Core Network Upgrades

I am sure you have heard of the upgrades and improvements we have been doing in the Wireless Infrastructure for some areas. In addition to the continuous Wireless Network upgrades, Cal.net has also set focus in its Core Network Infrastructure.

According to our monitoring tools, our primary router’s processor has been running very smoothly for the past year. Between January 2011 and January 2012, our router ran at an average of 0.3% CPU utilization and maximum of 1.2% at peak hours. This very small usage left the Network Engineers comfortable with how the “heart” of the Network is currently operating. Even with great performance like this, Cal.net just recently acquired a more powerful router (Cisco 7609-S) to replace the “primary” router. The replaced router is now used as a “live backup” for the new one. While having multiple Service Providers for backup is a great idea, having only one router was still creating a point of failure in the network. By adding this extra router, we have eliminated that very important point of failure. Previously, if either one of the Providers failed, the router’s smart software would automatically adjust and know the best working path to take. But what if that router had a problem? Now you see where this is going. Cal.net is very pleased to announce the beginning of a project that will slowly implement full redundancy at every level of the Core network.

In laymen’s term, this compares to a human body with two hearts and twice as many arteries. In the upcoming newsletters we will provide more details at other upgrades we are currently making.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Network with point of failure at the router level

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Point of failure eliminated

 

 

Company News February 2011

These past couple months have been a very exciting time for Cal.net, as we have completed the pilot program for our new high-quality “Velocity” fixed-wireless Internet service and have begun deploying it in more areas throughout the county. We have received high praise for the quality and performance of this new service from those who have experienced it, to date. You can expect announcements of more areas opening up with this service throughout 2012, as we accelerate our build-out.

We are also pleased to announce the availability of our new “Fusion” high-speed DSL and phone service in Davis, Woodland, and Sacramento. This service is based on the ADSL2+ standard and offers speeds up to 20 megabits per second (four times faster than standard DSL from AT&T) with unlimited usage (no data caps). It also comes bundled with unlimited local and long-distance telephone service. And you get all this (unlimited Internet and telephone) for one low fixed monthly price of $39.95 for residential service. Not only that, we offer the option to double those Fusion speeds up to an astounding 40 megabits per second (with unlimited nationwide phone service included) for a mere $69.95 a month for residential service! Business services are only slightly higher in cost. If you live in the above-noted service areas, check it out at our Fusion page or phone our sales department at 530-672-1078 for more information. Unfortunately for our customers in El Dorado County, this service is not available to you at this time.

Stay tuned for more exciting news over the next few months. And, as always, please feel free to drop by our offices at any time to visit with us, and see what we can do for you, whether your Internet-related needs are business, personal, or both.

How to Spot a Phishing Email Scam

 

Phishing is a form of social engineering scam, in which a spammer sends an email that appears to be from some institution that the user does business with such as a bank or internet service provider, with the intent of getting personal information. They often go to great lengths to give the appearance of legitimacy, including using company logos, and building look alike websites to extract information. Understanding the material in this post, especially the section on links, will allow you to successfully identify phishing attempts in almost all cases.

Many Cal.net customers with @directcon.net email addresses received just such an email this last week. In this article, I will dissect this Phishing email to help our customers understand how to sniff out these scams. (If you visited the link in this email, or feel your password may have been compromised, please call support at 530-672-1078).

This scam email avoided many of the obvious mistakes scammers make in the Phishing emails they send. We will start with the most important and difficult part of the scam to pull off, the fake website, and the link to it.

1) The Link- This is how the phisher actually gets your information. They send you to a website that they set up, and have you enter your password, credit card number, or whatever they are looking to get. In this email, if you clicked on the link, you were taken to a website at directcon.net.ms. It may not be immediately obvious that this is not the directcon.net website, after all, it has directcon.net in it. This is the spammer taking advantage of the fact that people don’t understand how web addresses work.

  We will start with a short explanation of how web addresses are structured.

 

Subdomains are not always used in a web address, but the domain and toplevel domain have to be there. Now lets examine the address of the scammers website, and see if we can identify the problem.

Now recall that the domain order is subdomain.domain.top level domain

Site Subdomain Domain Top Level Domain
Scam directcon net ms
Real directcon net

As you can see from the table, the top level domain for the scam site is .ms, where the real site’s tld is .net. Because the scammer owns the domain name net.ms he can create a dummy site for any website who’s TLD is .net. As another example, lets say that you bank with Wells Fargo, and that their domain name is wellsfargo.net. This same scam could be used for that site.

Site Subdomain Domain Top Level Domain
Scam wellsfargo net ms
Real wellsfargo net

This may seem like incomprehensible technobabble, but understanding this is the most important thing to glean from the article. If you pay attention to the web addresses of important sites, and are able to identify domains, subdomains, and top level domains, then it will be very difficult to trick you into giving up important information to a scam site.

Now a quick look at the Cal.net domains you might be dealing with.

Site Subdomain Domain Top Level Domain
Cal.net * cal net
directcon.net * directcon net

2) The FROM field: Many spammers will neglect to change the from field in the email to something from the company the are imitating. The example here was done well by the criminal, they faked the from field to make it appear that it comes from cal.net support staff.

3) LOGO- Often the logo used in spam emails is a low quality copy, or different from the ones sent in email communications. The one in the example above is a very fuzzy copy from the cal.net website.

4) Grammar- Many phishing con artists come from outside the United States, and as a result, there will often be awkwardly worded sentences, or misspellings present in the text.

If ever in doubt about the validity of a communication, please call our support at 530-672-1078 to verify before exposing your account information.

 

Velocity WiMAX now available in Rescue

 

Cal.net is pleased to announce the introduction of our new wireless Velocity (powered by Wi-MAX technology) deployment in the Rescue Area!  These new Access Points can provide service to Rescue, Placerville, Cameron Park, El Dorado, Shingle Springs and other surrounding areas.  Our new wireless Velocity packages can deliver service up to 10 miles away for customers with line of sight and deliver speeds up to 10Mbps!  Worried about reliability?  Our Velocity Wi-MAX packages are broadcasts on FCC licensed frequencies, which means no more interference for an enjoyable internet experience.  Cal.net’s Velocity provides a robust connection to the internet and provides the overhead needed for you to run simultaneous services such as phone & Fax services while your internet is in use. Contact our sales department to find out if you qualify for Cal.net Velocity WiMAX service. Cal.net’s high speed Velocity service requires no annual or monthly contract that locks you down into a commitment.  Don’t forget…if you refer a new wireless subscriber to sign up with Cal.net, we will credit your account a free month of service (at a Basic subscription rate) for each referral you provide us!