Vermont Internet Design’s John Anderson Talks Data Security

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John Anderson of Vermont Internet Design talks about data security and how things are going in the world of web development and embedded programming.

These people will create accounts posing as law enforcement and government officials. Than try to get people to perform tasks for them.

During the pandemic a lot of people have moved to remote working. John Anderson CEO/ Founder/ Lead Engineer of Vermont Internet Design however, has been working from home since 2006 since he founded the company. We talked with John Anderson so he could talk about some of the projects that he’s working on and how working from home has influenced his business model.

“The hardest part of this business is explaining to people what you are doing.” John explains “One of the problems of working from home is that nobody can see how hard you work on something. I may spend a month getting some feature to work. Yet people always try to play the fool and don’t care how much work that you do.”

Now that more people have taken on streaming software. Companies like Vermont Internet Design LLC can log into their clients remote computers and actually view their development computer from inside their office. That way they can view a remote version of the developers monitor, and actually watch what's on the developer's screen.

“We are definitely thankful that more people have embraced streaming. It makes it much easier to work on customer's systems, while having the extra level of security that work is being done. That people can see, leaving them with no excuses, because they are able to see what we are doing. We write code that scares the competition. ” John says, “So we get a lot of projects that come in that seem like they are just people trying to test our ability. We write code that is so good our competitors will literally hire people in other countries to create distractions for us. ”

People on the internet often target companies like Mr. Anderson’s who have been around 15 years. They will hire content creators from 3rd world countries to harass people like John and distract him by bombarding his social media accounts and websites, with a type of denial of service attack. They pay a nominal fee to someone in a country like Africa than they turn around and target you online. You can pay 20 to 50 of them very cheaply to bombard someone's websites during times they know your busy. "If these guys are from Africa they must stay up all night because the activity goes hand and foot with our work day in America. " John Claims.

“It’s very distracting but you learn to deal with them. As long as you don’t give up you will tire them out. They try to use pictures of friends , family, and clients and create fictitious Facebook accounts. To run whatever scam they are trying to run. The more information that these people have access to, the easier it is to fool you. ” explains John.

Over the years various scams have surfaced, a few examples are the Nigerian Prince scam, phishing scams, as well as many other. However, one of the most dangerous scams that John has ever seen is scammers posing as Law Enforcement, Government, and Military. Asking people to do things like pick up packages and drop them off somewhere. Otherwise, telling them that they are working for the government.

“These people will create accounts posing as law enforcement and government officials. Than try to get people to perform tasks for them. They think they are working with law enforcement or a legitimate member of the government. So people often carry out these tasks as if they are following orders.” John Explains, “They try to make people think they are going on government ‘missions’. Whoever, they are I don’t know, could be anyone but obviously someone organized, smart, and not afraid of getting caught, is behind these scams. I honestly think they must be state sponsored, because of the amount of people they have. They just copy the account information of government officials make another account, than start looking for people who will go along with their scams. I say go along with the scams, because it's quite obvious that these are scams. Actual government officials have fake accounts, real accounts ect, that leaves this vulnerability wide open. The government uses these fake accounts themselves, and the scammers are well aware of this and take advantage of it. The smartest thing to do is to not use the internet for official business there are just to many holes, that can be exploited. ”

As these types of scams are a big burden on small businesses, consumers, and everyone alike. It’s a pandemic people are getting desperate. As this has been going on as long as the internet has existed and the same people get targeted over and over. Sometimes, the same scammer will pretend to be several different people. They might not fool John, but he's afraid that they will probably be able to fool other people in the community.

“As a company even a small one you often become the target of scams. So I probably get targeted more often than a normal individual. I’ve learned to navigate these things when they arise. They seem to go where the action is. We are well versed in handling these types of online attacks and developing methods in our code to make it as hard as possible, for these people to get our information. ” John Say’s “People don’t take these things serious until its too late. I’d rather spend an extra month going through my code to make sure that I’ve done everything I can to keep people’s information safe. I already know what’s going to happen when you launch an application and it goes viral. A lot of my customers have never done it before, and don’t know how to navigate the world from a world wide perspective. You have to be able to accept the fact that things are done differently in other parts of the world, and changing the way something is done in the local community. Can have unforeseen impacts on the global market. Which is kind of like stepping on a hornets nest.”

"It's like a where do they come from? All these people come out of nowhere and you have to be prepared for it. People think oh I'm going to get a wix website and use it for 20,000 people. Once you have a substantial audience, people get jealous trying to steal the microphone so to speak." John than Complains "No matter what you do if you have that many people you have to keep up with removing back actors, sometimes its hard to keep up with them. Even here in Vermont there are a lot of scams and dirty people who work inside the government".

"Sometimes, I hear about how the state spent $100 million dollars on a computer upgrade. Than I look at the code and wonder why they didn't hire me to build it. I could build these same projects for a fraction of the costs. They would rather buy a pre packaged system from some company on the other side of the world for millions of times what its worth. They really don't know who has access to our data, could be in the hands of terrorists for all we know . As long as the right kickbacks are being paid, those are who gets those contacts, because someone is getting to pocket a portion of it. " John explains "Vermont is a beautiful state but the banks, government here, make it a difficult place to do business. There are a few bad apples here that need to be cleared out of here. Most of them work in town, city or state government. So what are you going to do, Vermont Internet Design is staying in Vermont. Vermont has little resources to deal with the financial crimes that go on here, so people come here to take advantage of that fact. An example was the Jay Peak Ski resort scandal, I mean how can that even happen. I mean our government is selling citizenship to people in other countries for millions of dollars. Than people like me suffer because we live here and do business here. If your from China or Africa as far as they are concerned Vermont is a person. Seems like even if I travel people call me Vermont, they don't call me John because I am the only person they know from here. However, since I was born and raised here I will not stop until Vermont is a beautiful place. To grow up and find out that its the way it is, is really disappointing. However, we are working to change that through doing the right thing teaching STEM topics to everyone we can. So they too can see things as they are. I love the people of Vermont and I know how the world works so I have to spend a lot of time making sure these scammers don't link up with people who will fall for their scams. "

"The reality is that the same scams originating out of Africa are happening here to. As it takes many people to stand there and play stupid for it to be able to happen. We've been building an awesome project, I wish I could talk about that more about the projects that I am working on but of course because of Non Disclosure agreements we can't talk about it. However, let's just say we built a touch screen interface for a vending machine, its an awesome project. Hopefully, the next time we talk I will be able to tell you about it because I am excited about it. It makes it difficult that I cannot talk to anyone about it. Frankly, we aren't getting paid enough but I am a man of my world. It's a fun robotics project I built an interface that allows your windows app to communicate over a serial port, which controls a microcontroller such as an arduino, the possibilities are endless with this. I can't wait to build out more projects using this framework."

"However, in the meantime, please remain cautious of these very dangerous scams. As these people aren't always after money. They are after something else."

Vermont Internet Design works in several different programming languages including. PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, C/C++, Ruby, Python, SPIN, Verilog, HDL and Assembly. These specialize in writing and building custom built applications hardware for their clients needs. They can layout your entire infrastructure from setting up a web server in your office, building and designing your web applications, Mobile applications, and Embedded applications for customer hardware designs.

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since: 10/2009
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