Thursday, December 28, 2017

Providing WiFi to renters...why you should and how to protect yourself.

WiFi has become one of the most popular amenities requested by rental guests – ahead of a dishwasher or cable TV. Plain and simple: if you do not offer free WiFi, you are losing business.

Think about it...do you work when you travel? Most people reading this will answer "yes" or "I try not to, but unfortunately I do". What do you need in order to work? An Internet connection. (And a descent one at that). But it's not just for work – kids love Netflix, grandparents love to Skype, and that cat video of Fido just needs to be posted to YouTube this very second.

Did you know that rental property owners are legally responsible for everything their renters do online? If your renter engages in any illegal activities online, it is the owner who pays the price. IES has the perfect solution to your liability issue while still offering renters a seamless WiFi experience...

Our system features:
•Plug & play out of the box – 5 minute automatic activation
•Custom branded sign in page with your logo, contact information, and legal disclosure (exempting you from wrongdoing); option to add form to collect data such as email addresses, phone numbers, and birthdays for marketing purposes
•Online dashboard to get statistics such as use history, block users, generate passwords, set time limits, set speed limits, and more
•Option to charge for WiFi, or upgraded WiFi option, if desired
•Visit iesAdvisors.com/wifi for a full list of features.

Ready to learn more or make a purchase? Call 781-816-9437 or click here to email us.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Security Notice: Key Reinstallation Attack

Background

On October 16, a WPA2 exploit was disclosed known as Key Reinstallation Attack (KRACK) that affects all WPA2 protected WiFi networks. This exploit could lead to user's WiFi traffic becoming compromised.

Impact

  • This exploit affects any wireless product using WPA2 encryption, which includes all IES access point products.
  • Those using 802.11r or mesh repeaters are most susceptible.
  • Client devices that have not received a security update specifically addressing this issue are also susceptible.
  • The exploit requires physical proximity to the network.

Fix

  • A new firmware version is currently under test, and we expect to qualify and publish the new version of 6.3 by end of day Tuesday, October 17. An update to 6.4 will be available at that time or shortly after.
  • Once new firmware is available, all networks will begin upgrading during their scheduled maintenance window automatically
  • We will also be patching older versions of our WiFi software, including 481, 590, 6.1 & 6.2, with availability end of this week.

Mitigation

  • In the meantime, we have turned off 802.11r on all IES WiFi devices until they have received the firmware update
  • End users should contact their WiFi client device manufacturers for security updates related to their specific client devices.

Questions / Feedback

If you have any questions or concerns about this vulnerability or the upgrade process, please reach out to IES support

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Welcome to 2017 where hacking is what seems like an everyday occurrence. Cough, cough - Equifax.

Target, CNN, HBO, Chipotle, Gamestop, Equifax - what do all these companies have in common? They have all been hacked this year.

But why, in our opinion, is the Equifax hack the worst? Well, many know Equifax as one of the top three credit reporting agencies. Ever applies for a home loan or an auto loan? Chances are the bank you are using has run your credit through Equifax. Equifax is reporting that sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers and addresses, of up to 143 million Americans has been exposed. The data breach is among the worst ever because of the amount of people affected and the sensitive type of information exposed.

Unlike other data breaches, those affected by the breach may not even know they're customers of the company, as the company gets its data from credit card companies, banks, retailers and lenders - sometimes without you knowing.

When did this happen?
Equifax said the breach happened between mid-May and July. It discovered the hack on July 29. It informed the public on September 7.

How did this happen?
Equifax said criminals "exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files."

Am I at risk, and what is Equifax doing to help?
Equifax is proposing that customers sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection. It is giving free service for one year through its TrustedID Premier business, regardless of whether you've been impacted by the hack.

To enroll and / or check whether you were affected, visit www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and click on the Check Potential Impact tab. You'll need to provide your last name and the last six digits of your social security number. Once submitted, you will receive a message indicating whether you've been affected. (Giving your personal information to a company that was just hacked...ironic, we know). Then, you have the option to enroll in the program, but you can't actually sign up for the service until next week. Each customer is provided an enrollment date starting earliest on Monday.

Can I sue Equifax?
If you sign up for Equifax's offer of free identity theft protection and credit file monitoring, you may be limiting your rights to sue and be forced to take disputes to arbitration. But you can opt out of that provision if you notify the company in writing within 30 days. In addition, some attorneys argue that even if you don't opt out, the arbitration provision does not cover suits related to this breach.

It seems like companies are getting hacked a lot. Is this the biggest ever?
The Equifax breach is one of the largest breaches ever. Another high-profile examples include two breaches at Yahoo - the bigger one involved 1 billion accounts, the lesser impacted 500 million.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The FBI has issued a security warning about IoT toys.

IoT toys have the potential to violate children’s privacy and safety, given the amount of pertinent information the toys can collect and store, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned this week in an advisory.

The sensors, microphones, data storage capabilities, cameras and other features of Internet of Things (IoT) toys are able to vacuum up extensive details about a child’s name, school, activities and even their physical location.

And if those toys are hacked, criminals could use the stolen information to harm a child, the FBI warned.

What Makes IoT Toys Vulnerable?

Data collected from interactions or conversations between children and toys are typically sent and stored by the manufacturer or developer via a server or a cloud service. In some cases, data are also collected by third party companies that manage the voice recognition software used in the toys.

Voice recordings, toy Web application passwords, home addresses, WiFi information, and sensitive personal data could be exposed if the security of the data is not sufficiently protected with the proper use of digital certificates and encryption when it is being transmitted or stored.

Smart toys connect to the Internet either directly, through WiFi to an Internet connected wireless access point; or indirectly, via Bluetooth to an Android or iOS device that is connected to the Internet.
Key factors affecting the user’s security include: the cyber security features, the toy’s partner applications and the WiFi network through which the toy connects.

Superior communications connections - where data is encrypted between the toy, WiFi access points, and Internet servers that store data or interact with the toy - are crucial to mitigate the risk of hackers exploiting the toy or eavesdropping on conversations or audio messages.

The FBI notes that Bluetooth connected toys that do not have authentication requirements (such as PINs or passwords) pose risks for unauthorized access, enabling criminals to communicate with children.

What You Can Do To Protect Your Child
  • Choose IoT toys very carefully by doing lots of research. Look for any known reported security issues regarding a toy.
  • Find out if a toy can receive firmware or software updates and security patches - and ensure the toy is running on the latest version.
  • Closely monitor your child’s activities with each toy through the toy’s parent application, if such a capability exists.
  • Ensure the toy is turned off when it is not in use.
  • Create a strong and unique login password when establishing a user account. For extra strong passwords, use lower and upper case letters, numbers and special characters.
  • Provide only what is minimally required for creating a user account.

Monday, July 24, 2017

RIP Microsoft Paint

Microsoft's graphics program Paint has been included in a list of Windows 10 features that will be either removed or no longer developed.

Paint has been part of the Windows operating system since its release in 1985 and is known for its simplicity and basic artistic results.

Paint's successor, Paint 3D, will still be available.

The list was issued as part of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, which rolls out in the autumn.
Microsoft says that features on the list will be either removed from Windows 10 or "not in active development and might be removed in future releases".

Other features facing the axe include the Outlook Express email client, which is replaced with the built-in Mail app, and the Reader app, which will be integrated into Microsoft Edge.
The BBC has contacted Microsoft for comment.

RIP Paint

People have expressed disappointment at the news on social media, with many tweeting "RIP" messages.

Welsh YouTuber Chaotic described Paint as "the greatest thing to have ever existed".

The artist known as Jim'll Paint It uses the program to create artwork on outlandish themes, commissioned by strangers. He has nearly 700,000 followers on Facebook.
"Paint hasn't been all that since they messed about with it anyway. I'm running XP on a virtual machine because it's the best one," he tweeted.

"They should just release the source and make it public domain," tweeted games developer Mike Dailly, creator of Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto.

One thing is for sure, Paint, you will be missed.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Watch out Mac owners...Someone is offering Mac ransomware on the Dark Web!

In the wake of the WannaCry, a flawed piece of malware that spread virally that could've done much more damage than it did, it seems like everyone wants to jump on the ransomware bandwagon.

And if you're a malware developer, what better place to try your luck if not with Mac computers, where most user still believe they are safe by default and seem to have their guard down? That seems to be the thinking of an unknown cyber criminal who developed two new type of malicious software for Apple computers: MacSpy and MacRansom.

Despite some people's misguided beliefs (fueled in part by Apple's marketing) there's been plenty of Mac malware, even ransomware. But MacRansom and MacSpy show once again that bad guys are starting to target Macs more and more, even offering them as a service to others.

At the end of May, an unknown cyber criminal, or group of criminals, launched two sites offering MacSpy and MacRansom as services, meaning they marketed them as malware that they would sell and then offer support for.

BleepingComputer writer Catalin Cimpanu first spotted the sites. Some researchers, as well as security firms Fortinet and AlienVault have since then analyzed the samples of the ransomware and the spyware or backdoor.

While both pieces of malware aren't that sophisticated, they prove that more and more malicious hackers want to target Macs.

The bottom line: users should not assume that just because they're using a Mac they're inherently safe.

Source: BleepingComputer

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sick of the "storage almost full" message on your iPhone? Here's how you can free up space in less than 30 seconds!


There's nothing worse than the dreaded "storage almost full" notification and all the panic and anxiety that ensues. Trying to decide which apps to delete can be a daunting task. So if you're short on time, these quick cheats and easy settings adjustments will free up space in your iPhone ASAP. That way you can get back to watching Netflix and reacting to Facebook posts. 

Set your old texts to automatically delete
There's no good reason to save that "hey what's up" message for eternity. But instead of deleting those old garbage texts one by one, simply go to Settings > Messages > Keep Messages. Decide how long you want to keep them around, and your phone deletes the oldies in one fell swoop.

Turn off your photo stream 
Photo Stream combines all the images you've taken on your other devices with the photo roll on your phone, taking up precious MBs. Go to Settings > Photos & Camera, then switch off Photo Stream and revel in those sweet, sweet extra bytes.

Delete your old voicemails 
Go to Phone > Voicemail > Edit, select old voicemails and Delete. Your phone still stores deleted voicemails for no good reason, so make sure that afterwards you scroll down to Deleted Messages > Clear All or all that hard work will have been for nothing

Delete podcasts you've already listened to 
This one's going to be kind of hard to swallow, but it's time to delete Serial off your phone. At this point, you should just assume all parties involved are guilty. Podcasts run around 25 MBs each, so free up some space by going to Settings > Podcasts > Delete Played Episodes.

Clear your browser cache
If you use Safari a lot, it's likely storing a ton of unnecessary web history and data to keep you browser ever-so-slightly faster. Clear that mess in Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data. 

Purge your extraneous Instagram photos
You definitely don't need a whole album full of duplicate photos that are already readily available on Instagram. What are you going to do with two pictures of that chicken dinner you made last night? Let it go! Go to your Photos > Edit and delete the Instagram photo album in one go. 

And tell Instagram to stop saving them
This preventative measure ensures Instagram will stop saving photos in a separate album in your Photos app. Open the Instagram app > your profile > Options > unselect "Save Original Photos."

Dump all that offline data 
If you're a Spotify premium subscriber (or pay for similar access to Apple Music or Slacker) you probably save certain playlists for offline listening (so you can rock out underground during your subway commute). But if you're in desperate need of extra space, you'll want to scrap that luxury. There's no on-button-fix-all here; you need to manually uncheck "Available Offline" from any playlist where you've enabled it.