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Design Hosting News

WebPro Panel Part I: The Introduction

One of the fundamental mottos of ResellerClub is to help web professionals set up their online business. In fact, our focus rests so much on web professionals (whether they be web designers or developers) that we’ve gone as far as deciding to coin a new term – ‘Web Pro’ – which is basically short for Web Professionals. As a Web Pro, you take care of building websites, installing custom software and essentially help your customers take their businesses online. To make life easy for you i.e. the Web Pro, we have launched an all-new control panel specifically designed to help you keep a track of everything involving your business.

This all-new control panel which we call ‘WebPro Panel’ has a fresh minimalistic design, some smart and useful new features and a reimagined order and customer management approach. We believe that the WebPro Panel will be a key ingredient in helping make the mundane, everyday management tasks a breeze thus freeing you up to really focus on offering the best products and services to your customers.

In this series on the ‘WebPro Panel’, my aim is to help you understand ResellerClub’s WebPro Panel so that you are able to take advantage of all the new features to help run your business better. Before delving further let us first understand the need to launch the all-new WebPro Panel.

 

Launching the WebPro Panel

Like everything else, launching the WebPro Panel took a lot of research. In fact, it is wise to say the idea to launch a control panel for the WebPros was not a sudden decision.

The application required a lot of discussion and hours of interviews with some of our resellers to understand ‘is there anything that is difficult to navigate?’, ‘what would the web pros like to see changed?’, and so on. All of this, along with months of planning, design, development work and testing, gave birth to the WebPro Panel. This new and vastly improved panel is a result of understanding where the problems lie, and to fix them by finding a solution that is long term.

 

What About The Current Control Panel?

Now, once you sign up with us and set up your business, you have a set of customers that depend on you to provide services like hosting, development, design, security, etc. You also have the unenviable task of managing all these orders and customers.

It was with this idea in mind that the control panel was originally launched and has been in use for a while. You can enter your control panel by logging in here.

One of the fundamental mottos of ResellerClub is to help web professionals set up their on WebPro Panel Part I: The Introduction

Over the years the original panel served the purpose adequately but eventually, there was a need for it to evolve. Thus, the WebPro panel came into existence.

 

The New Control Panel – The WebPro Panel

So what is it that makes WebPro Panel different from the existing control panel?

  1. A modern new-look dashboard inspired by a minimalist design
  2. Purchase products easily without adding funds to your account
  3. Quick Access to your most Recent Orders and your Expiring Orders
  4. A new panel for our Customers
  5. A lightning-fast search bar to quickly find your Orders and Customers
  6. A separate ‘Announcement’ section on the right to quickly view important announcements
  7. A sliding vertical bar on the left for each section viz. Order, Billing, Customer, Setting etc.
  8. Easy troubleshooting and setting

 

A Walk-through Of The All-new WebPro Panel – Exploring The Dashboard

Having seen the features of WebPro Panel, let us see how much it differs visually from the existing panel.

One of the fundamental mottos of ResellerClub is to help web professionals set up their on WebPro Panel Part I: The Introduction

  • Search Bar and Announcements section to track all the new orders and customers
  • The search bar displays the ‘last five searches’ of both the orders and customers
  • The dashboard displays the ‘ten’ recently added orders and all the orders expiring in the next 30 days. View them by clicking on ‘Recently Added’ or ‘To be Renewed’ tab respectively
  • Also, the dashboard has colour codes to help you identify what each colour signifies

    Green colour line next to the order indicates that the order is active

    Red colour line next to the order indicates that the order is suspended

    Grey colour line next to the order indicates that the order is inactive

    For example, in our panel, we have three orders as Active and one Suspended

One of the fundamental mottos of ResellerClub is to help web professionals set up their on WebPro Panel Part I: The Introduction

  • Make changes easily and quickly to the added orders. For instance, getting Name Server details, Editing Contact Details, Purchasing Privacy Protection etc.

One of the fundamental mottos of ResellerClub is to help web professionals set up their on WebPro Panel Part I: The Introduction

  • A sliding vertical bar on left for easy customer management and order tracking.

With this, I hope you now have an idea of what is the WebPro Panel and how the newly launched panel will help you in setting up and managing your business with ease. You can also watch this short video below and see all of this in action.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8ijBQOjgoY

In the next post of this series, we’ll learn how to add Orders, manage Accounts and Customers in your WebPro Panel in a detailed manner. Au revoir!

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Features of the latest WordPress Version 4.9.5 – Explained

A recent survey conducted by hashedout, revealed that 49% of the biggest websites built with WordPress are not running WordPress’ latest version. As the most popular CMS in the world with over 60 million users or 30% of websites running the script, it is a huge target for several cyber threats (source-wordpress.org)

WordPress version releases:

2018 marks 15 years since WordPress was first introduced to the world. It has undergone quite a transformation since then. As an open-source software, its features are continuously supported and updated by WordPress developers all over the world. Once a bug, issue or change request is identified or reported, these dedicated members of the WordPress community update and release the changes as soon as possible. In fact, any WordPress user (including yourself!) can report an issue or suggest a change in WordPress. You can take a look at existing issues and also find out how you can contribute to WordPress in your capacity as a web developer. Further, if you have any ideas on how to make the WordPress platform better, you can submit your idea and have other users vote to endorse it at https://wordpress.org/ideas/. You can also take a look at the WordPress roadmap which has links to all future releases. You could see an idea you’ve submitted go live soon!

WordPress version 4.9.5 (which was released on April 3rd) is possibly one of the last releases to go live before the huge revamp to the WordPress Editor, ’Gutenberg’ releases later this year as WordPress version 5.

 

Highlights of WordPress’ latest version 4.9.5:

  1. PHP recommended version 7.2

 of the biggest websites built with WordPress are not running WordPress Features of the latest WordPress Version 4.9.5 – Explained

Image source: medium.com

WordPress is largely built with PHP. Like WordPress, PHP is also continuously updated for improved security and functionality. Its latest version 7.2.2 was released in November 2017. Updating your PHP version will speed up the performance of your WordPress website and offer improved security. WordPress recommends a PHP version of 7 or higher to run the script effectively for your website.

Tests done by phoronix.xom states the vast difference in performance by PHP 7.2 vs. PHP 5.3

 of the biggest websites built with WordPress are not running WordPress Features of the latest WordPress Version 4.9.5 – Explained

Image source: https://www.phoronix.com

Here’s how to check if you have PHP version 7.2 or how to upgrade to version 7.2-

A short note before you upgrade your version, take a backup of your website content to be on the safe side. You will also first need to check that your theme and plugins are compatible with the latest PHP version as well.

  1. Log into your cPanel
  2. Go to ‘Software’
  3. Select PHP version
  4. You may see a version 5 as your default version of the biggest websites built with WordPress are not running WordPress Features of the latest WordPress Version 4.9.5 – Explained
  5. Check the drop-down list for the lastest 7.2 version
  6. Set it as your current version

 

     2. Install the upcoming Project Gutenberg in just 2 clicks!

 of the biggest websites built with WordPress are not running WordPress Features of the latest WordPress Version 4.9.5 – Explained

Image source: https://wptavern.com

While the release is slated for later this year, users can easily install the beta version of the new editor to try it out.

 

3. ‘Cheating, uh?’ Error message has been replaced

 of the biggest websites built with WordPress are not running WordPress Features of the latest WordPress Version 4.9.5 – Explained

Image source: http://www.agentwp.com/fix-cheatin-uh-error-in-wordpress

This rather weird message usually occurs when people try to access a function that is not available in the admin panel. The new message (apart from being more polite) will now also explain to people what exactly went wrong.

 

4. Security updates to WordPress version 4.9.4

WordPress version 4.9.5 plugged 3 security issues present in the previous version:

  1. To no longer treat the localhost as same host by default.
  2. To use safe redirects when redirecting the login page if the SSL is forced
  3. To make sure the version string is correctly escaped for use in generator tags

Twenty-five other bugs were fixed in WordPress 4.9.5. Particularly of note were:

  • Previous styles on caption shortcodes have been restored
  • WordPress now supports cropping on touch screen phones and devices
  • A variety of strings such as error messages have been updated for better clarity
  • The position of an attachment placeholder during uploads has been fixed
  • Custom nonce functionality in the REST API JavaScript client has been made consistent throughout the code base

You can read more about the changes/introductions with this update here.

 

How to update to the latest WordPress version;

If you have an old version of WordPress, you will see a message like this when you log into your admin panel.

 of the biggest websites built with WordPress are not running WordPress Features of the latest WordPress Version 4.9.5 – Explained

Click on the version link. For most, this one-click way should work. If it doesn’t, you may need to update your WordPress website manually. If you have purchased WordPress hosting from ResellerClub, you don’t need to worry about anything- your WordPress version will be updated automatically.

 

We hope you we’ve helped you discover some insights into the dynamic world of WordPress! Do you know which WordPress version you’re running? Make sure you upgrade now to WordPress’ latest version for great website performance.

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Facebook’s Data Leak: How It Affects Users

In the days of yore, we heard about the natural calamities – floods, storms, earthquakes. Experts and governments used to discuss ways to contain them and take measures to make good the losses faced. With the advent of the 21st century, the world was introduced to the ‘Internet’, which has gone down in the annals of the human history. However, along with all its blessings, the internet also brought along its issues, with privacy invasion and data breaches topping the list.

And this is exactly what is haunting one of the biggest beneficiaries of the internet – Facebook. Facebook started off as a social media platform to connect people. Of late it has also ventured into a marketplace for organisations and marketing professionals. More importantly, regulators and governments of various nations are using it effectively to their use. All this means data transfer of millions and billions – of individuals, organisations and nations to Facebook.

But the bug doesn’t stop here! So what’s the noise around the Facebook data leak all about? Let’s dig deeper into this.

Remember the time Facebook asked you whether you wanted to share your information with third party apps Facebook has tie-ups with? And in all the excitement we said ‘Aye’! Let’s take the example of the dating app, Tinder. One can log in to this app through Facebook too. Once we do this, all our data viz. name, contact details, birth details, marital status, etc. becomes accessible to Tinder.

In this instance, an app by the name ‘thisisyourdigitallife’, developed by Aleksandr Kogan, a psychology professor at the University of Cambridge asked personal details (more of personality and psychological profiles) of Facebook users through Facebook. While he promised that it was purely for academic purposes, Kogan is believed to have sold the results of around 50 million users to an analytics and marketing firm, Cambridge Analytica which has also worked for the presidential campaign of the current President of the United States, Donald Trump.

Facebook is being tried in several legal forums for breaching privacy rights while also being reprimanded by various state governments. Cambridge Analytica, on the other hand, has said it deleted the entire data once it was asked by Facebook to do so a couple of years back when Facebook became aware of the leak.

 Experts and governments used to discuss ways to contain them and take measures to make go Facebook’s Data Leak: How It Affects Users

Effect on Individuals and Organisations:

Individuals, organisations and nations have all been affected in some form by the data leak. Let’s discuss how:

  1. Individuals:

    Personal details of individuals and details on their personality, political inclination, food habit preferences and allied was shared to various companies looking out for it hungrily. This becomes more dangerous if details on debit/credit cards or identity proof details get leaked which can be misused by people and also anti-national outfits to gain access to various services.

  2. Organisations:

    At a time like this, organisations take the biggest hit of losing consumer trust. Facebook lost nearly $50 billion in market capitalization since the leak news surfaced. It has not been long since Unilever in very clear terms instructed that they would pull out of advertisements off Facebook and Google if they didn’t do anything about the extremist content being published on their platforms.

  3. Nation:

    With data of around 50 million American users being accessed by one single organisation, it is a threat to national security and its democracy. Elections can be manipulated, policies can be made populous to favour a specific outfit. God forbid if the data goes in the hand of anti-national elements the results could be more dangerous. Nations need to pull up their socks to fight this new calamity.

Prevention and Precautions:

They say prevention is better than cure. While the system can’t be a fool-proof one, users need to be more vigilant. We should be prepared if a situation like this arises once again.

Let’s see what are the basic precautions we can take to safeguard our personal data:

  1. Read the terms:

    While it seems to be a herculean task, people in compliance will strongly recommend you take five more minutes to read the terms and conditions before you click on ‘I Agree’.I personally remember an app asking for my credit card details including its pin before I could access it. Scary isn’t it?

  2. Is it a necessity?:

    While the world seems to be in a rat race, let’s be happy being a tortoise! Just because your friends have downloaded an app and going gaga over it, doesn’t mean you need it too! Ask yourself if you really need that app! If not, let it pass.

  3. Be the investigator:

    Once in a month, try to become an auditor. Review the apps you are using, what are the permissions you have already given to the app. In the wake of the Facebook scandal, we have come to know that we can know where all has our data been transported through Facebook. Check it out here.

  4. Be a whistleblower:

    If you find certain malpractices going on in your organisation or any other internet platform, take a step forward to blow the lid off.

  5. Privacy policy:

    Every organisation and nation needs to have a reasonably stringent policy at the earliest if they don’t have one. The Facebook leak clearly brings into the open the loopholes in the privacy policy of the world’s largest social media platform. For instance, the EU is rolling out its General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018.

Although it is not entirely possible to prevent data leakages, it can be reduced to a great extent by being highly vigilant. Check out this video to learn some quick tips & tricks to protect your data on Facebook.

#FBDataBreach

#FBDataBreach: Here is how you can keep your personal data safe on Facebook.Shaayaan Shaikh

Posted by Mirror Now on Friday, March 23, 2018

Stay Alert. Stay Safe!

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Decoding the Intel Chip Vulnerabilities: Meltdown and Spectre

Security has always been of utmost concern when it comes to users and their data. Be it web pros, resellers or the customers, all of us use computers, servers and mobile phones in some form or the other. All of these devices work with an inbuilt processor.

In this post, we’ll decode the confusion and commotion that has left the IT industry in a disarray with recent security vulnerabilities, that was found to affect Intel and other modern chips as well.

What is Intel Chip Vulnerability?

The Intel Chip Vulnerability is a flaw that could allow any hacker to steal data stored in the memory of Intel chips running on personal devices. It includes computers, cell phones, servers in data centres as well as cloud computing services.

During a security research a couple of days ago, there were two vulnerabilities that went public, Meltdown and Spectre. Where Meltdown is said to affect Intel chips, Spectre can affect most of the modern processors.

Meltdown and Spectre – Demystified

The question that arises is, what exactly are these two vulnerabilities and how far & reaching is the damage they can inflict?

So ideally, computers separate applications from reading information that’s passed through the Kernel. But with any security breakout, this isolation is no longer maintained as one program can easily read another program’s memory in the kernel without any permission.

Spectre is designated as Variant 1 i.e the bounds check bypass (CVE-2017-5753) and Variant 2 i.e branch target injection (CVE-2017-5715) can enable attackers to steal information leaked in the cached/kernel files or information stored in the memory of applications.

Research reveals Spectre is supposed to reportedly affect many modern processors like Intel, Apple, AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) and ARM (Advanced RISC MAchine). Furthermore, Spectre involves access to sensitive data that’s stored in the memory.

Meltdown, on the other hand, is designated as Variant 3, rogue data cache load (CVE-2017-5754). This vulnerability can allow hackers to gain entry to confidential parts of a computer’s memory mostly used by any application, program and the Operation System. Meltdown is supposed to affect Intel and Apple processors.

Meltdown also can be said to be like a privilege when escalated i.e an act that takes advantage of a bug, an Operating System error or a design flaw thereby giving an attacker access to resources that are generally protected from any user or application. What this means is, it basically melts all the security boundaries that are otherwise normally maintained. This is more prevalent in the case of Meltdown as it is easily exploitable as compared to Spectre.

According to Daniel Gruss, a researcher from Graz University of Technology who unearthed this issue, “Meltdown is so easy to exploit that we’re expecting [it] to be the significant problem for the next weeks.” The impact of this is high and far-reaching as even personal computer systems are affected.

Recommendations and Fixes

With every problem, there always is a solution, and although there are no solid fixes are available to tackle this problem at the moment. Following are some of the recommendations and fixes issued by leading IT giants, that you can adopt to keep your system secure.

  1. Microsoft released a Security update through their Windows update to address the vulnerability in Windows 10. It has also released guidance for both client and server side. Also, a firmware update is awaited from Intel for hardware protection. Once this update is out it can be separately distributed by the OEMs to fix the issue.
  2. Also, whenever a BIOS patch for a particular hardware is available, it is best to run that too. Another advice from Microsoft is to contact the device manufacturer and install the hardware update, the list of the manufacturers can be found here.
  3. Apart from Microsoft, Google too has documented and released its Security Patch Level for Android in order to limit the exploitation brought on by Meltdown and Spectre.
  4. Furthermore, Apple is said to have released a patch in the version 10.13.6, while Mozilla also, confirmed in their blog that browser-based attacks are more likely to happen now.

This is to say the Operating Systems (Linux, Apple, Microsoft), as well as web browser updates, should be installed on your system the moment you receive them to patch the vulnerabilities.

Conclusion

Overall at the moment, software patches are the only fixes are currently available. Generating fixes are a lot more complicated as they require redesigning of the processor and hardware. However, the fixes for Meltdown are comparatively easier whereas for Spectre they are complicated and still not known for all the versions.

This being said, researchers have said that Spectre is far more difficult to exploit as compared to Meltdown. Though it is predicted that the problem might continue for a longer time. Intel, nevertheless believes it is the most secure manufacturer in the world. And the security patches, both released and the future ones will help in minimizing the problem.

Though there is not much that one can do at this time, take care to install patches and your systems should be safe from any potential attack.

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Bad Rabbit: The Latest Variant in the World of Ransomwares

What is Bad Rabbit Ransomware?

Ransomware attacks are on the rise and, the recent one that’s making headlines this week is the Bad Rabbit Ransomware. The malware is said to be linked to the previously released Petya ransomware and inspired by Game of Thrones as the code contains references to the Dragons featured in it.

Bad Rabbit ransomware has affected corporate and media houses in Russia and Ukraine and appears to be affecting Turkey and Germany. Though the full reach and extent of it is yet to be determined, researchers at Kaspersky security firm say that Bad Rabbit ransomware bears resemblance to WannaCry and Petya outbreaks earlier this year.

The head of Russian cybersecurity firm Group – IB, Ilya Sachkov told, “In some companies, work has been completely paralysed as servers and workstations are encrypted.” Some of the affected systems are the airport in Ukraine, the underground railway in capital city, Kiev and several Russian websites like Interfax news agency and Fontanka.ru

Mode of Propagation

As opposed to the other malwares, Bad Rabbit ransomware requires the victims to download a fake Adobe Flash Installer and manually run the .exe file. When this happens, the malware encrypts the contents of the computer system, thus infecting the system. Once the encryption is complete it asks for a ransom payment of 0.05 bitcoins that’s close to $280 USD. The screen shows the hour as 41 hours and if the victims do not pay within the specified time limit, the ransom amount keeps on going up.

According to Kaspersky researchers, “This is a targeted attack against corporate networks, using methods similar to those used in the ExPetr attack.” According to their investigation, a bit of the code used in Bad Rabbit ransomware was previously spotted in Petya. But unlike Petya ransomware, Bad Rabbit doesn’t use exploits and needs to be manually run. Also, it uses a Trojan like Mimikatz tool to extract data from affected systems.

How to Keep Safe?

One of the foremost things advised is not to download the Adobe Flash Installer from any other website or links on email, apart from the official Adobe website, as the ransomware only infects the system if the fake Adobe Flash player is manually installed.

Researchers have come up with a vaccination to protect your systems from being infected

You can refer the whole procedure here to immunize your computer system.

Recommendations:

Always be cautious when clicking links on the internet as well as any unknown or suspicious emails

  1. If you want to download or update your Adobe Flash Player please do it from the official Adobe website and not any other source
  2. Don’t open emails from unknown senders
  3. Think twice before clicking on links sent to you by email or on the internet
  4. If you notice anything out of normal activity on your system, do reach out to your IT help Assistance desk immediately
  5. Update your antivirus and scan your system

References:

https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/bad-rabbit-ransomware/19887/

https://www.cybereason.com/blog/cybereason-researcher-discovers-vaccine-for-badrabbit-ransomware

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Plesk Onyx now live on ResellerClub Windows Hosting Products

As a web host, we are always engaged in ways to improve your experience in using your hosting orders. As many of you may know, we offer Plesk control panel on our Windows web hosting to help you manage your websites and your hosting package efficiently. The latest version of Plesk, Onyx represents a generational change that enables you to make the most of your hosting and we’re happy to announce that we have upgraded our Plesk installations to this edition. Let us have a look at what Plesk Onyx is and the features this update has to offer.

What is Plesk Onyx?

Our Windows Web Hosting products namely Windows Shared Hosting, Windows Reseller Hosting and Dedicated Windows use Plesk as the control panel. Earlier we used Odin Plesk (Parallels Plesk) and as of 15th October 2017, we have migrated to the latest version of Plesk, Plesk Onyx 17.5.

Plesk Onyx simplifies the website management as well as provides a good infrastructure and security by automating several server related tasks. These latest upgradations will benefit a lot of our customers both existing and new.

New Updated Features

This upgrade to Plesk Onyx means you can now enjoy several advantages on ResellerClub Windows Hosting products. Here’s a list of these features are, namely:

  1. New and more intuitive Panel interface we are always engaged in ways to improve your experience in using your hosting orders Plesk Onyx now live on ResellerClub Windows Hosting Products
  2. Higher versions supported for PHP are (5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6,7.0 and 7.1), ASP.NET 4.5 and MVC 5
  3. WordPress Toolkit 2.0 enables users to easily install, configure and manage WordPress. With this toolkit you as users can:

    • Create a perfect copy of your WordPress website in a matter of seconds
    • Copy changes made to the files and the database from one WordPress website to another
    • Effortlessly import WordPress websites hosted elsewhere into Plesk and manage them using WordPress Toolkit
    • Easy to stay up-to-date by configuring WordPress Toolkit to automatically install all WordPress updates, security updates only, or no updates at all
    • If your WordPress website is not yet ready for the prime time, make it invisible to search engines by disabling indexing and much more

  4. Better Security: Plesk Onyx comes with a series of security improvements helping you to harden your server.

    • Integrated Mod Security
    • Integrated ServerShield by CloudFlare
    • Daily scans for malware detection

  5. SSL Certificate:

    Users can get a free certificate for their domain from the Let’s Encrypt Certificate Authority and can install this certificate to secure your domain, webmail and a “www” subdomain for the domain and each selected alias

  6. Operational Benefits:

    • Faster performance and better application pool management
    • Database Management: Users can download and upload database dumps in native format using the Plesk interface
    • Support for incremental backups. An incremental backup, as compared to a full one, takes up much less disk space and finishes much faster

  7. New and improved E-mail features:

    • Enhanced performance with Mailenable Pro

      • EHLO Blocking
      • Real-Time IP Abuse Blocking/Unblocking
      • Fully Indexed Webmail Search

    • ClamAV Antivirus Scanner
    • Mobile Webmail
    • POP retrieval to pull messages from remote POP mail accounts
    • DKIM, DMARC, SPF, SRS support: Email spam protection
    • Additional security with SSL/TLS

  8. Amazing new Log Browser: With the new Log Browser, users can save selected logs for future use and even add custom logs

Conclusion

The new and improved Plesk Onyx is sure to enhance your Windows Shared Hosting experience, do write to us in the comments below and share your experience of the dashboard. If you haven’t yet tried ResellerClub’s Windows hosting products you can check them here,

Windows Reseller Hosting

Windows Shared Hosting

Windows Dedicated Server

Also, what do you think about the Windows variant of Cloud Hosting? Windows Cloud Hosting will provide – 2x faster performance, instant scalability of RAM/CPU Cores and higher memory availability. Do give us your views on the same by answering the survey below

Click here to fill the survey.

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Locky Ransomware: Everything You Need to Know

What is Locky Ransomware?

After WannaCry and Petya, another ransomware seems to spreading like wildfire, taking a hold of computer systems all over the globe, this time it’s being called Locky.

The Computer Emergency and response team (CERT) under Government of India has raised an advisory on the spread of Locky Ransomware via spam emails.

 

Quoted from CERT-In Locky is a ransomware that scramble the contents of a computer or server (associated network shares, both mapped and unmapped and removable media) and demands payment to unlock it “usually by anonymous decentralized virtual currency BITCOINS”.

Locky is very similar to WannaCry in the way it caused massive uproar around the world.

It came into picture in early 2016 and two days ago it was reported that a new wave of spam mails have started circulating again with common to spread variants of Locky ransomware, this time penetrating Indian systems as well. Latest reports indicate that over 23 million messages have been sent in this campaign.

Locky Ransomware strikes your system when you least expect it. It locks your computer system and only unlocks it when a ransom demand is paid. Locky uses AES( Advanced Encryption Standard) algorithm to encrypt your system and this is only possible once you download the malicious attachment and Enable the Macros settings.

How does it propagate?

The primary mode of spreading of Locky is via spam emails. The email contains common subjects like ‘documents’, ‘please print’, ‘photo’, ‘images’, ‘pictures’ and ‘scans’ which may change depending on the target audience. Once you open this email, and click on the attachment variants of the ransomware automatically get downloaded to your computer.

As soon as the variants are downloaded, your desktop background is changed with instructions to be followed and shows a ‘.htm’ file named “Lukitus[dot]htm”.

Once the system is infected by Locky, all files are encrypted and string with random numbers with extension ” [.]lukitus” or “[.]diablo6” is appended to the encrypted files. Lukitus is French for ‘locking’.

The instructions contain installation of TOR browser (Onion Router Network) and visiting “.onion” sites. The users are then demanded to pay 0.5 Bitcoins to avail this decryption service that’s equivalent to almost Rs. 1.5 lakh (INR).

Furthermore, it has been reported that a spam campaign showing links to fake dropbox sites is being used to spread Locky variants. If the pages are viewed in Chrome or Firefox, they show a fake notification stating “you don’t have the HoeflerText font”. These fake notifications had an “update” button that returns a malicious JavaScript (.js) file. [1]

In a nutshell, what it does is this:

  1. You receive an email, with an attachment that when opened is a scrambled mess of words.
  2. At the top are the words, ‘Enable Macros if the data encoding is incorrect.’
  3. The moment you enable macros, instead of correcting the document, your system gets encrypted and Locky ransomware is activated and Windows ability to take live backup called Shadow copies is also compromised.
  4. Your wallpaper changes to ‘How to decrypt’ message displaying image.

Locky Message

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recommendations against Locky:

Here is a list of recommendations advised to the users to prevent Locky from compromising your computer.

  • The foremost recommendation to users is to not to open any spam emails, or attachments as well as update anti-spam and block lists.
  • Block malicious IP addresses.
  • Do not download or open attachments which contains Zip files.
  • Perform regular backup of your data, and store it on some other devices most preferably offline.
  • Disable Macro in Microsoft Office applications ‘Disable all macros with notification’. Macros can run in Ms. Office applications only if the Macro settings are set to ‘Enable all macros’ or if the user manually enables it. This is done so because the email attachment comes in Macro Enabled form.
  • Have an updated Antivirus installed on your personal as well as office systems.
  • Don’t click on unnecessary popups while visiting websites which may contain Embedded JavaScript (.js) file which can download the ransomware.
  • Don’t use administrative accounts for carrying out Business as Usual activities, which limits the rate of installation. Also disable remote Desktop Connections.
  • Don’t visit malicious websites or blocked websites listed on the advisory at least.
  • Update your operating systems, third party applications like browser, browser plugins and anti-virus software for latest security patches.

Practice all the above recommended. In spite of this, if you suspect your computer system has been infected, contact your IT team and under no circumstances pay any ransom.

Reference:

http://www.cyberswachhtakendra.gov.in/alerts/locky_ransomware.html

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Hosting Marketing News

How to choose the best hosting billing system for all your needs!

Choosing a billing system tailored to your needs is an important decision you need to make to seamlessly manage your hosting business and customers. Through this blog, I hope to equip you with the all the information you need to choose the best billing system to accommodate all your hosting business needs. Read on to know more!

Billing platforms today go beyond receiving payments and providing technical support services, they also meet specific needs of the hosting industry. This gives you enough time to spend on your core competencies like marketing, staffing, and new product offerings.

WHMCS (Web Host Manager Complete Solution) is a comprehensive client management and billing tool for web presence businesses. It is the world leader in automated billing, support, and software that bridges the gap between your customers and your hosting infrastructure.

It enables handling the entire process from signing up to termination, with automated billing, provisioning, and management. What’s more? All licenses come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

WHMCS helps you sell more than just domains! You can use ResellerClub Mods, that include a bunch of provisioning modules for managing and integrating your ResellerClub products with WHMCS. Mods help propel your business by offering a complete system with store front and backend, fully packaged with everything you need to sell and manage the most complete product portfolio in the domains and hosting market.

Here are some provisioning modules you can use to sell the following products :

All in all, it makes for a very powerful business automation tool to start or manage your web hosting business. Listed here are some non-negotiables WHMCS offers, that you must factor into your decision:

Automated Billing – Sending invoices, collecting payments, taxes, reminders and are a thing of the past! We know you want that added flexibility in terms of settling your dues/billing. Also make sure all the different kinds of billing you need (quarterly, in arrears, prepaid schemes) are supported for usage-based billing and/or fixed billing, including the ability to do specialized forms of billing like bandwidth billing and cloud billing.

Global Capabilities – Be sure the system you choose can make room for multiple currencies & languages, multi-locational infrastructure monitoring, and tracking, and other similar requirements as you grow your hosting business and penetrate various markets globally.

Security and Support – These are bare basics when it comes to any billing system – given how critical securing customer information is in any industry. Don’t forget to factor in standard security features like 2-factor authentication and PCI (Payment Card Industry) Compliance. You also need to make sure that your team is up to speed at all times, for this, you need to make provisions for quality and responsive support services(& no that just doesn’t include 24*7 Support). These services include:

– Pre-sales

– Implementation

– After sales and tech support

– Consulting

– Videos

– Tutorials

– Documentation

Adding on to these, integrated support tools give you a client portal with a knowledge base, ticketing and more. Your team will need all the support it requires at different phases during your hosting business life cycle & having an awesome support team at your disposal is a great asset!

Scalability – Can this system manage high volumes of traffic, usage, and monitoring to help you grow your hosting company over time. Though migrating platforms is a solution, it costs you time & money. Being able to stay on one platform maintains your business’ hard-earned reliability and stability.

Simplicity – How intuitive and usable this system? It’s not only going to be accessed by business managers & finance executives but also for sysadmins, sales representatives, network engineers, support & operation teams, and various potential stakeholders. The simpler the hosting management system, the better its adoption cross-functionally & higher productivity because of it.

Flexibility & openness – Be sure to test-run a system’s customisable features, API, and any other extensive functionality available. Study their documentation, and ensure the system will flex to accommodate unpredictable needs going forward as you grow in or beyond hosting.

Thanks for reading and I hope this post will help you choose the perfect billing system for all your needs. If you have any questions please feel free to write to us or post your comments in the section below. What do you look for when evaluating a billing management solution?

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News

Another Ransomware Attack Petya makes Headlines

What is Petya?

The latest ransomware cyber attack ‘Petya/Petrwrap/ExPetr’ or ‘GoldenEye’ has quickly targeted computer systems all over the globe crippling large firms across Europe, Israel, Russia and the US, reportedly starting from Ukraine. It makes use of Eternal Blue exploit as a means to multiply  itself wrecking the system and leaving it inaccessible until a payment of $300 Bitcoins has been made.

Kaspersky Lab’s global research director Costin Raiu tweeted on June 28th to say the majority of infections seen by his firm had taken place in Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and Poland.

 has quickly targeted computer systems all over the globe crippling large firms across Eur Another Ransomware Attack Petya makes Headlines

How does Petya work and which devices does it affect?

Ransomware is a malicious software that wrecks the victim’s system and threatens to publish the data or delete it until a ransom in digital currency (usually in Bitcoins) is payed. WannaCry that attacked systems in May was the last major ransomware attack.

Symantec analysts have confirmed, Petya is similar to WannaCry, but potentially more dangerous. The compromised machines become fully encrypted, leaving all information completely inaccessible.

This attack is targeting Microsoft Windows Systems. Unlike a regular ransomware it doesn’t just encrypt your file, it even overwrites and encrypts the MBR (Master Boot Record) to execute a payload that encrypts the NTFS file table.

Once inside a company’s network, the virus will find other vulnerable machines and will spread to them as well. Organizations around the globe have been crippled by the actions of these criminals. As is often the case, this malware seems to enter networks when employees click on infected email attachments, then it spreads quickly on the corporate network to any other vulnerable computer that it can find. More than ever, awareness and user education is critically important to our overall security capabilities.

As of June 29th, Costin Raiu, of Kaspersky Lab tweeted to say that Petya is more a wiper than a ransomware. Wipers are said to be the rarest kind of malware and are highly destructive in nature.

 

How wide is the damage?

Petya has wrecked causing tremendous disruption across large firms some of them being, Britain’s advertising firm WPP, Russian banks, steel and oil firms Evraz and Rosneft and French construction materials company Saint-Gobain. The food company Mondelez, legal firm DLA Piper, Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk and Heritage Valley Health System, which runs hospitals and care facilities in Pittsburgh, German postal and logistics company Deustche Post’s Ukraine division also said their systems had been hit by the malware.

What to do to be protected?

One of the foremost things to do if not yet done is to immediately install the MS17-010 patch from Microsoft.

A way to vaccinate your system against the ransomware has been found by Amit Serper, researcher at Cybereason.

http://

To vaccinate a machine against this ransomware, create a file called perfc in the C:\Windows folder and mark it read-only. The following batch file courtesy of BleepingComputer will help you, click on the link and follow the instructions in the post. You can download the batch file from https://download.bleepingcomputer.com/bats/nopetyavac.bat

Keynote advice; Always be vigilant as to what mail and attachments you are opening and clicking on PLEASE:

  • Don’t ever open emails from senders you do not know.
  • Don’t ever click on email attachments unless you know who the sender is and were expecting them to send you that attachment.
  • Exercise caution and discretion when clicking on links sent to you by email.
  • If there is something suspicious occurring on your device and you need assistance reach out to your IT help desk immediately.
  • Don’t open any non-urgent attachments, even friendly sources could be infected.
  • Update your anti-virus and run a scan on your system.

Some other suggestions coming from wordfence.com, recommend blocking network access to port 445 on your Windows Workstation. And keep an eye on Microsoft Security Response Center should they release a formal guidance.

Keeping Safe

If you suspect that your computer has been infected, or if you see a screen that remotely resembles the snippet at the start of the post, immediately turn your computer off, disconnect it from your corporate network, and contact your IT command center. Under no circumstances should you turn the computer on again as it will propagate the virus and eliminate any possibility of recovering your data.

References:

https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2017/06/petya-ransomware/

https://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/petya-ransomware-outbreak-here-s-what-you-need-know

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/vaccine-not-killswitch-found-for-petya-notpetya-ransomware-outbreak/

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Hosting News

WordPress Hosting Now Live on ResellerClub!

We promised to bring WordPress hosting to you by the end of March and we’ve delivered! Yes, one of our most awaited launches, WordPress hosting is now live on the ResellerClub platform. WordPress thrived owing to its impeccable user-experience and is considered to be one of the most well-known and widely used comntent management systems for hosting websites. Let’s run you through why our WordPress hosting can help you deliver excellence to your customers.

Why choose WordPress Hosting?

Our WordPress hosting provides you with all the essentials to build resilient websites – speed, reduced load time, auto back-ups and security. WordPress, much like any other CMS or software could be vulnerable to attacks if not upgraded regularly and the same applies to its plugins and core. Don’t worry about frequently updating your WordPress sites, let us take care of that to ensure that you and your customers stay worry-free.

1) Pre-Installed WordPress

You can start building your website immediately and manage all your installations from one place.

2) Automated backups + CodeGuard & SSL

We promised to bring WordPress hosting to you by the end of March and we WordPress Hosting Now Live on ResellerClub!

Our WordPress Hosting comes with regular pre-integrated cloud backups powered by CodeGuard. With CodeGuard, even the smallest of changes on your website will be monitored and a ChangeAlert email is sent to notify you regarding any modifications or deletions with a timestamp.

You can restore your website or database to any previous backup version as well as download a zip of contents at any time. You have the option to choose whether you want to restore your files automatically or restore individual files and folders. If CodeGuard’s monitoring process detects any changes to the website source code, the files that changed or were added are transmitted to the CodeGuard repository

3) SiteLock

We promised to bring WordPress hosting to you by the end of March and we WordPress Hosting Now Live on ResellerClub!

Give your WordPress websites world-class protection with daily malware scans, FTP scans & vulnerability removal with SiteLock! Sit back, relax, and keep those security threats at bay! Did you know that SiteLock has protected more than 1,000,000 online businesses around the globe? That’s more than any other website security or virus scan provider. Get 360° Website Security.

SiteLock’s technology combines patent pending scans with automatic malware removal tools and enterprise-grade firewalls to protect your website. After your website is scanned and secure, you can proudly display the SiteLock Trust Seal which is proven to increase sales. What’s a better way to fortify your websites for your customers!

3) Fully Managed Services

Now spend less time managing and more time doing what you love – building websites. Leave the technical stuff to us!

4) Scalable resources

Planning to start small? No problem. Scale up once your website expands. The best thing about WordPress is that it grows with you. Our WordPress hosting is built on cloud technology and is highly scalable. You can add up to 8 CPU cores and 8GB RAM to boost your site on the fly

5) Intuitive Dashboard

We promised to bring WordPress hosting to you by the end of March and we WordPress Hosting Now Live on ResellerClub!

ResellerClub WordPress Hosting gives you a feature-rich control panel to manage your WordPress Websites, Email, SSL & more as well as monitor usage of CPU Cores and RAM on.your package. You also have the convenience of managing custom WordPress panels for easy SSL installations. You can:

  • Monitor resource utilization
  • Install & Manage WordPress instances
  • Access Email, Backups & Security
  • Login to WordPress Dashboard

Now that you’re well-versed with what we have to offer, you can have a look at plans in the table below.

Standard Business Pro Elite
Max Sites 1 2 3 5
CPU Cores 2 4 6 6
RAM 2 GB 4 GB 6 GB 6 GB
Storage 5 GB 20 GB 50 GB 80 GB
SiteLock Pro Pro Pre Pre
CodeGuard 1 GB 5 GB 10 GB 25 GB
Email Accounts Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Pricing (per month) $7.00 $12.00 $16.00 $29.00
Pricing (promos 1st month) $3.99 $7.99 $9.99 $19.99

 

We promised to bring WordPress hosting to you by the end of March and we WordPress Hosting Now Live on ResellerClub!

Did you know that a 2-second delay in page load time causes 87% abandonment of websites (according to Aberdeen Group, gomez.com, akamai.com)? We offer a complete solution that takes care of speed, security and makes WordPress extremely simple. If you have any questions regarding WordPress Hosting, you can refer to our FAQs here. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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