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Security

Cybersecurity Fail: Microsoft Responds to WannaCrypt Outbreak

May 13, 2017

Three years ago Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP but this doesn't mean people stopped using the OS. Sadly, it is embedded in many systems from military to healthcare among many others. One of the challenges for companies running these older systems is exploits which can attack newer operating systems also affect XP - but since Microsoft doesn't patch the OS anymore, these systems become sitting ducks for attackers who learn about the exploits via public system patches.

This past week, a slew of ransomware attacks took place across the globe thanks to leaked information from US intelligence on how to take advantage of security holes in various Microsoft operating systems.

These attacks targeted healthcare and telecom among other industries and could cost lives. Over 57,000 computers have been targeted and the attacks have hit over 99 countries!

Microsoft responded by patching Windows XP - an unprecedented step which acknowledges that the hackers are winning the war against our technology. 





What The U.S. Tax Code can Learn From Ransomware

May 6, 2017

U.S. citizens in Little Rock Arkansas pay the same federal income tax as those in New York and Beverly Hills - even though the latter two states also have high state income tax and NYC even has a city income tax! According to Business Insider, here are the vital stats on this city with the lowest cost of living - Little Rock:

Median rent: $785

Median home value: $151,600



Stupid Mistakes Lead to Kelihos Botnet Spam Lord Arrest

April 11, 2017

Russian Pyotr Levashov spread ransomware and other malicious software through the Kelihos botnet, possibly hacked the U.S. election and probably ran the Waledac spam botnet.

In 2009, Levashov was charged with operating the notorious Storm botnet, Kelihos’ predecessor. According to anti-spam organization Spamhaus, Levashov is listed as one of the World’s 10 Worst Spammers and “one of the longest operating criminal spam-lords on the internet”.

How did he get caught? Levashov was arrested in Barcelona, Spain under a U.S.



Malicious Email of the Day

April 8, 2017



This is the best malicious e-mail I have seen in a while. It disguises itself with a From line: Microsoft OneDrive <noreply@icloud.com>. It looks legit until you realize iCloud competes with Microsoft and its Onedrive. Looking at it quickly - you could think it is an official reminder of a real document you need to look at.

It also tells me I have something waiting - it sounds like it could be a gift.



ITEXPO Attendee Cap'n Crunch Needs Your Help

April 4, 2017



I first met John Draper or Cap'n Crunch at ITEXPO in Los Angeles as he was looking to connect with Asterisk Creator and Digium founder Mark Spencer. I still remember how mystified people at the conference were when they learned this gentleman's nickname was a breakfast cereal. In case you don't know the story, John blew the whistle that came in the box of Captain Crunch cereal into a phone and was able to subsequently hack into the AT&T Central Office.



He became the first hacker by accident.

Draper also knew Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, a past ITEXPO keynoter.

The Cap'n now needs our help. He has a major medical situation.









Stop the Shrinkage with Digital Transformation

April 4, 2017


Digital Transformation reaches across all areas of your organization - from business process to communications. In fact, we would argue it starts with communications. In retail however, shrinkage - the colloqialized term for theft is a major problem. How major?

Forward This Post to Employees To Protect From Hackers

February 22, 2017



Although there is no guarantee you can be 100% protected against hacking, there are some basics you can share with workers to reduce the chance you will be hit by a cyberbreach such as malware or cryptolocker ransomware. Without further ado - here are the 5 Habits That Could Cause a Data Breach at Your Company

1. Clicking on random advertisements: Cybercriminals have been using fake advertisements to disguise malicious software for decades.



The Drone Wars Have Arrived

February 22, 2017

An army of good drones will protect our high-value targets at all times. 

In February 2014 we warned of the impending urban drone wars:
The police department after dealing with this incident is forced to develop a policy which entails the deployment of drones which can’t fire weapons but are capable of interfering with other drones by knocking into them. After all, few municipalities will be like this one in Texas which is OK arming its drones. I predict most police departments will be concerned about lawsuits resulting from drones killing someone inadvertently.

Criminals will soon realize a single flying gadget won’t help them so much and will be drawn into a drone arms race requiring each side to ramp up their drone numbers in order to win any encounter.





How Microsoft Just Scared the IT Community to Death

February 14, 2017



Brad Smith
, the President and Chief Legal Officer at Microsoft spoke recently at a conference and wrote about the need for a Digital Geneva Convention which would do a number of things. For example, it would eliminate targeting of tech companies, assist the private sector in dealing with attacks and restrain cyber-weapon development. “Conflicts between nations are no longer confined to the ground, sea and air, as cyberspace has become a potential new and global battleground,” he said.

The company went on to say it spends a tremendous amount on cybersecurity but it isn't enough... We need to do more, a lot more.

Why should this scare us to death?




Trump, Obama and Other Topics I heard at ITEXPO

February 10, 2017



ITEXPO

is filled with leading-edge tech visionaries and people who travel a great deal so I figured it's worth passing along a few things I learned in Fort Lauderdale this past week.

  1. A few people were denied entry to the country to come to the show and I queried my team if it was related to our new President, Trump. The answer was shocking, the people were from the middle east and the Obama administration was in charge when they were denied entry. No one was denied under Trump, as far as I know. Of course, he hasn't been president for a long time so this could change but...
  2. A few people I spoke with this week, who frequently come to the U.S.


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