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Some recent issues, they are being investigated

Hello to all subscribers and readers.

I’m Jared Rimer, I’m the main one who writes here on the technology blog and podcast. While I’ve not written much lately, I want to come in here today because there have been some downtime on this and my other blog, but this one is the most written on right now.

Recently, my moderator, Shaun Everess, E-mailed me this morning pacific time, to let me know of a blog outage. I was able to confirm and open a ticket within the hour of me being notified. This blog came back up within the half hour of me writing the ticket.

Let me explain what is going on here.

  • Our control panel checks for updates each day at midnight.
  • We are not sure, but some component somewhere is having a hard time, and thats what is being investigated.
  • I am not completely sure, but the component may have something to do with database connections, so anything needing a database connection is effected.
  • The good news is that the provider was called early this morning. Due to the time, the provider was not in a position to deal with it then, so it was delbt with as quickly as possible.
  • I can’t guarantee anything right now, but i can tell you that this is being monitored to figure out whats happening. Thanks for your continued support, and the JRN apologizes for any inconvenience this causes you.

    The last time we had an outage, it was after an upgrade, but I can’t prove that because it wasn’t just this blog, and multiple accounts were effected. We’ll continue to keep you posted as soon as we know something. Thanks for your continued support, and Thanks Shaun for getting us alerted. Without you, I don’t think I’d notice a lot of the issues. Thanks bud for all your support.

    Comments (1)

    This week’s Security Now program

    Hello everyone,

    This week, Security Now is going to be packed as usual. If you aren’t subscribed to it, please do so by going to this RSS feed. Here are those show notes on whats coming up this week. This program is 1 hour 57 minutes long.

    SN 609: The Double Pulsar April 25, 2017, 6:35 PM
    Security Now (MP3)
    This week Steve and Leo discuss how one of the NSA’s Vault7 vulnerabilities has gotten loose, a clever hacker removes Microsoft deliberate (and apparently unnecessary) block on Win7/8.1 updates for newer processors, Microsoft refactors multifactor authentication, Google to add native ad-blocking to Chrome… and what exactly are abusive ads?, Mastercard to build a questionable fingerprint sensor into their cards, are Bose headphones spying on their listeners? 10 worrisome security holes discovered in Linksys routers, MIT cashes out half of its IPv4 space, and the return of two meaner BrickerBots. Then some Errata, a bit of Miscellany, and, time permitting, some “Closing the Loop” feedback from our podcast’s terrific listeners.

    We are allowed to air it as long as we leave everything in tact, so join the mix on Thursday at 5 CT, 3 PT for the airing. Hope to see you there!

    Comments (0)

    Trying a new site for publishing to a wider audience

    Hi all,

    I’ve always tried to write about various types of technology, and even when I’ve gotten articles out, I’ve not had a lock on them. Part of that trouble is my plug in I think, where it isn’t tweeting anymore. The other aspect is, that this site, Vocal allows me to branch out and cover a wide variety of topics all on the same platform. I know it is accessible, however, they need images. They helped me publish a longer piece I wrote based off of this blog post and while I did a great job with this one, they wanted me to expand. I should’ve expanded and talked here more about what ATPC is. While I’m not going to full out blog here about it, but I wanted to share my longer piece entitled: “ATPC Hit with Ransomware, Does Not Pay” with you. It shows I have no biography, but I do. I know they’re making some changes, and I want people to know I’m still going to blog here. I also know I’ve not done a lot of reading as of late, and there’s a lot I need to read. I’m hoping Vocal will take off, and allow me to branch out in to other categories, and eventually, get paid.

    It isn’t going to be a fast process, nor is it going to be easy, but I’m up for the challenge. I’m still going to blog here, and if I find something good, I’ll be sure to blog about it. The thing about this site and Vocal, is Vocal needs to be your own content. You can link to others, however, they want it to really be your own. I hope you’ll enjoy the article I published over there, and I’ll publish links to those articles once they get approved, if they are tech related for everyone who may not be familiar with them, to see what else I’m writing. Hope everyone is enjoying their stay here, and please feel free to check out check out Vocal to see if it is a viable solution to what you’d like to do in reaching a wider audience.

    Make it a great day! See you all soon.

    Comments (2)

    Samsung’s Tizen is riddled with security flaws, amateurishly written | Ars Technica

    OK, is this how security products are supposed to be made? If Samsung did have a part in this, they should be ashamed with themselves. Check this one out.

    Source: Samsung’s Tizen is riddled with security flaws, amateurishly written | Ars Technica

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    Patch tuesday

    Hi all, its that time of month again, the time where we must reboot our PC’s to allow for updates to take effect. Starting this month, Microsoft has discontinued issuing bulletines on what the updates covered. April Patch Tuesday: Microsoft Patches Office Vulnerability Used in Zero-Day Attacks from Trend Micro and Critical Security Updates from Adobe, Microsoft from Krebs on Security will give you varying views on whats up. This Networkworld article entitled Microsoft kicks security bulletins to the curb in favor of security update guide may go in to further detail on why they did this. This is in the better late than never department, so i hope you’ll enjoy taking a look at these things as we continue to fight the security battle.

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    Lessons from IBM InterConnect – Disruption is Inevitable

    Herbie sent me this article Lessons from IBM InterConnect – Disruption is Inevitable and I found it interesting. We know Watson beat everyone on Jeopardy for a time, and he’s fed tons of data. I’d be interested on your thoughts on this.

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    Things I’ve been reading for the past while

    Hi folks,

    I know I’m probably so late with some of these, its been busy with my schedule. I want to post the things I think people should check out for the last few days. Please feel free to check out my twitter feed to see what I tweet, maybe something will be of interest that I post after I read it. For other social media options, Go to my network home page and select the heading for social media. Thanks for reading!

    • From hackers’ point of views: New study exposes their strategies Trend Micro This article I just read today. It was interesting to hear what they’re after and maybe a little on how things are done. Forward thinking on maybe how to prottect ourselves a bit? Not sure, but the thought of this was interesting.
    • How Mobile Phones Turn Into A Corporate Threat Trend Micro We use mobile phones now more than ever. I went in kicking and screaming about the iphone, and in some ways, I’m happy I have mine. It has helped me when I’ve gotten lost, and it helps me know when the MTA bus comes so I can plan my trip. It also gets me off the bus, when the AVA (automated voice announcement) system does not call stops. Now, they can connect to E-mail through the various gateways, and we can be productive while not at a computer. With this convenience, this causes risks, and some of them can be prevented such as not opening attachments because there is malware being developed for the phone, and that can be transmitted in to the corporate environment, for example. This one should be checked out if nothing else.
    • 3 overlooked endpoints for cyber attacks and how to protect them Trend Micro This has three bullet points and links to other information for further reading. If you care about such things, this article is a must read.
    • 5 ways machine learning can be used for security today Trend Micro this article talks about how machine learning can help with protection. Next Generation scanners are coming, and Trend Micro has been doing this type of work for many years.
    • Cerber Starts Evading Machine Learning Trend Micro this article talks about Cerber, a worm, that is being trained to evade detection from the above machine learning technique, so it can stay around. Very clever stuff.
    • How and Why the Phishing Threat Landscape Has Changed A forward looking blog post talking about the real world risks of the phishing landscape and what we should expect now. This is real world information, and something that people should check out.
    • In a bit of good news, Krebs On Security gives us an article I thought was worth tweeting about. Alleged vDOS Owners Poised to Stand Trial is the article. We’ve covered this operation on the blog before, and this is good reporting here by Brian. Now, people are being caught, and we can’t hide, even if we did use a VPN as someone can always know who we are.
    • Last Pass has been busy as of late, and Security Update for the LastPass Extension from Last Pass talks about the latest. Security Now has been covering the various bugs that Google’s Tavis Ormondy has been finding, and these are big things which Lastpass has been right on top of. These guys are very serious on their work, and I don’t see any change in that, even though, I believe they were baught out, by another company if I remember right. Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought I saw that one somewhere.
    • CVE-2017-0022: Microsoft Patches a Vulnerability Exploited by AdGholas and Neutrino Trend Micro This article is better late than never. This talks about a bug which was fixed which exploit kits have been taking advantage of.
    • Microsoft Patch Tuesday of March 2017: 18 Security Bulletins; 9 Rated Critical, 9 Important Trend Micro talks about the patch Tuesday which was this past March’s list of changes. No reason really on why Microsoft delayed February, so we got a bunch.

    There is more that you could read, but this will keep you busy for awhile. I’ll try to get more articles out on a timely manner with in a day of me reading stuff so that I can talk about them more. Any thoughts on this list? Do let me know your thoughts.

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    Apple Releases iOS 10.3.1 with Bug Fixes and Security Improvements

    Hi folks,

    Apple Vis is letting us know that IOS 10.3.1 is out. Read the blog post here. This afternoon, Steve Gibon tweeted:

    Steve Gibson: iOS users: Time to update (again). Last week’s update left a worrisome (bad) remote WiFi attack possible. Grab v10.3.1 when you can. /Steve. 1 hour ago from TweetDeck

    I’m sure the next security Now program will have information on this one, and I’ll try to catch it live so I can blog about my thoughts on it. I’m glad they were able to find it and get it fixed as quickly as possible, whatever this means. Stay safe.

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    14-Year-Old Charged In Sexual Assault Broadcast On Facebook Live

    Hi folks, I just read this article sent to me entitled 14-Year-Old Charged In Sexual Assault Broadcast On Facebook Live and this can’t be good. First, lets say I’m in California, which I am. Next, lets say that the person that is doing something is in another state, lets say New York. Lets say I know them. Lets say I pick up the phone and dial 911 which the article is saying to do. I tell the dispatcher that I’m seeing a crime of some sort live on facebook. I get them the URL. Now, my question for discussion is this: will the police forward this on to the proper authorities in which the crime is taking place? I’m not sure how the multi agency stuff works, but I don’t know if 911 is used for such things. This is where you come in, and you can let me know your thoughts.

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    Technology podcast 257 is now out!

    Hi folks,

    I’ve not released a podcast since 256 in mid February. I’ve put together some segments, then wanted to cover one particular segment and decided to put it on our mix show, the Saturday Afternoon Hangout. I’m trying to find things that might be of interest, but yet, different than other casts. I hope you’ll enjoy the podcast.

    RSS feed where you can get your copy.

    Show notes

    On this podcast, we talk about a variety of stuff including ransomware, and I have some segments asking for comment on what we should cover. Hope to hear from you!

    I hope you will enjoy the show as much as i have putting it together!

    I’ll continue to post articles of interest, and if I want to put it in to audio, I’ll do that too. I’ll be trying to get casts out quicker, but it all deopends on time.

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    IOS 10.3 has been out

    Hi all,

    In the better late than never department, IOS 10.3 is out. I’ve neglected to post about the other IOS releases since 10.1, but Apple Vis has a blog post of their own dealing with changes and regresions we must be aware of. Please feel free to read it and update when you get a chance. Security Now has covered 10.3’s release but I’m not sure if I remember on what episode. Here is Security Now’s RSS feed which is hosted on twit.

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    FBI: Attackers Targeting Anonymous FTP Servers in Healthcare

    Hello folks, this article came across my desk through a newsletter I’m subscribed to. The article is entitled: FBI: Attackers Targeting Anonymous FTP Servers in Healthcare and I do not believe that our FTP allows anonymous access even if we turn it on now a days. I really think we need to be aware of this, and pass it along to our dentist and health care people that we know. This couldn’t get worse, can it?

    Comments (1)

    march’s updates

    Well I have been busy this month but thought I’d put out all the updates since no more have come.
    Amd drivers, and others.
    Windows 7 monthly and preview monthly.
    adobe flash, and adobe acrobat update services.
    Dropbox, skype all have new versions.
    codecguide 13 is out.
    Windows10 cumulative for march is out.
    Well technically 3 versions came out one you had to manually download from the catalog.
    The first version was the big update including february’s update.
    The second versions fixed issues with the first.
    The third fixed issues with the second ie it broke windows store.
    Office recieved 2 updates one minor today.
    Itunes has an update.
    Garmin devices had one of their updaters depricated and another released, tomtom has a new update for its home suite.
    Thats that for this month.
    Next month is windows 10 creaters.
    Interestingly if we use old termonaligy we have win10 then win10 a.
    Now we get win 10 c where is win10 b?
    And where did windows 9 go by the way.
    Intel also has a driver updater update to 2.72.
    More next month.

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    Dishwashers, washing machines, connecting to the net and having issues?

    This goes in to the oh boy category. Do we have one?

    In the same newsletter, one article calls it a dishwasher, the other a washing machine, but this can’t be any worse can it? Hackable IoT washing machine provides channel for breaching hospital IT and Dishwasher has directory traversal bug g
    Thanks a Miele-on for making everything dangerous, Internet of Things firmware slackers
    are two articles out of several here in this list. We definitely have something going on here, and it can’t get better when you see this. The reason why I went after the second, was because I heard parts of Security Now which taped on Tuesday afternoon, and it is discussed there. Steve couldn’t believe it, I forget what he says, but this is definitely bad. I just wonder what else we can see if we’ve practically seen it all. Oh boy.

    Comments (2)

    US man held for sending flashing tweet to epileptic writer

    I saw this article in the Sans security newsletter about this guy who supposedly sent a tweet with an image to cause a seizure. This is fucked up. US man held for sending flashing tweet to epileptic writer is the article. This is absolutely rediculous for someone who is a writer to send someone else a writer something you know can cause irrepairable damage. I don’t understand why you would knowingly do this. 10 years in jail? This can’t be enough to repair any damage this guy dhas to go through to get his life back especially if the seizure left him in a state where he needs more help than normal. Wow.

    Comments (1)

    ATPC hit with Ransomware, does not pay demand

    On February 15, 2017: a company called ATPC (the Alternate Text Production Center) was hit with a ransomware strain. The E-mail that was sent to me indicated multiple things that I would like to highlight in this ever important effort on continuing education on the epidemic.

    • First, they had backups of everything that was currently set to be produced. While clients uploaded files through a protocol called FTP, the company did have a policy in place about this access they needed to change after this epidemic.
    • Next, the notice was very straight forward in what happened, steps they took to mitigate the attack, and what they were doing to make sure that it didn’t impact them like this again.

    Here is a baseline of what they said.

    • The FTP server had files up there, and the policy indicated that it was for short term storage. These files are small, even though they were books to be sent in braille or electronically to customers.
    • They made sure all files were backed up in multiple locations so if a file they needed to send either in braille or electronically was infected, they had clean copies. This was the most important step in this process. If you have read Most Companies Still Willing To Pay Ransom To Recover Data, Survey Shows you will know that most companies have no choice. Just look at this LAVC update that I posted after my first post on that which asks Are schools next in the cyber race? I really think this step was important.
    • They sent out a notice to their customers. This is very important as you want them to know that you know about the issue, and what you’re doing about it. They don’t want to find out after the fact. LAVC called and E-mailed us, and even braught in experts which advised they should pay. LAVC is a lot larger than ATPC, but ATPC notified their customers and prevented that whole mess.

    The points I’ve made and links to the articles should highlight that ATPC has done the right thing, and they are a small business. I don’t think there is any other way of doing this without having to pay like LAVC did, and that took out their Internet and phone systems. While a few files were lost, they were easily retrieved elsewhere. This is a perfect case of something that went wrong, and the perfect solution to a very complex systematic problem of keeping us safe.

    Each ransomware case is different, but hopefully, we can learn from this textbook case. Thoughts? Get in touch.

    More information: Alternate Text Production Center

    Comments (2)

    Americans ignorant on cybersecurity, Pew poll shows

    I’ve just gotten a chance to read this article from Sans E-mail that talks about whether or not we understand a lot of whats going on today and how to protect ourselves. While I believe education is the key, constant understanding and reading of articles like the one show here will keep you in tact. Check this one out.

    Source: Americans ignorant on cybersecurity, Pew poll shows

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    Phishing with Wildcard DNS Attacks and Pharming

    On the 3rd of March, this article entitled Phishing with Wildcard DNS Attacks and Pharming was posted. This was interesting because of the fact that we are learning a new term. According to Wikipedia: Pharming is the deceit of a web site where a cyber attack is done to make the site go somewhere else. Here is the paragraphs talking directly about Pharming from Wikipedia. To learn more, please click through.

    “Pharming[a] is a cyber attack intended to redirect a website’s traffic to another, fake site. Pharming can be conducted either by changing the hosts file on a victim’s computer or by exploitation of a vulnerability in DNS server software. DNS servers are computers responsible for resolving Internet names into their real IP addresses. Compromised DNS servers are sometimes referred to as “poisoned”. Pharming requires unprotected access to target a computer, such as altering a customer’s home computer, rather than a corporate business server.

    The term “pharming” is a neologism based on the words “farming” and “phishing”. Phishing is a type of social-engineering attack to obtain access credentials, such as user names and passwords. In recent years, both pharming and phishing have been used to gain information for online identity theft. Pharming has become of major concern to businesses hosting ecommerce and online banking websites. Sophisticated measures known as anti-pharming are required to protect against this serious threat. Antivirus software and spyware removal software cannot protect against pharming.”

    If this is true, what type of things can we as citizens do to be able to protect ourselves from this new threat? We’re going to have to explore this together and see what types of things we can do.

    • While this isn’t fullproof, make sure you’re on the site you want to be on before entering any type of data. If you want to go to PayPal, make sure PayPal is in its URL, and not redirected to somewhere else.
    • If the site is supposed to be secure, make sure the URL says htttps and not http. Especially when logging in to sensitive places.
    • Make sure you know if the web site is to go somewhere else by a redirect. Most sites don’t redirect to offsite URL’s.

    On that last point, I have a redirector for a sub domain to point directly to an HTML site on the same site. I also had a sub domain pointing directly to my blog at livejournal, but i show you where it is going, instead of hiding that fact. This way, the user can question me about that, and I can tell them its safe.

    What other thoughts do you have? Get in touch.

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    comments for today

    Hi jared.
    Hmm ransomware, yeah anyone can make it, sad but true.
    Companies will do anything to get their data back, sad but true.
    They should have backups but a lot I know don’t have adiquit backups.
    Kids and the net.
    You know my feelings on the issues, kids shouldn’t have any access to the net, a mobile phone, etc till they are 13 or maybe older I never got mine till I was 20.
    Failing that, kids need to have the net restricted for them before they get on it.
    Ie no access to facebook, no way to tweat, no way to do anything bar what is safe.
    Soon enough they will figure out how to get through controls you put in place.
    The net needs to be portrayed as a emulation of the real world.
    Its a good place to find info, buy things etc, but as in the real world there are dangers and these are mirrored on the net a lot more than you think.
    Some scientists have found out that the digital data we put out can be used to profile us humans, and without the offline limitations we usually associate with normal laws online, we reveal our true selves.
    This in itselves is scary in deed.
    I am usually myself online though I know my temper can get a bit hyped at times.
    So we need to be ourselves where ever we go.
    Kids are smart they will eventually break any blockers you chuck at them.
    Its also known that they can change their profiles on social networks so they are above the restricted age.
    The net should be discussed as an extention to the real world its just more of the real world with 0 travel time.
    Sadly I have seen extremes on each end.
    I do not know about the non safe end as such but I do know about the super safe end.
    If you are to safe and you don’t risk then you are to protected and this is not good either.
    I have family with a religious type of thing going on.
    Their children for a while got restricted tv, restricted net in fact no net, no phones, etc because they were full of evil.
    They rebelled.
    Whenever at a tv they all watched it 24-7.
    One of them grew up eventually pirating software and loading cracks and doing things she shouldn’t because she was denyed the risk.
    I have seen worse, people that will simply crack things because the net is to dangerous to buy stuff from.
    People that will simply not buy anything online or worse will just not do things that are conciddered dangerous.
    I worked for a school who had some serious issues with their system.
    Holes where while secure, things just didn’t work right.
    They restricted some sites sure, but while trying to report an access issue I inadvertantly opened a staff email account I shouldn’t have access to.
    I reported it immediately ofcause.
    Their responce was to say I hacked their net and a lot of other lies and to fire me.
    I assume therefor that this is how they handle all their security.
    Gettring rid of the visible issue and not fixing things.

    Another thing to notice.
    If your kids grow and get more familiar with the net they may eventually outgrow things.
    Eventually every one of your kids will need their device and you will loose control at that point.
    I have various people I help, those that will respond to a virus installing every program to secure their system only to give it to me unworking and slow.
    I have had to basically pull out all the security programs and reinstall everything so its working right.
    Then there is the secured person which is uncertain what is or isn’t.
    Ie, those boxes on the internet saying you are insecure must be lagit but are the program icons on the system tray lagit?
    Should I ask the admin, no he’ll think I am a total dumbass, I better not.
    As you realise, the ones he should have looked at are the ones in systray by the clock but if you havn’t used it before it can be a strange place to look at stuff if you expect it to appear in front of you.
    While it was a headake for me to clear it, it can be a issue for users that do not use all their desktop all the time or their icons.
    Its a lot better to be happy that your users are secure but I do get called about icons, what do they mean, or my system is secure but how do I get this function or this data.
    So things do happen a lot.
    Most of the time, what does this button do.
    Ie, there is a web icon on your brouser saying things are not secure.
    There is an icon in the notification ariea but its saying something else and you are not sure what both are.
    In this case the icon on the tray was wrongly being reported because of an error in the program the icon in the brouser was fake but a user wouldn’t know what was safe even adults do it.
    It maybe therefore a bit hard to secure your child totally.
    They will learn as they want.
    The only thing I guess is to show them what is safe and what is not.
    On that note, safe is one term they may have to find out for themselves.
    Generational safety will change from time to time, general safety can be taught but the rest well it will depend on what is needed.

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    Most Companies Still Willing To Pay Ransom To Recover Data, Survey Shows

    I know I may be posting things that were posted in the past, but I found this article entitled Most Companies Still Willing To Pay Ransom To Recover Data, Survey Shows that was sent in a newsletter that I’m subscribed to. The library should be commended to the fact that they did not pay the demands of the hackers, and were able to get their data back from backups. I believe this is how it should go. I’m curioius on your thoughts on this one, even though its older, its still relivant.

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