The Pentagon has quietly built a multibillion-dollar cyberwarfare capability

4GoodHosting_Cyberwarefare_News
… the Pentagon has quietly built a multibillion-dollar cyberwarfare capability and trained its commanders to integrate these weapons into their battlefield plans.

U.S. Cyber Command was officially stood up in 2010, based at Fort Meade in the Maryland suburbs of the nation’s capital, consolidating intelligence and cyberwarfare capabilities of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines under one house. Soon, billions of dollars were being invested in the concept that cyberattackers targeting America should be prepared to sustain their own damage.

Little has been discussed in public about U.S. Cyber Command’s specific capabilities since, though budget documents detail a growing commitment to this form of warfare. The Pentagon’s cyberwarfare budget has grown from $3.9 billion in 2013 to $4.7 billion in 2014 and an estimated $5.1 billion in 2015.

More at: original Washington Times December 22nd Article Link

For an additional layer of internet security from many forms of spying and hacking, see information about our SSL certificates .

Canada Places Sixteenth in the Latest Web Index

4goodhosting-building-canada

With the release of the Web Index Rankings, that measure economic, social and political benefits from countries across the world on December 11, there are some interesting results. The United Kingdom, as well as the Scandinavian countries continue to lead the index, and Canada ranks sixteenth.

The World Wide Web Foundation began to produce this index in 2012. The Foundation utilizes a wide variety of data that measure the web’s contribution to the world in the areas of social, political and economic progress.

The report furthers that the web has allowed a level-playing field with unprecedented access to information as allowed by Sir Time Berners-Lee and CERN when they choose not to patent the creation of the web. The report states, “Today, armed with little more than a smart phone, anyone– regardless of where they were born and or how much they earn– can start a business, record a music video, crowd fund an invention, take courses with Nobel Prize- winning professors, or even launch a successful campaign for office.”

In this new index, some chilling statistics have come back to the Foundation. Up thirty two percent from last years numbers, political censorship has increased to forty percent. This included the blocking of political or socially sensitive content. In the news lately has been the issue of net neutrality both here in Canada and the United States, and there is a lack of net neutrality in seventy four percent of countries. It should be noted that according to the Sunlight Foundation, only one percent of the US public is opposed to net neutrality, and this is after a plea from late night show host John Oliver on Last Week Tonight. Even with an estimated 1.8 billion internet users still with little to no right for privacy nor freedom of expression, the governmental control of the web continues to this day.

Virtual Private Internets(VPIs) or perhaps better named Virtual Private Planets(VPPs)

Virtual Private Internets(VPIs) or perhaps better named Virtual Private Planets(VPPs)
( The idea and future hosting productization of it.)

4GoodHosting-VPP-VPI

 

What are we talking about in this creative original blog post? How about a freshly deployed “blank content” completely-isolated-new-private-virtual-internet-environment; just like a starter internet on a different planet.

 

In other words, imagine being on an internet where you and your friends are the only inhabitants of Mars but you are all connected through a common (and private) internet on the surface of that distant planet.

 

We think you should be able to deploy and command your own completely isolated Virtual Private Internet (VPI) or perhaps better marketing name Virtual Private Planet (VPP); just add users! )

 

In this new age of omnipresent internet surveillance/spying/intrusions/ddos attacks, etc and creeping and shadowy “Orwellian” state takeovers, we here at 4GoodHosting thought thinking-up a new service offering, as private and secure as possible, could be a big value-add overall for our customers.

Yet another new WordPress Security Issue: CryptoPHP (Nulled Scripts)

cryptophp

A Scandinavian technology company, Fox IT, was one of the first discovers of a new threat to PHP based programs (such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc. )

The Fox IT CryptoPHP white paper is quite technical but we will summarize the issue for you here.

It is about something termed ‘Nulled Scripts’ and given another label too, CryptoPHP. This is perhaps a new term to most of our customers.

So what exactly are these so-called Nulled Scripts?

Nulled scripts are scraps of PHP code, which can be found on free or otherwise non-approved WordPress plugin sites or even in WordPress theme archives; which have had their copy-protection removed.

Various *pro* plugins and themes come with a serial number, or key, which enables paid features or provides access to download free upgrades.

Nulled scripts have such protections removed (so that it is become ‘free’).

There are many websites that are offering these nulled-scripts and also nulled WordPress plugins and theme installers.

They shouldn’t be used because of the following problem:

CryptoPHP explained

The programmers who published the white paper have witnessed a drastic increase in the availability of nulled/corrupted scripts.

A Current Day update regarding Bitcoins and Canadian Commerce

4goodhosting-bitcoin-canada-regulation

In this day and age being paid using Bitcoins can be a confusing and perplexing and even a daunting experience. Yet current buzz is that the Bank of Canada is considering the advantages of using so called encrypted-currencies, notably Bitcoin. Canadian companies may be able to benefit in various ways by accepting bitcoin and then in turn exchanging those for Canadian dollars.

What should business owners be thinking about cryptocurrencies today and into the next year? Would it ever be advantageous to pay your employees or refund your customers with bitcoins? You might want to check out the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada which explores these type of topics.

The Bitcoin Alliance website states it is: “Dedicated to raising awareness of bitcoin among Canadian consumers, merchants, and policy makers; to promoting bitcoin adoption in Canada; and to furthering study and research in bitcoin.”

The need for bitcoin today

This complex issue can be boiled down to some basic questions:

“What percentage of people are aware of bitcoin at this time?” “What is the general impression and trust of bitcoin as an alternative currency?” “What is the real benefit for a company that isn’t involved in bitcoin as of yet?”

The answer is, unless your customers already believe and and feel comfortable with bitcoin, then otherwise results won’t be so good or ‘worth it’.

However there are some companies that are beginning to trade with bitcoins. For example, the electronics store NewEgg began accepting bitcoins from Canadian customers in June 2014. It even offered bitcoin-only deals for Black Friday. Also, Overstock.com started accepting bitcoin about a year ago and they now process about $15,000 per day in the encrypted currency.

Canadian examples are: BitDeals.ca, Best Sleep Centre, and hundreds of smaller business ranging from restaurants, coffee shops, dentists, butchers, auto supply stores, and beauty spas and others. You can view a more extensive listing of them here.

There are some good reasons to offer bitcoin payment. A customer may feel good buying a product (or service) that is shipped and to make the payment without having to be send private payment information, that they may fear will eventually get leaked somewhere.

Even though Canadian credit cards use chip & PIN authentication, they are still inherently vulnerable for cardholder-not-present-transactions such as those conducted online.

The Canadian Bankers Association reported an 11% increase in online credit and debit card fraud in 2013. The well known Home Depot credit card breach has affected many Canadians, who subsequently experienced a big wave of credit card fraud.

Canadian Web Hosting

Do you ever feel like somebody is watching your back (and not your computer screen) when you are on the internet? Well Canada’s privacy law is still protecting you when you are online surfing.

Our fellow Canadian Social media users are shielded from the complex details Terms of Service on many popular social services. Just because you are forced to check the many lengthy terms of service, that of course most of us don’t sit there for a half and hour and actually read, our privacy law trumps any provision that is against the grain of our current privacy law.

“This overriding provision in our federal privacy legislation actually does provide protection for unexpected, unreasonable uses, even with consent,” stated a Toronto-based lawyer and expert on internet law Barry Sookman. “So I actually think there is a standard here that applies that is fairly useful and is consumer friendly.”

“An organization may collect, use or disclose personal information only for purposes that a reasonable person would consider are appropriate in the circumstances.” reads Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

This means that “the person has to agree to the terms,” Sookman said. “So a person who simply accesses a social networking site and hasn’t seen or hasn’t had a reasonable opportunity to review the terms wouldn’t be bound by them.” If the policy had terms that a reasonable person wouldn’t consider appropriate, then those terms may not be binding.

“There’s two good examples of when a service’s privacy policy wouldn’t be enforceable: either when a person hasn’t been put on notice that there’s going to be a policy that’s binding, or when it’s an unreasonable term.”

Depending on the service, when somebody accesses their website, many website companies automatically collect basic information to know, for example, where people are coming from and to know if they are a returning visitor.

Those kind of data collection is rather hidden and it is automated usually to facilitate the operation of their site.

When data collection crosses the line:

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Where there is some completely unexpected use of one’s personal information, matters “may go over the line.”. “So the test in Canadian privacy law is whether it goes over the line,” Barry says.

In several years ago, researchers at Carnegie Melon University calculated it would take an average user 76 8-hour days to read all the privacy policies that the average internet user typically has by then already agreed to.

“Many experts now realize that consent is not the linchpin that is the right standard for internet governance of use because of that fact that many people don’t actually read the privacy policies as well,” Barry said. “ However, social website users should realize that these services are free, and the only way it makes sense to continue to offer them for free is by finding a way to monetize their usage”, Barry adds.

“The currency that individuals pay for the privilege for the free use is giving up some usage of their personal information.”

However, we at 4GoodHosting pledge to you in our Terms of Service that we will never resell your private information. We are strong privacy advocates!

Free webserver encryption? It is almost here, mid-2015.

Did you know what google gives a very slight ranking boost to websites that use SSL (https://…) encryption?

There are other more significant reasons for your website to offer secure connections to your website visitors, especially if your website conducts ecommerce or credit card transactions.

Nowadays, people everywhere have to purchase a SSL certificate if they want to offer secure/private connections to their website visitors. However, that might just be a thing of the past with https://letsencrypt.org/2014/11/18/announcing-lets-encrypt.html

As their website explains:

“ The challenge is server certificates. The anchor for any TLS-protected communication is a public-key certificate which demonstrates that the server you’re actually talking to is the server you intended to talk to. For many server operators, getting even a basic server certificate is just too much of a hassle. The application process can be confusing. It usually costs money. It’s tricky to install correctly. It’s a pain to update.

Let’s Encrypt is a new free certificate authority, built on a foundation of cooperation and openness, that lets everyone be up and running with basic server certificates for their domains through a simple one-click process.

Mozilla Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc., Akamai Technologies, Electronic Frontier Foundation, IdenTrust, Inc., and researchers at the University of Michigan are working through the Internet Security Research Group (“ISRG”), a California public benefit corporation, to deliver this much-needed infrastructure in Q2 2015. The ISRG welcomes other organizations dedicated to the same ideal of ubiquitous, open Internet security.

The key principles behind Let’s Encrypt are:

  • Free:
    Anyone who owns a domain can get a certificate validated for that domain at zero cost.
  • Automatic:

    The entire enrollment process for certificates occurs painlessly during the server’s native installation or configuration process, while renewal occurs automatically in the background.

  • Secure:

    Let’s Encrypt will serve as a platform for implementing modern security techniques and best practices.

  • Transparent:

    All records of certificate issuance and revocation will be available to anyone who wishes to inspect them.

  • Open:

    The automated issuance and renewal protocol will be an open standard and as much of the software as possible will be open source.

  • Cooperative:

    Much like the underlying Internet protocols themselves, Let’s Encrypt is a joint effort to benefit the entire community, beyond the control of any one organization. “

We hope the above initiative will be successful, but until then we still offer the lowest-cost and also highest quality SSL certificates available:

http://4goodhosting.com/sslcertificates.html

So if you want to offer secure encrypted connections to you website, you can get started with a SSL today, and in about a year’s time the above free encryption standard should be available starting in mid-2015. For more information on the project please see: https://letsencrypt.org

Satellite internet set to blanket the world

spacexinernet

4goodhosting-satellite-business

 

Do you think the Internet is big now? Well, yes it is, but it is only going to get much larger in the next decade as billions more people come online.

This comes with the help of big money investors such as Elon Musk backing this idea to put hundreds of lightweight, but heavy on bandwidth, low-earth orbit satellites to cover the world with internet access.

The Wall Street Journal published on Friday November 7th, 2014 that Elon Musk and Greg Wyler have been discussing plans with the retired Google billionaire Wyler to develop such an array of satellites with a goal is to deliver internet access around the entire world.

The reported idea is to send 700 satellites into space, each about 260lbs. or half the size of the smallest current commercial communications satellites.

The pricetag? Estimates are about $1 billion to develop the new addition to the internet grid. Manufacturing locations in Florida and Colorado are currently being mentioned.

The project is still in early stages and many are not certain if Mr. Musk will complete this plan. His company, SpaceX has delivered on its goal of delivering and returning supplies to and from the Space Station 4 times, successfully, already. Tesla motors is struggling with it’s electric car designs.

The timeframe? The currently stated goal is 360 satellites operating in low Earth orbits becoming operational around 2019-21.

Google and Facebook have already announced plans to deliver internet access around the globe using balloons, satellites, and even, oddly, balloons.

Just image purchasing web hosting for the price of a fast food lunch, for a whole month, and beamed down directly to some of your website visitors through satellites in space. Pretty neat, eh?

 

Web Hosting: Searching for a Canadian Host

Canadian Web Hosting by 4GoodHosting.comAs a business owner, you probably know your business inside an out, but what about your web hosting service? How well do you know web hosting? You might find it hard to believe, but your web hosting company can make or break your business. A fast, reliable host means your web traffic gets what it’s looking for – a fast site that doesn’t throw any errors. A slow web host discourages users, creates a loss in sales, and it can even harm your rank in search engines. Canadian web hosts are fast and affordable. Here are some tips when you’re looking for a reliable web host.

Do Your Hosting Resources Scale?

As with any business, you should not only look at your current state but your future. Not every business succeeds, but if you take off, you need a host that can handle speed and resources needed for large volumes of traffic. Most businesses also see seasonal traffic, which means the industry is popular for a part of the year, it dies down a bit, and then traffic skyrockets again. For instance, the diet industry is slow at the last quarter of the year, and then it becomes a very popular topic in January when everyone wants to lose holiday weight. Does your host offer the right resources to handle the rush?

To summarize, the traffic you have now might not represent what you could have in a few months or a year. If your web hosting account is somewhat slow now, what happens when you increase your traffic? Resource usage spikes and the website gets even slower.

Canadian web hosting infrastructure is rated among the top 10 in the world. Not only do you get fast bandwidth, but Canadian hosting offers the latest in technology, just like its US counterparts.

What Type of Business Do You Have?

There are generally three types of online businesses (although there are some variances): affiliates, content sites, and ecommerce. An affiliate site uses web traffic to generate sales to other sites, content sites generally make money on sales such as a blog with Adsense, and an ecommerce store makes money by selling product or services. Your web host should understand your industry and build the infrastructure and security needed to handle your website, whatever the topic.

Canadian web hosting offers a skilled workforce staff that has experience handling any technical detail for a website. The right Canadian web host has the staff experience to handle a myriad of sites not limited to the sites above but specialized enough where your site gets the best technology, support and security.

An example of hosting tied into a website type is with the level of support needed to ensure that the site is never down. For instance, an ecommerce store owner probably takes orders overnight, even when you aren’t in the office. Who is watching your site while you’re gone? Big companies have staff that monitor web servers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you don’t have this kind of staff onboard, your web hosting company is next in line to help you. The web hosting company gets alerts if your site goes down, so any problems are resolved (or at least worked on) even when you aren’t in the office. When you run an ecommerce store, a site crashing for several hours or overnight can cost you thousands in sales, especially if your customers are in another country.

Do You Have a .CA Domain?

The .CA top level domain (TLD) automatically targets Canada in terms of search engine and marketing. If you have Canadian customers and don’t have a .CA domain just yet, you should look into registering a country specific domain. When you have a country specific domain, you should have a host in that country. There are several reasons for this type of setup.

First, the .CA country code is used for search engines when a user performs an Internet search. For instance, when a Canadian user logs into Google, they are automatically redirected to google.ca. Google (and other search engines) try to give personalized results to each user. These personalized results include location as a ranking factor. When you search for local restaurants, Google identifies your location and gives you a list of restaurants close to your current location. This means that if you have a local business or even a business that caters to Canadian customers, you help with your optimization efforts when you choose a .CA domain.

Next, the location of your web server plays a part in your customer’s speed and satisfaction. It’s no secret in the online marketing world that fast loading websites improve your bounce rate. Bounce rate is the percentage of users who come to your site, don’t engage, and then immediately leave. Lower bounce rates mean users are engaging, which is good for your overall SEO and conversion rate. When the user is closer to the web hosting service, your website pages load faster. If you have a .CA domain, search engines are more likely to send you Canadian web traffic. The result is that people in Canada have a super fast website load time from your site. Site speed is a factor in numerous reporting statistics including customer conversion rates, bounce rates, and SEO.

What Kind of Technology Do You Need?

You might not care what technology you get, but the technology determines the amount of storage, memory, CPU, and hardware resources you get. Canadian web hosts offer the latest in Internet technology, but you should also check with your hosting contract to ensure you get everything you need.

First, storage space is important. Do you plan to host a large ecommerce store or content site? All of the content you store must be in a database. The database needs space for all of your content files, data, and anything else you store on your server. Ensure you not only have enough space currently, but you also have enough space for future storage. For instance, if your data takes up 2 GB, but you only have 3 GB total storage in your hosting plan, you might run out of space quickly.

You also need to identify the platform you need. If you’ve already built an app, does it need a Windows or Linux environment? If you built your app on pre-packaged software such as WordPress or Joomla, your site probably needs a Linux server with a MySQL database (although, PHP will run in Windows, so you aren’t entirely limited to this server design). If you created a site with .NET (C# or VB.NET), then you need a Windows environment. Most Windows environments use Microsoft SQL Server, which is a different database architecture than MySQL. MySQL is open-source and used more than MSSQL, but this is an important aspect when deciding on a web server environment.

If you don’t know what type of architecture you have, you can always check with your developer. At the very minimum, you should know if you need a Linux or Windows operating system. Most of the pre-packaged software supports both MySQL and SQL Server with some extra configurations. Your hosting company can help you decide which environment is right for you.

Do You Need Technical Support?

Canadian web hosting companies have some of the friendliest staff available. Some business owners have internal technical staff that support all of the daily website tasks, but others need a little more support from the web host. Ask yourself which category you fit into. If you aren’t technically savvy and need a bit more support than other site owners, you’ll appreciate a more customer friendly support team from a Canadian hosting company.

In some shared hosting environments, support is limited, but you can opt for managed services such as VPS or dedicated servers for better administration. For instance, if you need special configurations on the hosting server, then you might need VPS and dedicated servers. If you don’t know how to set up the server, then managed support can help you. Another issue is security. If you’re unsure how to set up your server for security or don’t have time to patch the operating system after each update, managed hosting services can help guide you through the process. In most cases, the host does it for you.

Overall, the support you need is what you should search for in a hosting company. You might not think you need it now, but good support can mean the difference between your site being down for a few minutes and your site being down for a few hours. If a non-functioning site costs you thousands of dollars while the server is down, then you should look into managed hosting that has good support for its customers.

The Canadian web hosting business is an exceptionally good route when you want friendly service, good support, and a fast web server that hosts any type of business.

Penguin 3.0 Google ‘refresh’ update and free backlink checking tools:

4GoodHosting to the rescue
Hi Folks. Have you checked your website rankings in google this week? The recent ‘Penguin 3.0’ update, also called a refresh, has just been completed. Supposedly only 1% or so of search queries are affected by this recent Google search index update. Simply, Google support ( support.google.com ) recommends avoiding the following linking techniques:

Excessive link exchanges

  • Buying or selling links
  • Using automation to create links
  • Low-quality directory or bookmark site links
  • Forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature
  • Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases
  • Widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites

So if you haven’t participated in ‘link spamming’, you should not need to worry, but it is always good to verify anyways, and perform any cleanup that may be necessary to improve your website’s search ranking.

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We recommend the following free online tools to help diagnose your website’s relation to Google’s new update and guidelines.

http://www.analyzebacklinks.com/

http://moz.com/tools/seo-toolbar

http://www.ahrefs.com

http://www.backlinkwatch.com/

http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/

http://www.linkdiagnosis.com/

&

http://www.traffictravis.com/

From our review of these tools, we recommend you try Traffic Travis first.

Traffic Travis offers:

  • Keyword Tracking
  • Backlink checker for individual pages
  • Competition Analysis
  • Find Keyword ranking based on different geo specific search engine
  • Page rank checker for Individual pages
  • Sitemap Support
  • Domain name research
  • SEO warning for individual pages
  • Filters to refine your report
  • Adsense finder
  • Keyword research

Please let us know about your own experience with any tools concerning your search engine optimization efforts. We’d be glad to offer you some more advice or you can even hire us (more info here: http://4goodhosting.com/seo-services.html ) to bring up your search engine ranking; as this can be complicated or overwhelming for many of us. Please write us anytime at support@4goodhosting.com and one of our friendly agents will respond to you soon after receiving your email.