Recent reports show a rise in online banking cybercrime.
Not that you need anything new to be concerned about, but there is a new online threat. A new Trojan program is targeting online banking users. This malicious malware, called Trojan-Banker.Win32/64.Neverquest by the Kasperky Lab, is the latest wave in cybercrime. Thousands of attempted infections were recorded from July up to mid-November by the Kasperky Lab and more attempts can happen.
Online Banking Cybercrime
Trojan-Banker.Win32/64.Neverquest, or Neverquest in short, is used to steal online banking usernames and passwords to access financial information unbeknownst to the victims. It can alter website content on through Firefox and Internet Explorer, which allows the hackers to remotely use and control infected computers through virtual network computing. Scary thought right?
Large international banks and companies that provide online payment services have been targeted – 28 websites to be exact. The malware gains access to victims through web pages they visit to view their account balance, checking account and account summary. This information is then sent to the hackers and all of your financial information is no longer private. Yikes!
So how is money lost? Once the hackers have access to your online banking account, they can transfer funds through the victim’s browser. This allows them to bypass any restrictions and the action is not flagged as unauthorized. It basically looks like you are transferring your own money to a new account. The most targeted company has been Fidelity Investments, one of the largest global investment firms.
The thievery doesn’t stop with online banking. Neverquest also steals account log-in information for social networking websites and email accounts from its victims. Hackers can send spam emails and other viruses to your email, which normally look like service notifications. At trueITpros, we recommend installing anti-virus protection programs on all of your computing devices to decrease online threats. How do you protect your valuable information online?
FitBolt makes taking mini-exercise breaks easier.
Ever tried doing mini-exercise breaks for a healthier workday? Most of us have a job that chains us to a desk and chair eight hours a day. This isn’t conducive to good health. A body in motion stays in motion – or at least that’s what I’ve heard. Fact of the matter it’s a true statement. Sitting at a desk all day, not stretching or moving can be the root of serious health issues. On top of that you could be experiencing work-related stress daily. Desk life is a menace long-term; however, FitBolt can help you make a lifestyle change.
If you work in corporate hell, you probably sit in a 4×4 cubicle every day. How’s that leg room treating you? You should get up throughout the day to stretch your legs and get your body in motion. Squeezing a stress ball is one thing, but that only helps with carpal tunnel while your lower half is on the verge of restless leg syndrome. Say it isn’t so! FitBolt can help. Offered as a web app, desktop app and browser extension, FitBolt is Free. It provides scheduled time reminders for mini-exercise breaks. There is a paid version for $3 a month if the occasional ad gets to you.
FitBolt offers notifications in categories such as health, nutrition, wellness, posture and stretches. You can control how often alerts occur and track what exercises you have completed through your personal dashboard. Maybe you need to get your heart rate up before giving a presentation – nothing too strenuous, just enough to get the blood flowing. It will make you alert and more relaxed when speaking. It might be a great idea to schedule a mini-exercise break two hours after lunch. It can help get endorphins going so you don’t fall into that 3:00pm slump.
At trueITpros various team members tend to get up and walk around the building to stretch their legs. It keeps our designers sharp and writers creative. Plus our engineers are onsite most of the day so they get exercise in the field. It’s good practice to stand up or walk during the workday. It promotes a healthier lifestyle even if you have a desk life. What do you do at work to keep the blood flowing and the workday productive?
Is your teen on screens? Parents, let’s discuss teenage computer usage.
Teen on screens is the latest phrase used to reflect teenage computer usage. At the mall, grocery store and even at school, teens are on screens everywhere you look. iPhone, Android devices, tablets and laptops, teens are constantly connected to the Internet on screens. Computing devices can cause major health issues for heavy users. Just like a controlled substance, technology is addictive. If you have teen on screens, you know exactly what we’re talking about – or maybe you don’t.
Recent studies have shown how staying plugged in can actually affect the body physically and mentally. How many times do you tell your kids to stop playing video games and to go play outside instead? Probably more than you can count. You might want to enforce that idea strictly. Everywhere you look, doctors are talking about childhood obesity leading to adult obesity. Sitting in front of the television is the first screen. How much TV did you watch growing up? Probably not as much as your kids do. Keeping the TV time under two hours a day can help your child’s overall health.
Kids that spend a great amount of time playing video games tend to have pain in their fingers and wrists. Not to mention the eyes. More and more people wear glasses these days. Ever contribute this to screens? Maybe you should. Children that look at screens more often than not have narrower blood vessels in their eyes. Scientists have linked cardiovascular disease in adults to this. Yet we still allow young people to stay attached to technology.
What about sleep? If your teenager is up at all times of the night socializing on Facebook or tweeting like crazy, when does he or she sleep? 45% of teens sleep less than 8 hours a night because they are distracted by devices. This explains why your teen is so cranky in the morning or just always. Sleep loss is one thing permanent hearing loss is another. Some teens actually experience permanent hearing loss due to headphones and ear buds they use while on computing devices. Kids are simply exposed to noise excessively and directly to their eardrums. The phrase “you’re gonna go deaf listening to that noise” takes on a more literal meaning today.
Well parents there you have it. The holiday season is coming up and the tech world is waiting on you to purchase another new device for your teenager or even yourself. Will you think twice about those purchases going forward? Let us know your thoughts on teenage computer usage!
Apple’s “Touch ID” iPhone 5s Fingerprint reader is here, but how long until hackers get their fingers on it?
Fingerprint scanning technology isn’t anything new, but it’s about to become a lot more mainstream. Thanks to the debut of the iPhone 5s at Apple’s fall event, fingerprint scanning has been brought to the masses. For many users, this offers an improved basic level of security. In a world full of smartphone theft, that sounds like a good thing. Apple itself has said that many users don’t even enable the simple four-digit passcode lock on their phones, seeing it as too cumbersome. The iPhone 5s’ fingerprint reader is designed to take the friction out of everyday security by making unlocking the phone as simple as the touch of a finger. But can we have simplicity and security? Let’s take a closer look at how the technology works to find an answer.
Fingerprint sensors aren’t new, but until now haven’t been ubiquitous.
Fingerprint sensors have been around for a number years now, but they’ve so far failed to capture the hearts and minds of most consumers. This is largely due to not enough devices supporting them, and those devices that do feature them don’t always work as consistently as they could. Apple recruited some of the best minds in biometrics to create (they claim) a reliable fingerprint sensor that will accurately recognize a print at any orientation. Meaning, no matter which way you hold your device the iPhone 5s fingerprint reader should recognize the print and can match it to it’s own record of your fingerprint, allowing the phone to unlock.
Where does Apple keep your fingerprint?
Ah, but there’s the thing… at some point the fingerprint, your fingerprint, has to be stored on the phone in order for it to know who to trust to begin with. So, where does is that information stored?
According to Apple, the information is stored in a special enclave of the A7 processor (made by rival Samsung). This enclave is not backed up to iCloud, nor is any fingerprint information sent over the internet. So, yeah, it certainly sounds secure
Yeah… but is it actually secure?
Keep in mind that no single-factor authentication method will never be as secure as dual-factor authentication. Fingerprint sensing is nice, but would be more secure if there was a second password involved. In fact, groups have already “hacked” the TouchID technology… but to what end? Let’s slow down… we might be making a mountain out of a molehill here.
The circumstances surrounding the hacking of a TouchID are a bit ridiculous. Essentially someone would have to either kidnap you or lift your prints off of a glass or something, recreate it using some elaborate method involving laser-printers and glue, then somehow get your phone and place the scanned image on the sensor in order to unlock the phone. Sounds a bit involved, doesn’t it?
What happens if someone does hack my phone via TouchID?
To date, the fingerprint sensor can only be used to unlock the phone or to enter your iTunes password. Meaning, unless someone has access to your thumb and wants to rob you by purchasing a bunch of music… to your phone… for some reason… then… uh… see where the worries about security begin to fall apart? I suppose one could make the argument that they could be looking for access to your email, notes or other data, but the NSA has already shown us there are far easier ways to get access to that information, so why bother?
So what’s really going on here?
Apple bought a biometrics company and got a fingerprint scanner. But surely the biometrics people, and therefore Apple, know this stuff isn’t completely secure. So what’s really going on?
The goal is probably to get everyday users to think more about security and hopefully implement some kind of password, be it fingerprint, 4-digit passcode, longer passcodes and so on. The thought is probably, some security is better than no security. But it really comes down to theft prevention, most likely. When you combine TouchID with Find My iPhone’s remote wipe feature and the new Activation Lock, iPhones might look less lucrative to would-be thieves.
But what do you think? Are fears about TouchID hacks worth the hubbub? Or are they overblown?
Who will create a self-driving car next?
Get out of my dreams, get into my car. Well that’s exactly what Mercedes-Benz thought…or actually what Google thought. Someone dreamt about a self-driving car, and now we are seeing it slowly unfold. Now the German automobile manufacturer is taking a stab at it. Back in 2011, Google let the world know that they tested their version of a self-driving car on California highways, logging close to 200,000. Now Mercedes-Benz has their own version of a self-driving car.
Just this last month, Mercedes “drove” a modified 2014 S500 Sedan from Mannheim to Pforzheim. Their calling the car the Mercedes-Benz S500 Intelligent Drive. Modifications for this experimental ride were minor, with only a few minor changes pass the current technology in some vehicles. Mercedes added four short-rage radar systems, two cameras for front and back viewing and three long-range radar systems. Each component is designed to help the car make judgment calls on other vehicles on the road. Nokia even supplied the navigation information.
The navigation system provided by Nokia provides extensive data such as traffic signs, coordinates for traffic lights and direction of lanes on the road. However, one very important factor missing is the communication with other cars on the road. Surely you asked yourself that question: “How will the self-driving car interact safely with other drivers and cars. Well, this issue is being tackled now by Mercedes-Benz. Since this idea is still fresh, there are plenty of bugs to still work out before putting a self-driving car on the consumer market. Please keep in mind this is not park assist which is simply help with parallel parking, so all issues must be resolved before any of us will see these cars driving around our cities and towns. According to Audi, another German automobile maker, the technology will be complete within 10 years; however, Google believes self-driving cars will be available as early as 2017, which is only four years away.
So…is the world really ready for a self-driving car?