virus

(Bloomberg View) — Is the U.S. government's ban on the products of Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-headquartered global cybersecurity company founded by Russians, a reasonable precaution or brazen protectionism? It's possible to argue either case. But whether the ban is justified is less important in the grand scheme of things than what it does to the borderless nature of the cybersecurity industry and the tech industry as a whole.
The precautionary argument is laid out persuasively in the Department of Homeland Security statement. The DHS says that "Kaspersky anti-virus products and solutions provide broad access to files and elevated privileges on the computers on which the software is installed." That's undeniably true. It also says the Russian government could "request or compel assistance" from Kaspersky; that, too, is true as far as it goes: The Kremlin can put any amount of pressure on any company with sizable Russian operations, and Kaspersky is one such company.
See also: Kaspersky Lab Offers Source Code to U.S. Government
Kaspersky Lab has offered to let the U.S. inspect its source code, but any such inspection could miss backdoors, and the source code could be changed afterwards. The U.S. government could test Kaspersky's products by putting them on a "honey server" and watching if any malicious activity ensues — but what if the Russian government is saving the Kaspersky weapon for some
Read more

Filed under Web Hosting News by on #

Brought to you by Data Center Knowledge
A school district in South Carolina lost access to data on close to half of the servers in its data center sometime over the summer. In what the district characterized as a ransomware attack, data on the servers was encrypted and as a result made inaccessible by its staff, Dorchester School District Two said in a statement, assuring student and staff that no personal information had been compromised.
"A thorough investigation determined this was a ransom request and there was no identity theft involved and no student or staff information had been accessed or compromised," the statement read.
After negotiations (presumably with the attackers), the district paid a $2,900 ransom to decrypt the files.
Ransomware attacks, where the attackers demand money (usually in the form of cryptocurrency) in exchange for giving the victim access to their data, have become commonplace in recent years, most of them targeting individual users. But attacks on organizations have been on the rise.
Earlier this year, two global-scale ransomware attacks targeted organizations large and small. The so-called WannaCry attack in May spread across more than 150 countries, affecting among others Britain's National Health Service. The following month, a second attack, which spread a virus called Petya, affected healthcare providers around the world, as well as companies like Maersk and FedEx.
The Dorchester school district did not specify when the
Read more

Filed under Web Hosting News by on #

Unplanned webhosting/server downtime can disrupt your blog, website or business. It can alienate customers/members/visitors, and damage your and your company’s reputation. It can also impact you economically, as you loose revenue if your site is down.

Unforeseen outages are unexpected events that cause instant website downtime such as hardware or software failures, webmaster or web-host errors, hacking and other malicious acts, natural disasters, network issues, and ISP maintenance. Remember, even with 99% uptime, your website will be down for 87 hours, 36 minutes per year!

There is nothing worse for a website owner to be informed by a client that his website is not working, so to prevent this and minimize downtime, you need a hosting/server monitoring service.

There is a wide range of companies offering monitoring services (both free and paid) to meet just about any budget and business need. Here are some of our favorites:

  • BasicState
    They offer a free web site uptime monitor and alert service that checks your website every 15 minutes and will send alerts by email or SMS. You also get a daily uptime report with a 14 day history.
  • UptimeRobot
    You can monitor up to 50 websites every 5 minutes for free, and receive alerts via email, SMS, Twitter, RSS or push notifications for iPhone/iPad.
  • Pingdom
    They offer a free account to monitor one website. It includes 20 SMS alerts.
  • Mon.itor.us
    This free service allows you to monitor 1 website every 30 minutes, and get alerted via IM, SMS, E-mail, or RSS.
  • InternetSeer
    They claim to be the largest website monitoring service and offer a 24x per day free service.

If you get notified by your monitoring service that your website is down, it is important to address the problem immediately and correctly.

An informative website message with an estimate of how long the site will be down, is very useful. This way, both existing and potential clients and visitors are properly informed of the problem, and how soon it will be resolved. Ask for their patience and to please come back. This is good for your personal and business image, and can help to limit financial loss.

Of course, you then have to ensure the unforeseen issue is immediately addressed and resolved without delay. Get professional help, if necessary, like your web-host’s support, or a server administrator.

Filed under Web Hosting Basics by on #