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Posted by Delete Delete on Tue 25th Mar 2014

Security company Symantec has called on banks to upgrade cash machines running on Windows XP, as details emerge of weaknesses that allow hackers to withdraw cash simply by sending an SMS to compromised ATMs.

According to Symantec, Windows XP is the OS behind 95% of ATMs and is being targeted by increasingly sophisticated attacks that use a mobile phone to gain access to cash points and force them to dispense money to mules working for criminal gangs.
It may seem incredible but this technique is being used in a number of places across the world
"With the looming end-of-life for Windows XP slated for 8 April, the banking industry is facing a serious risk of cyber-attacks aimed at their ATM fleet," said Daniel Regalado, a Symantec malware analyst, in a blog post.

"This risk is not hypothetical — it is already happening. Cybercriminals are targeting ATMs with increasingly sophisticated techniques."
The threat first emerged as malware known as Backdoor.Ploutus in South America late last year, but according to Symantec the hackers have developed the tool with English-language versions and a modular architecture that makes it more flexible.
Effectively, Ploutus allows cybercriminals to send a text message to an infected cash machine, then walk up and retrieve the money that's ejected. "It may seem incredible but this technique is being used in a number of places across the world at this time," said Regalado.

However, while this mobile bank job is already in progress, the raiders need more than a mobile phone number for the targeted ATM.
The criminals first need to install a mobile phone within the ATM, often using USB tethering to both access the ATM and keep the phone charged.
Once installed, the phone acts as a packet sniffer and detects messages sent in a specific format, before converting them into network packets that it forwards to the ATM via the USB cable.
Improvements to the malware means the codes to prompt withdrawals are automated and the money mule no longer needs to be trusted with malware access codes.

"Using SMS messages to remotely control the ATM is a much more convenient method for all of the parties in this scheme, because it is discrete and works almost instantly," said Regalado. "The criminal knows exactly how much the money mule will be getting and the money mule does not need to linger for extended periods around an ATM waiting for it to issue the cash."

Source: Click here

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Posted by Delete Delete on Tue 25th Mar 2014

Shopping giant Amazon is set to enter the computer games market and take on Xbox and PlayStation.

The online retailer was believed to be readying a new console to battle big rivals Microsoft and Sony.

But insiders have revealed the firm's new machine will be a simple Dongle.

The device will allow users to stream TV programmes and films over the web from Amazon's instant library.

But crucially it will also allow gamers to stream top PC games across the net too on their tellies.

A picture of the controller gamers will use to control the machine has been leaked.

It looks like a more angular Xbox 360 controller with play and fast-forward type additional buttons.

Sources say the games available on the service will be "top-tier" streaming at a smooth 30 frames-per-second but didn't mention any names.

It will run on a modified Android operating system, just like the Kindle Fire line of tablets.

They also suggested there may be access to popular PC hubs like Steam and Origin which boasts access to big-name titles like Battlefield and Fifa.

Amazon is yet to comment on the claims on a new console.

But the retailer has recently acquired Killer Instinct and Strider games developer Double Helix Games for an undisclosed sum.

Industry insiders believe an announcement is 'imminent'.

Matt Burns, of TechCrunch.com, said:

"Little is known about Amazon’s upcoming entrant into set-top boxes."

"It’s widely speculated that it will support 3rd party apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus."

"Of course Amazon Instant Video will likely be a big part of the device."

"It’s unclear at this point when the device will launch, but with this latest leak, chances are the launch is drawing near."

Source: Click here

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Posted by Delete Delete on Mon 24th Mar 2014

Apple is rumoured to be on the verge of releasing a 12in model in its Macbook line.
Chinese website Weiphone reported that the new 12in Macbook will break with convention by having no mechanical mouse buttons and no fan, thus reducing its width considerably.
The new Macbook model reportedly will also be thinner and lighter than both of its 11in and 13in Macbook Air cousins.


These stories corroborate speculation from a reliable industry analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI, who spoke earlier this year about a clamshell device with a Retina display and an ultra-slim design, as reported at Macrumors.

The Weiphone post also mentioned impending updates for the Macbook Air range, with updates to the Macbook Pro to follow in September, and an iWatch that is still at the prototype stage. This means the latter is unlikely to appear ahead of the first wearable products based on Google's Android Wear software platform, announced last week.

If these stories prove to be more than mere speculation, they will put Apple in a state of high alert and bad humour similar to that experienced by Microsoft recently. Only last week, a Microsoft employee was found to have leaked updates to the latest version of the troubled Windows 8.1 operating system update. The deed was discovered after Microsoft caused an uproar by examining his Hotmail account to trace the suspect.

We hope any new Macbook device merges Apple's existing Macbook models, combining the portability of the 11in Macbook with the performance of the 13in model, all stuffed into an even thinner body.

Source: www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2335983/apple-said-to-be-developing-a-thinner-than-air-12in-macbook

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Posted by Delete Delete on Mon 24th Mar 2014

The era of the 99p download might be coming to an end - all because of George Osborne.

Buried within the Chancellor's 2014 Budget was a promise to tax downloads in the country in which they are purchased.

Currently a legal loophole allows companies to sell them through another where tax rates are lower.

For example, many companies sell downloads through Luxembourg where the tax rate is around 3% compared with 20% in the UK.

Osborne promised to introduce the new law in January 2015.

The budget document said: "As announced at budget 2013, the government will legislate to change the rules for the taxation of intra-EU business to consumer supplies of telecommunications, broadcasting and e-services.

"From 1 January 2015 these services will be taxed in the member state in which the consumer is located, ensuring these are taxed fairly and helping to protect revenue."

Although this would have the benefit of raising a possible £300 million, those costs would undoubtedly be passed on to consumers making a 99p download pretty unviable.

Source: www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/03/24/99p-downloads-tax-laws-osborne-budget_n_5020078.html

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Posted by Delete Delete on Mon 24th Mar 2014

 With over 6 billion hours of video watched each month, YouTube is an incredibly powerful platform for video consumption and sharing. It's even beating Facebook as a social media site among teenagers. Now it seems like Google will be looking to reach a much younger demographic.

YouTube is reportedly developing a new kid-friendly website that will feature programming for children under the age of 10. While YouTube currently has safety features that block inappropriate content, the filters aren't 100% accurate. A new stand-alone site would guarantee a safe browsing experience for the young ones.

To learn more about this developing story, check out the video. Host Lamarr Wilson discusses this topic and more on his new Mashable show YouTube Weekly. The video can be found by visiting the source website.

Source: Click here for original source

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Posted by Delete Delete on Wed 19th Mar 2014

Researchers are working to enable smartphones and other mobile devices to understand and immediately identify objects in a camera's field of view, overlaying lines of text that describe items in the environment.

"It analyzes the scene and puts tags on everything," said Eugenio Culurciello, an associate professor in Purdue University's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Psychological Sciences.
The innovation could find applications in "augmented reality" technologies like Google Glass, facial recognition systems and robotic cars that drive themselves.
"When you give vision to machines, the sky's the limit," Culurciello said.

The concept is called deep learning because it requires layers of neural networks that mimic how the human brain processes information. Internet companies are using deep-learning software, which allows users to search the Web for pictures and video that have been tagged with keywords. Such tagging, however, is not possible for portable devices and home computers.

"The deep-learning algorithms that can tag video and images require a lot of computation, so it hasn't been possible to do this in mobile devices," said Culurciello, who is working with Berin Martini, a research associate at Purdue, and doctoral students.
The research group has developed software and hardware and shown how it could be used to enable a conventional smartphone processor to run deep-learning software.
Research findings were presented in a poster paper during the Neural Information Processing Systems conference in Nevada in December. The poster paper was prepared by Martini; Culurciello and graduate students Jonghoon Jin, Vinayak Gokhale, Aysegul Dundar, Bharadwaj Krishnamurthy and Alfredo Canziani.

The new deep-learning capability represents a potential artificial-intelligence upgrade for smartphones. Research findings have shown the approach is about 15 times more efficient than conventional graphic processors, and an additional 10-fold improvement is possible.
"Now we have an approach for potentially embedding this capability onto mobile devices, which could enable these devices to analyze videos or pictures the way you do now over the Internet," Culurciello said. "You might have 10,000 images in your computer, but you can't really find an image by searching a keyword. Say you wanted to find pictures of yourself at the beach throwing a football. You cannot search for these things right now."
The deep learning software works by performing processing in layers.

"They are combined hierarchically," Culurciello said. "For facial recognition, one layer might recognize the eyes, another layer the nose, and so on until a person's face is recognized."
Deep learning could enable the viewer to understand technical details in pictures.
"Say you are viewing medical images and looking for signs of cancer," he said. "A program could overlay the pictures with descriptions."

Source: http://phys.org/news/2014-03-enabling-smartphones.html#jCp

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Posted by Delete Delete on Wed 19th Mar 2014

Lawyers for hacker Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer, who is serving a 41-month prison sentence, will appear in a US court on Wednesday to try to overturn a conviction they say has serious repercussions for internet freedom.

Auernheimer, a self-confessed internet troll and hacker, was found guilty in November 2012 of identity theft and conspiracy to gain unauthorised access to AT&T public servers, after he obtained thousands of email addresses of iPad owners. He shared his findings with Gawker, which published them in redacted form. He was charged with a felony under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a law that came under fire as outdated and too general when it was used to prosecute the late internet activist Aaron Swartz.

Lawyers for Auernheimer say his conviction is flawed and raises important questions for civil liberties online.

On Wednesday, at the 3rd circuit court of appeals in Philadelphia, lawyers will argue that Auernheimer's actions do not constitute a misdemeanour, let alone a felony. They will say that Auernheimer did not violate the CFAA because he simply accessed a public server, something that does not constitute "unauthorised access", which is what the law criminalises. Neither, they say, does it constitute a crime under the identity theft statute.

The government argues that his actions were without authorisation under the CFAA because AT&T did not want them to have the addresses, despite them being available on its public website.

"The fundamental question in this case is whether it is a crime to visit a public website," the lawyers wrote in their legal brief. "By posting information on the public web without a password requirement, AT&T made the information available to everyone."

Auernheimer's legal team includes Orin Kerr, a former prosecutor and law professor at George Washington University Law School and lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital rights organisation.

Hanni Fakhoury, staff attorney at the EFF, said Auernheimer's case was an example of a prosecution aimed at a person, not a crime: "One of the big problems of this case has always been that Auernheimer can be unsympathetic. The thing is, when you couple a very bad law [the CFAA] with the prosecutor having brought the decision being able to go after who they like, or who they don't like, that's a problem," he said.

Because the CFAA makes it a crime to obtain information from a computer "without authorisation", a term that has not been defined in the law, the conviction sets a dangerous precedent, Fakhoury said.

He cited the case of Isaac Wolf, a journalist at Scripps Howard News Service, who was threatened with legal action under the CFAA last year. Wolf was researching a story on TerraCom, a company that provides federally subsidised phone services to those on low incomes and came across social security numbers and other sensitive records while doing a basic google search. But when he revealed that TerraCom and an affiliate YourTel America, had left thousands of customers at risk of identity theft, the companies claimed the reporters were hacking and threatened to sue.

Auernheimer's appeal will be closely watched by security researchers and privacy experts who say that the conviction, if not overturned, will have a detrimental effect on security. They say the information Auernheimer helped to access was made available by AT&T to the entire internet and access occurred through standard protocols used by every web user.

Computer scientists, security researchers and internet freedom advocates have filed amicus brief, asking the appeals court to overturn his conviction. They include the Mozilla Foundation, which makes the web browser Firefox. In their brief, they argue there are "striking similarities" between research tools used by experts to benefit privacy and security and those employed by Auernheimer, and that they have a vital interest in arguing why individuals must be deemed authorised under the CFAA when they access unsecured data on websites.

Auernheimer's conviction raises other legal issues, in addition to questions of whether it was a crime, his lawyers say. In papers submitted to the court, they argue that the case was improperly brought in New Jersey, because no computer was accessed nor information obtained in New Jersey and that the largest part of his sentence, due to an alleged $73,000 loss to AT&T, was wrong because the losses were nothing to do with computer costs, but were the result of mail sent out to the company's customers.

Auernheimer, who is serving his sentence at Allenwood Federal Correctional Complex in White Deer, Pennsylvania, has not been given permission to attend the hearing.

Source: Click here to view the source

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Posted by Delete Delete on Wed 19th Mar 2014

Here are some top picks for tech products under $50 that everyone should own.

Backup battery charger

Anyone who owns a smartphone knows it can run through a battery in less than a day. So I carry a backup battery charger everywhere. The Digital Treasures ChargeIt Universal 3600mAh Power Bank ($29.99 on Amazon) has built-in Lightning, microUSB and legacy 30-pin Apple device cables, so you won’t ever forget yours. And its 3600mAh battery provides plenty of backup power for even the most power-hungry cell phones.

Essence Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes work better than manual ones. Not only does brushing with an electric toothbrush leave your teeth feeling cleaner, according to a report by The Cochrane Collaboration Oral Health Group, it also reduces plaque and the risk of contracting gingivitis, an early stage periodontal disease that affects 50 percent of adults.

Not just any electric toothbrush will do, though. Go for a model with a head that rotates and oscillates, like the Oral-B Professional Deep Sweep Triaction 1000 ($39.97 on Amazon) or a sonic model like the rechargeable Sonicare Essence Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush ($49.95 on Amazon)

Cloud-based file storage

Imagine losing every picture, every video, every memento of the important events in your life due to a fire, flood or theft. And why risk it when cloud-based storage options are so widely available and cheap? One of the best bargains is Google Drive, which is free for the first 15 GB of storage and $1.99 per month ($23.88 per year) for up to 100GB. (You can also get 1TB for $9.99 per month or $119.88 per year.) You can use it to sync files between all of your devices and access your files from anywhere. We even trust it at Techlicious to store and share all of our business files.

Pod-based single serve coffee machine

Every minute counts during my morning rush, so I rely on a single-serve coffee machine to give me that initial jolt, with a minimal amount of effort. There are certainly fancier options out there than the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Personal Cup Pod Coffeemaker 49990Z ($29.99 on Amazon), but for $30, you can get a very good cup of coffee in no time. You can buy pre-made Senseo pods or make your own pods, filling them with your favorite coffee or tea. The coffeemaker is built to accommodate tall travel mugs and has a built-in stand for regular cups.

Instant tire repair

Changing a flat tire is messy, difficult and can be downright dangerous. With just the push of a button, though, the Slime Safety Spair ($38.97 on Amazon) injects a special sealant into your tire, plugging punctures up to a quarter inch, and quickly re-inflating the tire with its built-in compressor. All in 7 minutes…er…flat. There’s also a safety light for night use making it an essential part of your car safety kit. The inflator can also be used to top off a low tire or inflate sports balls without injecting the repair sealant.

Source: http://time.com/29467/5-tech-products-under-50-everyone-should-own/?

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Posted by Delete Delete on Tue 18th Mar 2014

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella looks set to unveil an iPad version of the company's Office software suite on 27 March.
The new CEO will use his first big press appearance to launch the company's most profitable product on Apple's tablet.
Nadella, who replaced long-time CEO Steve Ballmer earlier this year, will address the media and industry executives in San Francisco.

Read Jon Honeyball's scathing verdict on OneNote for Mac, and what it means for Office on iPad
Microsoft has had an iPad versions of Office primed for several months now, sources told Reuters, but the company has dallied on its release due to internal divisions, among other things.
Microsoft already has a version of Office for iPhone, which is only available to Office 365 subscribers. Microsoft sources have told The Verge that the iPad version will offer a similar feature set and also require an Office 365 subscription for editing.

Investors have long urged Microsoft to adapt Office for mobile devices from Apple and Google, rather than shackling it to Windows, as PC sales decline. But the software giant has been reluctant to undermine its other lucrative franchise.

Microsoft gives up some $2.5 billion a year in revenue by keeping Office off the iPad, which has now sold almost 200 million units, analysts estimate.
Microsoft said in an invitation to reporters that Nadella will discuss "news related to the intersection of cloud and mobile" but declined to comment on the specifics of the CEO's appearance.
Although Nadella is expected to discuss his thinking in depth next week, the company has already signalled that it will adopt a more liberal attitude toward putting its software on different platforms.

On Monday, Microsoft made its OneNote software available on Mac, and last week the company suggested it would launch a new version of Office for Mac before the end of the year.

Source: www.pcpro.co.uk/news/enterprise/387658/office-for-ipad-release-date-set-for-27-march

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Posted by Delete Delete on Tue 18th Mar 2014

Apple has released a cheaper variant of its iPhone 5C, with only 8GB of storage memory, in Europe.

The device, which has appeared on the website of UK carrier O2, as well as Apple's European stores, is otherwise the same as the 16GB and the 32GB iPhone 5C variants. It sports a 4-inch Retina display, 8-megapixel camera, and an A6 processor.

The 8GB iPhone 5C is not yet available on Apple's official website or the websites of any US carrier, so we don't know exactly how much cheaper it will be in the US. O2 prices it at least 50 pounds ($83) cheaper than the 16GB variant, depending on the contract. At Apple's UK site, it is 40 pounds cheaper ($67) than the 16GB variant sans contract; in Germany, the price difference is 50 euros ($70).

Reports that the iPhone 5C is not selling as well as expected were never officially confirmed by Apple. The sudden unveiling of an 8GB model might however mean that the company is rethinking its pricing strategy for the low-cost iPhone.

Source: mashable.com/2014/03/18/apple-launches-8gb-iphone-5c/

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