Category Archives: Wordpress

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Perfecting Email Delivery

December 11, 2018
Web Admin
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Creating great email delivery systems

Perfecting email and its delivery is a challenge for many, but something all administrators should work toward for the betterment of the digital world.

If you are an email administrator and or just an IT professional for a small or even large business, probably one of your daily challenges is answering email questions or worse yet, fixing things when they break.

 

In the upcoming series, I will tackle some of these challenges and provide some lessons learned and some steps to perfecting the delivery of email.  The perfecting of email delivery is requires some delicate synchronization between our DNS server and your mail server.  This is where the majority of the information will focus, but we will cover a few lesser, but still important areas.  

When the series ends, your mail system should be able to provide you with mail delivery score of 10 out of 10.  

 

 

A draft table of contents:

  1. Importance of email and various email platforms
  2. Basic email and DNS configuration
  3. Great email clients and alternatives to microsoft outlook
  4. Advanced DNS configuration and the fight against spam/forgery
  5. Testing your Email and DNS configurations
  6. Benefiting  your world and mine.

I have my full time job at Covered Data promoting new business and overseeing the daily functions  However, I love to work on technical things and sharing some of the information I find along the way.  I will do my best to tackle one point of the TOC per week. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to use and or comment as you see fit.  I greatly appreciate feedback and love to learn from others.  Until next week………  sb

Remove Powered by WordPress

June 1, 2017
Web Admin
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You can simply removed the Powered By WordPress credit link by placing the following in your customer CSS portion of your theme.

.site-info a {
   display:none;
}
We are using the TwentySeventeen theme that is stock with wordpress and the above CSS code removed the link for us.
We will update this post additional methods that might work for you.

Malwarebytes blocks recent ransomware Affirmation

May 13, 2017
Web Admin
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We received the following email from our good friends and partner following yesterday’s ransomware attack that hit over 90,000 computers, servers, and point of sale systems yesterday.  

We were really happy to have them reach out and reaffirm that we were covered. Are your computers covered?

Call us for free trial.

Hello Scott,

Within 12 hours, 81,000 infections were reported globally of the WanCrypt0r outbreak.

NHS reported 16 hospitals in the UK have been hit and can’t operate or admit patients because all data is encrypted and locked. Spanish telecom giant, Telefonica, was hit and responded by “desperately telling employees to shut down computers and VPN connections in order to limit the ransomware’s reach.” Banks, utilities, telecoms, healthcare and other industries are reporting similar experiences worldwide. At this time, this ransomware variant appears to be taking advantage of a known and patched Windows vulnerability.

Malwarebytes is protecting your organization against this specific ransomware variant. Our anti-ransomware technology uses a dedicated real-time detection and blocking engine that continuously monitors for ransomware behaviors, like those seen in WanaCrypt0r.

spam fighting

Spam Fighting – Built In Zimbra

May 11, 2017
Web Admin
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Zimbra Email and Organizational Collaboration Feature Built In

One of the great feature of Zimbra, in both the Professional Network Edition (paid and supported) and the Community Edition (free, community supported) is its built in spam prevention and antivirus solutions.  The spam feature is very easy to configure and as an administrator you have the option to be as tight or relaxed as is fit for your customers.  The use of global real time black lists is one of the best features available.  The are simple to configure by logging into the admin console/configure/Global Settings/MTA.  On that page you will find the several options pertaining to the use of RBLs.  You will click the add button in the section and then list the particular RBL that you want to use.

Here at Covered Data we use the following that are based on Zimbra recommendations and what is listed as what they are currently using:

List of Client RBLs:  zen.spamhaus.org, psbl.surriel.com, b.barracudacentral.org, bl.spamcop.net

List of Client RHSBLs:  dbl.spamhaus.org, multi.uribl.com, multi.surbl.org

List of Reverse Client RHSBLs:  dbl.spamhaus.org

List of Sender RHSBLs:  multi.uribl.com, multi.surbl.org, rhsbl.sorbs.net

Having these listed in the spam fighting configuration in Zimbra version 8.7.7 is for us, very effective.  The number of spam message reaching our inboxes is virtually zero and we are confident that it is because of this configuration.

We also have the following Protocol and DNS checks enabled:

PROTOCOL Checks:
Hostname in greeting violates FCS  (reject_invalid_helo_hostname) Checked
Sender address must be fully qualified (reject_non_fqdn_sender)  Checked
DNS Checks:
Client IP Address (reject_unknow_client_hostname) Checked.

These setting along with the standard Ham and SPAM learning features that is in effective keeps our company’s emails and those of our client clear of spam.

If you have any questions or would like a free consulation about setting up a very secure and full feature Email Server let us know using our Contact Form.  You can alsways call us as well 702.430.1849

attacking bear

Websites Under Attack – Got you covered

April 12, 2017
Web Admin
, , , ,
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I wanted to take a quick minute and tell you about our night on the web last night.  As web security experts with a long history of protecting, building, and creating wordpress websites, we have seen a quite a bit, but last night was special.  A couple of the sites that we managed and protect came under a sustained attack for a couple of hours.  These attacks had our phones blowing up with alert notifications every couple of minutes for hours.  We are used to it, and really don’t mind that much.  That is because we have over the years, become quite good at protecting our sites, and trust in our partnerships and the system that we have in place.

The graph below show you the number of attacks from last night.

attack capture

24 Hour Attack

We would love to tell you that it was the Russians, and indeed that has been the case in the past.  This time however, the attacker was from an IP adddress in the United States.   The main site causing all the noise last night was from a US based IP address of :

162.211.152.3United StatesUnited States2,157

Our security systems allow us to block most of the traffic geographically.  So, if you don’t have customer in the United states why expose your site to the rest of the world.  That is one theory anyhow, and you have to make a decision for your company, your security policy, affects on search engines finding you, etc.  In this clients situation the only country that is open is the United States.  However, country blocking wasn’t enough in this past attack.

You have to realize that in today’s world, the IP address in the U.S., might be compromised and actually be a device controlled by rogue hackers from another country.   It is critical that you have a rock solid firewall implementation that is dynamically based on live intrusion attempts across the world.  That you also protect yourself and ensure that your website is up to date constantly, and have some ability to recover if you find your site compromised and are monitoring alerts as things are happening.  Remember, the internet doesn’t sleep.

Our system can help you sleep at night and ensure your sites are always available.  Contact us for a free consultation.  Heck, we will even update your site for  you free of charge.

CD

 

under attack image

WordPress – Covered Data repel attacks

January 17, 2017
Web Admin
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Covered Data recently came under attack from sources across the internet and we wanted to share our experience.

The concentrated and focused attacked started on January 11th 2017 at 9:21:46 pm local time. The attack and search for vulnerabilities continued for just about 2 hours, ending shortly after 11:07:33 pm local.

Covered Data partners with the best web application firewall (WAF) known in the industry and our partner software is currently protecting millions of WordPress websites world wide.

To help address the wider concerns about internet attacks we are offering a free update service and vulnerability assessment to anyone.  We will update your site for free and provide recommendations for any further issues we might find that need to be addressed.  For those not based on WordPress, we will address your vulnerabilities and provide assistance in updating your software and make recommendation that should help you repel future attacks.  For those based on a WordPress infrastructure, we will update core files and plugins and share solutions that have protected our sites.

Are you protected?

We have included screen shots of the alerts we received during our attack.  We do this to collaborate and share our experience.  Our ultimate goal is protecting as many sites as we can.  If your organization is using a WordPress, contact us about this free service. This free update service will go a long way to your site being protected and you being able to sleep again.

Contact us.  We will help.

Sincerely,

Scott A. Barbour, CEO

The below information is a snapshot of a much longer attempt by the attackers to penetrate our sites.

We successfully repelled 100% of the attacks thanks.

attack 1 attack 2 attack 4 attack 5 attack 6 attack 7

 

 

cd alert picture

Username Harvesting WP 4.7

December 12, 2016
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We received a security alert this morning from our Web Application Firewall provider that addresses a vulnerability in WordPress that if exploited about will reveal the username and admin usernames on the system.

SUMMARY:

With the release of WordPress 4.7 a vulnerability now exists that all users should take immediate action to remediate.  While the update to 4.7 is a good thing and fixes several existing security issue, it also adds the REST API functionality to WordPress.  Again, this is a good thing, but does create a hackers ability to do the following:

http://example.com/wp-json/wp/v2/users

This will list all users that have published a post. It includes that user’s userid, username, gravatar hash and website URL.  This functionality either needs to be turned off completely or it is our recommendation, configure the firewall to prevent anonymous access and maintain the desired functionality of a the REST API.  Obviously this isn’t information that you want a hacker to have access to as it is half the battle with gaining unauthorized access.

REMEDIAL ACTIONS:

Our security team is recommending that all users upgraded to 4.7 and have our premium version of our WAF installed and configured immediately.  This will prevent hackers from using this functionality and gaining unauthorized access to your systems.

TO BE CLEAR:  All WordPress websites that are updated to the current version are vulnerable to this attack unless steps are taken.  Please contact us for a solution that will protect your site and increase your overall security profile.

Scott Barbour – Covered Data Founder/CEO

Web Security Just Got More Critical

September 23, 2016
Web Admin
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We have for years been battling with the various hackers, thief’s, spammers and whole host of bad guys and we are convinced every day of the value of solid web security strategy.  Not only do you need to ensure you have good backups should you get hacked, you need the ability to get restored as quickly as possible.  There are a several easy solutions out there now, but many companies are not even paying attention to the regular updates that are pushed out by the plugin developers and even worse, people are ignoring critical wordpress updates.

At Covered Data, we are mandating or highly recommending that all of our managed clients use a web application firewall  (WAF) The WAF can be implemented using a security plugin and should very high on your list of to-dos.  We are also suggesting to our clients that they join one of our plans that allows us to ensure standard updates are applied on a regular basis.   The cost of these plans is so minimal that it is almost ridiculous to not participate.  Google has made it clear in some of their posts that they are taking steps to tackle hacked spam sites in their rankings.  They realize the value of a safe web, and are engaged regularly to ensure those that are hacked or are spamvertising are reduced in the rankings.

What does that mean to you?  If you are a company that relies heavily on your website for eCommerce purchases and your reputation and you get hacked, you will no longer show on that first page when somebody searches for your product.  Worse yet, if it comes at a time when people are reviewing your site for a job you are bidding on, you my friend are in trouble.  My advise is that you take the immediate necessary steps to ensure your security.

There are many good plugins out there that can handle it for you.  Several of the developers that we partner with also guarantee restoration and a thorough diagnosis of the problem, if you are using the premium version.  We have used many security application in the past, but the premium version are generally well worth the few dollars extra.  Some of them only cost are as low as $8 per month.  See our recommended list for our favorite.  We are not making money off of the recommendation of the WAF.  We just believe in the product and the support provided.

To sum it all up, active steps to ensuring your security are not that hard to take and honestly, can be done very pretty inexpensively for most of the 174,090,82 active websites (Source:  Netcraft) out there.  Lets all get on the right path, apply our updates regularly, and take steps to enhance the security of our sites and our reputations.

As always, if we can help you, please let us know.  

Your Name (required)

 

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