Why your internet is slow
Posted On July 16, 2021
Two years ago, a startup called Five-Nine, which built a messaging app called Slack, had to pay a $4 million settlement to a federal judge over allegations that its software made users’ online privacy less secure.
Today, the case is settled, and the app is free of any liability for violating the Federal Wiretap Act.
But the settlement is a reminder that free services are just that: free.
For some people, they might pay a premium to enjoy a service, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to want to pay for it.
And when those premium costs start to add up, it’s easy to fall into a cycle where it becomes difficult to decide which ones are worth paying for.
What do you pay to be connected to the internet?
How do you decide which services are worth the extra cost?
As a result, people are increasingly opting to pay extra to connect to the world around them.
This is why so many businesses and even some companies themselves are using tools like CloudFlare, a secure, automated network that connects them to the cloud.
But what about a service like Five-9, which was created by an unknown third-party and was designed to help people keep their internet connection private?
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the app was designed in a way that would allow a hacker to exploit its network, steal data, or compromise other services.
In the settlement, the FTC alleges that Five-nine “did not take reasonable steps to protect against the risks posed by a potential hacker” and that it “did, in fact, facilitate a breach of security.”
That’s because Five-11 was designed with the idea that it would be hard for hackers to get into the network.
But even if you don’t want to go through that type of hack, you may be wondering if you can actually trust Five-12, which is free.
The FTC’s complaint alleges that “a malicious third party” managed to gain access to the Five-10 network and downloaded and installed a malicious software program that allowed it to compromise servers running Five-21, which connects to Five-16.
The complaint alleges “the attack and its attendant risks were foreseeable and foreseeable and not foreseeable” because of the way Five-15 works.
“Five-10 and Five-20 were not designed to protect customers from hackers and other malicious actors,” the complaint reads.
“The attack and subsequent compromise of servers running on these networks, and their associated data, is beyond the capability of any one user to defend against.”
But Five-14, the app that originally made the Five 10 network available, doesn’t actually have access to servers running in the Five 21 network, so it can’t be accused of being a botnet.
So what about Five-24, which offers similar services but also connects to the public network?
Five-4 connects to public servers that connect to public Wi-Fi networks, but Five-23 is not a public server and is not hosted on a public network.
The same is true for Five-6.
Five-18, the only publicly available private network, connects to an unnamed third-parties private network and is hosted on an unnamed private server.
If you want to test whether Five-3, which runs on an anonymous network, is a bot, just visit the Five 3 website and type in “bot” to see if the answer pops up.
If not, you can go back to Five 10 and find out how it connects to other services, such as Five-1.
There are plenty of other services that are also built on top of public Wi, such a cloud-based email service, a music streaming service, and more.
You can get a more thorough rundown of what’s available on these private servers with a more technical explanation from Ars Technica.
But it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t trust Five 10 to protect you.
If the malware was actually on your machine, Five-2 might still be able to do some damage to your computer and you wouldn’t be able, for example, to tell if the malware is installed by the company or a third party.
But if it was installed on your server, you could still be compromised, so you would want to do everything you can to keep your data private and not let anyone get in.