This is Why Today’s Brutal DDoS Attack Is the Beginning of a Bleak Future




This morning a ton of websites and services, including Spotify and Twitter, were unreachable because of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Dyn, a major DNS provider. Details of how the attack happened remain vague, but one thing seems certain. Our internet is frightfully fragile in the face of increasingly sophisticated hacks.

Some think the attack was a political conspiracy, like an attempt to take down the internet so that people wouldn’t be able to read the leaked Clinton emails on Wikileaks. Others think it’s the usual Russian assault. No matter who did it, we should expect incidents like this to get worse in the future. While DDoS attacks used to be a pretty weak threat, we’re entering a new era.

DDoS attacks, at the most basic level, work like this. An attacker sends a flurry of packets, essentially just garbage data, to an intended recipient. In this case, the recipient was Dyn’s DNS servers. The server is overwhelmed with the garbage packets, and can’t handle the incoming connections, eventually slowing down significantly or totally shutting down. In the case of Dyn, it was probably a little more complex than this. Dyn almost certainly has advanced systems for DDoS mitigation, and the people who attacked Dyn (whoever they are) were probably using something more advanced than a PC in their mom’s basement.

 Recently, we’ve entered into a new DDoS paradigm. The newfound ability to highjack insecure internet of things devices and turn them into a massive DDoS army has contributed to an uptick in the size and scale of recent DDoS attacks.

We are nevertheless getting a taste of what the new era of DDoS attacks look like, however. As security expert Bruce Schneier explained in a blog post:

“Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet. These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down. We don’t know who is doing this, but it feels like a large nation state. China or Russia would be my first guesses.”

This sort of attack is deeply different than the headline-grabbing DDoS attacks of years past. In 2011, hacker collective Anonymous rose to fame with DDoS attacks that pale in comparison to today’s attack on Dyn. Instead of taking out an individual website for short periods of time, hackers were able to take down a major piece of the internet backbone for an entire morning—not once but twice. That’s huge.

 If hackers are more easily able to amass extensive DDoS botnets, that means the internet as we know it becomes more vulnerable. Attacking major internet infrastructure like Dyn has always been a possibility, but if it becomes easier than ever to launch huge DDoS attacks, that means we might be seeing some of our favorite sites have more downtime than usual. These attacks could extend to other major pieces of internet infrastructure, causing even more widespread outages.
This could be the beginning of a very bleak future. If hackers are able to take down the internet at will, what happens next? It’s unclear how long it could take for the folks at Dyn to fix this problem, or if they will ever be able to solve the problem of being hit with a huge DDoS attack. But this new breed of DDoS attacks is a scary problem no matter how you look at it.

Why Cyber Security Should Matter to Your Business


business-cyber-security                                          National Cyber Security Awareness Month , Week 3 . #CyberAware


Cyber criminals wouldn’t try to hack your small business, right? Wrong – and if your business does become the victim of a cyber attack, so will your customers. Here’s why you should be concerned about cyber security no matter how small your business is.

At the moment, almost nothing seems secure. Cyber security is a huge issue right now. Cyber security is huge, and it looks like it will only get bigger.

I’ve had at least 20 topics or news stories come through on Facebook in just the past two days.

FBI Detecting more attempts to Hack Voter Registration Systems , the 500 millions Yahoo accounts hacked , a team of hackers taking remote control of Tesla Model S for 12 miles and also forcing the driver to listen to only Kanye West songs. Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse. And in the past couple of years we’ve seen demonstrations of ATM machines being hacked to spew out hundreds of dollars, smartphones being cloned from a distance, and pacemakers and insulin pumps being commandeered from 50 feet away.

It’s crazy and it’s dangerous, and that doesn’t even touch the millions of credit card holders affected by hacks on some of the big box stores and the millions of government employees whose identities were stolen last month by hackers in foreign countries. Yes, what’s this world coming to? I’m not sure, but burying your head in the sand won’t help. Here’s why you should care:

It can happen to you – and your clients. You can easily end up a victim even if you just don’t believe it can happen to you. But guess what? You have customers. So if it happens to you, then it happens to them. And they will know it’s because it happened to you. Meaning, in their eyes, you let it happen. Ouch. Few things will cause you to lose customers faster than giving away their personal information. I know you didn’t give it away, but you didn’t fully protect it either.

RELATED: The Latest Internet Security Threats You Should be aware of

RELATED: From the Break Room to the Boardroom: Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity in the Workplace

It’s in the news everywhere. Now is the best time and most important time to care. If you think the concept of Cyber crimes is crazy then you are in complete denial. It’s a lonely deep web person’s 15 minutes of fame. They steal your stuff , Hack your network and they’ve accomplished something cool. So you should care because as more of those sad individuals are successful and gaining publicity for it, more will do it. But on the flip side, that also means more individuals and organizations will be rising on the side of good to help you do something about it. Be careful as you weed through the potential solution providers – Joe doing it out of his basement still might be on the side of wrong. And it will never be perfect. Just as a hole in security is being patched, someone is working very hard to get past it.

It’s a matter of trust. It boils down to how much do you value your clients and how much does your business mean to you? You work hard to build a reputation, a client base, and a business that consistently delivers to your valued customers. It’s hard work – no doubt about it. It’s not luck. Something may happen that gains you exposure and customers quickly like an article or an award from a local survey of you and your competition. But that doesn’t mean you were an overnight success – I’m sure that concept would make you laugh. Business shooting up overnight after you’ve sweated over it for 20 years says it was neither luck nor overnight success. However, one good security breach that compromises your service or your customers’ confidence and trust can bring your business down very quickly. It would be nice to blame it on a stroke of bad luck, but the real reason would be your own failure to act in advance on the risk of a cyber security breach. Bad luck? No, not really. Just poor planning.


So, should you be worried about security? Absolutely. Are you going to do something about it? I hope so.  If you are just about as bad as everyone else who thinks it won’t happen to them, recent researches should  make you re-think the entire Cyber security concept. Do something about it – the time is now. You haven’t been affected yet. Keep it that way.

P.S : Learn How we can Protect your Business by checking our Cyber Security Solutions.


Employees sitting around a monitor having a video conference

The History of Video Conferencing

By now, everyone (hopefully) is aware of how advanced technology has gotten. With iphones, smartphones, ipads, tablets, pcs, macs, etc. becoming familiar items in the business word, more and more people are becoming equipped with these gadgets and their features. One of the most important and prominent of these features is video conferencing.

What is Video Conferencing?

Video conferencing (VC) is having a videoconference through the use of telecommunication technologies which allow two or more locations to communicate simultaneously through two-way video and audio transmissions. It’s like FaceTime-ing, but in the business environment. This way, you can have a member remotely attend your conference through your computer or tv screen! This is a great tool that has revolutionized the business world, but it had a long journey getting to the valuable asset it is today.

The History 

Video conferencing first made an appearance in the 1960’s. This was the Picture Phone presented by AT&T and it was presented at New York’s world fair, but it was too expensive for the average customer to own, and because of that, it wasn’t very widely used. It was also very slow and the quality of the picture wasn’t the greatest, so this wasn’t a huge success at this point in history.

So, how did they go about to make this better? Well, in 1976, the Network Video Protocol was introduced and a video conference between Osaka and Tokyo was used commercially. But then in the 1980’s, digital transmission (transferring of voice and video into electrical pulses) and the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) came about, allowing the transfer of two video and voice connections at the same time over one line. The video quality was still poor, but the price this time was more affordable, so it slowly started to become adopted by the consumer market, and commercial video marketing is introduced!

The improvements didn’t stop there though. Soon, the video frame was doubled from 15 to 30 frames per second, then the size was minimized to fit into a PC. Then, in 1991, IBM introduced the first personal computer video conferencing product. This technology was so advanced at this point that in 1995, a public video conference was able to happen between North America and Africa. Going back in time a bit though, in 1993, Multipoint Video Conferencing was introduced by Mac.Then there was CU-SeeMe, a video conference client that could make point to point video calls for the internet. In 1995, they developed this with audio for windows.

At this point in time, the audience for video conferencing began to expand. So far, it was mainly used for commercial companies. In the 2000’s, video conferencing became available for free through the average household that had internet service. However, the quality wasn’t that great.

Finally, in 2005, Life Size Communications introduced the first High Definition Video Conferencing system, which is now standard at most businesses among the rest of their advanced technology.

Video conferencing has had a long history, and it has revolutionized the way business works. Now, remote workers can communicate from their home offices, and you also connect with clients all over the world on any device that has an internet connection. Certain types of video conferencing software can include more than two people on the line, so the possibilities with this type of communication are various and valuable. There’s no doubt that this technology is important, and if you’re looking to expand your business, or keep all of your team members connected and in the loop, you should have this as an available option. We know a lot about video conferencing, so contact us and we can help get you set up!


The “Billion” reasons why the Yahoo cyber breach Matters !


Verizon may have given Yahoo’s stockholders one billion reasons why Cybersecurity matters last week when it hinted it could push to reduce its purchase offer for Yahoo.

The prospect of Yahoo’s stockholders losing $1 billion (or more) as a result of a cyberattack is a bellwether moment in quantifying the need for cybersecurity. Let me explain why.

It was widely reported a few months ago that Yahoo was the target of a sustained and successful theft of the online credentials and information of 500 million Yahoo users. The attack occurred in 2014 and was only disclosed by Yahoo two years later. Initial press coverage focused on the question of how attackers could have pulled it off and it served as yet another example of the insidious threat of cyberattacks.

Yahoo’s data theft was quickly subsumed into larger stories of Cyberattacks that seem to occur with greater frequency, even though it was one of the biggest ever.

Meanwhile, the electoral cycle become more and more colored by state-sponsored data theft. The Department of Homeland Security brought to public attention an ongoing conversation in the cybersecurity industry: could our voting machines be hacked? The United States government accused the Russian government of Cyberattacks to undermine our presidential election.

Yet people seem somehow numbed to the magnitude of the problem. I suspect that for many, the issues of data theft don’t register because there is no direct effect on their pocketbooks. After all, the expenses of addressing theft are usually high, but borne by the business. Costs usually come out of operating income or cash reserves, so stockholders don’t usually feel the pinch.

Costs to consumers are rarely passed on. Consider what liability a credit card holder has for charges made on his or her account after a data theft, and how differently that consumer would view the crime if it had direct and personal effect.

Yahoo may be the moment where that calculus changes.

Because Yahoo was in the middle of a sale transaction with Verizon when the news of the breach was released, the disclosure may have given Verizon some legal ammunition to reduce the amount of its offer for Yahoo.

If the purchase price for Yahoo drops, that reduction will be a loss for Yahoo stockholders. They will get less for their shares in a sale to Verizon and be directly harmed by the hack in a way that few have been. This will officially mark the moment where a data breach has a direct and immediate effect on stockholders.

With our corporate laws, the most likely remedy available to the stockholders would be to sue Yahoo’s board of directors and management. This in itself is not unique; boards get sued all the time, and generally have the benefit of insurance to pay claims that succeed.

However, in certain circumstances, such as in infamous accounting frauds like MCI, Worldcom and Enron, board members can face personal liability if they are found to be grossly negligent. When this occurs, board members have to pay damages out of their own pockets.

Even if consumers don’t care about cybersecurity, you can feel confident that stockholders will. Particularly when they lose money as a direct result.

The same way large corporate frauds in the 1990s caused boards of directors to take accounting issues more seriously, it is likely that Yahoo will have a similar effect on their interest in Cybersecurity.

Yahoo may be the moment where board members appreciate that Cybersecurity really does matter to them personally.

Contact us to learn more about our Cybersecurity solutions .


From the Break Room to the Boardroom: Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity in the Workplace




National Cyber Security Awareness Month : Week 2

                               #Cyber Aware 


Whether you own a small business or a big one, you live in a world where Cybersecurity is of paramount importance. Big business, small business, academic institutions, government agencies, nonprofits… all of these need to take an interest in cybersecurity or pay the price. It’s a matter or success, but also a matter of national security. Those working in critical infrastructure have a special obligation to make sure that they’re securing the workplace. Here are some of the best ways to create a culture of cybersecurity where you work.

It All Starts With Education and Training

Cybersecurity around your office begins with education and training: education in best practices and training in how best to execute those best practices, as well as making them a daily habit. Some key areas to hit include:

  1. App Updating: The main way that hackers are going to find a way into your system is through outdated app with known exploits. Make sure your coworkers and employees know to update their apps as soon as the update is available, not “later on.”
  2. Password Control: The best solution is a password management application. This holds all of your passwords in one, allowing people to generate strong, random passwords. They then only need to remember one strong password to unlock the app itself. Barring that, use strong passwords, only use them once and never store them on a post-it note on the monitor.
  3. VPNs: Especially for a business, VPNs aren’t optional. These encrypt all traffic leaving your computer until it reaches its destination. If someone somehow manages to get in the middle of your traffic, all they will have is encrypted junk data. It’s not enough to have a VPN — people have to make sure they’re actually using them.
  4. Cybersecurity as Part of Basic Training: Educate all current employees at once and all new employees coming in with the same best practices. As best practices become updated, update your training and corral the team to make sure everyone continues to be on the same page.

These four best practices, when combined with an enterprise-class, full-service Internet security suite are your best option when it comes to protecting your workplace against Cyberthreats.

Awareness Must Continue Past Education

None of this education and training is any good unless you create a culture of cybersecurity awareness around the office. So how do you do that?

  1. Compliance Programs: Make changing passwords a regular task, like cleaning the bathrooms. Make sure everyone is doing what they need to do to keep their passwords secure.
  2. Rewards Programs: Offer rewards for employees who find ways to improve cybersecurity around the office. Don’t look to spot check your cybersecurity. Look for ways to make small, but significant tweaks to what you’re already doing.
  3. Accountability Programs: Encouraging your employees to rat one another out for not following best practices will just erode trust. However, encouraging your employees to gently hold one another accountable will ensure compliance with best practices.

Check out our Cyber Security Solutions and Contact us for our Special NCSAM  Audit and Training offers.


Why Moving to the Cloud Should Be Part of Your Business Plan


The Small Business landscape is constantly transforming alongside technology developments.

By 2020, more than 78 percent of U.S. small businesses will have fully adopted cloud computing into their business practices. Many nascent and fast-growing companies are quickly beginning to realize that a cloud computing-centric solution helps in many, many ways: cutting costs, freeing up capital, and providing flexibility to meet ever-evolving operational needs.

With new and emerging opportunities, businesses are always looking for ways to avoid roadblocks, like high costs of raw materials, maintaining inventory and looming global competition.

Much like the way the Dotcom explosion revolutionized the ease with which entrepreneurs established their businesses; cloud-computing looks to transform how these businesses can run in an efficient, safe, and cost-effective way.

However, nearly half of the small businesses in the U.S. still don’t leverage the capabilities of cloud storage. Those that do, boast the benefits of enhanced collaboration, improved accessibility, and a quick and cost-effective way to backup files.

More than anything else, there’s a knowledge gap here: people fear what they do not understand. But really, we’ve known for a while that there’s nothing to fear.

It’s 2016 and there are still various misconceptions about cloud computing technology. Businesses that let fear and misinformation get the better of them, risk falling behind in the race.

Here are three big reasons why moving to the cloud in 2016 shouldn’t just be an option, but a requirement for any successful business:

The Work-From-Home Phenomenon

In spite of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s controversial new policy mandating that employees come into the office, working from home is becoming more and more commonplace. The traditional image of the American workingman or woman used to be going into the office from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday (if you were lucky), with a briefcase in tow. But the arrival of cloud technology has changed all that.

Through the Cloud, employees can now access company files and documents that they would traditionally have to go to the office to get. Essentially, cloud computing means that your office can be anywhere there is internet connection, which these days, is most places—at home, on the road, in the nearest Starbucks.

Cloud computing makes working from home not only possible, but even profitable for some businesses. Employees working remotely tend to be more productive, more efficient, and willing to put in longer hours since they are able to benefit from the greater flexibility of working from home.

The BYOD Trend

For employees that do come into the office still, many are bringing their own laptops, smartphones and/or tablets with them, preferring these devices over machines that they are less familiar with. Furthermore, cloud computing is speeding up this trend by allowing employees to access corporate systems and apps using their personal devices, without posing a risk to the on-site infrastructure.

Making IT Forecasting Less Frightening

For decades, IT forecasting was about as reliable as trying to predict the weather. In the standard business IT model, a company’s IT staff was counted on to estimate the business’s technology needs for 5 to 10 years in advance so that they could make the appropriate preparations and purchases. But what if the forecast is wrong? Oftentimes they were, leaving businesses scrambling to acquire more data storage or personnel.

With cloud computing, businesses never have to worry about running out of data storage space. While IT forecasts are still important for estimating the type of server capacity you will need to support the data, it is much cheaper to increase cloud storage space than on-site server space. The Cloud frees you up from having to worry so much about the cost of scaling up your data capacity when needed.

The IT Makeover

You may have noticed that IT departments look a little different these days. Rather than staffing a full-blown IT team, many companies are outsourcing most of their IT support to a cloud vendor. Maintaining an in-house IT staff is still critical to business innovation, but the Cloud has allowed companies to scale down their IT department. This also frees up the remaining IT staff to focus on more important cost-value technology solutions

The Toyota Example

If you still aren’t convinced that cloud computing is changing the world, just take a look at Toyota. The Japanese automaker recently moved their entire organization—some 200,000 employees worldwide—to Microsoft 365. The reason: “to do something more meaningful for our customers or our business”— said Zack Hicks, Toyota ‘s chief technology executive in North America .

And “meaningful” changes are indeed coming from the auto giant, including:

•  Semi-autonomous vehicles that can help the elderly get around

•  Steering wheels that can measure a driver’s vital signs and transmit them to a doctor

•  Cars that can alert authorities if a driver’s health condition is unsafe

•  Vehicles that offer a host of connected, Internet-based apps supported by Microsoft Azure—from a Facebook app, to an app that awards eco-points for the number of miles driven on electric power

All this just because Toyota gave their IT staff a little extra time to focus on more worthwhile projects, rather than dealing with simple data storage maintenance and upgrades.

The Cloud may have started out as a ripple in a sea of data solutions and business technology, but in just a few years it has become the primary way we do work. And we look forward to seeing how cloud computing revolutionizes the way we live in the years to come.

At Nerds Support , our quick-hit Cloud Readiness assessment can help you understand how to minimize costs and improve productivity by migrating from your existing platform to our  cloud platform.

To determine how your company can benefit from the Cloud, contact us today for an expert technology consultation.


Hurricane Matthew : A Wake up Call !


After a long night, Hurricane Matthew finally passed our way.Thankfully, it could have been worst .

When  talking to other Business owners this morning, we all came up to the same conclusion :

The worst issue you can have as a business owner is procrastination. With a storm the size of Hurricane Matthew, there is absolutely no reason for any business owner to wait until the last minute to discuss what their disaster recovery options are.

This is a wake up call to always have a contingency plan in place for such events. The fact remains that the human race will never beat Mother Nature and that is a fact you can always rely on.

If your business is not prepared for a disaster or any other force of nature that can cripple your business’ operations, you are under a huge risk, schedule to speak with us!

At Nerds Support Inc, we  deliver Disaster recovery and Business Continuity solutions that are :

  • Deployed quickly and remotely – installs remotely in hours without requiring any changes to your environment
  • Tested and validated anytime – recovers your applications in your cloud with one click of a button
  • Granular – allows you to pick specific applications to protect, regardless of their physical server or storage location
  • Comprehensive – provides robust replication and offsite backup in one simple product
  • Consistent and reliable
  • Software only – no capital expenditures, no changes to environment
  • All disaster recovery servers are stored on our Private Data Center .

Nerds Support Inc , is  committed to our community concerns and engaged to help other businesses in this hard moments.

If, your business has experienced any damages, you need any kind of Disaster Recovery and Data Back up assistance or have further questions please  reach out to usWe are here to help !

For more information on how to keep your Business running after a major Natural Disaster check out our Free eBook .

Be smart and Keep Safe.

Business employees looking up through a tablet during a video conference

The Best Video Conferencing Etiquette

Everyone’s familiar with the dos and don’ts of interviews: do research the company before you go in there, don’t wear flips flops, do give a firm handshake and introduce yourself, don’t come late and slouch the whole interview as if you don’t care.

Well, what about video conferences? You’re only going to be visible through a screen, does it really require any pre-work? Actually yes, it does. Even though you’re on the other side of a screen, a lot of the same rules still apply. Here are a few tips on video conferencing etiquette to help you out:

Before the Meeting:

  • Make sure you test your equipment ahead of time. Double check that you can be seen and heard clearly so that no time is wasted on technical difficulties.
  • Adjust the camera to be focused on you. Try to fill up the screen as much as possible so that there’s no chance of a distracting background image taking away from you.
  • Familiarize yourself with all the features that will be available to you. Know the mute button, or how to switch between channels if you’re going to be speaking with multiple people.
  • Check that your computer has the applications you need to show your documents, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Project, or Word. Have them ready to go before the conference starts. Also, make sure you know your material well to avoid any mumbling that may make you hard to hear.

What to Wear:

  • Avoid wearing bright colors, or complex patterns (like stripes). These will be an eyesore on camera. Pastel colors or any light colored shirt would be the softest on the eyes and transmit the best. In addition, check the lighting in the room that you will be speaking from to make sure it isn’t distracting. For example, make sure the sun isn’t coming through the window right at the screen
  • Don’t wear noisy jewelry. Make it small and simple. Big noisy jewelry can be visually and audibly distracting.

How to Act:

  • Be on time and introduce yourself clearly when you first tune in. This way, everyone knows who you are and can address you by name. For this reason, take note of the other speakers names’ as well. Also make sure that everyone can hear you, and that you can hear them.
  • Speak clearly and confidently. Speak in your normal voice and gesture naturally – try not to have any jerky movements.
  • Wait for whoever is speaking to finish what they are saying before you speak. If your voice overlaps someone else’s, it may cause audio feedback. It’s also just rude to cut someone off. You could also pose a question through an instant message instead of speaking, but avoid typing excessively because it can become distracting noise-wise.
  • If somebody can’t hear you, adjust the level on the microphone before you try raising your voice. The audio may also have a slight delay, so pause briefly to see if that’s the case.
  • And, as with any meeting, whether it be virtual or not, silence your phone. In the case of video conferencing, limit side conversations and keep your focus and eye contact on the camera.

Overall, remember to relax and have a good time. Be friendly. Smile. Do all the things you would do if you were meeting face-to-face, but virtually. We know a lot about video conferencing, so contact us with any questions or if you’d like any more tips!


Viruses, Spyware, Malware… : Understanding Online Threats

virus-alertWhen you start to think about all the things that could go wrong when browsing the Internet, the web starts to look like a pretty scary place. Luckily, Internet users as a whole are getting far more savvy, and better at recognizing risky online behavior.

While pages with a dozen download buttons – or auto-checked boxes that tricked us into downloading things we didn’t want – are no longer quite as effective as they once were, that doesn’t mean there aren’t hackers out there right now trying to come up with new methods of deception. In order to protect ourselves from these threats it’s important to understand just what they are, and how they differ.

Let’s dive in.

Understanding Online Security Threats and How They Differ



Malware is short for malicious software. This means that while most of us refer to these threats as viruses, the correct catch-all term should indeed be malware. Malicious software comes in many forms, but malware itself is a general term that could be used to describe any number of things, such as viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, and others. In short, it’s a program or file with bad intentions, the nature of which could encompass just about anything.

Luckily, malware is exactly what all of the most popular antivirus programs are looking for. Getting affected by malware happens, and it doesn’t have to be catastrophic. Learn the right protocol for dealing with malware, and how to avoid it in the first place for the safest browsing experience.



Viruses consist of malicious code that infects a device after you install a software. Typically this infection happens through USB drives, Internet downloads, or email attachments, but it can happen in numerous other ways as well. It’s important to note that the infection doesn’t actually occur just from having the infected files on your computer. The infection happens once the program runs for the first time, whether through Autorun, a manual install, or an executable file that the user opens.

Once opened – or run – the infection happens. From that point, it can be very difficult to find and rid yourself of the virus due to the nature in which it works. While actual details are virus-specific, they tend to replicate themselves and infect the file system of the device they reside in by spreading from file to file before they are inevitably – and usually unknowingly – passed on to another machine.

Unlike other threats, viruses have no other purpose than attempting to render your computer inoperable. Some of them have been particularly good at it. Most others are quite weak and easy to detect.

Oh, and it should be pointed out – due to popular opinion – that Macs aren’t immune to viruses.



While relatively benign in most cases, adware might be the most annoying of the threats we’ll talk about today.

Adware is bundled with otherwise legitimate apps or software, which makes initial detection somewhat difficult. A common example is the checkbox at the bottom of a download link (often pre-checked) that asks if we want to “Include X for free” – well, “X” is often the program containing the adware. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it’s not uncommon. If you aren’t sure what these additional programs are, or how they function, don’t download them.

Adware infections are also possible through no fault of our own. Recent stories detail at least one major manufacturer including adware – or an adware-like browser hijack – in their computers by default. While Lenovo, and Superfish are the exception, rather than the rule, it’s important to note that these threats happen and often times it’s hard and costly to get rid of them.

Trojans and Backdoors


Trojans were named after the Trojan Horse, which was a giant wooden horse used to conceal Greek soldiers as they entered Troy during the Trojan War. History lesson aside, this is the same way that a trojan damages your computer. It hides malicious code inside a seemingly innocuous program or file in order to gain access to your machine. Once inside, the program installs itself on your device, and communicates with a server in the background without your knowledge. This gives an outside party access to your computer through what’s commonly referred to as a backdoor.

While giving an outside party access to your computer is scary in and of itself, the implications of what they could be doing with this access is even scarier. What complicates matters is the small footprint that these backdoors leave, which keeps the user completely in the dark that any privacy breech is even occurring.

One benefit of a backdoor is the nature in which they operate. Since the hacker must connect to your machine remotely, they won’t be able to do this if you disable the Internet connection while you attempt to locate and remove the malicious code.



Spyware is the most common piece of adware on the Internet. While it’s quite deceptive in nature and a major annoyance, most spyware is relatively harmless. Typically, spyware is used to monitor browsing behavior in order to better serve relevant ads. What makes it bad is how these companies go about collecting your data. Rather than relying on tracking pixels – or cookies – like most major companies, spyware acts like more of a Trojan in that you install it and it communicates data from your computer back to a server, all while most of us are completely oblivious to its presence in the first place.

Other, more malicious forms of spyware, are far more dangerous. While typical spyware is mostly used for ad-serving purposes, malicious spyware communicates sensitive data back to another user, or a server. This data can include emails, photos, log files, credit card numbers, banking information, and/or online passwords.

Spyware is most often downloaded by the user as part of an add-on to a legitimate download (such as a toolbar) or included as part of a freeware or shareware program.

Scareware and Ransomware


Scareware and ransomware differ in their approach, but the end goal for both is to collect money by manipulating the user into believing something that’s often untrue.

Scareware most often takes the form of programs that pop up and tell you that your computer is infected with some sort of malware. When you click to remove the (often) multiple instances of malware, you are forced to pay to purchase the full version before the program can clean your system and rid it of the infections or threats.

Ransomware operates a bit differently in the sense that after the malicious software is installed, it’ll often lock down your system outside of a window that allows you to pay the ransom in order to regain use of it. Ransomware is among of the most common Cyber threats to businesses who pay thousands of dollars in ransoms (  In many cases paying a ransom doesn’t guarantee the files and data back ) .



Worms are by far the most damaging form of malware. While a virus attacks one computer and relies on a user to share infected files in order for it to spread, a worm exploits security loopholes in a network and can potentially bring the whole thing to its knees in a matter of minutes.

Networks with security vulnerabilities are targeted by introducing the worm into the network and allowing it to pass (often unnoticed) from computer to computer. As it passes from one device to another, the infection spreads until each machine is infected – or – the worm is isolated by removing the infected machines from the network.

Unnamed Exploits, Security Flaws and Vulnerabilities

No matter how competent the developer, every program has security flaws and vulnerabilities. These security flaws allow hackers to exploit them in order to gain access to the program, alter it in some way, or inject their own code (often malware) within it.

If you were ever wondering why programs had so many security updates, it’s because of the constant cat and mouse being played between developers and hackers. The developer attempts to find, and patch, these holes before they’re exploited, while the hacker attempts to exploit security flaws before they’re discovered and patched by a developer.

The only way to stay even remotely safe from these exploits is to keep your operating system and each of your programs up-to-date by installing updates as they become available.

Staying Safe Online



if you spend any portion of your time on the web, it’s unlikely that you can completely protect yourself from all the badware out there ( your regular antivirus can’t protect your network  from all the threats ). While infections and exploits can – and do –  happen to anyone, all businesses should have a reliable and secure Cyber Security strategy and promote Cyber Security awareness within their working environment ( Educating and training employees is a MUST ! ).

Check out our Cyber Security solutions and Contact us for our National Cyber security Awareness month Special Offers !



The Latest Internet Security Threats You should be aware of

cyber-security-risingMalware never sleeps. It certainly doesn’t celebrate New Year’s Day or get a hangover.

In fact, malware is always changing, adapting, being rewritten and re-released in a seemingly infinite number of ways, with the express intention of making your life difficult – and making the writers or owners of the code as much money as possible.

It’s not a good deal, is it?

Security threats have increasingly come from new directions and that isn’t looking set to change in 2016. There are new risks you should be aware of, exploits of popular applications, increasingly sophisticated phishing attacks, malware, and scams targeting our love of social networks and photo                                                                                             sharing, and threats associated with viewing online videos.

YouTube Risks

Who would have thought that watching or uploading video to YouTube could lead to a Trojan horse? The threat, of course, doesn’t lie with YouTube itself but scammers sending spoof emails claiming to be from YouTube and accusing you of uploading material that is considered illegal.

The infected email users receive  is as follows:

Subject: Your video may have illegal content
Attached file:

Message body:
Your video may have content that is owned or licensed by Music Publishing Rights Collecting Society.


No action is required on your part; however, if you are interested in learning how this affects your video, please open attached file with Content ID Matches section of your account for more information.

– The YouTube Team


By attaching the Troj/Agent-XXC Trojan horse, the senders hope to unpack their tools onto your system, slowing your PC, changing settings and causing a lot more problems.

You should check that your own antivirus tools are updated with the necessary profiles to tackle Troj/Agent-XXC Trojan horse, and always be wary of messages with bad English and odd attachments.

Adobe PDF Threats

Since 2011 an exploit that attacks Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader has caused problems for users who fall foul of the use of malicious JavaScript in form data within a PDF document.

latest internet security threats

The exploit copies the user’s data by duplicating the temp folder, allowing the owners of the malware to access personal information of the computer’s owner.

Removal of this exploit is a combination of finding and deleting the dangerous XFA file (or the infected PDF document), deleting %temp%\file.dll, updating your Adobe software and running your antivirus software with updated profiles.

This threat could particularly cause havoc on business computers – don’t take any chances!

Fake App Scams

There is a plenty of  third party app store websites where you can download Android apps and learn how to install them. However, this isn’t always safe , particularly if the chosen website is peddling virus-infected apps or fake apps that scam the user.

computer security threats

One such example is the Angry Birds: Star Wars app scam, in which your phone is hijacked and used to send premium rate SMS messages before the game is even installed! This tactic isn’t limited to Angry Birds games of course – any game or app can adopt the same tactics.

While third party app stores are good in theory, they should be thoroughly vetted and downloads checked for additional code before you even think about using them. For the best results, rely on Google Play when buying Android apps and games.

Instagram Bug

Android isn’t the only mobile platform where users are at risk. iPhone users running the Instagram app are at risk of having their accounts hijacked by a malevolent user on the same network using anARP (Address Resolution Protocol) Spoofing attack.

computer security threats

This relies on a few things, mainly the initial plain text cookie that the Instagram app sends to the photo sharing service’s servers. A hacker can hijack the session, take control of an Instagram account as well as glean personal information. Controlling an Instagram account might enable a hacker to spread malware or delete photos, perhaps replacing them with something more in keeping with their purposes. These actions will no doubt result in the account being blocked for a TOS breach.

As yet there has been no word of the vulnerability being fixed. This is worrying, as all Instagram needs to do is push an update that ensures that the initial cookie is sent over an encrypted (HTTPS) connection.

DHL/Courier Spam

If you’re a regular eBayer, Amazon shopper, or user of any other online shopping service, you’ve probably had a few visits from courier services.

One of the most common current threats is spam email claiming to be from DHL or any other courier service. The scam is simple: the message tells you that your parcel has been delivered to a local post office and you should go and pick it up .

There’s a trick, of course: you need to download a postal receipt, in reality a web form into which you enter your personal details for the sender of the email to walk away with.

Dear Customer,

Your parcel has arrivesd at the post office an October 25th.
Our postrider was unable to deliver the parcel to your address.

To receive a parcel you must go to the nearest DHL office and
show your postal receipt.

Thank you for your attention. 

This classic phishing-by-spam message is low on technical sophistication but gets points for keying into that desire to be home when the delivery is made. Should you receive a message such as this, delete it, or at the very least mark it as spam.


The threats will keep on coming – this is a fact. As long as there is digital technology and money, bandits will attempt to use one to get their hands on the other.

latest internet security threats

Awareness is your first and best tool. Antivirus, anti-malware and anti-spam tools are just that: tools to help you remove any infection or threat. By staying aware and sharing details of the latest Internet security threats, however, we can at least hope to keep the scammers at bay.

Check out our Cyber Security solutions and Contact us for our National Cyber security Awareness month special offers !