Tech Articles Just another WordPress weblog Wed, 17 Sep 2014 06:57:16 +0000 en Don’t Be Fooled by PayPal Phishing Scheme Thu, 27 Mar 2014 13:33:26 +0000 admin If you’re a frequent PayPal user, you know that protecting your account’s security is of the utmost importance. A new phishing scam has been spotted by a number of users who received a fake email with the subject “Dear PayPal”.

The email from phishing scammers claims to be from PayPal and asks uses to download and complete an attached form. The scammers are attempting to trick users by claiming that there has been unauthorized activity recorded on their PayPal account and asking for personal information in order to proceed with security measures as usual.

As with all scam emails, this one does not come from an official PayPal server and should not be trusted or replied to by any user. Do not reply to this email or download the attached form, and make sure not to give any personal information to any source you are not familiar with. The attached form asks for information such as home address, credit card number, date of birth, and other details which can easily be used to steal your credit details.

Tumblr Improves Security with Two-Factor Authentication Wed, 26 Mar 2014 16:04:54 +0000 admin In an effort to increase the site’s security power, Tumblr has introduced a two-factor authentication process similar to the one already in use by Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Dropbox. The service was announced and launched on Monday and can be accessed by users via the Settings page.

Security is a growing concern for internet users around the world, prompting a number of prominent online services to undergo stringent verification processes and checks. Users of the Yahoo-owned Tumblr blogging site will now be able to make it more difficult than ever for outsiders to access their accounts.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the idea of a two-factor authentication process, Tumblr’s staff was quick to shed a little light on the issues. “You know how you need two keys to launch a nuclear missile?,” a blog post asked. “Two-factor authentication works like that. One key is your password, the other is your cellular phone, and you need both to access your Tumblr Dashboard.”

Now that you have a better idea on accessing both your Tumblr and a nuclear weapon, you can go ahead and increase your security settings as you see fit.

Twitter Investigates Disappearing Tweets Wed, 26 Mar 2014 10:30:16 +0000 admin Social media microblogging site Twitter is currently investigating the mysterious disappearance of the world’s most famous selfie. Over the last few days, the site has experienced a spate of vanishing tweets from a number of users; counted amongst the casualties is Ellen DeGeneres’ record-breaking and start-studded Oscar night selfie.

Several Twitter users have voiced their concerns over the fact that several of their posts seemed to be disappearing at random, prompting the social network to launch an investigation into the cause of this mysterious problem.  According to an official statement on the matter, Twitter is currently “researching a bug that has caused some Tweets to not be displayed.”

Several high-profile Twitter accounts have been affected by the bug along with DeGeneres’, including Lady Gaga, The Daily Mail, and CNBC. Fans and Twitter users have also expressed distress over the disappearance of the final tweet posted by ‘Glee’ star Cory Monteith before his tragic death last July.

Twitter officials have not yet discovered the cause of this strange bug.

Android Kit Kat Underperforming While iOS 7 Adoption Soars Mon, 24 Mar 2014 16:31:18 +0000 admin The figures are in on mobile operating system adoptions- and it’s not looking great for Google’s Android platform this time. Analytics firm Mixpanel has revealed that while the vast majority of iPhone users have made the switch to iOS 7, the same cannot be said for Android’s struggling Kit Kat update.

According to Mixpanel’s real-time adoption statistics tracking system, between 88-90% of Apple devices are running on the latest operating system. In stark contrast to that is Android Kit Kat, which is apparently only being used by around 8% of all Google OS users. Although all mobile operating system upgrades are available absolutely free of charge, Android users seem not to be opting to keep their software up-to-date.

Apple’s most recent software update is iOS 7.1, which was only issued recently as a much-needed patch to certain security vulnerabilities. Since the release of this new update, Mixpanel has reported that the patch is in use by as many as 31% of users.

Apple Considers Spotify Competitor App Mon, 24 Mar 2014 12:28:49 +0000 admin Music streaming seems to be geared up to become the next big business for tech companies and app developers, and Apple aren’t letting that bandwagon leave without them. According to reports, Apple may be in talks with a number of major record labels in preparation to release a streaming service to rival popular music platforms such as Spotify and Beats.

Music magazine and news source Billboard has reported that Apple may be the next big player in the streaming game, with statements from three anonymous sources confirming that the company is in the early stages of creating the service. The move would make sense for Apple, considering the fact that music downloads have declined while streaming services like Spotify and Pandora have taken off with users around the world. According to a recent report, streaming services pulled in $1.4 billion in 2013 from premium subscriptions, advertising, and licensing revenues in the US.

Another interesting move for Apple may come in the form of a rumored Android app release. According to Billboard’s sources, the tech giant is giving serious considerations to creating an iTunes Store app for Android, officially launching their products into enemy territory.

7 Out of 10 Beats Trial Users Sign On for Premium Service Fri, 21 Mar 2014 16:18:10 +0000 admin Music streaming service Beats Music seems to be in tune with its potential customers, signing up as many as 1000 new paying subscribers per day without issuing any free trials. According to a Bloomberg report, the service is also managing to hang on to 70% of its AT&T trial users after the free introductory period ends.

Although relatively new to the online music game, Beats is taking its target market by storm if Bloomberg’s unnamed company sources are correct. After launching to the public on January 21st of this year, Beats offered a 90-day free trial to AT&T Family customers and 30 days to individual AT&T wireless customers. As these free trials expired, the music streaming service was able to retain 70% of its AT&T customers.

The service, which offers unlimited music streaming for $9.99 is doing extremely well in a field which was previously entirely dominated by competitors such as Spotify and Pandora. Unlike its competing services, Beats does not offer a free trial to most users.

Mt.Gox Discovers 200,000 Missing Bitcoins Fri, 21 Mar 2014 14:21:46 +0000 admin Have you ever put on an old coat and found a crumpled $20 note in the pocket? Well, that’s what just happened to bankrupt former Bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox. Only instead of $20 dollars, they found around 200,000 lost Bitcoins.

According to Mt.Gox CEO Mark Karpeles, the hidden digital currency was overlooked because it was hidden in an old-format digital wallet which was used in the past but was believe to be empty. The impressive hidden cache was stored prior to June 2011 and discovered earlier this month.

Unfortunately, although Mt.Gox was once the biggest Bitcoin exchange on the planet, the company filed for bankruptcy in February after reporting a massive security breach and the theft of thousands of Bitcoins. While 200,000 Bitcoins amount to a staggering amount of money ($116 million by current exchange rates), this is not enough to repair the damage done to the company and its users.

In total hackers are estimated to have stolen around 750,000 Bitcoins from Mt.Gox customers, as well as 100,000 of the company’s own reserve.

FitBit Faces Class Action Suit over Rashes Thu, 20 Mar 2014 16:24:20 +0000 admin After a spate of rashes caused by the new FitBit Force, the fitness tracking company is facing a class-action lawsuit. It is estimated that 1.7% of FitBit Force users have been affected by a skin irritation caused by the device, prompting a product recall.

The lawsuit, which was filed by the Gomez Firm in San Diego, will require the fitness tracking company to contact every Force owner in the state of California. The class-action suit launched against FitBit is also seeking a full refund of $130 for Californian customers, along with shipping fees and taxes.

Bizarrely, part of the action against FitBit is being taken by a user who has experienced no skin rashes or averse affects after using his Force fitness tracker. According to the Wall Street Journal, 49-year-old aviation instructor Jim Spivey remains unaffected by the FitBit Force, but feels that the company did not do enough to alert its customers of potential harm.

Speaking to news site TechCruch, a FitBit spokesperson stated that the company has already publicly offered refunds to any dissatisfied customers.

Fake iOS Tor Browser Spreads Malware Thu, 20 Mar 2014 13:54:22 +0000 admin Web browser Tor is a popular tool for anyone who wants their online movement to remain anonymous; however a mobile version of the software may not be as safe as users had hoped. A Tor application found in Apple’s App Store has been reported as a fake program spreading malware to unsuspecting users.

According to a report from several Tor users, the application became available in November of last year, however it was subsequently reported as being a fake over two months ago. Although the fake application was reported to Apple, it has remained available and fully operational over the last two months, leading more users to potentially become exposed to the malware download.

“I think naming and shaming is now in order. Apple has been putting users at risk for months now,” wrote a member of Tor’s passionate online community. A number of Tor users reported being affected by malware such as adware or spyware, though it has not been confirmed by Apple or any third party security analysts.

Facebook Mobile Ad Sales Rise Thu, 20 Mar 2014 10:39:51 +0000 admin Search engine and software giant Google holds the biggest chunk of the mobile ad sales market, but according to market research company eMarketer, Facebook may not be too far behind. Between them, the two companies raked in two-thirds of all mobile ad sales in 2013.

Last year was a strong one for mobile ad spending, surging 105% ahead of 2012, but this year is forecasted to surpass that by another 75% in total. According to eMarketer’s predictions, mobile ad sales may add up to a whopping $31.45 billion this year.

In 2011, Facebook only received 11% of its ad revenue from mobile, but that figure rose to around 45% last year, and is expected to continue climbing this year. Facebook has made more of an effort to increase its ad revenue on mobile devices, and the effort appears to be paying off for the world’s largest social network. As more and more of the world’s population makes the move towards mobile technology, advertising opportunities are only expected to rise.

Hackers Use EA Site to Phish for Apple IDs Thu, 20 Mar 2014 08:45:57 +0000 admin This week, video game makers Electronic Arts found that not only had their website been breached by hackers, but the page had been transformed into a phishing scheme. Users logging on to the compromised site were prompted to give their credit card information, along with passwords and other personal data.

The major security breach was first noticed by security firm Netcraft, who promptly notified EA of the situation on Tuesday. EA has confirmed that following their own investigation into the phishing scheme, the fake site has been removed from their domain, making the website safe for users once again.

“We have found it, we have isolated it, and we are making sure such attempts are no longer possible,” said EA spokesman John Reseburg in a statement to technology news site CNET. Reseburg went on to confirm that privacy and security were of paramount importance to the company.

In a blog post, eagle-eyed security analysts at Netcraft confirmed that the phishing attack had first been used to gain victims’ Apple IDs and passwords before asking for full names, credit card numbers, and a long list of personal data. It is not clear how many EA users were affected by the scam.

Microsoft’s OneNote is Now Free, Available for Mac Tue, 18 Mar 2014 16:34:26 +0000 admin OneNote is Microsoft’s handy collaborative information-gathering tool, saving and collating data in various formats from handwritten notes to audio commentaries and everything in between. After 10 years of service, the application is finally available for use on Apple’s OS X and has even been made free for all users.

In the past, OneNote was available for free on only a few platforms; any users running Windows 7 or earlier had to buy a new copy of the Microsoft Office suite in order to use the software. The app, which was previously also available free of charge on Windows Phone, has also been released to work on the iOS and Android mobile operating systems.

While some of the features have been altered, the result is still largely the same; a handy information-sharing application which can be an invaluable tool for group products. Microsoft has recently faced stiff competition from similar applications such as Evernote, which offered many of the same functions as OneNote for a far smaller price.

Fake Malaysian Airlines Links Spread Malware Tue, 18 Mar 2014 09:10:12 +0000 admin The entire world is watching as the strange saga of Malaysian Airlines flight unfold, but beware of news links promising an end to this mysterious and devastating story. Cybercriminals have been using fake news links to lure people to their malware-infested websites with the promise of good news.

Videos or news links promising headlines like “Missing Malaysian Airlines Plane Found” have spread like wildfire through social media sites Facebook and Twitter. According to security analysts at Malwarebytes, these hopeful headlines are being used by opportunistic malware creators to spread their software across social networks.

According to analysts, the links first appeared on Facebook, requesting access to user profiles in order to share a fake video stream of the missing Malaysian plane. Giving access to the personal information in your profile could allow hackers to use your phone number and e-mail address, which may lead to a more serious security breach.

Facebook has reported that the company is working to remove all malware links from its vast network.

Can Flappy Bird Ever Return? Mon, 17 Mar 2014 16:22:41 +0000 admin After a long period of silence over the rise and fall of Flappy Bird, developer Dong Nguyen hinted at a possible desire to bring his app back on the market sometime in the future. During an interview with Rolling Stone, Nguyen stated that he is considering allowing his hugely popular app on the market, but it might not be as simple as fans hope.

Although fans around the world may wish for Nguyen to bring his popular app back online, Apple’s developer guidelines may not make that very easy. After deleting the app from iOS and Android app markets, Nguyen may never be able to restore his game to its former spot after all.

According to Apple’s Terms of Service agreement, the young developer essentially forfeited the right to use the name Flappy Bird on iOS, as well as all of its ad revenue, which amounted to an impressive $50,000 a day by some reports. Android users may be interested to hear that Google Play does not impose the same restrictions on its developers.

Ukrainian Hackers Attack NATO Sites Mon, 17 Mar 2014 15:18:01 +0000 admin Several NATO web sites went down late last week following mounting tensions in the Crimean peninsula. A group of pro-Russian Ukranian hackers has claimed responsibility for the cyberattack, which took place on the eve of Sunday’s referendum.

Hacktivist group Cyber Berkut is reportedly the perpetrators of the attacks which took down several of NATO’s websites. According to NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu, several of the organization’s sites went down following a “significant” distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. The sites were not breached during the cyberattacks, and are expected to be restored to normal functionality before long.

The attacks launched by hackers on Saturday were successful in taking down NATO’s main page, as well as the organization’s cyber defence center website. Although hackers claimed to have taken down the NATO Parliamentary Assembly website, this continued to function as usual.

During Sunday’s referendum, Ukrainians voted on whether the Crimean peninsula should join Russia or not, however tensions continue to mount despite a UN resolution.