Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Facebook advertisers target people who visited their site

Facebook has launched a new feature that allows businesses to target their audience from those who have visited their website or mobile app.

This decision is a direct response to feedback from businesses that say they don’t want to choose an ad unit when creating the ad.  Facebook has narrowed down the objectives  to: Clicks to Website, Website Conversions, Page Post Engagement, Page Likes, App Installs, App Engagement, In-store Offer claims and Event Responses.

News Feed ads have seen a rise in popularity from the enhanced call-to-action buttons.

Facebook has announced the new Custom Audience features this past October.

The company promised to roll out globally “in the coming months” and have delivered.

It works by placing business on Facebook and marketing their website.  The Facebook third-party SDK mobile app, builds custom audiences based on actions people take while visiting their site.  
In the picture above, new custom features target a specific audience on the left.  On the right, an example of marketers creating a Page post to drive traffic to their website.  There are five call-to-action buttons for users to click on: Shop Now, Learn More, Sign Up, Book Now, and Download.

Facebook shows two features of how business target a specific market.
  • A travel website with a re-marketing pixel uses Custom Audiences to reach specific groups of people.
  • Retailers build re-targeting campaigns by installing the Facebook or third-party SDK in their mobile app.  People are targeted through both mobile or desktop, this encourages them to come back and purchase items in their shopping card.
Facebook pulls information located on other properties where the plugins reside back to its main service.  The benefit of revenue from this computer correspondence generates more beneficial advertisers.


Facebook places these ads where it sees it will platform best, this will be from mobile News Feeds, desktop News Feeds, and/or the right-side advertisement column on the Web.

The redesign on social networks are to be as seamless as possible.  In June, the efforts were announced, in July Facebook streamlined its ad products, removed online offers, sponsored results, and questioned ads.

By August and September, Facebook started letting marketers upload an image and it would be used for all ad types.

With the updated ad tools, most ads are focused on mobile devices.  Mobile devices are in compliance with companies needs to keep increasing its revenue.

What do you think about these ads?  Are they beneficial to you?  Please tell us your thoughts in our comments below!

Don’t miss out on the latest tech news and computer security alerts! Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet,  “Like” us on Facebook or add us to your circle on Google+.


Facebook now lets all advertisers target people who visited their site or used their mobile app – The Next Web…

Facebook redesigns its ad buying and reporting tools to help businesses meet ‘objectives’ – The Next Web…

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How to get rid of pop-ups, viruses and adware.

Get rid of pop-ups

If you keep seeing pop-ups every time you open a new window, you may need to make some changes to your computer.

It is possible your computer is infected with a virus or malicious software. You should take action and remove it as soon as possible!

Malware from pop-ups can be fairly easy to remove by making a few changes to your operating system. You just have to Add/Remove a few programs.

Sometimes when anti-viruses and malware are not easily removable, you may need to reformat your hard drive and reinstall the operating system.

For laptops, installing the operating system from the partition backup may not completely remove the malware. Be sure to get installation disks for your operating system from your hardware and reinstall your operating system.

Here are some ways you can keep those pop-ups under control and configure your computer with the latest version of software.

Part 1 of 3: Updating Your Browser

#1 Check for Updates.  

Always keep your browser up to date.  You will find this extremely helpful when trying to control pop-ups in your browser.  Most browsers will update automatically, but sometimes this feature has been disabled.
  • Firefox – Click the Firefox button in the upper-left corner.  Hover over Help and select About Firefox.  Click here for a more detailed guide on updating Firefox.
  • Chrome – Click on the menu button in the upper-right corner of the Chrome window. Select About Chrome near the bottom. A new tab will open and Chrome will do its job checking for updates. Check out the video below for further details.
  • Internet Explorer - Updating on Internet Explorer depends on the version you are using.  Older versions of Explorer will require you to restore from the Tools tab at the top of your browser, then go to Windows Update.  For Internet Explorer 10 and 11, you can enable automatic updates by clicking on the Gear icon and selecting About Internet Explorer.  See this guide for more help.


#2 Reinstall your web browser, or install a new one.

Pop-up software is embedded so deep that sometimes you can not remove it just by updating.  For cases like this, you have to reinstall or change your web browser to solve the problem.
  • First step is to download the latest version of the browser you are using.  You can easily find download links on the homepage of each browser.
  • Uninstall the current browser you are using.  You can do this from the Control Panel from the Start Menu.
    1. Open the Programs and Features
    2. Go to Add/Remove Programs
    3. Click Uninstall/Remove and follow the prompts
    4. Please note: Internet Explorer cannot be uninstalled in Windows
  • Keep up with your bookmarks and user settings so they can be imported when needed to be installed again.
  • Install the new browser. After the old browser is uninstalled, run the installation file that was previously downloaded.

Part 2 of 3: Enabling Pop-up Blockers

#1 Enable pop-up blocker in Firefox

Pop-up blocking is automatically enabled in Firefox.  If it has been disabled, you can access the pop-up setting in the Options menu.
  • Click the Firefox button and select Options
  • Click the Content tab
  • Check the “Block pop-up windows” box
  • Click the Exceptions button.  Make sure you trust all the sites on the list.

#2 Enable pop-up blocker in Chrome

Chrome blocks pop-ups by default.  You can access the pop-up settings from the Settings menu.
  • Click the Menu button in the upper-right corner and click Settings
  • Click the “Show advanced settings” link at the bottom of the page
  • Click the “Content settings” button in the Privacy section
  • Scroll down to the Pop-ups section.  Be sure that the “Do not allow any site to show pop-ups” option is selected
  • Click the “Manage exceptions“  button.  Make sure that only trusted sites are listed.

#3 Enable pop-up block in Internet Explorer

Pop-up blocking is enabled in later versions of Internet Explorer.    You can follow this to make sure it has been disabled.
  • Click on the Tool menu or Gear icon.  Select “Internet options
  • Click the Privacy tab
  • Make sure the “Turn on Pop-up Blocker” box is checked
  • Click the “Settings” button.  Recheck all the sites to make sure you trust them
  • Adjust the “Blocking level“. Use the drop-down menu at the bottom to decide your blocking level.  Set it at “High” to prevent pop-ups

#4 Install browser add-ons

Many browsers have add-ons that you can install on Firefox and Chrome that will help with your pop-up issue.  Many add-ons are available to download.  Here are a few helpful ones:
  • Firefox – install AdBlock and NoScript to prevent websites from loading pages and content that is not needed
  • Chrome – NoScript is available to use, although, AdBlock is not

Part 3 of 3: Cleaning Up Your Operating System

#1 Run an antivirus scan

Viruses are likely to install pop-ups on your computer and take over your browser.  Getting rid of these pop-ups is going to take a virus scan to detect the invading programs:
  • Running an antivirus scan and run and anti-malware/spyware scan as well.  Well known scans are Malwarebytes or Spybot Search & Destroy.  The programs are free but should only be downloaded from the developers’ websites.
  • Scan in Safe Mode, it is more effective than doing it in Windows.

#2 Uninstall toolbars

Uninstall toolbars because they may be slowing down your browser and even lead to more pop-ups.  Here is a guide to removing toolbars from your browser.

#3 Run a registry cleaner

A registry clean removes the lingering entries waiting in your registry.  Registry cleaners do not remove viruses or malware, so they should run after removing those with other programs.  CCleaner is a popular and free registry cleaner.Get rid of pop-ups with CCleaner
If you follow these steps, you can improve the health and speed of your computer.  Have you come across a way to avoid pop-ups or found an application to help maintain them?  Please share your comments below!

Don’t miss out on the latest tech news and computer security alerts! Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet,  “Like” us on Facebook or add us to your circle on Google+.

How to Get Rid of Pop Ups – Wiki How
How do I get rid of pop-ups, viruses, adware, or spyware? – Yahoo! Security

Monday, January 27, 2014

Philippines Cyber Crime Law: Facebook ‘like’ could land you in jail.

Next time you want to “like” something on Facebook, may land you in jail.  The Philippines Cyber Crime Law is taking away the freedom to post on social media sites.

Philippines Cyber Crime Law
Filipinos are some of the most social online users.  They rank among the top 10 users of both Facebook and Twitter in the world.

According to the new Cybercrime Prevention Act, you can end up in jail if you participate in cybersex, identity theft, hacking, spamming, pornography, and social media sites in the Philippines.

Philippines Cyber Crime Law Protest

This new law that was signed into effect on September 12 by President Benigno Aquino III.

The ones who are liable are the ones who made the original post and the ones who share or ‘like’ them.

The law has caused many protests among the 35 million Filipino users and social media socialites out of the 95 million population.

Hackers are sending messages defacing government websites while others are creating petitions to stop the law.  There are no current signs that the government aims to start a repeal.
“Even Mark Zuckerberg can be charged with cyber-libel,” the senator said.
The provision, according to Guingona, is very broad and vague, and it’s not even clear on who should really be liable for the social media statement.  Anyone who is found guilty, is likely to spend up to 12 years in prison.

Philippines Cyber Crime Law Manila

Petitions have been declared to the law as unconstitutional and files before the Supreme Court.

The Human Rights Watch has expressed dismay over the controversial law, this is a serious threat of their freedom of expression.

The government has criticized the hacking of its websites but says it welcomes any protest.

Sen. Vicente Sotto III makes no apology for being the senator to focus on the provision for libel last minute.
Lawyers are saying the Philippines’ Cybercrime Prevention Act has done what the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), achieved in the United States, which disallowed illegal sharing and downloading copyrighted music and videos.

There are protests and public repeal to the law, but so far there is little sign that the government is backing down.

What if this were happening in the United States?  Do you think this will permanently affect the Philippines?  Will the law lighten up?  Please leave your comments below!

Don’t miss out on the latest tech news and computer security alerts! Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet,  “Like” us on Facebook or add us to your circle on Google+.


Like something on Facebook, go directly to jail. – Yahoo News…

Facebook’s “like” may land Filipinos in jail – CBS News

Friday, January 24, 2014

Worldwide Tech Issues

Worldwide tech issues have evolved this past week: India reopens tax queries with HP and Infosys; A Wyoming building may have played a part in the massive Internet outage in China; and South Korea is investing into 5G technology.

India’s Tech Complaints

Photo Credit: Business Insider

Tax authorities in India are claiming that HP and Infosys owe them a countless number of unpaid taxes.
India is bewildered from the claims made for software and manpower.

It was been reported, “developed and deployed on clients’ premises.”  If the deductions relate to the clients’ premises, they are disqualified and the only valid work must be carried out on their own grounds.

HP and Infosys challenged India’s tax claims and prospered from the .  Now these cases are being revisited.  The new complaint is that Infosys submitted expenses pertaining to landscaping.

A price has not been confirmed on how much the companies might be asked to pay back, but reports say Infosys’ tab is $68 million US dollars.

Wyoming Played a Part in Chinese Outage

The mystery of the Chinese Internet power outage baffles many.  There is a recent discovery that most of the Internet traffic was redirected to a company in Cheyenne, Wyoming on Tuesday.

China’s 500 million Internet users were unable to load any websites that ended in .com, .net, or .org for almost eight hours.

The China Internet Network Information Centre, a state-run agency in which they deal with Internet affairs, said they had traced the problem to the country’s domain name system.

One of China’s biggest anti-virus software vendors, Qihoo 360 Technology, admitted the problem affected three-quarters of the country’s domain name system servers.

Some servers acted as a switchboard for Internet traffic from China’s Great Firewall rerouted traffic from Baidu and Sina, to a block of Internet address registered to Sophidea.  The company in Cheyenne, a small brick two-story building on a residential street.

Baidu is the company behind China’s largest search engine.

 The discrete destination of China’s Internet Traffic in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Photo Credit: SMH

The building above is home of 2000 companies on paper.  Reuters held an investigation in 2011 and found that the Prime Minister of Ukraine was also registered to the address.

The Ukraine Prime Minister was charged with helping online poker operations evade an Internet gambling ban.  The ban from the government were contracts from  selling counterfeit truck parts to the Pentagon.

Wyoming Corporate Services that were registered for Sophidea, moved to a different building on Pioneer Avenue in Cheyenne last year.

The owner of Wyoming Corporate Services, Gerald Pitts, said they could not disclose any details about Sophidea without any “due process”.  Gerald Pitts said the Wyoming Corporate Services acted as a registered agent for nearly 8000 businesses.

“What they do I’m not 100 per cent sure.” – Gerald Pitts, Wyoming Corporate Services

It is still not clear about what caused the traffic shift on Tuesday.  A Chinese newspaper had suspected the cyber attack.  But by Tuesday, technologists came to an alternate theory, a backfiring of China’s own Internet censoring system.

The company Sophidea, redirects traffic from one address to another to mask a person’s whereabouts, evading the firewall.

Technologists have summarized that the disruption may have been caused by Chinese Internet censors who attempted to block traffic to Sophidea’s websites but unknowingly redirected traffic to the service instead.

South Korea Invests

Photo Credit: Techinasia

South Korea’s science ministry announced it was investing $1.5 billion in order to have 5G Internet by 2020.
The 5G network enables users to download an 800-megabyte film in one second.  This is compared to taking 40 seconds with the nation’s 4G network.

South Korea is known to have the world’s fastest Internet speeds and is unquestionably one of the world’s tech-savviest nations.

More than three-quarters of the 50 million people in South Korea use smartphones.  In comparison, the US’s smartphone users tops out at only 50.4 percent.

These are some of the worldwide tech issues I have found.  What tech issues have you seen that may be interesting for us to read.  Please tell us below!

Don’t miss out on the latest tech news and computer security alerts! Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet,  “Like” us on Facebook or add us to your circle on Google+.


India’s Tech Tax Complaints Deepen – Tech News World

Large chunk of Chinese internet traffic redirected to small Wyoming building – The Sydney Morning Herald…

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Is Password Protection not a Big Deal to You?


Last year was a big year concerning password protection.  We saw Target and Adobe get hacked, a slue of malware on the internet, phishing scams all over social media sites and even our own personal emails filled with spam.

If password protection is still not a big deal to you, then you should think again.

You would think after seeing major corporations hacked and personal security being compromised, we would take more time creating passwords that aren’t so simple to crack.

The most commonly stolen passwords are still “123456″ and “password”.  This doesn’t only mean “123456″ and “password” is the easiest for cybercriminals to guess, but those are the most common passwords used by people!

“123456” is finally getting some time in the spotlight as the world’s worst password, after spending years in the shadow of “password.” – Splashdata Security Firm

Weaker passwords are much more susceptible to brute-force attacks.  Hackers first off attempt to access accounts through rapid guessing.


Even though common words and phrases are easier to remember, they are also easier for hackers to determine.  Some people tend to replace similar looking words with letters (like “3″ instead of “E”, or “0″ instead of “O”).  Although, it is good to put a variation of characters into your password, this is still not an effective strategy, at least for sensitive accounts.

There are many password management programs that can you can extremely benefit from.  Try LastPass, KeePass or SplashID.

These programs will maintain all your accounts and all you have to do is remember one master password.
Here is a full list of the worst passwords in 2013:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. abc123
  6. 123456789
  7. 111111
  8. 1234567
  9. iloveyou
  10. adobe123
  11. 123123
  12. admin
  13. 1234567890
  14. letmein
  15. photoshop
  16. 1234
  17. monkey
  18. shadow
  19. sunshine
  20. 12345
  21. password1
  22. princess
  23. azerty
  24. trustno1
  25. 000000

If you have an account with any of these passwords, consider it a major fail.  Please change your password immediately.

As more people are doing their banking, bill paying, and buying items online, this problem is only getting worse.

How secure is your password protection?  Tell us what you think in the comment section below!


The 25 worst passwords of 2013: ‘password’ gets dethroned – PC World…

’123456′ assumes the ‘worst password of 2013′ throne – Fox News

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Facebook helps scammers with the “like” shares

Images are appearing on Facebook and are helping out scammers with the “like” button shares.  It’s hard to not ‘like’ the image of the little girl that beat cancer or the Facebook super dad that is juggling his two daughters getting them ready for school.

These images are put out there to make these scammers cash.  Sometimes people in the photos don’t even realize their picture is circulating.


This image is from 2007 that has been shared thousands of times on Facebook. The girl’s family never gave permission for this photo to be circulated.

The photo above hit Facebook last year and popped up all over the world with messages of support.  The photo suggested to “Like” the photo if you care about the little girl.  Or “Share” to tell her she’s beautiful.

Facebook scammers use this farming technique to get people to feel guilty if they do not like or share the photo.  Sometimes the post says “ignore” if you don’t care, or “ignore” if you want her to die.

These tactics used for getting people emotionally involved, work.

Thousands of Facebook posts just like this are circulated everyday.

The Facebook Scamming Community

Amanda Rieth of Northampton, Pennsylvania said, “I was first shocked, and then infuriated,” when she found out about her daughters Facebook page post.

Her daughter was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma in 2007.  Reith’s daughter has been featured in local news segments for her fundraising efforts to be featured in segments for her fundraising efforts to fight cancer through Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

Amanda Rieth has always been a part of the decision to help publicize her daughters fight with cancer.  Never did she think this would happen.

Scammers do not care about at what cost these posts do to the people and families that fall victim to these farming scams.

When the page creators obtain thousands of likes and shares, they’ll strip the page and promote something else that they can get commission for selling.

Many sell the page through black-market websites to someone who will do the same.

This is a way to trick Facebook’s algorithm, it’s designed to give more value to public pages.  You will see scams and spam pages pop up overnight.

“The more likes and shares and comments and that sort of thing you have, the more likely it is to be seen by other people,” Senft said. “If they’re looking to sell the page in a black-hat forum somewhere, that’s what the value of the page is.”


The Facebook Scam Gets Worse

The “new” page is sometimes used to spread malware.  Malware is the software that is put onto a computer after it’s attacked for phishing.  This phishing tactic accesses credit card numbers, passwords, and other personal information through links to phony contests or charities.

This hurts many people and future posts, not to mention the reputation of Facebook.

There are Facebook farming posts the pertain to more than just sentimental people.

A recent page with a post that said, “Who loves French fries? Like & share if you do.”
Farming scams like this encourage foodies to get involved in the front.

If you come across these pages on your Facebook, pay no attention.  You may be helping the black-market and possibly falling for a phishing scam.

What “like-farming” scam have you come across?  Please share your experience with us below!

Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet or “Like” us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest tech news and PC security alerts.

On Facebook, clicking ‘like’ can help scammers – CNN Tech

Monday, January 20, 2014

Facebook Scam: Samsung TV Giveaway


A new Facebook scam is out, this Facebook scam claims to be giving away a 40inch Samsung TV just by sharing and liking a promotional image.

The page is not real, and has no connection with Big W, the alleged company giving away the TV.
There are no prizes nor winners for this “prize”.

The bogus claim, is like a farming scam, designed to get likes and shares under false pretenses.
The genuine Big W Facebook Page has published a warning about the scam.



Facebook Scam Analysis

According to the Facebook Page, visitors can win one of fifteen 40inch Samsung Smart TV’s.  All the user has to do is like and share the Facebook promotional page.

The Page claims to give-a-way the prize “tomorrow night”.

Big W published the following warning about the scam on July 17, 2013 via its genuine Facebook Page:
HOAX BIG W FACEBOOK ACCOUNT: We have had reports of an account posing as BIG W which is claiming to give away free TVs. This is a scam, so make sure you don’t give any of your personal information should they get in touch with you.
Web safety is very important, so make sure you check that an account is authentic by clicking on the account name and checking out their page. The account in question was started two hours ago, which makes it an obvious impostor. Please let us know if you see any pages posing as us. Thanks guys!

These scams are like the Harvey Norman and Kmart Australia Facebook Pages.

The Facebook scams are created by altering the name of their targeted entity.  The Big W page’s logo has been stolen to target the company’s Page and to make them seem more of a legitimate offer.

These “Like-Farmers” avail to get the most likes to their pages in the shortest period of time.  By tricking people into sharing their material and making comments, the like-farmers promote their scam.


The higher number of likes can later be sole on the black market, and the re-branded object can be better suited for future scams.

Surveys and other personal information from participants are collected throughout this process as this functions as a platform for other types of fraudulent activity.

Like-Farming is now very common to Facebook pages.  Many like-farming Pages offer expensive prizes and pop up on the network everyday.

Companies get a lot of exposure if they offer something for “free” through Facebook likes and sharing of pages.

Be wary of any Facebook message that claims you can win an expensive prize just by liking or sharing a picture.

Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet or “Like” us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the latest tech news and PC security alerts.


Friday, January 17, 2014

IFTTT productivity, the work strategy

The use of technology is supposed to make our lives simpler, but it may be doing just the opposite.  We are filled with endless digital technologies that should make our lives more simple, more organized and more productive.  IFTTT productivity is the work strategy that may just set you free from the ciaos.

IFTTT stands for If This, Then That.

A free service that lets you customize its features to help with your daily productivity.

IFTTT Productivity Planning

IFTTT works by connecting cloud-based services, from Dropbox and Google Drive, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and iOS Reminders.

All your accounts can be linked through the cloud from your IFTTT account.  You will be able to watch for events that can trigger these accounts.


IFTTT is easily customizable.  Here are some examples of recipes.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The SEA Attacks Microsoft…Again

The SEA (Syrian Electronic Army) has struck again.  They seized control of many Saudi Arabian government websites this past week.
The SEA attacked Microsoft along with 16 other Saudi domains and tweeted the names and links of the domains with #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerorism.
The 16 domains offline but here are the Tweets:
Tweet1: Riyadh Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |   #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism #SaudiArabia
Tweet2: Aldoriyah Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism
Tweet3: Almajmah Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism
Tweet4: Almuzahmiyah Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism
Tweet5: Shaqra Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism #SaudiArabia
Tweet6: Huraymila Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism
Tweet7: Alghat Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism #SaudiArabia
Tweet8: Alquwayiyah Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism
Tweet9: Alduwadimi Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism
Tweet10: Alohtah Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism #SaudiArabia
Tweet11: Alshariq Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army|  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism #SaudiArabia
Tweet12: Alsulayyl Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism
Tweet13: Thadiq Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism #SaudiArabia
Tweet14: Duruma Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism #SaudiArabia
Tweet15: Rumah Principality website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism #SaudiArabia
Tweet16: Riyadh Principality magazine website hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army |  #SEA #ActAgainstSaudiArabiaTerrorism
The SEA was lashed at from security analyst Graham Cluley on Wednesday, he reported teh Turkish hacking collective TurkGuvenligi breached the Syrian Electronic Army’s website.
“You imbeciles will attack our country with fake phishing emails and we’ll accept your lies and don’t do anything? This is the end you deserve,” TurkGuvenligi wrote in a message on the SEA’s site, above a verse from the Quran.
The hacker fight broke out against the SEA’s campaign against Microsoft on January 1st.

The SEA Attack

The SEA attacked Microsoft over Skype’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.  Another SEA attack to Microsoft happened when the company’s internal emails and tweeting screenshots of employees’ messages were took from their business Outlook accounts.
Xbox and the Microsoft news blog accounts were also affected.  The SEA attack on Microsoft hasn’t ended yet.
The SEA tweeted Wednesday, “We didn’t finish our attack on Microsoft yet,” and “Stay tuned for more!”


This message also implies that Saudi Arabian hacks will continue, as well.
The Syrian Electronic Army has been sending this type of message out since September 2012.
The hackers started attacking Western websites in retaliation for Innocence of Muslims.  There was an anti-Islamic video resulting in the violent demonstrations in the Middle East as a result.
Last year the SEA attacked many well known sites, including The Guardian, the New York Times, the BBC, the Financial Times, and The Onion.
Popular chat apps like Viber and Tango were also attacked.
What SEA attack have you seen lately?  Are they showing up on your Twitter feed?  Please share with us your story!
Don’t miss out on the latest tech news and computer security alerts! Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet,  “Like” us on Facebook or add us to your circle on Google+
Syrian Hackers Hijack Saudi Sites, Target Microsoft (Again) – PC Magazine,2817,2429607,00.asp

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

SD Card malware stealing your data.


  SD card malware is stealing data from the inside of your PC.  Researchers claim the attack allows malware to alter and steal data directly from the MicroSD cards.

This is done by using tiny microcontrollers on the card itself.  The SD card malware attack could be used to copy or steal data and even modify sensitive data such as encryption keys.

Even you the SD cards have been ‘erases’, they could still carry the malware.

There is a video demonstration that describes the vulnerability, which will allow attackers access to “keys” used to access sensitive data.

“Man in the middle” attacks are being intercepted by working with internet browser software and use malware like the Trojan Hesperbot.

Researchers are claiming that current memory cards have many errors that ships with the microcontrollers.  On some models, it is possible to force the controller to execute code.

The controllers are put into place to manage the fact that flash memory is “riddled with defects” which is the downside of cheap, portable storage.

Researchers say-
“Flash memory is really cheap. So cheap, in fact, that it’s too good to be true. In reality, all flash memory is riddled with defects — without exception. The illusion of a contiguous, reliable storage media is crafted through sophisticated error correction and bad block management functions,”
The vulnerability of SD card malware substantiates an attack against two models of Sppotech SD card commands. These cards can be modified to perform attacks that could be difficult to detect.

There is no known protocol or method to inspect and attest the contents of the code running on the memory card’s microcontroller.

Don’t miss out on the latest tech news and computer security alerts! Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet,  “Like” us on Facebook or add us to your circle on Google+

Could new malware steal data from INSIDE your SD card? Researchers claim even solid-state PC drives could be at risk – We Live Security

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Windows XP Support is Ending Soon!

Microsoft Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 Support is Ending April 8, 2014!

→ Click here to read more about the end of support for Windows XP
It’s a great time to upgrade your hardware as well as your software. Twelve years ago, Windows XP was released. Vulnerabilities the will be discovered in Windows XP after its end will not be able to be addressed by any security updates by Microsoft.

Security & Compliance Risks: Unsupported and unpatched environments are vulnerable to security risks. This may result in an officially recognized control failure by an internal or external audit body, leading to suspension of certifications, and/or public notification of the organization’s inability to maintain its systems and customer information.

Begin your Migration…and consider purchasing a new workstation.


Call us today for help choosing your new workstation and updating your software!

We have the solution for you, call us to get more information on how we can help.  Visit our website page for more information.

With support ending, you may be asking yourself, now what?


Microsoft Business and Developer products receive a minimum of 10 years of support. Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 support will end April 8, 2014. The software is old and becoming outdated.

If you haven’t started migrating to a current desktop, now is the time. Enterprise deployment takes from 18 to 32 months, so take action immediately and upgrade.


After April 8, 2014, there will be no more security updates, non-security hotfixes, and paid assisted support or online technical content updates.

Running Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 after the end of the supported date will put your computer at risk, such as:
  • Security and Compliance Risks – Unsupported software is vulnerable to security risks.
  • Lack of Independent Software and Hardware – Manufacturers support
  • Get Current – Increase your employees productivity and efficiency with improved PC security and management.


There are many options for your business to move into Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8 Pro.

If your PC does not meet system requirements, you may also want to consider upgrading your hardware. It is likely if you are running Windows XP then your computer is getting old. New business PC’s come with Windows 8 Pro installed.

Don’t miss out on the latest tech news and computer security alerts! Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet,  “Like” us on Facebook or add us to your circle on Google+

Buy of the Week: SAMSUNG 840 EVO SSD – Solid State Drive for only $357 + tax!


Samsung unveiled high-performance, high-density SSDs that offer over large memory storage. Among the highlights were the 840 EVO, a consumer-oriented entry-level, high-performance SATA based SSD.

- Ultra low power consumption for longer battery life
- Keep your data safe with Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) technology
- Unbeatable performance with up to 300 % upgraded speed

The Samsung SSD 840 EVO line-up makes use of the industry’s most compact 10-nanometer class high-performance NAND flash memory, which Samsung began mass producing in April. With these chips and Samsung’s proprietary multi-core controller, the Samsung SSD 840 EVO achieves unrivaled value for performance with improved sequential read and write speeds.

Samsung has released the entry-level SSD ’840 EVO’ line-up with significantly higher sequential write performance. Utilizing the industry’s most compact 10 nm-class 128 Gb high-performance NAND, Samsung proprietary controller and turbo write drive, the Samsung SSD 840 EVO boasts superior performance. The Samsung SSD 840 EVO also has flexible product supply capacity, making it the most competitive device on the market today.

For a limited time, you can buy the SAMSUNG 840 EVO SSD from Hyphenet, for only $357!



Don’t miss out on this Buy of the Week! Call (619) 325-0990 to order your Samsung 840 EVO SSD – Solid State Drive today!

Buy of the Week offer valid through January 17, 2014.

Note: Shipping and taxes apply.

Looking for something else? Check out our monthly deals or contact us to get a quote on the product you’re searching for.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Yahoo malvertising is linked to a larger malware scheme


With a look into Cisco Systems, the cyberattack that infected Yahoo users with malware is showing a link between the attack and a suspicious affiliate with Ukraine, in a traffic scheme.

Yahoo said on Sunday that European users have seen malicious advertisements, or “malvertisements,” between December 31st to January 11th.

If the advertisement is clicked, the user is directed to a website with the intention to install malicious software.
Cisco has seen malicious website victims linked to hundreds of ongoing cyberattacks.

The malicious domains all start with a series of numbers, they contain anywhere from two to six cryptic sub-domain labels and end with two random words in the second-level domain.


Hosted domains with a large IP block that researchers observed, shows Yahoo victims were redirected to finding 393 others that matched a pattern.

The domains seem to be a part of a scheme designed to direct people to malware.  The group behind the scam infects legitimate websites with code that redirects people to malicious sites.

Most of these malicious domains redirect to two other domains that scans data to a partner program called  People who sign up for the program are paid fees to push traffic to other websites.
It is still not clear whether the program is directly linked to the Yahoo attack.


Research has shown that the traffic traced by the affiliate program, shows the domains are used for suspicious purposes ever since November 28th.  Some of these domains are hosted in Ukraine and Canada.
These malvertisements have been put into Yahoo’s advertising network successfully.

With Yahoo’s high traffic, more people have seen the malicious advertisements, in turn a higher rate of infection.

Online advertising networks screen advertisements to ensure they are not malicious, but bad ones do sneak in occasionally.


Yahoo malvertising attack linked to larger malware scheme – ComputerWorld

Friday, January 10, 2014

Has Google gone too far by sending people to jail?


Google+ notifications are convenient for some. An alert automatically goes out to your friends with an invite for Google+.  Google does the work for you, so you don’t have to, right?

Some are calling this “convenience” a worst case scenario for a Massachusetts man that was jailed for an email invitation to his ex-girlfriend who put a restraining order on him.

Thomas Gagnon is saying he did not send this invitation to his ex-girlfriend, which he ended up in jail for. Police arrested him with a $500 bail.

When Gagnon’s ex-girlfriend received the invitation, she went to the police to complain that Gagnon violated his restraining order by sending her the email.

Microsoft attacks Google

A hearing for this case has been sent on Feburary 6, 2014. Gagnon’s attorney, Neil Hourihan, told the media his client has no idea how the invitation got sent.

ABC News has tried to contact both Hourihan and Gagnon but has not been successful.

Attorney Bradley Shear of Bethesda, Md., told ABC News it is likely Gagnon is telling the truth. If he didn’t send the invitation to his ex-girlfriend, Google could face a major liability for sending the invite without his permission.

Google+ allows users to connect their email contacts into various groups like; school classmates, professional contacts, and personal friends. If one contact is moved to a certain group, it will trigger Google to send an email inviting them to join Google+.

Shear pointed out that a Google product forum from 2011 and 2012 titled “Prevent automatic email invitations to Google+?” that involved many angry complaints by Google+ users about the automatic invitation feature.

One customer wrote:
“As soon as I add an email to a circle, Google seems to send an email automatically asking that person to join Google Plus. Is there any way of turning this off? I don’t want Google to send any email on my behalf without my permission. At least I would expect some sort of warning.”

Gmail practices

Google is making a case that Gmail practices do not violate privacy law.

Shear stated, “Google is going through every one of your contacts and sending them an invitation, weather its your doctor, your lawyer, your mistress, or your ex-fiancee who’s got a restraining order against you”.

This situation is a perfect example of what happens when a company oversteps its bounds.

What do you think about Gmail automatically sending out invites to your contact? Let us know what you think?

Don’t miss out on the latest tech news and computer security alerts! Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet,  “Like” us on Facebook or add us to your circle on Google+.


Man Jailed for Gmail Invite to Ex-Girlfriend – Yahoo News–abc-news-topstories.html

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Malware advertising on Yahoo?

Malware advertising on has infected thousands of website visitors through desktops and mobile devices.

This is done through an iframe Web attack throughout online communities.

The Internet security firm Fox-IT broadcast the malware infection on Jan. 3rd, which entailed malicious ads being served by using cross-site scripting.  The iframes from the ads were directed to infect files on non-Yahoo servers.

Visitors were redirected to an exploit kit called “Magnitude.”

For the malware ads to be downloaded, the visitors did not have to click on the specific malware ad.  The iframe-based attack also shows Web ad servers need not be compromised.  So just by seeing the ad you are at risk of being infected!

Oscar Marquex, the chief product officer at Redwood City, California based cloud security provider Total Defense, has predicted larger attacks as a way of infecting as many systems as possible.

Marquez believes the party involved with the attack was just “testing the water”.  It is forecasted more intricate exploits will be seen as hackers seek to establish a “distribution model” based on effective iframe attacks.


China-based hackers are copying security breaches like the Yahoo malware ad attack to develop new exploits.

The enterprise customers will seek every possible security angle to see what advantage hackers have on vulnerabilities.

After detecting the malicious ads on, Fox-IT said it investigated the infection of its clients’ systems that visited the website.  Based on the traffic, Fox-IT estimated the number of visits to the malicious site is about 300,00 per hour.  That is an infection rate of 9%, and is projected to have about 27,000 infections an hour.

The Yahoo attack raises concerns about third-party security, especially with ad networks.  The attack displays a “thriving marketplace” for malware atacks and security threat.

Don’t miss out on the latest tech news and computer security alerts! Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet,  “Like” us on Facebook or add us to your circle on Google+.

Malvertising attacks via Yahoo ads may precede broader iframe attacks – Search Security

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Scams to watch out for

Scam Alert

There are plenty of scams to look out for. Travel scams, phone scams, make money fast scams, disaster relief scams, and phishing scams to name a few.

Not all scams are directly associated to malware, many of them intend to persuade the victim to click on a malicious link or fall into the trap of handing out your hard earned cash.

Here are some scams that succeeded in 2013 and we will most likely see in 2014.

Domain Name Scams

The social engineering scam is two-fold.  Here is the letter:
(Mail to the brand holder, thanks)
Dear CEO,
Sorry to bother you inexplicably. We are a China’s domain name registration supplier, and there is one thing we would like to confirm with your company. On December 4, 2013,  we received an application form online from a company called “XinHua Trading Co.,Ltd”  who wants to apply for some domain names and brand name related to “eset”. In order to avoid confusion and  adverse impact on your company, we need to verify whether this company is a subsidiary of you or did you authorize them to register the related brand name and domain names? Currently, we have not formally accepted the application of that company, we need to get your company’s confirmation. Please give us a timely response within 7 work days. So that we can better deal with this case. Thank you.
Best regards,

The scammer is not exactly asking “is it OK if we accept this application?”  He will suggest that  if you  don’t accept the application, you will have to purchase the domain yourself.

Other domain name scams will send you a letter saying your domain is about to expire.  Even though it isn’t, most people buy domains for 3-5 years at a time and may forget to re-purchase the domain.

PC Tech Support Scams

Scammers have been soliciting bogus software for years.  Fake websites are setup, and alarming messages are sent to you to try to convince you that your computer is infected.  The software purchased to fix the problem is worthless or available some else for free.  Or the software purchased and downloaded to your computer could be malicious and infect your computer.

Most people aren’t too technical and feel vulnerable when it comes to fixing their computer.  So when you get a call from someone that appears to know-it-all and wishes to help you, people are willing to pay for the supposed problem to go away.

 Job Scams

Job scams advertise to you the “job of a lifetime” and for easily sued-ed people, it works.

The mule is often required to open an account to facilitate moving funds from a phished account with the same institution.  Scammers will go to extreme lengths to make the mail look like a serious job offer, backed up by a website., however, is positively chatty. In a message with the subject “F.S.A” invites us enthusiastically to:
Work with us to start your stable future.
You’re close to join a unique place and see inspirational things.
If you are seeking for a challenging opening with a bright future, come work with us.
We would like to offer you a new career of FSA which is untaken for now. Your CV was provided and reviewed by a recruitment agency. An opening that may fit your experience is being offered.
Your salary scale during the probationary period will be 1500 Pounds per month plus 8% commission from each transaction completed. Your total income could easily be about 2500.00 pounds. After the probationary period, your base wage will be 1800.00 Pounds per month, plus 8% commission.
Employee Reimbursements (only after probationary period) Contain:
- Wage plus bonus
- Includes health and dental insurance
- Paid Leave
To apply for the F.S.A. position, please respond to
Bobbi Power
HR Manager

These are well thought out seriously dangerous scams.  Please be mindful of who you are trusting with your information and bank account.


2013: a View to a Scam – We Live Security

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

How hacks are costing you


Hackers have obtained millions of usernames, passwords and credit cards.  You may be asking yourself, why is this happening?

When someone hacks into your account, it will end up costing you money, time, and distress.
When accounts get hacked and the owner of that account doesn’t find out about it until their credit is already damaged, it takes effort to make thing right again.

The damage done depends on the hacker and how much access they had with your accounts.

In the recent case with Target, 40 million stolen credit cards and debit card accounts were hacked into.

Hackers are able to access your account and even make fraudulent cards.

Consumers sometimes don’t suffer much from the hacks, but sometimes they do.

Individuals cancel their accounts and wait for replacement cards, so the banks end up taking the financial hit.
When hackers get a hold of usernames and passwords, the problem gets much bigger.

Experts say that makes it easier to break into you email, seeing people use the same usernames and passwords for multiple accounts.

For help on creating a great password for your accounts see our recent post, Long passwords don’t offer “safe option”.

Smart hackers attempt to use your stolen passwords to access your email attached to your account.
It is proven that more than half of us keep the same password for most websites.  Among that half, many use passwords such as, “password”, “123456″, or “welcome”.

These easy to guess passwords are not secure and routinely make you vulnerable to attacks.

Tricky Tricksters

Criminals can ruin your credit history by taking out bank loans in your name.  The clean up is messy, because to get this fixed, you must work with all three major credit reporting agencies and the federal government.

The main way to steal your identity is to use your Social Security number.

Criminals sometimes pose as you and send emails to your doctor and accountant requesting documents that show your Social Security number.  Many other records are easily obtained online.

If someone is using your Social Security number, they can take loans out and make purchases beyond what you would expect.

Identity theft will wreak havoc with your finances, credit history, and reputation.

You may have to change your social security number and to do so you need to convince the Social Security Administration that identity theft has happened and you’ve exhausted all options for stopping the criminals.

Hackers may even act as you towards your friends or family.  They will request money due to an emergency.

If you experience identity theft, it can take time, money, and patience to resolve.

Don’t miss out on the latest tech news and computer security alerts! Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet,  “Like” us on Facebook or add us to your circle on Google+.


How hack attacks can cost you money – CNN Money
January 6, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Skype’s social media accounts attacked, Syrian Electronic Army takes responsibility


Skype’s social media was targeted by the Syrian Electronic Army over the week.

“You may have noticed our social media properties were targeted today,” Skype said in a Twitter message late Wednesday.  “No user info was compromised.  We’re sorry for the inconvenience.”

All of Skype’s social media accounts appeared to have been attacked by the SEA, including their Twitter, blog and Facebook page.

The Skype blog was inaccessible late Wednesday and redirected users to the Skype homepage.  At least it was redirected back to home instead a malicious site.

The SEA also created a Twitter message that looked as followed:


The message read: “Don’t use Microsoft emails(hotmail,outlook),They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments.More details soon #SEA.”

The SEA then posted on Twitter to contact information purportedly of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Stating: “You can thank Microsoft for monitoring your accounts/emails using this details.”

Similar messages were posted on Skype’s Facebook page, but it was deleted very quickly, according to TheNextWeb.


The attack on Skype’s accounts appears to link to the same disclosures through newspapers by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that Internet companies have provided the agency real-time access to content on their servers for watchful purposes.

The SEA has aimed for high-profile websites and Twitter accounts.  In August, an attack was supposedly by SEA on Melbourne IT, and Australian domain registrar.  This affected websites of The New York Times, Twitter and other companies.

A long run

Since the rise of the SEA in 2011, the organization has denied association with the Syrian government.
They claim to not be associated with the government, and are not acting on its behalf.

In 2013 the SEA claimed responsibility for hacking into a number of media outlets including the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post and Thomson Reuters.  Everyone was taken back when they penetrated the Associated Press twitter account and posted President Barack Obama has been injured in a White House attack.

The exploration into Microsoft’s collaboration on data sharing with the NSA discovered that the transfer of some data to affiliate companies from these attacks seems “to take place lawfully” under a so-called Safe Harbor agreement.

What do you think about the Syrian Electronic Army?  Have you seen these attacks on your social media sites?  Please leave your comments below, we would love to hear from you!

Don’t miss out on the latest tech news and computer security alerts! Follow us on Twitter at @hyphenet,  “Like” us on Facebook or add us to your circle on Google+.

‘Stop spying on people!’: Syrian Electronic Army hacks Skype – RT

Skype’s social media accounts hijacked by Syrian Electronic Army – PC World…