Author: Derek Wiedenhoeft

Ransomware: Malware That Makes You Pay


What is ransomware?

One of the fastest and most damaging cyber security threats falls under a category called “ransomware.” Ransomware is malicious code that encrypts all the user’s files and is usually downloaded unknowingly. This type of malware gets its name from what it does when a user tries to open an infected file: it prompts the user to pay a ‘ransom’ within a timeframe to receive a decryption key, which would then allow you to decrypt your files.[1] Even if you choose to pay the ransom, there is no guarantee you will gain access to your data. In this article, we will explain steps you can take to protect and secure your environment.

The numbers

Ransomware is a real threat to any business that allows user access, as it depends on users to spread it. Different industries also have different risks, with healthcare usually opting to pay the ransom to protect patient data, while the education industry has the highest rate of infection.  Other lucrative targets include classified documents, financial documents, and intellectual property[2]. With names like Telecrypt, iRansom, FSociety, and CryptoLuck, the goal of ransomware is all the same for their creators: making money. According to Lavasoft, the CryptoWall 3 ransomware cost users $325 million just in 2015 alone.[3] As ransomware grows and evolves, they become even more costly. At the end of 2016, one of the most harmful ransomware is named “Cerber.” Not only does it lock your files from being accessed, but recent variations have incorporated the stealing of personal information and scripts that cause your machine to target other servers.[4]

Source: Source:

Read More

Intrusion Detection Systems – Do You Need One?

Should you invest in an Intrusion Detection System? Responsible businesses with sensitive data know they need a firewall to control traffic and secure their networks. What seems less well known, however, is the role that complementary technologies play in a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity.  An Intrusion Detection System (IDS) enables organizations to take a proactive security stance, which is why Atlantic.Net offers one for its security-conscious customers.

Amid all the headline-grabbing data breaches of the past year, the vulnerability of companies in industries like health care may be overlooked.  Data breaches began costing healthcare firms over $5.5 billion annually shortly after HIPAA became law, according to the Ponemon Institute.

Once online criminals have found a profitable target, they tend to return to it with ever more sophisticated attacks.  A report recently indicated that over 75 percent of the healthcare industry had been infected with malware in the past year, and noted that a shocking majority of ransomware targets medical treatment centers.

Cliches like the typical hacker being a teenager living in his or her parent’s basement are persistent, and harmful because they misrepresent the situation to the potential victims of hacking.  The numbers clearly show that hacking is now predominantly committed by sophisticated criminal organizations. Utilizing an IDS is a proactive approach to meeting that threat.

An Intrusion Detection System, or IDS, is a software application that monitors the network and hosting environment and analyzes activity on it.  Any activity which is considered unusual is ranked according to how high risk it is considered based on information from global threat databases.

Read More

Two-Step Login is Now Available!

Derek Wiedenhoeft November 22, 2016 by under Announcements 0 Comments

We are excited to announce the release of a new feature called Two-Step Login (aka: Two-Factor Authentication, 2TFA, TFA). This new feature provides you an extra layer of security when accessing your Cloud account via the Atlantic.Net Cloud Portal.

What is Two-Step Login?

When you enable Two-Step Login, you’ll be required to provide a username and password like you normally do plus a randomly generated verification code.

You’ll be able to get the verification code by text message or by using a simple authenticator app for a smartphone.

How it helps protect your account

Most services only have one layer of security to protect user accounts: a password. With Two-Step Login, even if a bad guy hacks your password, he’ll still need your phone to get into your account.

Read More

ECC Memory vs. Non-ECC Memory – Why It’s Critical for Financial and Medical Businesses

By: Kris Fieler

As businesses depend more on big data, the need to prevent data loss has never been more important. One of the most vital areas for this loss prevention is where data is temporarily stored, RAM.  ECC, or Error-Correcting Code, protects your system from potential crashes and inadvertent changes in data by automatically correcting data errors.  This is achieved with the addition of a ninth computer chip on the RAM board, which acts as an error check and correction for the other eight chips. While marginally more expensive than non-ECC RAM, the added protection it provides is critical as applications become more dependent on large amounts of data.


Likelihood of a Memory Error

On any server with financial information or critical personal information, especially medical, any data loss or transcription error is unacceptable.  Memory errors can cause security vulnerabilities, crashes, transcription errors, lost transactions, and corrupted or lost data.

Read More

How to Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) for an SSL

Verified and Tested 03/26/17


This article will explain how to generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). You will be required to submit a CSR when obtaining an SSL/TLS certificate from a certificate authority (CA).


Any Linux distribution with OpenSSL installed. If you do not have a server, why not consider a Linux Cloud Server from Atlantic.Net and be up and running in under 30 seconds.

Generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)

Both the CSR and the private key for your server can be generated in one easy step. Be sure to keep access to your private key as restricted as possible, as this unique identifier is used to verify the authenticity of your server.

Note: If you are having trouble running the command successfully, you may need to log in as sudo or root.

openssl req -new -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout yourdomain.key -out yourdomain.csr

You will then be asked for the following information:

You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
Country Name (2 letter code) [XX]:
State or Province Name (full name) []:
Locality Name (eg, city) [Default City]:
Organization Name (eg, company) [Default Company Ltd]:
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:
Common Name (eg, your name or your server's hostname) []:
Email Address []:
Please enter the following 'extra' attributes
to be sent with your certificate request
A challenge password []:
An optional company name []:

Note: The challenge password is not related to the private key password. Leave it blank unless required by your certificate authority. You may also leave the “optional company name” question blank.

You now have the “.csr” (Certificate Signing Request) file that will need to be submitted to a certificate authority (CA). Once the CA has signed the certificate, it will return a certificate file. The format of the issued certificate will vary depending on the certificate authority.  The most common type will be PEM format which utilize extensions such as .crt.key.csr.cer, and .pem.

Depending on the needs of your application or web server, you may need to convert one of these formats to other formats such as PKCS#7, PKCS#12, or DER. Here are a some useful file conversion commands:

PEM → PKCS#7 (P7B)

openssl crl2pkcs7 -nocrl -certfile yourdomain.cer -out yourdomain.p7b -certfile CACert.cer

The -nocrl option indicates that you will not be including a certificate revocation list (CRL) in the PKCS#7 structure. Most new deployments will use this option, since there will be no older certificates to revoke.
Each -certfile option indicates a certificate file that will be included in the output file, which is useful in creating a certificate chain including the server certificate and the certificate authority’s intermediate certificate (“yourdomain.cer” and “CACert.cer”, respectively, in the example above).
The -out option indicates the file name to write the PKCS#7 output to.


openssl pkcs12 -export -out yourdomain.pfx -inkey yourdomain.key -in yourdomain.crt -certfile CACert.crt

The -export option indicates that this command will create a PKCS#12 file. The default behavior without the -export option is to parse the input.
The -in option indicates the PEM-formatted file to be read from. If this file doesn’t also include the private key, you will need the -inkey option to indicate the private key file, as well.
The -certfile option indicates additional certificates to include in the PKCS#12 file, such as intermediate certificates.
The -out option indicates the file to write the output to, usually a “.pfx” file.


openssl x509 -outform der -in yourdomain.pem -out yourdomain.der

The -in option indicates the input certificate file to be converted.
The -out option indicates the output file name.
The -outform option indicates the file format for the output (in this example, the input file is in the PEM format, and this command would take that file and create a DER-formatted file).

How to Create a New Atlantic.Net Cloud Server

Derek Wiedenhoeft March 18, 2015 by under Cloud Hosting 0 Comments


This tutorial will show you how to create a Cloud Server through the Atlantic.Net Cloud admin portal.

How to Create a New Cloud Server

How to create a new Atlantic.Net Cloud Server

How to create a new Atlantic.Net Cloud Server

1.  Sign in to

2.  Click the “Add Server” button.

On the initial “Add a Server” page, you will see a few options:

3.  Enter what you would like your server’s name to be in the “Server Name.”

4.  Click on the data center you would like your Cloud Server to be located under “Location.”

5.  Select the type of server you would like under “Type.” Under the first tab, “Operating Systems”, there are vanilla versions of popular operating systems. Under the second tab, “Applications,” are the servers that come with popular applications, like WordPress, cPanel, and LAMP, already pre-installed.

Note: When selecting anything under “Applications,” this overwrites any OS you may have chosen on the Operation Systems page. Please note that cPanel does come at an extra cost found on our Cloud Server pricing page.

6.  Select what plan size you want under “Plan.”

Note: The plans do change depending on the OS you have chosen. All available plans will be provided as well as the specifications and their pricing.

7.  Choose whether to enable backups for your new Cloud Server. Check the box next to “Enable Backups” if you would like to have daily snapshots of your server taken. Visit our Cloud Hosting page for pricing and details.

8.  Finish creating your server by clicking the “Create Server” button.  It will take a few moments for your server to build. The credentials will be displayed at the top of the page in green, and will also be emailed to you. After this, the server will be listed as ‘PROVISIONED’, and you will be able to access it via Remote Desktop Connection, SSH, or VNC using the credentials highlighted at the top of the page.

Note: Atlantic.Net does not keep your credentials on file, so please be sure to keep this information recorded for your convenience.

Contacting Atlantic.Net Support

If the above step by step directions do not assist you in completing your task or an issue arises while following these steps, please feel free to contact our Support Department at 800.540.4686 (option 3) or e-mail us directly at [email protected]

New York, NY

100 Delawanna Ave, Suite 1

Clifton, NJ 07014

United States

San Francisco, CA

2820 Northwestern Pkwy,

Santa Clara, CA 95051

United States

Dallas, TX

2323 Bryan Street,

Dallas, Texas 75201

United States

Ashburn, VA

1807 Michael Faraday Ct,

Reston, VA 20190

United States

Orlando, FL

440 W Kennedy Blvd, Suite 3

Orlando, FL 32810

United States

Toronto, Canada

20 Pullman Ct, Scarborough,

Ontario M1X 1E4


London, UK

14 Liverpool Road, Slough,

Berkshire SL1 4QZ

United Kingdom


We use cookies for advertising, social media and analytics purposes. Read about how we use cookies in our updated Privacy Policy. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.