Aug 232017
 
What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)? A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is used primarily for the purposes of remote access and protection of confidential data. In particular cases, it can be imperative for a small business to use a VPN to cut costs and save time. A VPN allows users to send information privately on a public network like the internet and have remote access to other devices.  How does a VPN Work? In simple terms, a VPN establishes a point to point connection between two points and allows a user to access another computer from their own, usually using tunnelling protocols. In order to protect your data and to stop other users from intercepting the data during transmission, the traffic is often encrypted with cryptographic network protocols like SSH or IPsec. In the past, encryption ciphers were simpler, but as computers have advanced to generate complex ciphers, it is difficult for humans to manually decode them. Levels of complexity in the encryption vary depending to what level a user wishes to protect their data, but usually a simple SSH tunnel allows remote and protected access from one device to another.  Why Would a Small Business Want a VPN? Businesses often use a VPN as an auxiliary tool to support certain aspects of the company: A VPN can be used to protect private company data, like company records or client information, using traffic encryption, to stop hackers from stealing information like client numbers or identities. Remote access could be used in many different ways; an employee working from home can remotely access a company computer using a VPN. If a member of the business is travelling, they could use the VPN to connect to work or home computers while they are travelling, so they don’t have to stop working. If a business has various sites that all use LAN networks, a VPN allows remote access between these sites, so that a worker in one site can access data from the networks in various sites, which is faster than asking someone to send them data. Setting up a VPN There are various ways to establish a VPN connection: Manually using configuration software like Putty to make a secure point to point connection that can be used repeatedly. On mobile devices, apps like OpenVPN can be used to keep searches anonymous by encrypting traffic. Commercial software can be purchased from (more…)
Dec 042015
 
from the anonymous-sources-say dept In the wake of the tragic events in Paris last week encryption has continued to be a useful bogeyman for those with a voracious appetite for surveillance expansion. Like clockwork, numerous reports were quickly circulated suggesting that the terrorists used incredibly sophisticated encryption techniques, despite no evidence by investigators that this was the case. These reports varied in the amount of hallucination involved, the New York Times even having to pull one such report offline. Other claims the attackers had used encrypted Playstation 4 communications also wound up being bunk.  Yet, pushed by their sources in the government, the media quickly became a sound wall of noise suggesting that encryption was hampering the government's ability to stop these kinds of attacks. NBC was particularly breathless this week over the idea that ISIS was now running a 24 hour help desk aimed at helping its less technically proficient members understand encryption (even cults help each other use technology, who knew?). All of the reports had one central, underlying drum beat implication: Edward Snowden and encryption have made us less safe, and if you disagree the blood is on your hands.  Yet, amazingly enough, as actual investigative details emerge, it appears that most of the communications between the attackers was conducted via unencrypted vanilla SMS: "…News emerging from Paris — as well as evidence from a Belgian ISIS raid in January — suggests that the ISIS terror networks involved were communicating in the clear, and that the data on their smartphones was not encrypted.  European media outlets are reporting that the location of a raid conducted on a suspected safe house Wednesday morning was extracted from a cellphone, apparently belonging to one of the attackers, found in the trash outside the Bataclan concert hall massacre. Le Monde reported that investigators were able to access the data on the phone, including a detailed map of the concert hall and an SMS messaging saying “we’re off; we’re starting.” Police were also able to trace the phone’s movements. The reports note that Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the "mastermind" of both the Paris attacks and a thwarted Belgium attack ten months ago, failed to use any encryption whatsoever (read: existing capabilities stopped the Belgium attacks and could have stopped the Paris attacks, but didn't). That's of course not to say batshit religious cults like ISIS don't use encryption, and won't do so going forward. Everybody uses encryption. But the point remains that to use a tragedy to (more…)
Apr 162015
 
THIS SITE IS ENCRYPTED DETPYRCNE SI ETIS SIHT No, it really is encrypted, not backward writing, like it seems some sites give you for security. What does encrypted mean? Encryption is the future of the Internet. The more hacking and whacking (cyber-warfare) that goes on the more imperative encryption becomes. Within just a short time, perhaps by 2017, all Internet communications will by default be encrypted and private, the public will have access by permission only, the reverse of what it is now. The privatization of all communications will arrive in the shadow of the shift to “cryptocurrency”. The most de-emphasised aspect of bitcoin is the encryption environment that extends beyond the bitcoin itself. One extension is encrypted business transactions completed using crypto-contracts. Using “Smart Contracts”, transactions take place in complete and total privacy isolating the parties involved for the rest of the world. Transaction take place with total public anonymity. Only the parties involved in the transaction have the encrypted pathway of communications regarding their transaction. No one else in the world knows the transaction took place. All of that said, I have included an excerpt below that will give you a snap shot of what encryption really is. This is an excerpt from The New York Times bestselling science fiction book by Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicron When you get to Manila I would like you to generate a 4O96 bit key pair and keep it on a floppy disk that you carry on your person at all times. Do not keep it on your hard disk. Anyone could break into your hotel room while you’re out and steal that key. Now, Randy pulls down a menu and picks an item labeled: “New key. . .” A box pops up giving him several KEY LENGTH options: 768 bits, 1024, 1536, 2048, 3072, or Custom. Randy picks the latter option and then, wearily, types in 4096. Even a 768-bit key requires vast resources to break. Add one bit, to make it 769 bits long, and the number of possible keys doubles, the problem becomes much more difficult. A 770-bit key is that much more difficult yet, and so on. By using 768-bit keys, Randy and Avi could keep their communications secret from nearly every entity in the world for at least the next several years. A 1024-bit key would be vastly, astronomically more difficult to break. Some people go so far (more…)
Apr 162015
 
HOW DOES IT FEEL? “Privacy is not an option, and it shouldn’t be the price we accept for just getting on the Internet.” Gary Kovacs How many computers were hacked this year? Good questions, right? Scary cybersecurity news has dominated the headlines constantly this year, with hacks and penetrations, involving Home Depot, Heartbleed, iCloud, Target, Sony and others – banks don’t report the number of times they were hacked. The experts say the attacks will only continue in throughout 2015 and 2016. But I believe there’s an important opportunity to this amazing year of hacking: the publicizing of a long-overdue conversation about the potential attacks that threaten everyone online. Ok, I decided to do a search for the answer. My search was quite revealing no one gives up there real numbers and the information I ‘encountered’ was for the most part BS. Hence the psyops operatives engage. A Forbes article from a year ago stated that there were 30,000 computers hacked every day. On year later, I think the the rate is up exponentially to around 300,000 every day but the real numbers are probably staggering and they do not want you to know. I say that because searching for that number is like chasing the proverbial “pot of gold”, know one gives the actual numbers, Target, now Sony are two recent examples. Have they said how many? Or by whom? “They”point to a convenient boogyman this time its North Korea, last year it was Russia or China or somebody, maybe even the NSA. Here is an interesting revelation: “The US corporate government, for its part, has been on the warpath against North Korea for some mysterious reason. The entire US State Department story about Sony pictures being hacked by North Korea is a case in point. According to IT experts the hacking attack blamed on North Korea could only have been carried out by somebody inside Sony’s US headquarters. As one expert put it, “The Sony breach was an inside job. 100 terabytes of data is too big to transmit over the Internet. At top broadband speeds it would take 661 days at top US speed and, 2,315 day to transmit to S. Korea (and general Asia Pac Rim) at their top transmission speed.”Now the US is trying to indict North Korea for human rights abuses, possibly to deflect world attention from its own widespread use of torture.” Posted (more…)