Top 7 Gadget Fails of the last Decade

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shutterstock_172274768As we stand at the midpoint of yet another decade, it’s fun to look back over the last ten years and see how far technology has come.

There have been many great inventions over the years, but not all have been a success. As we look to the future here are some products that will forever remain ignominiously trapped in the past.

Oakley Thump Sunglasses

There have been worse ideas than combining sunglasses with MP3 players. But the end results of Oakley’s Thump Sunglasses was a true Frankenstein’s Monster. Bulky and inefficient (only 256MB of music could be stored), the Thump’s $495 price was way too steep.

Microsoft Zune

Apple’s iPod was too established to allow even Bill Gates’ Microsoft machine to enter the foray. One key selling point to the Zune was the sharing feature between Zune users. However, it was limited; you could only share songs three times over a three-day period. Plus, you had to find another sucker that actually owned a Zune.

HP TouchPad

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EzFIM Reviews 2014: The Year of the Hacker

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CyberAttack2014Now that 2014 is just a few days from expiring, there is no better time to reflect upon the exhaustive list of massive data breaches that occurred during the previous twelve months.

As history may show, 2014 could go down as “The Year of the Cyberattack.”

Here’s a list of some of the biggest hacks that happened in 2014.

JPMorgan Chase & Company

From June until August, hackers used sophisticated data breaching tools to extract sensitive data from deep within Chase Bank’s infrastructure. JPMorgan Chase & Co., is the largest U.S. bank and this data breach affected 76 million households and some 7 million small businesses.

iCloud Hack

Although Apple denied that their servers were breached, there was no denying the hundreds of nude photos of—some of Hollywood’s biggest stars—that continued to materialize on the image sharing site 4chan. Apple intimated that the problem was due to the re-use of passwords across multiple devices.

EBay, Inc.

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The Top 5 Hacker Friendly Gifts

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Don't a car for a Christmas present. You're making us all look bad.

Don’t give a car for a Christmas present. You’re making us all look bad.

Just because North Korea-led hackers halted the Christmas Day debut of Sony’s The Interview doesn’t mean you have been given a gift-giving reprieve.

Not by a long shot.  Yep, if you’re like most of America, you’ve still got plenty of Christmas shopping to do in the next 48 hours so—so we’ll keep this brief.

Have you ever stopped to think how hackable your gifts might be? Well, have you? Here at EzFIM, we’ve given plenty of thought to the topic and present you our non-exhaustive list of popular presents that can also be hacked.

A brand new car

Yes, an automobile is a ridiculous present for Christmas in many ways, with countless problems, not the least of which is where to purchase that car-sized bow.

More pragmatically, how on earth do you plan to best this gift in the future? If you buy your wife a car this Christmas, there’s no way you can get away with buying her “just” a necklace next year.

You bought her a car last year dude.

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EzFIM Discusses the Impact of the Great Sony Hack

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And Sony is paying a HEFTY price.

And Sony is paying a HEFTY price.

Thanks to the shadowy Guardians of Peace (GOP) and their latest 911-esque threats, Sony has decided to pull  the plug on their latest James Franco and Seth Rogen vehicle: “The Interview.”

Here at EzFIM we have no problem with Sony’s decision to NOT release The Interview. Rogen and Franco are in every other comedy that has been produced over the last ten years, so we’ve had our fill of the two jokesters.  However, The Interview will have a far greater impact historically than it would have had it been allowed a theatrical release.

Not only does it draw more attention to the destructive impact a cyberattack can have on ALL businesses, it will go down in history as the first time a group of cyber criminals were able to halt the seemingly bulletproof Hollywood Movie Machine.

Sure, early on, it seemed harmless enough—almost comical, as The Hack gave us all a sneak behind the scenes of Hollywood. Let’s face it, it’s hard to be shocked by anything in today’s media-saturated world. It’s also not everyday that you can find Brad Pitt‘s actual cell phone number online (yeah, he never returned our call either).

Here’s a quick recap at the chaos created by the GOP:

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EzFIM Musings: A Reflection on the History of Humanoid Robots

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Got robots on the mind? Or perhaps a mind full of robots…

You don’t have to be a fan of science fiction films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey to have an appreciation—or fear—of robots.

Here at EzFIM, the recent news about Microsoft’s use of robots as added security in their parking lot has turned our minds to thoughts of humanoids, androids and robots in general.

It’s funny to think that robots have been around for over two-hundred years…so the idea of an animated humanoid is certainly nothing new.

A Brief History of Robots

1810Friedrich Kauffman, a German inventor, created the first humanoid robot in Dresden, Germany. The robot was soldier with a trumpet and was a main stay at World Fairs and the like for almost 150 years.

1928Eric, was created by W.H. Richards. Eric’s body consisted of aluminum, and held eleven electromagnets. Powered by a twelve-volt battery, Eric could move its arms and head via remote control or voice command.

1939Westinghouse Electric Corporation created “Elektro,” a seven-foot tall robot that used a record player to “speak” 700 words. Elektro could also smoke a cigarette (remember, this is pre-World War II when cigarettes were touted as almost healthy) and inflate a balloon.

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Cyber Security: Is Your Small/Medium Business at Risk?

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cybersecuritySB-2Perhaps you’ve heard the report that all Fortune 500 companies have been hacked. Whether or not this is 100% true, it certainly should be alarming.

Nevertheless, we don’t worry about what happens to the large companies; after all the Neiman Marcus’ and Targets are infinitely bigger than your small or medium business, right?

Headlines are made when the big boys are breached, but when the so-called “little guys” get hacked, the result is much more terrifying. In fact, 60% of small businesses that suffer a cyberattack will shut down completely.

So, what can your small or medium-sized business do to prevent a data breach?

How to Avoid Potential Cyber Security Risks

One of the best ways to identify the potential for a security risk at your company is to have an assessment implemented by a professional. Think of it like getting a checkup at your doctor’s office.

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Cyberattack: Is your car next?

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Ten years ago, having a Wi-Fi enabled car would have sounded like pure science fiction. However, a decade ago, not everyone had a smartphone, and technology had yet to catch up with our imaginations.

Long gone are the days when a Wi-Fi connection wasn’t a given and we all didn’t have a computer in our pockets. So widespread is wireless connectivity today that when a business advertises “free Wi-Fi” it seems about as special as a motel boasting “air conditioning. “

Since we all have the means to establish an Internet connection, the integration of Wi-Fi into our automobiles has more to do with the car’s capabilities rather than our own. Aside from giving us an updated definition of what “mobile hotspot” means, a car with a Wi-Fi connection just seems like a natural progression in technology.

Internet connectivity means that your car can get the latest software updates with the same ease as your tablet, personal computer or smartphone. If a car’s software could be updated remotely, safety features could be added that wouldn’t require a trip to the repair shop. Problems such as Ford’s airbag system glitch could be fixed thanks to the built-in data connection.

On the flipside, an Internet connection in your car also means that it could become compromised via a cyberattack. If a hacker were familiar with the software implemented into these so-called “smart cars,” it wouldn’t be too difficult for them to gain control of the system.

With projections that show that most cars and trucks will be connected to the Internet by 2017, it is unsettling that there is no industry standard or single policy to govern the security of these systems.

It’s funny that the thought of our cars being cyber-jacked is alarming, yet so many of us peruse the Internet without the proper protection in place. Unlike the Wi-Fi systems placed in automobiles, there IS a policy in place to protect sensitive data stored on your company’s computers—yet multiple major businesses continue to get breached. The solution to thwart cyberattack is simple; you need file integrity monitoring (FIM) installed on your business’ network.

Why you need EzFIM

PCI DSS 3.0 is in place to prevent such data loss catastrophes as the recent Kmart breach. One key platform that must be in place on your company’s network in order to keep hackers at bay is a solid File Integrity Management system, such as EzFIM’s award-winning and affordable product. Not only will data be more secure, but you’ll also have the jump on remaining audit-free as EzFIM ensures PCI DSS 3.0 code compliance.

For more information on how EzFIM can help with security, contact one of our Tech Security experts today at: (855) 393-4666 or email them at info@ezfim.com

Famous Hackers: Careers After Crime for Cyber Criminals

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hacker. Young man with laptop is looking at screenOftentimes when discussing hackers, there is little mention of these cyber criminal‘s actual names, or if they were able to thwart the crime life for a legal job.

Here’s a look at some famous hackers, their misdeeds and what they are up to today.

Barnaby Jack

In what could be considered one heck of a  party trick, Jack was able to exploit ATMs by inserting malware, enabling the machines to dispense money without a card or account.

He also demonstrated how insulin pumps, pacemakers and heart implants could be hacked remotely.  Jack died from an apparent drug overdose in July of 2013.

Kevin Poulsen

This name might ring a bell.  Poulsen is currently the editor of Wired, a science and technology magazine.  But before turning to a career in journalism, Poulsen was an underground fugitive highly sought by the FBI.  Poulsen had hijacked a LA Radio station’s telephone lines (so he could be assured he was the 102 caller and Porsche winner). Later, when he was featured on Unsolved Mysteries, the show’s 1-800 lines crashed for no apparent reason.

Geroge Hotz

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Is Your Smartphone Smuggling a Hacker?

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How secure is your smartphone?

How secure is your smartphone?

Smartphones are fantastic.  They enable us to peruse the Internet, check our email—and even allow us to communicate with friends without the  burden of verbal communication.

But for all the good that goes with gadgets in the BYOD era, there is an increased potential for harm.

Inside that non-pleated pant pocket your smartphone might be smuggling a cyber criminal. Here are some tips to keep your smartphone safe and hacker-free.

Add Security Software

Security Software is just as important for your cell phone as it is for your business or home computer, yet many consumers have no idea that it exists.  SOPHOS has a free app that offers baseline protection for your mobile device.

QR Codes

From restaurant countertops to business cards, these over-pixelated barcodes are a hacker’s best friend.  In many instances, a QR code is an embedded link to a website—masked so as to be indistinguishable to the naked eye.  How do you know it’s taking you to a safe site? You don’t.  Consider downloading Norton Snap which works as a QR decoder ring, which allows you to decipher the link for safety.

Turn off automatic Wi-Fi

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PCI DSS v3.0: FAQs and Security Basics

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InformationProtectionPCI DSS recently implemented a new and improved guideline for compliance. However, many business owners are still in the dark in regards to PCI DSS as a whole.  Here is a quick refresher covering some of the basics about the policy and how it works.

PCI DSS—The Basics

What does PCI DSS stand for?

PCI DSS stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.  PCI DSS functions to protect the consumer’s sensitive data particularly during POS, ATM, and all credit/debit card transactions.

What year was PCI DSS first implemented?

On December 15, 2004, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) was formed to lay down the guidelines for a policy. The original version was put in place in September of 2006.

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