The Unique World Of 2016 Cyber Security Predications

2016 is here and I still want my hoverboard, by this, I mean an authentic Back to the Future machine and not the cheap plastic device that is currently being marketed. Anyway, this year promises to be compelling for a number of reasons including Cyber Security and the nature of locking data away from the many threats that now lurk within the Cyber walls. Various individuals have had their predictions concerning the coming year’s potential cyber security issues and I thought it would be interesting to convey a selection of the many theories below.

A Cyber Attack will look to exploit the 2016 US presidential election
This may be classed as an outside possibility, even though it would be technically possible whether it will happen is a different matter, this prediction arrives courtesy of Ryan Olson, director of threat intelligence for Palo Alto Network who states that hackers could look to obtain private information from candidates via emails or social network accounts.  Any sensitive information that might be released could, in theory, sway an election, unless you’re Mr Trump who says what he thinks anyway.

Virtual Boarders that control access to the Internet
This theory is far from new, but could be a reality if certain powerful figures are able to exert major control over the internet.  According to Kaspersky Lab, we could see a development of Internet borders that divide access to information along country lines.

Hacked data could become a huge commodity
2015 became the year of the hack and included everything from Dating websites to the leaking of huge databases containing sensitive government details, according to Dmitri Alperovitch, CTO and co-founder of Crowdstrike, who states that hackers are aiming to build up huge stocks of information that contain multiple strands of data. This could lead to blackmailageddon, or something equally terrifying, whereby extortion attacks on individuals and companies are widespread.

Chinese VS Russian Hackers
This one sounds like an opening scene from Rush Hour, but no, according to experts with IID predict, as China’s economy stops growing, many cyber hackers might turn from Cyber espionage to cybercrime. This could then lead to criminal activity that is far bigger than that of Easton Europe.  Is it possible?  You never know considering the technical expertise many hackers possess in china.

Cyber attacks will destroy a major brand or product.  
This prediction from Mark Painter who is a security evangelist for Hewlett-Packard Enterprises is quite feasible considering the many holes which exist within certain tech products.  This individual states that “We are increasingly close to finding out in 2016 if a major product will shut down due to security issues”. Adobe Flash springs to mind considering we all know companies would quite happily cut their losses if a product becomes more trouble than it’s worth.

Will any of these come true?  Only time will tell, especially if Ronald McDonald becomes president.

Image courtesy of PCWorld

Apple Contemplates Targeting Ads Based On Bank Balance

How much do you earn? I expect you to tell me it’s none of my business, and you would be right, this information should be private to each individual. But Apple might see things differently and are contemplating targeting specific adverts which are based on your bank balance.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have awarded Apple a data mechanism by the name of the “targeted ad technology patent” This means that Apple is reported to have devised a way to analyse each user’s available credit in order. This is with the aim of pin pointing said users ability to purchase an advertised product. Basically, Apple is not going to target a Lamborghini at a consumer if they can afford a smart car.

What’s interesting about this patent is how far this ability might go if it’s implemented; would Apple install a tracking piece of software with the aim of analysing each user’s bank balance? Or would it be only confined to own branded services for example Apple Pay etc.

Apples CEO Tim Cook recently gave a speech at a dinner hosted by the Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) which he stated; “companies are gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it. We think that’s wrong. And it’s not the kind of company that Apple wants to be”. So which Apple will it be, the fun-loving and customer friendly brand, or cash for data and spying on consumers financial affairs conglomerate?

You will know if it’s implemented if you attempt to buy a Rolex and Apple advertises you a Timex.

Thank You Gizmodo and the US Patent and Trademark office for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of E&T

UK Government Moves from Microsoft

Microsoft has dominated the business market for some time now. This is the case here in the UK, where most if not all government departments use Microsoft’s products in favour of everything else, but that’s about to change according to recent statements from officials.

Her Majesty’s Revenue or Customs, or more commonly known as HMRC, decided to switch from Microsoft products to what Google now has to offer. The change will take place due to the fact that Google has more power over cloud service and it looks like that’s what HMRC needs. This also marks a turning point in business solutions, having HMRC be the first major UK government department to break away from Microsoft services in favour of another competitor.

It is said that the switch will affect over 70,000 employees, who will join another 2,500 Cabinet Office users already on Gmail accounts. Still, there are over 450,000 government employees using Microsoft products, so we won’t see the majority of departments dropping Microsoft’s products overnight. But this does prove that Microsoft is declining in strength over corporate business solutions.

In terms of security, UK government officials seem to trust Google’s own security and ability to keep sensitive information safe on its data centres, but is this a good thing? They seem to think so. However, they should also take into account that mixing cloud storage with sensitive information may not seem a good mix, especially when your tax information is in the middle of it. What are your thoughts on the matter?

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Robson Scott Associates

ASRock VIP Event @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – On the second day of Computex, we were invited to attend a VIP conference to gain more detailed information on the booth showcased on the main floor.

Once we arrived, it was a typical affair, projector and screen with a few rows of chairs and a tantalising layout of product to our right. We were allowed to grab a few pictures before taking a seat, which primarily featured the new 100 series motherboards, ASRocks new Beebox NUC and a random TV/ monitor; which will be used in a demonstration later. Along with all of these, ASRock has a large standing banner suggesting that they have a new brand; ASRock Gaming. This will now categorise some of the motherboards under this new brand; much like previous Fatal1ty motherboards within the ‘Killer’ or ‘Professional’ branding.

The motherboard line-up featured some old classics from the Fatal1ty and Extreme Range with the new chipset and features such as USB 3.1 and USB type-C. Although they are not displayed here, ASRock also offers other 100 series motherboards based on the B150 and H170 chipsets. With the new 100 series, only the Z170’s will feature DDR4 compatibility while the rest will remain with DDR3.

  

      

We look forward to the release of the 100 series motherboards and supported processors and we aim to review them as soon as possible after launch. We will keep you updated with any news and events from the rest of Computex 2015.

Lepa Display Latest Products @ CeBIT 2015

Here with Enermax still, with a small presentation of their LEPA series of consumer goods. Aimed at more of the enthusiast consumer market, they have brought along one of their LV12 series tower cooler and an example of their 240mm AIO liquid cooling unit; the AquaChanger.

Apart from internal computer items, we have a self-contained Bluetooth speaker unit; the BTS002. NFC support along with the Bluetooth connectivity. An impressive 2200mA power unit and a built-in microphone for the freedom of handfree.

We look forward to seeing more from LEPA in the near future. Any news or events from LEPA, we will keep you updated.

Amazon One Day Tech Sales Spotted

Who doesn’t like making a massive saving on tech? Online retail giant Amazon has just unleashed their one day technology sale to the public, valid for only the 20th of November, 2014.

Unfortunately, no motherboards are included in this offer, but there are heavy discounts made across CPUs, power supplies, hard drives, peripherals and selected accessories. There isn’t quite enough to build a whole computer, but it will put you ahead of the retail pricing race for sure.

The most interestingly discounted products include Intel’s i7-4970 Processor for $249.99, 50% off Seagate 2TB hard drives and $140 off Thrustmaster’s Warthog Joystick. As you can see there isn’t a plethora of products available, most likely due to their heavily discounted nature, but there may be something there to tickle your fancy.

The sale is available for only 24 hours and is running out soon, so if you want in on the goods you must hurry.

Image courtesy of Gaming Union

Robots Are Expected To “Work” In Supermarkets In The Next 2 years

Robots have always been in the research benches, as we try to figure out the best way in using their abilities and in the process figure out how to build them in order to suit our needs. Not long ago, Google has also bought Boston Dynamics for their robotics development, and now it seems that even the supermarkets are going to get one.

Researchers at Cornell University are developing a robot to be used as a cashier in supermarkets all around the world. It’s name is PR2, or Baxter as a more common name, and it is currently learning how to handle different product categories you normally find in supermarkets. What makes Baxter different from, let’s say robots found in factories, is that he is quite smart. And getting even smarter each day, thanks to researchers who are working on teaching him how to handle and anticipate human behaviour.

What he is being taught is handling dangerous items, such as kitchen knives, not to harm anyone when manoeuvring them around. As well, he is taught how to handle fragile objects, such as eggs, so as not to break them. When Baxter makes a mistake, his arm is corrected and pointed in a direction more suitable for moving the object around and not poking or stabbing anyone with it.

The researchers at Cornell University are using anticipation to teach Baxter how to do and interact with things. For a human, anticipation comes naturally, but for robots, it takes a load of calculations and process power. The result had a 75% success rate for Baxter to anticipate human interaction for the first 3 seconds, but the success rate dropped drastically if prolonged longer than 3 seconds.

The researchers predict that in two years, we will have robots working in supermarkets, having the robot researching prices drop year after year. The current cost of the PR2 robot is around $300,000 for each unit.

Thank you BBC UK for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Gizmag