Technology
MacroDroid: Useful Multi-tasker
MacroDroid is a simple task automation tool which relies heavily on a simple user interface and enhanced usability. Other automation tools like Tasker, which are more advanced, have a steep learning curve and, hence, are more complex.
 
The simple aim of MacroDroid is to create macros (repetitive tasks) which operate automatically. For example, you would like to turn on/off a data/Wi-Fi connection when you reach a particular place or you would like to automatically answer a call when Bluetooth is connected.
 
The app comes with several in-built macro templates for you to use which gets you up and running immediately, instinctively.
 
Creating a custom macro is easy: ‘Add Macro’; Select a trigger from the list (e.g., battery level); configure trigger specific settings (e.g., battery level < 10%); select an action from the list (e.g., configure Wi-Fi); Configure action-specific setting (e.g., disable Wi-Fi) - That’s it. There are further variations (constraints) which you can use, as you get better acquainted with the app.
 
Remember to send an SMS to your wife, when leaving office—if you use MacroDroid, it can be done automatically! Android: https://goo.gl/gdKSV4

User

Cyber war: After 'WannaCrypt', world faces massive cryptocurrency attack
After facing a massive "WannaCrypt" ransomware attack that exploited a vulnerability in a Microsoft software and hit 150 countries, the same Windows vulnerability (MS17-010) has also been exploited to spread another type of malware that is quietly but fast generating digital cash from machines it has infected.
 
According to a report in The Registrar on Wednesday, tens of thousands of computers globally have been affected by the "Adylkuzz attack" that target machines, let them operate and only slows those down to generate digital cash or "Monero" cryptocurrency in the background. 
 
"Monero" -- being popularised by North Korea-linked hackers -- is an open-source cryptocurrency created in April 2014 that focuses on privacy, decentralisation and scalability. 
 
It is an alternative to Bitcoin and is being used for trading in drugs, stolen credit cards and counterfeit goods.
 
"Initial statistics suggest that this attack may be larger in scale than WannaCry[pt], because this attack shuts down SMB networking to prevent further infections with other malware (including the WannaCry[pt] worm) via that same vulnerability," US-based cyber security firm Proofpoint researchers were quoted as saying in the report.
 
This is how a cryptocurrency attack works.
 
The hackers need to mine cryptocurrency using computers/computing devices (IoT included).
 
"Mining of cryptocurrency simply means solving complex cryptography problems designed within the algorithm of a cyber-currency that requires a lot of computing," Saket Modi, CEO and Co-founder of Delhi-based IT risk assessments provider Lucideus, told IANS. 
 
To draw a parallel, there can only be 21 million Bitcoins that can be mined out of which 16 million have already been mined, informed Modi. 
 
"Monero", on the other side, is slightly different than Bitcoin but for simplification's sake, it can be assumed that it follows a similar architecture and similar mining process.
 
"Hence, there is a new wave of cyber attacks where the hacker is least interested in the personal information of the victim and instead his only motivation is to gain access to the CPU of the victim's computer/mobile/IoT device so that they can use it to mine more currencies (and correspondingly make more money)," Modi told IANS. 
 
This looks like something more dangerous than "WannaCrypt" as the victim doesn't come to know that they have been hacked, but, on the other side, "the good part is that the hacker here is not interested in the victim's personal data," Modi told IANS. 
 
To achieve this, the hackers find a vulnerability in one of the servers in the targeted organisation or they would infect a website which employees of a targeted organisation often visit.
 
"They would then infect the IT infrastructure of the target with malware and would identify where a server running SWIFT software is installed. They would download additional malware to interact with SWIFT software and would try to drain the organisation's accounts," Altaf Halde, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab (South Asia), told IANS.
 
According to Proofpoint, the "Adylkuzz" attack is still growing.
 
"Once infected through use of the 'EternalBlue' exploit, the cryptocurrency miner 'Adylkuzz' is installed and used to generate cybercash for the attackers," Robert Holmes, Vice President of products at Proofpoint, was quoted as saying.
 
According to experts, the "Adylkuzz" began its attack on or before May 2, more than a week before "WannaCrypt" arrived and hit 150 countries, including India. 
 
"Indications are that the crooks behind 'Adylkuzz' have generated a lot more money than the 'WannaCrypt' ransomware fiends," The Registrar report noted.
 
According to cyberscoop.com, "Monero" doubled in price over the last month to around $23 while other digital currencies, including bitcoin, saw a mixed month.
 
"Cybercriminals intrigued by the currency's promises of greater anonymity are using it more often on black markets." it said. 
 
This is how organisations can save themselves from such cryptocurrency attacks.
 
"If your organisation has software tools for conducting money transactions like SWIFT software, invest into additional protection and regular security assessment in addition to standard protection measures implemented on all other parts of the organization's network," Halde informed.
 
Protect backup servers as they contain information that can be of use for attackers: passwords, logins, and authentication tokens. 
 
"When deploying specialised software for money processing follow recommendations and best security practices from your software vendor and security professionals," Halde added.
 
In case of suspicion of intrusion, request for professional assistance with incident response. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

Ransomware hoax spreading faster than 'WannaCry'
More than the actual attack of the WannaCry ransomware, it is the hoax now floating around social media and WhatsApp that is creating panic among uninformed users. The hoax messages warn not to use shopping sites, online banking and automated teller machines (ATMs). The attack by WannyCry ransomware held to ransom millions of computers and businesses worldwide, demanding ransom to be paid in bitcoins worth $300-$600 to unlock the data. 
 
Anti-virus and content security provider eScan’s research team has unravelled the truth behind these hoax messages.
 
Here are some of the clarifications to ensure you do not fall prey to these texts: 
RBI orders Shutdown of ATMs until they are patched and safe.
o Status: Hoax
o Reason: RBI has issued clarification that they have not issued such orders.
Avoid using ATMs and do not do any online transaction
o Status: Hoax
o Reason: Any computer system infected with Ransomware would display the message that it has been infected.
Don't do any online transaction. Don't open any shopping cart.
o Status: Hoax
o Reason: Webserver infected with Ransomware would simply be not able to serve the pages. Shopping carts do not store Ransomware.
 
However, while browsing and downloading software make sure that executable files are scanned by an antivirus.
Except Africa all countries IT companies are hacked.
o Status: Hoax
o Reason: No explanations required because it’s fully fake news. When IT organisations get hacked it is all over the internet, TV channels etc. Such news is not limited to your group of friends.
Dance of the Hillary video
o Status: Hoax.
o Reason: There is no such video existing
 
eScan says it has even received an advisory in its mailbox which says:
Power off smart TVs, tablets, and every other smart device.
Turn off Bluetooth, wi-fi, tethering (also known as Hotspot) on your mobile phones.
Switch off your servers (or any other computers that you may leave on 24x7).
Disconnect LAN (network, CAT6, CAT5) cable plugging computers or laptops in the network. If it is a laptop, it may have a physical slide switch or button press to switch off Wi-Fi card inside the laptop - Switch That Off.
 
This advisory, off course is not relevant for stopping an attack from WannaCry. 
 
If possible, wait for news from the eastern world
o Status: Hoax
o Reason: This simply means that we should lead the life of an ascetic.
 
Keep the antivirus software active and updated on all your devices:
Status: 100% True.
Preferably buy a good antivirus, keep it updated, keep your operating system updated, take precautions, never divulge your personal information.
Keep all your important data in back up (if your system has an auto back option available, keep it as auto enabled)  

User

COMMENTS

Vivek Silla

6 months ago

We the common people start spreading hoax messages and make these viral resulting in panic. While the intention is noble, but the result is counterproductive as we do more harm than good by spreading panic through fake and misleading messages.
Each individual should exercise restraint from spreading such viral messages. If any individual really wants to do good to their friends and the society, then he or she should verify the authenticity of such messages and pass on only the ones which are really genuine, ignore the remaining or advise the individual from whom the message was received. Online sites such as hoax-slayer.com, scamanalyze.com etc. or even a simple google search can advise on which message is genuine and which is hoax.

Mohan Sivanand

6 months ago

Correction: it is Windows Defender. It's as good as any antivirus you can pay for. And Microsoft is updating it regularly for new attacks.

Mohan Sivanand

6 months ago

If you already use licensed Microsoft Windows and/or the Microsoft Office pack, you need not spend on any anti-virus software again because Microsoft gives you their own Windows a Defender (new) and Microsoft Security Essentials. Download them for free if you haven't already or Lok in your PC for them. Keep them updated, as also your Windows operating system.

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