One in 10 of all attacks stopped by security company Kaspersky Lab's software are phishing attacks from Facebook accounts, as cybercriminals continue to target the No. 1 social networking website. Despite a drop from 22 percent of all user blocks in 2013 - with the number currently at 11 percent - it is still the second most likely attack source, behind Yahoo.
Many of the phishing messages originate from fake accounts created by cybercriminals, in an effort to compromise as many users as possible. The use of social engineering and phishing tactics to compromise users remains a popular method by cybercriminals - as many people aren't vigilant when clicking links shared by email, social media, or instant messaging.
"Fraudsters often lur their victims by promising them interesting content," said Nadezhda Demidova, Kaspersky Lab Web content analyst. "When users follow the link provided, they land on a fake login page that contains a standard message asking them to log in before viewing the page. If users don't become suspicious and enter their credentials, their data will immediately be dispatched to cybercriminals."
A lack of interest has forced Chinese vendor Lenovo to stop selling Microsoft Windows-powered tablets with screen sizes 10 inches or smaller in the United States. The decision means the ThinkPad 8 and Miix 2, which have been available for less than one year in the U.S., will be halted for the foreseeable future.
It's an unfortunate issue for Lenovo, the No. 1 global PC manufacturer, as sales simply haven't been strong enough. Lenovo is heavily promoting tablets to consumer and business users, trying to present an appealing alternative to the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab series. The company will still offer the tablets to foreign markets, because demand has been stronger outside of the United States:
"In North America, we're seeing stronger interest in the larger screen sizes for Windows tablets and are pleased with initial customer demand for the ThinkPad 10," said Raymond Gorman, Lenovo spokesperson, in a statement to the media. "In other markets, particularly Brazil, China, and Japan, the demand for ThinkPad 8 has been much stronger, so we are adjusting our ThinkPad 8 inventories to meet increasing demand in those markets."
The United States and British governments were left angry and embarrassed after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed mass surveillance programs aimed at citizens and foreign nationals. However, there are other governments accused of "rubber-stamping" mass surveillance programs, according to the UN human rights watchdog.
The constant stream of new revelations shows how disturbingly little we really know about the precise nature of surveillance," said Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Pillay also said Snowden should be appreciated for his decision to publish details regarding NSA and GCHQ spying behaviors.
Although many users are upset with government spying, with Pilay's office saying it's "neither necessary nor proportionate," it's a common practice with communications taking place over mobile phones and via the Internet. The more information that is collected, however, the more governments need to try to justify the behavior - and to limit it to avoid too much personal intrusion.
Businesses need to adapt to a constant technological evolution, with "business consumers" helping drive a shift in the traditional workplace. Emerging digital technologies is disrupting the workplace, as embracing consumer computing for business purposes is becoming increasingly beneficial and can transform the workplace.
IT administrators must deal with 'bring your own device' (BYOD) and 'bring your own application' (BYOA), in addition to mobile app development and trying to keep all of these newer solutions secure.
"Starting with the rise of PCs and the Internet era, users have a greater influence on IT strategy and we are currently witnessing the rise of what Gartner calls the 'business consumer' - an employee for whom business activities are one part of a wider lifestyle," said Matthew Cain, Gartner research VP. "Individuals do not stop being consumers when they go to work. Business consumers often make more consumer-like choices in their workplace computing tools and styles to increase efficiency."
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has revealed widespread spying and surveillance, but there has been a large amount of other revelations made by the American. Snowden recently said it's not uncommon for NSA workers to share "intimate nude photos of someone in a sexually compromising situation," including intercepted sexts sent among phone users.
"You've got enlisted guys 18-22 years old," Snowden said. They've suddenly been thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility where they now have access to all your private records. During the course of their work, they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work in any sort of necessary sense, for example, an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation. But they're extremely attractive. So what do they do? They turn around in their char and show a coworker who says, 'Hey that's great. Send that to Bill down the way.' Then Bill sends it to George, who sends it to Tom."
An NSA official didn't deny the activities occurs, but said the organization "has zero tolerance for willful violations" of professional conduct and would address "credible allegations of misconduct." If true, it's not necessarily surprising to hear that this type of behavior happens, though certainly is inappropriate.
When you say the name Oculus, the product that we all think of right away is the Rift VR headset. That headset allows you to play some of the most immersive games we have seen in a long time. Oculus plans to offer more to the gamers out there than the headset alone.
Oculus is also working on motion controllers that will work alongside the Rift headset. The controllers will allow you to manipulate objects in games via hand and body movement according to people familiar with the products.
The goal of the motion controllers according to these sources is to make for more immersive games and simulations. Some developers out there that aren't directly associated with Oculus are already working on motion controllers to go with the Rift. The move into first party controllers by Oculus will likely upset these firms. Exactly when Oculus will rollout those motion controllers is unknown.
Facebook has launched a new app called mentions that is very exclusive. In fact, we normal folk can't get our hands-on the app at all right now. The Mentions app is aimed only at actors, musicians, and other influencers and it is designed to help them discover and join conversations on Facebook.
Facebook only allows people who are verified public figures to get their hands-on the app and it is designed to display mentions to let the famous person know what the public is saying about them. Mentions also gives tools to make status updates, post photos, and videos like the normal Facebook app.
Another big feature for the famous person is the ability to host live Q&A session from within the app right from their iPhone. Facebook does have plans to make mentions more widely available in the future.
We have all been in a situation where we need our phones for one reason or another and the area lacks enough signal for a connection. If you are in an emergency, that lack of a signal can be life threatening. A new device called the GoTenna has debuted that promises to be able to keep you in touch even in areas where cellular signal strength is weak or not available.
The GoTenna is a small 2-ounce wand that can be connected to a backpack or belt loop that is able to connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth low energy. Once connected and powered on, users of GoTenna are able to send messages and GPS coordinates to other people who are also connected by a GoTenna.
High-resolution offline maps are offered by the company allowing users to reference transmitted location data. GoTenna isn't able to give high-speed data or voice capability, so there is no surfing the web or using Facebook with the device. It creates a low frequency radio wave network for iOS and Android devices that is good for about a mile in a dense urban area or about 9 miles in outdoor conditions. Pre-orders are underway now with a pair of the devices selling for $149 before going to $299 per pair later.
Twitter has announced that it has purchased a new company called CardSpring that it will use to power ecommerce sales in tweets that users and companies share. CardSpring allows companies to build card-linked offers, electronic coupons, loyalty cards, virtual money, and more that works with credit cards.
Twitter has no plans to shutter the service and use the technology for itself at this time.
CardSpring writes, "At Twitter, we will continue to grow the adoption of our platform and work with our publisher, financial, and retail partners to create new, innovative commerce experiences for consumers."
One way that Twitter can use the CardSpring tech is to enable things like discounts offered via a tweet where you would enter your credit card details on Twitter and then pay with the same card at the local store to get the discount. Merchants would get analytics allowing them to see how effective their purchases are.
Rumors have been swirling all week that Microsoft was set to make some significant cuts to its workforce. The rumors suggested that the layoffs could slash more workers from the Microsoft payroll than has been cut in years with many predicting over 5,000 jobs lost. Today Microsoft has made the job cuts official, and the numbers are huge.
Microsoft has announced that it is eliminating 18,000 jobs over the next year. Microsoft plans to strengthen its core video game business and is shedding things that aren't beneficial to that focus. Among the cuts is the entire staff of the Xbox Entertainment Studios that would have been responsible for original TV shows.
Reports indicate that the majority of the 200 people who work for the studio will be let go, exactly how many will remain is unknown. The upside is that the Halo series based on the incredibly popular Microsoft game lives on.