Jesse Juarez

Jesse Juarez

Selfawareness is described as the conscious knowledge of our character, desires, emotions, and motives. When we are self aware, we are able to improve our relationships across the span of our lives, improve the ability to achieve our dreams, and have an overall happier life.

If your computer is infected, then a message appears saying all of your files have been encrypted until you pay a ransom.(Gillian Brockell/The Washington Post)

Security experts are bracing for more fallout from Friday's worldwide WannaCry ransomware attack, which has so far affected more than 150 countries and major businesses and organizations, including FedEx, Renault and Britain's National Health Service. But if you're just hearing about this attack — or waking up to an unresponsive computer of your own — here's what you need to understand about what law enforcement officials have called the biggest such attack in history.

What's ransomware?

Ransomware is a kind of malicious software that, as its name implies, takes a computer hostage and holds it for ransom. In this case, the attackers are asking for at least $300 in bitcoins for each computer affected by the attack.

With ransomware attacks, the malware locks down a target machine, encrypting its data and preventing the owner from accessing it until he or she agrees to pay up.

How many people have been affected by the current strain, WannaCry?

Over the weekend, Europol officials said that some 200,000 computers have been hit by the malware. But that number has almost certainly risen as people in Asia — who had logged off for the workweek before WannaCry began spreading — have returned to work. On Monday, the Japanese electronics maker Hitachi, a prominent Korean theater chain and the Chinese government said their systems had been affected. Chinese state media reported that 40,000 businesses and institutions have been hit, according to NPR, including universities, gas stations and city services.

And that's just a measure of the electronic consequences of WannaCry. The software attack has taken a toll on many people in the real world. Health care providers in Britain's NHS, for example, were forced to turn ambulances awayand cancel or delay cancer treatments for patients over the weekend, though officials say 80 percent of the NHS's systems were unaffected and that the disruption is easing.

Are victims paying the ransom?

Some are. The news site Quartz has set up a Twitter bot to track the bitcoinwallets linked to the attack, which are growing fatter by the minute.

Source: This article was published on washingtonpost.com By Brian Fung

Useful iPhone tips for the people

I write about Apple every day. I write opinionsnews analysistipsfeatures – all sorts of stuff. Today I thought you might enjoy this collection of 20 lesser-known iPhone tips, which I do hope are of use to you. Here we go:

Fickle fingers

Does Touch ID sometimes fail to recognize your finger as fast as you like? You can improve its accuracy by registering the same fingerprint two or more times in the system. You can improve it even more if you register the same fingerprint on a cold day, and when it is damp, as both can impact your print slightly. Add (and name) fingerprints in Settings>Touch ID & Passcode.

Don’t waste data

If you share images using Messages (and most of us do), and keep hitting your data allocation every month why not try to reduce the size of the attachments you share?You can do this easily in Settings>Messages>Low Quality Image Mode, which you toggle to on (green). Now the images you send will be less high quality, but they’ll take a lot less space.

Silence and light

Camera mode is interesting because:
  • You can turn off the flashlight just by launching the Camera app when the light is on;
  • You can connect your iPhone silently to power if you launch the app on your device before plugging it in.

AirPlane Mode

Your iPhone will recharge much faster in AirPlane mode.

Cursors

Writing on your iPhone gets a lot easier once you realize that if you hard press the virtual keyboard it will become a touch sensitive cursor you can easily direct to a specific part of your email, Message, or anything else.

Selection

Like the cursor tip? Then don’t forget that you can select text by word, sentence, or paragraph. Press deeply once for a word, twice for a sentence and three times to select a paragraph. Don’t worry if this doesn’t work initially – it takes a little time to get the rhythm right.

Apple turnover

Silence Siri and Notifications while in a meeting the easy way: just turn you iPhone face down and the proximity sensor will keep them quiet.

Calculator

How to delete a mistyped character in calculator: When we accidentally type the wrong number when creating a calculation many of us delete the whole thing and start again, because it’s not obvious how to delete the mistyped number. All we really need to do is swipe a finger left or right in the input field to delete the last typed number.

Easy touch

Press your finger firmly on the far left of the display and swipe to the middle to get to App Switcher, or swipe all the way across the screen to get to the previously used app.

Where?

When someone gets in touch it’s frustrating when you don’t know which of the telephone numbers or email addresses to use to get back to them.It’s easy to figure this out, just open up their page in your Contacts app and look for the word ‘Recent’, that will be the number they last used to make contact with you.

Call wrangling

When you get a call you can’t deal with don’t just ignore it – tap the Remind Me or Message icons to get back to people with an automatic response or to set a reminder to call someone back. You can change these automated message responses in Settings > Phone > Respond With Text.

Space extenders

You’re short of space and you know it, so visit the Movies/Films section of the iTunes Store, find a movie that is larger than your available capacity, and click rent. The rental should not be initiated as you lack the space, instead choose Settings in the dialog that appears. iPhone will automatically flush as much digital stuff as it can, creating you more space, which you can use until you get the chance to create more space manually.

Gimme my… RSS?

To subscribe to a site’s RSS feed in Safari just tap the Bookmarks button, then tap the @ button at the top. At the bottom of the page tap the Subscriptions item – then, at the bottom of the next page tap ‘Add Current Site’. The site will be added to Safari’s built-in RSS reader. You’ll be able to monitor newly published items in the @ field.

Apple Pay

If you use Apple Pay you may have missed this: When paying for items at checkout you do not need to wake up your iPhone and get to Wallet: Instead, just put your Touch ID-registered finger on the Home button and place your iPhone near the reader. Your phone will wake itself up automatically and deal with the rest.

Make a PDF almost anywhere

I recently wrote about this elsewhere, because it’s useful. To make a PDF from almost any iOS app, just tap Share and choose Print. In the Printer Options screen that appears you will see an image of the item you want to print. Use two fingers to expand the image and you’ll enter a preview mode that has its own Share button. Tap this new Share button and you can send it to apps, share it, and do all sorts of other things that may not have been possible using the original app.

Traditional stopwatch

I’m sure you know about the stopwatch feature in the Clock app, but did you know that when you use it you can access a more traditional stopwatch clock face just by swiping your finger left?

Tackle the Tabs

Safari’s ability to handle unlimited tabs is brilliant, but there are three things you may not have noticed:
  • Got a load of open tabs and can’t find the one you need? Turn your iPhone to landscape view and tap the Tabs button at the lower right. You’ll see a new view, at top left you’ll see a search bar. You can use this to search through the webpages and contents you have open in Safari.
  • Closure: Tap and hold the Tab button in any Safari page and you’ll be able to close all your open Tabs in the next item.
  • Reopen: Or tap the Tab button, then tap and hold the + icon to access your Recently Closed Tabs.

Low Power Mode

If you know you want to get more time out of your iPhone one day, don’t forget you can manually switch it to Low Power Mode in Settings>Battery>Low Power Mode. Doing so reduces power consumption by disabling Hey Siri, background app refresh, visual effects, and no longer automatically downloading email, but you’ll get better battery life.

Apple Music

You’ll get more using 3D Touch on Apple Music. When scanning any playlist view a long press on a song title lets you easily access a bunch of useful controls, including Create Station, Love, Dislike, Share and a variety of playback options.

Mail right

Threaded messages are useful, but you may not like the default order in which messages are placed. You can choose whether to show old or new messages first in Settings>Mail.NB: Unfortunately some of these tips will only work on iPhones with 3D Touch.

An exterior view shows the main entrance of St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, one of the hospitals whose computer systems were affected by a cyberattack, Friday, May 12, 2017.
(Matt Dunham/AP Photo)

A global cyberattack leveraging hacking tools widely believed by researchers to have been developed by the U.S. National Security Agency hit international shipper FedEx, disrupted Britain’s health system and infected computers in nearly 100 countries on Friday.

Cyber extortionists tricked victims into opening malicious malware attachments to spam emails that appeared to contain invoices, job offers, security warnings and other legitimate files.

The ransomware encrypted data on the computers, demanding payments of $300 to $600 to restore access. Security researchers said they observed some victims paying via the digital currency bitcoin, though they did not know what percent had given in to the extortionists.

Explainer: What we know so far about the international cyberattack

Researchers with security software maker Avast said they had observed 57,000 infections in 99 countries with Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan the top targets.

The most disruptive attacks were reported in Britain, where hospitals and clinics were forced to turn away patients after losing access to computers.

International shipper FedEx Corp said some of its Windows computers were also infected. “We are implementing remediation steps as quickly as possible,” it said in a statement.

Still, only a small number of U.S.-headquartered organizations were hit because the hackers appear to have begun the campaign by targeting organizations in Europe, said Vikram Thakur, research manager with security software maker Symantec.

By the time they turned their attention to the United States, spam filters had identified the new threat and flagged the ransomware-laden emails as malicious, Thakur said.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said late on Friday that it was aware of reports of the ransomware, was sharing information with domestic and foreign partners and was ready to lend technical support.

Telecommunications company Telefonica was among many targets in Spain, though it said the attack was limited to some computers on an internal network and had not affected clients or services. Portugal Telecom and Telefonica Argentina both said they were also targeted.

And approximately 1,000 computers at the Russian Interior Ministry have been affected by the cyberattack, a spokeswoman for the ministry told Interfax, but said the ministry did not lose any information in the attacks.

Private security firms identified the ransomware as a new variant of “WannaCry” that had the ability to automatically spread across large networks by exploiting a known bug in Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

“Once it gets in and starts moving across the infrastructure, there is no way to stop it,” said Adam Meyers, a researcher with cyber security firm CrowdStrike.

The hackers, who have not come forward to claim responsibility or otherwise been identified, likely made it a “worm,” or self spreading malware, by exploiting a piece of NSA code known as “Eternal Blue” that was released last month by a group known as the Shadow Brokers, researchers with several private cyber security firms said.

“This is one of the largest global ransomware attacks the cyber community has ever seen,” said Rich Barger, director of threat research with Splunk, one of the firms that linked WannaCry to the NSA.

The Shadow Brokers released Eternal Blue as part of a trove of hacking tools that they said belonged to the U.S. spy agency.

Microsoft on Friday said it was pushing out automatic Windows updates to defend clients from WannaCry. It issued a patch on March 14 to protect them from Eternal Blue.

“Today our engineers added detection and protection against new malicious software known as Ransom:Win32.WannaCrypt,” Microsoft said in a statement. It said the company was working with its customers to provide additional assistance.

SENSITIVE TIMING

The spread of the ransomware capped a week of cyber turmoil in Europe that kicked off a week earlier when hackers posted a huge trove of campaign documents tied to French candidate Emmanuel Macron just 1-1/2 days before a run-off vote in which he was elected as the new president of France.

On Wednesday, hackers disputed the websites of several French media companies and aerospace giant Airbus.

Also, the hack happened four weeks before a British parliamentary election in which national security and the management of the state-run National Health Service (NHS) are important campaign themes.

Authorities in Britain have been braced for possible cyberattacks in the run-up to the vote, as happened during last year’s U.S. election and on the eve of this month’s presidential vote in France.

But those attacks - blamed on Russia, which has repeatedly denied them - followed an entirely different modus operandi involving penetrating the accounts of individuals and political organizations and then releasing hacked material online.

On Friday, Russia’s interior and emergencies ministries, as well as the country’s biggest bank, Sberbank, said they were targeted. The interior ministry said on its website that around 1,000 computers had been infected but it had localized the virus.

The emergencies ministry told Russian news agencies it had repelled the cyberattacks while Sberbank said its cyber security systems had prevented viruses from entering its systems.

NEW BREED OF RANSOMWARE

Although cyber extortion cases have been rising for several years, they have to date affected small-to-mid sized organizations, disrupting services provided by hospitals, police departments, public transportation systems and utilities in the United States and Europe.

“Seeing a large telco like Telefonica get hit is going to get everybody worried. Now ransomware is affecting larger companies with more sophisticated security operations,” Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer with cyber security firm Veracode, said.

The news is also likely to embolden cyber extortionists when selecting targets, Chris Camacho, chief strategy officer with cyber intelligence firm Flashpoint, said.

“Now that the cyber criminals know they can hit the big guys, they will start to target big corporations. And some of them may not be well prepared for such attacks,” Camacho said.

In Spain, some big firms took pre-emptive steps to thwart ransomware attacks following a warning from Spain’s National Cryptology Centre of “a massive ransomware attack.”

Iberdrola and Gas Natural, along with Vodafone’s unit in Spain, asked staff to turn off computers or cut off internet access in case they had been compromised, representatives from the firms said.

In Spain, the attacks did not disrupt the provision of services or networks operations of the victims, the government said in a statement.

Source: This article was published on theglobeandmail.com 

 

LONDON and MADRID — Reuters

 

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