Thursday, August 29, 2013

China experiences largest cyberattack in its history

Chinese internet was struck by the largest cyber attack in its history on Sunday, August 25th.
The massive 'denial of service' attack targeted .cn domains, including the popular Sina Weibo microblog site.

With a 'denial of service' attack of this scale usually bot-nets are used. These are comprised of possibly hundreds or thousands of computers. These computers are usually inadvertently infected with malware and other programs that cause them to take commands from the person running the bot-net. In this case the bot-net sent out thousands of request simultaneously to the domain servers which resulted in slow, or completely unreachable sites.

The attack was two-stroke with the first attack happening at 2am and a subsequent attack occurring at 4am. The second wave of attacks was 'long-lasting and large-scale' according to state media. The attack caused websites using the .cn domain to either resolve slowly, or not at all, resulting in many Chinese users not being able to reach the internet at all.

There is no clear motive or suspects currently and no one has taken responsibility for the attack. You can read more on this story on CNN.

Monday, August 12, 2013

New GoTrusted Version Available for Mac and PC

We've released new versions for both our Mac (v2.2.5.4) and PC (v2.3.5.5) clients today.

We've added a new Menu button to the status window of the PC version. This should make the settings menu much easier to navigate to. Clicking the button will bring up the same menu that right clicking the icon tray 'G' brings up in previous versions.

The next big change is that we have updated our regions selection to allow for more specific server selections. This has been added in both the PC and Mac versions. You'll now be able to choose from North American East, West, Central, and Auto. You'll also have Europe East, West, and Auto available as well. The Auto feature will be selected by default and the preferred for most people. Auto will find the fastest server available at that time and connect you to it. For those that would like to connect to somewhere more specifically the East/West/Central option will give you that functionality.

We hope everyone likes the changes that have been made. It's due to direct customer feedback that these new options have been added and they should further add to the ease of use our customers have come to expect using our VPN service.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tor Network Attacked by Malware

Wired is reporting that the Tor network has recently come under attack this past Sunday.  Malware started popping up on multiple hosting sites over the network in the morning in something known as a 'Drive-by' hack attack.

Code was being delivered through a known Java exploit in Firefox and affects Windows users. The code would gather information on the users machine while they were connected to the Tor network.

The code was designed to grab a user's MAC address (a unique hardware identifier for the computer's network or WiFi card) and the target's Windows host name.

The Tor network uses proxies to try to provide anonymity to users. The concern is that the proxy points are run on a volunteer basis allowing anyone to run as a proxy point. This opens the network to break downs that can result in breaches of user information. This is something that full encryption running on the GoTrusted VPN service is not open to as all our VPN servers are secured, both physically and via encryption.

Friday, August 2, 2013

UK Net Filter to Be Controlled By Chinese Firm Huawei

It was announced that the new internet filter for the United Kingdom, known as HomeSafe, being pushed by Britain's Prime Minister will be run by the Chinese firm Huawei. The system has fallen under some scrutiny by US and UK politicians alike, according to the BBC.

The concern has been raised due to the close ties the company holds to the Chinese government and the lack of ministerial oversight of the rapid expansion of the company throughout UK infrastructure. The company was founded by Ren Zhengfei, a former officer in China's People's Liberation Army, which has also raised concerns that the company may be politically motivated and not just commercially so. Huawei has also been labeled a threat to national security by US intelligence committees.

An additional concern for many people is the fact that, even if you are opted out of the HomeSafe filtering, your searches and browsing are still sent through the Huawei databases causing many people to consider VPN services to ensure their privacy and access. Legitimate sites being blacklisted are also a concern as the system is automated and may blacklist sites that do not meet actual blacklist criteria.

The legislation is set to be passed through by the end of 2013. Making all ISPs within the UK compliant by mid-2014.