lab and become one of the most useful ways to handle the massive data explosion that continues to gain speed over time as the world embraces digital communication more and more each day.

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11
Jul
2016

Digital News Continues To Erode Traditional Media Strength

by Bill

Americans are increasingly turning to mobile devices for their news, which shouldn’t come as much surprise to anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection, but the pace with which print newspapers are losing ground according to new polling data is eye opening.

A new study released by The Pew Research Center detailed a recent acceleration in the use of mobile devices for news over the last three years as the segment of society getting at least some of their news from their mobile devices reached 72% in 2016 which is a massive leap from the 54% mark established in the previous 2013 study. That number also includes 36% who responded that they get news from their mobile device “often” as well. By comparison, only 20% of adults claimed to get their news from print newspapers often, compared with 27% from the older study.

This is a trend that is sure to gain strength over time because of the generational gap in the data. A mere 5% of the 18-29 age group responded that they “often” read newspapers, while 48% in the over-65 age group still do. That gap becomes especially important when one considers that these different demographics are getting news from completely separate sources and that in fact each group may be getting different or contradictory news from the other as well.

The Pew report is based on a two-part study that queried 4,654 US adults from January 12th to February 8th and then used 14 short online surveys administered in February and March to a total of 2,078 participants. The stated margin of error for the full sample was estimated by the research team to be +/- 2.4%.

What this means for website owners and marketers is that a sales pitch or advertising campaign can now be calibrated to differently to match the world view of varying demographics based on where their news is coming from, or that advertorial content embedded in many of these newer news outlets online may soon allow marketers to entrench their own narrative in the mind of potential customers in ways that lead consumers to believe they found a product, rather than the more factual truth that the product or service was expertly advertised to them in ways too subtle to be noticed and too powerful to be ignored.

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07
Jul
2016

NationalNet is hiring a Marketing Manager

by Bill

NationalNet, an Atlanta-based leader in the Web Hosting industry, is seeking a Digital Marketing Manager. With a fast-paced work environment that also places an emphasis on having fun, our culture is one of positive energy and entrepreneurism. The company takes very good care of its team members with opportunities for salary and career advancement while rapidly expanding service offerings and creating innovative service models.  The company seeks people with a “can do” attitude, and encourages those people to bring their innovative ideas to the table.

For close to 20 years (a dinosaur in this industry) NationalNet has fueled its growth mainly through word of mouth and referrals by evangelical customers.  The customers overwhelmingly stay for many years due to the great service and support that are offered.  Recently, NationalNet has acquired a number of smaller web hosting brands that need the talents of a top notch marketer to tell that story to the world.

As the Marketing Manager, you will be a one-person team that will report directly to the CEO of this privately held company.  The plan is for you to build a department that is so critical to the long term success of the company that you will eventually hire your own staff and take on a Directors level position.  You will have a diverse scope of responsibilities that range from the daily management of an aggressive social media outreach program to the creation and management of online sales campaigns along with tracking their performance. Additional responsibilities could include the analysis of opportunities related to media, special events and corporate sponsorships.

NationalNet’s motto is: “Work Hard. Play Hard.” The company is very supportive of its team members and provides excellent benefits including health insurance with company contribution, 401k with matching funds, paid time off (PTO) and an Extended Illness Bank (EIB).

Salary: Commensurate with job and the previous experience and capabilities the candidate brings to the position.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Plan and execute all web, SEO/SEM, email, social media and display advertising campaigns
  • Maintain all social media presence and redesign as needed
  • Measure and report performance of all digital marketing campaigns, and assess against set goals (ROI and KPIs)
  • Identify trends and insights, and optimize spend and performance based on the insights
  • Brainstorm new and creative growth strategies
  • Plan, execute, and measure experiments and conversion tests
  • Collaborate with internal and external teams to create landing pages and optimize user experience
  • Utilize strong analytical ability to evaluate end-to-end customer experience across multiple channels and customer touch points
  • Instrument conversion points and optimize user funnels
  • Evaluate emerging technologies. Provide thought leadership and perspective for adoption where appropriate
  • Monitor and provide updates regarding the online activities of key competitors

Candidate Requirements

  • BS/MS degree in marketing or a related field (or equivalent practical experience)
  • Proven working experience in digital marketing
  • Demonstrable experience creating and managing SEO/SEM, email, social media and/or display advertising campaigns
  • Highly creative with experience in identifying target audiences and devising digital campaigns that engage, inform and motivate
  • Experience in optimizing landing pages and user funnels
  • Experience with A/B and multivariate experiments
  • Solid knowledge of website analytics tools (e.g., Google Analytics)
  • Working knowledge of ad serving tools (e.g., AdRoll)
  • Experience in setting up and optimizing Google Adwords campaigns
  • Working knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript development and constraints
  • Strong analytical skills and data-driven thinking
  • Up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in online marketing and measurement

 

These talents get your resume moved to the “top of the pile”

  • Understanding of Web Hosting
  • Be Google Certified
  • Moderate design skills
  • Understanding of an Affiliate Sales Model

To apply send your resume including your salary requirements along with a cover letter explaining why you are the perfect fit for this position to hr@nationalnet.com

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06
Jul
2016

Researchers Sue US Government Over Anti Hacking Law

by Bill

A law that was put in place to make hacking illegal decades ago may be preventing researchers from preventing algorithmic discrimination, and the researchers are fighting back. The law is known as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and it makes it illegal for anyone to scrape websites for data that is already available to the public or to sign up for a free user account to do so.

Researchers who focus on this type of discrimination, which is thought to be especially prevalent on job search sites and real estate sites, could get arrested and charged through this act, because they need to test these websites to see if discrimination is present in their algorithms. While most charges for violating a site’s terms of service bring on civil charges which usually have a financial penalty, this act is one of the few that could bring criminal charges, meaning jail time. On your first offense, you can get up to a year in prison, and a second offense will land you up to ten years in the clink.

Because of this, the researchers have filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Justice, because in their eyes, creating the fake profiles they need to use in order to ascertain the level of discrimination on certain websites falls under the free speech act of the first amendment. One of the researchers, Christopher Sandvig, says that “Being able to run socially beneficial studies like ours is at the heart of academic freedom.”

However, in the past, this law has been helpful in finding ways to prosecute online bullies who created fake online social media accounts in order to bully people, which often leads to hardship and even suicide. While this law could be positive in certain cases, it’s clear that researchers need to be able to access website in a way that will allow them to observe what is happening and prevent discrimination. It’s yet another round in the enduring debate about data security, privacy and our increasingly powerful ability to analyze massive data sets in ever decreasing amounts of time.

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22
Jun
2016

China Pulls Further Ahead in the Supercomputer Race

by Bill

China has recently created the most powerful supercomputer in the world. It has surpassed what is now the 2nd most powerful supercomputer, which was also made by Chinese scientists, to become #1. It’s quite a machine, as you could imagine. It has 10,649,600 cores to power it’s 125 petaflop theoretical peak performance and 1.31 petaflops of memory. To give you a comparison, your computer at home probably uses four cores. If you haven’t even heard of a petaflop, don’t worry, it’s nothing like the gigabytes and terabytes we are used to dealing with when searching for consumer based technology. It’s actually a calculation that is based on how many operations a computer can perform in one second. Yes, that’s a whole lot of calculations!

 The new computer is called Sunway TaihuLight and it furthers China’s superiority in the computational “arms race” to build the best super computer. In the beginning of the race, China lagged far behind, with no supercomputer powers, but now, they have the most supercomputers and the three fastest. The most impressive thing about the Sunway is that it is also made with Chinese made computer chips and components signaling an end to their reliance on US tech from firms like IBM.

China will be on top – at least until 2018 when US companies expect to produce a machine that will range from 150-250 petaflops. Many industry analysts believe that is more than enough time for China to surpass this goal easily, given their advanced place in this particular segment of the industry. The makers of TaihuLight plan to use this computer for earth-wide weather forecasting, and analyzing big data, proving that having the most powerful computer is more than just a title, it is actually useful for things that can help everyone in the world.

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15
Jun
2016

Wired Magazine Shines A Spotlight On Carrier Hotels

by Bill

You might be surprised to learn that most of the internet lives in a series of digital hotel. It’s not a lavish environment and there is certainly no room service, but these places are known as Carrier Hotels and NYC photographer Peter Garritano recently went to five unique locations to do an expose on some of the physical embodiment of the web at the deepest levels. Before doing the project, Peter had an idea of what these large data storage and connection centers would be like, but visiting them and photographing them has given him a new perspective on what the internet is and how it is constructed one fiber at a time.

What is a carrier hotel exactly? Wired Magazine sheds some light on the subject in their article on Garritano’s project. It’s a place where “AT&T’s network can hook up with Verizon’s network. Verizon’s network can connect with Google’s network” and far beyond. Originally carrier hotels were for hooking up big internet providers, but more and more these days large tech companies are creating their own networks in order to run apps and programs that use a lot of data like AI and deep learning programs. Other internet companies, including hosting companies like NationalNet tie in to these trunks and end users reach their data through a mind-boggling number of portals simultaneously.

Unsurprisingly, these locations are kept securely under lock and key with a great deal of privacy about their locations. Garritano had to work hard to get entrance into these places, and even then he was subjected to high security screenings. There are biometric security checkpoints and even traps to contend with when you enter one of these facilities, in addition to the more usual security guards and cameras. It’s nice to know that companies like Telx and Zayo really have the internet’s security in mind. Once you get past all that security, it’s pretty mundane inside, as Peter’s photos will show. Miles of cable, large cooling devices, and a security escort making sure that the internet maintained its status quo as Garritano photographed its inner workings. It’s a fascinating look from an outsiders perspective with visual depictions of the Internet unlike any you are likely to have seen elsewhere.

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