ASM Software Blog

Cyber bullying in the workplace

by Slava 18. January 2011 14:54

Usually, bullying is associated with school students and playgrounds. But according to a 2010 Zogby International Survey, “35% of United States employees have been bullied in the workplace before, about 11% have been cyberbullied, and an additional 15% have been witness to other coworkers being bullied”. As computers and Internet become a reality of everyday work, cyber-activities become more and more dominant in the workplace. Cyber bullying can include sending of offensive emails, blog posts, comments on popular social websites (such as Facebook or Twitter). Similar statistics indicates, that “81% of bullies in the workplace are managers, which intimidates employees to keeping quiet, so a lot of cyberbullying goes unreported”. And according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety Health (NIOSH), mental illness caused by bullying in the workplace results in a loss of employment amounting to $19 billion and a $3 billion loss in productivity.

In 2010 Healty Workspace Bill has been introduced in 18 states. It received an overwhelming support from the public and legislators and now it is well on its way to becoming law and substantially changing legal rights of victims of cyberbullying. This bill puts responsibility for cyber bullying in the workplace on employers, who should provide save (in all senses) environment for workers.

Links to the original story:

 

http://www.workplacebullying.org/research/WBI-NatlSurvey2010.html

http://www.healthyworkplacebill.org/index.php

 

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Work hours are peak time for watching online video

by Slava 11. January 2011 17:14

It is more common today to watch your favorite show online, traditional video renting companies are going into video streaming business. And now you can watch video everywhere, where you can have access to a connected to the Internet computer, including the one on your workplace.

According to Global Nielsen Consumer Report, 65% of the people who watch video on the web do so between 9am and 5pm on weekdays and more than half of global online consumers watch online video in the workplace.

This creates problems for corporate networks, because video takes a lot of bandwidth, especially for small companies with limited resources.

 

 

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Company employee, who tried to install a malicious code on company servers, sentenced to 41 month in prison

by Slava 3. January 2011 15:40

As WTOP reported, “A man who tried to install a virus on Fannie Mae computers in Maryland has been sentenced to 41 months in prison, federal prosecutors say.”

This story started in January of 2009, when “a senior Unix engineer with Fannie Mae discovered a logic bomb.”, Information Week reported. This code, which was targeted to wipe-out data from 4,000 company servers, was allegedly put by a company IT contractor. If was not discovered, “it would have caused millions of dollars in damage and possibly shut down the government-sponsored mortgage lender for a week.” as Information Week said.

IT companies are doing a very good job fighting with the external treads – such as computer viruses, unauthorized access attempts, malicious websites, etc. Anti-viruses, website filters, strict password policies are now a reality of everyday work of every IT department. But what is the answer to internal treads, like this one? How company can defend its property and ensure operations stability? BlackBox Security Monitor Professional is specifically designed for IT departments in mind – give it a try today with 30-day full feature free trial available from http://www.asmsoftware.com/Products.aspx .

 

Links to the original story:

http://www.wtop.com/?nid=706&sid=1588938

http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/management/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=212903521

 

 

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Facebook-fueled “rager” party caused $45,000 in damage

by Slava 28. April 2010 16:03

The urbandictionary defines “rager” as:

“A larger gathering usually of highschool or college students where massive amounts of alcohol are consumed”.

Well, this sounds like a big trouble, is not it?

But big trouble can easy become a big disaster if social networking is involved. This is a typical story: parents went to the trip to Paris and left their 18-year old son in charge of the house. So far nothing is unusual. I've been in this shoes first as a teenager, second as a parent. But in this case son's schoolmates announced a “rager” on Facebook. As News Channel 8 reported, “Close to 100 kids showed up and caused $45,000 in damage.”

As parents said: “They couldn't possibly imagine...what this must be like for the family because this has turned our life inside out, upside down.” Police arrested four teenagers in connection with this case. The power of social networks can multiply trouble into a disaster several times fold. This is the power of modern technology. What you as a parent need to know – how it is been used.

 

Link to the original story:

http://www.news8.net/news/stories/0410/721618.html

 

 

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Sexting – what is it and how to deal with it

by Slava 14. February 2010 16:02

 

In Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexting), the term "Sexting" is defined as "Sexting (a portmanteau of sex and texting) is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between mobile phones."

From the technical standpoint, it requires to have (a) digital camera and (b) device for sending messages (emails) with pictures, such as cell phone or computer. Modern cell phones, such as iPhones, SmartPhones or BlackBerries  has all these capabilities – camera and Internet connection.

The social danger of sexting is that these messages or photos can be widely distributed over the Internet beyond the originator's control.

Sexting could have very serious legal consequences if it involves someone under the age of 18, because it constitutes child pornography, according to Parry Aftab, an Internet privacy and security lawyer. "If you take a picture, you can be accused of producing child pornography; if you send it to somebody, you can be accused of distributing child pornography; and if you keep a picture, you can be accused of possessing child pornography," Finally: "Anywhere along this chain of transmission of the images, you can be charged as a registered sex offender."

FBI's Parent's Guide to Internet Safety (http://www.fbi.gov/publications/pguide/pguidee.htm) suggests:

"Review what is on your child's computer. If you don't know how, ask a friend, coworker, relative, or other knowledgeable person. Pornography or any kind of sexual communication can be a warning sign."

"Monitor your child's access to all types of live electronic communications (i.e., chat rooms, instant messages, Internet Relay Chat, etc.), and monitor your child's e-mail."

But this could be a difficult task to do, especially consider the very sensitive matter of monitoring. If you need private monitoring of emails, webmails, instant messenger's chats, websites visited, you can easy use BlackBox Security Monitor. It is very effective and it is free.

 

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P2P networks (BitTorent and others)

by Slava 15. December 2009 14:01

There is an excellent web site of Parry Aftab: http://www.aftab.com/ with lots of useful information about online safety for parents and children. One of the online safety aspects is downloads from Internet. The site talk about music downloads from P2P (pier-to-pier) networks and contains useful tips for parents.

 

But its technical part could be updated with explanations about the most resent picture of P2P technology. First of all, P2P networks are been used not only for distribution of mp3 music files, but mainly for sharing videos and also computer software. The majority of P2P music, video and software content is illegal and violates US and international copyright laws. It includes ripped DVDs and CDs, captured cable and satellite TV broadcasts, cracked programs and games. There is also some legitimate content – for example distribution of free software, such as Linux, but this is just a small drop in big ocean.

 

The most popular type of P2P network is BitTorrent. According to British Web analysis company CacheLogic, BitTorrent accounts for 35 percent of all the traffic on the Internet. This is more than all other P2P networks combined and much more compare to popular media sharing Web sites such as Youtube or Facebook. The easy of use and abundance of media content (more than Netflix or your local Blockbuster) makes it irresistible for young computer users.

 

To use BitTorrent, one need to have a client – a program for downloading files from BitTorent. According to Wikipedia, there are 56(!) different BitTorrent clients. To make things even more complicated, there are several free libraries, which allow writing even more. So – if you want to know – is this computer uses BitTorrent by searching for particular software - which one to look for? There are also claims about blocking of BitTorrent. Well, the recent enhancements in BitTorrent protocol, such as traffic encryption, using of DHT (distributed hash table) and random ports makes it very difficult to detect and thus to block.

 

BlackBox Security Monitor has a feature that guarantees detection of any kind of P2P downloads. This is alerting on excessive network traffic. Turn it on and you will be notified on unusually high amount of data, transferred from outside of your home network.

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What is BlackBox?

by Slava 17. November 2009 14:21

Black box or black box approach is a science term to describe situation when you don't have a knowledge or simply don't want to know the inside details of something. Instead of trying to understand the nitty-gritty details of a complex system, you can describe it in terms of input and output. In this case you can left the internals inside the black box, hidden and invisible.

In aviation black box is a popular name for two on-board devices: flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder. These devices are designed to survive the plane crash and provide all the information to determine the actual reason of what happened. This means that black box is practically indestructible. The interesting thing is that actually air plane's black boxes are not black, rather orange to be easier found and recovered.

Our BlackBox Security Monitor is also designed to be a reliable, indestructible recorder of very important data – computer activity. To see what it capable to do – download BlackBox now! One thing to consider – this is a 100% free product.

 

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