Source: This article was published martechadvisor.com - Contributed by Member: Martin Grossner

Video has become an integral part of the overall content marketing mix – a significant chunk of people’s online activities involve consumption of videos.  51% of marketers swear by video to justify the ROI on content marketing activities - and YouTube gets more than 500 million hours of daily watch time. Facebook is not falling behind with 100 million hours of the same. And these numbers will only increase in the coming time.

On the other hand, ample amount of opportunities brings the problem of saturation. How do you stand out from the clutter and the competition in the eyes of your viewers and the search engines? In this article, we will go over 5 techniques (Or hacks, if you will!) that will attract more viewers for your videos.

(Note: For our convenience, we’ll mostly use YouTube for all the examples. The tactics mentioned in this article will be applicable for most video hosting platforms and streaming websites.)

1. Video Keyword Search

First, let’s go over the most fundamental aspect of any content creation activity - keyword research. Before you move to create videos, generate a list of keywords and keyword phrases that you would like to rank for.

To start with, the YouTube Suggest feature will show you what people are searching for in YouTube. For instance, if you type in Digital Marketing 2018 in the search box, YouTube will present the relevant searches with that keyword phrases, and you can generate more ideas with the suggestions.

Another way to get keyword ideas is to look for keywords used in videos with a higher video count. In the screenshot below, barring the video with 150k views, you can see that videos with the keyword phrase Digital Marketing Trends for 2018 have received a good amount of views.

2. Optimize Video Metadata

To help people find your content, optimize your video content before it goes live. Here is how you can do that:

Title: Include the focus keyword in the video title along with the problem it solves. It should be engaging and should incite people to click on the video.

In the screenshot below, the video has to Maximize Your Productivity as the focus keyword and tells how batching your tasks can help solve the problem it talks about. Note, that the language is simple yet impactful.

Description: Use the focus keyword as early as you can in the description to tell the YouTube algorithm what the video is about (Source). 200+ words descriptions help YouTube and Google both in understanding more about your video. You can ask viewers to subscribe to your channel or direct them to your website and so on. Avoid stuffing keywords in the description box to avoid getting penalized by YouTube.

Tip: If your video runs longer (usually 8+ minutes), add timestamps in your description to help your viewers navigate through the video. Here’s how Gary Vaynerchuk does it.

Upload video transcript: Now, this will certainly help you outsmart your competition. Whenever you are uploading a video, upload the video transcript along with it, because search engine bots crawl closed captions included in the video. YouTube does automatic captioning, but try not to use it because you are at the mercy of the speech recognition technology which sometimes is not accurate.

Video Thumbnail: Although thumbnails don’t influence the SEO factors directly, an eye-catching thumbnail will certainly attract more viewers leading to enhanced SEO.

Make sure your thumbnail attracts eyeballs and tells viewers what the video is about. Here’s an example:

3. Create Playlists to Increase Your Watch Time

Watch time measures the amount of time people spend in watching your videos. It’s an important metric, because YouTube rewards videos that keep viewers engaged on YouTube. To optimize your watch time, create playlists on specific topics that would keep the viewers hooked for a longer time. Also, while working on playlists, make sure the name of the playlist is keyword-rich to reap the SEO benefits.

4. User Engagement

If people are liking, leaving comments, sharing your videos or subscribing to your channel, YouTube uses it as a signal that your videos are engaging. Here are 2 simple tips to increase user engagement in your videos.

a. Ask viewers to like, comment and share your videos - and to subscribe to your channel. Ask specific questions so they can easily answer them in the comments section.

b. Ensure to leave reply to the comments on your videos – select a specific time to answer all the comments. Replying to comments makes your viewers feel good and engage more with your videos leading to even increased watch time.

5. Schema Markup

Schema.org is an initiative between Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Yandex to create a structured data markup schema. Implementing Schema markup will help videos stand out in standard search results. If you are not sure whether you should go for it or not, here is Matt Cutts himself affirming the significance of it.

You need to provide the description, thumbnail URL, upload date, and duration. Google has detailed out everything here regarding schema markups for videos.

6. Submit a Video Sitemap

Video sitemaps provide search engine bots with the placement and the metadata of the videos on your website. While the bots can crawl the content themselves, submitting the video sitemap speeds up the process.  The video sitemap should contain metadata like title, description, play page URL, thumbnail URL and the raw video file URL.

 If you have already started with video marketing and feel a little lost when it comes to getting more views, these hacks will set you in the right direction. How do you plan to implement these tactics? Let us know in the comments below!

Categorized in Search Engine

There's a lot to Snapchat.

Even for the young folks who make up the bulk of its users, there are lots of hidden features to uncover.

Luckily, we've done the hard work for you.

Here are the best Snapchat tips and expert tricks to take your snap game to the next level:

You've probably tried Snapchat's famous selfie lenses at least once. But did you know there are similar effects for your rear-facing camera? They're fun!

You've probably tried Snapchat's famous selfie lenses at least once. But did you know there are similar effects for your rear-facing camera? They're fun!
Snapchat

They're called World Lenses. You simply tap your screen while using your rear-facing camera to try them out.

Snapchat messages normally disappear within 10 seconds of being viewed, but you can stop them from being deleted right away by turning on "infinity" mode. The messages will still disappear after the recipient exists your conversation.

Snapchat messages normally disappear within 10 seconds of being viewed, but you can stop them from being deleted right away by turning on "infinity" mode. The messages will still disappear after the recipient exists your conversation.
Snap

You can draw with emojis. To get started, tap the pen drawing tool, then the star emoji under the color bar.

You can draw with emojis. To get started, tap the pen drawing tool, then the star emoji under the color bar.
Screenshot

When taking a video snap, you can zoom in by swiping up on the screen. To quickly switch between your rear and front cameras while recording, just double tap on the screen.

When taking a video snap, you can zoom in by swiping up on the screen. To quickly switch between your rear and front cameras while recording, just double tap on the screen.
Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

You can stack filters on top of each other to create multiple effects. With one filter enabled, tap and hold on the screen and then swipe again with a second finger to add another filter.

You can create your own location-based filters for particular cities, neighborhoods, and even site-specific events like birthday parties and weddings.

You can create your own location-based filters for particular cities, neighborhoods, and even site-specific events like birthday parties and weddings.
Snapchat

Head on over to Snapchat's website to learn more.

When watching someone's Story, you can quickly send them a message by just swiping up.

Snapchat Stories no longer autoplay from person to person by default. But you can turn that feature back on by tapping the triangle icon at the bottom of the screen.

Snapchat Stories no longer autoplay from person to person by default. But you can turn that feature back on by tapping the triangle icon at the bottom of the screen.
Screenshot

If you're worried about Snapchat using too much of your phone's data plan or battery charge, turn on Travel Mode. You can find it under "Manage" in your settings.

If you're worried about Snapchat using too much of your phone's data plan or battery charge, turn on Travel Mode. You can find it under "Manage" in your settings.
Tech Insider

One of Snapchat's many quirks is the list of emojis it puts next to your friends' names. You can read the description of each Friend Emoji and even change the symbol used for each category by going to "Manage" in settings.

One of Snapchat's many quirks is the list of emojis it puts next to your friends' names. You can read the description of each Friend Emoji and even change the symbol used for each category by going to "Manage" in settings.
Tech Insider

A Snapstreak is the number of consecutive days you've snapped with a friend. It's represented by the number next to your friend's name. An hourglass emoji warns that your streak with someone is about to end.

A Snapstreak is the number of consecutive days you've snapped with a friend. It's represented by the number next to your friend's name. An hourglass emoji warns that your streak with someone is about to end.
Cassidy Hopkins/INSIDER

And yes, people are obsessed with keeping their Snapstreaks alive.

In your settings, you can choose to let anyone send you messages (if they know your username). You can also change whether you want your Story to be visible to anyone who adds you, or only people you add back. The "Custom" setting lets you block specific people from seeing your Story (but they can still message you directly).

In your settings, you can choose to let anyone send you messages (if they know your username). You can also change whether you want your Story to be visible to anyone who adds you, or only people you add back. The "Custom" setting lets you block specific people from seeing your Story (but they can still message you directly).
Tech Insider

Snapchat doesn't notify you when someone unfriends you, but you can always check by looking for their Snapscore, which sits next to their username. If it's not visible, they don't follow you.

Snapchat doesn't notify you when someone unfriends you, but you can always check by looking for their Snapscore, which sits next to their username. If it's not visible, they don't follow you.
Tech Insider

No service? No problem. You can shoot snaps without an internet connection and send them later when you get back online.

No service? No problem. You can shoot snaps without an internet connection and send them later when you get back online.
Tech Insider

You can save all your snaps to Memories, which you can find by swiping down from the Snapchat camera. There's a separate "My Eyes Only" section in Memories for snaps you don't want anyone else to see.

You can save all your snaps to Memories, which you can find by swiping down from the Snapchat camera. There's a separate "My Eyes Only" section in Memories for snaps you don't want anyone else to see.
Snap

Your Trophy Case is visible above your Snapcode. You unlock trophies as you complete certain activities in the app, like sending a certain number of snaps using video zoom.

Your Trophy Case is visible above your Snapcode. You unlock trophies as you complete certain activities in the app, like sending a certain number of snaps using video zoom.
Screenshot

With the search feature, you can look up a particular contact, find the friends you talk to the most, or search for a specific event in crowdsourced stories no matter where you are in the app. Just tap on "Search" from the top of the screen.

With the search feature, you can look up a particular contact, find the friends you talk to the most, or search for a specific event in crowdsourced stories no matter where you are in the app. Just tap on "Search" from the top of the screen.
Snap

Not all conversations in Snapchat have to disappear. If you tap and hold on a chat bubble, you can save it for later. The next time you open the conversation, scroll up and you'll see what you saved. If you want to reset it so that it will disappear, tap and hold again. (When you save something, the app will notify the person you're chatting with).

Not all conversations in Snapchat have to disappear. If you tap and hold on a chat bubble, you can save it for later. The next time you open the conversation, scroll up and you'll see what you saved. If you want to reset it so that it will disappear, tap and hold again. (When you save something, the app will notify the person you're chatting with).
Screenshot

You can search for stickers in a chat conversation with keywords. Just type a keyword, like "wow," love," or "dope" and tap the sticker button.

You can search for stickers in a chat conversation with keywords. Just type a keyword, like "wow," love," or "dope" and tap the sticker button.
Screenshot

Snapchat supports group chats. Just select multiple people from your contacts when you're sending a message. You can name a group too.

Snapchat supports group chats. Just select multiple people from your contacts when you're sending a message. You can name a group too.
Snap

If you want a friend's name to show up differently in your contact list, just edit it.

If you want a friend's name to show up differently in your contact list, just edit it.
Tech Insider

If there's a publisher story you want to stop seeing, you can hide it from Snapchat by tapping and holding.

If there's a publisher story you want to stop seeing, you can hide it from Snapchat by tapping and holding.
Screenshot

There's a way to record video in Snapchat without any hands...

There's a way to record video in Snapchat without any hands...
Tech Insider
Source: This article was published businessinsider.com By Alex Heath
Categorized in Others

Netflix is still the reigning champion of streaming entertainment, and we will always credit the media giant as transforming home-viewing. Even if Blockbuster stores still stood in every neighborhood, no one would bother to drive to one.

But as liberating as Netflix is, people still get frustrated with the service. The index of films is so gigantic, it's hard to decide what to watch. The app keeps diligent records of your viewing habits, which anyone in your home can scrutinize. And what happens when you travel? These may be first world problems, but figuring out the Netflix game can be extremely gratifying.

Here are some clever hacks for getting the most out of your Netflix experience. Many users are surprised how pliable the platform is, once they learn a few tricks. If you haven't fiddled much with your Netflix options, get ready to view the service in a whole new way.

1. Delete Browsing History

Some movies we like to see in groups. Others, we like to see alone. Whether your guilty pleasure is "Gigli" or "Last Tango in Paris," you may not want everyone to know your private cinematic tastes. That's why Netflix makes it easy to hide certain selections from your profile so that nobody else can see what you've watched. You'll find this option under Your Account.

2. Hacking Netflix

Not long ago, there was a site called "A Better Queue," which enabled you to cut through all the unknown and poorly reviewed films that clutter Netflix. That site went under, but Hacking Netflix remains a great resource: You'll find regular updates on new films and TV shows added to the catalog. Despite the aggressive name, Hacking Netflix is nothing nefarious; it's a news site that religiously compiles new releases.

3. Pick a Movie at Random Through Netflix Roulette

Some people can spend an hour sifting through the endless Netflix options and still come up with nothing. (Author Douglas Coupland called this "option paralysis.") Wouldn't it be better to just leave your decision up to fate? That's why the internet invented Netflix Roulette, a site that takes your favorite genres, actors and directors and assigns you a film at random. Satisfy any mood without having to give it a second thought.

4. Netflix Enhancer

This nifty add-on only works on Google Chrome, but it definitely earns its title: Enhancer allows you to hover over a film with your mouse and immediately watch trailers and read reviews. The immediacy of Enhancer saves you the extra effort of looking up background information on YouTube and Rotten Tomatoes.

5. Sift Through Netflix's Weird Sub-Categories

It almost sounds like an urban myth: Netflix has many little subcategories, types of films that you never imagined anyone would identify, like "Steamy Sci-Fi and Fantasy" and "World Music Concerts." Users realized that they could enter certain codes into Netflix's URL and discover extremely specific cinematic genres. Several movie buffs have decoded the Netflix system, but one easy one is Secret Codes Search.

6. Maximize Video Quality

Most people are satisfied with Netflix picture quality, whether they're watching movies on their phone or on a wide-screen TV. It's true that Netflix usually has a pixellated look, but only a fraction of viewers really grumble about it. Yet what if you could improve the resolution? Turns out you can, and pretty easily, as long as you've got a strong Wi-Fi connection. Just access Your Account and visit Playback Settings, and you'll find an option to boost your picture quality to "high."

7. Go International

This is a common shocker: People travel internationally, bringing their iPads along. They arrive in their hotel, log onto Wi-Fi, and access Neflix. But wait! What are all these weird movies? Where's "The Walking Dead"? Turns out each country has its own selection of films and TV, and many mainstays that are U.S. entertainment are not included. How to fix it? Subscribe to Mediahint, which enables you to "unblock content" almost anywhere on the globe.

Source: This article was published komando.com

Categorized in Social

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Your Mac is no longer immune to malware attacks.

Check Point researchers have discovered an email-phishing campaign in Europe that is specifically targeting Mac users. The trojan is the first of its kind for Apple computers, and “it phishes for credentials by displaying full-screen alerts that claim there’s an urgent OS X update waiting to be installed.” Dok then accesses the victim’s system and grants administrator privileges to the cybercriminals so that they can install malware without being noticed. (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business:

Gone are the days of PC-only virus attacks.  Now malicious hackers are going after Apple devices too, so don’t think you’re safe just because you’re in an Apple environment.

2 — Apple Pay transactions have been growing astronomically.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook recently announced that the tech giant’s mobile payment service has become more popular with consumers than ever before. In fact, Cook said that Apple Pay transactions in the most recent quarter rose “450% from the same period a year ago.” Apple Pay has expanded to international markets in the past year, including the United Kingdom, Japan, Russia, Australia and Canada, which has helped it to become more accepted and widespread across the world. (Source: Fortune Magazine)

Why this is important for your business:

Apple is fully committed to their payment platform, and it is paying off. If you’re in retail or regularly accept credit cards, you need to make sure you’re also set up to take payments via Apple Pay…or you could potentially lose business.

3 — PayPal has new tools that will make it easier to start an online business.

PayPal has announced a new feature called “Business in a Box” that will provide small businesses with an easy way to access its curated partners, including WooCommerce and Xero, as well as the company’s own working capital. Amit Mathradas, PayPal’s head of small business for North America, said, "There is an ecosystem that we play in, and we should be helping to curate it, to help merchants get set up quickly, to start an online business or to take an offline business and move it online.” (Source: Forbes)

Why this is important for your business:

Apple Pay is certainly not the only game in town. I’m a big fan of PayPal and its deep roots in small business, particularly with merchants. Given these new tools, PayPal may be an even better payment option for your business to use so that you can provide the best payment choices for your customers.

4 — A new startup plans to use science to make work a more positive experience.

Humu hopes to improve people’s jobs by using machine learning and science to “ensure that employees always have good days at work.” The company’s founder has said of the new startup that people should “be constantly learning and growing, and surrounded by people who are doing the same. We all have good days and bad days, but what would work be like if every day were like our best days? Imagine what we could achieve.” (Source: VentureBeat)

Why this is important for your business:

Though still in their infancy, machine learning apps from companies like Humu will soon be widely used to track employee behaviors and will guide you on how to help them be more productive and happy. Keep an eye on this trend.

5 —  Here’s another bank that's merging technology with finance.

Capital One has launched “We Work As One,” a program that connects small businesses with local Capital One cyber-cafés for “a series of opportunities by educating café customers on industry trends, engaging consumers and the community in new ways, and addressing unique obstacles and challenges that small business owners face.” Capital One is a Marks Group client. (Source: Capital One)

Why this is important for your business:

Banks are continuing to use a combination of technology and education to attract new customers. Your business may want to do the same.

Gene Marks owns The Marks Group,  a 10-person technology consulting firm and is also a small business expert, speaker and columnist at other major outlets.

Source : This article was published in forbes.com By Gene Marks

Categorized in Business Research

Recently my wife, young son and I moved into our new dream home, a pre-construction building that was four years in the making. That left us a lot of time between purchase and occupancy, and as you can imagine, we spent quite a bit of time dreaming and designing. Every free minute I had was spent plowing through an endless stream of inspiration from the likes of Pinterest, Houzz and Google. My imagination was on fire!

Our builder allowed us to heavily customize our layout and design, so we worked with a design practice to re-imagine the space. But the pricing I was receiving from the builder to do the bulk of our build-out was too high and I knew I could get the job done for a lot less. During this search process, I discovered a very interesting trick to save money, not just for myself but for my business as well.

It starts by understanding a fundamental truth about how human beings work: For the most part, we are inherently lazy.

People Turn To Search Engines For A Quick Fix

There are at least two trillion Google searches performed each year. And that’s just Google – never mind Yahoo, Bing, Amazon and other search engines. Many of those searches are for a product or service. You, me and every human being with an internet connection has a short attention span these days. When we need to know, buy or understanding something, we demand that information instantly at the tip of our fingers. We simply don’t have a lot of time to spend researching, sourcing, investigating, and browsing for the information that we need.

The statistics about search engines are staggering: 81% of consumers head over to Google to perform a search to help them buy something. Mobile search helps 82% of in-store shoppers make a buying decision right on the spot. Local searches alone lead 50% of mobile visitors to a store within one day and 18% lead to a sale within 24 hours or less.

On the B2B side, things are not much different, with the DAC Group finding that 71% of enterprise purchase decisions in the U.S. start with a search query.

So, if this sounds like it’s making a case for SEO, then you’re right, but that’s not the point of this article.

Businesses that show up in the top 10 organic results on Google get the lion's share of business; 33% of people click on the first organic result. By the time they get down to the bottom of the first page, only 10% of people are left to click to the next page. And this is where the magic happens.

My Toronto website design and development company currently ranks on Google’s first page, often in the first three spots, for dozens of keywords. Once this started happening, we had no choice but to increase our prices as we struggled to handle the incoming leads. Even as we doubled and tripled our staff, it was no match for the sheer volume of potential new business coming in. Sure, many of them were poor quality leads or leads that we sold into our agency partner network because they weren’t the right fit. But that still left us with far more legitimate business opportunities and no way to take them all on. Our price increase and minimum project threshold allowed us to further qualify only the companies we knew would be a fantastic fit for us.

And that’s when it hit me: If the companies on page one are all getting more leads than they can handle, and they’re all increasing their prices, then what about the poor guys on page two, three, four and so on?

A Better Way To Find Vendors

So now back to my new home. As I started researching service providers for everything from drywall to glass to electrical, rather than calling the businesses on page one of Google search results, I quickly clicked over to page two, three and four. They were all still legitimate business listings that offered the service I was looking for but were likely getting significantly fewer leads from Google. Some had their own lead sources, referral networks and offline advertising, but many didn’t. So I began by mass e-mailing my quote requests to everyone who appeared on pages two through four.

And guess what? The prices were way less. Sometimes even half as much. I had my VA put all of their responses into a spreadsheet and then I simply selected the best price/quality supplier and saved myself a considerable sum.

I do this for our business now, too. In fact, it’s the only way I ever buy anything. I stay well clear of Google’s first page of search results and focus entirely on the businesses that aren’t getting more leads than they can handle.

Everyone wins – these companies get orders they wouldn’t normally receive, the timelines for service work are far less, I save some money, and that in turn enables me to spend my savings on additional resources, giving more companies my business and helping to drive the economy. The government still gets their taxes, more people stay employed, and everyone is happy. Try it for yourself. You’ll never go back to the old way.

Source : forbes.com

Categorized in Search Engine

Recently my wife, young son and I moved into our new dream home, a pre-construction building that was four years in the making. That left us a lot of time between purchase and occupancy, and as you can imagine, we spent quite a bit of time dreaming and designing. Every free minute I had was spent plowing through an endless stream of inspiration from the likes of Pinterest, Houzz and Google. My imagination was on fire!

Our builder allowed us to heavily customize our layout and design, so we worked with a design practice to re-imagine the space. But the pricing I was receiving from the builder to do the bulk of our build-out was too high and I knew I could get the job done for a lot less. During this search process, I discovered a very interesting trick to save money, not just for myself but for my business as well.

It starts by understanding a fundamental truth about how human beings work: For the most part, we are inherently lazy.

People Turn To Search Engines For A Quick Fix

There are at least two trillion Google searches performed each year. And that’s just Google – never mind Yahoo, Bing, Amazon and other search engines. Many of those searches are for a product or service. You, me and every human being with an internet connection has a short attention span these days. When we need to know, buy or understanding something, we demand that information instantly at the tip of our fingers. We simply don’t have a lot of time to spend researching, sourcing, investigating, and browsing for the information that we need.

The statistics about search engines are staggering: 81% of consumers head over to Google to perform a search to help them buy something. Mobile search helps 82% of in-store shoppers make a buying decision right on the spot. Local searches alone lead 50% of mobile visitors to a store within one day and 18% lead to a sale within 24 hours or less.

On the B2B side, things are not much different, with the DAC Group finding that 71% of enterprise purchase decisions in the U.S. start with a search query.

So, if this sounds like it’s making a case for SEO, then you’re right, but that’s not the point of this article.

Businesses that show up in the top 10 organic results on Google get the lion's share of business; 33% of people click on the first organic result. By the time they get down to the bottom of the first page, only 10% of people are left to click to the next page. And this is where the magic happens.

My Toronto website design and development company currently ranks on Google’s first page, often in the first three spots, for dozens of keywords. Once this started happening, we had no choice but to increase our prices as we struggled to handle the incoming leads. Even as we doubled and tripled our staff, it was no match for the sheer volume of potential new business coming in. Sure, many of them were poor quality leads or leads that we sold into our agency partner network because they weren’t the right fit. But that still left us with far more legitimate business opportunities and no way to take them all on. Our price increase and minimum project threshold allowed us to further qualify only the companies we knew would be a fantastic fit for us.

And that’s when it hit me: If the companies on page one are all getting more leads than they can handle, and they’re all increasing their prices, then what about the poor guys on page two, three, four and so on?

A Better Way To Find Vendors

So now back to my new home. As I started researching service providers for everything from drywall to glass to electrical, rather than calling the businesses on page one of Google search results, I quickly clicked over to page two, three and four. They were all still legitimate business listings that offered the service I was looking for but were likely getting significantly fewer leads from Google. Some had their own lead sources, referral networks and offline advertising, but many didn’t. So I began by mass e-mailing my quote requests to everyone who appeared on pages two through four.

And guess what? The prices were way less. Sometimes even half as much. I had my VA put all of their responses into a spreadsheet and then I simply selected the best price/quality supplier and saved myself a considerable sum.

I do this for our business now, too. In fact, it’s the only way I ever buy anything. I stay well clear of Google’s first page of search results and focus entirely on the businesses that aren’t getting more leads than they can handle.

Everyone wins – these companies get orders they wouldn’t normally receive, the timelines for service work are far less, I save some money, and that in turn enables me to spend my savings on additional resources, giving more companies my business and helping to drive the economy. The government still gets their taxes, more people stay employed, and everyone is happy. Try it for yourself. You’ll never go back to the old way.

Source : forbes.com

Categorized in Search Engine

We recently commented that the sale of Yahoo which will occur with a discount of 250 million dollars due to the security problems they have had in the past, two hacks that managed to break records in the list of “filtered data”. Now comes another negative news from the company about the third hack that has occurred.

Yahoo is warning some of its customers that state sponsored attackers have been logging into their accounts using a system of forgery of cookies, a system that does not require the acquisition of passwords.

The company has informed Zdnet via email that outside experts have been investigating the creation of forged cookies that could allow an attacker to access user accounts without a password, something that was used during 2015 or 2016 to access multiple accounts. From Twitter other users have confirmed the receipt of similar emails warning about the invasion.

View image on Twitter
View image on TwitterIt is not yet known how many clients have been affected, since the note has not been public. Although everything seems to indicate that the number has not been great, since in the attacks sponsored by the state we do not usually speak of large numbers.

If we consider that in September the theft of 500 million records was announced, and in December it rose to 1 billion, the highest in history, this third hack does not seem to have much importance, since virtually all Yahoo accounts have been invaded at some point in history.

Of course, after learning of the attacks Yahoo invalidated the cookies effectively blocking the attackers.

It seems that Yahoo’s security problems does not stop, hopefully when they are in new hands they will stop the avalanche.

Author : Armaan Patel

Source : http://hitechgazette.com/2017/02/17/yahoo-again-in-problem-announces-a-third-hack/

Categorized in Internet Privacy

“Warning: this fridge is hackable.”

That’s the type of advice that could appear on consumer goods once the European Union works out how to respond to the growing threat of “denial-of-service” attacks via billions of devices connected to the Internet.

At present, when consumer goods that collectively form the Internet of Things are manipulated by hackers to attack websites, their manufacturers face no legal action under European law because no such legislation exists.

Slowly, however, the European Commission — itself the victim of a denial-of-service attack in November — and the European Parliament are waking up to threats like the Mirai botnet, which last year carried out the largest ever “denial-of-service” attack, deploying ordinary security cameras, refrigerators and video players to take down websites including Twitter, Netflix, CCN and Reddit.

There are currently more than 5 billion connected devices in the hands of consumers worldwide, according to research firm Gartner’s estimates, and that number is expected to more than double by 2020. Lorie Wigle, general manager at the tech and security firm Intel, said the Mirai attack was “a call to action for device makers to take security seriously.”

“Maybe it’s good that it happened at the stage that we’re at now, rather than with billions of devices more [on the market],” said Wigle.

Nathalie Vandystadt, the Commission’s digital spokeswoman, said top officials were “acutely aware” of the challenges posed by the Internet of Things.

The European Commission is working on a “trust label” for the Internet of Things that would tell consumers whether they’re buying a product that’s hackable.

Separately, the e-Privacy Regulation making its way through the Parliament and Council could also affect how some products, like Amazon’s Echo or Apple’s Siri voice-controlled computers, treat communications data.

The Commission is looking to legislate on cybersecurity certifications but it could take at least until the end of the year to present a proposal. The mobile industry association GSMA and other corporate groups have worked on voluntary standards and internet platforms like the IoT Security Foundation have been created as a self-help consortium for companies to discuss issues.

No longer sci-fi

It could still take years before manufacturers have a clear set of binding security standards. This is a process that “requires strong leadership,” said Agustin Reyna, digital team leader at the consumer group BEUC. “The EU could be the champion for the development of this technology from a regulatory perspective, not just catching up.”

The European Commission, under the guidance of Digital Vice President Andrus Ansip, is expected to lay out its latest Cybersecurity Strategy this summer, updating a plan first drafted in 2013, the threat of Internet of Things botnets was still largely science fiction.

Nathalie Vandystadt, the Commission’s digital spokeswoman, said top officials were “acutely aware” of the challenges posed by the Internet of Things.

The direct damage from denial-of-service attacks isn’t always as harmful as the theft of digital business secrets or infiltrating public databases, but the attacks can prove a distraction for IT departments and put stress on computer systems, making them more vulnerable to hackers.

Mirai, the new cyber weapon, was designed to scan the web for devices that haven’t been secured properly. It tests a series of default login and passwords on any device that crosses its path. The system has plenty to target: The number of devices on the Internet of Things owned by both businesses and consumers will rise from 8.4 billion this year, to 20.4 billion in 2020, according to Gartner.

It turns out, very few devices ask new owners to change the default login when they buy a device — and so that fridge, thermostat or garden security camera can be easily hacked.

“You can blame the users, but that’s not fair. The device maker can build in a mechanism that triggers users to change [the original login],” Intel’s Wigle said.

For proof, look no further than the website Insecam, which has created a huge database of online security cameras around the world that are accessible remotely. In a couple of clicks, you’re looking at the backyard of someone who forgot to change his or her password.

A screenshot of unsecured cameras in Brussels compiled by the website insecam.org | Insecam

A screenshot of unsecured cameras in Brussels compiled by the website www.insecam.org | Insecam

The search engine Shodan.io shows the concentration of Internet of Things devices globally. The database is alarming, as it shows how computers running power grids, water plants and other industrial systems can be poorly secured. A moderately talented hacker could take over.

Tech industry and manufacturers have so far relied on market pressure to boost their security levels. In Europe, no one making, assembling or selling a thermostat, for example, is liable for security standards. Jan Philipp Albrecht, an MEP for the Greens, said this needs to change.

“The producers of these devices, or certain elements, never had an incentive to build in security,” said Albrecht, adding that product requirements tend to focus on safety rather than IT security.

Author : Laurens Cerulus

Source : http://www.politico.eu/article/army-of-light-bulbs-cameras-attack-defenseless-eu-internet-of-things-security/

Categorized in Internet of Things

It has already been a record-setting year for hacking scandals, and the headlines show no signs of slowing as we reach the end of 2016. Today's hack of Netflix's Twitter account by hacking collective OurMine is only the latest development in a year that has seen digital security become an issue of national security and election year politics.

OurMine, which is "a self-described white hat security group," said it was just testing Netflix security. The group suggested Netflix contact it to find out more about the hack. OurMine tweeted its message this morning, along with an email address and logo, to the nearly 2.5 million Twitter followers of @netflix, which is Netflix's U.S. account. "At least two more hacked tweets were sent. All of them have since been deleted, presumably by the Netflix social media team," according to CNET.

In previous years, most network intrusions have targeted enterprises and large corporations. But this year we saw a much more diverse field of victims, ranging from celebrities, technology CEOs, political parties, and even the Olympics.

More Political Hacks

Perhaps one of the most disturbing trends in 2016 has been the increased use of hacking to achieve geopolitical goals. Hacking groups linked to either the Kremlin or Russian president Vladimir Putin have been accused of reverting to Cold War tactics to weaken and delegitimize countries seen as political rivals.

A hack of the World Anti-Doping Agency's database, resulting in the publication of private medical records for several U.S. athletes, was attributed to a group of Russian hackers going by the names "Team Tsar" and "Fancy Bear." The group was also accused of hacking the Democratic Party’s network to find embarrassing information about then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The attack against the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign appear to have been part of an orchestrated effort by Russia to use cyberwarfare to undermine the U.S. electoral process. While it's impossible to say what, if any, effect the hack had on the election of Donald Trump, the hack has escalated tensions between the two countries and caused no small amount of alarm within the U.S. intelligence community.

And it isn't just national security that was in the spotlight in 2016. The year also saw a big jump in ransomware attacks, with individuals being targeted by hackers who encrypt their data in to extort cash out of them. Perhaps the largest such attack this year featured the San Francisco transit system, which was targeted by a ransomware attack that resulted in travelers receiving free rides over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Individuals in the Crosshairs

Several high-profile individuals in the technology sector have also been targets of attacks this year, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. And Twitter's former CEO Dick Costolo and current CEO Jack Dorsey also suffered from hacks.

Most of these attacks seem to have come from well-known hacking collectives such as OurMine. But an independent hacker going by the handle "Lid" was able to hijack the Twitter account of Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe.

Hacks weren't just about digital defacement and a chance to embarrass political opponents, though. This year also saw the second largest bitcoin hack in history, resulting in the theft of more than $65 million of the cryptocurrency.

But it wasn't just digital currency that was stolen this year. A gang of Russian hackers also managed to break into more than 330,000 point-of-sale machines running software by Micros, an Oracle company. The hack hit cash registers used in food chains, hotels and retail stores.

And speaking of hotels, the U.S. hospitality industry suffered one of its largest hacks ever when 20 hotels owned by HEI Hotels and Resorts discovered malware running on point-of-sale machines used throughout the country. That hack may have resulted in the theft of customer data including account and credit card numbers.

This year there was even information about past traditional hacks involving the theft of users' email addresses and login information. Yahoo reported that in 2013, it suffered the largest breach in history, involving more than 1 billion user accounts. That exceeds the hack of 500 million accounts in 2014 that the company also reported this year.

Author: Jef Cozza
Source: http://www.toptechnews.com/article/index.php?story_id=132004JYDLHC

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Forget about security! It turns out that the Chip-and-PIN cards are just as easy to clone as magnetic stripe cards.

It took researchers just a simple chip and pin hack to withdraw up to $50,000 in cash from an ATM in America in under 15 minutes.

We have been told that EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip-equipped cards provides an extra layer of security which makes these cards more secure and harder to clone than the old magnetic stripe cards.

But, it turns out to be just a myth.

A team of security engineers from Rapid7 at Black Hat USA 2016 conference in Las Vegas demonstrated how a small and simple modifications to equipment would be enough for attackers to bypass the Chip-and-PIN protections and enable unauthorized transactions.

The demonstration was part of their presentation titled, "Hacking Next-Gen ATMs: From Capture to Washout," [PDF]. The team of researchers was able to show the audience an ATM spitting out hundreds of dollars in cash.

Here's How the Hack Work

The hack requires two processes to be performed.

First, the criminals need to add a small device known as a Shimmer to a point-of-sale (POS) machine (here, ATM's card reader) in order to pull off a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack against an ATM.

The shimmer sits between the victim's chip and the card reader in the ATM and can record the data on the chip, including PIN, as the ATM reads it. It then transmits this data to the criminals.

The criminals then use a smartphone to download this stolen data and recreate the victim's card in an ATM, instructing it to eject cash constantly.

Tod Beardsley, a security research manager for Rapid7, told the BBC that shimmer is basically a tiny RaspBerry-Pi-powered device that could be installed quickly to the outside of the ATM without access to the internals of the cash machine.

"It's really just a card that is capable of impersonating a chip," Beardsley said. "It's not cloning."

The perpetrators would only be able to replicate each card for a few minutes and use it to fraudulently withdraw money, enabling them to make between up to $50,000, but Beardsley suggests that a network of hacked chip-and-pin machines could create a constant stream of victims.

Researchers have disclosed full details about the issue in Chip-and-PIN ATMs to banks and major ATM manufacturers and said they hope the institutions (currently unnamed) are examining the issue.

Author : 

Source : http://thehackernews.com/2016/08/hacking-chip-pin-card.html

Categorized in Science & Tech
Page 1 of 2

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.
Please wait

airs logo

Association of Internet Research Specialists is the world's leading community for the Internet Research Specialist and provide a Unified Platform that delivers, Education, Training and Certification for Online Research.

Newsletter Subscription

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.
Please wait

Follow Us on Social Media

Book Your Seat for Webinar GET FREE REGISTRATION FOR MEMBERS ONLY      Register Now