We Are All In The Crosshairs

iComEx Reports Hacking On The RiseHacking has been on the increase for a long time now. The US Department of Justice says that cybercrime is one of the greatest threats facing our country. Recent reports show massive increases in hacking attempts, and many organizations are unprepared to deal with the realities of hacking when it occurs. A Los Angeles hospital even paid a $17,000 ransom this week to get its computer network back from hackers that got in and locked them our of their entire system.

We regularly get asked about how secure our servers are. That is completely understandable, when you are putting your trust and faith in us to manage the servers, your websites and sensitive data, you want some assurances that the servers you are hosted on are as secure as they can be made. Without giving away the farm, we can say that we keep our servers very secure, using such commercially reasonable means as we have at our disposal.

Most of the time people are not aware that the biggest culprit that can cause their website to be compromised is actually not even related to the server itself, but the web site applications that run on it. In this day and age, open source Content Management Systems (CMS) like Joomla, WordPress and Magento are some of the most commonly used website development and management applications. Those who are out to wreak havoc on websites like yours look to find the biggest bang for their buck by finding exploits in any of these software applications.

On nearly a daily basis, updates to Joomla, WordPress and Magento are being put out by their development teams, along with the various templates, themes, extensions and plugins associated with them, to close these security vulnerabilities. The rapid speed with which the hackers can pass along their malicious code and inject them in to your website is magnified by the fact that there isn’t just one person trying website after website, but they employ bot networks to do their dirty work. These bots spend their time crawling the internet to look for these vulnerabilities that they are attempting to exploit. As an example, back in December of 2014, the security team at Sucuri discovered more than 100,000 WordPress sites were hit with the malware campaign, resulting in more than 11,000 domains being blacklisted by Google.

The whole purpose of malware is simply to use your website to then carry out the tasks of sending spam, setting up phishing sites, or spreading more malware or any other malicious activity. What’s even more problematic is that they will often leave back doors for them to get back in once you believe you’ve cleaned up the site, and you find yourself once again dealing with the website being compromised.

Like other hosting service providers, iComEx and our clients are not immune from the effects of these kinds of attacks. Since November 2015 iComEx has experienced an increase in hacking attempts beyond anything we have seen in our 18 years in business. In the past we would see a web site or an email account successfully hacked once, maybe twice a year. In the past 4 months we have several web sites and email accounts compromised, and it has not slowed down. Usually the negative impact is that a compromised web site starts sending out tons of spam emails. However, we have seen sites end up with radical Islamic materials, porn, and even a ransom demand like the hospital listed above.

As is the standard among hosting companies and internet service providers, iComEx has an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) that is part of our General Terms of Service (TOS). Again, like others in our industry, our current AUP & TOS states that the ultimate responsibility for protecting access to passwords and keeping your web site secure rests with our clients. Part of our Professional Webmaster Services hosting plan includes installing new maintenance updates and security patches for major version of your web site software. Maintenance updates and security patches are not major version software upgrades.

In dealing with this increase in hacking activity, iComEx is in the process of drafting new policies regarding compromised email accounts and websites, implementing new security audit procedures and developing new service offerings that include managed backup & restoration services and hacking remediation & repair services. More information about these will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

Welcome To The New Lake Kiowa Realty Website

Lake Kiowa Realty New WebsiteLake Kiowa Realty is a full service real estate brokerage office serving Lake Kiowa and the surrounding communities.  Lake Kiowa Realty has been an established real estate office in this area of North Texas for many years.  Our particular areas of specialization include lake homes, golf course homes, country homes, acreage and ranches.

Lake Kiowa Realty looks forward to many more years of serving the Lake Kiowa community. Please come see us for all of your real estate needs, but feel free just to stop by any time and say hello too!  Lake Kiowa Realty is open 7 days a week – Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Lake Kiowa is located one hour north of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and ten miles southeast of Gainesville, Texas. Lake Kiowa Realty is a full service real estate brokerage serving the area in and around the Lake Kiowa community.

Lake Kiowa is a private gated community featuring lakefront homes, golf course homes and interior homes amidst rolling hills and a beautiful private lake, great for swimming fishing, water skiing and other water sports. We have two beaches offering parks for picnics, playgrounds for kids, basketball, tennis and covered pavilions for reunions.

Lake Kiowa features an 18 hole championship golf course. ( Golf is a FREE amenity. ) The clubhouse is a focal point of activity for members and their guests. Food service and a lounge are offered for members. Social functions include dances, bingo card games and community parties!

Lake Kiowa is a private GATED COMMUNITY, so please click the Free Entry Pass icon for your visit to Lake Kiowa. Lake Kiowa is the place you will want to call home!

The agents of Lake Kiowa Realty are always available to help you with any questions or concerns.


iPhone, iPad, iWatch, PowerBookApple vs. FBI

iComEx Privacy MattersIts all over the news... The FBI wants Apple Computers to create a backdoor method of unlocking iPhones and other Apple devices for the purpose of evidence gathering in the case related to the San Bernardino terror attack last December. What's at stake here is setting a very dangerous precedent where the government can demand access to our private information, using a master key to unlock information that we thought would be secure because we encrypted and password protected it. While the FBI claims that this is a one-time use on a single device, the same technology and techniques could (and likely would) be used on any number of other Apple devices, and from there could expand to other platforms like Android devices and more. In fact, other law enforcement agencies are already clamoring that they too want this kind of access - there goes the 'one-time use' argument.

Below is the full text of the open letter that Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, release a few days ago. It is in all of our best interest to read and understand the issues at hand here. Once we start giving up bits and pieces of our freedoms, rights and protections, especially from excessive government meddling in our personal lives, we start down an ever increasing slippery slope towards tyranny and oppression. We have but to recall names like Vladimir Lenin, Adolf Hitler, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Kim Jong-Il, Idi Amin Dada, Mao Zedong and Saddam Hussein to conjure up images of the kind of world this could ultimately lead to. Some might say that this is extreme thinking, but history has of way of repeating itself if we fail to learn from it.

Open Letter on FBI Court Ruling from Apple CEO Tim Cook

A Message to Our Customers

The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand.

This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our customers and people around the country to understand what is at stake.

The Need for Encryption

Smartphones, led by iPhone, have become an essential part of our lives. People use them to store an incredible amount of personal information, from our private conversations to our photos, our music, our notes, our calendars and contacts, our financial information and health data, even where we have been and where we are going.

All that information needs to be protected from hackers and criminals who want to access it, steal it, and use it without our knowledge or permission. Customers expect Apple and other technology companies to do everything in our power to protect their personal information, and at Apple we are deeply committed to safeguarding their data.

Compromising the security of our personal information can ultimately put our personal safety at risk. That is why encryption has become so important to all of us.

For many years, we have used encryption to protect our customers' personal data because we believe it's the only way to keep their information safe. We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business.

The San Bernardino Case

We were shocked and outraged by the deadly act of terrorism in San Bernardino last December. We mourn the loss of life and want justice for all those whose lives were affected. The FBI asked us for help in the days following the attack, and we have worked hard to support the government's efforts to solve this horrible crime. We have no sympathy for terrorists.

When the FBI has requested data that's in our possession, we have provided it. Apple complies with valid subpoenas and search warrants, as we have in the San Bernardino case. We have also made Apple engineers available to advise the FBI, and we've offered our best ideas on a number of investigative options at their disposal.

We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good. Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.

Specifically, the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone's physical possession.

The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.

The Threat to Data Security

Some would argue that building a backdoor for just one iPhone is a simple, clean-cut solution. But it ignores both the basics of digital security and the significance of what the government is demanding in this case.

In today's digital world, the "key" to an encrypted system is a piece of information that unlocks the data, and it is only as secure as the protections around it. Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.

The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that's simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.

The government is asking Apple to hack our own users and undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers — including tens of millions of American citizens — from sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals. The same engineers who built strong encryption into the iPhone to protect our users would, ironically, be ordered to weaken those protections and make our users less safe.

We can find no precedent for an American company being forced to expose its customers to a greater risk of attack. For years, cryptologists and national security experts have been warning against weakening encryption. Doing so would hurt only the well-meaning and law-abiding citizens who rely on companies like Apple to protect their data. Criminals and bad actors will still encrypt, using tools that are readily available to them.

A Dangerous Precedent

Rather than asking for legislative action through Congress, the FBI is proposing an unprecedented use of the All Writs Act of 1789 to justify an expansion of its authority.

The government would have us remove security features and add new capabilities to the operating system, allowing a passcode to be input electronically. This would make it easier to unlock an iPhone by "brute force," trying thousands or millions of combinations with the speed of a modern computer.

The implications of the government's demands are chilling. If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone's device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone's microphone or camera without your knowledge.

Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.

We are challenging the FBI's demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.

While we believe the FBI's intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.

— Tim Cook

Dallas Family Lawyer - Bankruptcy & Mediation

Family Attorney Texas - Rita M. BoydiComEx has launched the new redesigned Rita Boyd Attorney & Mediator at Law website. It looks great Rita and we are so excited to see the website deliver all the  services you have available to provide for the Dallas Ft. Worth community. For those new clients, Call Rita Boyd about your case . . . She will listen.

Rita M. Boyd has been practicing law in Texas since 1992. Over 90% of her practice is Family Law*, in addition to Bankruptcy* and Mediation Services. If you have found yourself in the postion of needing an attorney to help you with a divorce, child custody, visitation, child support, protective orders or other Family Law issues, especially if you need immediate attention, call Rita - she can help you!

As a Family Law Attorney, Rita Boyd has adopted a non-adversarial approach to handling divorce. By keeping focus the on on maintaining long-term family relationships and putting your children's best interests at the forefront, Rita is able to help many couples settle their disputes privately. When possible, Rita also attempts to not involve a judge who could impose decisions on you that do not meet your children's needs. Rita's approach usually results in a unique settlement that really does address the interests and concerns of all parties involved.

Areas Of Legal Practice

Rita Boyd provides legal services in the areas of:

  • Family Law
  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Bankruptcy
  • Mediation Services

Rita Boyd is licensed to practice law throughout the State of Texas, handling family law cases, bankruptcies and mediations mostly within the great Dallas / Fort Worth metroplex and the surrounding areas in Dallas, Collin, Denton, Rockwall, Kaufman and Ellis counties. Conveniently located on Keller Springs Road, just west of the North Dallas Tollway, Rita's office is a comfortable place to discuss situation. Contact us online or call 972-380-8000 to schedule a consultation.

F & I Pawn Shop

Welcome F & I Pawn Shop to the iComEx Family. We are very excited that you have selected us for your website needs. We look forward to a wonderful business relationship.

F&I Pawn Shop is a locally owned and operated shop in Sherman and Denison Texas. The two shops operate on collateral loans up to 10,000 dollars. Loans are written for 30-days and then allowed 30 days of grace. We take anything of value!

The store is licensed and regulated by The State of Texas Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner. All interest rates are closely regulated by the state and all of our pawn brokers have been licensed by the state.

We are a local Gold and Silver Exchange. We buy and sale gold, silver coins, gold or silver bullion, watches and Antique Jewelry!

The legacy of loaning money for collateral has been passed down from generation to generation. John Sofey, Innette Marr’s grandfather came to America from EL Mira, Syria around 1900. He pursued many interests to support his family. John became a lender instead of a borrower, lending money anything from a dime to five dollars. He always kept collateral for these loans, sometimes holding the borrowers shoes. During his life, John helped other Syrian-Lebanese immigrants by lending money to begin business. Innette’s grandfather was an example of millions of successful immigrants that came to America.

iComEx has clients in states across our nation such as Colorado, Louisiana, Oregon, and many others.

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Phone: 972-712-2100

Toll Free: 877-282-6900

Fax: 214-291-5853

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