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CTN Solutions has been serving the greater Philadelphia area since 1997, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

65 Bitcoin Ransom Paid by Florida City

65 Bitcoin Ransom Paid by Florida City

65 of any currency doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but when you are dealing in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, it adds up quick. One city, population 35,000, on Florida’s Atlantic coast, is finding that out the hard way after getting hit with a ransomware that stymied the city government’s ability to function. Let’s take a look at the situation that made the city’s leaders agree to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to scammers.

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The SamSam Ransomware Is Absolutely No Joke

The SamSam Ransomware Is Absolutely No Joke

The funny thing about ransomware is their very strange names! Bad Rabbit sounds like the name of a villainous bunny who gets his comeuppance in some type of modern nursery rhyme, not malware that would ravage hundreds of European businesses. Locky seems like the son of Candado de Seguridad, a character Medeco would come up with to educate kids on proper physical security. The latest in a long line of funny-named ransomware, SamSam, isn’t a pet name for your pet ferret you perplexingly named Sam. It is one of the worst ransomware strains ever, and it has caught the attention of U.S. Federal law enforcement.

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Here is How Antivirus Keeps a Business Safe

Here is How Antivirus Keeps a Business Safe

A lot is made about antivirus as a part of a comprehensive network security platform, but how does the system work to eliminate threats? Today, we will take a look at an antivirus solution to show you how it goes about removing unwanted files and other code.

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Looking Back at This Year’s Cybersecurity Issues

Looking Back at This Year’s Cybersecurity Issues

Every business in operation today needs to have some kind of comprehensive network security. Simply put, there are too many threats that can come in through an Internet connection for them to continue doing otherwise. The past year provides plenty of anecdotal proof of this fact.

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Data Security Issues of 2018

Data Security Issues of 2018

Each year there are changes that need to be made in the way that organizations manage their IT security. In 2017, ransomware burst on the scene in full force, and cyber security strategies reacted, coming up with fully managed security platform that remediate issues better, and cost organizations far more than they would have spent on IT security just a short time ago. In 2018, the same problems persist, while other developing technologies threaten the natural order of things. Today, we will look at how cybersecurity is being approached in 2018.

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Security Threats and Defensive Measures You Can Take

Security Threats and Defensive Measures You Can Take

Network security for small businesses is far from simple. There are countless threats out there that want to see your business fall, and it only takes one to see this come to fruition. Unless you take action now to protect your organization, you risk the future of your business. But what is it that businesses need to protect from, and what measures are out there that can accomplish this feat?

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Reexamining Meltdown and Spectre

Reexamining Meltdown and Spectre

It’s been about a year and a half since the Meltdown and Spectre exploits became publicly known. While patches and updates were administered to reduce their threat, they continue to linger on in a less serious capacity. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the threat has entirely been neutered. You still want to know what these threats do and whether or not you’re safe from them.

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A Ransomware Cyberattack Struck Atlanta, Georgia

A Ransomware Cyberattack Struck Atlanta, Georgia

Ransomware doesn’t discriminate with its targets, as the city of Atlanta, Georgia now knows so painfully well. The city became the target of a ransomware attack that crippled many of its critical system workflows. The municipal government suffered from one of the most advanced and sustained attacks in recent memory.

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A New Perspective on Ransomware

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What the Future Holds for Ransomware

What the Future Holds for Ransomware

Ransomware is a growing problem for businesses, being one of the most difficult threats to remove from an infrastructure. Not only is it easy to spread, but difficult to avoid as a whole. How can your organization prepare for this threat? It starts by being mindful of how ransomware is spread and how your employees react to it, both now and in the future.


Ransomware locks down files on your business infrastructure. Through ransomware, it’s easy to cripple a business by limiting access to important information or files located on an infrastructure. If the user fails to pay the ransom, they risk losing their data for good. Even if they do pay the ransom, there’s no guarantee that the hacker will give up the encryption key. The user is presented with a conundrum; pay up for a potential to get your data back or ignore the request and hope for the best.

Ransomware was primarily spread through the use of spam when it was first introduced to the online environment. Hackers would create ransomware campaigns to spread it to as many users as possible, hoping that any number of them would choose to pay up rather than lose access to their precious files. As time went on, however, ransomware became used in a more targeted fashion. Rather than claim as many targets as possible, hackers instead chose to go after only those who were most likely to pay up with spear phishing tactics designed to fool even the most stalwart and mindful user. In many cases, these targeted attempts were made against businesses, whom value data more than the average end user might.

These spear phishing attempts are incredibly difficult to identify for the untrained eye, and the amount of damage they could inflict on your company is untold. Your employees need to be able to identify potential ransomware threats. Even the cautious approach might not be enough, however, as the future of ransomware could potentially hold even more dangerous threats. Already, hackers are taking advantage of threats that can be purchased on the online black market, including ransomware threats, vulnerabilities, and even lists of targets. How can a small business protect themselves from such a prominent threat?

It all starts by remaining as mindful of security best practices as often as possible. By this, we mean trusting no suspicious message in your inbox without first double-checking any information found in it. If you receive an unsolicited message with an attachment claiming to be a resume, bank statement, shipping information, or anything else that seems out of place, think twice before downloading it. The same can be said for any links that cannot be verified as secured.

Is your business prepared to handle the next generation of ransomware? While we don’t know what the future holds, we know that you can confidently face it with security services from CTN. To learn more, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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Targeted Ransomware Checks for Particular Attributes

Targeted Ransomware Checks for Particular Attributes

Put yourself in the shoes of a cybercriminal. If you were to launch a ransomware attack, who would be your target? Would you launch an indiscriminate attack to try to snare as many as you could, or would you narrow your focus to be more selective? As it happens, real-life cybercriminals have largely made the shift to targeted, relatively tiny, ransomware attacks.

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Why ROBOT is a Risk After Nearly 20 Years

Why ROBOT is a Risk After Nearly 20 Years

The Internet is rife with potential threats. Some are situational, but most are deliberate actions made by malicious entities who are trying to obtain any semblance of value from you or your company. Some of these exploits have been around longer than you’d imagine possible. This has been made evident by huge Internet-based companies such as PayPal and Facebook testing positive for a 19-year-old vulnerability that once allowed hackers to decrypt encrypted data.


Back in 1998, researcher Daniel Bleichenbacher found what is being called the ROBOT exploit in the secure sockets layer (SSL) encryptions that protect web-based platforms. There is a flaw in an algorithm that is responsible for the RSA encryption key--through specially constructed queries, its error messages divulge enough information that, after a short time, they were able to decrypt ciphertext without the dedicated key for that encryption. In response, SSL architects created workarounds to limit error messages rather than eliminating the faulty RSA algorithm.

Referred to as an “Oracle” by researchers, the crypto-vulnerability provides only decisive yes and no answers, which allows people that form their queries a certain way to eventually retrieve detailed information about the contents of encrypted data. This is called an “adaptive chosen-ciphertext attack.”

Recently, researchers have found that over a quarter of the 200 most-visited websites essentially have this vulnerability, and about 2.8 percent of the top million. Facebook, the most visited website in the world for 2017, is one; while the money transfer platform PayPal is another. The explanation researchers gave was that, with so much time focusing on the newest and baddest malware and exploits, this tried and true vulnerability has just been neglected. In a blog post they said as much:

“The surprising fact is that our research was very straightforward. We used minor variations of the original attack and were successful. This issue was hiding in plain sight. This means neither the vendors of the affected products nor security researchers have investigated this before, although it's a very classic and well-known attack.”

The vulnerability, now called ROBOT, an acronym for “Return of Bleichenbacher's Oracle Threat” was tested, with the findings being sent to the vulnerable sites to ensure they could get a patch created before the researchers went public with it.

Understanding the threats that are being used against businesses can go a long way toward helping you keep yours secure. For more information about the ROBOT vulnerability or what we can do to keep your company’s network secure, contact CTN at (610) 828-5500.

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Is Your Security Prepared to Stop a DDoS Attack?

Is Your Security Prepared to Stop a DDoS Attack?

If your business were to be struck by a Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) attack, would it recover in a timely manner? Do you have measures put in place to keep it from hampering your operations? While most organizations claim to have sufficient protection against these dangerous attacks, over half have proven to be ineffective against DDoS.


First, we’ll give a brief explanation of what a DDoS attack specifically entails. In its most basic form, a DDoS attack involves overloading your organization’s network with so much traffic that it can’t handle the strain. When this happens, access to critical information and services can be lost, hindering operations and causing downtime. This is the main damage dealer of a DDoS attack, and any business executive can see why. When productivity is impacted, like during downtime, time and profits are wasted.

According to a recent report from CDNetworks, an immense 88 percent of companies believe that they have adequate defenses against DDoS attacks. 69 percent of these companies have also suffered from a DDoS attack in the past twelve months, which should prompt any open-minded company to consider whether or not the measures taken are actually helping.

To give you an idea of just how much this protection is costing these organizations, let’s take a look at some other statistics. US companies tend to spend somewhere around $34,700/year on DDoS protection, while European countries spend around $29,000/year. With such a significant investment, why do DDoS mitigation attempts fall short of the desired goal, and what can be done to solve these issues?

Learning from these failures is the ideal approach to securing your organization from DDoS attacks. Sixty-six percent of organizations are already making plans to invest more heavily in DDoS attack prevention and mitigation over the next year. How do you plan to protect your business from the threat of DDoS attacks against your network?

If you aren’t sure how to protect your organization from major threats like DDoS attacks, reach out to CTN Solutions at (610) 828-5500.

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The Most Popular Domains Make the Biggest Targets for Email Spoofing

The Most Popular Domains Make the Biggest Targets for Email Spoofing

Let’s say that you receive an email from a software vendor, say, Microsoft. When you are contacted by a major company like this, do you automatically assume that it’s secure, or are you skeptical that it’s a scam? Ordinarily, it might not seem like a big issue, but all it takes is one click on an infected attachment or malicious link to infect your business’s infrastructure.

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Hackers Use Social Media to Scam Employees Into Handing Over Company Data

Hackers Use Social Media to Scam Employees Into Handing Over Company Data

Social media is a great way for organizations to share information about their products and services, but while it’s great for those who want to reach a new audience, it’s also exposing you to another audience that you may not want to be familiar with: hackers. Believe it or not, there are hackers who are trying to take advantage of the personal information you share on your social media accounts.

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5 Best Practices to Protect Your Business From Ransomware

5 Best Practices to Protect Your Business From Ransomware

Ransomware is an online threat that continues to develop and evolve to accommodate the motives of cyber criminals around the world. Ransomware locks down your business’s files and demands a decryption key for their safe return, which makes it difficult (or impossible) to move forward with operations. How can you prevent ransomware from destroying your business’s chances of survival?

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Ransomware: A Hated Malware With an Intriguing Past

Ransomware: A Hated Malware With an Intriguing Past

The short, yet devastating, history of ransomware is littered with what amounts to individual horror stories. As you may well know, ransomware, is a particularly devious and potentially devastating strain of malware that, when enacted, locks a computer’s files down so that the user can’t access them. In their stead, a message is relayed that instructs them to contact a third party to pay a ransom for access to the files. This is where the threat gets its name.

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Ransomware: A Look at Today’s Worst Cyberthreat

b2ap3_thumbnail_get_your_encryption_key_400.jpgThere are many types of malware out there, but few are as scary as ransomware. Imagine being struck by a threat that instantaneously locks down your files and keeps you from accessing them until you pay a certain amount of money. If your business is targeted by ransomware, would you be able to protect it from dragging your operations into a bitter pit of despair?

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Alert: Malware Locks Up Your PC and Offers Fake Tech Support Phone Number

b2ap3_thumbnail_hack_attack_400.jpgThere’s an intrusive malware on the Internet that locks a user out of their PC and directs them to a fake IT support phone number. In addition to being inconvenient, it can lead to the theft of sensitive information. If this happens to you, whatever you do, don’t call the fake phone number!

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Warning: Malicious Adware Finds New Way to Spread on Android Devices

b2ap3_thumbnail_security_for_your_it_400.jpgWith many organizations heavily relying on mobile computing, malicious operators have begun targeting the “low-lying fruit” of a business’ IT infrastructure, which is often a company’s mobile devices. Kemoge, a malicious adware strain designed to corrupt Android mobile operating systems, is the latest mobile threat that your business needs to protect itself against.

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