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Continuous Updating: A List of Cyber Security Terms (From A to Z)

A

Access

Ability and means to communicate with or otherwise interact with a system, to use system resources to handle information, to gain knowledge of the information the system contains, or to control system components and functions.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Access control

The process of granting or denying specific requests to: 1) obtain and use information and related information processing services; and 2) enter specific physical facilities (e.g., federal buildings, military establishments, border crossing entrances).

SOURCE: FIPS 201; CNSSI-4009

Access Control List (ACL)

1. A list of permissions associated with an object. The list specifies who or what is allowed to access the object and what operations are allowed to be performed on the object.

2. A mechanism that implements access control for a system resource by enumerating the system entities that are permitted to access the resource and stating, either implicitly or explicitly, the access modes granted to each entity.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Access control mechanism

Security safeguards (i.e., hardware and software features, physical controls, operating procedures, management procedures, and various combinations of these) designed to detect and deny unauthorized access and permit authorized access to an information system.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Access point

A device that logically connects wireless client devices operating in infrastructure to one another and provides access to a distribution system, if connected, which is typically an organization’s enterprise wired network.

SOURCE: SP 800-48; SP 800-121

Accountability

Principle that an individual is entrusted to safeguard and control equipment, keying material, and information and is answerable to proper authority for the loss or misuse of that equipment or information.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Activation data

Private data, other than keys, that are required to access cryptographic modules.

SOURCE: SP 800-32

Active attack

An attack on the authentication protocol where the Attacker transmits data to the Claimant, Credential Service Provider, Verifier, or Relying Party. Examples of active attacks include man-in-the-middle, impersonation, and session hijacking.

SOURCE: SP 800-63

Active security testing

Security testing that involves direct interaction with a target, such as sending packets to a target.

SOURCE: SP 800-115

Add-on security

Incorporation of new hardware, software, or firmware safeguards in an operational information system.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Adequate security

Security commensurate with the risk and the magnitude of harm resulting from the loss, misuse, or unauthorized access to or modification of information.

SOURCE: SP 800-53; FIPS 200; OMB Circular A-130, App. III

Administrative safeguards

Administrative actions, policies, and procedures to manage the selection, development, implementation, and maintenance of security measures to protect electronic health information and to manage the conduct of the covered entity’s workforce in relation to protecting that information.

SOURCE: SP 800-66

Allocation

The process an organization employs to determine whether security controls are defined as system-specific, hybrid, or common. The process an organization employs to assign security controls to specific information system components responsible for providing a particular security capability (e.g., router, server, remote sensor).

SOURCE: SP 800-37

Anti-virus Software

A program that monitors a computer or network to identify all major types of malware and prevent or contain malware incidents.

SOURCE: SP 800-83

Attack

Any kind of malicious activity that attempts to collect, disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy information system resources or the information itself.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Authentication

Verifying the identity of a user, process, or device, often as a prerequisite to allowing access to resources in an information system.

SOURCE: SP 800-53; SP 800-53A; SP 800-27; FIPS 200; SP 800-30

Authorization

Access privileges granted to a user, program, or process or the act of granting those privileges.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

B

Back door (backdoor)

Typically unauthorized hidden software or hardware mechanism used to circumvent security controls.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Backup

A copy of files and programs made to facilitate recovery, if necessary.

SOURCE: SP 800-34; CNSSI-4009

Banner

Display on an information system that sets parameters for system or data use.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Baseline

Hardware, software, databases, and relevant documentation for an information system at a given point in time.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Baseline Security

The minimum security controls required for safeguarding an IT system based on its identified needs for confidentiality, integrity, and/or availability protection.

SOURCE: SP 800-16

Binding

Process of associating two related elements of information.

SOURCE: SP 800-32

Bit

A contraction of the term Binary Digit. The smallest unit of information in a binary system of notation.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

BitVPN

BitVPN was built upon a decentralized, open-communication TOP-network as well as a public blockchain platform. TOP Network, a project aims to create a decentralized cloud communication network on a public blockchain. The decentralized structure enables BitVPN to become truly anonymous, private, and secure. Because of the decentralized nature, data is handled by numerous servers that are operating independently across around the world. And it’s impossible for any hackers to collect all the scattered data and do something bad with them. By utilizing decentralized P2P mesh network, a single point of failure or attack is no longer a risk to the entire BitVPN’s network. BitVPN makes sure that each and every step of data processing is encrypted, scrambled, and encrypted again.

Blockchain

Originally block chain, is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data

SOURCE: Wikipedia

Browsing

Act of searching through information system storage or active content to locate or acquire information, without necessarily knowing the existence or format of information being sought.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Bulk encryption

Simultaneous encryption of all channels of a multichannel telecommunications link.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

C

Cascading

Downward flow of information through a range of security levels greater than the accreditation range of a system, network, or component.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Central Services Node

The Key Management Infrastructure core node that provides central security management and data management services.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Certificate

A set of data that uniquely identifies an entity, contains the entity’s public key and possibly other information, and is digitally signed by a trusted party, thereby binding the public key to the entity. Additional information in the certificate could specify how the key is used and its cryptoperiod.

SOURCE: SP 800-21

Certificate Policy (CP)

A specialized form of administrative policy tuned to electronic transactions performed during certificate management. A Certificate Policy addresses all aspects associated with the generation, production, distribution, accounting, compromise recovery, and administration of digital certificates. Indirectly, a certificate policy can also govern the transactions conducted using a communications system protected by a certificate-based security system. By controlling critical certificate extensions, such policies and associated enforcement technology can support provision of the security services required by particular applications.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009; SP 800-32

Client

Individual or process acting on behalf of an individual who makes requests of a guard or dedicated server. The client’s requests to the guard or dedicated server can involve data transfer to, from, or through the guard or dedicated server.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Code

System of communication in which arbitrary groups of letters, numbers, or symbols represent units of plain text of varying length.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Computer Abuse

Intentional or reckless misuse, alteration, disruption, or destruction of information processing resources.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Computer security

Measures and controls that ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information system assets including hardware, software, firmware, and information being processed, stored, and communicated.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

COMSEC

Communications Security.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Confidentiality

Preserving authorized restrictions on information access and disclosure, including means for protecting personal privacy and proprietary information.

SOURCE: SP 800-53; SP 800-53A; SP 800-18; SP 800-27; SP 800- 60; SP 800-37; FIPS 200; FIPS 199; 44 U.S.C., Sec. 3542

Content filtering

The process of monitoring communications such as email and Web pages, analyzing them for suspicious content, and preventing the delivery of suspicious content to users.

SOURCE: SP 800-114

Controlled access protection

Minimum set of security functionality that enforces access control on individual users and makes them accountable for their actions through login procedures, auditing of security-relevant events, and resource isolation.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Cookie

A piece of state information supplied by a Web server to a browser, in a response for a requested resource, for the browser to store temporarily and return to the server on any subsequent visits or requests. Learn more about cookies.

SOURCE: SP 800-28

Credential

An object or data structure that authoritatively binds an identity (and optionally, additional attributes) to a token possessed and controlled by a Subscriber.

SOURCE: SP 800-63

Cryptocurrency

A digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses strong cryptography to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets. Cryptocurrencies use decentralized control as opposed to centralized digital currency and central banking systems.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

Cryptographic algorithm

A well-defined computational procedure that takes variable inputs, including a cryptographic key, and produces an output.

SOURCE: SP 800-21; CNSSI-4009

Cryptographic security

Component of COMSEC resulting from the provision of technically sound cryptographic systems and their proper use.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Cryptography

The discipline that embodies the principles, means, and methods for the transformation of data in order to hide their semantic content, prevent their unauthorized use, or prevent their undetected modification.

SOURCE: SP 800-59

Cyber attack

An attack, via cyberspace, targeting an enterprise’s use of cyberspace for the purpose of disrupting, disabling, destroying, or maliciously controlling a computing environment/infrastructure; or destroying the integrity of the data or stealing controlled information.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Cybersecurity

The ability to protect or defend the use of cyberspace from cyber attacks.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Cyberspace

A global domain within the information environment consisting of the interdependent network of information systems infrastructures including the Internet, telecommunications networks, computer systems, and embedded processors and controllers.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

D

Data

A subset of information in an electronic format that allows it to be retrieved or transmitted.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Data breach

The intentional or unintentional release of secure or private/confidential information to an untrusted environment.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

Data security

Protection of data from unauthorized (accidental or intentional) modification, destruction, or disclosure.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Data loss

The exposure of proprietary, sensitive, or classified information through either data theft or data leakage.

SOURCE: SP 800-137

Decentralized network

In computing terms, a decentralized network does not use any single central server. Instead, it is built upon a peer-to-peer mesh network where individual computer around the world are distributing data and information with layers of data scrambling and encryption. This trend of decentralization has evolved from the rapid advancements of desktop and laptop computers, which now offers performance well beyond the needs of most social applications; meaning the extra compute power can be used for distributed processing.

SOURCE: BitVPN

Decode

Convert encoded text to plain text by means of a code.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Decryption

The process of transforming ciphertext into plaintext.

SOURCE: SP 800-67

Disconnection

The termination of an interconnection between two or more IT systems. A disconnection may be planned (e.g., due to changed business needs) or unplanned (i.e., due to an attack or other contingency).

SOURCE: SP 800-47

Domain

An environment or context that includes a set of system resources and a set of system entities that have the right to access the resources as defined by a common security policy, security model, or security architecture. See Security Domain.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009; SP 800-53; SP 800-37

E

Eavesdropping attack

An attack in which an Attacker listens passively to the authentication protocol to capture information which can be used in a subsequent active attack to masquerade as the Claimant.

SOURCE: SP 800-63

Electronic key entry

The entry of cryptographic keys into a cryptographic module using electronic methods such as a smart card or a key-loading device. (The operator of the key may have no knowledge of the value of the key being entered.)

SOURCE: FIPS 140-2

Encode

Convert plain text to cipher text by means of a code.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Encrypted key

A cryptographic key that has been encrypted using an Approved security function with a key encrypting key, a PIN, or a password in order to disguise the value of the underlying plaintext key.

SOURCE: FIPS 140-2

Encrypted network

A network on which messages are encrypted (e.g., using DES, AES, or other appropriate algorithms) to prevent reading by unauthorized parties.

SOURCE: SP 800-32

Encryption

Conversion of plaintext to ciphertext through the use of a cryptographic algorithm.

SOURCE: FIPS 185

Event

Any observable occurrence in a network or system.

SOURCE: SP 800-61

External security testing

Security testing conducted from outside the organization’s security perimeter.

SOURCE: SP 800-115

F

Failure access

Type of incident in which unauthorized access to data results from hardware or software failure.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Failure control

Methodology used to detect imminent hardware or software failure and provide fail safe or fail soft recovery.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

False rejection

When a biometric system fails to identify an applicant or fails to verify the legitimate claimed identity of an applicant.

SOURCE: SP 800-76

File security

Means by which access to computer files is limited to authorized users only.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Firewall

A gateway that limits access between networks in accordance with local security policy.

SOURCE: SP 800-32

Flaw

Error of commission, omission, or oversight in an information system that may allow protection mechanisms to be bypassed.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Forensics

The practice of gathering, retaining, and analyzing computer-related data for investigative purposes in a manner that maintains the integrity of the data.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

G

Gateway

Interface providing compatibility between networks by converting transmission speeds, protocols, codes, or security measures.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Graduated security

A security system that provides several levels (e.g., low, moderate, high) of protection based on threats, risks, available technology, support services, time, human concerns, and economics.

SOURCE: FIPS 201

Gray box testing

Also called focused testing, a test methodology that assumes some knowledge of the internal structure and implementation detail of the assessment object. Also known as gray box testing.

SOURCE: SP 800-53A

Guard

A mechanism limiting the exchange of information between information systems or subsystems.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

H

Hacker

Unauthorized user who attempts to or gains access to an information system.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Honeypot

A system (e.g., a Web server) or system resource (e.g., a file on a server) that is designed to be attractive to potential crackers and intruders and has no authorized users other than its administrators.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Hot site

A fully operational offsite data processing facility equipped with hardware and software, to be used in the event of an information system disruption.

SOURCE: SP 800-34

Hotspot

Mobile hotspot and tethering are ways you can use your data as a wireless internet service. Basically, you can connect your computer or tablet or any other device to your phone’s internet. You will use your phone’s data plan as the way to connect to the internet.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

I

Identification

The process of verifying the identity of a user, process, or device, usually as a prerequisite for granting access to resources in an IT system.

SOURCE: SP 800-47

Identification token

Smart card, metal key, or other physical object used to authenticate identity.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Image

An exact bit-stream copy of all electronic data on a device, performed in a manner that ensures that the information is not altered.

SOURCE: SP 800-72

Incident

A violation or imminent threat of violation of computer security policies, acceptable use policies, or standard security practices.

SOURCE: SP 800-61

Information Assurance (IA)

Measures that protect and defend information and information systems by ensuring their availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and non-repudiation. These measures include providing for restoration of information systems by incorporating protection, detection, and reaction capabilities.

SOURCE: SP 800-59; CNSSI-4009

Information flow control

Procedure to ensure that information transfers within an information system are not made in violation of the security policy.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Information security

The protection of information and information systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction in order to provide confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

SOURCE: SP 800-37; SP 800-53; SP 800-53A; SP 800-18; SP 800- 60; CNSSI-4009; FIPS 200; FIPS 199; 44 U.S.C., Sec. 3542

Information system

A discrete set of information resources organized for the collection, processing, maintenance, use, sharing, dissemination, or disposition of information.

SOURCE: FIPS 200; FIPS 199; SP 800-53A; SP 800-37; SP 800-60; SP 800-18; 44 U.S.C., Sec. 3502; OMB Circular A-130, App. III

Internal network

A network where: (i) the establishment, maintenance, and provisioning of security controls are under the direct control of organizational employees or contractors; or (ii) cryptographic encapsulation or similar security technology provides the same effect. An internal network is typically organization-owned, yet may be organization-controlled while not being organization-owned.

SOURCE: SP 800-53

Internet Protocol (IP)

Standard protocol for transmission of data from source to destinations in packet-switched communications networks and interconnected systems of such networks.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Intranet

A private network that is employed within the confines of a given enterprise (e.g., internal to a business or agency).

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

IP address

A numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two main functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

IP security (IPsec)

Suite of protocols for securing Internet Protocol (IP) communications at the network layer, layer 3 of the OSI model by authenticating and/or encrypting each IP packet in a data stream. IPsec also includes protocols for cryptographic key establishment.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

J

Jamming

An attack in which a device is used to emit electromagnetic energy on a wireless network’s frequency to make it unusable.

SOURCE: SP 800-48

K

Key

A numerical value used to control cryptographic operations, such as decryption, encryption, signature generation, or signature verification.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Keylogger

A program designed to record which keys are pressed on a computer keyboard used to obtain passwords or encryption keys and thus bypass other security measures.

SOURCE: SP 800-82

Key tag

Identification information associated with certain types of electronic key.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

L

Local access

Access to an organizational information system by a user (or process acting on behalf of a user) communicating through a direct connection without the use of a network.

SOURCE: SP 800-53; CNSSI-4009

Local authority

Organization responsible for generating and signing user certificates in a PKI-enabled environment.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Log file

A file that records either events that occur in an operating system or other software runs, or messages between different users of a communication software. Logging is the act of keeping a log. In the simplest case, messages are written to a single log file.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

M

Malicious code

Software or firmware intended to perform an unauthorized process that will have adverse impact on the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of an information system. A virus, worm, Trojan horse, or other code-based entity that infects a host. Spyware and some forms of adware are also examples of malicious code.

SOURCE: SP 800-53; CNSSI-4009

Malware

A program that is inserted into a system, usually covertly, with the intent of compromising the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the victim’s data, applications, or operating system or of otherwise annoying or disrupting the victim.

SOURCE: SP 800-83

Manual remote rekeying

Procedure by which a distant crypto-equipment is rekeyed electronically, with specific actions required by the receiving terminal operator. Synonymous with cooperative remote rekeying. See also Automatic Remote Keying.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Metrics

Tools designed to facilitate decision-making and improve performance and accountability through collection, analysis, and reporting of relevant performance-related data.

SOURCE: SP 800-55

N

Network access

Access to an organizational information system by a user (or a process acting on behalf of a user) communicating through a network (e.g., local area network, wide area network, Internet).

SOURCE: SP 800-53; CNSSI-4009

Network resilience

A computing infrastructure that provides continuous business operation (i.e., highly resistant to disruption and able to operate in a degraded mode if damaged), rapid recovery if failure does occur, and the ability to scale to meet rapid or unpredictable demands.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Network sniffing

A passive technique that monitors network communication, decodes protocols, and examines headers and payloads for information of interest. It is both a review technique and a target identification and analysis technique.

SOURCE: SP 800-115

Null

Dummy letter, letter symbol, or code group inserted into an encrypted message to delay or prevent its decryption or to complete encrypted groups for transmission or transmission security purposes.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

O

Offline attack

An attack where the Attacker obtains some data (typically by eavesdropping on an authentication protocol run, or by penetrating a system and stealing security files) that he/she is able to analyze in a system of his/her own choosing.

SOURCE: SP 800-63

Operating System (OS)

A system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common services for computer programs.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

Operational key

Key intended for use over-the-air for protection of operational information or for the production or secure electrical transmission of key streams.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

P

Packet filter

A routing device that provides access control functionality for host addresses and communication sessions.

SOURCE: SP 800-41

Packet sniffer

Software that observes and records network traffic.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Patch

An update to an operating system, application, or other software issued specifically to correct particular problems with the software.

SOURCE: SP 800-123

Penetration testing

A test methodology in which assessors, using all available documentation (e.g., system design, source code, manuals) and working under specific constraints, attempt to circumvent the security features of an information system.

SOURCE: SP 800-53A

Phishing

Deceiving individuals into disclosing sensitive personal information through deceptive computer-based means.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Plaintext

Intelligible data that has meaning and can be understood without the application of decryption.

SOURCE: SP 800-21

Privacy

Restricting access to subscriber or Relying Party information in accordance with federal law and agency policy.

SOURCE: SP 800-32

Private key

The secret part of an asymmetric key pair that is typically used to digitally sign or decrypt data.

SOURCE: SP 800-63

Privilege

A right granted to an individual, a program, or a process.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Profiling

Measuring the characteristics of expected activity so that changes to it can be more easily identified.

SOURCE: SP 800-61; CNSSI-4009

Protocol

Set of rules and formats, semantic and syntactic, permitting information systems to exchange information.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Proxy

A proxy is an application that “breaks” the connection between client and server. The proxy accepts certain types of traffic entering or leaving a network and processes it and forwards it. This effectively closes the straight path between the internal and external networks making it more difficult for an attacker to obtain internal addresses and other details of the organization’s internal network. Proxy servers are available for common Internet services; for example, a Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) proxy used for Web access, and a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) proxy used for email.

SOURCE: SP 800-44

R

Read access

Permission to read information in an information system.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Reciprocity

Mutual agreement among participating enterprises to accept each other’s security assessments in order to reuse information system resources and/or to accept each other’s assessed security posture in order to share information.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Red/black concept

Separation of electrical and electronic circuits, components, equipment, and systems that handle unencrypted information (Red), in electrical form, from those that handle encrypted information (Black) in the same form.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Remote access

Access to an organizational information system by a user (or an information system acting on behalf of a user) communicating through an external network (e.g., the Internet).

SOURCE: SP 800-53

Repository

A database containing information and data relating to certificates as specified in a CP; may also be referred to as a directory.

SOURCE: SP 800-32

Residue

Data left in storage after information-processing operations are complete, but before degaussing or overwriting has taken place.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Resilience

The ability to quickly adapt and recover from any known or unknown changes to the environment through holistic implementation of risk management, contingency, and continuity planning.

SOURCE: SP 800-34

Rootkit

A set of tools used by an attacker after gaining root-level access to a host to conceal the attacker’s activities on the host and permit the attacker to maintain root-level access to the host through covert means.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

S

S-box

Nonlinear substitution table used in several byte substitution transformations and in the Key Expansion routine to perform a one-for-one substitution of a byte value.

SOURCE: FIPS 197

Salt

A non-secret value that is used in a cryptographic process, usually to ensure that the results of computations for one instance cannot be reused by an Attacker.

SOURCE: SP 800-63; CNSSI-4009

Scanning

Sending packets or requests to another system to gain information to be used in a subsequent attack.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Security controls

The management, operational, and technical controls (i.e., safeguards or countermeasures) prescribed for an information system to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the system and its information.

SOURCE: SP 800-53; SP 800-37; SP 800-53A; SP 800-60; FIPS 200; FIPS 199; CNSSI-4009

Security label

The means used to associate a set of security attributes with a specific information object as part of the data structure for that object.

SOURCE: SP 800-53

Security marking

Human-readable information affixed to information system components, removable media, or output indicating the distribution limitations, handling caveats, and applicable security markings.

SOURCE: SP 800-53

Sensitive information

Information, the loss, misuse, or unauthorized access to or modification of, that could adversely affect the national interest or the conduct of federal programs, or the privacy to which individuals are entitled under 5 U.S.C. Section 552a (the Privacy Act), but that has not been specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive Order or an Act of Congress to be kept classified in the interest of national defense or foreign policy.

SOURCE: SP 800-53

Skimming

The unauthorized use of a reader to read tags without the authorization or knowledge of the tag’s owner or the individual in possession of the tag.

SOURCE: SP 800-98

SkyVPN

A top rated VPN service provider located in Sunnyvale, CA, SkyVPN currently serves over twenty million users across the globe. Regardless of user location, their service provides unlimited access to all sites, apps and content while protecting data, intercepting cookies, hiding the IP of the users and allowing the users to browse anonymously.

Social engineering

An attempt to trick someone into revealing information (e.g., a password) that can be used to attack systems or networks.

SOURCE: SP 800-61

Spoofing

“IP spoofing” refers to sending a network packet that appears to come from a source other than its actual source.

SOURCE: SP 800-48

T

Tactical data

Information that requires protection from disclosure and modification for a limited duration as determined by the originator or information owner.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Token

Something that the Claimant possesses and controls (typically a key or password) that is used to authenticate the Claimant’s identity.

SOURCE: SP 800-63

Transmission

The state that exists when information is being electronically sent from one location to one or more other locations.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Trap door

In cryptography, one-to-one function that is easy to compute in one direction, yet believed to be difficult to invert without special information.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Trojan horse

A computer program that appears to have a useful function, but also has a hidden and potentially malicious function that evades security mechanisms, sometimes by exploiting legitimate authorizations of a system entity that invokes the program.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Tunneling

Technology enabling one network to send its data via another network’s connections. Tunneling works by encapsulating a network protocol within packets carried by the second network.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

V

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A virtual network, built on top of existing physical networks, that provides a secure communications tunnel for data and other information transmitted between networks.

SOURCE: SP 800-46

Virus

A computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user. A virus might corrupt or delete data on a computer, use email programs to spread itself to other computers, or even erase everything on a hard disk.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

W

Wireless Access Point (WAP)

A device that acts as a conduit to connect wireless communication devices together to allow them to communicate and create a wireless network.

SOURCE: CNSSI-4009

Internet Censorship

February 18, 2020 | VPN Series | No Comments

What is Internet Censorship

Internet Censorship is the control of access to information on the internet. Internet Censorship limits an individual’s access to what can be published, accessed, edited, and viewed on the internet. The intensity of internet censorship varies from country to country. In some cases, internet censorship is periodic, based on age, status, religious background, or ideology.
Internet censorship can be placed on people by parents, institutions, religious organizations, governments, and internet service providers.

When did censorship start?

The internet was initially made accessible to the public in 1991. It went relatively unsanctioned for another five years until 1996 when the United States Government enacted the communications decency acts, which placed a ban on indecent and offensive materials on the internet. Two years after the act was introduced, the U.S government passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This act criminalizes the dissemination of materials that help people wave over copyright laws. This single act limited the freedom of speech, the creation of content, scientific research, and even free expression. These laws marked the official beginning of internet censorship as a whole.

A brief history of censorship

The origin of the term censor came from Rome, in 443 BC as a result of the need of the roman empire to censor political and philosophical views. Notably, censorship reforms only began in Russia in a single decade (1855-1865) during the reign of Tsar Alexander II.

In 1766, Sweden became the first country to abolish censorship by laws. In 1998, China created the “Golden Shield Initiative” (Now the Great Fire Wall Of China) This program was created to limit the public’s access to sensitive materials that were viewed as disruptive and as a threat to the Chinese government.
Not long after the creation of VPNs, Bitcoin was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, and it has been used to perform transactions, and circumvent restrictive censorship laws.

What is the purpose of internet censorship?

Internet censorship is placed on a person, or a group of people to establish control over the information they are allowed to see, read, process, or publish. Whether a parent is placing restrictions on a child, or a network provider is limiting access to specific sites, all internet censorship laws and actions stem from the desire or need to establish control.

After establishing control, internet censorship can also be used by a government or institution to maintain control. For example, China has placed numerous restrictions to access to services with a history of data collection and distribution like Google and Facebook. By restricting access to these two services, the Chinese government controls the dissemination of their citizen’s personal data and is able to safeguard their interests.
Internet censorship can also be placed on some materials if they are considered dangerous or undesirable. For example, the United States places heavy censorship on traffic with certain keywords, Ip addresses, or domain names. In most instances, this is done to stop communication between potentially dangerous groups.

Although most internet censorship programs are created to establish control, their reason for censoring the information they control is not always clear. For example, Facebook has taken down all pictures of mothers breastfeeding, and Twitter banned pictures of Alex Jones. There was no particular reason or motivation for the ban on those pictures.
Censorship can also be placed on individuals who break certain rules enforced by a company or organization. There have been instances where certain individuals have been banned from Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other major service providers because they broke certain rules or conditions they previously agreed to observe.

The pitfalls of internet censorship

Although large organizations and governmental bodies present internet censorship as a necessary evil that allows them to protect the users of the internet, it tends to do more harm than good to the people that actually depend on the internet.

It can affect the business and progress of the people it has been placed on
In 2017, China cracked down on VPNs and totally cut off access to resources like DropBox, Google Scholar, Facebook, and other western-based internet services. This newly placed restriction jeopardized the lives and livelihood of numerous entrepreneurs, scientists, and investors.

As a tool of authoritarian government to repress democracy and education
In Egypt and China, the government had withheld information from its citizens and used their ignorance as justification for their government or regime.

It stifles creativity and scientific progress

Copyright laws enforced by the DMCA have always been used by companies and organizations as weapons to control online discourse and competitors. What started out as a shield created to protect the works of creatives has become one of the biggest obstacles to innovation

Forms of internet censorship

Internet censorship comes in different forms. Some of the most popular forms of internet censorships are;
Legislation
These are laws passed that restrict access to specific websites, materials and content.
DNS tampering
This occurs when the user is redirected before they are able to access specifically content.
IP blocking
This restricts certain up addresses from accessing websites and other sensitive materials.
Keyword filtering
Removal of certain keyword from content
Packet filtering
Packet filtering monitors outgoing and incoming pockets or up Ip addresses.
● Rules created by user-based applications
Apps and services like Google and social media tend to prompt users to agree to certain rules before they use their apps and services.
Regional access
Certain regions deny access to users who are not from the supported regions. For example, Steam is not available in many African countries.

How Should You Encrypt Your Internet Traffic?

February 12, 2020 | VPN Series | No Comments

There are tons of reasons why average people should encrypt their internet connection. The fact is that internet fraudsters, and third party organizations are keeping tabs on your internet activity. You internet activity is always monitored by these set of people. Therefore, it would be weird and dangerous not to get some protection.
The first and most obvious reason for encrypting your internet traffic is safety. You might not know this, but as long as you are opening tabs and using services from large corporations, your browsing patterns and information are being tracked and recorded. That personal data could end up in the hands of government bodies, ad campaign runners, or even scammers.
The second reason is privacy. Even if your personal data does not end up as part of some ad algorithm for entrepreneurs, it can still feel very uncomfortable to have your personalized searches scrutinized by any person who happens to pick up your phone. Encrypting your internet traffic covers you on all fronts and prevents unexpected leaks from ever happening.

How to encrypt your internet?

Encrypting your internet is not necessarily an overly complex or expensive process. It is possible you encrypt your internet for free but this type of encryption won’t be a strong encryption. You can browse safe and secure by tweaking certain settings or exploiting unique features you are not aware of already. To get a very strong encryption for your internet traffic, you would need to spend some money in doing that. Listed below are a couple of the most common ways of encrypting your internet traffic.

Encrypting your Wi-Fi network

This is one of the easiest ways to secure your internet traffic. Once you set a password that you are comfortable with, you have officially encrypted your internet traffic. The easiest way to tell if a network is encrypted is the padlock icon that is usually present beside the Wi-Fi signal. There are numerous types of wireless encryption protocols you can use. The most common are WEP, WPA, and WPA2.
WPA2 encryption is the updated version of the WPA security protocol. WPA2 encryption is currently the most secured type of wireless encryption protocol available on the internet today. It adds the Counter Mode Cipher Block Chiang Message Authentication Code Protocol onto the already existing layer of security and makes it difficult for someone to break through and access your data. When choosing an encryption security protocol, it is recommended that you make use of WPA2 encryption.
You can set up the encryption protocol on your Wi-Fi router easily. Some routers require a more complicated process, but most home routers only require you to log in to your router, enable WPA2 encryption, and set a password you are comfortable with.

Using a VPN

Using a VPN or Virtual Private Network to encrypt your internet traffic is one of the most popular paid avenues of protecting your personalized browsing data. VPNs secure your personal data by redirecting your connection through servers all around the world. In basic terms, VPNs provide secure encrypted tunnels for your internet connection to pass through. Usually, VPNs are provided by private internet security companies. Upon payment and registration, they will walk you the process of securing your internet access and will encrypt it as long as you choose to pay for their services.

Use HTTPS

VPNs and encrypted routers are great, but if you cannot afford that and you still want an extra layer of security, you should consider using HTTPS instead of HTTP. Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is a more secure version of HTTP used popularly on the internet. While it cannot ensure that your data won’t be recorded and used by the organization or parties you are reaching out to over the internet, it can ensure that your data does not leak in transit. An HTTPs connection ensures bidirectional encrypted communication. This means that the website or entity you are communicating with has signed a digital certificate proving that they are legitimate. If a website does not have an HTTPS certificate and asks for payment for a service, they are most likely not legitimate.
This method of encryption won’t completely protect your data, but it will prevent it from falling into the wrong hands while you browse. It is recommended that you use a browser extension like HTTPS everywhere to help you always load a site with HTTPS encryption.

Using a Tor browser

A Tor browser is an internet browser that offers complete anonymity while browsing on the internet. Unlike simple browser functions like incognito or private tabs that wipe your history alone, this type of browser leaves no data whatsoever. Your location, Ip address, cookies, and everything else will remain a complete mystery with this type of browser.
A tor browser encrypts your internet access by connecting you at random to a public node, bouncing the signal through another random middle node, and finally exiting at yet another node. The three layers of protection tor provide are often referred to as the onion protocol. Tor switches out your IP address numerous times during the encryption process, and in most cases, it will spit out location information from halfway across the world. Tor browsers are best coupled with other secure search engines like Bing, Duckduckgo, Privatelee, and searX.

Encrypted messages

Encrypted messages are messages that cannot be read or access without some sort of password or clearance. Encrypted messages don’t technically encrypt your internet access, but they can keep conversations and data private. There are tons of encrypted messaging platforms on the internet; you can use to convey your messages privately. Apps like iMessage, Telegram, and Threema are popular encrypted messaging platforms you can try if you want to communicate with someone discreetly.

Pharming Attacks

February 5, 2020 | VPN Series | No Comments

Over the last decade or so, the internet has been expanding at an alarming rate. Industries like Ecommerce and ESports have quadrupled in size in a relatively short time, and in a few years, they might even rival major industries like oil.

With this fresh influx of money into the internet, it has never been more dangerous to remain unprotected online. Regular cyberattacks like phishing, spoofing have become more brazen threaten small and large corporations alike.

Pharming is one of the latest and most dangerous cyber attacks on the internet. It is targeted at small scale businesses and regular internet users alike. It is a more advanced version of phishing, and without proper education, it can cause regular people to lose their identities and savings.

What is pharming?

Pharming is an internet attack that’s similar to phishing but it is a higher form of internet attack than a regular phishing ( a social engineering attack that steals the personal information of victims without quite alarming them.) Pharming attacks lure unsuspecting victims to malicious websites generated specifically for stealing user information. Once they enter their information, the hackers steal from the victim’s account, blackmail them for money, or sell their information to the highst bidder.

In other to carry out a pharming attack, the attacker/cyber criminal can either get a malicious program installed on the user’s computer system or the user deliberately logs onto a DNS server that’s been infected by the attacker.

Pharming attacks are far higher than normal phishing attacks. They are much more difficult to see through, and they require some level of expertise and security to avoid. Unlike regular phishing attacks, it targets the users as well as computers. It redirects the computer by changing the IP address and redirecting traffic to a malicious website.
Pharming attacks imitate regular websites and fool victims regardless of whether they follow the link in the email or not. As far as the correct URL is followed, the victims will be led to the pharming website that is designed to trick them into giving up their details.

The simple difference between phising and pharming is that phising is done through a specific link sent by a cyber criminal to internet users. In this cases, the user will choose and decide to click and follow that link. On the other hand, pharming attack is not done through a link. It is done by directing the traffic on an original and unique site to a fake site by changing the hosts file on a victim’s computer or by infecting the DNS server of the original site.

How does Pharming work?

Pharming attacks can happen in one of two ways. It can take place through a process known as poisoning or it can be carried out with the help of an application.

The poisoning pharming method is used when hackers exploit the vulnerabilities of a DNS server software by altering the rules, and connecting users to spoofed websites. DNS servers are computers that connect browsers to their respective UP addresses. They help users access websites they want to access. When this is altered or messed with, it is possible to reroute an unsuspecting user to a different sites entirely without their knowledge. When DNS servers have been successfully tampered with, the servers are referred to as ‘poisoned.’

The second and most popular method is through malware. Instead of going through all the trouble of hijacking a DNS server, pharmers simply alter the contents of the host files of the computer. Host files are files that contain a list of previously visited sites and their IP addresses. When a Pharmer alters the host files, he links certain website names to the IP addresses of his spoofed websites. This way when the user inputs the URL, it will request a different IP address instead of the correct and safe one. The malicious application used in pharming can mostly be found on illegal websites. Once this application downloads and installs, it will begin to corrupt and change files. This method of pharming is used to gather numerous victims. It is far more effective than DNS cache poisoning, in that, the attack cannot be dealt with at once.

How to protect against Pharming?

Although it is incredibly difficult to identify a pharming attack until it’s too late, there are proven ways to avoid pharming attacks altogether.
Using a trustworthy internet service providers
Most established internet service providers are large and well established enough to repel most pharming attack directed towards their customers. They have up-to-date security and redirect users who have been led astray as soon as a pharming attack is noticed.

Check the URL for errors

The biggest weakness of pharming attacks is when pharmers fail to completely create a perfect replica of the websites they targeted. This means that there will be distinct differences between the pharmer’s websites and the original websites. The first and most common indication is a misspelt brand name or poor site construction or programming.

HTTP and HTTPS

Most financial websites are encrypted and offer an extra layer of security. This extra layer of security is denoted by the HTTPS. HTTP websites do not have security because they are not encrypted and as a resul,and it’s dangerous to visit them. Therefore, internet users should not disclose sensitive information on websites with no HTTPS protection.

Avoiding illegal websites

Illegal websites offer their subscribers and user access to valuable information and products for free. Most times, these free information and services are embedded with a dangerous malicious application. Sometimes it might be a malware that destroys files, and other times, it could be a pharming malware.

Antiviruses

There are numerous well-reviewed antivirus software available on the market. Most of them can detect and remove dangerous pharming malware and protect users as they browse the internet. Picking an effective antivirus that guards against most pharming attack should be fairly easy for most users.

The use of cryptocurrency is on a rapid rise. If recent stats are to be believed, Bitcoin, a form of cryptocurrency, accounts for more than $6 billion worth of daily transactions. Not only this, but the global blockchain market size is expected to exceed $57 million by 2025.
All these stats suggest a positive trend towards a brighter future for cryptocurrency. So, will cryptocurrency become a new trend in the future? Let’s find out!But before we delve deeper, let’s understand what a cryptocurrency is.

What is Cryptocurrency?

In simple words, a cryptocurrency is a virtual or digital currency that is designed to work as a medium of exchange. Being based on blockchain, it is a decentralized currency that makes use of cryptography technology for security and verification purposes. What this means is that the cryptocurrency is not regulated by any central authority. This makes them relatively immune to government control and interference.
Since cryptocurrencies are virtual by nature, they can be exchanged between two parties with the help of public and private keys. Bitcoin is one such cryptocurrency.

Understanding Bitcoin

Bitcoin may often be referred to as anonymous money. It is the most popular cryptocurrency that came into being in January 2009. Reportedly, this digital currency was developed by Satoshi Nakamoto. What makes Bitcoin different from the paper currency is the fact that it extensively uses cryptography and relies on a peer-to-peer network.
Bitcoin Alternatives
A number of Bitcoin alternatives have popped up into the market. These include the likes of Ethereum, Stellar, NEO, DAVX, Zcash, and the like. All these virtual currencies make use of a digital database and guarantee the utmost security and confidentiality. So, here is an important question – how do cryptocurrencies work? Let’s find out.

How Does Cryptocurrency Work?

Cryptocurrency uses a highly-secure system based on blockchain such that every transaction is recorded on this digital database. This nature of cryptocurrency makes it immutable. Since all the records can be accessed by the involved parties, it ensures complete transparency and integrity.

Fraud-proof

One of the best parts of cryptocurrency is that it is completely fraud-proof. This is because when cryptocurrency is created, all the associated transactions are stored in a public ledger. The identities of the owners of cryptocurrencies are encrypted to ensure secure storage of records. Further, since the cryptocurrency is decentralized in nature, you get to own it completely.

Accessible

Cryptocurrency is easily accessible. All you need is an active internet connection and you are good to go. It also enables people who have no right to use traditional exchange systems but can access the internet to use cryptocurrency.

Identity-proof

Most cryptocurrencies are capable of masking your identity. They all work in the same fashion – a group of computers receive transaction information directly from users who want to send money to each other. In this process, the real names of the people stay hidden. Only the respective account numbers and transaction amounts are visible. This approach ensures better privacy and security, even better than credit cards.
This makes the entire arrangement hack-free and fraud-proof.

The Future of Cryptocurrency

Although the cryptocurrency sounds great and all, it has its own loopholes as well. The high-level of anonymity that it provides, for instance, could promote illegal activities like money laundering, and smuggling.
Further, since users prefer storing their cryptocurrencies in a digital wallet, cyber criminals could hack this wallet, and steal their fortune.
However, in spite of all these limitations, cryptocurrencies continue to shine and are expected to become mainstream in the coming years.
The increased reliance of a large number of industries over cryptocurrencies is leaving no stone unturned in making them popular. Some of the popular business names that accept cryptocurrencies include Microsoft, Overstock, CheapAir, eGifter, and Reeds Jewelers.
Further, as more and more cryptocurrencies continue popping up in the market, this is likely to create a positive environment for the virtual currency to prosper and flourish. Libra by Facebook is one such positive step that provided the much-needed boost to the industry.
Let’s not forget that cryptocurrencies make international money transfer better and faster. This rules out any hassles related to converting money from one currency into another.
However, as a large number of countries are looking for ways to regulate the currency, this will defeat its original purpose.
The future is not for us to see, it will be highly exciting to see how things unfold themselves in the near future, and how popular they become.

The Next Steps

Although it is too early to comment on the popularity of cryptocurrency in the coming years, one thing is for sure – cryptocurrencies are a highly secure, convenient, reliable, and faster way to transact. What are your views on this? Do you favor the use of cryptocurrencies in our daily lives? Don’t forget to share your views with us in the comments below.

Internet Traps And How To Avoid Them

January 10, 2020 | VPN Series | No Comments

The age of internet is at its prime and virtually everyone around the globe wants to be on the internet to make use of it for social, business and educational purposes. The fact that the internet does not come with the provision of a security manual for users to follow, makes it an open deep grave of danger and traps. Therefore, this article will list various types of internet traps and the ways to avoid them.
1. PHISHING: This is one of the most popular reigning traps for stealing personal information on the internet. Phishing is a fraudulent act of sending an email that contains a decoy, appearing to be from a real and reputable company. The purpose of sending a phishing email is to make people reveal their personal information. Once clicked on, the link would direct them to a fake interface where they would be asked to enter their personal information. For instance, credit card details bank account details, etc.
2. SPEAR PHISHING: Spear phishing is similar to phishing. Unlike phishing which targets a large number of people, spear phishing is orchestrated by sending an email that contains a decoy link to just a targeted and well-scouted individual or company. Spear phishing aims to gain access into the individual’s or company’s database and get information that can be used for fraudulent acts.
3. VISHING: Vishing is simply a phishing trap that’s carried out with phone calls. A cybercriminal fakes his/her caller ID and voice through some certain software so that he/she can appear to be calling from a particular location. It can be a fake call from your bank and the caller would be disguising to be the bank staff to get personal information from you.
4. BUYER BEWARE: Buyer beware is a Latin phrase “Caveat Emptor” which can also mean “sold as it is”. This term means that the buyer of a product assumes the risk that comes with the product he/she is proposing to buy, and that the product may fail to meet his expectations. The buyer assumes to full responsibility for the product as it is. In agreement to this term, a buyer has no recourse with the seller if the product fails to meet the expectations in the nearest future. In a case whereby a seller wants to scam a buyer, the seller would make the buyer agree to a buyer beware terms and conditions unknowingly and blindly and let the buyer accept the product as is it without being able to complain.
5. CATFISHING: Catfishing is an online deceptive activity that’s associated with dating websites. A cybercriminal impersonates another person to date someone else online for financial extortion, abuse, etc. They can ask their victims to send money to them or provide his/her credit/debit card details.
6. CONTACT SPAMMING: Spam is any form of an unwanted and uninvited message or advertisement that was sent out in bulk to people, and enters your email without your permission or subscription. It is a threat that disturbs and breach your email privacy. It is also a means cybercriminals use to steal individuals’ and firms’ information.
7. BAITING: Baiting is luring or getting to someone with the use of gifts, rewards, and prizes. By sparring up the greed and curiosity, the victim will unknowingly submit his/her valuable information or even financial details to the cybercriminals. For instance, if a cybercriminal decides to attack a company and steal information from them, he/she can visit the company and send out free flash drivers that are malware-infected to the staffs of the company. Once one of the staff uses the flash drive at work, the company’s system will be infected with the spy malware. That would give the cybercriminal access to the company’s data and files.

How To Avoid Internet Trap

Whenever you receive a call from an individual or firm, verify the call and caller’s identity before answering the caller’s questions. For example, use an official directory, or app like True Caller to know the details behind the number that’s calling you. Do not give out your personal information to the caller if you’re not sure of his realness.
Do not agree to a transaction deal without having the full knowledge about the terms and conditions of the deal. When dealing with a transaction, read through the terms and conditions and check the product you want to buy thoroughly. Also, don’t purchase goods from an untrusted online store.
To avoid spamming, keep you anti virus software up to date. Make use of anti-spam tools and avoid clicking popups and buttons that lead to extraordinary free gifts. Have more than one email and separate them for different purposes.
More importantly, individuals and companies should always make use of a strong VPN to secure their activities and information on the internet. Companies should get anti-malware software installed on their systems to avoid theft of credible data and information.

Do Ordinary People Need VPNs?

January 6, 2020 | VPN Series | No Comments

The word VPN is an abbreviation that means Virtual Private Network. Virtual private network (VPN) it is a specially designed network of many servers that covers the entire globe which gives users private connection directly to any website or computer they connect to and make all their online activities,  such as sites visited, transactions made online, browsing history private and none visible to any third party but users and their devices. VPN is considered a safer and more secure way,  it works in a very secured way that makes your internet activities untraceable, unmonitored, unidentified and uncensored by creating a private network from a public internet connection and masking your internet protocol (IP) address,  so your online activities are secured i.e. untraceable, unmonitored, uncensored, and unidentified.

The Need For Privacy Becomes Normal

In this internet age, we are sharing our lives to the world through the internet now more than ever.  Unknowingly and voluntarily , we hand over so much personal information to people that will harm us through it. Personal and financial information of people is highly desirable to cybercriminals. With the theft of one’s identity, a cybercriminal may be able to access your banking details, obtain credit cards, loans, create trial credit rating destruction and perform other criminal acts all in your name. So because of all these and more, there is a high need to stay smart online and keep your privacy level high.
Surfing the internet or making financial transactions on an unsecured Wi-Fi network means you could be exposing your private information and browsing habits. Think about the times you’ve been on the go checking your bank account while in line at the coffee shop or making a transfer on your banking app . Believe me, your whole private data and information is not safe unless you are using a private network during these times. Endangering our personal information and data is more like endangering our lives. What an average person doesn’t know is that you don’t need to be the main target before criminals hijack your personal information and data. In this current age, everyone is a target for cybercriminals.
The Wi-Fi we use at bars, hospitals, restaurants might have been tampered with by a cybercriminal who might have put some form of spy system to intercept whatever we do with the Wi-Fi and steal our private information for his use. Advertisement trackers on websites we visit are part of the means cybercriminals can steal our data and information. There are thousands of ways cybercriminals can steal one’s data through the internet but all these ways can be blocked by using a virtual private network (VPN).

Access To Information Communication And Entertainment Is Radical

The Internet is supposed to be a global network that links the entire world in the aspects of information, communication, and entertainment , but many websites are confined to specific countries, some are banned by the internet service provider (ISP) , and some sites are banned by the government. A good example is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government that banned their citizens from visiting pornography sites ,which makes it impossible to visit such sites from the country and unable to get information or any entertainment gist going on there.
For instance, some movies on Netflix are only available in some specific geographical location. On YouTube, some contents are only available for viewing and streaming in some specific geographical locations. With the help of a VPN, you can easily visit banned sites  on your computer and mobile device.
VPN makes it easy for accessing blocked contents and sites in your country as it allows you to tunnel your traffic through an encrypted connection and come out from the other side , making you bypass geographical restrictions with ease.

VPNs May Be The New Normal

Over time, VPN was considered an application for computer nerds and ICT companies for carrying out their ICT related activities from an average person’s perspective. Over the past decade, so many people did not know what a VPN is used for , and even till now many people still don’t know about it.
Recently the need for internet privacy and security had risen and the awareness against cybercrime is getting high, therefore, individuals are getting to know more and understand the importance of VPN while using the internet. The enlightened many are already making use of VPN daily for their privacy and security to avoid theft of personal and financial information and data that might ruin them . As time goes on,  people that don’t know yet would get to know about the importance of VPN and the danger of surfing online without protecting their  information by using a VPN. Sooner or later, VPNs may be the new normal as people would no longer surf the internet without making use of it.

Perhaps the best part of the internet is that you can access it readily even when you are vacationing.
No matter if you are visiting a farfetched island or an urban posh area, all you need to do is connect to the public Wi-Fi hotspots and chill. You can watch your favorite Netflix shows, connect with your friends and family and make online transactions.
However, here is the catch. Do not connect to an open Wi-Fi network without a second thought. This is because you might be spoofed, spied, and monitored. The information that you share over your public Wi-Fi could be compromised, the online content served to you could be geographic restrictions and more.
This is when the entire concept of a VPN kicks in. Let’s explore more about it in this section.

How Does a VPN Work?

In the simplest terms, VPN is an easy way to ensure that you are safe and secure online.
Consider a VPN (or virtual private network) as a secure and encrypted tunnel between your device and the rest of the internet. This tunnel is secure and encrypted using the latest communication protocols.
Thus, all the traffic that originates from your computer is made to pass through this secure tunnel.
This way, whatever information you share over this connection remains secure, your identity stays anonymous, and your online activities are hidden. You leave no digital footprints and are able to access the internet seamlessly. Essentially, this means that your Internet Service Provider will not be able to record your web history, and your IP address won’t be revealed.

Why You Need a VPN for Travel?

A VPN does more than you can imagine. Let’s have a look at a few aspects through which it can make your vacation all the more fun!
Helps you unblock content
“This content is currently unavailable in your region.”
A warning message like this, sure, is irritating. If you are traveling to a place wherein most content that you want to access is blocked for any reason whatsoever, a VPN could help you out.
By hiding your location and identity, a VPN helps you unblock content on the go.
Protects you from hackers
You will never want your bank account (or any other account) to be hacked while using an open WiFi. This is where a VPN helps you out.
All thanks to its latest security protocols and encryption standards, it protects your online identity and keeps you safe from hackers.
Helps you save money on flights
You might not have seen this coming but a VPN can also help in saving money on flights. All you need to do is connect to a VPN server based in a low-income country. Alternatively, try changing your IP to the airline’s country. Now, browse the available flights.
The chances are high that you will be able to explore much better deals by hiding your real location.
A VPN helps you torrent safely
Various torrent websites are restricted according to the region. There are others that only serve content based on your location. In either case, a VPN could help.
By hiding your location, it can help you in circumventing geo-restrictions, and help you in exploring torrent websites on the go.
Additionally, since a VPN works by establishing a secure connection, it also ensures your safety while you torrent.
Watch Netflix anywhere, anytime
Do you love watching your favorite shows on Netflix US? But what? You are now in Germany, and can’t access Netflix US anymore?
Do not worry. VPN is here to your rescue. You can connect to any of the US-based servers of the VPN and enjoy Netflix like a pro.

BitVPN- the Best VPN for Travel

Convinced of the usefulness of the VPN? We’re sure! If you are looking for the best VPN to use on your vacation, BitVPN is what needs your attention. It is a decentralized VPN service that takes your internet privacy seriously.
BitVPN is highly secure, all thanks to the layers of data encryption and scrambling that it employs. Above all, the VPN is decentralized by nature which means that it is completely private. It has its nodes spread across the world. The service makes use of peer-to-peer mesh network and doesn’t store logs of any kind.
Think no more! Get your hands on the best VPN and travel safely and securely.
BitVPN for iOS: https://apps.apple.com/app/apple-store/id1421603736
BitVPN for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=me.bitvpn.app

How Much Do You Know About Malware?

December 23, 2019 | VPN Series | 4 Comments

Definition:
Malware is a specially designed software that is intentionally and deliberately created for the ultimate purpose of effecting damages to a computer, computer network, server, or client and also for stealing data, encrypting and deleting of sensitive data of an individual or government’s top-secret files, altering and hijacking of core computer functions and for spying on user’s computer activities.
In other words, malware is an assembled malicious software encoded and programmed for the intent of damaging devices and causing a mess on a computer. Any program that secretly acts against the interest of the computer and the user is assumed to be a malware. Meanwhile, there is a clear difference between software and programs that cause unintentional arms and damages to a computer and software that intentionally and deliberately causes damages to a computer. Software that causes any unintentional arm to a computer is called a software bug and not malware. Know that malware is often created by a team of dark hackers who intentionally create and spread malware by all means for the sole aim of making money or profit.

Types of Malware

Spyware: As the first syllable in the name implies. Spyware is malware designed to spy on your computer at large and all the data on it. It works underground on a stealth mode and hides in the background of your computer as it takes to record all your activities on your computer including your password, credit card numbers, social media login details, your banking app details, SSN, and all other details on your computer system. It tracks and spies on your activities from time to time on your computer.

Ransomware: From the meaning of Ransom, Ransomware is that malware that locks down your computer and your files and threatens to erase all your data unless you pay a Ransom. It infects a computer system and encrypts the data on it then Ransom is asked to be paid to the cybercriminals and dark hackers in charge of the malware.

Virus: A virus is the most popular type of malware. You can easily come across viruses through some normal activities and means like transfer of files from an already infected computer, using an infected flash drive or external hard disk. You can also get your computer infected with a virus by visiting some harmful websites. This type of malware is capable of spreading itself without any human communication or control from the Malware author or hacker. It self replicates and damages other programs data and files.

Trojan: Trojan is a type of Malware that appears with a dubious interface like real and genuine software. It can be attached to a real and original software that had been tampered with by a dark hacker or malware author who had hidden the malware in it. Trojan works in a stealth mode that is on the computer system underground and also creates loopholes in your computer security for other malware to come in.

How To Avoid Malware

Malware can be avoided through some careful means and cautious procedures.

Use of anti-malware/ anti-virus software

Anti-malware/Anti-virus software is computer software that’s programmed and designed to detect and eliminate computer malware/viruses and also to protect the computer system from any malware/virus threat and invasion. The use of anti-malware/anti-virus software helps your computer to run a time to time check on malware/viruses by scanning through your computer system hence blocking and removing any detected malware/viruses and threats. Anti-malware/Anti-virus software is designed in a systematic way that makes it operates like malware/viruses itself. The software hooks deep into the computer’s operating system and then establishes a checkpoint at every place in the system where malware/viruses might want to come in through. Whenever the operating system accesses a file from any source, the anti-malware/anti-virus software runs a quick check by scanning through the files then look for available malware/viruses. If any malware/viruses are found it will be dealt with immediately and the operation of such an infected file would be stopped. Anti-malware/Anti-virus software is a 24/7 standby protection.

Preventing malware with smart online behaviors

You can also prevent malware from affecting your computer system through cautious and smart behaviors online. When surfing the internet be very cautious of sites you visit. Some sites are highly infected with a virus and are unsafe to visit. Don’t download files from untrusted sites and don’t download files that are not original. Many people tend to download malware-infected files because they cannot purchase original files on the file actual website therefore, they go about looking for a copy or hacked version which might have been infected or attached with malware by dark hackers.

Keep your software up to date

Always make sure your computer software is up to date. Update your computer software regularly. It will help you in avoiding malware on your computer system

Remove malware with the right software

When getting rid of your computer malware endeavors to use the right software in doing that. Sometimes people cause more harm to their computers by using the wrong software in removing malware on their computer system which will later result in a catastrophic end and cause more damage to the operating system of the computer. All these will result in a compulsory need to format your computer and lose all files and software.

As it goes, the internet is no more a safe place. You can be tracked, your digital footprints can be traced, your bank details can be stolen, and your web history can be monitored.
This is the reason that using a VPN service to secure internet connection has become an utmost necessity. For starters, a VPN (or virtual private network works) by encrypting your data with the latest encryption protocols and transfers your web traffic through a secure tunnel. This way, it ensures that government and third-parties cannot track your web activities. Additionally, it also keeps you protected from hackers and snoopy ISP providers.

But Here is the Catch: Are All VPNs Safe?

Although the basic purpose of using a VPN is to ensure your safety and security online, sadly, this is not the case. Most VPNs are privately owned and have their own set of rules and regulations on how they handle security.
Some VPN providers keep your logs, connection timestamps, IP addresses, and web history to share them with the government whenever needed. This is nothing but a big loophole in the entire scenario. This defeats the basic purpose of using a VPN.
Here are a few ways in which a free centralized VPN lets you down:
Ads, ads, and ads
Connect to a free VPN and you will find that they constantly bombard you with ads. Since they are free of cost, this is how they fuel their expenses.
Selling your bandwidth
Have you ever noticed that your connection speed drops drastically every time you connect to a free centralized VPN? This is because your VPN provider might be selling your bandwidth. Some of them even track your activity.
Limited data
Here is the final nail in the coffin. A lot of VPN providers do not provide you with unlimited data to access the internet securely. They come with a capped limit. What if this limit is crossed?
Well, your internet connection is not protected anymore.
To overcome these challenges of centralized VPN, decentralized VPNs were introduced.

What is a Decentralized VPN?

While a centralized VPN owns and maintains its servers, a decentralized VPN has a network of separately owned users that safeguard the web data of users. A decentralized VPN is based on blockchain and uses each PC on a peer-to-peer network to communicate.
BitVPN is a decentralized VPN built over a public blockchain network and an open-communication TOP network. The TOP network is a decentralized cloud communication network built on a public blockchain. This decentralized structure ensures complete anonymity.
What makes decentralized VPNs like BitVPN safe is that they cannot be hacked. This is because hackers will need to hack every computer acting as a node to gain control over the system which is impossible. This decentralized structure makes BitVPN highly secure, private, and anonymous.
Since the VPN is decentralized by nature, the user data is handled by numerous independently-working servers across the world. This way, it is almost impossible for any hacker to exploit the system and exercise control over it.

A Decentralized VPN Provides Regular VPN Services

It is important to mention here that decentralized VPNs provide better safety and security when compared to centralized VPNs, and they provide you with all the services that you will ever expect from a VPN.
Want to protect your IP address from the government? Want to ensure that your online financial transactions are safe and secure? Want to circumvent geo-blocking? Well, whatever your needs are – a decentralized VPN takes care of all of them, but with added security.
You can stream Netflix, play games, torrent and share files, connect to a public Wi-Fi network securely, and do everything that you would like. BitVPN lets you do each of these tasks, while ensuring that your security is not compromised at any point in time.

The Next Steps

While centralized VPNs aim to provide a bit of extra internet security, the truth is that they are not as secure as they should be. This is why using decentralized VPNs is the need of the hour. They deliver exactly what they are meant for – protection, anonymity, and security.
What are your views on this? Do let us know in the comments below.