Category Archives: Technology News

NFN users and NFN4Good site owners secure from Heartbleed bug on Open SSL

The good news first, our system administrator , Warren Anderson, reported earlier: “

Warren Anderson Presidents Award 2014“The “Heartbleed” bug affects OpenSSL versions 1.01 and 1.02. Naples Free-Net does not use the affected software. External tests have shown that we are not vulnerable.”

In other words, NFN users information is securely stored and was not exposed.

Mashable posted: The Heartbleed Hit List: The Passwords You Need to Change Right Now

Thank you to Steve Hart, who allowed us to use his article, published this morning on Relevanza.

Heartbleed bug on OpenSSL is an open wound

You’ve no doubt read about the Heartbleed bug that could affect websites using OpenSSL encryption for secure services – like financial transactions.

There is certainly no shortage of posts about the bug and it presents potential danger for some websites. An estimate published by ARStechnica suggests approximately 600,000 of a reported 28 million servers and other devices responding to a SSL connection request remained vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug. That estimate was made April 8th and at the time it was suggested a third of all servers had received a security patch to fix the vulnerability.

Other estimates suggest two-thirds of all servers dependent on OpenSSL have the potential to be affected.

OpenSSL is an open-source system of software networks which works to encrypt just over half of all websites which need secure connections to do business. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and if your website URL adds an “s” to the http preface on the URL – https – you are probably using OpenSSL.

HeartbleedThe Heartbleed bug, as it’s come to be called, is a recently discovered vulnerability in the software that could allow hackers to access sensitive, important encrypted information such as passwords or, even, credit card numbers on the way from your computer to the web site using the data. There is currently no way to know if any particular site has been exploited because of the flaw but companies are moving very quickly to make patches and mend the flaw.

There are at least two sites (probably others) website users can go to check a site for vulnerabilities. One site is was set up by the security firm, LastPass. Another site was set up by Filippo Valsorda, Twitter and GitHub and can be found here.

Links reading more:

Photo: The Mothership by Trey Ratcliff,

Commentary: Google, NetFlix begin push back for Net Neutrality

Today’s post is a commentary on Net Neutrality by Steve Hart, co-founder of Relevanza, journalist, author and activist. Hart volunteers for the Naples Free-Net as expert at 501TechClub SWFL meetings. The article was originally posted on Relevanza – This Week in Social Media

One would not expect Internet giants like Google or NetFlix to stand by idly while a U.S. court strikes a blow to Net Neutrality.

Both companies have begun to push back, following a decision January 13 by a U.S. federal appeals court in Washington D.C., which (largely) struck down U.S. government rules which mandated a free and open Internet.

Net Neutrality is the simple term for an Internet that is free, open and unrestricted by governments or internet services providers (ISPs), the companies and entities which deliver the Internet to your door. Nearly all Internet users in the U.S. get their service from major corporations like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Time-Warner, Sprint and others. Those corporations, not corporations like Google or NetFlix, control the speed and accessibility of the Internet. The January 13th court decision gave ISPs free reign to charge extra for some Internet services – like video, for example – or to block content altogether.

To start its push back, Google launched a website, Video Quality Report, which attempts to educate users about how, exactly, a YouTube video makes its way to your laptop or mobile device.

“When your ISP receives your video from YouTube, they begin the important job of carrying it across their network to your home,” Google explains at the site. “They must ensure there’s enough capacity where they receive the data from YouTube. Otherwise, your video streaming quality will suffer.”

In other words, if you want YouTube to stream flawlessly to your machines you want to be assured nothing (like an ISP) is blocking or restricting that flow of (video) data.

“We’ve invested billions of dollars in the bandwidth and infrastructure necessary to bring our services as close to your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) front door as possible, for free,” Google explains in another portion of the site.

Google is also building its own Internet broadband infrastructure in several U.S. cities (Kansas City, Austin) and is expected to continue and expand that project.

REL-WearetheWebFor its part, NetFlix released January 22 a letter to share holders in which it not too subtly warned it would rally its 33 million U.S. customers to demand a continued open and free Internet should any ISPs decide to place restrictions or additional charges for streaming videos.

The company also tried to take the high road.

“The most likely case, however, is that ISPs will avoid this consumer-unfriendly path of discrimination,” said the NetFlix letter. “ISPs are generally aware of the broad public support for net neutrality and don’t want to galvanize government action.”

In an interview posted January 23 with VentureBeat, NetFlix CEO Reed Hastings reinforced the high-road approach by pointing out ISPs would only be hurting themselves should they become bullies or bridge trolls on the superinformation highway.

“Part of delivering and expanding [ISPs’ business] for consumers is having a really good Netflix experience, a good YouTube experience. Things like that. That’s why people get higher-speed broadband,” Hastings told VentureBeat. “So I think actually our economic interests are pretty co-aligned.”

Immediately after the court ruling, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler vowed to keep the Internet free and open, promising the U.S. government’s communications regulatory agency will use its authority to readdress the issues rendered dead by the court.