What you need to know about the Microsoft Exchange Server Hack?

Well, in the case you aren’t already informed, there has been a massive breach into the Microsoft Exchange Server System, which may have compromised hundreds of thousands of Microsoft Exchange Server Systems across the world. The hackers exploited the zero-day vulnerabilities to hack the emails.

Just to give you an idea of the gravity of the instance, the hacking episode compromised the system for European Banking Authority.

While initially, the hacking attempt seemed to target specific organizations, however, soon the extent of the attempt was widened and intensified dramatically.

Many SMEs, corporates, and even government entities were caught off-guard, as they were totally unaware of all the happenings till the news was disclosed.

What is a zero-day vulnerability?

Zero-day vulnerability means that the people who were responsible to tackle the situation by patching the vulnerability have zero-days to act before the hacking attempt exploited the vulnerability of the system.

In short, the hackers exploited the vulnerability of the system without giving any time to Microsoft’s people to release the security patch, and thereby, before the patch was released, hackers had already exploited the vulnerability.

  1. What do you need to do if you use Microsoft Exchange?

Well, if your business also uses Microsoft Exchange, you need to update the security patch on priority. The first step would be to identify the flavor of the Microsoft Exchanged used by your company.

For the most part, the vulnerabilities were present in the on-premises edition of the Microsoft Exchange Service. Whereas, the cloud-based systems did not have any vulnerabilities.

Therefore, if you are using the on-premises edition of the Microsoft Exchange, we highly recommend you apply the patch on priority.

Who is behind the attacks?

According to Microsoft’s official version, the company believes that the attack was led by “hafnium”, which is a Chinese state-sponsored hacking group.

However, China on its part has denied any connection or involvement in the incident.

Regardless of whosoever was behind the attack, the incident may act as the triggering point for other such incidents, where the hackers may exploit vulnerabilities of other systems.

Is this incident anyway connected to the “SolarWinds” attack, which was highly talked about a few weeks back and was blamed on Russia?

As per Microsoft, the company didn’t have any evidence for the involvement of actors behind “SolarWinds” in the latest hacking attempt to exploit vulnerabilities of Microsoft products and services.

How can you fix the security of your company’s system?

Well, Microsoft was quick to issue the security patch for the crucial vulnerability in its on-premises Exchange Servers. It is highly recommended for businesses using the vulnerable on-premises Microsoft Exchange Service to apply the patch on a priority basis.

However, if for some reason, a business is unable to apply the patch immediately, you need to familiarize yourself with the other alternative security options as recommended by Microsoft. The best and most practical solution is to apply the security patch as soon as possible, because other than that, all measures are temporary.

What else you need to do?

While implementing the patch will save you from such malicious attempts in the future, however, if your server has been compromised in the hacking episode, it won’t undo the damage.

Thereby, you should identify if your organization was breached or not and whether or not the hackers were able to gain a foothold.

Microsoft has released the IOC detection tools that can help you scan through the Exchange files for compromises and vulnerabilities.

We also recommend you to check out the Security Advisory by Microsoft to better understand the situation and mitigation measures you need to take.

Importance of Gateway for higher Audience

Importance of Gateway for higher Audience.

When professionals like doctors, auditors or lawyers (in sole proprietary or partnership) launch or maintain their portals online and wish to expand their market, they must consider ‘Best Payment Gateway’ to attract and engage wider range of customers.

When dollar is involved, you want your customers’ purchasing experience on your site to be as seamless and positive as possible — which includes, at its most essential, the checkout experience.

It’s a given that you’ve invested the time to build a beautiful website and purchase quality web hosting. But have you really thought through your checkout process? If it is simple and streamlined (not to mention, secure), you’ll be inviting customers to, well, show you the money.

For many new online merchants it’s a very cumbersome and difficult process to understand ecommerce.  They often fail to understand the basics of ecommerce and consequently face problems in setting up their online businesses.

What’s a Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway is your doorway to making sales online.  A payment gateway will allow you to charge your customer’s credit/debit card with the purchase he/she makes online.

Just like a physical point of sales terminal at your brick and mortar retail store, the Payment Gateway authorizes you to take card payments directly from your website. The payment gateway acts as a mediator between the transactions that take place on your website and the payment processor.  This is needed because it is prohibited, due to security reasons, to transmit transaction information directly from your website to a payment processor. Most online merchant accounts come with a payment gateway included

What to Consider When Choosing a Payment Gateway

  1. Security– This biggest plus point about a payment gateway is the security it offers your website, which in turns ensures that your customers can buy with confidence. When it comes to cyber-attacks. Ecommerce is a highly vulnerable industry due to the sensitive information exchanged on websites. In fact,32.4% of all cyber attacks are carried out on Ecommerce websites.

What a payment gateway will do is encrypt the data via a secure sockets layer (SSL) and it works with your bank to determine whether the payment is legitimate.

  1. Integration – Payment gateways are easily integrated with ecommerce platforms such as WooCommerce, Bigcommerce, and Magento
  2. Cost –  Like with almost any service, there are fees associated using third-party tools like payment gateways. For transactions processed on behalf of your business, you’ll have to pay fees — so pay attention to your gateway’s costs and do your research before integrating it into your site so you’re not slammed with surprise fees.

These fees charged can include transaction, statement, chargeback, merchant account fees, and likely more.

Accepted Payment Methods

The reality is, the easier you make it for customers to make purchases, the more they’re likely to make. By outfitting your site with a payment gateway that incorporates a wide variety of payment methods, your widening your sales net — 50 percent of regular online shoppers say they’d jump ship on a purchase if they couldn’t use their preferred payment method.

Using your site’s analytics, observe what countries have shoppers visiting your site — preferred payment methods may differ by country.

Plus, it’s also a matter of security: 40 percent of study participants said they would feel more comfortable shopping from a business that offers multiple payment methods.


Of course, an important consideration is how well your gateway will integrate with your current platform — both from a technical and design standpoint. If it takes an over-abundance of messy tricks to incorporate smoothly into your existing structure, you might want to rethink your choice.

Payment Location

Some payment gateways allow customers to complete a transaction within the checkout processes of the website, while others lead users to another site to finish their purchases. Some gateways provide an API that incorporates directly into your site, others reroute visitors to third-party sites. Whatever you choose, consider what will provide the best user experience for your shoppers — if customers trust your site, they might not mind the extra diversion.

Selecting a Payment Gateway

Now to your big decision: choosing a payment gateway for your small biz. It’s a little scary: 46 percent of cart abandonments occur at the payment stage of checkout; if yours isn’t outfitted with a smart payment gateway, you could be looking at lost sales.

Don’t worry: System360.net has listed some of the best gateways

  1. Amazon Payments
  2. Paypal Payments
  3. Authorize.net
  4. Stripe
  5. WorldPay


Whether you’re focused on global sales, giving customers an on-brand checkout experience, or boasting your high-quality security standards, there’s a payment gateway suited to your business. Which one has worked best for you? What features of a payment gateway are essential to your operations? Let us know.

Ransomware That Makes You WannaCry

Ransomware is a very damaging threat to our digital world. Your digital files can be held hostage by this kind of malware, often for large sums of money. But the worst thing is there is no guarantee you can recover your files.

So what does this mean for businesses? And how bad was the recent attack, known as WannaCry?

WannaCry Ransomware

The WannaCry ransomware functions mostly like any other kind of ransomware once it infects a computer.

  • NSA Discovers exploit for Windows machines.
    The WannaCry virus was initially based on an exploit uncovered by the NSA. The exploit allowed the remote operation of nearly any program or operating system by remote. If it connected to the internet and ran Windows, it was exploitable.
  • Hacker Group “Shadow Brokers” leaks documents from NSA, including details on exploit.
    The group leaked the documents in the name of transparency, showing the world what organizations like the NSA are capable of. The data on the exploit was locked away on an NSA server to be used for future covert reconnaissance and data gathering. When the documents were leaked, the virus details went with it, and cybercriminals jumped at the chance to use them.
  • Cyberthieves use the exploit and set up a code to victimize many people.
    It quickly encrypts all of your files then deletes any backups. After that, the computer owner gets a message saying that they can receive a decryption password after paying the cyber thieves ransom money, which is usually about $300 USD worth of BitCoin. If the victim doesn’t pay within 72 hours, the price doubles. A few days after that, the files are permanently locked.
  • The virus spreads by email.
    The victim to open or download an attachment from an email. This is seen in situations like the Locky virus, where the victim receives an email, downloads the attachment, and the attachment automatically runs a script, encrypting all the data on the computer.
  • “Malware Tech Blog” stops the spread of the virus through a lucky break.
    A writer for Malware Tech Blog, who wished to remain anonymous but has since been compromised, discovered a killswitch for the virus. Embedded within a website, he purchased the domain as soon as it became available, stopping the spread of the virus.

As of this point, more than 200,000 computers have been attacked across 150 countries. Victims have paid about $70,000 in ransom to retrieve their files. If your files were encrypted, it would be best to wipe your hard drive and restore data with backups. Paying the thieves only emboldens them to do this again.

Am I at Risk of Infection?

In corporate networks, the virus would easily spread via file sharing systems. Company intranets and servers that are used for the day-to-day business of a company could receive an infection from one computer. But if that computer is networked to all the other computers within the building, all of them will become infected. That is how the virus spread so quickly.

Some of the most vulnerable systems include:

  • Corporate offices
  • Hospitals
  • Banks
  • Telecom Companies
  • Warehouses

So what can you do?

  • Update Windows
    Update everything. Computers, laptops, game consoles, even cars and coffee pots run windows. The operating system is everywhere. Microsoft has released a patch for all devices running Windows, including “unsupported” devices, such as old operating systems, MRI machines, and others. This patch prevents the exploit from being used against you.
  • IT Security
    Personal computers should have antivirus software that is up to date. Business owners with networked computers need to invest in IT security. A managed IT security firm will add encryption to your network, as well as firewalls and provide support to protect your business and data.
  • Backup Everything
    As part of a managed IT service, you can back up all of your data and store it in an off-site server. In the event you do experience data loss, whether due to a virus or hardware failure, this backup can get your business running again with minimal delay.

There are variations of the virus out there that could still be spreading, so do everything you can to protect your data.

Source: WannaCry ransomware

Pirates of the Healthcare System

Ransomware is not a new cyber security threat, but it is becoming increasingly prevalent. The way ransomware works is that an infected computer becomes locked or files are threatened to be deleted if the computer owner does not pay the ransom. Sometimes the threats are only threats and some clever digging can find the infection and purge it, but other times the threats are real and will erase or steal important files. This is becoming a major issue in the healthcare industry. Read More

The Dawn of Artificial Intelligence is on the Horizon

Artificial intelligence has been talked about for decades. Taking life originally in science fiction in the form of robots and holographic beings, it has been slowly becoming a real possibility for the world.

Some mediums portray AI as a beneficial asset to humanity, as such in cases like the movie Bicentennial Man or the video game series Halo. These AI help humans by reducing the need for humans to work or by helping them with calculating immensely complex mathematical calculations. Read More

VoIP or Traditional Landline?

How long have you had your home phone line? Ten years? Twenty? More? Do you constantly fear the charges for making out of state, or even out of county calls to people you know and love? Do you dread having to deal with making calls to clients for your business, knowing that a long call will cost far too much? Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) may be the answer to all your worries. Read More

The Most Significant Cyber Threat: Ransomware

There are a number of different viruses on the web, from annoying browser jackers to damaging trojans, but the biggest threat out there is ransomware. Ransomware viruses will hold your computer hostage for a period of time during which you have to either cut your losses at the expense of your data or pay the virus owner whatever they are demanding to relinquish your computer. There are many different types of ransomware, but the best way to get rid of any of them is to never get them in the first place. Read More

Mobile Pay at the Pump

We’ve all had a time where we need to get gas and it’s pouring rain outside and the wind rips through our shirts, chilling us to the bone. We get out of our vehicle and fumble through our pocket or purses looking for our wallet, our fingers not responding to the commands we give them due to the biting cold of the wind. We grab the wallet and pull out our bank card, fumbling to insert it into the reader and carefully pressing the buttons to enter our PIN without messing it up. Finally it’s all ready, we turn on the pump and place our hands in our pockets for warmth while the gas fills our tank. Read More

Are Women Better Coders?

GitHub is an online service that is used to share open source programming with other users of the service all over the world. It is an excellent platform through which developers can share and collaborate on ideas to build software, programs, apps, games, and more. And recent studies of GitHub’s user generated code quality has revealed that women tend to write better code than men. Read More

What is the Future of GPS Technology?

GPS is a well known and widely used technology nowadays. For a time, it was limited to the military and NASA, then we got bulky devices we could sit in our car and have it direct us with various chirps and beeps. Next, the GPS devices in cars became smaller and could talk, then they were integrated into the car itself. Now, we pretty much just rely on our smartphone to guide us. So what’s next? Read More