Lululemon Athletica Inc. Website down for 24 hours

I have witnessed various retailers go down for half an hour or so (Bestbuy on Black Friday sales is very common), but never did I see a MAJOR retailer go down for 24 hours. The message that was showing for 24 hour span was:

We are usually awesome at this. Please don’t refresh your browser. You’ll be back in the flow shortly.

There was no word from the company on what exactly occurred. They use the largest CDN provider Akamai, the same provider that Apple uses. Akamai is known to be the top content delivery network provider, therefore I would assume that the issue was not with them. Even if your cloud storage or a dedicated server was to go down, recovering from back-up shouldn’t take longer than 30 minutes. The assumption here is that the dedicated server or cloud did go down and that the back-up they had was corrupt. Or they had major issues restoring form the original backup and had to resort to their secondary off-shore storage. I assume they have more than 1 backup location that they use. These are all assumption. Maybe their administrator went away for the long weekend. We really don’t know.

The moral of the story is, make sure your back-ups are not corrupt and that you are capable of recovering from a disaster within a 3o minute span especially in today’s technological advances of cloud storage.


Malware Reverse Engineering

Malware DissembleAs the title of this blog states, this short blog is about malware reverse engineering. This seems to be a very popular topic among security experts. The idea of reverse engineering of malware is to find out what weakness did the malware expose on your side (network, operating system, etc).

After researching for approximately 3 days, this is one tough area to learn. Assembly language and system calls are the two objectives that you are looking into when dissembling malware. The system I used is Late 2013 iMac with a Windows 7 virtual machine installed on it. The virtual machine is isolated and is not connected to the network. I did use a dissembler which was used for static analysis. Debugger is great because it provides you with a great sense of on the fly action that the malware migh execute. Debuggers that I consider valuable are: IDA Pro, Immunity Debugger and Oly Debugger. The one I spent most time on was IDA Pro. Keep in mind that these tools are not cheap. IDA Pro for example Starter edition is USD$589 and Pro is US$1129. I do believe this particular area will see significant growth as Malware becomes more sophisticated and the attacks turn toward mobile users.

What was I able to do in 3 days? Take a look at the diagram above. I did manage to dissemble one particular type of Malware, however my skills are fairly basic in this area, and I’m unsure if I got all the systems calls. This was a Windows based Malware, see if you can guess what Malware it is?



WannaCry Ransomware received how many payments?

As everyone knows by now WannaCry / WanaCrypt0r ransomware would encrypt your hardrive, lock you out and simply ask for payment between $300.00 to $600.00 to restore access back. There are certainly users out there that paid, but how many paid and how much did WannaCry / WanaCryptor. According to ActualRansom

The three bitcoin wallets tied to #WannaCry ransomware have received 296 payments totaling 48.86359565 BTC ($99,448.11 USD).

It is a very impressive amount of money for a few days of work.

Website Design in Oakville

Finding someone who does website design in Oakville who can perform it properly is very difficult. Realistically, any municipalities in the surrounding areas of Burlington, Mississauga, Port Credit, Milton, etc. can be a problem. Larger the municipalities the more so called designers are available to design your website. Almost, every one of our clients has had a “nightmare” story about a web designer gone rogue. The industry just like any other is unfortunately filled with sub par designers. You would think that the tenure/experience is a factor, however that is not the case. We have had to fix websites that have been constructed together by companies that have have been in business for well over 10 years. The purpose of this article is to try and help you choose a web designer for your business. If you follow the process below, you will hopefully find a person with proper skill to fit the bill.

Burlington, Oakville, Miton, Port Credit, Mississauga

Step 1. The Search:

First step is finding someone to do a website for you. Yellowpages (hardcover), Newspaper ads, are all tradition ways of how someone might seek out a web designer. Google Search has now become the easiest way in locating a business to do the work for you. Problem with Google Search is that you will receive both “good” and “bad” designers listed on there. How do you sift through them? One suggested method is Google Reviews. But those can be faked as well. Most effective due diligence that you can do on your part is to call a designer that you found on Google Search and tell them to provide you with the references (names and phone numbers) from the Google Reviews that they have received. This will effectively eliminate two issues: 1) They will have names/phone numbers of people who can vouch for them 2) They will prove that Google Reviews listed are not faked and that they are an ethical designing company. Your background research on the individual that you want to hire can be finalized via few telephone calls.


Google Search

Step 2. Retainer/Deposit:

You have found a designer that you want to build/create your website. Send all the requirements via email for your project for a detailed quote. Avoid any quotes you receive that only have one item on the quote such as “Website” and “Grand total”. Treat a quote almost as a contract of what you will be receiving once completed. All the requirements that you have requested via email should be located somewhere on the quote. Also, make sure that there is a date of completion.

Bad Quote

Realistically, you should receive a detailed quote within 2-3 business days. If it’s a price that you can work with, I suggest meeting up with the designer to put a retainer/deposit down. Deposits can vary anywhere between 10% to 60% of the entire cost. Avoid anything above 60%.

If it’s a large project, make sure to get a contract in place. The purpose of this article is to provide guidance for projects that are $10,000.00 and less. Anything higher, you should get a contract put together. For second step, I would suggest to physically meet with the designer. Those designers that have a hard time meeting up with you, I would completely avoid. Once you meet up with the designer, go over the quote and provide them with a source of payment. I would avoid cash, get a paper trail especially if it’s not a “word-of-mouth” designer referral.

Step 3. Completion:

After deposit has been put in place, next is the patience. The hope is that the designer will complete the project in time. When the project has been completed, do not pay rest of the invoice until you are happy with the outcome. If you are truly happy with the way it looks/functions, than feel free to pay the remaining amount owing.

The steps above are usually how the entire transaction should proceed. We can assure you, that we will provide you with the process above. Have a look at our Website Design section or simply Contact Us if you are interested in our services.