Archive for March 4, 2020

ASUS & Qnext Sign Partnership To Integrate FileFlex On ASUS Routers

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 4, 2020 by itnerd

Qnext Corp. today announced that ASUS will now globally integrate FileFlex with its most popular SMB router for the Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) – the RT-AC68U. This integration transforms the router into a 2-way smart hub that enables ultra-secure remote access, sharing and streaming of router-attached USB storage and the storage of the router-networked devices as well as a multi-media hub that automatically backs up and stores photos and videos from smart phones and tablets.

When combined with FileFlex, the ASUS router becomes a powerful, smart remote access gateway into all content that the router connects to.  Now an ASUS router can be used to securely access, share, stream and perform remote multi-device file management functions to any and all content that is on the router’s USB and the router’s network from anywhere the user is located. Every ASUS RT-AC68U router comes with a complimentary pre-paid one-year single user subscription (value $34.95).

The FileFlex integration also turns an ASUS router into a hub for multimedia and digital content. Users can set their tablets and smart phones to automatically back up photos and videos to whatever storage is attached or networked to the router. There is no limit to the number of mobile devices that can be backed up and the backup can be configured to only occur with connected via WiFi so as not to consume a user’s cellular data.

Selected as a Red Herring Top 100 Global winner for disruptive technology and recognition of the technology industry’s most exciting and innovative private companies, Qnext Corp. is an innovator in file sharing and collaboration software based on edge computing technology, including integration with the latest Intel SGX secure enclave technology. FileFlex Enterprise, an on-premise file sharing and collaboration solution, provides a highly secure hybrid point-to-point, software-only service that allows organizations to remotely access, share, stream, manage and collaborate 100% of their data from source locations.   For more information visit https://fileflex.com/.

TOPdesk Releases The ‘Office Panic Poll’

Posted in Commentary on March 4, 2020 by itnerd

TOPdesk Canada today released the findings of the Office Panic Poll, a study of 1,500 Canadians that dives into the cultural effects and chaos of people’s most cringe-worthy IT experiences and technology setbacks at work.

First day on the job – chaotic onboarding

Nearly half of Canadians (46%) have experienced a technology issue on their first day at a new job. One-in-five didn’t know their computer login info and got locked out for the first couple of days.

  • 19% were missing a phone, computer, or other vital material to do their job
  • 18% didn’t have their work email set up and couldn’t communicate with internal team
  • 15% didn’t have a key card and couldn’t get into the office
  • 15% were forced to jump from department to department to get set up in the system
  • 12% had to set up their own computer and phone system with no guidance

The tasks we despise at work

No matter the industry or role, every job involves unpleasant tasks – some worse than others. The survey found respondent’s least favourite aspect of work is that they feel too busy to keep up, because of an overload of administrative work. Those mundane, admin tasks are a nuisance for one-in-four employees.

Too many meetings and customer demands were tied for second place as the least favourite aspect of a job (18%). These were followed by too many emails (15%), dealing with people outside their department (15%), and working with technology (13%).

The most dreaded IT issues

The survey found more than seven-in-10 Canadians have endured at least one dreaded IT issue on the job, including:

  • Computer runs too slowly (43%)
  • The Internet is either too slow or not working at all (39%)
  • Can’t print anything (30%)
  • Locked out due to unsuccessful login attempts (26%) or CAPS lock (14%)
  • Computer just shut down unexpectedly (25%)
  • Deleted files by mistake (19%)
  • The blue screen of death (16%)

About the TOPdesk Canada Survey

From February 18-21, 2020, an online survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,500 Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, the sample plan would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Over Three Million Certificates From Let’s Encrypt Need To Be Revoked Due To Software Bug

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 4, 2020 by itnerd

Well this isn’t good. The free SSL certificate provider Let’s Encrypt is going to revoke 2.6% of the SSL certs issued by them that are currently active, due to a bug in boulder, the Certificate Authority Authorization (CAA) software Let’s Encrypt uses. Here’s the key points from the FAQ that I linked to. Starting with the number of certificates affected:

2.6%. That is 3,048,289 currently-valid certificates are affected, out of ~116 million overall active Let’s Encrypt certificates. Of the affected certificates, about 1 million are duplicates of other affected certificates, in the sense of covering the same set of domain names.

And here’s when the revocation will take place:

In order to complete revocations before the deadline of 2020-03-05 03:00 UTC, we are planning to start revoking affected certificates at 2020-03-04 20:00 UTC (3:00pm US EST). Please continue to renew and replace affected certificates in the meantime. If there are any changes to this start time, updates will be provided in this thread. 

And finally, here’s how to tell if you’re affected:

Here is an online tool that will show you: https://checkhost.unboundtest.com/ 9.4k

Or, on a Linux/BSD-like system, this command will show you example.com‘s current certificate serial number:

openssl s_client -connect example.com:443 -servername example.com -showcerts </dev/null 2>/dev/null | openssl x509 -text -noout | grep -A 1 Serial\ Number | tr -d :

You can see the list of all affected serial numbers at: https://letsencrypt.org/caaproblem/ 

To be clear, this is not trivial as if you don’t take action, whatever uses an affected certificate will either stop working or not work properly. Thus if you use certificates from this provider, you need to check to see if they are affected. And if they are, you need to take action. Thus if that’s you, I would read the FAQ and go forward from here.