The trick to Geo-IP blocking is not turning off the country from accessing critical areas of your network, its filtering them to receive only the traffic that is necessary to your business. Firewalls just do not get you there.

Even with well made firewalls like Sonicwall, Foritnet, Checkpoint, and several others that have geo-ip capabilities. Their approach is broad stroking when tackling Geo-IP management. It’s not that they do not care; it could be as simple as a marketing move, limitations given all they do, or simply put “It’s not their focus” for the product line.

If you ever tried really cranking up the geo-ip for any of them you will find internal hardship for your users, latency, load, and frustration. Understandable because the feature isn’t treated very seriously, or an after thought.

The fact is Geo-IP should not be done on any application layer inspecting anything, rather MUST be done within its own layer given the scope of the Geo-IP task.

The question is always asked “What countries should I block?”, as if judging the name of the country, and ideology is the gauge on how to filter it. The fact is there are no borders on the internet, ideology, and greed so asking what country to block is not the best measuring stick. Sure the attackers motivation could stem from that country, but it rarely starts and ends there. An attackers attack surface, and their resources are limitless because of their ability to traverse country to country without resistance. There are many factors why they can do this, and it all starts with what we call “The Human Condition”. The two main traits being imperfection, and the inability to predict the future yet.

– See more at:

As I read through the news on the Ebay breach, I got to thinking,  it’s not just the Ebay account informationEbay you have to worry about, rather ANY other account that matches.

For instance you can log into Ebay with either your email address, or userID. Now let’s say you are using the same email address and password for PayPal, Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress, Twitter, or some other fairly popular public site.

Since the hackers stole your information from Ebay, they could simply troll through other sites on the web with your login information, and see if the door opens.

Change All Your Passwords!You do not need to be a brain surgeon to put two and two together.  So after you change your Ebay account password, do the same for your other accounts.

Written by: Francesco Trama, CEO, PacketViper


By: Francesco Trama: Co-Founder: PacketViper, LLC

Network Security Driving Me NutsI woke one morning and found this alert in my email:

ON WORLD Press Freedom Day, Saturday May 3, Panama’s TVN channel 2 received another “cyber-attack” on its website ( The network said that the attacks have gone on continuously for five days leading up to Sunday’s election and a TVN broadcaster has been threatened via Twitter. read” 

My opinion is this: There needs to be a point when “we” as security sales professionals provide a disclaimer that clearly explains:

Disclaimer: This security device may get you 80% secure at best with hard work, and commitment; This device will need constant attention, managing, and there’s a good possibility if you forget, or ignore something on it your network and all its data will be compromised! 

I’m sure it might say something in twenty paragraphs of the EULA.

There are many factors on why I say this,

1. Complexity

2. Learning curve

3. Commitment to product

4. Lack of firewall and security knowledge

5. Management

6. False sense of security after the sale.

[Read More]

I could not agree more with this Huffington Post blogger.  Small business is the soft under belly of network security and everyone needs to wake up.  Think about it, small business have just as valuable data as the large organization, and their security is weaker.  So it makes them an obvious target to siphon data from.

Its a two front problem.  these smaller businesses contain valuable customer information the attackers salivate over, and should these less secure businesses have secure connections,  username and password to a larger organization, then its a twofer for the attacker. More disturbing is these side doors may not be discovered for 3-6, months,  an estimate many security firms are showing, so its a pretty serious problem.

It’s not necessarily their fault though. The cost for security can be very expensive, which forces them to purchase out of the box solutions that sometimes gives them a false sense of security,  not mentioning their security talent may not be there.

By Francesco Trama


“Smaller targets can mean big rewards for cyber criminals
Small and medium-sized businesses are equally susceptible to attacks from hackers as are large entities and even government agencies. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, an astonishing one in five small businesses falls victim to cyber crime each year. Even more frightening: According to an August 2013 story in PCWorld, of those small businesses whose systems are breached, roughly 60 percent go out of business within six months after the attack.”

Since the UN Identified this back in February, do you think the infections have spread, or have been curtailed? I would say with near certainty they have grown exponentially like a plague in every direction uncontrollably.  Here in the US we are finding it difficult to manage our own break outs, even though at times we can slow the growth. Now imagine the “up and coming” tech areas to our south, still getting their “%^&*” together.

By no means am I saying “we” (US) has theirs together, I just consider us further along is all.

Given they are still in their “tech growing phase” these or any under developed tech areas should be considered high risk, and treated with higher scrutiny and limited how your networks are exposed to these areas.

By Francesco Trama


Explainer: Cybercrime in Latin America

” Illegal botnets, or networks of remote-controlled computers infected with malware, have been found throughout Latin America. Also known as “zombie computers,” these networks can be used for a variety of cybercrimes, ranging from stealing personal information to sending spam. Trustnet’s study found that nearly half of all global cybercrime takes place through remote access with methods like botnets.

Cybercriminals from anywhere in the world can control the botnets through command and control servers, or C&Cs. A February 2013 UN draft report identified significant clusters of C&Cs in the Caribbean basin, as well as Central America. Two types of malware spawned zombie computers in the region last year—one called Dorkbot that infected 80,000 computers in 10 Latin American countries, the other called the Flashback virus, which harmed 40,000 Latin American computers.”


I got this alert today that one of our local media outlets got hit with a possible DDoS.  Just a few miles from them sits PacketViper, LLC, and PacketViper, something which would have shutdown the attacking countries at their port without the need of an global outage.

By Francesco Trama

Surge in web requests temporarily shuts down Trib Total Media website

[read more]

Luckily this is not an issue with our customers, all they have to do is limit their access. I would image most of our US customers have already limited this access.

By Francesco Trama,2817,2425836,00.asp

Cyber attacks are on the rise, but where are they originating from? If you guessed China, you’re close, but most of the attack traffic during the quarter actually originated in Indonesia, according to a new report from Akamai.

In the second quarter, Akamai found that attacks originated in 175 countries, with Indonesia accounting for 38 percent of those attacks – up from 21 percent in the first quarter. China came in at No. 2 with 33 percent, down 1 percent this quarter. The U.S. stayed at No. 3, but dropped from 8.3 percent to 6.9 percent.