The Russian government is blamed for an increasing number of organized cyberattacks against geographic rivals, Western Europe and the United States - but actually trying to prove their involvement has been overly difficult. Even though cybersecurity experts point towards Russia, with Russian political figures routinely denying involvement, it's difficult to take political action without a smoking gun present.
Cyberattacks from the US, UK, Israel, France, and Russia are sometimes masked to look like attacks originated from other regions of the world - and trying to determine legitimate sources will remain difficult, security experts note. However, some Chinese hackers like to leave calling cards to indicate who they are and where they are from when launching attacks against foreign governments and companies.
"Attribution is almost impossible to do," said C. Thomas, a hacker known as "Space Rogue," as he now serves as a computer security consultant. "Anything can be faked. People who do this stuff for a living - and their lives depend on it - will forge that stuff."
Thanks to our friends at Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Australia, we have copies of this weeks Blu-ray release of the hilarious comedy sequel '22 Jump Street' to give away to ten lucky readers.
Having survived high school, twice, big changes are in store for undercover police officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they infiltrate a local college on a drug bust. Tasked with finding the dealer of new drug, Whyphy, Schmidt and Jenko must pose as fresh faced college students to get in with the right crowd. The hilarious duo soon find themselves pulled in different directions when Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the football team and Schmidt falls into the bohemian art major scene. As they make new friends and explore new interests, the duo starts to question the future of their friendship. Not only do they have to crack the case and discover who the Whyphy dealer is before more students get hurt, they must also decide if their partnership has a future.
To go into the running to take one Blu-ray copy home, simply correctly answer the following question:
Name one of the stars of the original '21 Jump Street' TV show.
To enter, simply 'like' this post and share via Facebook or Twitter and send your answers, along with your postal address to ben at TweakTown.com before the competition closes on November 7th. The total prize pool is approximately $449.50.
'22 Jump Street' is available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital with UltraViolet from Australian retailers on November 6th.
Companies operating in the European Union (EU) recently held another round of cyberattack simulations, designed to help test cyberattack response ability. The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) used white hat hackers to mock attack 200 companies located in 25 EU nations for a 24-hour period.
The Cyber Europe 2014 drill focused on financial institutions, security companies, government ministries, energy providers and Internet service providers (ISPs), with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, data exfiltration, and Web defacement attacks.
"The outcome of today's exercise will tell us where we stand and identify the next steps to take in order to keep improving," said Udo Helmbrecht, ENISA executive director.
Apple Pay might have all of the hype behind it, but CurrentC from the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), has a wider potential user base. In addition, CurrentC can also work with a client store's customer loyalty program, but mobile users will be unable to collect credit card perks. The service also works with any Google Android smartphone or Apple iPhone, while rival Apple Pay only is available to Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus owners.
However, news of being hacked, even with no customer payment data at risk, won't help attract users to the growing service. Interested consumers won't need to provide their driver's license or Social Security numbers, which is a growing concern as consumers are worried about mounting identity theft and data breach cases.
The service also has a strong backing by more than 50 major US retailers, with others expected to jump on the bandwagon in 2015. "When merchants join us, they have a choice... they can't have Apple Pay or Google Wallet until their exclusivity expires," said Scott Rankin, MCX chief operating officer.
The digital PC version of Titanfall is now available for $10 via Amazon, but gamers are urged to act fast, because it's unknown when prices will go up. The deal is a major price cut of 75 percent from $39.99. The offering is currently available for PC gamers in the United States only.
Titanfall was a video game with a large amount of hype, and now has three expansions: Expedition, Frontier's Edge, and IMC Rising.
Retailer Walmart wants to win over consumers looking to open up their wallets this holiday shopping season, and is now considering matching online prices for in-store purchases. Walmart has started a trial run to match online prices in the following markets: Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Phoenix and northwest Arkansas.
Walmart, the world's largest retailer, has matched rival in-store prices in the past - but with consumer spending to be the best it has been in the past few years - wants to better compete against Amazon and other e-tailers. Although this effort could end up hurting revenue, with many consumers shopping in its stores purchasing multiple items, Walmart hopes to provide consumers with incentives so they head to the store and spend even more.
Consumers that have been hesitant to spend large amounts of money during the holiday shopping season should find great deals - both online and in-store - as the economy continues to recover from years of consistent struggles.
A Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo test flight suffered a 'serious anomaly' that led to one pilot being killed, and Virgin Galactic was reportedly warned on numerous occasions that this type of problem was possible. The company's "unconventional" fuel propulsion system to help the aircraft reach space broke apart while flying about 45,000-ft. above the Earth's surface - and a full investigation is currently under way.
The use of the hybrid propulsion system doesn't rely on carbon-based fuels and instead uses a mix of nitrous oxide and plastic fuel, with rocket engineers and safety experts weary of potential explosions. In fact, the Virgin Galactic website reportedly noted nitrous oxide was "benign" and "stable," despite the gas playing a major role in a spaceport explosion that killed three people in 2007.
"It's still very poorly understood in large quantities... the temperature of the fuel is critical," said Geoff Daly, a British rocket scientist, who warned the FAA last year. The delivery system is solid, the motor is bolted to the fuel tanks. There is no flexibility in the tank and motor, any vibration can result in the fracture and failure of the engine system."
Apple and other mobile payment providers are preparing for a long-term battle in the mobile payments sector, but it will ultimately be up to consumers to determine a winner. As additional retailers begin to embrace NFC-enabled mobile payments, their competitors will watch closely - and likely follow suit - offering the same type of payment services.
Mobile payments aren't new, but it appears Apple Pay and the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) CurrentC appear to be the two most serious competitors at the moment. As Apple Pay is available to a large number of US consumers, CurrentC - supported by Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, and a collective group of more than 50 major retailers - will have to take a more creative marketing approach to win over consumers.
"This skirmish will go on for a while, but ultimately it seems shortsighted to tell customers that you can't use their competitor's alternative," said Creditcards.com analyst Matt Schulz. "The baseline really is the credit card. The process of using one is still very easy, so everything compares to that."
A major cyberattack that will cause "widespread harm to a nation's security and capacity to defend itself and its people" is likely by 2025, according to cybersecurity experts surveyed by the Pew Research Center.
Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly organized - and state-sponsored by foreign governments - interested in attacking "inviting targets," such as national defense, banking, finance and energy. Sophisticated threats could be leading towards a cyberwar, with many major data breaches linked to the Chinese and Russian governments - while other targets blame the U.S. government for attacks.
"The Internet was not built for security, yet we have made it the backbone of virtually all private-sector and government operations, as well as communications, said Joel Brenner, former National Security Agency counsel. "Pervasive connectivity has brought dramatic gains in productivity and pleasure but has created equally dramatic vulnerabilities. Huge heists of personal information are common, and cybertheft of intellectual property and infrastructure penetrations continue at a frightening pace."
The first official movie trailer for Fast & Furious 7 was released, marking the first film since Paul Walker's tragic death. The last two installments in the series, Fast Five and Fast & Furious 6, have generated $1.4 billion at the box office, and with Walker's death in a car wreck, the seventh movie should prove to be financially lucrative.
"I think the beautiful thing is that they get to see Paul again... and in a way celebrate him," said actress Jordana Brewster, when asked about Walker's presence in the film. "I've heard he's really, really good in it, so I look forward to seeing him too. Obviously it will be bittersweet, but I think it's a way for fans to revisit him."