443-992-7394

Apple iCloud Security Breach

The imminent launch of apple’s latest iPhone has been marred by an internet security breach of epic proportions. Over the past weekend users of the website 4chan began leaking a series of racy celebrity photos apparently stolen from individual iCloud accounts. Victims included actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Kirsten Dunst, as well as model Kate Upton, and many more.

internet security, internet hacking

This recent spate of internet hacking prompted Apple to respond by reassuring users that the theft did not occur through a breach in any of Apple’s systems, including iCloud. According to Apple the thefts were a resulted of targeted hacking and phishing schemes, an attack where hackers gain access to user’s accounts by luring targets into clicking on a compromised URL.  Some have speculated that the attack may have been made possible through the iPhone’s Find My iPhone feature which, until recently, had a bug which could allow someone to continually guess passwords without being ejected from the system. Apple has refuted this speculation, stating in a press release that “None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud® or Find my iPhone.”

Brute Force

Most security experts agree that the theft was the result of a brute-force attack on individual accounts. “Brute-forcing” is a technique wherein hackers use password generators to quickly try thousands of common password combinations on specific accounts. Accounts with weak or common passwords are much more vulnerable to this method of hacking than those with more complicated, unique passwords. The FBI has reported that it is working on the case but has delivered no other official comments at this time.

The major internet security breach could not have come at a worse time for Apple. Aside from the impending launch of a new device, Apple has been reported to be only a week away from officially announcing plans on launching a mobile wallet (which would store credit card information) and a wearable device that could track and record details about a user’s personal health.

Personal Safety

If anything, this incident has highlighted the importance of keeping track of where your information is being stored and of maintaining strong personal security over all of your accounts and devices.

It’s also important to remember that the security for your small business relies on a working knowledge of mobile device information as well as information on different websites and scams. We recognize that you don’t always have that kind of time as a small business owner, which is why we offer cyber security and managed IT services. To talk to someone about cyber security for your small business, give us a call at (443) 992-7394. We’d be happy to assist you with your professional business networking needs.

You can also visit WorkingNets.com and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Google+

Sources:

Reuters

The Verge

Is My Password Secure?

Have you ever asked yourself that? Either that or “How can I make my password secure?” Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Security isn’t really a thing you can do, it is part of an overall plan you set up for your business.

The more convenient something is, the less secure it is, and vice versa.

What can we do?

One fairly simple thing you can do to help protect yourself, and your business, is to improve your password policies. Here are some suggestions for improve your passwords:

  • Use at least 8 characters
  • Use at least 3 of the 4 types of characters (Uppercase, Lowercase, Numeric and Symbol)
  • Change your password at least twice a year. More frequently would be better, but at least twice
  • Don’t keep your passwords where they could be found. Under the keyboard, in your desk drawer, or on your bulletin board all qualify as “where they could be found”
  • Use character substitutions to help make passwords more complex, yet easy to remember
    • becomes @
    • becomes $
    • becomes 1
    • becomes 0
    • becomes 3
    • WorkingNets becomes W0rk1ngN3t$
  • Consider some of the following when making a complex password, to help make it memorable:
    • Passphrases: OnceUponATime
    • Misspellings: SkubaDyver
    • Themes: MilesDavis, SonneyStitt, TheloniusMonk (old Jazz Musicians)
    • Combinations: M1l3$D@v1$, 0nc3Up0n@T1m3, $kub@Dyv3r
  • Wherever possible, don’t share passwords. There are other ways to get into important data, if you have to.

Using some of these basic methods can go a long way towards protecting your business, and yourself, from fraud.

At Working Nets, we were founded to provide small businesses in Baltimore and the surrounding area, businesses like yours, with the expert information technology support they need to not only survive, but thrive. Our disaster recovery services help ensure your vital business data is kept safe and secure, providing you with a peace of mind that is unequalled.

Did you know that 43% of companies that experience major data loss never recover? 51% close within 2 years. Don’t let this happen to you. Pick up the phone, call Working Nets today, and stop playing Russian roulette with your business.

If you have any questions about cloud computing, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Source:

http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/passwords-create.aspx

Cybersecurity News: The Current State of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012

The Cybersecurity Act of 2012: “To enhance the security and resiliency of the cyber and communications infrastructure of the United States.”

As you may or may not know, The Cybersecurity Act of 2012, sponsored by Joseph Lieberman (I–CT) and Susan Collins (R–ME), was defeated in the Senate after failing to gain the 60 votes necessary to move the bill past cloture and go up for a full vote. Obviously, the Act is still not ready, at least in the eyes of the Senate. And Senator Al Franken (D-Minn), a strong proponent for national cybersecurity, agrees. But he also acknowledges that something must be done.

“News reports and experts confirm that our nation’s critical infrastructure-such as our water systems, our power grid, and so forth-are vulnerable to attacks from hackers and foreign governments,” said Sen. Franken. “…Our nation needs to respond to those threats.”

Luckily, Franken has a solution. Rather than scrapping the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 all together, Franken believes it can be amended.

“The Cybersecurity Act is not perfect, but when it comes to striking a balance between cybersecurity and privacy and civil liberties, it is the only game in town,” said Sen. Franken. “Unfortunately, it’s hard to write a good cybersecurity bill-because when you try to make it easier for the government or Internet companies to detect and stop the work of hackers or other bad actors, you often end up making it very easy for those same entities to snoop in on the lives of innocent Americans.”

Franken has proposed several amendments that would remove provisions found in Section 701 of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 that allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) the authority to monitor and take actions against their users. It is the Senator’s hope that these amendments will alleviate many of the issues that his fellow Senators have with the Act.

“And I hope that my colleagues here in the Senate will join me in passing this amendment,” added Sen. Franken.

If you have any questions about Cybersecurity, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

At Working Nets, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.

At Working Nets, our focus is on your needs!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Sources:

Sen. Franken: Improved Cybersecurity Bill Will Better Protect Privacy, Civil Liberties, but Still Needs Work

Franken Amendment Would Remove Worst Part of Cybersecurity Bill

 

Cybersecurity News: Hackers have found a Security Hole in Internet Explorer

It was recently reported that security researcher Eric Romang of Zataz.com discovered a major cybersecurity issue with Internet Explorer (IE) versions 6, 7, 8, and 9. The popular Internet browser has a major hole, a hole that hackers have already discovered.

The fresh “zero day” vulnerability allowed cyber attackers to install malicious software – a form of the old Poison Ivy Trojan – on Windows computers. This allowed the hackers to take control of the victim’s computer.

It is thought that the hackers behind the IE attack may also be the group responsible got last month’s exploitation of Oracle’s Java browser plug-in.

Microsoft Responds to the Cybersecurity Threat

Microsoft quickly responded with a security advisory, including an extensive list of work-arounds. Unfortunately for IE users, these work arounds are somewhat burdensome.

“I would recommend not using Internet Explorer until this issue is patched,” Sophos’ Chet Wisniewksi tells me. “While the exploit is not in widespread use, it could be integrated into popular attack kits like the Blackhole Exploit Kit any time now.”

The Solution: Make the switch to another browser, like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera. You can always come back to IE after Microsoft issues a patch.

If you have any questions about Cybersecurity, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

At Working Nets, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.

At Working Nets, our focus is on your needs!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Source:

Hackers Just Found a Big Hole in Internet Explorer. Should You Switch Browsers?