Network Synergy Blog

Network Synergy has been serving the Trumbull area since 1988, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tech Term: Hacker

Tech Term: Hacker

The term “hacker” is possibly one of the best-known technology-related terms there is, thanks to popular culture. Properties like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Die Hard franchise have given the layman a distinct impression of what a hacker is. Unfortunately, this impression isn’t always accurate. Here, we’ll discuss what real-life hackers are like, and the different varieties there are.

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A New Perspective on Ransomware

A New Perspective on Ransomware

We are going to switch things up a bit and walk you through a retelling of a ransomware attack through the eyes of a business owner. Usually when we talk about these types of threats, we approach it from our perspective and talk about what you should do to prepare and what the threats are, but we wanted to try to show you what an event like this could feel like, for you, in your position, and in your own eyes. We hope that this will raise awareness of how crippling an event like this can be on your company, and we hope you let us know if this perspective helps you, your colleagues, and your staff get a more personal sense of what ransomware can do. Enjoy!

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Why ROBOT is a Risk After Nearly 20 Years

Why ROBOT is a Risk After Nearly 20 Years

The Internet is rife with potential threats. Some are situational, but most are deliberate actions made by malicious entities who are trying to obtain any semblance of value from you or your company. Some of these exploits have been around longer than you’d imagine possible. This has been made evident by huge Internet-based companies such as PayPal and Facebook testing positive for a 19-year-old vulnerability that once allowed hackers to decrypt encrypted data.

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Is Your Security Prepared to Stop a DDoS Attack?

Is Your Security Prepared to Stop a DDoS Attack?

If your business were to be struck by a Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) attack, would it be able to recover in a timely manner? Do you have measures put into place to keep them from hampering your operations? While most organizations claim to have sufficient protection against these dangerous attacks, over half of them have simply proven to be ineffective against DDoS.

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30 Schools Shut Down In Montana After Cyber Attack

30 Schools Shut Down In Montana After Cyber Attack

Students generally love it when classes are cancelled for whatever reason, but thanks to a cybercriminal group called TheDarkOverlord Solutions, a school in Flathead Valley, Montana was disrupted for an extended period of time. This downtime resulted in a disruption of operations for over 30 schools, as well as the threat to the personal information of countless teachers, students, and administrators due to a ransomware attack.

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Charity Scams Are Very Real. Here’s How To Dodge Them

Charity Scams Are Very Real. Here’s How To Dodge Them

Dealing with disasters are a part of doing business. You know how difficult it is to recover from a devastating flood or storm. While businesses tend to suffer from these situations, countless individuals suffer every time a natural disaster hits. Just take a look at the United States in recent weeks. Even though you may want to donate to people suffering from hurricanes, there are illegitimate charities out there that want to make a quick buck off of your generosity.

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Getting Greedy: Ransomware Hackers are Asking for Way More Money

b2ap3_thumbnail_ransomware_can_devistate_400.jpgIf fiscal reasons have stopped you from securing your network against ransomware thus far, you may want to reconsider your strategy. Not only are attacks still becoming more and more prevalent, but the developers of ransomware have lowered the price of admission for aspiring cyber criminals. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to keep your business protected against a ransomware attack.

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The Most Popular Domains Make the Biggest Targets for Email Spoofing

b2ap3_thumbnail_protect_your_network_and_infrastructure_400.jpgLet’s say that you receive an email from a software vendor, say, Microsoft. When you are contacted by a major company like this, do you automatically assume that it’s secure, or are you skeptical that it’s a scam? Ordinarily, it might not seem like a big issue, but all it takes is one click on an infected attachment or malicious link to infect your business’s infrastructure.

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Too Many Smart Devices Have Dumbed-Down Security Protocols

b2ap3_thumbnail_dangerous_botnet_iot_400.jpgIn both the home and the business, security cameras are becoming more and more commonplace as a means of preserving security. However, some malware can turn these devices, and others, into cyber security threats.

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Forget Reading Data, These Ingenious Hackers Listen to Data

b2ap3_thumbnail_hdd_audio_hacking_400.jpgComputing systems are always vulnerable to some obscure hack or another, and researchers are always trying to find ways to shore them up and prevent future attacks. One previously undiscovered hack literally sounds far-fetched. It uses the sounds that your hard drive makes to help a hacker steal data from your machine, including encryption keys designed to keep your data safe and secure.

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A Zombified Botnet is as Scary as it Sounds

b2ap3_thumbnail_what_is_a_botnet_400.jpgBotnets are proving to be a difficult hurdle for security professionals, and it’s easy to understand why. Distributed Denial of Service attacks that can knock down servers or services, as well as hordes of remote-controlled zombie computers, are two of the most dangerous ways that hackers use botnets to serve their purposes. What can you do to protect your business from botnets?

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Hackers Target Voter Information Databases to Steal Personal Data

b2ap3_thumbnail_electronic_election_rigging_400.jpgHackers are always getting their hands into sticky situations, but one of the hot topics in world politics--the 2016 United States presidential election--is one of the nastier ones in recent years. In the past few months alone, hackers have reportedly breached not only the Democratic National Committee, but have also infiltrated at least two state election databases.

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This NSA Employee Made a Mistake. How Hackers Exploited it is Worrisome

b2ap3_thumbnail_nsatheft_400.jpgOne of the biggest hacks of 2016 was the United States National Security Agency, by a hacking group calling themselves the Shadow Brokers. This hack came to light after tools belonging to the NSA were discovered on the black market. How could a data breach of this magnitude happen to one of the most secure IT systems in the world? Newly released evidence may provide the answers.

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Shhhh! Library of Congress Hacked

b2ap3_thumbnail_hacks_at_library_of_congress_400.jpgNot since the British burned the Library of Congress to the ground in the War of 1812 has there been a more devastating attack on the famous library. Only this time, the recent attack was of the digital variety and King George III had nothing to do with it.

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Alert: Android Malware Can Control Your Phone Through Twitter

b2ap3_thumbnail_twitter_botnet_threat_400.jpgHackers continue to innovate and cause trouble for businesses of all industries and sizes. One of the more interesting recent tactics includes utilizing a malicious Twitter account to command a botnet of Android devices to do its bidding. Twitoor is considered to be the first real threat to actively use a social network in this manner, making this a major cause for concern.

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Some Evil Genius Just Combined the Pyramid Scheme With Ransomware

b2ap3_thumbnail_petya_and_mischa_as_a_service_400.jpgThe ransomware machine keeps moving forward, despite significant opposition. In particular, the ransomware tag-team duo of Petya and Mischa have steamrolled most attempts to block them from accessing critical systems, always finding ways to outsmart security professionals. Now, these ransomwares have adopted a Ransomware as a Service model, which has made significant changes to the way that this ransomware is distributed.

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Alert: Acer Breach Compromised Customer Credit Cards

b2ap3_thumbnail_acer_had_a_data_breach_400.jpgUsers of Acer’s online store between May 12th, 2015, and April 28th, 2016, may be in for a rude awakening. Acer may be attempting to contact you to relay that your credit card’s credentials have been lifted by hackers. The breach in question resulted in 34,500 customers having their credentials stolen, including the user’s name, address, credit card number, expiration date, and security code.

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FBI Issues Warning About Critical Infrastructure Getting Hacked

b2ap3_thumbnail_cyber_threat_400.jpgThere aren’t many instances of hackers targeting physical infrastructure, but the few that make themselves known tend to be quite catastrophic. Take, for example, the devastating cyber attack on the Ukrainian power infrastructure, which left thousands of citizens powerless. Now, several months later, authorities believe that other major countries could also become a target of similar attacks.

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This Hacker Stole 1.17 Billion Credentials. You Won’t Believe How Much He Sold it All For

b2ap3_thumbnail_bold_hackers_400.jpgIn a bizarre reminder of why security best practices are so critical to the world of IT, it has been reported that one of the largest collections of hacked and stolen login details are currently making the rounds in the Russian black market.

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Are Vigilante Hackers a Threat?

b2ap3_thumbnail_do_vigilante_hackers_present_problems_400.jpg2015 was a brutal year for major corporations, as one by one they fell victim to hacking attacks. Major organizations like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Anthem, and even the United States Office of Personnel became victims of major hacking campaigns. A fact that’s often lost amongst these details is that not all hackers use their skill for evil actions, even if they are still illegal.

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