Archive for June 2014

Google Glass Released in the UK

Google Glass has gone on sale in the UK, with “creative” consumers and developers alike capable of getting their hands on the android-based technology if they’re willing to part with £1000. The UK release has led to further concerns regarding the privacy aspects of Glass.

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Google Glass’ privacy debate is still open for discussion, especially as there is little way of knowing exactly when someone might be taking a picture of you, or when your personal details might be stolen through the built-in camera, such as when you’re putting in a PIN of some sorts.

Also, there’s still confusion surrounding the legal implications of Google Glass, which has led to Google telling the first users of the product to maintain the same level of courtesy and standards they would when taking a picture with a camera or mobile phone.

Interestingly, in a poll connected to the privacy concerns of Google Glass in the US, 72% of Americans felt that there was a cause for concern when it came to feeling awkward or concerned about their privacy.

However, Google have stressed that Glass is still a prototype and that its valuation reflects the fact that it is meant for developers rather than consumers, so we could see changes to its privacy settings in the future.

This also means that the commercial value of the product will be significantly less than the £1000 you have to pay in the UK at this time.

How Dedicated Network Connections For The Cloud Could Save Businesses A Lot Of Worry

Whilst the cloud has been utilised by companies all over the world, many business owners are still left feeling a little uneasy with the idea of having important data on the wrong side of their own personal security protocols.

The hybrid-cloud, an alternative to standard cloud computing, allows companies to retain some of their vital digital information in house by having total control and utilising their own defences against any potential security threat to their stored data.

Despite this, companies need more from the cloud to have the assurance that they don’t have to look after their precious data themselves.

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The answer could come from new network services, which are being offered by cloud-service providers to create a connection between the clients infrastructure and the PoP (Points of Presence) of the provider.

These dedicated connections, rather than the standard internet pathway, mean that clients would not have to share their bandwidth with anyone else, can increase and decrease their bandwidth as they please and benefit from easily-transferable data that eliminates internet insecurities.

These dedicated connections between provider and client are not new and are well tested, so companies can feel more assured about the data they store on the cloud by following up this type of data storage service.

For more information on Safe & Secure Cloud Storage Services, get in touch with Pronetic today and we’ll take you through our various technology options for your business.

World Cup 2014 Marred By Online Security Threats From Protesters

With the World Cup underway, you would have thought that a nation blessed by a huge football tradition would welcome hosting such a tournament. Unfortunately, the tournament has been overshadowed by protests from activists who are unhappy with the expenses put towards the tournament in comparison to basic salary and healthcare. Intriguingly, one of the many ways activists have looked to protest is by hacking official websites.

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Back in February, activists stated that they had the capabilities to hack official sites and subsequently disrupt the tournaments progression online. One of the activists, known as Che Commodre, said in February that “The attacks will be directed against official websites and those of companies sponsoring the cup. It’s fast, damaging and relatively simple to carry out”.

Thankfully, the activists ruled out the possibility of targeting the Brazilian population, stating that official websites were their primary target. With the World Cup having kicked off last night, it certainly wouldn’t be surprising to learn that hackers were putting their plans into action over the last 48 hours.

One of the biggest concerns for the Brazilian population is how easy the hacking process could be, with another activist stating that the procedures would be “nothing out of this world as security remains very low”.

If you’re interested in learning more about our online protection services here at Pronetic for your online business, get in touch with us today.

More Security Issues Detected In OpenSSL Post-Heartbleed

It seems that the Heartbleed bug has left a rather worrying aftermath behind it, after the subsequent fix was found to have smaller bugs that had originally gone undetected.

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These security holes are not thought to be as dangerous as Heartbleed, although they have proven to be much harder to exploit and deal with.

Heartbleed was brought to light a few weeks back when it was found that the popular OpenSSL software had been compromised, which brought about concerns regarding the security of personal data stored on websites.

OpenSSL was originally meant to encrypt data that was transferred from one user to the other over the internet. Major companies have since provided the project with more cash to improve their security methods and prevent any further exploitation from taking place.

A spokesman from the firm Rapid7 issued a statement saying “They are going to have to patch. This will take some time”. Updated versions of OpenSSL have already been released, so anyone who is still vulnerable has been urged to carry out the necessary updates as soon as possible.

If you want to learn more about our free network health check solutions, contact us today and we’ll take you through our services.

Cyber-attack targets internet banking

You may have seen or heard in the news yesterday a warning about a cyber-attack which is due in two weeks.

What is it?
It is an infection known as “GameOver Zeus” which attackers use to intercept transactions during online banking sessions. It was reported by ESET (security software) in August 2010 that “3,000 online banking customers have become the latest victim of a Zeus Trojan Virus attack”. It is back in the news (BBC, Sky etc) because the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and the US FBI have significantly disrupted the network used by this fraud operation. The NCA is advising that this disruption gives users a two week window to shore up their defences, after which the attackers operation may be back up to full strength.

Symptoms
The infection typically arrives as an email allegedly carrying an invoice. The user attempts to open the invoice and behind the scenes the infection installs itself. It may also carry the related infection “Cryptolocker” which locks users’ files. GameOver Zeus will intercept the logon procedure when starting an internet banking session. The user may be asked for additional security questions – the answers as well as passwords are passed to the attacker and the user fails to logon to their bank.

What actions should I take?
If you think your internet banking details may have been compromised then contact your bank and have your password and security information reset.

Now would be a very good time to review your system’s defences:

  • Ensure you have installed decent security software and that it is up to date.
  • Keep Windows and third party software up to date.
  • Don’t open email attachments unless you are sure they are legitimate. They may appear to from a genuine source e.g. your bank or a supplier.
  • Ensure you have a good backup configured which holds multiple generations of your important files.
  • Don’t store passwords on your computer unless they are encrypted.

If you suspect the infection has circumvented your security software then call Pronetic now on 01243 553605 and ask for Andy.