Ransomware operators now outsource network access exploits to speed up attacks

Ransomware operators are now turning to network access sellers in their droves to cut out a difficult step in the infection process. 

On Monday, Accenture’s Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) team released new research on emerging cybersecurity trends, including an investigation into the nature of relationships between ransomware operators and exploit sellers. 

According to Accenture senior security analysts Thomas Willkan and Paul Mansfield, buying network access points and already compromised ways to infiltrate a target system are rising in popularity, including the purchase of stolen credentials and vulnerabilities. 

During attacks, ransomware operators must first find an entry point into a network. Compromised employee accounts, misconfigurations in public-facing systems, and vulnerable endpoints may all be used to deploy this particular family of malicious code, leading to the encryption of files, disks, and a demand for payment in return for a decryption key. 

See also: COVID-19 pandemic delivers extraordinary array of cybersecurity challenges

It is hard to estimate how many successful ransomware attacks have taken place this year. Europol believes that these specific attacks often go unreported, with only major incidents — such as the recent death of a woman in need of urgent care who was forced to divert from Duesseldorf hospital due to a ransomware infection — becoming public knowledge. 

Paying a ransom these days can reach six-figure sums, or more, depending on the target and their estimated worth. Now, ransomware groups are seeking to cut out the initial access stage of an attack, speeding up the process — and potentially the opportunity for illicit revenue.

Network access sellers typically develop an initial vulnerability and then sell their work in underground forums for anywhere between $300 and $10,000. 

The majority of network access offerings in the underground will include the target by industry and the type of access, ranging from Citrix

Cisco Signs up BT for New Service to Speed up Video Streaming | Technology News

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Cisco has signed up Britain’s biggest telecoms group BT as its first customer for a new service to speed up internet video traffic through its networks as the coronavirus crisis pushes up demand for video streaming.

The new service, developed with U.S. cloud platform company Qwilt, helps telecom operators to build their own content delivery infrastructure to increase streaming quality, reduce cost, allow more control over content flows and add a revenue source.

Video streaming companies such as Netflix, Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, Disney+ and Amazon’s Prime video service, account for the majority of the internet’s traffic volume, which got a further boost from the pandemic.

And as 5G networks get deployed more widely, including the expected unveiling of Apple’s 5G iPhones next week, data and video traffic would increase more.

“Streaming video may be the killer app for the internet, but it doesn’t have to kill the internet,” said Jonathan Davidson, Senior Vice President at Cisco.

Earlier this year, European Union industry chief Thierry Breton had called on the streaming giants to lower video streaming quality to help to avert internet gridlock.

Media and internet companies usually pay content delivery network groups such as Akamai to speed up content transfer by navigating less congested routes over the Web.

“With streaming video expected to represent north of 80% of traffic flowing through service provider networks in the coming years, content delivery is the first of potentially many services they can deploy from within to monetise their edge footprint in the 5G era,” Davidson said, referring to the telecom operators.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee, European Technology & Telecoms Correspondent in Stockholm. Editing by Jane Merriman)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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A simple $50 accessory can double the internet speed on your computer or gaming console

a man using a laptop computer sitting on top of a table: How To Speed Up Home Internet

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How To Speed Up Home Internet

  • Anyone wondering how to speed up your home internet without dropping a ton of cash on an overpriced mesh Wi-Fi system will be happy to hear that it’s much easier and less expensive than you think.
  • If you’re sick of slow internet speeds and “buffering” on your computer, TV, or video game console, there’s a simple device that will be a game-changer for you.
  • Before you do something drastic like buying a new router or a pricey mesh Wi-Fi system, check out the TP-Link AV1000 Gigabit Powerline Internet Kit, which is just $49.99 on Amazon.

When you’re trying to watch a video or stream a game, slow internet speeds and buffering can be your worst nightmare. It’s so aggravating, but it happens all the time. What you might not realize though, is that there’s a wonderfully easy way for most people to fix this problem.

A lot of the time, it’s your Wi-Fi connection that is the main source of the issue. Sometimes there’s interference, or if you live in a big household it could be a congestion problem. It could also be an issue with range, and you can get away with a cheap fix by picking up a Wi-Fi range extender. The best-selling TP-Link model on Amazon is on sale right now for just $19.99, or you can go all-out with TP-Link’s fastest extender ever for $89.99.

But if you want the best possible fix with the fastest and most reliable connection, you need to ditch wireless on your device and switch to a wired internet connection. Of course, no one wants to spend hundreds of dollars installing Ethernet, and we would never suggest that. Why bother when you can instantly transform any regular old power outlet

Tesla’s third-quarter deliveries speed past estimates

Tesla keeps on cranking.


Factory shutdown aside, 2020 has been kind to Tesla. The good news machine keeps on humming as the automaker said on Friday it delivered 139,300 vehicles in the third quarter of this year.

The figure beats estimates that ranged from 120,000 to 134,000 vehicles delivered, and it will surely help calm any fears Tesla’s reach only goes so far. Tesla’s official numbers are broken down into two categories: the Model S and Model X and the Model 3 and Model Y. The latter duo was the company’s best-seller, with Tesla delivering 124,100 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles last quarter. As for the Model S and Model X, the automaker delivered 15,200.

In terms of outright production, Tesla said it built 16,992 Model S and Model X EVs, and 128,044 Model 3 and Model Y EVs. The automaker hinted at even more positive news, saying, “New vehicle inventory declined further in Q3 as we continue to improve our delivery efficiency.”

Moving into the final quarter of this year, Tesla will look to continue the positive delivery numbers as it prepares to start construction of its new Gigafactory in Austin, Texas. There, it plans to build the Cybertruck and Model Y for customers on the east coast. Work also continues on a new Gigafactory in Berlin, which will provide Tesla a crucial footprint for European production.

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How 100 Page Speed Score Helped Australian Internet Advertising Jump to First Page of Google Search

COVID-19 has created a big impact on businesses globally. Companies are making drastic adjustments to their expenditures just to survive this unprecedented economic crisis. Those that previously relied on paid online advertisements are left with no choice but to put their campaigns on hold indefinitely.

Google and Facebook Ad management companies like Australian Internet Advertising (AIA) saw a sharp decline in their clients because businesses started reducing their spending on paid ads.

AIA is an eight year old digital marketing agency which has already established itself as one of the premium  Google ads management  companies in Australia. It is headed by co-founder and director William Polson.

According to William Polson, “Now with companies cutting costs on paid ads, the importance of SEO has never been more relevant. That is why we knew we had to be at the top of Google for all SEO related search queries.”

SEO has been a part of the internet marketing landscape for many years, as it helps generate high volumes of targeted organic traffic. It is cheaper than paid advertisements, which is why more and more companies are using SEO services to reach their target audiences.

With #1 rankings in organic search for Facebook and Google related keywords, AIA was faced with the task of reaching the first page of Google for keywords like ‘best SEO agency in Sydney ’. 

SEO is dynamic, as Google keeps rolling out new updates to improve search relevance for their users. In September 2020, Google switched over to a mobile-first indexing system for ranking websites. What this meant was that companies needed to have good page speeds, as it became one of the top factors for page ranking by Google.

How 100 Page Speed Score Helped Australian Internet Advertising Jump to First Page of Google Search How 100 Page Speed Score Helped Australian Internet Advertising Jump to First Page of Google Search Photo: Screenshot