Lansing’s FREE Tech Training Open 24/7

 

You didn’t miss out on the FREE Google Tech training in Lansing on March 9th and 10th.

You can get some of that amazing Google training on-line at: https://grow.google

Online they have amazing FREE training tools and events to help you to grow your tech skills, career or your business.

This training will help job-seekers, small business owners and educators, covering topics such as basic coding and search engine optimization.

According the the Lansing State Journal Google held similar events in Indianapolis and Oklahoma City late last year. Events in Savannah, Georgia; Columbia, South Carolina; and Louisville, Kentucky, are also in the works.

Stay tuned…I’ll be sharing new opportunities to learn about tech in the near future.

Kevin Schoen

ABC News: Email to ACD

Dear Steve,

I haven’t met you, or spoken with you, but I wanted to extend my deepest gratitude to you and the extraordinary  group of people working at your company.

Last week, on very short notice, your team was able to arrange for ABC News to gain access to your high speed internet connection, so that we would be able to quickly upload over 500 GB of high resolution video files from a mammoth TV interview shoot we had wrapped up only hours before showing up at ACD’s doorstep at 11pm on Wednesday.

Although we had been in touch via phone earlier in the day, and assured we would be able to get in the building after hours, it seemed too good to be true. But when I arrived, Corey (I believe that is his name) graciously admitted me and showed me to the conference room, where I was able to plug in and send the files. It was unbelievably easy, and a gigantic relief, to get inside and begin immediately working to upload the material.

We returned at least once the next day, to do another round of uploads.

I understand that ACD is not an Internet cafe, and you don’t tupically rent your connection to outsiders. But I cannot thank you enough for making room for us this week. It is not every day that one company allows complete strangers to just crash through their front doors and seize control of a high speed uplink.

The quantity of material we were sending back to NY was so large- there is no way we would have been able to get it all transmitted without your company’s exceptional consideration. We would have only been able to send a small fraction, and the final broadcast ( which aired last night on ABC “20/20”) would have suffered. But, thanks again to you and your team, the stories of more than 20 survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of disgraced former doctor, Larry Nassar, were fully told.

So, again, many thanks for providing a crucial lifeline to us. The service we used was worth many thousands of dollars- I am unsure what we paid, or if we even made arrangements to pay, but please do send me the bill. It was worth every penny!

Very sincerely,

Chris Kilmer
Field Producer

WHAT? The Internet Might Be For Sale

Washington regulators and some congress-members paved the way for some internet customers to receive better connections than others.

vp“We had Net Neutrality which means the internet is pretty much a level playing field,” says Steve Schoen ACD’s Vice President.

But last Thursday the FCC repealed Net Neutrality, the larger players on the internet, such as AT&T, will be allowed to speed up connections to some websites that can afford to pay them for it. Web streaming companies like Netflix and YouTube would have the opportunity to pay a fee in order to reach users at faster speeds than other webpages.

 

 

 

SANJEEV1As the New York Times explained, “Pro-net neutrality activists, who argue the principle creates a level playing-field online, are up in arms about the plan. And some tech companies are now speaking out in support of Net Neutrality.

“At ACD we think the internet should not have fast lanes for preferred customers and slow lanes for everyone else,” says Sanjeev Verma, ACD’s Director of Network Operations.

By doing away with Net Neutrality the major players on the internet will be able to charge companies for access to “fast lanes,” or even block certain apps altogether.

Like most regulatory changes in Washington it’s not over until the lawsuits are sorted out.

“I expect some major legal challenges will be mounted,” says Kevin Schoen, ACD’s CEO. “The Net neutrality debate is far from over.”

 

Tell Your Congressperson What You Think: 

Senate

House of Reps

 

 

Russian Hackers Target Michigan

In Early September, one of America’s largest social media scams was revealed. Disguised as Americans, Russian hackers bought United States advertisement space on Facebook to stir up political unrest. The ads contained content meant to divide Americans on causes regarding the election, gun laws, racism and immigration. The campaign included advertisements, Facebook groups, and pages.

Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 5.09.28 PM

Fake Russian Ad

It is speculated more than 10 million Facebook users in the United States saw over 3,000 ads. Forty-four percent of the ads were seen before the election, and 56 percent were seen after Donald Trump won the presidency. The Russian ads may have influenced American political stances by causing social division amongst citizens.

Among the states that these ad hacks affected, Michigan and Wisconsin were specifically targeted. These two states were crucial in deciding Trump’s victory, and Michigan saw the closest numbers between the republican and democratic sides in the entire country. Russia’s goal was to influence public opinion and target Michigan specifically knowing that there was heavy competition. The focus on Michigan and Wisconsin adds more evidence to the fact that Russia was attempting to cause ruckus within the presidential election.

Federal officials were able to link the campaign to a covert Russian tech company known as the Internet Research Agency. The company is also guilty of spreading propaganda and fake news stories via the Internet.

Facebook has not yet confirmed or denied any specific ad or group’s affiliation with the Russian hack, but did reveal that 470 pages and profiles are linked to the Agency. The social media giant is working with authorities as well as Google, who announced an investigation into whether or not their advertisement services were compromised.

Screen Shot 2017-10-25 at 5.09.42 PM

Fake Russian Ad

The hack is also said to have spread to other social media channels and sites like Redditt, Instagram and 4Chan.

ACD’s CEO, Kevin Schoen stated in an interview about the topic, “It is pretty common that other entities are trying to influence American elections. Special interest groups are purchasing ads, and not being transparent on how and why they are funded.”

Facebook will now be taking extra precaution when approving the purchases of ad space, and     they will be expecting complete transparency from buyers and their organizations.

 

Malware Exploit Threats Hit New High

SANJEEV1

“The shadowy people behind this illegal activity are motivated by the millions of people that are uninformed or have outdated software.”

Malware threats have reached dangerously high levels, according to a new report that highlights the sheer scale of threats facing businesses today.

The latest Kaspersky Lab Malware report, covering the three months of Q2 2017, claims that Kaspersky Lab’s products blocked more than five million attacks involving exploits in this time period.

In total, Kaspersky’s products detected and repelled 342,566,061 malicious attacks from online resources located in 191 countries, with 17.26 per cent of all Internet-connected computers in the world facing at least one attack.

This included a rise in crypto-ransomware attacks, which were blocked on 246,675 unique computers, compared to 240,799 computers in Q1, along with an increase in attempted infections by money-stealing malware that attacks online access to bank accounts, which were discovered on 224,675 user computers, compared to 288,000 user computers in Q1.Y

Your first line of defense is to keep your PCs updated and perform regular security checks in order to ensure that they don’t fall victim to any future attacks.

Information originally published by Mike Moore in ITPROTOCAL

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Hackers Targeting MACs

SANJEEV1

“Hackers are going after smaller businesses. Even those using a MAC are not safe.”

A newly discovered variant of malware for MACs is drawing attention to the growing issue of cyber threats against Apple’s computers, which have been long seen as largely immune to the sorts of problems that plague Windows PCs.

The recently uncovered malware – a variant of the “Fruitfly” malware that was discovered in January – is troubling more because of its potential for spying on Mac users than its actual impact. Just a few hundred Macs have reportedly become infected, but researchers say the malware could be used for such surveillance activities as taking webcam photos and capturing keystrokes.

Notably, the Fruitfly malware appears to use some outdated code, from a time before Apple’s introduction of OS X. The malware is “very strange, because it seems to have been around but not doing much,” said Michael Oh, CTO of TSP LLC, a Cambridge, Mass.-based Apple partner. “It’s clearly a proof of concept that somebody had put out in the wild, perhaps in a limited form or perhaps to see how wide it would spread.”

The discovery of the new Fruitfly variant adds to what has already been an unusually active year for Mac-related security threats. Cybersecurity vendor Malwarebytes, which initially uncovered Fruitfly in January, said in a recent report that Mac users saw more malware during the second quarter of the year than they had seen in all of 2016.

Information originally published by CRN

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