Thursday, January 19, 2017

A brief review of Kaspersky's Secure Connection VPN

Start the new year with a bang in productivity with Kasperky Secure Connection.

Get into what most IT and security professionals have been doing for years.
Get into what corporations provide for its mobile workforce.
Get into a VPN.

Kapersky released a new product called Secure Connection, which has finally made using a VPN a snap for home and independent users, so you can surfing public WIFI spots a easy, secure and affordable! 


What is Kasperky Secure Connection? 

Secure Connection creates Virtual Private Network (VPN) establishing a virtual point-to-point connection from your device through dedicated connections, virtual tunneling protocols, and traffic encryption to a destination VPN server.  

VPN is an encrypted tunnel between your device directly to Kaspersky's VPN servers which allows you to access every website and online service privately and securely.

VPN encrypted tunnel over (through) any WIFI connection

Kasperky Secure Connection really easy to use. So now when you at coffee shop office, or at airport catch-up on work, you can safely surf! 


Side Benefit - Hide your real IP address, and surf from another country

The side benefit of a VPN, is your computer's IP address is issued from location of the country you choose. Now all your internet traffic will appear that its coming from that country. Secure Connection allows you to choose you from a slew of destination server located in countries around the world. There are 18 countries so far to choose from.



So now for example, you can surf @Midnight with Chris Hardwick on Comedy Central (http://www.cc.com/shows/-midnight) and not have videos blocked (not that I would condone this, this is just mentioned as a proof-of-concept).

Most importantly, you can do testing on your website to check for language handling, performance, penetration testing, etc from multiple countries easily. 

Price - Amazing at $29.99 USD per year 

The easy of use and performance of Kasperky Secure Connection is truly fantastic and you can't ignore this price.


Ease of Use

Here is the interface and is quite simple.


Performance - Great


Performance is impressive! I tested from my home WIFI network with little delay to my base speed!


USA VPN Server Speed - http://speedtest.bellaliant.net/

Canadian VPN Server Speed - http://speedtest.bellaliant.net/

Baseline WIFI connection from home




Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Russian search engines floods internet traffic with Vote for Trump keywords during election, proof in Google Analytics

You heard it here 1st:

Russian Federation floods the internet with traffic to sites to promote "Vote for Trump" keywords 


In a series of Russian hacks, disinformation and persuasion, this post details yet another method the Russians were using to promote Trump, to dominate search results. Traffic from crawling search engines emanating from Russia cleverly hijacking the language metadata setting with "Vote for Trump", boosting these ranking of these keywords.

One must ask to what end, exploiting 
leverage over Trump? 

Specifically, a surge of traffic appeared during the election in month of November 2016 with language set to "Secret.google.com You are invited! Enter only with this tick URL. Vote for Trump!" to boost keyword visibility in-part of "Vote for Trump".

Technically, the request Accept-Language header is set in browser/crawler to indicate the language (aka country) of the source request. This is one field of many as define in the request headers specification, which is a whole slew of identifying metadata that is logged, by your site and search engines. The values are generally agreed upon standards and overloading these values is generally verboten.

In the 1st screen shot below, is the traffic for a typical site I manage below. The traffic is tracked using Google Analytics (GA) portal and is set for a period of 1.5 months, starting Nov. 1st, 2016. It is the only period when this keyword manipulation occurred. Note;  

  1. Language 1 "... Vote for Trump!" suddenly appears during election time only.
  2. For the 1.5 month period spanning (Nov 1, 2016 - Dec 15, 2016) an increase in 34% traffic increase resulted. Be advised, that percentage is relative to amount of traffic a site gets. For small sites this is about double. For large site about 3% or less.

    However, checking 5 sites I manage in GA, the average number of hits remained consistent with 110-120 per site with Language as "... Vote for Trump!".

    This implies, 
    that every site worldwide has been hit with this keyword traffic manipulation to increase "Vote for Trump!" keyword visibility in search results for Google, Bing, etc search engines.

    This would influence all searches for "Vote for Trump", or similar associated searches on "Vote" and "Trump" combined, so that these keywords are more likely to appear at the top of search results. This is called search engine optimization (SEO) by the internet advertising industry.

    You pay big money to getting higher rankings. Google Adwords, is specifically designed companies to just that, bid on keywords to guarantee 1st page, 1st stop on top of the list. There is no limit on bids and can run $1,000 per day per popular keyword.

    For example, to promote "Trump" on CNN.com would be $4,500 US daily, see Screen Shot #4 (last one below).
    Google Analytics Screen Shot #1 - 'Vote for Trump' dominates hits for this period















































In the 2nd Google Analytics screen shot is drill down in the Language called "Secret.google.com You are invited! Enter only with this tick URL. Vote for Trump!" for the same period. A surge of traffic appears. 
  • For the period spanning (Nov 1, 2016 - Dec 15, 2016), a majority of this traffic peaked before Nov 28th, when Trump stated in an interview was election day. 

    Did the hackers not check their facts? Traffic would be most influential for a Nov. 28 election day.

    Google Analytics Screen Shot #2 - 'Vote for Trump!' traffic appears only during election period

The 3rd Google Analytics screen shot is a chart with Language "Secret.google.com You are invited! Enter only with this tick URL. Vote for Trump!" and Region. 

  • All of this traffic comes from Russia. Naturally Saint Petersburg, is logical source of most of the traffic spike since Russia connects to the West through a cross-border terrestrial fiber-optical cables to Helsinki, Finland. 

Google Analytics Screen Shot #3 - traffic confirmed from Russia 

The 4th screen shot is of Google Adwords KeyPlanner of a hypothetical campaign to promote "Trump" keywords or ad group on CNN.com for 1 day.
Again the cost, 
$4,500 USD ($5, 980 CDN) a day.


#4 Google Adwords Key Planner for "Trump" - Prices in CDN.



Conclusion: This traffic was a planned activity to influence the election for Trump worth roughly about $1B dollars worth of advertising spend worldwide.


 Have you checked your site traffic for 'Vote for Trump', please share in comments below.



Thursday, January 5, 2017

Radio Paradise Chrome Extension for commercial free internet radio

Please be advised friends that the Radio Paradise Chrome now includes album year, thanks from a suggestion from yours truly ;)

For those who don't know RP is commercial free internet radio see http://www.radioparadise.com/ and has a great playlist. Support them, buy a t-shirt.

How to install new Radio Paradise player Chrome Extension with new Album release date!


  1. Firstly, remove your old Radio Paradise player Chrome Extension




  2.  Find Radio Paradise and delete - click on trash can! (Version should will be 0.20.0.0 or less)



  3. Get new version of the "Radio Paradise player": https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/radio-paradise-player/hljnlacoohhbcfejkmabinbjablnoild?utm_source=metadataconsulting.blogspot.com

  4. Install, right-click and choose Options


















  5. Which will bring up this page, under View select "Show release date"




  6. New! AAC 320k, great audio stream is available with .22 release, see Options page.

    Advanced Audio Coding
     (AAC) is an audio coding standard for lossydigital audio compression. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates.[1] Wikipedia


And a big thanks to Alexey Michurin 👊 alexey@michurin.net for building the app and being open to suggestions.