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Where Will You Be When the Lights Go Out?

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“Revolution” is a TV show that depicts Americans struggling to restore society after it collapses in the wake of the power going off everywhere. In this scenario, a government project inadvertently suppresses all electricity. No lights, planes, cars, radios, TVs or computers.The consequences portrayed in the show are apocalyptic. Millions die because the water supply and food distribution system collapses. Government’s collapse and the survivors war to control the resources left over by the formerly rich society and struggle to reconstitute civil order.Science fiction? Yes.

However, all good science fiction has some basis in fact.

In this case, we need to be aware that there are people in this world who are working very hard to literally turn off the power in America. Who would want to do such a thing? It seems the names that come up the most are the Chinese and the Iranians, but there are a host of anarchists and anti-capitalist out there working on this too.

If you don’t believe it, or doubt the seriousness of the problem you should read the House Congressional Report released earlier this year on “Electric Grid Vulnerability”.

The report was prepared by Representatives Edward J. Markey and Henry A. Waxman who requested information recently from more than 150 investor owned utilities (IOUs), municipally-owned utilities, rural electric cooperatives, and federal entities that are part of the power grid. Approximately 60% of these parties responded

The report reaches the following very troubling conclusions on cyber-attacks. Note: The NERC refers to the National Electric Reliability Corporation, an industry organization.

The electric grid is the target of numerous and daily cyber-attacks.

  • More than a dozen utilities reported “daily,” “constant,” or “frequent” attempted cyber-attacks ranging from phishing to malware infection to unfriendly probes. One utility reported that it was the target of approximately 10,000 attempted cyber-attacks each month.
  • More than one public power provider reported being under a “constant state of ‘attack’ from malware and entities seeking to gain access to internal systems.”
  • A Northeastern power provider said that it was “under constant cyber attack from cyber criminals including malware and the general threat from the Internet…”
  • A Midwestern power provider said that it was “subject to ongoing malicious cyber and physical activity. For example, we see probes on our network to look for vulnerabilities in our systems and applications on a daily basis. Much of this activity is automated and dynamic in nature – able to adapt to what is discovered during its probing process.”

Most utilities only comply with mandatory cyber-security standards, and have not implemented voluntary NERC recommendations.

  • Almost all utilities cited compliance with mandatory NERC standards. Of those that responded to a question of how many voluntary cyber-security measures recommended by NERC had been implemented, most indicated that they had not implemented any of these measures.
  • For example, NERC has established both mandatory standards and voluntary measures to protect against the computer worm known as Stuxnet.

Of those that responded, 91% of IOUs, 83% of municipally- or cooperatively-owned utilities, and 80% of federal entities that own major pieces of the bulk power system reported compliance with the Stuxnet mandatory standards. By contrast, of those that responded to a separate question regarding compliance with voluntary Stuxnet measures, only 21% of IOUs, 44% of municipally- or cooperatively owned utilities, and 62.5% of federal entities reported compliance. “

Clearly, not enough is being done. As the report states “There are numerous examples of such cyber-attacks, including the attack on Saudi Aramco, which destroyed the hard drives of more than 30,000 computers at the Saudi state-run oil company.” They conclude “The rate of such cyber-attacks against American corporate and government infrastructure is on the rise and unlikely to abate.”

Could cyber-attacks really turn off the lights like the in the fictional Revolution?
Probably not, if you mean a complete long term shutdown.

However, even short term shutdowns are a nightmare not to mention expensive. Living in NJ I have experienced week long outages from Hurricane Irene in 2011 and again with Sandy in 2013. It’s not fun!

Importantly, the bad guys are working really hard at it and we can expect them to get better at causing mischief. Ironically, the report concludes that otherwise much needed automation and integration of systems via the network, that have improved the efficiency of the Grid have also made it more vulnerable. These particular Congressmen are attempting to revive legislation called the GRID act that passed the House in unusually bi-partisan manner and, as often the case, died in the Senate. I’m not sure about the particulars of this legislation. Some say it would expand government power to mandate new industry requirements too much.

Perhaps.
However, we better make sure we do defend ourselves in this cyber war or we just may wakeup some day in the dark.

Source: https://blog.comodo.com/it-security/where-will-you-be-when-the-lights-go-out/

Cyber Security

What’s an IP location CDN?

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If you are a business leader or a website owner who is determined to take on newer heights for your business, you need to make an effort to study the digital world and everything it encompasses. For example, the phrase that has been typed a lot in search engines is ‘IP location CDN.’

Table of Contents

Do you have an idea why?

We are talking about the CDN IP location for this article, how they are both different entities, why the search phrase begins to be ranked, and what components you can take into consideration when shopping for CDN providers.

Let’s get started!

IP location CDN: what is it?

It is essential to understand that the CDN IP location is not an actual piece of technology. They are two separate entities. The IP location is one thing, while the CDNs, short for Content Delivery Networks, are another. A quick definition of an IP address, also known as an IP address, is a network address for your device so that the internet is informed as to where the data, emails, or pictures of dogs and beaches can be transmitted.

Every gadget has now it. Whether it’s a personal computer or a tablet, there are IP addresses in every device that can access the internet. Hundreds of IP address tracker devices are available online, so you can simply turn to these automated resources to find out what the answer is if you curry where any users are.

On the other hand, CDNs are a bunch of servers scattered around the world. This is how global internet users can use media from the internet much faster and easier wherever they are. Unknown to the large majority, CDNs run half the internet. These cloud content delivery platforms distribute data more effectively to users worldwide. Without the help of a CDN, visitors to websites must collect data from the host of the origin of a site, which means that the host responsible for keeping the website and its content alive. While nothing is wrong here, the host origins are not made to accommodate hundreds of thousands of people at once.

That means that if your website is not backed up by CDN and you all visit your website from your ocean of users, it will more likely crash because your visitors will request data from the host of origin. This host of origin is also situated in one region of the globe. This means that users of your site who are seas other than origin will notice a significant delay in loading the web page. In the meantime, your users who live near the origin will not experience the same browsing encounter. CDNs are therefore helpful: because they reduce latency, and several servers around the globe help to relay your web data much faster.

Why are people looking this up?

Understandably, a lot of CDN IP positions have been searched for. If you’re shopping for CDNs, you’d like to find out where the location of your CDN providers is. It is because you would like to make sure that their positions are close to where your primary markets are located. You may be a company based in Atlanta, for example, but your website has an extensive follow-up in Sweden and Japan. In that particular case, you would like to make sure that the CDN providers you find have locations in those areas as well.

You can turn to an IP address tracker for support if you are not certain where your site visitors are. These kinds of digital tools help you find out where your digital markets are. Of course, your web host should have this information ready, but if you want to single out a single user or visitor, and you want to know where they come from, the IP address tracker should be enough. Look around online, and you’re going to find a lot of them.

How to choose CDN providers

As stated earlier, the number one thing you would like to ask CDN providers is where they are located. They might have the most advanced equipment and prices, but if their presence points are far from where your web site needs to be strongest, it may be pointless to sign up. Please note that the very essence of why you first sign up with a provider is that your sets can be loaded quickly. Check out where our locations are on this link.

Customer service is something you can’t overlook. If you entrust your Web data to CDN providers, you would want a trustworthy team to be responsible if anything goes wrong. It’s also extremely helpful to be able to turn to a talented pool of trusted professionals, particularly when you run an e-commerce business.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/whats-an-ip-location-cdn/

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Cyber Security

Facebook Announced Rewards for Vulnerabilities in Hermes and Spark AR

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Facebook

On Friday, Facebook revealed it is providing substantial incentives for vulnerabilities found in Hermes and Spark AR through its bug bounty programme.

Hermes is a JavaScript engine which was released a year ago by Facebook as an open source. Hermes is used for Android and other applications by the social media giant’s React Native apps, including Spark AR, an augmented reality tool used to create effects on Facebook , Instagram, and even on Facebook’s Portal smart displays.

Its bug bounty program has covered vulnerabilities found in native Facebook code, but the company says it wants to encourage security researchers to analyze Hermes and Spark AR, which is why bug bounties have increased significantly.

For example, if a white hat hacker discovers a vulnerability or an exploit chain that allows remote execution of code while running a Spark AR effect, they will receive $25,000. The exploit can either directly target the Spark AR platform, or the Hermes JavaScript VM.

“May adjust the amount depending on the particular bug and exploit. For instance, an exploit chain that lacks an ASLR bypass will result in a slightly lower payout. Likewise, an out-of-bound writing where the route to RCE is not clear would receive a lower payout, “explained Facebook.

On average, a vulnerability that allows an attacker to read user data might be worth $15,000. Denial-of – service (DoS) flaws resulting from out-of-bound read or write bugs will yield between $500 and $3,000 to researchers.

They can also receive a bonus of up to $15,000 if they provide a complete proof-of – concept (PoC) exploit, meaning they might get $40,000 for a flaw in remote code execution.

Last year, Facebook paid out more than $2.2 million through its bug bounty program, and a total of almost $10 million since its program was launched in 2011.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/facebook-announced-rewards-for-vulnerabilities-in-hermes-and-spark-ar/

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Cyber Security

Google Announced New Policy Updates to Reject Ads for Spyware

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Google

Google announced this week that it will effectively reject ads for surveillance technology starting next month, by updating its policy.

The revised Google Advertising Promoting Unethical Behavior Policy, which would “prohibit the promotion of goods or services that are advertised or targeted for the express purpose of tracking or controlling another person or their activities without their authorisation,” will be implemented beginning August 11, 2020, the Internet giant announced.

Google must enforce the policy internationally in an attempt to combat spyware ads and other forms of surveillance.

Such technology, explains the company, involves using spyware, malware, and other means to monitor a person’s messages, phone calls, or browsing habits, or keep an eye on their whereabouts using GPS trackers.

In addition, Google’s revised policy would also strike the sale of surveillance devices such as audio recorders, cameras, dash cams and nanny cams that are “marketed for the purpose of clear spying.”

“It does not include (a) private investigative services or (b) products or services designed to track or control parents’ underage children,” explains the company.

If any violations of the new policy are found, Google will initially issue a alert, and delete offending accounts within 7 days.

Advertisers are told, before August 11, to delete any advertisements that might result in a policy breach.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/google-announced-new-policy-updates-to-reject-ads-for-spyware/

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