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Understanding Botnet Attacks

A number of inter- connected devices coordinated together to perform a certain task are referred to as a botnet. They are generally used for malicious purposes such as stealing data, spamming, launching a ransomware or a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) etc.

Often used with a negative connotation, the word botnet is a combination of two words – Robot and Network i.e. a network of robots used to commit crime.

The cybercriminals who control them are known as bot herders or bot masters. They are widely launching botnet attacks for stealing cryptocurrencies and money from digital wallets, disrupting functions of IoT devices, defrauding advertisers etc. This is indeed worrisome and a serious threat to security systems.

How Do Botnets Work?

  • Bot masters try to bring under their command as many infected devices or bots as possible to make a bigger botnet. This is done to amplify the impact of attack and to create an operational disruption. So the size of botnet matters a lot.
  • They then use bots to completely obstruct a certain website by overloading it. Such an attack is also called DDoS attack.
  • Generally designed to infect millions of devices, bot masters infect botnets into computers through a Trojan horse virus. It is injected into the user’s system when he/she clicks on a website or pop up containing malware or a malicious email attachment.
  • Once the virus is injected into a user’s system, botnets then gain access to their computers, steal the information and commit cybercrimes.
  • They are difficult to detect and most of the times, user might not be able to figure out that their device is under the influence of a botnet.
  • Some botnets can also propagate the infection on their own, thus bringing more devices under control by infecting them.

Structure Of Botnet
There are two main forms of botnet structures.
Client-Server Model: In this structure, one main server controls the transmission of information from each client and is best for taking & maintaining complete control over the botnet. A special software is used to establish the command and control servers in order to send instructions to each client device.
Peer-to-Peer: This P2P model uses an interconnected structure. Unlike client-server model that relies on a centralized C & C server, in a peer-to-peer structure every device functions both as a client as well as server.
Names Of Some Botnets

  • Zeus
  • Windigo
  • Koobface
  • Kovter
  • Flashback
  • Sefnit
  • ASProx
  • Conficker etc.

With the increasing trend of IoT devices, it has become easier to launch a botnet attack. So, it is important to understand the working and implications of a botnet and ways in which a botnet works to prevent falling prey to such an attack.

For more information, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

Reasons Why Mobile Apps Fail

There are millions of mobile apps available on the app store. However, there are certain reasons why some apps gain high popularity, become a fad and have over million users whereas some are not able to get even thousand downloads. So, it is important to analyze what makes a mobile app a hit or a failure. Here we have listed certain potential reasons due to which a mobile app generally fails.

  • Poorly Researched Market & Audience

The biggest reason why a mobile app does not qualify to enter the list of most popular/downloaded apps is lack of research. This has two main causes, either failing to specify your target market altogether and marketing your app to wrong set of people or not being able to understand what your target market actually wants. Although, market research is a time taking task but it is definitely worth. It helps you channelize your efforts in the right direction.

  • Lack Of Originality

App stores are already full of similar apps. So why would a user download an app created by you?
They would do so only if it has some feature which other apps don’t have. Your app should have a unique value proposition that differentiates it from others and also optimizes the user experience. Users always welcome new, innovative and useful app ideas.

  • Ignoring Platforms

It is important to develop apps both for android and iOS devices. While doing app developer should keep in mind how a user interacts with different devices.

  • Poor User Experience

If your app faces performance issues, takes longer time to load and has features that are difficult to access then it is definitely something to worry about. People usually uninstall an app that is not able to offer a compelling user experience.

  • Improper Mobile App Testing

The biggest blunder that you can do is to launch your app without testing. It is important to test it so that all the bugs can be removed beforehand, because if you don’t, then you yourself give users a reason to uninstall your app. Hundreds of things can go wrong and the app might just crash. So it is always advisable to test the app before launching it on app stores.

An attractive yet user friendly app goes a long way. So it is a prudent decision to hire a professional app developer who understands the intricate details and possess knowledge as well as skill to develop an optimized mobile app.

To know more about mobile application development, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 – 9654.

Welcome to BlogEngine.NET

If you see this post it means that BlogEngine.NET is running and the hard part of creating your own blog is done. There is only a few things left to do.

Write Permissions

To be able to log in, write posts and customize blog, you need to enable write permissions on the App_Data and Custom folders. If your blog is hosted at a hosting provider, you can either log into your account’s admin page or call the support.

If you wish to use a database to store your blog data, we still encourage you to enable this write access for an images you may wish to store for your blog posts.  If you are interested in using Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, SQL CE, or other databases, please see the BlogEngine docs to get started.

Security

When you`ve got write permissions set, you need to change the username and password. Find the sign-in link located either at the bottom or top of the page depending on your current theme and click it. Now enter "admin" in both the username and password fields and click the button. You will now see an admin menu appear. It has a link to the "Users" admin page. From there you can change password, create new users and set roles and permissions. Passwords are hashed by default so you better configure email in settings for password recovery to work or learn how to do it manually.

Configuration and Profile

Now that you have your blog secured, take a look through the settings and give your new blog a title.  BlogEngine.NET is set up to take full advantage of many semantic formats and technologies such as FOAF, SIOC and APML. It means that the content stored in your BlogEngine.NET installation will be fully portable and auto-discoverable.  Be sure to fill in your author profile to take better advantage of this.

Themes and Plugins

One last thing to consider is customizing the look and behavior of your blog. We have themes and plugins available right out of the box. You can install more right from admin panel under Custom. Also you can check out our high quality themes.

On the web

You can find news, tutorials, documentation, tips and tricks about BlogEngine.NET on the official website. The ongoing development of BlogEngine.NET can be followed at Github.

Good luck and happy writing.

The BlogEngine.NET team

Big Data Terms That One Must Know

Data has a huge potential if the right value is derived from it. Big data is the voluminous repository of data which is used to form inferences. It is a relatively new concept.

It is a wide field and encompasses a number of terms in itself. Here we have listed certain terms which are used in tandem with big data that one must know to gain a detailed insight over this subject of study.

  • Algorithm – It refers to a mathematical formula that is generally used to analyze data. It is usually run by a software.
  • Data Lake – Huge source of information in its raw form is known as Data Lake. This information is used to form inferences.
  • Data Mining – The process of delving into available information to derive meaningful insights is known as data mining. Experts use a variety of statistical techniques, machine learning algorithms, sophisticated software’s meant for data analysis to generate significant conclusions.
  • Distributed File System – It is not possible to store large volume of data on a single system as it is complex, costly and infeasible. So, it is generally stored across various storage devices. This mechanism of storing data on multiple devices is known as distributed file system.
  • ETL – It is an acronym which means extract, transform & load. It is a three step process which is used while ingesting information over big data systems in a structured manner. First of all, raw data is extracted, then it is converted into a meaningful form. Finally, it is loaded onto the system for use.
  • Hadoop – It is a programming framework. Hadoop enables storage and processing of huge chunks of data.
  • Data Scientist – They are people who are experts in analyzing data and are well versed with science, statistics, mathematics and other data analysis techniques.
  • Data Cleansing - There might be certain sets of information which are incorrect. Data cleaning is the process of removing incorrect or irrelevant information from the database. This is done to maintain the quality of data as it is further used for analysis.
  • Dark Data – This is that kind of data which is there in the company’s data repository but has never been put to use.
  • NoSQL- It is a database system which means ‘Not Only SQL’. It is designed to handle large volumes of unstructured data without any schema.
  • IoT – Internet of Things is the growing trend these days. Since so many devices are connected to the network, large amount of data is collected through them which can be used for further analysis.

    To know more about big data, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

How Evolving Technology Affects Cybersecurity?

Our world has witnessed a revolution brought by the ever evolving technology. From smartphones, smartwatches and other such equipment, the market today is full of tech- savvy products we could have never even dreamt of. However, with each passing day the reports of increasing cyberattacks is taking over the world by storm. As per a study by Juniper Research, cybercrimes shall cost businesses over $2 trillion by 2019.

Modern technology has not been able to combat cyberattacks completely as such attacks are consistent with the growth of technology. Whenever a new technology is launched to overcome a cyber threat, attackers too come up with a new virus or ransomware to counterfeit it. Here are some ways in which evolving technology affects cybersecurity –

  • IoT – Internet of Things is a prevalent concept that has made its way into our lives. However, it stands the risk of cyberattacks. If the security measures are weak then it may allow hackers to gain access to the entire network. Attackers might hack the software within the device or apps interface. This might impact the functionality of the device.
  • Artificial Intelligence – AI technology being used by numerous businesses working in various sectors today. However, it poses a serious cyber threat. It automates the discovery of critical software bugs. Hackers might use this to attack insecure networks. It can also be used to launch a social engineering attack by using a Facebook style algorithm to lure users to click on a malicious link that might infect their system with virus. 
  • 5G Technology – While we are on the brink of welcoming 5G, cybersecurity is still a question. With increased data speed, hackers will able to regulate malicious activities easily as the number of connected devices is quite high. Data piracy would be a serious issue as cybercriminals will be able to upload online content rapidly.
  • Social Media Breaches – Social media has enabled people to connect with their friends and family residing all across the globe. However, people post even minutest details such as the places they check-in, personal information such as mobile number, address etc. on their social media accounts thus giving hackers a sneak peek into their lives.
  • Mobile Security Breaches – Smartphones are the new cool, but with it there has been a rise in mobile security threats. From mobile phishing, ad and click fraud, dead apps etc. mobile security threats are something that technological growth has brought along.
  • Digital Information – Everything is computerized today and most information is stored on a shared network. Even though it is secured with passwords it is not really difficult for hackers to gain access to valuable business information.
  • Cloud Computing – More & more firms are shifting to cloud as it is a convenient method of saving & storing information. However, they must take stringent precautions to protect the information stored on cloud or else it might be misused by hackers thus leaving the company information vulnerable.


For more information, contact Centex Technologies at (972) 375 - 9654.

All About Smishing

We are familiar with the term phishing, but cyber-criminals have come up with another new variant. SMS phishing or smishing is nothing but another phishing technique that is undertaken through SMS. It is a mobile security attack. Usually a link is messaged to a user, which when clicked directs them to a site that contains malware and thus injects virus into their mobile phones. This is done to gain access to user’s personal & private information stored on their cellular device.

Nowadays, more & more people are transacting online through their smartphones and many of them might have saved their login credentials on them as well. This fact encourages cyber criminals to attack users & gain sensitive information saved on their hand held devices.

Most Common Types Of Smishing Messages

Have you ever received text messages with a notification regarding an urgent update, a link that can help you get cash backs & discounts or a deal to get a new credit card? Let’s take a look at the broad category of messages that are usually sent

  • General – These types of messages play with your emotions and use a friendly tone to trick you into clicking the link. They may be as simple as, “Get tax refund”, “Checkout our photos” etc.
  • Business – They masquerade themselves as a business entity or financial institution. Generally, they send a message such as, “Update your account information or else you would not be allowed to avail online services”, “Click on the link to get a discount coupon” etc. The words are chosen very carefully to stimulate immediate action.
  • Contest Winner – This is the most commonly used way to entice innocent users. A malicious link is sent to the user along with an SMS that says, “You have won 1000$” or “You are lucky winner of the contest”. A person tends to click the link out of general inquisitiveness & excitement and loses his/her personal information to the hands of cyber criminals. 

How To Avoid Smishing Scams

  • Don’t Click On Any Link In The Message – Try not to be fooled by such messages. Make sure that you do not click on any link sent to you in a message from an untrusted source or unknown number.
  • Don’t Reply Or Call Back- If you are wary of the content that has been messaged to you then do not call back or reply on that number. Replying might invite even more spammed message on your number. Also you can block that number for once and all.
  • Install An Anti-Virus Software – Always be proactive. The smartest move to avoid a smishing attack is to install an anti-virus software beforehand. This will help in preventing a virus to be injected on your device at the first place.

For more information on mobile security, contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 - 9654.