Industry News

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Data Vulnerabilities

By Industry News

NORFOLK — An internal memo prepared by top IT professionals inside the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says the agency’s computers that hold private information for hundreds of thousands of military veterans are essentially wide open.

A 13News Now investigation obtained a copy of the memo from the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

The memo was prepared in July after a security assessment had been performed on the agency’s data. It doesn’t mince words when talking about the potential for a breach.

‘It is practically unavoidable that a data breach to financial, medical, and personal Veteran and employee protected information may occur within the next 12 to 18 months, with no way of tracking the source of the breach,’ the memo reads.

Despite the dire warning, veterans were faced with a data breach in January of 2014 when personal information for veterans became accessible to other users on the VA’s e-benefits site.

Cybersecurity expert Jeri Prophet said the VA should have used that memo as a call to act.

‘Something was blaringly, obviously wrong with that data network to say if it is like this, you know, there is a definite vulnerability,’ Prophet said. ‘The fact that no one took time to address it or look at it, I mean, that’s negligent.’

Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL), chair of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, said he’s been voicing concerns over the lack of data security at the agency for the past year.

‘It’s unacceptable that the VA has been very slow to react,’ Miller said. ‘What little reaction they have had has been minimal at best.

January’s security breach is just the latest in a string of incidents that have put veterans’ private information at risk.

The Navy Times reported in 2010 that roughly 3,800 veterans’ personal information was compromised when an unencrypted laptop with confidential data was stolen.

In a statement to 13News Now on Thursday, the VA said the memo provided by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs was focused only on specific risks and not the agency’s entire data network.

‘VA takes seriously its obligation to properly safeguard any personal information within our possession,’ the statement said. ‘VA has in place a strong, multi-layered defense to combat evolving cybersecurity threats.’

‘VA is committed to protecting Veteran information, continuing its efforts to strengthen information security, and putting in place the technology and processes to ensure Veteran data at VA are secure.’

Prophet, who is a Navy veteran herself, said the string of security breaches could have far-reaching ramifications for veterans whose information is stolen. She suggested veterans and their families begin monitoring their credit for any irregularities.

‘As a fellow veteran it’s upsetting because that’s my data,’ Prophet said.

Hiring Veterans Open House

By Industry News

IntellecTechs was featured, during our 6th Anniversary Celebration and Open House event, in WVEC 13News Now’s segment entitled “Governor proposes bill aimed at hiring more veterans”. Watch the video above or get in touch with us for more information.

“Thank You for all the hard work and dedication you continue to demonstrate in order to accomplish great things like we did today. It was perfect. Open House 2015 will be written in the history books.”

Cheers… to an excellent start to 2015!

Jeri Prophet
IntellecTechs, Inc.
Founding President & CEO

Happy Birthday, Jeri!

By Industry News

Hamlet lamented suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune . . .
Okay, look: we’re only quoting Shakespeare to impress you. We don’t know what he means. He wrote in iambic pentameter, not binary. So, scratch that—instead, here’s an archer whose slings and arrows should not only bring an outrageous fortune, but love and health, too:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy birthday, happy Valentine’s Day, and here’s to your continued success.

The ITS Team

The Regional Tidewater Science and Engineering Fair

By Industry News

Romeo Spino, Director of Strategic Accounts for IntellecTechs, along with the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) of Hampton Roads supported the Regional Tidewater and Science Engineering Fair as Judges for the category of Engineering: Electrical and Bioengineering for both Senior and Junior divisions at Old Dominion University.

The Regional Tidewater Science and Engineering Fair encourages middle school and high school students from The Hampton Roads, Virginia area to become involved in, and excited about learning the processes of research and technical writing skills needed to clearly and effectively communicate the results of their experiments.

By hosting the annual event, it provides students the opportunity to exhibit and discuss their projects with judges and evaluators from academia and industry. In order that students may progress to state and national competitions, the protocols, application process and evaluation criteria conform to the standards of the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair, as well as the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

IntellecTechs would like to congratulate presenter Vashaana Sahadeo from The Math and Science Academy at Ocean Lakes High School for her project:
Non-Invasive Glucose Monitor with Interface Technology. She is on her way to Harvard with a full scholarship. We’re so proud of the next generation!

Electrical and Bioengineering Winners for Senior Division

Electrical and Bioengineering Winners for Junior Division

AFCEA Luncheon

By Industry News

The IntellecTechs team made their way to the Armed Forces Communication and Electronic Association Luncheon in where Romeo Spino, Director of Strategic Accounts, spoke to attendees about IntellecTechs’ capabilities and contributions to the Cyber Warfare and Cyber Defense operations supporting the Department of Navy. The Keynote speaker of the luncheon was, Captain Douglas A. Powers, the commanding officer from the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command.

CAPT Powers, a native of Silver Spring, MD, graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering, receiving his commission through the Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps of Philadelphia. He also holds a Master’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, a Master’s of Science in Foreign Affairs and National Security Resource Strategy from the Eisenhower School at National Defense University, and a diploma in Modern Standard Arabic Language, Regional and Cultural studies from the Defense Language Institute.

His sea duty assignments included surface warfare direct support duty at Naval Security Group Activity, Pearl Harbor, HI, where he deployed to the Arabian Gulf aboard USS KITTYHAWK (CV 63), USS INGERSOLL (DD-990), and USS LEAHY (CG-16) in support of Operations DESERT STORM (Iraq) and RESTORE HOPE (Somalia), completing multiple Western Pacific and Middle-Eastern deployments. He later qualified as an airborne direct support officer at Naval Security Group Activity, Rota, Spain, where he logged over 1000 flight hours with Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Two (VQ-2) in support of Operations JOINT ENDEAVOR (Bosnia) and SHARP GUARD (Former Yugoslavia). He also served as Officer-in-Charge of Naval Aircrew Detachments in Souda Bay, Crete, Greece and Siganella, Sicily, Italy, and as a submarine direct support officer deploying aboard submarines in support of Commander, Submarine Forces Pacific. As a Lieutenant Commander, he served as the Cryptologic Resource Coordinator to Commander, Carrier Strike Group SEVEN embarked on USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74) deployed to the Western Pacific assuming the role as Commander, Task Force 70.

His shore duty assignments included leading interactive on-net cyber operations at Naval Information Warfare Activity (NIWA), Suitland, MD for duty within the National Security Agency’s (NSA) Tailored Access Operations (TAO) and as a plank-owner of the Remote Operations Center (ROC). In the Pentagon, he served as the Navy’s Program Manager for all Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Combat Systems and Intelligence (C5I) programs for the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV 80). He returned to NSA for his joint duty assignment as the first military Director of Cybersecurity Operations within the NSA’s Threat Operations Center (NTOC) defending the Department of Defense’s information networks worldwide. Most recently, he served as the Senior Detailer for Information Warfare Officer global assignments (PERS 472) at Navy Personnel Command in Millington, TN.

CAPT Powers previously commanded Navy Information Operations Command, Whidbey Island, WA, providing Electronic Warfare (EW) direct support to Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM. In August 2013, he assumed command of Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command and Task Force 1020, which has included leading Navy’s cyber warriors to successfully defend Navy’s global networks during Operation ROLLING TIDE, the largest cyber defense operation in Naval history. His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medals, Air Service Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medals, Navy Achievements Medals, and several campaign medals and unit awards.

Crypto Locker Virus Infects Thousands of Computers

By Industry News

There is a new threat out on the internet called Crypto Locker. The Crypto Locker virus is considered to be one of the most historically devastating viruses to date and, as such, it holds your computer’s data hostage until you pay a ransom or decide that you can live without it.

Cryptolocker comes in the door through social engineering. Usually the virus payload hides in an attachment to a phishing message, one purporting to be from a business copier that is delivering a scanned image, from a major delivery service offering tracking information, or from a bank letter confirming a wire or money transfer.

This infection CAN COME IN ~70 FILE FORMATS/EXTENSIONS. Mostly, we have seen it in e-mails as .ZIP or .PDF attachments.

DO NOT open any files coming from these sources with attachments.

What does it do?
After opening an infected file, this virus will infect a computer within an hour or so
It then encrypts all of the user data files on the computer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. documents)
Then, it moves onto encrypting all of the user data files on all shares (Server Data) that are connected to the computer
Finally, the screen turns red and the ransom message (pictured below) pops up informing the user that within 72 hours they have to pay $300 to decrypt the data

Crypto Locker ransom

Once infected, what do I do?
You can restore your data from a known good backup, or
You can get a MoneyPak card, fill it with $300, and pay the ransom (this has worked for some, but not all, users)

How do I prevent it? Can you protect me?
Sophos Antivirus is catching it, but will NOT prevent hostile encryption
Remove access/permissions for installing programs to local computers
Download and install CryptoPrevent (a Crypto Locker prevention kit)

IntellecTechs is currently scanning e-mails and implementing restriction policies for our clients. We are also in the process of deploying CryptoPrevent in hopes of preventing any further infection.

Please educate yourself and do NOT open any attachments from unknown recipients; also, be sure check in with known/trusted recipients to ensure they have intentionally sent you an attachment before opening it (as they may already be infected and spreading the virus unknowingly).

IntellecTechs strongly recommends that you download and install CryptoPrevent (the download link is at the bottom of the page). If you have been infected or are having trouble implementing protection methods for yourself or business, please call us at (757) 962-2487 or e-mail us at

IntellecTechs Offering Free Training Classes Once Again

By Industry News

After the completion of a year-long expansion project that spanned over 10,000 square feet of newly designed office space, IntellecTechs, an award-winning government and commercial IT firm, announced plans to resume their free business, social media, and technology classes for the public (Eat IT for Breakfast), starting in May, 2015. In previous years, the budding company hosted a multitude of classes, and received a great response from the community at large.

“It’s such a great opportunity to offer people expert direction and instruction that may not have the opportunity to get it elsewhere,” said Jeri Prophet, President/CEO of IntellecTechs.

The kick-off class will take place on May 12th from 8am-9am at the IntellecTechs corporate office, and will cover Smartphone and Mobile Device Security. Refreshments and coffee will be served. For registration information, visit or call 757.962.2487

Celebrating 5th Anniversary

By Industry News

This week in November marks the five year anniversary of IntellecTechs, which began in 2008 as a vision bridging founding President and CEO, Jeri Prophet’s military background in information technology with her passion for civic engagement.

IntellecTechs is a full-service Information Technology company headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, specializing in web design and development, training, networking, hosting and security. Their experienced engineers and technicians provide comprehensive computer services to a variety of government, military, commercial and residential clients.

IntellecTechs has been extremely busy building their client-base to over 360 active accounts and giving back to the local community; however, the hard work doesn’t stop there. Read on to discover more specifically, how IntellecTechs has been making their mark in the world of information technology over the past five years!

Man Accused of Raping Teen He Met Through Kik App

By Industry News

YORK COUNTY — Police say a man raped a 14-year-old girl he met through a Smartphone app and they’re checking to see whether he had similar contact with others.

The teen from York Co. met 20-year-old Michael Baigert Jr. through Kik, an app where people communicate and send pictures, said Lt. Dennis Ivey.

Investigators say he told the girl he was 16-years-old.

After nearly two weeks of communication, they met on Dorothy Drive on August 27, Ivey stated, and during a walk, they went into woods and that’s where the attack occurred.

The incident was reported to York-Poquson Sheriff’s Office on October 27.

Authorities say they searched Baigert’s Berrywood Road home the next day and arrested him that night.

Baigert Jr. is in the Va. Beach jail charged with rape, object sexual penetration and use of a communication system to facilitate certain offenses involving children.

The girl was raped in a subdivision called Willow Lakes in the Grafton area of York County. Stacey West lives in the neighborhood and has a 15-year-old daughter.

“That’s a shame. All the social medial websites and everything you never know who you’re talking too, who they could be, what they’re doing what their intentions are,” West said.

She intends to talk to her daughter about the assault when she gets home from school.

“I already intend on talking to her and her friends both,” West said.
Dominic Digangi, a 17-year-old Grafton High School student knows about the KIK app but says he has no use for it and prefers to use twitter and facebook.

“You basically meet random people from around your areas. I’m not looking to meet new people and random. I have friends and stuff so I haven’t downloaded it,” Digangi said.