Saturday, April 2, 2016

Netiquette IQ Blog Of 4/2/2016 - A Real Alien Cloaking Device!




'Laser Cloak' Could Hide Earth from Evil Aliens, Study Suggests
by Sarah Lewin, Space.com

A new paper describes how laser beams could disrupt measurements of Earth's orbit around the sun, potentially deceiving inquisitive aliens. Here, a 22W laser used for adaptive optics shines from the Very Large Telescope in Chile. ESO/G. Hüdepohl
A simple laser beam could disrupt aliens' observations of Earth, making it look like there's nobody home on the third rock from the sun, a new study suggests. 
David Kipping, an astronomer at Columbia University in New York, said he first considered this idea when he heard about the strangely dimming star that was detected recently by NASA's Kepler space telescope. Researchers speculated the signal could have come from an "alien megastructure" orbiting the star.
That's a remote possibility, many scientists stressed; the star's strange signal likely has a natural cause. But the Kepler observations got Kipping thinking about ways humanity could alter the signals it sends into space — or hide them altogether from life-hunting aliens, who may have malicious intentions.
He and Columbia graduate student Alex Teachey concluded that it would be surprisingly easy to wipe out Earth's signal, distort it to look strange or even edit out the fingerprint of life — provided researchers knew the location of the snooping aliens.
Top of Form
We essentially played the thought experiment that if we really had xenophobic tendencies and wanted to avoid the Earth being discovered (as Stephen Hawking and others have been warning about), could we hide the Earth from alien planet-hunters?" Kipping said in an email.
How to build a cloaking device
The key to Kipping and Teachey's thinking lies in the way humans have identified most planets around other stars, a process called the transit method. This strategy, which has most famously been employed by the Kepler spacecraft, detects tiny dips in the brightness of stars, which can indicate an orbiting planet.
The transit method could theoretically be used by alien civilizations to detect Earth, too. But there's a way to trip up such extraterrestrial searches, Kipping and Teachey said.

"To make it look like the planet is not there at all, you've got to get rid of that dip. You've got to fill in the missing starlight," Teachey said in an explanatory video.
Engineers could shine a very bright laser or collection of lasers toward a star suspected of hosting intelligent aliens during the time Earth was passing in front of the sun from the other planet's perspective. Then, aliens making measurements wouldn't see any change in solar brightness.
"I started to think about lasers," Kipping told Space.com. "Most people might have stopped there, because the sun emits so much light — how could you possibly produce a laser beam which could ever compete with the sun? But it turns out, when you actually run through the equations, it's really not that bad."
"We could build this next week if we wanted to," Teachey added.
To alter Earth's signature as seen by an alien version of Kepler, a laser system would have to emit 30 megawatts of power for about 10 hours per year, coinciding with Earth's passing in front of the sun, the duo calculated.
This is a condensed version of a story that originally appeared on Space.com.
========================   


For a great satire on email, please see the following:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTgYHHKs0Zwscoop_post=bcaa0440-2548-11e5-c1bd-90b11c3d2b20&__scoop_topic=2455618
=============================================== 
Good Netiquette And A Green Internet To All! 

Special Bulletin - My just released book

"You're Hired. Super Charge our Email Skills in 60 Minutes! (And Get That Job...) 

is now on sales at Amazon.com 

Great Reasons for Purchasing Netiquette IQ
·         Get more email opens.  Improve 100% or more.
·         Receive more responses, interviews, appointments, prospects and sales.
·         Be better understood.
·         Eliminate indecision.
·         Avoid being spammed 100% or more.
·         Have recipient finish reading your email content. 
·         Save time by reducing questions.
·         Increase your level of clarity.
·         Improve you time management with your email.
·        Have quick access to a wealth of relevant email information.
Enjoy most of what you need for email in a single book.

 =================================

**Important note** - contact our company for very powerful solutions for IP
 management (IPv4 and IPv6, security, firewall and APT solutions:
www.tabularosa.net
==================================================

Another Special Announcement - Tune in to my radio interview,  on Rider University's station, www.1077thebronc.com I discuss my recent book, above on "Your Career Is Calling", hosted by Wanda Ellett.   

In addition to this blog, Netiquette IQ has a website with great assets which are being added to on a regular basis. I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, “Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". My new book, “You’re Hired! Super Charge Your Email Skills in 60 Minutes. . . And Get That Job!” has just been published and will be followed by a trilogy of books on Netiquette for young people. You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

 www.amazon.com/author/paulbabicki

In addition to this blog, I maintain a radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via paper.li.I have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ and  PSG of Mercer County, NJ.


I am the president of Tabula Rosa Systems, a “best of breed” reseller of products for communications, email, network management software, security products and professional services.  Also, I am the president of Netiquette IQ. We are currently developing an email IQ rating system, Netiquette IQ, which promotes the fundamentals outlined in my book.

Over the past twenty-five years, I have enjoyed a dynamic and successful career and have attained an extensive background in IT and electronic communications by selling and marketing within the information technology marketplace.Anyone who would like to review the book and have it posted on my blog or website, please contact me paul@netiquetteiq.com.
=============================================================

Friday, April 1, 2016

Netiquette IQ Security Bulletin For 4/2/2016 - US CERT Report On Ransomware




National Cyber Awareness System:
03/31/2016 6:00 PM EDT

Original release date: March 31, 2016

Systems Affected

Networked Systems

Overview

In early 2016, destructive ransomware variants such as Locky and Samas were observed infecting computers belonging to individuals and businesses, which included healthcare facilities and hospitals worldwide. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects a computer and restricts users’ access to it until a ransom is paid to unlock it.
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in collaboration with Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC), is releasing this Alert to provide further information on ransomware, specifically its main characteristics, its prevalence, variants that may be proliferating, and how users can prevent and mitigate against ransomware.

Description

WHAT IS RANSOMWARE?

Ransomware is a type of malware that infects computer systems, restricting users’ access to the infected systems. Ransomware variants have been observed for several years and often attempt to extort money from victims by displaying an on-screen alert. Typically, these alerts state that the user’s systems have been locked or that the user’s files have been encrypted. Users are told that unless a ransom is paid, access will not be restored. The ransom demanded from individuals varies greatly but is frequently $200–$400 dollars and must be paid in virtual currency, such as Bitcoin.
Ransomware is often spread through phishing emails that contain malicious attachments or through drive-by downloading. Drive-by downloading occurs when a user unknowingly visits an infected website and then malware is downloaded and installed without the user’s knowledge.
Crypto ransomware, a malware variant that encrypts files, is spread through similar methods and has also been spread through social media, such as Web-based instant messaging applications. Additionally, newer methods of ransomware infection have been observed. For example, vulnerable Web servers have been exploited as an entry point to gain access into an organization’s network.

WHY IS IT SO EFFECTIVE?

The authors of ransomware instill fear and panic into their victims, causing them to click on a link or pay a ransom, and users systems can become infected with additional malware. Ransomware displays intimidating messages similar to those below:
  • “Your computer has been infected with a virus. Click here to resolve the issue.”
  • “Your computer was used to visit websites with illegal content. To unlock your computer, you must pay a $100 fine.”
  • “All files on your computer have been encrypted. You must pay this ransom within 72 hours to regain access to your data.”

PROLIFERATION OF VARIANTS

In 2012, Symantec, using data from a command and control (C2) server of 5,700 computers compromised in one day, estimated that approximately 2.9 percent of those compromised users paid the ransom. With an average ransom of $200, this meant malicious actors profited $33,600 per day, or $394,400 per month, from a single C2 server. These rough estimates demonstrate how profitable ransomware can be for malicious actors.
This financial success has likely led to a proliferation of ransomware variants. In 2013, more destructive and lucrative ransomware variants were introduced, including Xorist, CryptorBit, and CryptoLocker. Some variants encrypt not just the files on the infected device, but also the contents of shared or networked drives. These variants are considered destructive because they encrypt users’ and organizations’ files, and render them useless until criminals receive a ransom.
In early 2016, a destructive ransomware variant, Locky, was observed infecting computers belonging to healthcare facilities and hospitals in the United States, New Zealand, and Germany. It propagates through spam emails that include malicious Microsoft Office documents or compressed attachments (e.g., .rar, .zip). The malicious attachments contain macros or JavaScript files to download Ransomware-Locky files.
Samas, another variant of destructive ransomware, was used to compromise the networks of healthcare facilities in 2016. Unlike Locky, Samas propagates through vulnerable Web servers. After the Web server was compromised, uploaded Ransomware-Samas files were used to infect the organization’s networks.

LINKS TO OTHER TYPES OF MALWARE

Systems infected with ransomware are also often infected with other malware. In the case of CryptoLocker, a user typically becomes infected by opening a malicious attachment from an email. This malicious attachment contains Upatre, a downloader, which infects the user with GameOver Zeus. GameOver Zeus is a variant of the Zeus Trojan that steals banking information and is also used to steal other types of data. Once a system is infected with GameOver Zeus, Upatre will also download CryptoLocker. Finally, CryptoLocker encrypts files on the infected system, and requests that a ransom be paid.
The close ties between ransomware and other types of malware were demonstrated through the recent botnet disruption operation against GameOver Zeus, which also proved effective against CryptoLocker. In June 2014, an international law enforcement operation successfully weakened the infrastructure of both GameOver Zeus and CryptoLocker.

Impact

Ransomware not only targets home users; businesses can also become infected with ransomware, leading to negative consequences, including
  • temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information,
  • disruption to regular operations,
  • financial losses incurred to restore systems and files, and
  • potential harm to an organization’s reputation.
Paying the ransom does not guarantee the encrypted files will be released; it only guarantees that the malicious actors receive the victim’s money, and in some cases, their banking information. In addition, decrypting files does not mean the malware infection itself has been removed.

Solution

Infections can be devastating to an individual or organization, and recovery can be a difficult process that may require the services of a reputable data recovery specialist.
US-CERT recommends that users and administrators take the following preventive measures to protect their computer networks from ransomware infection:
  • Employ a data backup and recovery plan for all critical information. Perform and test regular backups to limit the impact of data or system loss and to expedite the recovery process. Ideally, this data should be kept on a separate device, and backups should be stored offline.
  • Use application whitelisting to help prevent malicious software and unapproved programs from running. Application whitelisting is one of the best security strategies as it allows only specified programs to run, while blocking all others, including malicious software.
  • Keep your operating system and software up-to-date with the latest patches. Vulnerable applications and operating systems are the target of most attacks. Ensuring these are patched with the latest updates greatly reduces the number of exploitable entry points available to an attacker.
  • Maintain up-to-date anti-virus software, and scan all software downloaded from the internet prior to executing.
  • Restrict users’ ability (permissions) to install and run unwanted software applications, and apply the principle of “Least Privilege” to all systems and services. Restricting these privileges may prevent malware from running or limit its capability to spread through the network.
  • Avoid enabling macros from email attachments. If a user opens the attachment and enables macros, embedded code will execute the malware on the machine. For enterprises or organizations, it may be best to block email messages with attachments from suspicious sources. For information on safely handling email attachments, see Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams. Follow safe practices when browsing the Web. See Good Security Habits and Safeguarding Your Data for additional details.
  • Do not follow unsolicited Web links in emails. Refer to the US-CERT Security Tip on Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more information.
Individuals or organizations are discouraged from paying the ransom, as this does not guarantee files will be released. Report instances of fraud to the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center.


========================   
For a great satire on email, please see the following:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTgYHHKs0Zwscoop_post=bcaa0440-2548-11e5-c1bd-90b11c3d2b20&__scoop_topic=2455618
=============================================== 
Good Netiquette And A Green Internet To All! 

Special Bulletin - My just released book

"You're Hired. Super Charge our Email Skills in 60 Minutes! (And Get That Job...) 

is now on sales at Amazon.com 

Great Reasons for Purchasing Netiquette IQ
·         Get more email opens.  Improve 100% or more.
·         Receive more responses, interviews, appointments, prospects and sales.
·         Be better understood.
·         Eliminate indecisin.
·         Avoid being spammed 100% or more.
·         Have recipient finish reading your email content. 
·         Save time by reducing questions.
·         Increase your level of clarity.
·         Improve you time management with your email.
·        Have quick access to a wealth of relevant email information.
Enjoy most of what you need for email in a single book.

 =================================

**Important note** - contact our company for very powerful solutions for IP
 management (IPv4 and IPv6, security, firewall and APT solutions:
www.tabularosa.net
==================================================

Another Special Announcement - Tune in to my radio interview,  on Rider University's station, www.1077thebronc.com I discuss my recent book, above on "Your Career Is Calling", hosted by Wanda Ellett.   

In addition to this blog, Netiquette IQ has a website with great assets which are being added to on a regular basis. I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, “Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". My new book, “You’re Hired! Super Charge Your Email Skills in 60 Minutes. . . And Get That Job!” has just been published and will be followed by a trilogy of books on Netiquette for young people. You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

 www.amazon.com/author/paulbabicki

In addition to this blog, I maintain a radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via paper.li.I have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ and  PSG of Mercer County, NJ.


I am the president of Tabula Rosa Systems, a “best of breed” reseller of products for communications, email, network management software, security products and professional services.  Also, I am the president of Netiquette IQ. We are currently developing an email IQ rating system, Netiquette IQ, which promotes the fundamentals outlined in my book.

Over the past twenty-five years, I have enjoyed a dynamic and successful career and have attained an extensive background in IT and electronic communications by selling and marketing within the information technology marketplace.Anyone who would like to review the book and have it posted on my blog or website, please contact me paul@netiquetteiq.com.
=============================================================

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Netiquette IQ Tweeting - When Are The Best TImes?






The Biggest Social Media Science Study: What 4.8 Million Tweets Say About the Best Time to Tweet

By Kevan Lee - JUNE 25, 2015
Updated 7/1/2015: Added some new insights and learnings into the blog post here. We’re so grateful for the chance to learn from the community on this!

Imagine removing all guesswork when you schedule your tweets, knowing the best times to experiment with tweeting for maximum clicks and maximum engagement.
As someone who shares frequently to social media, this info would be fantastic to have! We’re always eager to dig up new research into social media best practices—things like length and frequency and timing.

The timing element, in particular, feels like one where we’d love to dig deeper. And we just so happen to have a host of data on this from the 2 million users who have signed up for Buffer!
With a big hand from our data team, we analyzed over 4.8 million tweets across 10,000 profiles, pulling the stats on how clicks and engagement and timing occur throughout the day and in different time zones. We’d love to share with you what we found!

Update: Optimizing your schedule is one of the strategies I cover in theActionable Social Media Strategies email course. I’d love to share some practical methods on timing your tweets with you there. (Plus, you’ll get pointers on 24 more areas of social media!)
========================   
For a great satire on email, please see the following:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTgYHHKs0Zwscoop_post=bcaa0440-2548-11e5-c1bd-90b11c3d2b20&__scoop_topic=2455618
=============================================== 
Good Netiquette And A Green Internet To All! 

Special Bulletin - My just released book

"You're Hired. Super Charge our Email Skills in 60 Minutes! (And Get That Job...) 

is now on sales at Amazon.com 

Great Reasons for Purchasing Netiquette IQ
·         Get more email opens.  Improve 100% or more.
·         Receive more responses, interviews, appointments, prospects and sales.
·         Be better understood.
·         Eliminate indecision.
·         Avoid being spammed 100% or more.
·         Have recipient finish reading your email content. 
·         Save time by reducing questions.
·         Increase your level of clarity.
·         Improve you time management with your email.
·        Have quick access to a wealth of relevant email information.
Enjoy most of what you need for email in a single book.

 =================================

**Important note** - contact our company for very powerful solutions for IP
 management (IPv4 and IPv6, security, firewall and APT solutions:
www.tabularosa.net
==================================================

Another Special Announcement - Tune in to my radio interview,  on Rider University's station, www.1077thebronc.com I discuss my recent book, above on "Your Career Is Calling", hosted by Wanda Ellett.   

In addition to this blog, Netiquette IQ has a website with great assets which are being added to on a regular basis. I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, “Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". My new book, “You’re Hired! Super Charge Your Email Skills in 60 Minutes. . . And Get That Job!” has just been published and will be followed by a trilogy of books on Netiquette for young people. You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

 www.amazon.com/author/paulbabicki

In addition to this blog, I maintain a radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via paper.li.I have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ and  PSG of Mercer County, NJ.


I am the president of Tabula Rosa Systems, a “best of breed” reseller of products for communications, email, network management software, security products and professional services.  Also, I am the president of Netiquette IQ. We are currently developing an email IQ rating system, Netiquette IQ, which promotes the fundamentals outlined in my book.

Over the past twenty-five years, I have enjoyed a dynamic and successful career and have attained an extensive background in IT and electronic communications by selling and marketing within the information technology marketplace.Anyone who would like to review the book and have it posted on my blog or website, please contact me paul@netiquetteiq.com.
=============================================================