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TweakTown News Posts - Page 19

Police department forced to pay $500 bounty in ransomware cyberattack

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

The Midlothian Police Department paid $500 after being compromised with the Cryptoware ransomware, encrypting files on one computer. A spear-phishing email likely is the culprit behind the Cryptoware infection, with Midlothian Police Chief Harold Kaufman confirming a cybersecurity incident.

 

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The police department spent a total of $606 to rid itself of the infection, following the addition of bank fees and subsequent surcharges.

 

Cybersecurity experts recommend business users routinely back up their data - and that is often left to IT administrators - with urgent need to train employees so they can spot social engineering attempts.

Continue reading 'Police department forced to pay $500 bounty in ransomware cyberattack' (full post)

Revenge porn king, Hunter Moore, pleads guilty to hacking charges

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Hunter Moore, 28, the founder of revenge porn website IsAnyoneUp.com, has pleaded guilty and faces years in prison. Moore pleaded guilty to identity theft, unauthorized access to a computer, and aiding and abetting unauthorized access of a computer. Unlike other revenge porn website operators, Moore paid a hacker to access email accounts looking for photos to steal.

 

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Each charge carries a maximum prison sentence of two to five years, and Moore should be sentenced in a few months. Moore was once called "the most hated man on the Internet" for creating IsAnyoneUp.com, which served as one of the most popular revenge porn websites.

 

The infamous revenge porn website generated up to $10,000 per month in advertising revenue - and featured nude images and videos of ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends. The person's full name, city of residence, social media profile and profession were prominently listed on the website.

Continue reading 'Revenge porn king, Hunter Moore, pleads guilty to hacking charges' (full post)

Bitcoins have major potential in Africa, changing banking industry

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

The bitcoin cryptocurrency is struggling in the United States and other developed nations, but could have a major impact in sub-Saharan Africa. Around 75 percent of the population don't have a traditional bank account, and while more users rely on mobile phones to make transactions, it can be a slow and expensive process.

 

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There were up to $1.8 billion in remittance fees, with a traditional money transfer charging a 12 percent transfer fee. Embracing bitcoins would help speed up the process, so money arrives to the recipient faster, while also being much cheaper.

 

"Bitcoin can greatly alter the remittances industry and beyond," said Michael Kimani, head of the African Digital Currency Association, in a statement to CNN. "From seven days [for a transaction to clear] using banks and PayPal, down to 20 minutes speaks volumes."

Continue reading 'Bitcoins have major potential in Africa, changing banking industry' (full post)

After data breaches, companies still nonchalant about cybersecurity

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Company executives have observed Target, JPMorgan Chase, Home Depot, Anthem, and other major companies suffer devastating data breaches - and understand they need stronger cybersecurity protocols - but actually deploying new methods has been rather slow.

 

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Seventy eight percent of company tech executives have not been briefed regarding internal security strategies within the past 12 months, according to a Raytheon survey. In addition, 75 percent said cybersecurity is a necessary cost, but only 25 percent of survey respondents said security is a strategic priority.

 

"The Target hack was very interesting," said Jack Harrington, VP of cybersecurity and special missions of Raytheon, in a statement published by the Christian Science Monitor. "It raised awareness across the entire retail industry certainly," but demand for chief information security officer (CISO) positions wasn't' a priority. "That tells you they felt they didn't even need that position. They just didn't feel at risk."

Continue reading 'After data breaches, companies still nonchalant about cybersecurity' (full post)

Apple Pay taking over mobile payments as rivals struggle to compete

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Since its public launch in October, Apple Pay continues its march towards becoming the mobile payments leader - with consumers testing the service, and more businesses willing to give it a try. Apple Pay now has two-thirds control of the surging mobile payments market, according to the Robert Baird's analyst group.

 

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Whole Foods embraced Apple Pay and mobile payments have increased 400 percent, the company said. Meanwhile, Apple Pay is responsible for 80 percent of mobile payments, with that number rising even higher.

 

"There are still a limited number of vendors that are supporting it, but our expectation is that's going to continue to grow just given the early success the early vendors are having with it," said Will Power, senior research analyst of Robert Baird, told CNBC. "Right now, the Apple iPhone - hard to believe - seven years later or so is as well positioned competitively really as it's ever been."

Continue reading 'Apple Pay taking over mobile payments as rivals struggle to compete' (full post)

Superfish not enjoying the attention from Lenovo adware scandal

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Lenovo is facing tremendous backlash after the company confirmed it pre-installed adware on consumer products, and now more people want to learn about Superfish.

 

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"The Superfish software does not present a security risk," said Adi Pinhas, co-founder and CEO of Superfish, in a statement to the San Jose Mercury News. "In no way does Superfish store personal data or share such data with anyone. In this case, it appears the third-party add-on introduced a potential vulnerability that we did not know about."

 

However, the company is maintaining its innocence in the matter, instead directing blame towards Komodia. Media publications were quick to point out that Superfish leads users to be assaulted by pop-ups and intrusive ads on websites they visit, trying to entice them to purchase from e-tailers.

Continue reading 'Superfish not enjoying the attention from Lenovo adware scandal' (full post)

Volvo looks forward to public feedback after Drive Me launch in 2017

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Volvo plans to have 100 production ready autonomous vehicles ready to hit the road within the next couple of years, trying to beat Tesla, Google, and BMW to the punch. The company expects the pilot program, which will focus on drivers in Gothenburg, will be able to handle highway driving, local traffic, and potential emergencies.

 

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The "Drive Me" test program will take place on 30 miles of public road, after Volvo fine tunes hardware and software needed to make autonomous driving a reality.

 

"We are entering uncharted territory in the field of autonomous driving," said Dr. Peter Mertens, senior vice president of Volvo, in a statement published by Business Insider. "Taking the exciting step to a public pilot, with the ambition to enable ordinary people to sit behind the wheel in normal traffic on public roads, has never been done before."

Continue reading 'Volvo looks forward to public feedback after Drive Me launch in 2017' (full post)

Politics could get in the way of improved US national cybersecurity

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

It took several high-profile data breaches before the United States publicly discussed the need for improved cybersecurity protocols. Democrats and Republicans agree that something must be done, but security experts hope politics don't get in the way of necessary change.

 

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However, cybersecurity efforts could receive bipartisan support from the Obama Administration and the Republican-led Congress - and politics hopefully won't get in the way.

 

"In order to improve cybersecurity, it is critical to facilitate the sharing of cyberattack information," said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc), in the GOP weekly address. "By sharing threat signatures, vulnerabilities and other indicators of network compromise, within and between the private sector and government, many cyberattacks can be prevented."

Continue reading 'Politics could get in the way of improved US national cybersecurity' (full post)

Creepy: Next-gen Barbie doll listens in on your kids' conversations

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Privacy & Rights | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Well, this is something that is kind of cool and utterly scary at the same time. Mattel has announced Hello Barbie, a next-gen version of its infamous fashion doll that will feature Wi-Fi connectivity and an always-listening feature.

 

 

Hello Barbie will record your kids' conversations where it sends it to researchers, securing it in their 'secure' database, where researchers will analyze the conversations with your child. Mattel says that this will enable the new Hello Barbie to become more complex over time, where it offers two-way dialogue, speech recognition, and more.

 

The dollmaker says that this will allow Hello Barbie to form a "unique relationship" with children, as Hello Barbie will be able to tell jokes, listen, learn and adapt to situations. Because of its Wi-Fi Internet capabilities, it will also be capable of being updated with new software constantly, too. But as for an always-listening Barbie doll in kids bedrooms? I don't know if I like the idea of that.

Continue reading 'Creepy: Next-gen Barbie doll listens in on your kids' conversations' (full post)

Pebble teases a new smartwatch to be unveiled in 3 days time

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

It looks like Pebble is about to unveil its new smartwatch very soon, with the smartwatch pioneer teasing that it is set to replace its black and white e-paper display smartwatch with a new model that will feature a color display, in just 3 days time.

 

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The new smartwatch from Pebble will reportedly feature a color e-paper-style display that will sport an improved backlight that is also slightly wider. We should see Pebble also include a microphone, which will allow for some voice-activated features. The new display itself will reportedly be embedded into an enclosure that is thinner than its predecessor, but it won't be touch-capable, unfortunately.

 

When it comes to software, there are rumors that Pebble has been working with webOS on revamping Pebble OS. This should mean we can expect a totally fresh UI with new animations and a timeline view that will give you a better look at your notifications. The new Pebble smartwatch should be the same price, if not lower than its predecessor, which still costs $199.

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