'KFS have worked with Discus on a number of projects for IT infrastructure – servers, Local Area Networking, workstations and laptops, Wide Area Networking (VPNs - both site to site and secure remote access), security, email, spa... Martin Davies, Key Forensic Services - Coventry
HMRC have updated their list of examples of websites, emails, letters, text messages and phone calls used by scammers and fraudsters to obtain individual's personal information.
The guidance can be used to help you decide if a contact from HMRC is genuine, this guidance provides examples of the different methods that fraudsters use to get individuals to disclose personal information.
You can also read about how to recognise genuine contact from HMRC, and how to tell when an email is phishing/bogus.
The malicious Android malware LokiBot has been spotted by security researchers and is particularly unpleasant. LokiBot is the first Hybrid Android Malware and it is actually a lot more than just malware.
Read on to find out why LokiBot is so dangerous.
According to information from the security company Sfylab, LokiBot is currently available on the dark web for market for around £1500 worth of bitcoin – including updates. Experts are not sure on how the malware is getting onto Android phones.
Malware LokiBot retaliates when you try to remove it.
Android malware LokiBot fights back
No one likes malware or other malicious software on their smartphone or computer. If you have been infected, you need to try to get rid of the intruder. It is quite difficult to do with this particular malware, as it defends itself against any attempts to remove it.
The malware begins as a new banking trojan but can turn into ransomware if the user tries to remove its admin privileges. So it is no longer just a malware, it then encrypts data and locks the device.
Android malware Lokibot is scam software
Basically, LokiBot is a scam software that uses overlays for banking apps and some other software to try to get money out of users. It tries to do this, by collecting personal information. In all, the attackers have targeted around 100 banking apps.
The apps affected by the overlays include Lloyds Bank Mobile Banking, Halifax, HSBC and TSB Mobile Banking. A full list can be found here. In addition, the malware steals contact information, sends SMS messages and fakes notifications from other apps for phishing attacks.All Android devices from version 4.0 upwards are affected. LokiBot gets admin rights and begins its “work”. How and to what extent LokiBot has spread, is still unclear.
Android malware LokiBot with alarm
The Android Malware LokiBot also has an alarm function. It gets set off when you try to uninstall the malware with antivirus software. But it also is tripped if you want to withdraw the admin rights. Then LokiBot transforms from malware to a blackmail Trojan.
LokiBot starts encrypting the data on the SD card and asks for a ransom payment for decryption. This is currently between £60 and £80. Until this is paid, access to the device is blocked. However LokiBot is not fully functioning yet. It fails to encrypt data correctly and the files are merely renamed. However the device lock does work fully. So although it fails at encrypting files, it succeeds at getting a ransom from users.
Zuckerberg himself famously taped over his camera, but should you also watch what you say around your mic?
Spend enough time on the internet and you’ll eventually see ads targeted specifically to you. Facebook is no different. Watch a trailer for Justice League and you’ll start seeing ads for comic books or other superhero movies. Many of you likely didn’t realize it was happening for some time after it started. It’s a system we’ve basically accepted as part of our daily lives, but some people are now theorizing that Facebook might be using a computer’s microphone to mine your conversations for ads.
The BBC reports that PJ Vogt, who presents a tech podcast called Reply All, sent out a tweet calling for people’s stories regarding why they believe Facebook may be listening in on their conversations for the purposes of ad targeting.
Rob Goldman, Facebook’s VP of ads, chimed in to reassure people that Facebook does not use people’s mics as a way of spying on them.
Despite the many responses that Vogt received, there isn’t much, if any, concrete proof that Facebook uses people’s mics to spy on them.
As for why Vogt’s Tweet got so much attention, one explanation is that it is simply a matter of coincidence. The ads might have been there the entire time and people simply didn’t notice them at first.
It's impossible to say if Musk's ambitious plan will ever become a fully fledged system, but the Boring Company is certainly making progress.
Yes, it’s definitely a tunnel. Elon Musk has just posted the very first photo of a tunnel dug by his Boring Companybeneath the streets of Los Angeles as the billionaire entrepreneur goes after his dream of building a subterranean — and speedy — transportation system to help reduce traffic congestion on the busy streets above.
Snapped over the weekend, the image shows something far beyond a simple muddy hole that some of you may have been expecting to see. Rather, it’s clear the team has been doing some serious work on its debut tunnel, fully building out the section with all the necessary bells and whistles.
Musk, a man who certainly isn’t shy about championing grand ideas, first mentioned his futuristic boring plan last year, one that apparently came to him while stuck in his car on a gridlocked freeway.
“Traffic is driving me nuts,” he tweetedin December, 2016. “Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…” At the time, no one knew what on earth he was talking about. They do now.
The project, if it’s carried through to completion, will involve building a sprawling network of tunnels criss-crossing the city. Vehicles would be carried through the tunnels aboard track-based electric sleds at speeds of up to 150 mph. A vehicle and its occupants would be lowered from street level onto the sled, while cyclists and pedestrians would use the system by stepping into large pods available for public use. The sleds would switch from the main tunnel to side tunnels to exit and enter the main artery in order to keep the system moving. “This is a big difference compared to subways that stop at every stop, whether you’re getting off or not,” Musk said.
On his Instagram page where he posted the tunnel photo, Musk said the Boring Company‘s first route will go “roughly parallel” to Interstate 405 from Los Angeles international airport to Route 101, “with on/off ramps every mile or so.” Right now the tunnel is 500 feet long (152 meters), though it should reach around two miles (3.2 km) within about four months.
Musk’s partly completed tunnel confirms his determination to make the project happen, though those stuck in gridlock on a daily basis in L.A. will have to wait years for a usable network to evolve, if it ever does. Indeed, to build a truly effective system is going to require not only huge sums of money, but also years of disruptive construction work across the city, leaving Musk having to persuade the authorities that the project really is worth pursuing. This initial tunnel is seen as a test bed for the grander plan.
The term “exoskeleton” conjures up sci-fi scenes – think Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, or Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt battling aliens on repeat in Edge of Tomorrow. Soldiers will surely man these mechanical machines someday, but many of the first exosuits will be developed for civilian use, from first responders pulling through rubble to laborers who could use a little extra support for their heavy lifting.
By 2020, robotics company Sarcos hopes to see workers climb into its line of fully-powered exoskeletons, designed to give people superhuman strength and endurance, while allowing them to repetitively lift large objects and minimize risk of injury. The company demoed some of its machines at its headquarters in Salt Lake City last week.
“We’re focused developing robots to augment human safety and productivity,” Ben Wolff, CEO of Sarcos, told Digital Trends. “This idea that we’ve got the ability to have a human either wearing or remotely operating a machine so that there’s always a human mind engaged in the decision-making process that is then instructing a robot that is stronger, with more stamina and greater precision, doing the real work.”
Sarcos plans to offer three exoskeletons over the next few years, each giving wearers a different degree of strength and endurance support. The Guardian XO will let wearers lift 80 pounds, the Guardian XO Max will max out at 200 pounds, and the Guardian GT — a monster of a machine with seven-foot arms — will handle upwards of 1,000 pounds. Both the GT and XO Max can be controlled by an operator who is either remote or riding in the machine.
To keep wearers safe, the Salt Lake City company has developed a patented system it calls “get out of the way control,” which will make sure the suit doesn’t accidentally squish a person inside.
“The suit and your body interact like two opposing magnets.”
“Imagine the suit and your body interacting with one another in the way that two opposing magnets would,” Wolff explained. “Through its sensor system, the suit is programmed to maintain a very small but very specific amount of distance from contact with your body. As a result, as you begin to move, swing your leg forward, it immediately moves to keep the front of the machine leg away from the front of your leg.”
Automation is bound to impact every worker in every industry. But rather than going fully automated, many tasks — particularly those that are performed in unstructured environments — may instead be performed by human workers augmented by machines. The goal here is to maintain a human’s cognitive flexibility with a machine’s strength and resilience.
“As soon as you move into a more unstructured environment where … you’re on a construction site and have to lift heavy items from one floor to the next in a one-off activity, not a lot of high repetition, that’s where it becomes far more challenging to find how automation to take control,” Wolff said. “The number of algorithms, sensors, awareness that a machine has to have to deal with the thousands of different variables…is simply far too advanced to rely on a computer and algorithm to help a robot decide what it needs to do.”
“For now,” he added, “let’s take the best of what a human being can offer, such as wisdom, judgement, intelligence, and instincts, and combine that with the best of what a robot can offer, in terms of strength, endurance, and precision.”
Like all companies that specialize in building the future, Sarcos is looking to stand out from competitors and thinks its full-body, fully-powered, and untethered machines will be a game changer. Hyundai, for example, is developing a full-body suit that needs to be tethered for full power, while companies like Panasonic and SuitX are developing smaller and untethered suits, which help give a wearer physical support and added strength, but don’t restrict the wearer’s freedom to roam.
Sarcos hasn’t offered an exact price for its exoskeletons yet, but Wolff says, “The cost to the user would be roughly equivalent to the cost of a fully-loaded salary employee in the $50,000 per year range … The one human operator plus our robot would cost roughly that of two human employees, but will allow for far fewer injuries and enhanced productivity.”
The company hopes to have the XO suits ready for commercial sale in 2019 and is currently taking preorders for custom-built GTs.
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These programs offer a way for hackers to earn legitimate money while helping to keep your devices secure.
Need some extra cash? Then good news! Google is offering $1,000 to people who can hack popular Android apps. In a partnership with HackerOne and several popular Android developers, Google has launched the Google Play Security Program. The tech giant has offered similar bounty programs before, but this is the first time that it has partnered with individual developers. Currently, 13 of the most popular app developers are part of the program. The program includes Tinder, Duolingo, DropBox, Snapchat, Head Space, MyMail, and several others.
The rules for the program are fairly simple. Once you discover a bug or vulnerability in one of the participating apps, you simply report it to the developers and work with them to fix the issue. Once the issue has been resolved, the app developers will pay you, and then Google will chip in a $1,000 bonus on top of whatever you were already paid.
In addition, Gooogle will be collecting data and sharing it with other app developers in order to help them address similar issues. This does mean that the rewards will be handled on a first-come-first-serve basis. If multiple people discover a problem, Google will only reward the first person to submit the issue.
Currently, this program is only available to 13 app developers, but if it proves successful, Google may expand it to others.
Bug bounties such as this are nothing new and so-called “white hat” hackers can make a decent living working with tech companies to resolve security issues. Both tech and video games companies are offering rewards to those who are able to hack their services and hardware. Such programs provide a way for hackers to make a living while helping to keep people’s personal data safe.
One of the largest bug bounties was offered by Microsoft. In 2015, the company increased its bug bounty reward from $50,00 to $100,000. If you want to make similar money while still helping out Google, then you’ll be glad to know the company is offering $100,000 to those who can pull off a major Chromebook hack. The stipulation that the hacker pull off a “persistent compromise” of a Chromebook in guest mode.
Image captionChristopher Wray said more than half of the devices the FBI had tried to access in 11 months had been impenetrable
Agents at the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been unable to extract data from nearly 7,000 mobile devices they have tried to access, the agency's director has said.
Christopher Wray said encryption on devices was "a huge, huge problem" for FBI investigations.
The agency had failed to access more than half of the devices it targeted in an 11-month period, he said.
One cyber-security expert said such encryption was now a "fact of life".
Many smartphones encrypt their contents when locked, as standard - a security feature that often prevents even the phones' manufacturers from accessing data.
Such encryption is different to end-to-end encryption, which prevents interception of communications on a large scale.
Cyber-security expert Prof Alan Woodward at the University of Surrey said device encryption was clearly frustrating criminal investigations but it would be impractical and insecure to develop "back doors" or weakened security.
"Encryption that frustrates forensic investigations will be a fact of life from now on for law enforcement agencies," he said.
"Even if the equipment manufacturers didn't build in such encryption it would be possible to obtain software that encrypted data in the same way."
Referring to the trade-off between cyber-security and investigative hacking, the FBI director said: "I get it, there's a balance that needs to be struck between encryption and the importance of giving us the tools we need to keep the public safe."
Mr Wray was speaking at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Philadelphia on Sunday.
Laptops should be able to offer true all-day working, and some
When Windows 10 was launched in 2015, Microsoft claimed that it would run on a variety of disparate devices
Microsoft's forthcoming ARM-based laptops will be able to go more than a day between recharges, according to reports that claim that battery life on the new Windows 10 devices will be "beyond expectations".
Microsoft's first round of Windows 10 machines, powered by ARM-based Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPUs, will be out in December.
The company is already testing hundreds of devices running Qualcomm processors to check Windows compatibility. Pete Bernard, principal group program manager for Connectivity Partners at Microsoft, says: "We've been on this journey for almost a year. We've been working furiously in Redmond and with our partners in San Diego."
The battery life is described as "really really good" and "beyond expectations" with multi-day results being quoted in testing. In other words, at worst, they ought to provide genuine all-day running.
Bernard added: "I would consider it a game-changer in terms of the way people have experienced PCs in the past."
HP, Asus and Lenovo will be launch partners, but the plan is to launch the Qualcomm Snapdragon-based Windows machines to a variety of OEMs at differing price points.
The news is somewhat ironic, given that only last week Microsoft confirmed it was ending development of Windows Phone.
One of the sticking points in Windows Phone's success, or rather lack of it, has been the fact that Windows was tied to x86 and x64 chips, meaning that the Continuum feature, enabling users to switch between phone and computer as a single device, didn't work properly.
The company confirmed that it had overcome its architectural issues, but although we look set to see the benefits in the form of larger form factors, the news has come too late for Windows as a mobile device operating system. The company is now focused on Android as a partner to Windows.
Opening up the opportunity of Qualcomm-powered laptops does, however, mean that we're likely to see a new generation of ultra-slim, ultra-light tablets and ultrabooks, and the company has said its main consideration will be mobile computing.
However, Microsoft and Windows is as good as dead in the smartphone market.