TMZ Falls Victim to Malvertising Campaign

Malicious online activity in the form of hacks, malware and viruses have seen an exponential increase over the past 5 years, the rise in the number of consumers online coupled with a lax understanding concerning the dangers of the many cyber threats has led to more and more victims. Malvertising is one such example of how online advertisements could be hijacked and used to spread Malware through Malicious ads.

This technique has now found a new victim after online gossip site TMZ was found to be harbouring malicious online advertisements. For those who are unfamiliar with the site, TMZ is a hugely popular website that features expose, gossip and general breaking news concerning the world of celeb, the site pulls in over 30 million visitors a month and is a major attraction for online revenue, below is a summary of the attack.

It has been observed that the attack has the same ad chain pattern; this is from “ContextWeb (PulsePoint) to Smarty Ads and eventually various rogue advertisers”. The latter is leveraging CloudFlare’s infrastructure with the aim of hiding the servers location as well as encrypting the advertisement delivery to consumers via the website.

 

 

The malicious ad is pretty cheap to deliver when you consider it costs “$0.19 (£0.12) for one thousand user impressions (CPM)” 

These attacks are designed to be as cheap as possible with the aim of targeting high impact traffic targets, on a side note, many websites try to discourage users from using popular ad blockers when accessing their sites, perhaps malicious advertisements leading to exploit kits is not the best deterrent.

Images courtesy of malwarebytes and nickcannon

Elon Musk Believes We Need to Build More Tunnels to Alleviate Traffic Congestion

Elon Musk is quite a vocal figure in the technology world and known for making some rather intriguing predictions.  Recently, Musk answered a number of questions during the Hyperloop Design Competition awards ceremony across a wide range of topics including Hyperloop, SpaceX, Tesla and Mars. On the Mars project, Musk said:

“I think the most important thing is to maintain a self-sustaining city on Mars,”  

“I think that’s the most important thing for humanity. If we have a self-sustaining city on Mars … that could ultimately lead us to go beyond the solar system.”

He also went onto discuss the current traffic congestion problems around the world and suggested a suitable fix:

“Tunnels are great. It’s just a hole in the ground” 

“It’s not that hard, but if you have tunnels in cities, it would massively alleviate congestion. You could have tunnels at all different levels, you could have 30 layers of tunnels and completely relieve the congestion problem in high-density cities. So, I highly suggest tunnels.”

This is an interesting theory and it could help reduce traffic congestion by a significant margin. As the population increases, and major cities become extremely packed, it’s vital to find new ways to reduce the stress on public transport. Musk’s concept is practical but it could take a long time to even be considered. In huge cities like London, commuters usually have to deal with large crowds, and it can be challenging to find a comfortable form of transport. Vehicles also have the problem of moving at a very pedestrian pace, as traffic jams become a regular occurrence.

Something has to be done, because the population density in major cities is increasing. I can’t really think of an alternative to Musk’s idea, but then again, it’s going to take an absurd amount of time to even analyse the potential for underground tunnels on a mass scale.

See How the BMW EnLighten App May Help You in Traffic

Traffic lights could become a nightmare in heavy traffic, to the point where you never know if you can send a quick text or take a sip of your morning coffee before the light ahead changes. You always need to keep your eyes peeled and check if the light turns green before the guy behind you honks you to death, or you may never know if that green light will change before you try passing the intersection.

BMW has been working on solving this and came up with the EnLighten app, having it work with participating cities by communicating with the traffic light control system. This means that the app makes use of your phone’s GPS and knows which light you are approaching, then gives you a counter to see how long it will take for the light to change.

However, don’t think that the counter is 100% accurate, so don’t try forcing your luck on that last second. The data is received and processed based on red, amber and green cycles, as well as traffic flow cycles at different times of the day.

While there may be a slight time deviation, the app is still useful in giving drivers a chance to time their arrival at intersections when the light is green, or give them a chance to do something else while waiting at a red light.

The app is currently available on iOS and Android for use in any BMW car and a map of participating cities can be found here.

Thank you Gizmag for providing us with this information

Is E-Ink The Future of Remote Controlled Traffic Signs?

Wouldn’t it be better to have signs that change themselves when you want to if you live in a city with a lot of traffic or events? Sydney’s State of New South Wales’ Road and Maritime Services seems to agree and started using Visionect’s digital signage to help with all the traffic changes happening around the city.

Sydney is well-known for having a lot of football and cricket matches events, so on those days, drivers are faced with a hectic traffic. Up until now, RMS used to put up and take down different signs to show traffic changes, but since they started using the e-ink signs, they say things just got a lot faster and easier.

The e-ink displays were used for the signs due to the fact that they use a lot less power, so hooking them up to a solar-powered battery wouldn’t be a problem. The signs are also equipped with wireless broadband and can be updated remotely, so you can update and turn them on or off with the press of a button. Now imagine placing them, taking them down and changing them manually… it’s a really great improvement, isn’t it?

For now, RMS rolled out 15 of these signs on George Street in the Sydney CBD and some in Moore Park area. However, the signs are so time and cost efficient that they can almost replace every sign which requires to be changed every now and then to reflect traffic changes. Will this be the future of traffic signs? What do you think?

Thank you The Register for providing us with this information

Google Wants to Predict the Calories in Your Food

We’ve heard that Facebook is keen on finding talented people in the AI field by opening a new research lab in Paris, but what is Google up to with its own AI research? The latest news shows that Google is more interested in what you eat rather than where you take your photos.

Google revealed that it is working on a project called Im2Calories at the Rework Deep Learning Summit in Boston, where scientist Kevin Murphy revealed that they are working on predicting how many calories you have in your food. They want to achieve the latter by having an algorithm analyse a photo of your meal, but don’t think it’s as simple as distinguishing colours.

Murphy said that the app is still not accurate enough for distinguishing appropriate calories in meals, but he believes that if there’s a 30% chance of success rate, the app will be a success itself. It might not look as much, but a lot of data needs to be processed and adapted in order to shape the algorithm and have it give out more accurate results in the future.

Though Google filed a patent for its Im2Calories app, it is not yet quite clear when they plan on releasing it or if they even want to release it in the first place. However, Murphy added that the data from the app will prove to be very useful for bigger deep learning projects in the future. They plan on moving on to analysing traffic and predicting things like where the most likely parking spot is, specific details from cars that pass through an intersection and so on.

Thank you Popular Science for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of ithicasking

Traffic Alerts and Alternate Routes Now Available in Google Maps

If you are planning to take a trip in the near future or are already on the road, you might consider taking a look at what Google Maps has to offer. The search giant has just updated its maps app with a new traffic alert and alternate route feature.

The new features will aid users on the road by providing some more details and alerts for unusual traffic conditions, road congestions, and even suggestions for alternate paths to take. But lets expand a bit more on that. Once you enter a destination, the app can now work solutions around roadblocks and warn you of upcoming congestions.

To make it easier, once the app knows you are heading towards heavy traffic, it automatically offers some alternatives to save you some time. If you still choose to go and stay in line with the others trapped in traffic, the app will also offer you an estimated time you will be stuck there. The latter might be neat, but why get stuck in traffic in the first place?

While the above might seem something that you see in most apps today, there’s still a key feature that makes it stand out. Aside from the alerts and suggestions, the Google Maps app will now tell you a ‘why’. By that I mean that the app will tell you why the road ahead is blocked or why it decided to give you this alternative route and not another one. Pretty neat, huh?

Thank you SlashGear for providing us with this information

Secret Service Agencies Wanted to Put Malware on Your Android Phones

I don’t think it will be a shock to hear about yet another way government agencies try to spy on people, but they are getting bolder day after day it seems. A recently leaked document by Edward Snowden, dubbed IRRITANT HORN, reveals how agencies from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia wanted to infect your smartphones through Google and Samsung App Stores.

The agencies wanted to use their XKEYSCORE system to trim Internet traffic in order to find smartphone data that goes to and from the Google and Samsung stores. With the latter, they would have performed a man-in-the-middle attack to get your smartphone thinking it was downloading something from the store, but instead it would have downloaded malicious software that would track and record your data.

The document apparently reveals more than just hacking and infecting smartphones. The agencies were also planning to send “selective misinformation” to targeted handsets. This means that the agencies wanted to control and alter more than just a few emails or messages, but rather use the system to control events from underneath the curtain.

Up until now, Google made no comment regarding this matter, while Samsung decided not to comment “at this time”.

Thank you The Intercept for providing us with this information

GitHub Gets Hit by the Biggest DDoS Attack in Site’s History

GitHub, the popular website used for projects spanning from game engines to security applications and even web app frameworks, is apparently suffering the biggest DDoS attack in the website’s history, which they believe to originate from China.

The attack appears to have started last Thursday and has all its staff working on mitigating the access problems since then. GitHub states that the attack “involves a wide combination of attack vectors,” which “includes every vector we’ve seen in previous attacks as well as some sophisticated new techniques that use the web browsers of unsuspecting, uninvolved people to flood github.com with high levels of traffic.”

“Based on reports we’ve received, we believe the intent of this attack is to convince us to remove a specific class of content,” GitHub says.

Wall Street Journal reports that GitHub’s traffic surge is based on visits intended for China’s largest search engine, Baidu. Security experts told the publication that the vast levels of traffic has paralysed GitHub over the DDoS attack’s duration.

The attack, which leads back to China, apparently targets two specific sections of GitHub. One of them is Greatfire.org, an anti-censorship organization dubbed the “Great Firewall of China”, which releases tools to help Chinese citizens bypass the county’s censorship controls, and the other links to copies of the New York Time’s Chinese language website and other banned domains.

Security specialist Anth@x from Insight Labs believes that the attack was due to HTTP hijacking by replacing some JavaScript files from Baidu with malicious ones, having Block Execution also used in order to prevent looping. The security specialist even goes further and states that non-Chinese users are now also being “weaponized” to target the country’s targets.

“In other words, even people outside China are being weaponized to target things the Chinese government does not like, for example, freedom of speech.” Anth@x posted on Insight Labs.

GitHub’s status updates twitter account has been keeping us updated with the attack’s status. While yesterday they reported that “all systems reporting at 100%. Attack traffic continues, so we remain on high alert.”, about an hour ago, they stated that “The DDoS attack has evolved and we are working to mitigate”.

Baidu apparently denies involvement in the attack and states that it “was not intentionally involved in any traffic redirection”.

Thank you ZDnet for providing us with this information

Google Targets Firefox Users with Special Warnings

Mozilla users will soon see a new message in Google’s search engine urging them to switch their default search engine to Google. Users can also choose to ignore the message and hide it until clearing the browser’s cache by pressing the “No, Thanks” button.

This comes as a result of Mozilla changing its default search engine to Yahoo! in November 2014. Default search contracts are the main route to monetizing third-party browsers. Search providers like Google and Yahoo pay browser-makers tens, or even hundreds of millions of dollars for the unique access, as it is a major driver of search traffic from modern browsers.

Firefox has been working with Google as its default search engine since 2004, but the recent change terminated the long partnership with the top web search engine. Google’s new popups make it clear that the company isn’t happy with the shift and it’s also clear that it considers Firefox search traffic a primary target. Firefox is the third most-used personal computer browser after Google’s Chrome browser and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Thank you Daily Tech for providing us with this information

Robocops Being Used as Traffic Police!

In the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, drivers are constantly ignoring traffic laws. Since 2007 there have been a staggering 2276 fatalities due to dangerous driving in the city, a number that is completely unacceptable by any standard.

To counter the problem, the city has deployed massive robots and no, we’re not joking! The solar-powered aluminium robots tower over the busy streets of Kanshasa. The robots are equipped with green and red lights, to help control traffic flow; essentially traffic lights. There are five robots in the city, which can wave their arms, have rotating chests, surveillance cameras that record traffic flow and to send real-time images to police.

Effectively, the robots are just glorified traffic lights and speed cameras all in one, but their huge and rather imposing design is a stern reminder to drivers that traffic law should be taken seriously. Let’s be honest, it’s kinda hard to ignore the rules when you know you’re being watched by a big police robot.

“There are certain drivers who don’t respect the traffic police. But with the robot it will be different. We should respect the robot,” taxi driver Poro Zidane told AFP.

“In our city, someone can commit an offence and run away, and say that no one saw him. But now, day or night, we’ll be able to see him in real time and he will pay his fine like in all the serious countries of the world,” she said.

Although, they should have gone with the design from Robocop, it’s far more intimidating.

Thank you Guardian for providing us with this information.

Cadillac Video Rearview Mirrors Standard from 2016

From 2016 the Cadillac CT6 will feature video rearview mirrors as standard. The vehicle will be the first car to feature such technology on all models.

The camera will be of “high dynamic range” allowing drivers to see in all weathers delivering a “video feed [that] reduces glare and allows a crisper image in low-light situations, versus a traditional glass electrochromatic, or auto-dimming, rearview mirror.” The small display delivers quite a high resolution for its size and purpose, 1280 x 240 to be exact and it promises to bring a filed of view up to 4 times higher than standard mirrors. The company isn’t completely giving up on traditional mirrors however, drivers will still be able switch to a conventional mirror with handy little button.

Although this example is the first, this is something we can expect to see more often now since the US Government made it mandatory for all new cars to feature rearview cameras after 2018.

Source: The Verge Image: General Motors

New Traffic Lights Let You Play Pong

Meet the ActiWait, the new product behind an Indiegogo campaign that promises to let you play Pong while waiting to cross the road.

The concept is the result of work by 3 German design students that replaces the usual buttons and ‘WAIT’ sign with a touchscreen display that lets you play a unique version of Pong, allowing you to compete with your fellow pedestrian on the opposite side of the street.

The idea may just seem like a fun time waster, but the designers believe it could bring some real benefits. They say it could increase safety by reducing the phenomena of jaywalking – getting people off their phones and concentrated on the road (the ActiWait ends the game and flashes green when it’s safe to cross). They also say that the screens could be used for other applications like public surveys, speed dating, navigation and road safety education for kids.

While one setup has been installed in Hildesheim, Germany since 2012, the designers say they need €35,000 to get the ActiWait into more towns and cities. You can contribute here.

Source: Gizmodo

Driverless Cars to Be Tested in Four UK Cities

Driverless cars will be tested in 4 UK cities starting 1st January. Coventry, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Greenwich in south-east London will be the first to see the vehicles hit public roads.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne announced the plans during today’s Autumn Statement in Parliament. The initiative was launched back in July, but plans are now starting to take shape. Mr Osbourne also announced an extra £9 million of government funding for the project, adding to the earlier £10 million.

The project is formed of a number of schemes backed by different companies and organisations. In London there will be the Gateway scheme which is being organised by the Transport Research Laboratory consultancy, in Bristol there will be the Venturer consortium, which is backed by insurance company Axa, while Coventry and Milton Keynes will see the UK Autodrive programme, which is being backed by Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Arup.

The individual schemes will test and experiment with different issues facing the introduction of driverless vehicles, such as insurance implications and the effect of the vehicles on reducing traffic congestion.

Source: BBC News

35% of All US Internet Traffic Comes from Netflix

A new report says that 35% of all US internet traffic, on average during peak hours, comes from Netflix. A study was conducted by a company called Sandvine, best known for building ISP equipment. They said that Netflix accounted for 35% of downstream traffic in peak hours during the second half of 2014.

Interestingly, YouTube only accounted for 14% of downstream traffic, but on mobile devices there was a different story, with YouTube topping out the scale at 20%, closely followed by Facebook with 19%.

The study also revealed that Netlifx surprisingly comes second in upstream traffic, very high considering the site is all about downloading. BitTorrent came out on top at 25%.

The dominance of Netflix in internet traffic is yet another symbol of the website’s success and is perhaps also an example of how traditional television is facing ever growing competition from streaming websites.

 Source: USA Today

Comcast and Verizon Lowered Speed to Cogent below 0.5Mbps

New detailed measurements have been released displaying exactly how much throttling of traffic was done by major US ISP’s Comcast and Verizon through to Cogent – a backbone operator of Netflix traffic. As almost everyone in the United States discovered over the span of the last year, traffic through to Netflix got bad – really flipping bad. A new study released by M-Lab data has a detailed analysis of just how terrible the throttling from both Verizon, Time Warner and Comcast made it for traffic passing through to Cogent. The study reveals a detailed insight into traffic through the ISP’s over the span of a 5 year period, of which between late May through to February of this year – traffic trickled down to a ludicrously slow 0.5mbps speed. It’s no wonder Netflix was failing to stream for most US citizens.

“Using Measurement Lab (M-Lab) data, and constraining our research to the United States, we observed sustained performance degradation experienced by customers of Access ISPs AT&T, Comcast, CenturyLink, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon when their traffic passed over interconnections with Transit ISPs Cogent Communications (Cogent), Level 3 Communications (Level 3), and XO Communications (XO),” researchers wrote. “In a large number of cases we observed similar patterns of performance degradation whenever and wherever specific pairs of Access/Transit ISPs interconnected. From this we conclude that ISP interconnection has a substantial impact on consumer internet performance—sometimes a severely negative impact—and that business relationships between ISPs, and not major technical problems, are at the root of the problems we observed.”

“The three degraded Access ISPs [Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon] failed to achieve median download throughputs above 4Mbps when connecting over Cogent in New York City for most of the period between Spring 2013 and March 2014,” M-Lab wrote. “While daily median download throughput overall hovered around 4Mbps, performance degradation was much worse during peak use hours. For much of the time between Spring 2013 and March 2014, download speeds during peak use hours remained well below 4Mbps. By January 2014, the download throughput rate during peak use hours for Comcast and Verizon traffic over Cogent’s network was less than 0.5Mbps, the minimum rate necessary for web browsing and email according to the FCC. Note that only between 2:00 AM and 1:00 PM were the three affected Access ISPs able to attain speeds above 4 Mbps across the Transit ISP Cogent.”

The full dataset of information from M-Lab has been published online, and is available for viewing here. One thing is for certain after going through the findings – the internet is in for a bumpy ride if strong net neutrality laws and regulation checks aren’t brought into place. The wild west could start to get a lot wilder.

Thanks to M-Lab for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Slate.

Hacker Diverts Traffic from 19 ISPs to Steal a Large Sum of Bitcoins

It is said that researchers over at Dell’s SecureWorks security division have uncovered a series of hacking attempts in which a bitcoin thief redirected a portion of online traffic from 19 ISPs, including data from Amazon, DigitalOcean and OVH, in order to steam digital currency from a group of bitcoin users.

The hijack said to have lasted just 30 seconds, but the hacking attempt is said to have been performed 22 times. On each attempt, the hacker gained control of the processing power of a group of bitcoin miners, redirecting their mining activity towards his private pool. Security researchers say that the hacker was able to pocket a flow of bitcoins and other digital currencies worth roughly $9,000 through the hijacking.

“With this kind of hijacking, you can quite easily grab a large collection of clients,” said Pat Litke, one of the Dell researchers. “It takes less than a minute, and you end up with a lot of mining traffic under your control.”

A technique called BGP is said to have been used, exploiting the border gateway protocol. The hacker took advantage of a staff user account at a Canadian ISP to periodically broadcast a spoofed command that redirected traffic from other ISPs from February throughout May this year. The command, along with miners not checking their rigs to notice the ‘new’ settings, led to the hacker pocketing $83,000 worth of cryptocurrency.

“Some people are more attentive to their mining rigs than others,” said Joe Stewart, a Dell researcher whose own computers were caught up in one victimized mining pool. “Many users didn’t check their setups for weeks, and they were doing all this work on behalf of the hijacker.”

The BGP hijacking method has been discussed as a potential threat to the internet security since 1998. Back then, a group of hackers known as L0pht stated that they could use the attack to take down the entire Internet in 30 minutes. The discussion was followed at the DefCon security conference in 2008 and was later used in 2013 to temporarily redirect a portion of US internet traffic to Iceland and Belarus.

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information

Jaguar Working on Self-Learning Smart Car Personal Assistant

There have been a lot of talks about smart cars and their ability to make driving a lot safer suing self-driving technologies in order to eliminate human distractions and error from roads. There will even be a time where drivers can even send text messages, video call and browse the internet, but that time is still far away. Until then, Jaguar seems to have designed a piece of tech of its own for the Land Rover to make driving a lot safer, namely the Smart Assistant.

It is said that the Smart Assistant is able to identify the driver of the car based on a smartphone and learns his or her driving style and in-vehicle habits. The information is then ran through an algorithm which keeps track of background information, such as your calendar, traffic conditions and current weather, in order to predict and handle a variety of non-essential tasks. The Smart Assistant even starts before the driver enters the car, adjusting the seat, mirrors and steering wheel based on the individual’s likings.

Once the Smart Assistant learns the driver’s behavior behind the wheel, it can then handle tasks and perform small vehicle adjustments. For example, if a person calls his or her boss each morning, the Smart Assistant is said to ask you if it can initiate a call with your boss. The same goes when running late for work, having the Personal Assistant prompting if you would like to send a text message and notify about you being late.

There are a variety of activities which Jaguar’s Personal Assistant could help you behind the wheel, though the company states that the technology is currently in the works with no known release date planned. An interesting and unique feature present in the Personal Assistant’s design plans is the fact that Jaguar intends to make the tech cloud-based, meaning that if you want to rent a Jaguar when abroad on a business trip, it will still have your personal preferences available and in effect as soon as the car is available to drive.

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

Statistics Reveal that The Pirate Bay Traffic has Doubled Despite ISP Blocks… Problem?

Some ISP providers have been told by the government to block the popular torrent website, The Pirate Bay, due to its infringing content. Media groups all around the world have been battling piracy constantly and state that the blocks so far are effective and enough to diminish piracy.

However, a new statistic has revealed that The Pirate Bay’s traffic has doubled since the ISP blocks have been issued. It is said that the United States still remains the most popular traffic source and almost 9% of all users access the website through a proxy or VPN.

TorrentFreak has stated that The Pirate Bay confirmed its traffic increase since 2011, when the ISP blocks in question have been issued, having it doubled in just 3 years. The statistic below shows the number of unique visitors since 2011.

As a result, the censorship appears to have no significant effect on The Pirate Bay at all. It does however show minimal signs of restriction, having users who do not know how to use a proxy or VPN blocked out of using the website altogether, but it is safe to say that most people simply bypass the restrictions and continue to use the torrent website as usual.

Thank you TorrentFreak for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TorrentFreak

Hackers Use ‘The Cloud’ to Control Malware and Botnets

Security firm Trend Micro has apparently revealed new evidence of botnets and malware not only being hosted in the cloud, but also being remotely controlled from cloud servers. The main goal for hackers has been revealed to be disguising their malicious software as regular traffic between corporate end points and cloud services.

Trend Micro has revealed in a blog post a case where hackers were using DropBox in order to host the command and control instructions for malware and botnets, which eventually made it past corporate firewalls. While the news is not new, the cloud has apparently increased in popularity as well as security risk. In the past, small files needed to be controlled by a command and control (C&C) system, which was usually hosted by hackers or placed on servers easily identified as suspicious.

With cloud-based systems however, hackers can now place the C&C on cloud servers and communicate with the botnets and malware like ‘normal traffic’, making it harder to be identified. The company has emphasized that any cloud-based solution can eventually be used as a host for C&C software. Companies not using any type of cloud-based solution but receive traffic spikes from any of them have some type of warning and are encouraged to investigate the activity.

However, this does not mean that every company using cloud-based solutions is now infected. Trend Micro has just shed some light on how hackers are able to and could try infecting corporate systems using the technique described above. A good counter-technique for security specialists in order to prevent such hacking practices is to closely monitor all traffic between end-point users and cloud-based solution, marking anomalies and suspicious activities as threat until otherwise proven to be ‘safe’.

Thank you Network World for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of LifeHacker

Police Conduct Traffic Stop on Vehicle With Superman Driving

The Central Motorway Police Group pulled over a vehicle for a traffic violation, when the vehicle was spotted driving on M42 near Solihull, West Midlands. The car was stopped for suspicion of driving without insurance and not having a rear window, which had a red cape instead.

Both the driver and passenger were dressed as Superman, driving an old, rusty Peugeot 106 near Solihull, West Midlands.

Here is what officers from the Central Motorway Police Group tweeted: “Even Superman needs insurance! We don’t work for Lex Luthor but we had to remove Superman’s wheels from the road.”

It doesn’t matter where you’re located, but police officers on patrol tend to see rather curious things while out on patrol. The bizarre tweet from the British police even garnered a response from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office.

Thank you to Daily Mail for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Mirror

Traditional Antivirus Software “Simply Don’t Work” According to Security Specialists

While the National Crime Agency did warn people about the upcoming GOZeuS and CryptoLocker malware, information given by security specialists point to the fact that traditional antivirus software is not enough even for a simple malware prevention, yet alone the more advanced malware types.

Comodo Group‘s CEO, Melih Abdulhayoglu, points out that most traditional antivirus software on the market “simply don’t work” and detects threats such as viruses and malware only when they have already infected the system, rendering them obsolete.

“For years the antivirus industry has been promoting a flawed product to the mass market as a protection product – a huge con. As a result, there are millions of business and home users who think that they are safe online, just by running an antivirus product – this is madness! Traditional antivirus products do not and can not protect you from new malware like Cryptolocker that they can’t detect.”

Melih emphasises that the only method of keeping a system clean is through containment technology. The technology puts unknown traffic coming from the internet into a sandbox environment for further analysis, meaning that the data cannot react or spread within the system until it has been identified as ‘safe’. This way, Melih states that the malware is detected and denied access before it can even get near the system at hand.

Businesses however are more susceptible to viruses and malware than homes. This is said to be due to the fact that hackers are writing specific malware which target a single individual system inside the company, from which it will inevitably grant access to the entire company’s network.

“For businesses, the problem is Advanced Persistent Threats (APT). Criminals are writing specific tailored malware aimed at one person in a company and then stealing data via that person. It’s designed to be undetectable, or viewed as too small a problem to solve. Think of it like this: the pharmaceutical industry wouldn’t bother to spend billions on curing a disease that infects just one person, so these bad guys are hoping that the security industry doesn’t put resources into solving a problem targeted at just one individual.”

However, this does not mean everyone is doomed to have their systems infected. Egemen Tas, VP of Engineering at Comodo, emphasises that a combination of a strong and trusted† antivirus software along with basic execution control (such as the annoying popup in Windows, which everyone tends to deactivate, appearing every time an ‘unknown’ or application requiring elevated privileges wants to launch) is enough to keep your system clean.

“In order to stay protected from GOZeuS and CryptoLocker, users should follow cyber-hygiene best practices,” said Egemen Tas, VP of Engineering at Comodo. “It’s not as complicated as you may think. You should use a certified and proven antivirus product, always installing the latest version and applying updates. Additionally, you should go beyond traditional security prevention by utilizing a HIPS (host-based intrusion prevention system) product, and applying some basic application execution control to prevent these types of malware from taking over your system.”

Also, since there are cases where malware can infect a system through the e-mail service, Egemen states that a good prevention practice is “not opening attachments from unsolicited emails”, meaning that if an unexpected email from an unknown person or even a friend arrives in your inbox containing a strange attachment, it is better to delete it rather than risk opening it.

Statistics Report That Mobile Data Nearly Doubled In 2013

According to industry analyst Chetan Sharma, a consultant for wireless carriers, mobile data usage nearly doubled in the last year. On a global scale the average is now at 240MB per month, up from 140MB last year, while usage on the US jumped from 690MB to 1.2GB on average during 2013.

Sharma said the growth in data use could be attributed to the widespread coverage LTE, along with faster and bigger smartphones better suited for browsing. Though not explicitly mentioned in the report, the growing popularity of mobile apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and Vine probably played their part too.

This news is very beneficial to companies like T-Mobile or Sprint, which unlike Verizon and AT&T, don’t enforce hard limits on data usage per month. For now the average is still within lower than 4GB traffic, and although Verizon’s CEO has said unlimited plans are not sustainable there’s nothing stopping them from gradually adapting to consumers’ growing needs.

Wi-Fi does not get neglected in all this, and also holds a key point in internet connectivity, helping offload as much as 60% to 70% of the total traffic in most countries. With Wi-Fi sharing services like Fon making their way to the US in 2013 and companies like Republic Wireless falling back to Wi-Fi to provide service, there’s still a lot going on in this space to keep you from being at the mercy of wireless carriers’ data caps and overage charges.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information

Giant STOP Sign Projected Onto A Makeshift Waterfall

We’ve all been in a vehicle and found ourselves cursing at other drivers due to their negligent driver skills, or lack of, right? Whether it be the forgetfulness of having indicators to tell other drivers which direction they are turning or the lack of not reading road signs appropriately; mainly STOP signs.

Now imagine if these particular drivers were confronted with a huge image of a STOP sign that they simply couldn’t ignore. A lighting show company Laservision have developed a technology which consists of laser-projecting a STOP sign onto makeshift waterfall and have been experimenting with the technology since 2007 in Australia.

The technology comes to light after a truck driver ignored warning signs and almost wedged his vehicle in the Sydney Harbour Tunnel reports 10 news. Described as a water curtain, the Australian government are hoping to stop tall vehicles such as trucks from attempting to pass under tunnels which simply aren’t tall enough.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoTMC-uxJoo[/youtube]

Image courtesy of 10 News (YouTube)