Major Cyber Attacks Blamed on North Korea

According to PC Pit Stop, North Korea is responsible for two major cyber attacks.  Cyber security analysts believe that North Korea has been stealing crypto-currency, bitcoins, and other digital currency by executing advanced persistent threats (APTs). Since the beginning of the internet, hackers have been gaining unauthorized access to networks to steal identities, perform credit card fraud, and cause havoc for e-commerce businesses and individuals. Only by hacking a site and server from an honest third-party vendor, otherwise known as vulnerability scanning, have business owners been able to limit the number and extent of cyber crime. Even at that, more than 30,000 websites get hacked into every single day.

Considering the value and international popularity of bitcoins have almost doubled over the last couple weeks, it’s not shocking to learn that cyber criminals are now targeting digital wallets.  However, North Korea is taking this to a new level by targeting bitcoin exchange sites and financial institutions.

North Korea Cyber Crime
Beyond stealing digital currencies, the U.S. also released a statement on December 18th claiming North Korea was responsible for the first global ransom ware attack, WannaCry.  WannaCry was a ransom ware campaign that impacted approximately 150 countries around the globe.  Collectively the attack created millions, if not billions, of dollars’ worth of damage.  When cyber crime happens, online business owners have to account for costs associated with downtime, third-party investigations, loss of productivity, design, marketing dollars, data, and reputation damage.

The U.S. government plans to establish a plan to mitigate the risk of future attacks taking place.

MSN reported,

“…the Trump administration will be calling on “all responsible states” to counter North Korea’s ability to conduct cyberattacks and to implement all “relevant” United Nations Security Council sanctions, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter.” No definitive plans, beyond the above statement, have been disclosed to legitimately address the issue.  Therefore, it is unclear what measures the U.S. plans to take to counter North Korea’s ability to execute these cyber attacks.  For now, no serious online business owner should be without security scanning to catch their websites’ vulnerabilities before hackers do.


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Vulnerability Scanned Websites

vulnerabilityTo me, shopping on the Internet is the best thing to have ever happened to mankind since the invention of the internet itself.

According to a recent study, 51% of Americans prefer to shop online than in stores and 96% of American adults, at some point in their lives, have made an online purchase.

Impressive numbers don’t you think? That is why e-commerce is estimated to be growing at a rate of 23% every year.

The problem of website vulnerability has been a major concern for e-commerce websites.

Hackers are more and more prevalent – as seen this week in the huge Equifax data breach that saw the identity theft of 143 million people in the US, Canada and United Kingdom.

Vulnerability scanning involves the use of computer programs designed to assess computers, websites, networks or applications for weaknesses that can be exploited by hackers and identity thieves. These scans are used to discover the weak points or loopholes in website designs. Currently, Trust Guard scans for more than 75,575 of these security holes.  Unsafe websites is a very big problem for e-commerce owners because they require their customers to submit sensitive information to make their purchases. Imagine how useful this information would be in the hands of  identity thieves. From credit card information to mailing addresses, phone numbers, account details and photographs, it’s like giving these thieves the key to your home, bank account and your office.

Your customers worry about the safety of their personal information when they visit your website.

They worry about the vulnerability of your website. Ask yourself this, why should I save my money in a bank that has a massive hole on the side of its vault through which anyone can have free access? Your customers need to feel as safe using your website as they do at their bank. Look at things from the perspective of your customers. Why would they give their personal information to a website that isn’t safe?

As an online shopper, you should only shop on websites that have been thoroughly scanned for vulnerabilities by a reputable website protection company. Website protection companies like Trust Guard are able to completely uncover a website’s vulnerabilities and instruct the website owner how to fix them. How can you identify e-commerce websites that are free from vulnerabilities? Quite simple. You can check websites for security trust seals. Security scanned trust seals are an indication that the website you’re shopping on is safe.

We know that everything on the internet is hackable. However, it will take expertise and focus for hackers to attack a vulnerability-free website.


Identity TheftThis article was written by Emmanuel Ozigi, a biochemist in the making from Nigeria. In my spare time, I’m a science, health, and fitness blogger. I also specialize in graphic design and photo editing. I also have this insatiable hunger for information and the desire to learn new things. Visit my blog at


What is Vulnerability Scanning?

There are different types of vulnerability scanning as well as different software for each. But what is it exactly?

A vulnerability scanner is a software or an application developed to scan computers, networks, and even websites for possible security threats. It is responsible for the analysis of how strong or weak a computer’s or a server’s defenses are. By scanning, the users and technicians will know, or at least have an overview of, what threats or issues they are dealing with in terms of the security of a network, website, computer, or server.

Vulnerability ScanningIf you are to choose the right vulnerability scanner, then you first need to know the main kinds to understand your options better. There are at least two main categories I’d like to talk about.

Network Vulnerability Scanners

These scanners are often installed into one machine and are configured to access and scan multiple computers and networks. These are programmed to detect vulnerabilities of the devices, alerting the user or an IT person if there are mis-configured settings or if the treat is coming from either a pre-installed application or a user-installed application. The network vulnerability scanner works on anything that has to do with firewalls, networks, web servers, and system administration. They deal with high-profile information but not individual files since they are not installed directly onto the host.

Hosted Vulnerability Scanners

These scanners are installed on the host (the computer or system being scanned). These types of scanners take care of the low-profile information such as passwords, operating systems of the computers they were installed in, suspicious files downloaded, and file system checks.

Despite having technology to do all the job for the security of your computer, network, servers, and everything in the cloud, it is also crucial that you understand their limitations.

Vulnerability scanners are coded software that, at some point in time, may fail to do what you expect them to do. They are programmed to take snapshots of your system’s security status at a given time. It is highly recommended that users regularly scan their devices to get the most updated (if not the exact) security status of the systems and files therein. Trust Guard currently scans for 75,575 security holes. 

JonnaArticle written by Jonna Lindawan

Jonna is a startup VA business owner who loves helping her clients grow their businesses through her skills in writing, customer service, research, data entry, transcription, social media management, and admin support. Visit her website here.

Playing Russian Roulette with Hackers

Business owners who never scan their websites for security vulnerabilities are playing Russian Roulette with hackers.

Russian Roulette is the practice of loading a bullet into one chamber of a revolver, spinning the cylinder and then pulling the trigger while pointing the gun at one’s own head. There is a one in six chance that the bullet will kill you. It’s an activity that is potentially very dangerous.


Russian Roulette


There are people out there that love to take risks. They go climb cliffs, swim in oceans, and walk into dance clubs leaving very little to the imagination. Hobbies aside, some people take unnecessary risks with their online businesses. More than 30,000 websites of all shapes and sizes fall prey to hackers every single day, holidays included. But for some unexplainable reason, there are those who believe that, although they have done nothing to protect themselves from viruses and malware, getting hacked could never happen to them.


Truth is, there are about the same odds in getting hacked as there are in playing Russian Roulette. And the same is true for both games: the longer you play, the ‘better’ the chances of ending the life of your body or business. If you have been in business for more than five years without ever running a security scan, consider yourself a very lucky person.


Security scans, like those performed by Trust Guard and their partners, can check for over 75,500 vulnerabilities used by hackers to make a total mess – just like Russian Roulette would make a total mess of your face. More than 85% of all websites they scan fail their first scan – which demonstrates the overall need for additional and consistent scanning.


If you haven’t scanned your website, contact Trust Guard and use this 50% off discount code: STO50. They have a money back guarantee. They’ll also give you a trust seal. It’s a little image that you display on your site to show website’s visitors that you’re not a risk-taker when it comes to their online safety. When they see the seal, it gives them peace of mind, so more of them buy from you.


So stop taking unnecessary risks. Sign up for security scans from Trust Guard.

Report Shows an Increase in DDoS & Web App Attacks

web app attacksAccording to Acamai’s State of the Internet/Security Report for Q1 of 2016, there has been an increase in DDoS and web app attacks.

For those of you who might not know, DDoS is short for Distributed Denial of Service. DDoS is a type of Denial of Service (DoS) attack where multiple compromised systems, which are often infected with a Trojan, are used to target a single system causing a DoS attack.

According to the report, there has been a 23% increase in DDoS attacks and a 26% increase in web application attacks, compared with Q4 2015, setting new records for the number of attacks in the quarter. The rise in repeat DDoS attacks, with an average of 29 attacks per targeted customer – including one customer who was targeted 283 times.

PCI compliant security scanning from Trust Guard can help protect your website from hackers by monitoring the level of security of your site. They then send you a detailed report to inform you that your site is safe or that one or more of over 75,406 vulnerabilities that hackers use to infiltrate sites and servers are readily accessible to them.

With this report, you and/or your hosting company can quickly repair the issue. A new scan of your site from Trust Guard will show whether or not you fixed the issue. Once your site passes its scan, they will continue to monitor – since new vulnerabilities are being found every day.

If you’d like, Trust Guard can even provide you with a trust seal to display at strategic locations on your website (above the fold and on your check-out page) so that you can show your online visitors and potential customers that you take their safety and security seriously. These seals are guaranteed to increase your online sales.

For a free scan to see where you stand regarding your website’s level of security and potential for web app attacks, visit

To view the entire report from Acamai, click here.

Feel Safe & Secure with Trust Guard

Website security is one of the biggest priorities for online shoppers.

website securityWhen they visit a website, they hope that it is a legitimate site. They’ve heard the horror stories. They’ve maybe even starred in a few of them. Internet shoppers are concerned about mean, greedy predators that are looking for ways to steal their personal information and take their money.

Online business owners want their visitors to have enough peace of mind that they will feel comfortable when visiting their site – so much so that shoppers will want to purchase their products and tell all their friends and family members about how amazing the experience was for them. They want visitors to feel all warm and fuzzy when they see their logo.

That’s where Trust Guard, the leader in website security and verification, comes in. They provide the trust and confidence your customers need to become buying customers by providing images (trust seals) for you to display on your website. These images show people visiting the site that you are a real company that cares about their safety and security. 

Trust Guard is the best in the business at instilling trust and confidence in online shoppers. In fact, several comparison tests show that Trust Guard’s seals increase conversion rates on e-commerce sites by an average of fifteen percent. They’re so confident that they provide a double-your-money-back guarantee if you don’t increase your conversion rate using their Security Scanned trust seal. 

Repetitive Trust Guard security scanning is the most effective way to keep hackers out while simultaneously boosting sales. And did we mention it’s super easy? They scan for tens of thousands of vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to steal from your website. Simply put, Trust Guard finds security holes on your website and server so e-commerce business owners can close them up before hackers can get security

Once your website is safe (after it has successfully passed the security scan), they provide e-commerce website owners with a trust seal. Owners (or their IT team) then place it above the fold and on their checkout pages and watch as their sales take off. The process to copy and paste the coding onto the website is fast. In just a few minutes online business owners can secure their website, build customer trust and loyalty, prevent hacking attacks, and boost their conversion rate.  This simple process and the fact that Trust Guard’s seals are guaranteed to help e-commerce business owners make more money are two reasons not to hold off any longer. Start growing your business today – with Trust Guard!

Kaspersky Security Firm Admits it Was Hacked

kasperskyKaspersky, one of the largest cyber-security firms in the world confirmed that it had been hacked.

According to the company, the sophisticated attack stayed away from user information and focused instead on Kaspersky’s own systems and intellectual property. The company has since fixed the hole that allowed for the attack. Kaspersky Lab CEO and founder Eugene Kaspersky wrote, “We discovered an advanced attack on our own internal networks. It was complex, stealthy, it exploded several zero-day vulnerabilities, and we’re quite confident that there’s a nation state behind it.”

What’s troubling is how many e-commerce business owners can see a company like Kaspersky get hacked and still blindly believe that hackers will somehow deem their company unfit or unworthy to hack. PCI compliant vulnerability scans are now required for any company that accepts credit cards. But some companies still only scan their sites quarterly instead of daily, fully aware that hundreds of new vulnerabilities are discovered each and every month.

Kaspersky dubbed this attack Duqu 2.0. It’s named after a specific series of malware called Duqu, which was considered to be related to the Stuxnet attack that targeted states like Iran, India, France, and the Ukraine in 2011.

The attackers behind Duqu 2.0 were hoping to infiltrate Kaspersky’s networks to learn more about its services, the blog post revealed. It added that the group behind Duqu 2.0 “also spied on several prominent targets.” The hackers, in their attempt to infiltrate Kaspersky, clued the company into the next generation spying technologies hackers are developing.  “They’ve now lost a very expensive technologically-advanced framework they’d been developing for years.”

One Third of Small Businesses Are Victims of Cyber Attacks

businessesAccording to an article in the Dallas Morning news, a third of the businesses surveyed in Northern Texas say that they have been victims of cyber attacks during the last two years.

Deloitte surveyed executives at businesses in six different markets, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area about cyber attacks and their company’s preparedness. Here are some of their findings:

1 in 3 Dallas/Fort Worth companies said they’ve been victims of a cyber attack in the last two years.
97 percent said they believe it’s important to understand the nature of cyber threats.
16 percent said their company does not have a cyber incident response plan.

Now that security threats have moved from fantasy (It’ll never happen to me) to real-life possibilities for business owners of all sizes (It has happened to me or someone I know), fears of security breaches have inspired many to scan their websites for vulnerabilities used by hackers to access confidential information. Still, when scanned by Trust Guard, the leader in website security, more than 85% of websites fail their first scan, proving that most companies are still open to cyber attacks from hackers.

The survey’s findings show how the need to find ways to improve cyber security has become a priority for large and small companies, thanks to costly and high-profile cyber incidents. Hackers have raided the computer systems of household names, including Target, Home Depot and the Houston Astros. And this month, a Los Angeles hospital – the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center – paid a ransom in bitcoins equal to about $17,000 to hackers.

There are only two kinds of businesses, said Kara Altenbaumer-Price, a Dallas insurance broker who runs the management liability insurance unit at USI Southwest, quoting a common phrase in the industry: “those who have had a breach and those who don’t know they have been breached.” Mike Wyatt, a director in cyber risk services for Deloitte, said hackers have become sophisticated enough to trick employees into wiring money to them. In some cases, they’ll send emails that match the company template with a message that appears to be from a top executive.businesses

In the Dallas area, major retailers including Neiman Marcus, Sally Beauty Supply, Dave and Buster’s and Michaels Stores Inc. have been victims of cyber attacks. At Neiman Marcus, hackers tapped into the credit card payment system for more than eight months in 2013, according to the company’s internal investigation. They set off the security alerts in the luxury retailer’s computer system about 60,000 times, but the alerts went undetected. Hackers used stealthy techniques, such as giving their software a similar name to Neiman’s own payment software, company spokeswoman Ginger Reeder said. The retailer’s credit card processing company pointed out suspicious charges, which eventually brought the hacking to an end. The attack inspired the luxury retailer to create a new role at the company: chief information security officer, Reeder said. She said the company prefers to stay quiet about how it’s fighting off similar attacks, saying it doesn’t want to “wave a red flag at bad guys.”

Dallas area executives said in the survey that they’re concerned about how cyber-attacks could disrupt their business processes, degrade the loyalty of their customers and hurt revenue. Many are turning to Trust Guard, the leader in website security, for daily vulnerability scanning. The scan includes a report that informs the business owner whether or not the scan passed and provides a detailed report of issues if it does not pass. After the scan has passed, business owners are provided with a digital Security Scanned seal to display on their websites to show online visitors and consumers that they are taking the appropriate measures to secure their site from hackers. Independent tests have proven that this seal has another benefit –  increasing conversion rates by an average of 15%.