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Engineering your wireless network security and troubleshooting your Wi-Fi with our industry leading, end-to-end solutions.

PacketLogix is a solutions provider of specialized network technologies primarily focused in the IT security and wireless networking fields. We assist our customers in the design, acquisition, implementation, and training on the solutions which we implement. 

Engineering your wireless network security and troubleshooting your Wi-Fi with our industry leading, end-to-end solutions.

Latest Blogs

There’s Nothing “Smashing” About the Nigelthorn Malware

Nigelthorn’s Method of Attack
When scrolling on Facebook, a user may see what appears to be a link to a YouTube video, but is actually a fake. This fraudulent video will then inform the user that in order for it to be played, an extension from the Chrome Web Store, called “Nigelify,” has to be installed. In reality, installing the extension allows the malware into the user’s system.

In order to fool its way past the Chrome Web Store defenses, Nigelthorn’s code is implanted into an extension that has already passed the Web Store’s checks. The first extension to be infected was one called “Nigelify,” which would replace all the pictures on the page a user was viewing with images of Nigel Thornberry, a late 1990’s/early 2000’s cartoon character who has found new life as a meme.

Once Nigelthorn is installed, it can have various effects on the infected system. For instance, not only will this attack vector steal the data that is available through Facebook, it will also share itself via Facebook Messenger, or by tagging the original victim’s friends. This makes it very effective at spreading from victim to victim, as all it takes it to infect the next person in line is for them to install the infected extension as well.

Nigelthorn has also been found to use other common tools that are found in malware in order to accomplish the goal of its developer, including cryptomining and YouTube manipulation for financial gain.

Getting Rid of Nigelthorn (and Avoiding It in the First Place)
What’s worse is that once Nigelthorn has been installed, it is notoriously hard to get rid of. If you have inadvertently installed Nigelthorn, it will automatically close the extensions panel, preventing you from uninstalling it. This means that removing it will likely require you to uninstall Chrome. If you are unlucky enough to be infected, you should change your Google and Facebook credentials in case they were stolen by the malware.

As for avoiding Nigelthorn, the surest is to not click on the link. As long as the user in question knows not to click on fishy links or install additional extensions willy-nilly, using Chrome is still workably safe.

For more information about potential threats to your business’ cybersecurity, and how to stop them, keep reading out blogs, and don’t hesitate to call us at (888) 945-9434 for more help.

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Considering the Future of Wireless Charging

The Current State of Wireless Charging
Wireless charging is pretty common nowadays. Some mobile devices are already equipped with wireless charging… at least, while they are placed on a special charging pad. This kind of defeats the purpose of wireless charging, but there are efforts being made to remove this from the equation. A company called Ossia seeks to implement wireless charging that can be done from a distance through a method called trickle charging.

This type of power delivery depends on radio frequencies to send both data and power to the connected device. Thanks to this method, Ossia has developed new conduits that eliminate the need for charging pads and cater to the new devices under its Cota line. Rather than the device having to be physically connected to the power source, the signal can charge the device while keeping it connected to the wireless network.

Ossia’s new charging system can also be used to charge up AA batteries that can be charged without being connected to anything. There are even ceiling tiles that can be used to send out this signal to your devices.

But Is It a Good Thing?
While this might be a convenient way to take advantage of your technology without having to keep it plugged in all the time, how can you know what the ramifications of using this technology will be? If your device is always charging, what kind of damage could this do to your battery in the long run? Overcharging might not be a concern any longer, but modern batteries can still suffer from extended periods of charging. This comes from what makes the battery itself.

Lithium-ion batteries have three components that they need to use: a positive and negative electrode (made of a lithium-based compound and carbon graphite, respectively) and an electrolyte. The lithium ions flow from the positive electrode to the negative through the electrolyte. While the power is being used, the ions flow back to the positive electrode.

This process eventually wears away the electrolyte that allows for this flow of ions. This prevents them from ever functioning at optimal efficiency again. Since the ions aren’t able to move, the battery doesn’t work as well as it would have in the past. Ultimately, every battery has a number of charge cycles that it can handle before it’s just not effective anymore.

Since wireless charging would eat away at the battery constantly, the lifespan of the battery itself would be directly affected. Some believe that the battery constantly being at full charge would optimize its efficiency in the long run, though. Another argument focuses on whether or not a fully-charged device would be worth the cost of a replacement battery, which ultimately is up to the user to decide.

What are your thoughts on wireless charging? Let us know in the comments.

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Tip of the Week: Removing the Temptation of Distracting Websites

Block Websites from the Network
The most obvious way to block employees from accessing problematic websites is by blocking them entirely from your network. To do this, you’ll have to work with your IT department to make the changes to your router. Not all routers have this capability though, especially if you want to implement user-based access for specific websites. Of course, the degree of control you need can vary, so it’s best to work with an IT provider before making any changes. You might even need to invest in other infrastructure solutions to achieve this.

Extensions
There are also other options if you don’t want to change your router’s settings. Some include free extensions that let your employees self-monitor just how much time they spend on certain websites. Of course, this requires some self-policing on their end, so it’s best to do this only if you trust your employees.

The Ramifications
While you can take measures to keep your employees from visiting distracting websites, one of the biggest ways you can keep them in check is by ensuring they understand the consequences of failing to get their work done due to being distracted. That being said, there are benefits to blocking websites. One study found that blocking websites for your distracted employees allowed them to be more productive, as eliminating social media from the equation can be quite an effective method. However, the study also found that the employees would use the time they would typically spend wasting time online on other distractions.

You also need to think about whether or not a blanket ban on these websites will be productive for your organization, especially where client outreach and social media is concerned. Since so many organizations can leverage social media to great effect, it’s no wonder that you would want to keep these options available for employees that can handle the privilege of using social media.

Does your organization want to take full advantage of content blocking and filtering? PacketLogix can help. To learn more, reach out to us at (888) 945-9434.

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