Sony Pictures Hack Highlights Importance of Cybersecurity

In today’s fast paced and increasingly digital world, stories on companies being hacked are, unfortunately, not unusual. However, as revelations pile up, it appears that a hack perpetrated on Sony Pictures on 11/24 is anything but usual. Attacks like these highlight the importance of maintaining top-notch cybersecurity and Working Nets is here with the details.

What Happened?

Around 11am, Monday, November 24th, emails began to circulate around Sony Pictures employees instructing them to stop using their computers, corporate email accounts, and cell phone wifi access. As the news traveled it became clear that hackers had seized an estimated 11,000 gigabytes of data that may have included personal passwords, financial information, passport and visa info of cast and crew along with info regarding Sony’s IT systems. As Sony began to look for possible perpetrators, even more information was found floating around on the web, including the movies AnnieMr. Turner, and Still Alice, which have not yet been released in theatres. Further investigation into the leaked files turned up employee criminal background checks, salary negotiations, and medical information as well as the script for an unreleased pilot written by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. All this information makes the Sony Pictures hack easily the worst corporate hack in recorded history.

How Can I Protect My Business?

Well, you can start by not angering North Korea. Sony has publicly speculated that the attack may be a form of retaliation against the upcoming release of The Interview, a comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogan wherein they play characters who attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Of course, the likelihood that your business has threatened the DPRK is very low, but that doesn’t mean these kinds of attacks couldn’t happen to you. If your cybersecurity isn’t being professionally monitored and updated, your business could have serious vulnerabilities you might not even know about.

Protect Your Business With Cybersecurity From Working Nets

At Working Nets, we know that handling the cybersecurity for a business while actually keeping that business running can seem impossible, especially in the daunting face of cyber-attacks against much larger businesses. Outsourcing your IT can give you peace of mind and allow you to take care of the things that are important for your company. Working Nets is a Maryland based IT Service and Security company that services small businesses nationwide. We’re always on top of emerging cybersecurity trends and threats so you don’t have to be.

To talk to someone about managed IT for your 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+

Experts Predict Major Cyber-Attack Within 11 Years

A survey released today, conducted by the Pew Research Center, found that the majority of major technology analysts believe that a major cyber-terrorist attack against US energy, banking, or health care systems will be carried out successfully within the next 11 years. The survey, which was given to 1,642 of the world’s most prominent technology experts asked if, in their professional opinion, they believed that a cyber-attack would cause “widespread harm to a nation’s security and capacity to defend itself” within the next 11 years.

Over 60% answered yes.

Working Nets is here with the inside scoop on the danger this impending threat could pose for your small business.

It’s Already Begun

Cyber-attacks have already risen dramatically in frequency and scope within the past year alone. Many experts cited this month’s major cyber-attack on Apple’s iCloud storage system, which many attribute as a covert action by the Chinese government, as an example of the increasing threat of digital terrorism.  Jason Pontin, the editor of the MIT Technology Review also cited the 2009 Stuxnet computer worm, which disabled the centrifuges in an Iranian nuclear power plant, as an example.

Why Are They So Dangerous?

Cyber-attacks are proportionally dangerous to the amount we depend upon the internet to conduct important tasks, which shows no signs of diminishing.

Stewart Baker, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson, a Washington D.C. law firm. Was quoted as saying that “cyberware just plain makes sense. Attacking the power grid or other industrial control systems is asymmetrical and deniable and devilishly effective.” Cyber-attacks involving the theft of personal data are equally threatening, allowing terrorist groups to seize foreign capital to fund their efforts.

The Dissenting Opinion

It’s worth noting however, that the 39% who answered “no” have some pretty compelling evidence on their side as well.

“The nation-states with the capability to deliver such an attack do not have the motivation to do so,” says David Clark, a research scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, invoking the mantra of mutually assured destruction that saw this country through the cold war.

Many experts agreed with Clark’s opinion and added that while new cyber-security threats do appear every day, so do new defensive measures against them. For every major threat there is always a team of dedicated technology professionals ready to quickly combat it.

Protect Your Business From Cyber-Attacks

Working Nets, employer of the area’s most talented and qualified cyber-security experts, can create a data protection solution customized for any network. Preparation is the best defense against potentially disastrous cyber-attacks.  With Working Nets at your back you’ll avoid many of the other problems that could disrupt the functionality of your business on a day-to-day basis.

To talk to someone about cyber-attacks, network security and disaster preparedness  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 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google

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!

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