Galleon Systems https://www.galsys.co.uk/news Sales: 0049 2821 777 6 2804 Thu, 26 Jul 2018 11:41:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Worried the WannaCry Virus Will Affect Your Galleon NTP Server? Don’t Be… https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/worried-the-wannacry-virus-will-affect-your-galleon-ntp-server-dont-be/ https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/worried-the-wannacry-virus-will-affect-your-galleon-ntp-server-dont-be/#respond Wed, 17 May 2017 11:33:05 +0000 https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/?p=1713 The ‘WannaCry’ malware/ransomware/virus has infected an estimated 200,000 computers across 150 countries, raising concerns that it could affect Galleon NTP servers. Your time server is safe, here’s why… Why Your Galleon NTP Server is Safe from WannaCry The ‘WannaCry’ ransomware affects Windows operating systems only, predominantly those that no longer receive security updates from Microsoft […]

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NTP Server

The ‘WannaCry’ malware/ransomware/virus has infected an estimated 200,000 computers across 150 countries, raising concerns that it could affect Galleon NTP servers. Your time server is safe, here’s why…

Why Your Galleon NTP Server is Safe from WannaCry

The ‘WannaCry’ ransomware affects Windows operating systems only, predominantly those that no longer receive security updates from Microsoft automatically i.e. Windows XP, Windows 8 or Windows 2003. Galleon NTP servers use a highly-customised, Linux operating system, which is unaffected by the WannaCry virus.

Here’s What We Know About the WannaCry Ransomware So Far

The WannaCry ransomware is the most severe malware attack we’ve seen in 2017. As of Monday, 15 May an estimated 200,000 computers across 150 countries were under siege by the virus. In the UK, at least 16 NHS Trusts have been ‘taken out’ by the malware. It’s rumoured that the virus originated in North Korea, but reports are unconfirmed.

The top five countries affected include:

1. United Kingdom.
2. The United States of America.
3. Russia.
4. China.
5. Spain.

What is WannaCry?

The WannaCry ransomware encrypts computer files and locks you out of your system. As the name suggests, your computer is ‘held to ransom’, with hackers demanding a bitcoin payment to unlock your computer ranging from $300 to $600. It gets into your computer as a result of you clicking on or downloading the wrong thing, in this case an email attachment.

Once activated, the virus quickly spreads through the LAN, encrypting your system’s hard disk and attempting to exploit the Server Message Block (SMB) vulnerability. This results in the spread of the malware to random computers on the Internet via TCP ports and between computers on the same network.

What Files Does WannaCry Affect?

The following are the known files that WannaCry affects:

, .jpg , .rtf , .doc , .js , .sch , .3dm , .jsp , .sh , .3ds , .key , .sldm , .3g2 , .lay , .sldm , .3gp , .lay6 , .sldx , .7z , .ldf , .slk , .accdb , .m3u , .sln , .aes , .m4u , .snt , .ai , .max , .sql , .ARC , .mdb , .sqlite3 , .asc , .mdf , .sqlitedb , .asf , .mid , .stc , .asm , .mkv , .std , .asp , .mml , .sti , .avi , .mov , .stw , .backup , .mp3 , .suo , .bak , .mp4 , .svg , .bat , .mpeg , .swf , .bmp , .mpg , .sxc , .brd , .msg , .sxd , .bz2 , .myd , .sxi , .c , .myi , .sxm , .cgm , .nef , .sxw , .class , .odb , .tar , .cmd , .odg , .tbk , .cpp , .odp , .tgz , .crt , .ods , .tif , .cs , .odt , .tiff , .csr , .onetoc2 , .txt , .csv , .ost , .uop , .db , .otg , .uot , .dbf , .otp , .vb , .dch , .ots , .vbs , .der” , .ott , .vcd , .dif , .p12 , .vdi , .dip , .PAQ , .vmdk , .djvu , .pas , .vmx , .docb , .pdf , .vob , .docm , .pem , .vsd , .docx , .pfx , .vsdx , .dot , .php , .wav , .dotm , .pl , .wb2 , .dotx , .png , .wk1 , .dwg , .pot , .wks , .edb , .potm , .wma , .eml , .potx , .wmv , .fla , .ppam , .xlc , .flv , .pps , .xlm , .frm , .ppsm , .xls , .gif , .ppsx , .xlsb , .gpg , .ppt , .xlsm , .gz , .pptm , .xlsx , .h , .pptx , .xlt , .hwp , .ps1 , .xltm , .ibd , .psd , .xltx , .iso , .pst , .xlw , .jar , .rar , .zip , .java , .raw

Renamed files have the appendage “.WNCRY”

Should You Pay the WannaCry Ransom?

Tech experts recommend that you don’t pay the ransom. According to a report published in The Guardian newspaper, meeting the demands of the hackers ‘does not guarantee the restoration of files.’

Are You Sure My Galleon NTP Server is Safe?

Galleon NTP Server

Your Galleon NTP server is safe from WannaCry.

Yes, the ransomware does not work on Linux operating systems. For your peace of mind, make sure that your computer system is updated. 

For added Galleon NTP server protection, upgrade to our new, gold support service! Call 0049 2821 777 6 2804 for more information.

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Just How Do NTP Time Servers Deal with Daylight Savings Time Changeovers? https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/just-ntp-time-servers-deal-daylight-savings-time-changeovers/ https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/just-ntp-time-servers-deal-daylight-savings-time-changeovers/#respond Mon, 30 Jan 2017 08:30:08 +0000 https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/?p=1685 What is NTP time? How is NTP maintained? What is Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)? Will daylight savings time affect how NTP time servers work? Find answers to commonly asked questions about NTP using this FAQ guide… What is NTP? NTP is a protocol and it is software that’s used for setting all clocks on a […]

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NTP Time Servers

What is NTP time? How is NTP maintained? What is Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)? Will daylight savings time affect how NTP time servers work? Find answers to commonly asked questions about NTP using this FAQ guide…

What is NTP?

NTP is a protocol and it is software that’s used for setting all clocks on a computer network to show the same time, almost exactly. Synchronisation is the ultimate goal. An example of a system that uses NTP is a ‘clocking-in’ system.

Staff ‘clock-in’ or ‘clock-out’ of work, the system records the time, which is then stored on a computer that shows the exact same time. Staff and managers then have an accurate recording of time of arrival & time of leaving work.     

How is NTP maintained?

The ‘NTP Project’ is maintained by the Network Time Foundation. The project, started by David L. Mills Ph.D, develops software and protocol specifications that keep clocks accurate on tens of millions of computers worldwide. 

NTP & Daylight Savings Time – Does NTP Adjust For Daylight Savings Time Changes?

NTP uses UTC as its time source, which has no Daylight Savings Time period. If you have NTP time servers, you do not need to do anything to them. What you need to do is adjust the time on your computer system (manually), if you do not already have it set to change the time automatically.

Using a computer that has a Windows server for example, if you want to find out if your clock is set to change when Daylight Savings Time occurs, follow these instructions:

  • Click the time and date display on your screen (located in the bottom right hand corner)

NTP Time Servers

 

 

  • This screen will appear:

NTP Time Servers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • If your clock is set automatically to adjust for Daylight Savings Time, this message will appear:

NTP Time Servers

 

 

  • On the screen below click the ‘Change date and time…’ button

NTP Time Servers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • This screen will appear:

NTP Time Server

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Using the arrows next to the digital time display (where it reads 09:23:45 in this case), change the time accordingly. You can also alter the date using the calendar. Once everything is adjusted to your satisfaction, click OK

To set your computer to adjust the clock for Daylight Saving Time automatically, do the following:

  • Click the time and date display on your screen (located in the bottom right hand corner)

NTP Time Servers

 

 

  • This screen will appear:

NTP Time Servers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • On the screen above click the ‘Change time zone…’ button and this screen will appear:

GPS NTP Time Server

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Make sure that the box next to ‘Automatically adjust clock for Daylight Saving Time’ has a tick in it (as shown above) and click OK.

NTP Time Servers & Time-Zones – Is NTP affected by different time-zones?

NTP is not affected by different time-zones because every piece of time information that it manages is based on UTC. The responsibility of time-zone configuration is the computer’s operating system.

Using Microsoft Windows as an example, the system clock uses UTC. To set your computer’s clock for your time-zone, follow these instructions:

  • Click the time and date display on your screen (located in the bottom right hand corner)

NTP Time Servers

 

 

  • This screen will appear:

NTP Time Servers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • To change the time-zone click the ‘Change time zone…’ button and this screen will appear:

GPS NTP Time Server

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • To change the time-zone for your location click the ‘Time-zone:’ drop down menu:

A menu will appear, listing all the time-zones across the world. Click the one that applies to your computer system then click OK.

SNTP Questions Answered

What is SNTP?

SNTP (Simple Network Time Protocol) is a simplified version of NTP. Like NTP, SNTP synchronises computer clocks on a network but is used when the full application of NTP is not needed.

The purpose of SNTP is to make it less complicated for computer servers to access a UTC time source.

To do this, SNTP synchronises the time display on a computer with a server that has already been synchronised by another source – for example, a radio, satellite receiver or a modem.

What is the difference between SNTP & NTP?

SNTP uses the same process as NTP to source time. However, SNTP does not use the complicated filtering rules needed to maintain precise time. SNTP is often used when total time accuracy is not needed.

NTP follows much more complicated rules to achieve a time accuracy that is so precise an entire network of computers all show the same time.

UTC Questions Answered

What is UTC?

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the time source that is most often used across the world to synchronise timekeeping devices. Time-zones throughout the world are shown as positive or negative offsets from UTC (see Fig 1).

UTC provides a 24-hour-time standard, which is achieved using very precise atomic clocks. 

GPS NTP Time Server

Fig.1

What’s the difference between UTC and GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)?

Since 1972, UTC has been used as the reference point for the provision of accurate time, ‘replacing’ GMT. GMT uses two different methods for recording hours in a day. Sometimes, numbering the hours in a day will begin at midnight and at other times it will begin at noon.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the accuracy of GMT, UTC became the common reference point for tracking time because it always refers to midnight as zero hours (00:00).

There is no longer any confusion between 12:00 (noon) and 12:00 (midnight), referred to by GMT, because UTC refers to them as 12:00 (noon) and (00:00) midnight.

Learn more about NTP Time Servers

To learn more about NTP Time Servers and to get answers to more frequently asked questions about NTP time, call Galleon Systems – the time synchronisation specialists – on 0049 2821 777 6 2804. 

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How to stop new internet Network Time Protocol attacks https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/how-to-stop-new-internet-network-time-protocol-attacks/ https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/how-to-stop-new-internet-network-time-protocol-attacks/#respond Tue, 26 Jan 2016 09:00:08 +0000 https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/?p=1495 Network Time Protocol … You care about it because it keeps your clocks synchronised. But lately, new internet Network Time Protocol attacks continue to expose its weaknesses. Does it worry you? If not, it should. Now’s the time to learn how to future proof your business against such threats. The internet and Network Time Protocol […]

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Network Time Protocol

Network Time Protocol … You care about it because it keeps your clocks synchronised. But lately, new internet Network Time Protocol attacks continue to expose its weaknesses.

Does it worry you? If not, it should. Now’s the time to learn how to future proof your business against such threats.

The internet and Network Time Protocol (NTP) are old friends. NTP was there at the very dawn of what we now know as the web. It’s been around for more than 30 years carrying, a reputation as one the oldest internet protocol’s still in use.

There’s no denying the significance of Network Time Protocol, after all, it’s the foundation on which all clock synchronisation is built. That’s some responsibility. Banks, emergency services and IT data centres are just some of the facilities that rely on NTP.

The state of Network Time Protocol is significant to a few, despite the fact that it functions for so many, all of whom are probably oblivious to – or don’t even care about – the accuracy of time. That’s despite the fact that accurate time is probably responsible for making sure they’re paid on time. 

Yet, like you, we care about the state of NTP and it concerns us that it’s constantly being exploited to wreak havoc across the internet.

The issue is, the web has evolved and this has led to the emergence of hackers who consider it a challenge to exploit NTP in order to cause debilitating outages, snoop on encrypted communications and in the latest attacks, tamper with Bitcoin transactions.

While the web has evolved, NTP hasn’t and battling against continued attacks has become somewhat of a patchwork project. The fact is, NTP attacks cannot be stopped – that’s been established as there seems to be a news headline every month at the moment covering the latest NTP attack in its latest form.

NTP attacks are much like a cold, they come and go, but they always come back in a different form. However, are the attacks really the problem?

News stories, blogs and press releases all do very well to tell us of the latest attack, the weaknesses of NTP and the seemingly impending dawn of doom for the internet.

Therefore, we can surmise that attacks aren’t the problem, but the lack of a clear solution is.

Network Time Protocol

Rarely is a solution to NTP attacks brought to the surface, but we constantly hear about the damage they can cause. Are internal NTP servers the answer?

Have you noticed that very rarely is a solution put before us to actually tackle the problems affecting the internet’s time synchronisation mechanism? It’s about time that was put right…

Preventing internet Network Time Protocol attacks now and in the future

First, let’s establish why attacks are occurring. It’s not all down to the hackers, yes they’re the ‘bad guys or girls’, but when no measures are taken to protect connections between computers and NTP servers, i.e. through encryption, it’s basically an open invite for hackers.

It’s a bit like having a work colleague who’s heard about your Christmas get together with friends. You let them know about the party at your house, but you don’t particularly want them there. However, you don’t not invite them and they know where you live and turn up anyway. 

That’s an analogy you can relate to that sort of describes how a hacker views the connection between your computer and your internet time server.

The attraction of internet time servers is that they’re free, but given the current frequency of NTP attacks, the cost of having an internet time server will hit you in other ways.

If you like the idea of your computer network suffering debilitating outages or having your encrypted communications spied upon, then carry on as you are.

If you don’t fancy facing these problems and the knock-on effects of having your business or institution brought to its knees, it’s time to stop doing things the old way.

Do it this way… Get your hands on an internal NTP server.

Before you ask, no they’re not free, but they can help to reduce the risk of suffering from the current wave of NTP attacks, which will ultimately save you from counting the cost of having your business or institution brought to a standstill because your computer network has been compromised.

Network Time Protocol

The internal, NTS-6002 NTP time server, reduces the risk of suffering an NTP attack.

You might be thinking that all this talk of NTP attacks is scaremongering so that NTP time server suppliers can flog some products.

That’s not the case, the problem is very real – just ask Cloudfare – a company that exists to protect against DDoS attacks, including NTP-based attacks. Just two years ago they ‘come a cropper’ to what was the largest NTP attack at the time.

A recent report titled ‘Attacking the Network Time Protocol’, describes attacks on NTP as ‘rife’ and ‘progressively more sophisticated.’ However, malicious attacks are preventable, so enough talk of the problems.

The solution – and the future of computer network protection that will stamp out NTP exploitation – is the internal NTP server.

Simply put, an internal NTP server can be setup behind your firewall, meaning you’re not exposed to the same exploits that are possible through an internet time server.

Alternatively, your NTP server can be connected to the internet if that’s what you’d prefer. Because the NTP packets are delivered to an internal time server cryptically, your computer network is still protected, even if it is hooked up to the web.

Do something about new internet NTP attacks today

If you rely on accurate time and you’re using a free internet time server, it’s time to ditch the old-school way and invest in the future.

Cyber security is becoming more and more crucial, so we recommend Galleon’s all-new NTS-6002 GPS NTP time server, which supports cryptographically signed NTP packets for your computer network protection.

To speak to a network time protocol expert about how Network Time Servers can benefit your business, dial 0049 2821 777 6 2804.

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Why Should Schools Have a Network Time Server? https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/why-should-schools-a-have-network-time-server/ https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/why-should-schools-a-have-network-time-server/#respond Tue, 22 Sep 2015 13:15:59 +0000 https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/?p=1486 Schools are increasingly being targeted by DDoS attacks [Distributed Denial of Service] to the point where access to the internet or computer resources is completely restricted. How can schools combat this growing problem? A network time server could help to ease attacks. How do DDoS attacks bring websites, servers or networks to a standstill? Imagine […]

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Network Time Server

Schools are increasingly being targeted by DDoS attacks [Distributed Denial of Service] to the point where access to the internet or computer resources is completely restricted.

How can schools combat this growing problem? A network time server could help to ease attacks.

How do DDoS attacks bring websites, servers or networks to a standstill?

Imagine boarding the last train of the day, chances are you’d be one of just a few people on the platform, you can board the train easily.

Now, imagine boarding a train during rush hour. Just as you’re about to board, a crowd of commuters all try to pile through the same door at the same time, each of them jostling and vying for space.

However, only a few of those commuters have a valid ticket to travel, with a right to board the train. The rest are ticket dodgers with no right to be on this train, but irrespective of the situation, the entrance to the train is overwhelmed.

Before everyone can board, the train doors close leaving you and a number of other passengers on the platform.

This everyday occurrence can be likened to a DDoS attack, it denies access to a website, server or network by inundating a target with requests until access is completely denied.

Can a DDoS attack affect my school?

Yes, you could make the case that your school is too small to become a target or you’ve got some top notch firewalls in place, but this won’t prevent an attack.

Don’t be naïve in thinking that your school is not on the radar of hackers, they’re not fussed about the size or type of organisation they attack, hence the reason that attacks on schools are becoming more frequent.

Unconvinced? Just ask Microsoft and Sony about how damaging DDoS attacks can be. It was Christmas 2014, a raft of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles were ready to connect online.

However, millions of gamers awoke on Christmas day to discover that the brand new consoles would not connect to the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live platforms.

The publicity surrounding this event was highly damning for both companies

How are schools being targeted?

Hackers are targeting schools in a variety of ways, one of which is flooding servers and networks with repeated requests for the time.

Time synchronisation across school computers and other network devices is often managed by a free internet time server. The fundamental problem with this is that networks are left vulnerable because free internet time servers are often unsecured.

This brings us onto why your school would benefit from a network time server. Like those seen here…

Network time server

A selection from the Galleon NTP Time Server range.

Scenario – Let’s say your school’s computer system relies on time synchronisation, provided by a free internet time server, to update sensitive data at a set time on a set day of the week.

Without warning, the system is hit by a DDoS attack, the result of which is a complete crash of the school’s network and your time critical system is shutdown.

However, more concerning is the breach of network security, a major problem considering the sensitive data that’s stored on your system concerning pupils, staff and contractors etc…

Additionally, with more and more schools making the shift to cloud-based services, which rely on the internet, a DDoS attack becomes increasingly likely.

Having a network time server

However, a dedicated NTP server for your school would reduce the risk of such security breaches occurring. A number of network time servers exist that function independently of internet connectivity, a function that reduces the risk of your school suffering a DDoS attack.

Galleon’s newly launched, NTS-6002 device is one such example of a dedicated network time server available for use in schools.

GPS NTP server

Galleon’s newly launched, GPS NTP time server package.

As a school, you need to be aware that although they’re illegal, DDoS attacks are not going to suddenly disappear. In a worst-case scenario, an attack could leave your school unable to perform the most basic of tasks such as accessing the internet or registering new students.

One way to defend against an attack is to get a network time server. They’re easy to install, with minimum disruption and they provide a safeguard for your network.

Ask your school’s IT department to call Galleon Systems on 0049 2821 777 6 2804.

Learn more about safeguarding your school’s network and order your network time server, today.

 

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Countdown to the Leap Second – 30 June, 2015 https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/countdown-to-the-leap-second-30-june-2015/ https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/countdown-to-the-leap-second-30-june-2015/#respond Mon, 29 Jun 2015 08:27:25 +0000 https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/?p=1479 If you weren’t aware, there will be an additional leap second occurring on June 30, 2015. Is your NTP time server prepared? Galleon Systems answers some of the frequently asked questions about the upcoming leap second. Will my NTP Time Server be disrupted by the leap second? No, because NTP servers can implement a leap […]

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If you weren’t aware, there will be an additional leap second occurring on June 30, 2015. Is your NTP time server prepared? Galleon Systems answers some of the frequently asked questions about the upcoming leap second.

Will my NTP Time Server be disrupted by the leap second?

No, because NTP servers can implement a leap second by repeating the final second of the day. In particular, GPS NTP servers are very useful for preventing disruption.

If you’re using GPS NTP servers your system administrators can make provisions to adjust for leap seconds.

Leap Second

Is your NTP time server prepared for the additional leap second on June 30, 2015?

If you’re using a Linux operating system, its ntpd process should be able to pre-empt the leap second, preparing devices on your network 24 hours in advance of the changes.

Some devices on your network will make minor adjustments during the day, giving the appearance that 60 seconds has elapsed. Other devices will simply alter the time by a second once the leap second has taken place.

How does the leap second impact the time providing mechanism of my NTP servers?

The short answer is that the leap second will have no impact on the delivery of NTP. The technical answer is that the ntpd process receives notification from an attached reference clock. In the case of a Galleon time server this will be a GPS antenna.

As time must be seen to be monotonically increasing, a leap second is added with the sequence 23:59:59, 23:59:60, 00:00:00.

Despite the clock being halted during the event, any processes that query the system time cause it to increase slightly, which preserves the order of events.

Will there be any deviation in NTP data provided by my NTP server?

Any device requesting time from your server could be out by up to a second as the device acknowledges the leap second. However, this deviation will be rectified by subsequent requests.

Do I need to do anything to?

No, the NTP service will deal with the leap second. Any of your systems using NTP will make adjustments throughout the event.

Download our white paper

For a fully informative guide to the upcoming leap second, download Galleon Systems’ – ‘Leap Second Tutorial’ – white paper here.

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Network Time Protocol: What is its Mode of Operation? https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/network-time-protocol-mode-of-operation/ https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/network-time-protocol-mode-of-operation/#respond Mon, 22 Jun 2015 09:00:19 +0000 https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/?p=1469 Network Time Protocol can operate according to four [4] different modes. If you’re an NTP beginner, discover the operating modes that define the NTP communication between NTP devices… Network Time Protocol – Device Communication NTP communication between two different devices consists of NTP time requests and NTP control queries. An NTP time request is a […]

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Network Time Protocol can operate according to four [4] different modes. If you’re an NTP beginner, discover the operating modes that define the NTP communication between NTP devices…

Network Time Protocol – Device Communication

NTP communication between two different devices consists of NTP time requests and NTP control queries. An NTP time request is a request from an NTP client for time synchronisation from an NTP server. NTP control queries are communication messages for configuration information.

The four principal operating modes of Network Time Protocol are:

1. Client mode.

2. Server mode.

3. Peer mode.

4. Broadcast/Multicast mode.

NTP client mode

An NTP client is a network device that’s configured to make an initial request for the time from an external NTP time server in order to synchronise its own clock.

Network Time Protocol

NTP clients are configured to an NTP time server, like Galleon Systems’ NTP servers.

Clients will receive the time once an NTP server broadcasts, if the clients are set up to ‘listen’ for broadcasts rather than making the initial request for the time.

NTP client mode devices do not supply synchronisation services to other devices on a network infrastructure.

NTP server mode

NTP servers are network devices operating an NTP service. These devices are configured to supply time information to NTP clients utilising Network Time Protocol.

NTP servers will only supply time information to authorised NTP clients and will not receive time synchronisation information from unauthorised devices.

The most common internet configuration for NTP is the client/server model. In this mode requests are sent by a client to a server, with the client expecting a response within milliseconds, unless the time source is unavailable or extremely busy.

The process sees a client distribute a network time protocol message to one or more servers and actions the replies as received. The server will then exchange addresses and ports, overwrite particular fields in the message, recalculate the checksum before returning the message straight away.

The returned message enables the client to calculate the server time, in respect of the local time, and alter a clock accordingly. Additionally, the message will contain information to calculate the expected timekeeping accuracy and reliability, plus choose the best server.

NTP peer mode

Peered devices act as back-up for each other and each peer operates with one or more primary references sources, but neither peer device has authority over the other.

Should one of the peers lose all time reference sources, or stop operating completely, the remaining peer device(s) automatically reconfigure to ensure that time values can flow from surviving peers to all others across the network.

In some instances this is often referred to as the ‘push-pull’ process, meaning that a peer either pulls or pushes the time value according to the configuration setup.

Broadcast/Multicast mode

Perhaps the most self-explanatory, in broadcast/multicast mode NTP servers simply broadcasts/multicasts time synchronisation information to all network time protocol clients across a network.

In instances where time accuracy and reliability are not crucial, clients can be configured to utilise broadcast/multicast modes. Usually, these modes are not set up for servers with dependent clients.

The benefit of these modes is that clients do not need to be configured to a particular server, enabling all operating clients to utilise the same configuration file.

Broadcast mode does require a broadcast server on the same subnet. As broadcast messages are not circulated by routers, only broadcast servers on the same subnet are used.

Broadcast mode is purposed for configurations featuring one or a few servers, plus a potentially large client network. It’s advised, because a hacker could impersonate a broadcast server and provide false time values, that this mode should always be authenticated.

Connect with Galleon

For updates regarding all blog posts, connect with Galleon via social media. Join the conversation now on…

To speak to a network time protocol expert about how Network Time Servers can benefit your business, dial 0049 2821 777 6 2804 and ask for Para Brach who will be happy to help.

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Does a Dedicated NTP Time Server Improve Network Security? https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/does-a-dedicated-ntp-time-server-improve-network-security/ https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/does-a-dedicated-ntp-time-server-improve-network-security/#respond Tue, 09 Jun 2015 09:00:06 +0000 https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/?p=1452 Why should I buy a dedicated NTP time server when I can access one for free on the internet? A good question, and usually a decisive one when it comes to making a decision about time synchronisation for your business. However, 3000+ customers use Galleon time servers. Let us explain why…. Speaking honestly, we appreciate […]

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Why should I buy a dedicated NTP time server when I can access one for free on the internet? A good question, and usually a decisive one when it comes to making a decision about time synchronisation for your business. However, 3000+ customers use Galleon time servers. Let us explain why….

Speaking honestly, we appreciate that you need to see the value in spending a £1000+ on a system to synchronise time across your network devices. It’s no secret that there are numerous ‘free’ internet based time servers, luring businesses to use them because they’re free. 

Internet time server flaws

However, free is about as far as the benefits stretch with public time servers. There is a fundamental flaw that has plagued businesses relying on internet sourced time, and the flaw is security.

Internet time servers expose your network to viruses and much publicised Network Time Protocol DDoS attacks. How? Internet time requires an open UDP 123 port, which is opened through your firewall.

This ‘hole’ in your firewall can be likened to a hole in the ozone layer. Where a hole exists in the ozone layer, intensifying the impact of the sun’s rays, so a ‘hole’ in your computer network’s firewall increases the potential for a virus to infiltrate your systems, bringing them down.

Dedicated NTP Time Server

Open ports through your firewall leave you exposed to numerous cyber threats.

To compound the issue, if you’re network is hit with a virus, the source of the problem is out of your control.

Internet based time servers are usually hosted by institutions such as universities who are not obliged to help resolve any security issues because you’re using the service entirely at your own risk, much like parking your car in a public car park.

Although the time source is free, the cost of a resulting attack on your network will add up. For as long as your systems are down, your business is on its knees.

As the seconds, minutes, hours or even days pass by, that time represents financial loss and this is before you have to calculate the cost of rectifying the problem.

The point is, free only takes you so far, at some point there will be a cost involved. In the case of free time servers it’s the cost of business downtime or the price of putting right a security breach.

Much like your Experian Credit Report starts with a 30 day ‘free’ trial, before long you’re paying a monthly fee.

Dedicated network time servers

Where internet based time servers fail to provide the complete package, dedicated network time servers step up to serve the time synchronisation needs of your business, not just in terms of providing much more accurate time, but doing so while safeguarding your network.

Just ask the likes of Tesco, Vodafone, E.On, the Bank of England and even Buckingham Palace for Galleon NTP server references, they’ll tell you how our devices not only supply accurate time 24/7, 365 days per year, but maintain network security.

Galleon NTP servers synchronise time across your network from behind your firewall, ensuring that your network remains fully protected.

The value of a dedicated NTP time server to your business

Dedicated NTP Time Server

As cyber hackers become more brazen, and with rising incidents of Network Time Protocol exploitation, the reality is your business needs to take steps to protect itself and its systems.

The role of a dedicated time server extends beyond supplying accurate time across your network, it serves to safeguard time critical operations and ultimately your business.

This is a purpose a public time server cannot fulfil. Therefore, spending £1,000+ on a dedicated time server that supplies accurate time for your business, securely, is justified when you consider the alternative of spending perhaps tens of thousands to undo the damage caused by a security breach.

Ultimately, the value of the dedicated NTP time server to your business is the protection it brings against today’s cyber criminals.

To answer the title question, yes, a dedicated NTP time server does improve network security!

Talk to a time lord, today

Discuss your time server requirements with a time lord. If you’re interested in switching from a public time server service, call 0049 2821 777 6 2804, now. Alternatively, complete the quick, online contact form and we’ll call you.

To view Galleon’s time servers click the web link >>> www.galsys.co.uk

 

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Public Sector Hit Hardest Amid Increasing Number of DDoS Attacks https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/network-time-protocol-ddos-attacks-2/ https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/network-time-protocol-ddos-attacks-2/#respond Tue, 02 Jun 2015 09:00:50 +0000 https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/?p=1440 The rising number of Network Time Protocol DDoS attacks are hitting public sector companies hardest according to Verisign. Why is this happening and what can be done to reduce these attacks? Galleon Systems provides an insight… DDoS attacks have been much publicised recently, and public sector services are some of the hardest hit. The most […]

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The rising number of Network Time Protocol DDoS attacks are hitting public sector companies hardest according to Verisign. Why is this happening and what can be done to reduce these attacks? Galleon Systems provides an insight…

DDoS attacks have been much publicised recently, and public sector services are some of the hardest hit.

The most common attack type continues to be the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) amplification attacks leveraging Network Time Protocol (NTP), while Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP) is also being abused.

DDoS attacks

‘DDoS attacks are wreaking havoc across the public sector.’

15 percent of public sector companies suffered DDoS attacks in the final quarter of 2014, representing the highest number of attacks experienced across any industry sector in the later part of the year.

Network time protocol DDoS attacks politically motivated

Verisign attributes the sharp rise in DDoS attacks targeting public sector institutions to attackers’ ‘increased use of DDoS attacks as tactics for politically motivated activism, or hacktivism.’ Specifically, these hackers are purposely targeting international governing organisations.

A report published by iDefense – titled ‘2015 Cyber Threats and Trends’ – reveals that an increase in online and physical protest movements were a major factor in the rising number of DDoS related attacks hitting organisations worldwide, including institutions across the public sector.

Attack volumes

Verisign was also able to record DDoS attack activity in volume. Data shows that attacks were hitting 60 gigabits per second (Gbps), which is the equivalent of 16 Million packets per second (Mpps) for UDP floods and 55 Gbps/60 Mpps for Transfer Control Protocol (TCP) type attacks.

Cloud/IT/SaaS/Services were subjected to the most number of attacks in the final quarter of 2014, with 33% of companies suffering malicious activity. Attacks aimed at financial services doubled, with 15% of institutions targeted.

DDoS December

December was the month of DDoS attacks against public sector institutions, recording more than any other month in 2014. In particular, the Christmas season was rife with DDoS attacks.

Verisign’s report also shows that 42% of attacks peaked at more than 1 Gbps, with 17 percent leveraging more than 10 Gbps of DDoS traffic.

DDoS-for-hire 

At the root of the problem with DDoS attacks is the rising number of DDoS-for-hire services available. Known as ‘booters’ they represent a massive risk for security professionals because it enables almost anyone to hire skilled cyber criminals to instigate a DDoS attack for just $2 USD per hour.

How can a Galleon time server device supress DDoS attacks?

The primary benefit of using Galleon Systems’ Network Time Servers is that the majority of technologies do not require connection to the internet in order to operate, immediately reducing the threat posed by a DDoS attack.

However, even if Galleon NTP servers are internet connected, units will operate from behind your firewall, leaving no open UDP 123 ports. If your firewall is breached, there is a solution that exists in the form of a ‘fix’ to combat the effects of a Network Time Protocol DDoS attack.

To further highlight the benefit of purchasing a Galleon Systems NTP time server, rather than relying on a public time server, independent cyber security consultant, Professor Alan Woodward, says this: “A lot of these free internet network time protocols are essential, however, they are not secure.”

With a Galleon Systems NTP time server, security remains the number one priority.

Therefore, one-off purchase of a Galleon NTP unit will offer protection against potential Network Time Protocol DDoS attacks, which in the long-term will save you time and the expense of dealing with the aftermath of a system breach.

Galleon products

Galleon Systems has a range of GPS NTP time servers, Radio NTP time servers and dual NTP time server units (a combination of GPS and radio technology), the majority of which function independently of internet connectivity.

Each NTP server unit is capable of synchronising time for individual computers or entire networks, whilst protecting against the threat of Network Time Protocol DDoS attacks.

Customers can choose from an extensive range of Network Time Servers to eliminate the threat of Network Time Protocol DDoS attacks. The following models are available:

  • The NTS-6001 (available as a GPS, MSF or dual GPS/MSF unit)
  • The NTS-4000 (available as a GPS or MSF unit)
  • The NTS-8000 (available as a GPS, MSF or dual GPS/MSF unit)
Network Time Protocol DDoS attacks

‘Galleon Systems’ NTS-6001, NTP time server model.’

Hundreds of public sector institutions, worldwide, use Galleon devices as a secure accurate time source, including:

  • The Bank of England
  • On Energy
  • Norwich & Peterborough Building Society
  • NHS Scotland
  • Mount Sinai Hospital, New York
Network Time Protocol DDoS Attacks

‘A Galleon time server in action.’

Incentives to invest | Defend against network time protocol DDoS attacks

Rather than viewing the purchase of a Galleon NTP time server as a purchase to protect against Network Time Protocol DDoS attacks, view it from the perspective of protecting your entire business operation.

Hackers are capable of intercepting sensitive data and could force your service offline, jeopardising the ability of your business to operate. The cost of such an incident occurring is not only financial, but time consuming, with time being a commodity you can ill afford to lose.

Investment in a Galleon NTP time server eliminates the need to rely on public time servers which, as exposed by the impact of Network Time Protocol DDoS attacks, are fundamentally flawed. The long-term benefits of buying a Galleon NTP time server far outweigh the benefits of relying on a public time server.

Other perks of purchasing a Galleon NTP time server include a six (6) year warranty and free product lifetime technical support, guarantees that a public time server cannot provide. Allay your fears of a DDoS attack with purchase of a dedicated NTP time server from Galleon Systems.

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4 Simple Steps to Ping Your NTP Time Server https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/4-simple-steps-ping-ntp-time-server/ https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/4-simple-steps-ping-ntp-time-server/#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2015 09:00:34 +0000 https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/?p=1415 Are your NTP servers online? If your clocks are failing to update correctly across your network, it’s possible that your NTP server is down. You can ping your NTP time server in 4 simple steps to check its status. Here’s how… If accurate time is crucial to your business operations, you need to know that […]

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Are your NTP servers online? If your clocks are failing to update correctly across your network, it’s possible that your NTP server is down. You can ping your NTP time server in 4 simple steps to check its status. Here’s how…

If accurate time is crucial to your business operations, you need to know that your network time server is performing. You can check the status of your device by ‘pinging’ it.

What is a Ping?

A Ping is a command line tool used to establish whether a server or client is active on your network. Performing a Ping informs you that your server is connected to the network and tells you what the latency is between you and the server or device.

How to Ping Your NTP Time Server

Step 1 – Click the ‘start’ button [Windows icon] on your computer’s desktop.

Ping Your NTP Time ServerStep 2 – After clicking the icon, this screen will appear [see fig 1]. In the search programs and files bar type Command or cmd. Click Command Prompt from the results.

Ping Your NTP Server
Fig 1…

Step 3 – Once you have clicked Command Prompt, this screen will appear [see fig 2]. Type ping ntpdomain, into the command box then replace ntpdomain with the time server that you would like to ping.

Ping Your NTP Time Server

Fig 2…

Alternatively, type ping xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx into the command box, where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx represents the IP address of the time server.

To find out the name of your NTP server contact the network administrator who set the servers up on your network.

Using the Windows Internet time server as an example, insert ping time.windows.com.

Step 4 – Hit the ‘enter’ key on your keyboard to review the results. If the ping is successful the IP address of your NTP server, plus the amount of time the ping command took to complete, will be displayed.

Ping Your NTP Time Server

An example of a ‘successful’ ping.

If your time server is offline a ‘request timed out’ message will be displayed.

Ping Your NTP Time Server

An example of what will appear if a request ‘times out.’

Connect with Galleon Systems

For all the latest NTP tricks & tips, stay tuned to our blog. Alternatively, connect with us via our social media channels. Join the conversation now…

To order your NTP time server, with an industry leading 6 year warranty, speak to a time lord. Call 0049 2821 777 6 2804 & ask for Para Brach.

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Accurate Timekeeping Tutorial | GPS & MSF NTP Time Servers https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/accurate-timekeeping-tutorial-gps-msf-ntp-time-servers/ https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/accurate-timekeeping-tutorial-gps-msf-ntp-time-servers/#respond Mon, 16 Mar 2015 09:00:45 +0000 https://www.galsys.co.uk/news/?p=1409 In the market for an accurate timekeeping device? Interested in network time servers? Not sure which to choose? Discover the pros & cons of GPS & MSF time servers, helping you to make the right choice for your business. Is your business growing & expanding? Worried about how to keep business operations running fluidly? With […]

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In the market for an accurate timekeeping device? Interested in network time servers? Not sure which to choose? Discover the pros & cons of GPS & MSF time servers, helping you to make the right choice for your business.

Is your business growing & expanding? Worried about how to keep business operations running fluidly?

With more staff to manage & a bigger business operation, a network time server could be the key to making your company more time efficient.

You’ve done your research & now you need to know if a GPS NTP Server or a Radio NTP Server is most conducive to your accurate timekeeping requirements.

Accurate Timekeeping with GPS

GPS time servers are arguably the popular choice for accurate timekeeping. Why? Time is retrieved from GPS satellites, meaning that accurate time is achievable virtually anywhere in the world.

Choosing a GPS time server is solely dependent on how accurate you want time to be. These devices can achieve time accuracy to the nanosecond, and are widely utilised by institutions where accurate timekeeping is a legal requirement.

If your business systems perform time critical processes, a GPS time server should be given your consideration.

However, there is a drawback, particularly if you’re located on the ground floor of an office block, for instance.

The GPS antenna linked to a time server requires a clear view of the sky, usually resulting in attachment to the roof.

While this may increase the cost of installation, the overriding benefit is that accurate timekeeping is continuous, provided the GPS satellites don’t come crashing to earth.

If you want to keep costs down, it’s not absolutely necessary for a GPS antenna to be positioned on a roof.

Provided the sky is visible, an antenna can be positioned on an external window ledge. However, a 360o view of the sky is recommended for better signal lock.

GPS units, such as the Galleon Systems NTS-6001-GPS NTP Server, connect to your network using an Ethernet cable [CAT5].

There is minimal disruption and time synchronisation is quick, provided the antenna has a good view of the sky.

Any kind of obscurity may result in a longer synchronisation time.

Accurate Timekeeping

A typical CAT5 Ethernet cable.

Benefits of Accurate Time Keeping with GPS – Summary

  • Accurate time achievable anywhere in the world
  • Can achieve nanosecond accuracy – essential for time critical processes
  • Virtually continuous signal
  • Simple installation
  • ‘Set & forget’ – requires minimal maintenance

Accurate Timekeeping with MSF

The distinct advantage of Radio Time Servers is that they receive a relatively strong signal, indoors.

Signals can pass through windows, however, passing through buildings proves more problematic, not ideal if you’re located in an inner city area.

The base of the MSF antenna at Anthorn Radio Station, Cumbria.

The base of the MSF antenna at Anthorn Radio Station, Cumbria.

Another MSF drawback is that the radio antenna must be closely positioned to a host computer or a time server in order to maintain a signal.

Furthermore, MSF coverage is not available worldwide, leaving you no choice but to use a GPS unit.

MSF time servers are less costly and easier to install, but time accuracy decreases to the millisecond.

Therefore if time accuracy is important, but not crucial, a Radio Time Server is a viable option for your accurate timekeeping requirements.

Windows user? The TS-900 MSF Network Time Server, from Galleon Systems, is a prime example of quality technology utilising the MSF signal.

It’s compatible with Windows NT, 2000, 2003 and Windows XP workstations. Plus, if you have a rackmount server room, this device will simply slot right in.

Benefits of Accurate Timekeeping with MSF – Summary

  • Stronger indoor signal than GPS
  • Cost-effective
  • Easier to install

The Best of Both

Can’t decide which is best for your business? Get the best of both with dual NTP servers. If accurate timekeeping is paramount to your business, make sure your clocks are never out of sync.

Dual server devices, such as Galleon’s NTS-8000 Dual NTP Server, always receive time from the strongest source.

Accurate timekeeping

‘The NTS-8000 Dual NTP Time Server.’

Essentially, each signal acts as a backup for the other. Dual devices are fantastic for large-scale networks. It’s highly secure and the most cost effective way of achieving accurate time, utilising both signal sources.

The NTS-8000 is rackmountable and connects to a network using a standard CAT5 Ethernet cable.

It can also be peered with other NTP time server devices, enabling the server to cross-reference its own time with other devices, keeping time as accurate as possible.

Benefits of Both – Summary

  • No loss of accurate time – there’s always a signal
  • Easy to install
  • Accurate timekeeping for thousands of devices

Choose a Dedicated Time Server

The primary benefit of having a dedicated GPS, MSF or Dual time server for accurate timekeeping is reliability and security.

It’s likely that your research will have led you to free time servers, but the fact that they are free is as good as it gets.

Free time servers tend to be a security risk because they do not operate within a firewall. This leaves your network vulnerable to a myriad of security issues.

Plus, if something were to go wrong, your time synchronisation is out of your control leaving you reliant on a third party to resolve any issues.

Galleon Time Servers

Galleon devices not only maintain accurate time securely, purchase is covered by an industry leading, 6 year warranty.

Plus, you benefit from product lifetime support.

Need help making a decision? Talk to a Galleon time lord, today.

Call 0049 2821 777 6 2804 for information on time server devices.

Connect with Galleon Systems

For the latest updates from Galleon Systems visit our blog. Alternatively, connect with us via social media. You can find us on…

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