Category Archives: Oracast News

CentOS Heartbleed Bug Vulnerability in OpenSSL


The Heartbleed Bug is a serious security vulnerability in OpenSSL that, under normal conditions, circumvents SSL encryption and allows someone to read the information passed through SSL undetected.

From the heardbleed.com website:

The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the Internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).

The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content. This allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users.

Also found directly on the openssl.org website:

A missing bounds check in the handling of the TLS heartbeat extension can be
used to reveal up to 64k of memory to a connected client or server.

Only 1.0.1 and 1.0.2-beta releases of OpenSSL are affected including
1.0.1f and 1.0.2-beta1.

Thanks for Neel Mehta of Google Security for discovering this bug and to
Adam Langley <agl@chromium.org> and Bodo Moeller <bmoeller@acm.org> for
preparing the fix.

Affected users should upgrade to OpenSSL 1.0.1g. Users unable to immediately
upgrade can alternatively recompile OpenSSL with -DOPENSSL_NO_HEARTBEATS.

1.0.2 will be fixed in 1.0.2-beta2.

In summary, for those running OpenSSL versions 1.0.1a through 1.0.1f you are vulnerable. To see what you’re running type: rpm -q openssl

> rpm -q openssl

openssl-1.0.1e-16.e16_5.4.x86_64

The above shows that the openssl version is vulnerable. The good news is that CentOS already has a fix. Simply run a yum update and restart the services that use OpenSSL and you’ll be okay.

 

> yum update

> rpm -q openssl

openssl-1.0.1e-16.e16_5.7.x86_64

If you see version 1.0.1e-16.el6_5.7 or higher then you have the official fixed version. If you are worried that it’s still 1.0.1e and not 1.0.1g, don’t worry, CentOS works the same as RedHat which simply patches the existing version which is shown in the openssl-1.0.1e-16.e16_5.7.x86_64 example above.

 

Once you have verified that the OpenSSL version has been updated restart all services that use SSL.

 

Google Certified Adwords Partner

Oracast is now an official Google Adwords Certified Partner! We are in a select group of about 10 companies in Calgary, Alberta and the third company in Kelowna, British Columbia who are certified Google Partners (at the time of this writing).

 

PartnerBadge-Horizontal

 

 

Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) is all about maximizing lead generation and brand exposure for your business. We can manage and optimize your existing Adwords account or we can create a new Adwords account for you if you’re just starting out. All new accounts come with a $300 discount! 

 

Give us a call today and get a free consultation.

Ready for growth in 2014?

Happy New Year!

We hope that you were able to find some time to relax and recharge your batteries over the past couple of weeks. With the start of each new year comes renewed energy, excitement, and motivation to make this year better than the last!

As business improvement experts we’re here to help you succeed online. Do you want more leads? More traffic? More sales? From online marketing (PPC) to social media and search engine optimization, we can help your business grow. Just last month one of our customers let us know that we helped increase their sales by 28%! We’re very proud of that.

As always, if you have any questions we have answers. Give us a call today and let’s talk!

From all of us here at Oracast, we wish you continued success in 2014!

PPC Ad Tips

One of the best ways of getting targeted traffic to your website is through Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. If your competition has snapped up the top spots (sponsored links that show up when you perform a web search on Google or Yahoo), it can be a sign you’re missing out on some profits. Even with a host of helpful tools however, managing a PPC ad campaign can feel like a huge undertaking. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you create your ads:

1. Test your headlines. (Headlines are very important, and can outperform each other by huge percentages, so always test a few.)
2. Use a keyword in the domain name you use with your ad
3. Use short URL’s
4. Capitalize Each Word In Your PPC Ad Campaign
5. Google and Yahoo offer great training videos that can be very helpful if you get stuck setting up your campaign.

Setting up your first PPC ad campaign can prove to be a challenge, but keep these tips in mind as you go through the process. Remember, we are here to help. If you find yourself needing to spend the time on other aspects of your business, we would be happy to get your ads up and running – today!

Adwords updates Quality Scores Reporting

I was working in an account recently when I noticed a difference in the quality scores, and a couple minutes of digging later, I saw that Google made an update to their reporting of the quality scores, even though they are calculated the same way as before. It’s only the reporting that has changed.

From any keyword in your Keywords tab, you will see a Status column, where you can mouse over and get a
pop up dialog like this:

Google Adwords Quality Score Dialog Box

Google Adwords Quality Score Dialog Box

 

This shows you 3 factors on your quality score; Expected Clickthrough Rate, Ad relevance and Landing Page Experience, with one of the 3 possible statuses you can get for each: above average, average, below average.  The idea of the update is that your numeric quality score (1-10) is now closely tied to these three factors.  In the past it might happen that you have a below average factor and still have a QS of say 5, while the next keyword is all average and also QS of 5.  Perhaps this update will take care of that.

Even if your overall quality score is good, looking at these three factors can help you identify ways to improve it.

How to track your quality score over time?

You can’t log into your Google Adwords account, and see your quality score history.  Google is constantly calculating your quality scores.  If you want to see how much your QS have changed over time, you have to download a keyword report and save it.  Now comparing a keyword report for each keyword might be long and tedious, and difficult to understand if you really are improving.

Impression weighted average Quality Score

One way of coming up with one number to reflect your quality score throughout your account is the impression weighted average quality score

How to calculate impression weighted quality score

How to calculate impression weighted quality score

By multiplying each keywords impressions by it’s quality score, we get an impression weight like in this case the ‘super rare keyword’ has 7 impressions and a QS of 5, 5×7 = 35.  Now add those all up, and divide by the total number of impressions.  In chart above, the impression weighted average quality score was 7.2.  Now you have a number to try and improve each month.

You also then have a metric that could tip you off to major changes.

 

Happy 4th of July!

From all of us here at Oracast, we would like to wish all of our American friends and clients a happy 4th of July celebration!

Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.” 

How to Rank in Google Places

One of the best things you can do to get traffic on local terms at Google is to get ranked in Google Places.  Here we take a look at what you need to do to optimize your Places listing. Where Google Places is used in SERPs: 1) in the standard search results, where 7 Places are shown.  Note that most of these are below the fold on competitive terms, where there are 3 ads in the Adwords Block at the top of the results. 2)On Google Maps, where there are 10 results, but only 4 or 5 are above the fold. Keep in mind that there are even less places shown on mobile devices.

Optimizing your listing

If you haven’t already done so, go claim your listing.  Make sure your business info is 100% complete.  This includes paying careful attention to the following fields:

  1. Company/Organization Name – add your name and service if it makes sense.  If your name is Water Works and your main service is bathroom renovations then you could set this to ‘Water Works Bathroom Renovations’
  2. Business Categories – You can add up to 5 categories, including custom categories.  If you can’t find categories that are specific enough,  consider using the closest category you can find then add a custom category that is your niche.
  3. Add photo’s – You really should add a minimum of 5 photos, 10 is the maximum.  Google has a tool that resizes the images for you but if they aren’t square to start with, Google squishes them, and then they often look like crap – not what you want representing your company!  Crop the images yourself before uploading.
  4. Business Description - Put in your product and services here with your location.

Get Reviews Ask customers to review your business on Google.  In many cases, Businesses don’t need too many reviews to stick out from there competitors.  You can’s force reviews, but you can encourage them :) To review you on Google+, get the customer to do a search that you appear for on Google Maps, and then on your listing is the link to Write a Review. Off Site Optimization You also need citations, which are 3rd party websites that list your  business name, address & phone number (Commonly called NAP) from places that Google follows.    These citations need to have your NAP listed correctly, which means you need to update these citations if your business moves!  This also means that you should always use the same phone number in your listings. Try to get listed on these sites:

  • CitySearch.com (paid)
  • foursquare.com
  • hotfrog.com
  • insiderpages.com
  • JudysBook.com
  • Kudzu.com
  • Local.com
  • MerchantCircle.com
  • Superpages.com
  • Yellowbot.com
  • Yellowpages.com
  • Yelp.com