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Microsoft finally unveils its new browser called Edge | Corliss Tech Review Group/ Blog

Microsoft finally unveils its new browser called Edge | Corliss Tech Review Group/ Blog | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it

At last the long wait is over, Microsoft finally reveals its official name for its new web browser plans last January, dubbed as Microsoft Edge, which is previously code-named Project Spartan.

Microsoft made the announcement at the annual Build Developer Conference 2015. Edge will replace Internet (http://queenieycorliss.tumblr.com/) Explorer as the default browser of Windows 10 PCs, smartphones and tablets. It's not surprising that the nickname "Edge" is based on the new rendering engine that Microsoft is using for its Windows 10 browser which is called EdgeHTML.

Joe Belfiore, the Corporate Vice President, Operating Systems Group at Microsoft also said that the name was referred to the idea of Microsoft being on the edge of consuming and creating.

Microsoft Edge is designed to be a lightweight web browser with a layout engine built around web standards that is created for interoperability with the contemporary web.

The browser's new logo appears to be similar to the Internet Explorer's logo. However, the directions of the swirls have been changed and the color is a bit darker.

Microsoft Edge consists of unique features such as the ability to annotate on web pages, modern and futuristic design for new tabs which appear to have a flat design concept, jotting down notes or draw on top of web pages for a great way of reading and consuming content, favorites folder built into the browser, thumbnails of frequently visited websites, web applications and further integration with digital assistant Cortana to offer more personalized results and actions.

Developers will be able to carry their Chrome extensions or Firefox add-ons with just a couple of changes to Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft Edge also enables users to engage with sites and provide them a chance at starting to write some web code, which they may put into an application through web extensions built into the web browser.

Stay tuned on The Corliss Tech Review Group (http://thecorlissreviewgroup.com/blog) blog for more updates.

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The Corliss Group Tech Review: Bank hackers steal millions worldwide

The Corliss Group Tech Review: Bank hackers steal millions worldwide | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it

The banking sector has been a frequent target for hackers nowadays. As much as US$1 billion were stolen from banks and other financial companies worldwide in about two years, wherein it is considered as one of the biggest banking breaches known, by a multinational gang of cybercriminals dubbed as the "Carbanak gang" originating from Russia, Ukraine, and other parts of Europe as well as from China.

 

The gang targeted banks, electronic payment systems, and other financial institutions worldwide with the majority of the targets in Russia, USA, Germany, China and Ukraine. They already infiltrated more than 100 banks in 30 countries, stealing as much as $10 million in each raid.

 

Kaspersky Lab and authorities from different countries had combine efforts to uncover how the criminals act. On average, each bank cyber robbery took between two and four months from infecting the first computer at the bank's corporate network to cashing the money out.

 

The cybercriminals used Carbanak malware to infect the bank's network giving them access to the employees' computers, and letting them see and record everything that happened on the screens of staff who service the cash transfer systems. This way the fraudsters got to know every last detail of the bankers work that show them how to mimic the staff to transfer the money and cash out.

 

Once the time came to exploit on their activities, the fraudsters used online banking or international e-payment systems to transfer money to their accounts.  In the second case, the stolen money was transferred to banks in China and the US.

 

In other cases, cybercriminals penetrated right into the very center of the accounting systems, inflating account balances before getting the extra money through a counterfeit transaction. For instance, the account has $1,000 and the criminals can change its value to $10,000 and then transfer $9,000 to themselves. The account holder doesn't suspect a problem because the original $1,000 dollars is still there.

 

In addition, the cybercriminals can also take control of banks' ATMs and order them to dispense cash at a specific time. When the payment was due, one of the gang's underlings was waiting next to the machine to collect the 'voluntary' payment.

 

Kaspersky did not identify the banks affected by the attacks because of a confidentiality agreement. They are still working with law-enforcement organizations to investigate the attacks.

 

Research says that the first malicious samples were compiled in August 2013 when the cybercriminals began to test the Carbanak malware and the first infections were detected in December 2013. The gang was believed to successfully steal from their first victims during the period of February to April 2014. The peak of infections was recorded in June 2014.

 

However the campaign is still currently active. Kaspersky urge all financial organizations to carefully scan the network for presence of Carbanak malware and if detected, report the intrusion to law enforcement.

 

 

source: http://thecorlissreviewgroup.com/blog/2015/05/13/the-corliss-group-tech-review-bank-hackers-steal-millions-worldwide/

 

 

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: How secure are payment technologies?

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: How secure are payment technologies? | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it

New payment technologies have the potential to make shopping online and in store more secure, but banks, tech companies and shops must first move to upgrade their systems efficiently and correctly, say cyber safety experts.

 

The payments industry is working to make it faster and more convenient to move money around. Yet, if implemented wrongly, this can make life easier for hackers too, the security experts say.

 

“Many of these evolutionary or revolutionary changes have been driven by convenience and ease of use, and often accepting a certain amount of risk,” says Amit Mital, chief technology officer of security firm Symantec.

 

Making the purchase of goods more secure is a priority for retailers, banks and payment companies. In the US, where payment card technology is less sophisticated than in Europe, retailers have recently been hit by massive data breaches, in which hackers have been able to steal tens of millions of customers’ card and personal data.

 

The highest-profile technology to hit the market is Apple Pay, which works with the iPhone 6s. It lets shoppers store their credit card information on their iPhone and pay for goods by tapping the phone on an in-store receiver. Because of a technology called “tokenisation” experts say it is more secure than current card systems.

 

With tokenisation, merchants receive data that obscures the shopper’s actual credit card number, reducing the chance that hackers can steal usable data from merchants’ internal systems. Because iPhones use fingerprint recognition to verify shoppers’ identity, it is also nearly impossible for a thief to steal an iPhone and make a purchase.

 

“We do not see any concern on our side in terms of security,” says Thierry Denis, president in North America for Ingenico, a manufacturer of credit card readers.

 

But there is a catch. In the first few months after Apple Pay’s launch last year, thieves have been able to take stolen credit cards, load them on to iPhones, and go shopping. They have not compromised the technology, but have got through the banks’ processes for checking — during the Apple Pay set-up — that the customer adding the card to his or her phone is the card’s real owner.

 

That fraud started showing up within a month of Apple Pay’s launch last year, with the level of fraud seen through the set-up far higher than that seen typically seen in credit cards, according to Cherian Abraham, a payments analyst who wrote one of the first blog posts to call attention to the issue. Given Apple’s sophisticated technology, the fraud was a “surprise to all”, he wrote.

 

Mr Mital of Symantec said the recent incidents of fraud on Apple Pay were “more of a failure in process than in technology”.

 

Joe Majka, chief security officer of Verifone, a manufacturer of point of sale terminals where shoppers swipe their cards, says that better encryption on such devices could be a security “game changer”, if widely adopted.

 

Like tokenisation, encryption means that hackers cannot make as much use of data they might steal if they are able to get into a retailer’s network.

 

Retailers have been slow to adopt such encrypted systems for various reasons. Regulations in the US are changing later this year and retailers will soon be responsible for the cost of fraud if they do not accept chip-and-pin cards, which make transactions more secure than when users just swipe their card.

 

But small retailers do not often see fraudulent purchases and so may be reluctant to spend on upgrading, without realising that their older systems mean they could be giving hackers a way to steal their customers’ data, says Mr Majka.

 

For larger retailers, making the shift takes work.

 

“When you talk to merchants and [payment] processors,” says Mr Majka, “there are so many changes in their systems, in their coding, that have to be made to accommodate an encrypted transaction.”

Other innovations featuring purely digital mobile payments via apps also face risks.

 

Cash-transfer app Venmo, which is owned by PayPal, recently faced media reports highlighting how hackers could access the app to transfer money to themselves.

 

Venmo has since added better email notifications and is adding multi-factor authentication to make logging in more secure. But the fact that this was already standard on services such as Gmail underlines how companies do not always use the most secure solutions available on the market.

 

Similarly, while US banks have been rolling out the more secure chip-and-pin cards for many months in anticipation of the regulatory changes this year, they are not yet available to all consumers.

 

Mr Majka of Verifone replaced his card recently and wanted a chip card. His bank, however, said he would have to wait. “It’s a little disappointing,” he says.

 

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review - Us Regulator To Impose New Cyber Security Standards For Banks And Their Supply Chain

A new report highlighting deficiencies in US banks' oversight of suppliers' cyber security should serve to remind financial services companies in Europe of the due diligence they need to undertake, an expert has said.

 

Financial services and technology law expert Angus McFadyen of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said that regulators in both the US and Europe are increasingly interested in what financial services companies are doing to address cyber security threats.

 

McFadyen was commenting after the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) announced its intention to introduce new regulations "strengthening cyber security standards for banks' third-party vendors" in the "coming weeks".

 

The announcement was made as it revealed that fewer than half of the banks it surveyed said they do not "conduct any on-site assessments" of "high-risk" suppliers, such as data processing companies and other suppliers that typically have access to "sensitive bank or customer data".

 

The NYDFS report (7-page / 313KB PDF) also said that only about 30% of the banks surveyed "require their third-party vendors to notify them in the event of an information security breach or other cyber security breach".

 

A fifth of the banks do not require suppliers to set "minimum information security requirements", whilst of those that do only a third "require those information security requirements to be extended to subcontractors of the third-party vendors", it said.

 

"A bank's cyber security is often only as good as the cyber security of its vendors," Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of financial services at the NYDFS, said. "Unfortunately, those third-party firms can provide a backdoor entrance to hackers who are seeking to steal sensitive bank customer data. We will move forward quickly, together with the banks we regulate, to address this urgent matter."

 

McFadyen said that although "security is a growing concern on both sides of the Atlantic" the action proposed by the NYDFS is "the most forthright we’ve seen".

 

"European regulators are also actively looking at security," McFadyen said. "We’ve seen new rules around payment security come out of Europe and the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA's) own guidance on bank outsourcing touches on its importance. Security measures are rarely perfect, as we’ve seen with the takedown of the French TV channel TV5Monde, but the risks presented by a compromise in the sector are growing as we are increasingly digitising financial services."

 

McFadyen pointed to a recent announcement by the FCA on the implementation of new internet payments security guidelines in the UK as highlighting the regulatory focus there is on cyber security.

 

The FCA has said it will incorporate the new guidelines into its "supervisory framework" at the same time as the new EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which is still being negotiated, is transposed into UK law. The internet payment security guidelines were finalised late last year by the European Banking Authority (EBA).

 

"We are fully supportive of the objectives behind the guidelines and agree with the importance of consumers being protected against fraud when making payments online," the FCA said. "Ensuring the security of payments and the protection of sensitive customer data is a critical part of the infrastructure of robust payment systems."

 

"Many firms already have in place measures for strong customer authentication, and we would remind payment service providers of their responsibility to ensure consumers’ payments are safe and secure. We will be incorporating the detail of the requirements of the guidelines into our supervisory framework in line with the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) transposition timeline," it said.

 

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Corliss Tech Review Group: Google Glass barely alive

Two years ago, Google has hyped its Glasses device as the greatest thing since sliced bread -- and for a moment, many of us believed it. During its launch,
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Two years ago, Google has hyped its Glasses device as the greatest thing since sliced bread -- and for a moment, many of us believed it.

 

During its launch, there was much enthusiasm on the part of the consumers and developers but now people seemed to be losing interest. (Whether that's because of the $1,500 price tag or the fact that you can't really find a place to buy it from remains unknown.)

 

While it may still sound supercool to geeks, Glass might not even reach the hands of the general public as developers are jumping out of the bandwagon. Some of them have felt the lack of support from Google, especially since an official public launch date is yet to be set. When Glass became available for developers in 2012, 10,000 units were reportedly sold. Then last year, it became available to tech lovers and media people but as of now, there's no news when it would become commercially available.

 

"It's not a big enough platform to play on seriously," said the founder of Normative Design Matthew Milan who discontinued their Glass app supposed to target fitness buffs.

 

According to Corliss Tech Review Group, out of more than a dozen Glass app developers, 9 have already put their efforts on hold owing to the limitations of the gadget and perceived lack of customers. Meanwhile, 3 of them have instead switched their focus on developing software for businesses.

 

"If there was 200 million Google Glasses sold, it would be a different perspective. There's no market at this point," said Tom Frencel, CEO of a game developer firm that held back its efforts to make a Glass game.

 

What's more, in the past 6 months, a number of Google employees responsible for the Glass development have reportedly left. Also, the Glass Collective, a funding consortium by Google Ventures has invested in only 3 startups this year and has taken down its website without notice. A spokesperson from Google Ventures said that the reason for the website closure is for entrepreneurs to come to them directly.

 

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: Logitech K480 Keyboard Works with Anything You Own

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: Logitech K480 Keyboard Works with Anything You Own | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it

It’s a truth as universal as it is annoying; if you want all your devices to work with a specific keyboard, well, you’ll probably need either one for each, sign on for precisely one device ecosystem, or get used to swiping in words. Travelers in particular are driven insane by this problem, so Logitech decided, quite cleverly, to solve it with the K480.

 

Swiss Army Keyboard

 

There are two problems with modern portable keyboards. The first is, as we noted, device compatibility. Ask anybody who’s had to install drivers just to get a basic keyboard to work, the various device ecosystems out there don’t play well with each other and seemingly want to drive you insane.

 

Logitech solves this with some clever design. You can switch between three different places to send your words, so that regardless of whether you’re all Apple, or a mix of Apple, Chrome, and Windows, you’ll be able to use the keyboard and get the point across. Basically, if it uses Bluetooth, you’re all set to type.

 

At The Trough

 

The second problem is keeping all your stuff organized; you’ve got your phone over here, your tablet over there, and your laptop in front of you… and many keyboards want to be docked solely at your tablet. How does Logitech solve this? Simple: It puts a trough at the top of the keyboard that can easily be used to stand up both your tablet and your phone, and to type away at both of them with ease.

 

A Keyboard For The Multitasker

 

Multitasking, or at least sorting through your various tasks properly, can be a profoundly annoying experience, and Logitech deserves credit for looking at how we actually use our gadgets and creating a keyboard that fits in with them. If that’s something you need, it starts at just $50.

 

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: The Bluetooth Tracking Gadget

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: The Bluetooth Tracking Gadget | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it

http://venturebeat.com/2014/09/06/the-only-thing-missing-from-tile-the-bluetooth-tracking-gadget-is-more-users-review/

 

The only thing missing from Tile, the Bluetooth tracking gadget, is more users (review)

 

In 2013, a crowdfunded project known as the Tile became a smash hit, racking up over $2,500,000 in funding from nearly 50,000 backers. The secret to its success? Simple: The Tile promised to help users locate any object attached to the coin-sized Bluetooth-connected tag priced at $20.

 

I signed on as a backer mostly out of curiosity. After all, compared to some crowdfunded tech projects like the Pebble, the 3Doodler or the Micro 3D printer, the $20 Tile seemed like a no-brainer.

 

So I committed my cash and then, just like thousands of others, I began a very long wait for my Tile to arrive. I had almost given up hope of ever seeing a Tile in the flesh when finally — nearly a year after having backed the project — my Tile showed up last week.

 

“So far we’ve delivered to over 50,000 people,” Nick Evans, Tile’s co-founder and CEO said in an interview with VentureBeat.

 

I guess I was lucky to be amongst the first third of buyers. Evans sympathizes with those who feel the wait has been too long, “I’ve pre-ordered items too and there can be a lot of frustration, like, where is this thing? We’re working as hard as we can to get everyone’s Tiles to them.”

 

First impressions

My neighbor ordered a Tile at the same time I did and his showed up the same day as mine. “It’s a lot bigger than I expected,” he said. It’s true: The Tile looks and feels a lot larger in real life than it did in the photos and videos that Tile posted to its website during the funding period.

 

Wondering why both my neighbor and I (and other reviewers) had the same reaction, I checked one of the ads that was — and is still — used to promote the Tile. Sure enough, the image Tile chose does an excellent job of masking the Tile’s thickness. The ad makes it appear as though the Tile is barely thicker than a coin — or a key for that matter.

 

The actual dimensions are 37mm x 37mm x 5.3 mm. The effect is that, when attached to a keychain, the Tile feels more like the largest object on your ring, not just another key.

 

Evans claims there was no attempt to mislead customers and that the Tile used in these promotional images is the same size, shape and thickness as the units that have been shipped: “That’s the actual size. We of course wanted to advertise the correct size […] we didn’t want people to be disappointed,” he says.

 

How it works

Getting a Tile set up is very easy. After you download the free Tile app (iOS only, for now), enable Bluetooth and location services, and register for a free Tile account, the app prompts you to add your first Tile.

 

To do so, simply press and hold on the “e” portion of the “tile” word on the Tile until the Tile emits a little tune and hold the Tile close to your iOS device when prompted to do so. Your Tile is now paired. You can add up to 8 Tiles per account.

 

The Tile app will always show you the last place it “saw” (i.e., where it was in direct Bluetooth contact with) your Tile and how long ago it saw it.

 

A killer community

I gave my Tile to my neighbor to take with him to work. My Tile app was able to locate it perfectly.

 

Above: I gave my Tile to my neighbor to take with him to work. My Tile app was able to locate it perfectly.

 

So what happens when your Tile can’t be located by going back to the last place your app saw it?

 

Tile calls it the “Community Find” feature. Turns out, every person who keeps the Tile app open on their iOS device becomes a node in a much larger Tile network.

 

Annual renewal

The other drawback to the Tile is its non-user-replaceable battery. Because Tiles are sealed, which gives them a splash-proof exterior, there’s no way to access or replace any of its innards, including the battery. Tiles are only good for one year, after which Tile will get in touch to facilitate the return of your now-dead Tile and presumably give you the option to re-up for another year for another $20.

 

This works out to about $1.66 per month per object tracked, on an indefinite basis. Is it worth it? I guess it depends on what you’re tracking and how often you think you might misplace it.

 

Conclusion

The $20 Tile is a device that does exactly what it claims: It helps you locate misplaced objects using your smartphone in a way that is easy and intuitive.

 

For most people, even though the Tile is only effective for a year, it offers a convenient, expandable and soon — according to Evans — shareable way to track your most commonly lost articles.

 

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review on Neuroscientists Object to Europe’s Human Brain Project

More than 180 neuroscientists have signed an open letter to the European Commission calling on it to reconsider the technical goals and oversight of one of the world’s largest brain-mapping projects, predicting it is likely to fail.

 

The European Union agreed last year to invest more than one billion euros in the Human Brain Project (HBP), a 10-year effort involving dozens of research institutions to create a simulation of how the human brain works, using supercomputers.

 

But according to a letter released by dissenting scientists, the project is doomed by opaque management and the pursuit of goals not widely shared by neuroscientists. “We believe the HBP is not a well-conceived or implemented project and that it is ill suited to be the centerpiece of European neuroscience,” the letter says.

 

Governments, including those of the United States and China, have all launched large neuroscience projects to study the brain (see “Brain Mapping”). But the brain is so massively complex—it has roughly 86 billion neurons and trillions of connections—that there’s little consensus on how to study it.

 

Europe’s HBP has been particularly controversial because it emphasizes large-scale mapping of the brain and computer simulations over traditional, small-scale bench research. The project’s core goal, according to its website, is “to build a completely new information computing technology[ see more: http://queenieycorliss.tumblr.com ] infrastructure for neuroscience.”

 

Signers of the letter, including neuroscientists from the University of Oxford and the Institut Pasteur, intend to boycott 50 million euros per year of neuroscience research grants that have been linked to the EU project.

 

“Why should an information technology project determine neuroscience funding?” says Zachary Mainen, a researcher at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Portugal, which gathered the signatures after a component of the project it was involved with was cancelled. “It’s not a project that was planned by the neuroscience community. They say they are going to simulate the brain, but I don’t think anyone believes that.”

 

According to a report in the Guardian, the neuroscientists hope to influence a review[ see more: http://corlisstech.livejournal.com ] of the project by European officials that is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

 

The HBP is led by Henry Markram, a neuroscientist at the the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, who says critics are upset because there’s a scientific “paradigm shift” under way that threatens their way of working.

 

“It’s a natural reaction when you move from an old paradigm to a new one. It happened with the Human Genome Project,” says Markram. “That was also about large-scale, systematic teams working together, and you also had the individual labs saying ‘Oh my, I am going to be out of business.’ It’s very similar to that.”

 

Within two years, Markram says, the HBP will release the first phase of its technology platform, which will let any scientist contribute data and run simulations. He says this will bring neuroscience up to speed with disciplines like astrophysics or climate research, where scientists use simulations all the time. “You can’t measure everything in the Universe, but you can simulate it,” he says. “You can’t measure all of the brain, either, so we are going to have to predict a lot of it.”

 

That focus on computer simulations is what’s generating the most withering criticism. Konrad Kording, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University, calls the European project “useless and misleading” and says there is “genuine concern that the neuroscience community in Europe will be damaged by a very high-profile project that is deeply misguided.” Continue reading: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/528796/neuroscientists-object-to-europes-human-brain-project/

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: A Smart Home Knows When to Blast the AC

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: A Smart Home Knows When to Blast the AC | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it

Geoffrey A. Fowler tests climate systems from Honeywell, GE and Quirky that sense if you're home or away.

Queeniey Corliss's insight:

The newest idea in home automation is letting your thermostat track your smartphone, and only blast the air conditioner when you're at home. WSJ Personal Tech Columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler put Honeywell's new Lyric thermostat to the test.

 

When it's hotter than Hades outside, wouldn't it be nice if your air conditioner knew you were coming home and cooled things down inside?

 

That's the idea behind two new "smart" climate-control systems, the $279 Honeywell Lyric thermostat and the $279 Aros window air conditioner made by Quirky and General Electric. GE -0.56%  They blast the AC when you're at home, and not when you're out.

 

Welcome to the era where your AC keeps tabs on you. These Internet-connected appliances take commands from apps and work by tracking the location of every smartphone in your household—yours, your spouse's, and Grandma's too. (In a pinch, you can still control them manually.)

 

I installed Lyric and Aros in my San Francisco home, and in two friends' homes in warmer Bay Area climes. We found both devices can go a long way toward liberating you from fiddling with thermostat dials, and possibly saving energy. But neither are quite smart or simple enough to just set and forget.

 

These appliances are attempts at reinvention by Honeywell and GE, two of the biggest brands in climate control, now under attack from Silicon Valley. Nest Labs raised the bar in two ways when it launched its first consumer-installed "smart" thermostat in 2011: First, we now expect our home heating and AC to be smartphone-controllable and have some intelligence to supposedly help save us money. Second, many of us no longer balk at paying $250 for a dial that used to cost less than $50.

 

To make their systems more competitive, Honeywell and GE (working with partners at product development firm Quirky) added Wi-Fi and remote-control apps and simplified their interfaces with big, clear displays. But their biggest innovation is tracking location.

 

The app knows when your family is or isn't home by drawing a virtual circle around your house, visible only to your smartphone, called a "geofence." In my tests, this worked as promised: Every time I moved past the perimeter, my phone would quietly alert the app, which then sent commands to the appliances via the Internet. Both were also smart enough to understand my family—it conserved energy only when everyone had left the house and kicked back on for the first person to return.

 

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: UK Businesses Ignoring Consumer Demand for Mobile Payment Tech

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: UK Businesses Ignoring Consumer Demand for Mobile Payment Tech | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it

Mastercard warns: invest or face economic consequences.

 

Many UK businesses are struggling to expand and develop to their full potential due to a lack of proper investment into new technologies such as alternative payment methods, a senior Mastercard executive has told CBR.

 

Marcia Clay, the groups' UK and Ireland head of strategy and commercial development, explained that UK consumers are increasingly calling for innovative technologies such as mobile payments as they look to simplify their everyday lives.

 

"I believe we need to prioritise support for innovative start-ups, businesses in the eCommerce and mobile payments sector for example, which are in a unique position to propel the UK economy forward in 2014 and beyond," she said.

 

Clay detailed how Mastercard is working with London-based Startupbootcamp FinTech, providing the expertise, mentoring and access to a network of industry professionals that most early-stage FinTech start-ups would not be able to access otherwise.

 

Mastercard has found that many small businesses still do not use electronic payments, despite almost 80% of UK businesses having a website or some sort of online presence. A much smaller percentage can currently accept card payments, and the company believes that businesses of all sizes should be encouraged to invest in new technology and services that give consumers more choice.

 

The company also found that UK consumers are using mobile and contactless payment methods and wide-spread adoption is reaching a critical mass; with around 5.7m transactions taking place on UK smartphones every day. This has been spurred on by a major growth in contactless payments, which grew by 383% from 2012 to 2013 across the country as more UK banks began rolling out the technology.

 

Figures released today by the British Bankers Association show that more than 15,000 people are downloading banking apps every day, with transactions using the internet or mobile banking methods are now worth £6.4bn a week up from £5.8bn last year.

 

"It is important to always understand what really matters to consumers," Clay says. "Through our research we have identified what really matters is feeling safe and secure from fraud, whether it be physical point of sale or online, experiencing a simple and speedy process, and confidence that wherever they are, whatever they are doing their payment method will be excepted.

 

"The UK is leading, but the world is catching up with us and if UK businesses don't embrace the fast evolution of commerce, we will be left behind."

 

View article source:

http://www.cbronline.com/news/uk-businesses-ignoring-consumer-demand-for-mobile-payment-tech-4313289

 

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: Mobile malware and operating system vulnerabilities

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9% of large organisations face security, hacking, phishing scams and internet fraud in mobile devices

Industry experts to share insights helping businesses defend from cyberattacks during security sessions and workshops at Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference

 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: As the Middle East and Africa region continue to experience a rapid growth in the sales and penetration of smartphones, with a population of more than 525.8 million using mobile devices in 20131, an increasing number of malware attacks also pose a threat to millions of smartphone users. Tackling the importance of mobile security, the second Gulf Information Security Expo & Conference (GISEC) 2014, taking place from 9 to 11 June at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), will discuss ways to secure the mobile environment against evolving threats.

 

The unfettered growth in mobility created an alluring opportunity for cybercriminals with 9% of large organisations experienced a security or data breach in smartphones or tablets, according to a 2013 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey. The widespread use of mobile devices resulted to various cybercrimes such as hacking, phishing scams and internet fraud. Smartphones are usually attacked through malwares, Trojan horse viruses and malicious software such as Loozon and FinFisher.

 

Among the GISEC Conference speakers is Nader Henein, Advance Security Solutions, Advisory Division at Blackberry, who will talk about devising a fit-for-purpose bring-your-own-device (BYOD) security plan that capitalises on the innovation and productivity of a mobile workforce. Also included in his presentation are the introduction of more stringent authentication and access controls for critical business apps and balancing the legal and electronic recovery implications of mobile devices with governance and compliance.

 

Heinen will also tackle mobile malware tactics and recent advances in Android malware as well as dissecting the anatomy of a mobile attack. According to Sophos Mobile Security Threat Report 2014, the exponential growth in Android devices and the buoyant and largely unregulated Android app market produced a sharp rise in malware targeting that platform. SophosLabs has seen over 650,000 individual pieces of malware for Android, which has grown quickly in a short period of time due to the increasing use of mobile devices.

 

"Security for mobile devices, applications and content is a paramount concern in a mobility management strategy," said Ian Evans, Managing Director and Senior Vice President, AirWatch by VMware EMEA. "Allowing corporate-owned or employee-owned devices to access corporate data requires a strong enterprise security strategy to ensure the deployment is secure and corporate information is protected."

 

Brian Lord, Managing Director, PGI Cyber, commented: "PGI (Protection Group International) recognises that the growth of mobile device use is essential for commerce, governments and individuals. They increase efficiency, drive down costs and afford maximum flexibility. As with all information and communication media, they also come with their own security risks. PGI's solutions, whether advisory or technical, all encompass the security risk posed by mobile devices - whether that is an individual device or an integral part of an organisation's infrastructure - and afford protection without detracting from the huge value such devices bring." he added.

During the two-day conference, leading information security experts headlined by Robert Bigman, former Chief Information Security Officer at the CIA; Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer at F-Secure and Wim Remes, Chairman of the Board of Directors at (ISC)2 will discuss various topics on cyber threats and cybersecurity.

 

Bigman's keynote address of Day 1 of the GISEC Conference will shed light on the vulnerability of Heartbleed, especially clear prevention methods the audience can use to protect their internal corporate networks under the theme 'Change the way you connect to the internet'. Hypponen - the man who tracked down the authors of the first PC virus ever recorded - will deliver his keynote address on Day 2 of the GISEC Conference and will discuss critical information security issues to empower one with superior protection. Remes will focus on strategies to map out existing infrastructures to adequately protect them against realistic threats among several others.

 

Meanwhile, GISEC will also hold free-to-attend security sessions on vendor-run educational presentations, workshops, demonstrations, informative speeches and case-studies giving I.T. professionals useful insights to help defend their businesses from cyberattacks. Based on the Official CISSP CBK® Review Seminar, (ISC)2 will offer an education programme focusing on two of the most challenging domains of the CISSP CBK: Information Security Governance and Risk Management; and Access Control delivered by an Authorised (ISC)2 Instructor. All attendees will receive CISSP certificate.

 

As the region's only large-scale information security platform, GISEC will gather industry, government and thought leaders as well as international and regional cybersecurity experts in various business verticals such as I.T., oil & gas, banking & finance, government, legal, healthcare and telecoms to meet the growing requirements for information security and countermeasures in the region.

 

The must-attend event is set to draw 3,000 trade visitors from 51 countries and more than 100 exhibitors from the world's leading information security companies and brands. 91% of last year's attendees were purchasing decision makers from a wide range of industries.

 

Among the key sponsors of the exhibition are BT Global as Strategic Sponsor; GBM as Diamond Sponsor; Spire Solutions and Protection Group International as Platinum Sponsors; Access Data, Websense International, Fire Eye and F5 Networks as Gold Sponsors; Research in Motion (Blackberry), CSC Computer Sciences, Guidance Software and Palo Alto Networks as Silver Sponsors. Meanwhile, Palladium is the sponsor for the IT Security Awards.

 

Powered by GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK, the region's leading Information and Communications Technology (ICT) event, GISEC is strictly a trade-only event and is open to business and trade visitors from within the industry only. GISEC is open 10am-6pm from 9-11 June. Visitor attendance is free of charge. For more information, please visit www.gisec.ae.

 

Source:

https://www.zawya.com/story/Mobile_malware_and_operating_system_vulnerabilities_come_under_the_spotlight_at_GISEC_2014-ZAWYA20140603085544/

 

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Corliss Tech Review Group Study: External audits not an effective tool for against fraud

Corliss Tech Review Group Study: External audits not an effective tool for against fraud | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it

Investors, corporate executives and analysts depend on external audits to maintain honesty in business organizations. However, a fresh study shows audits are very poor at exposing fraud. In contrast, the study states more than 200% of frauds are uncovered by chance.

 

That is one of the findings released recently in the “Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse” study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, which is considered the world’s biggest anti-fraud organization( http://thecorlissreviewgroup.com/ ).

 

“You should never put the obligation on someone else to keep your surroundings neat,” said ACFE faculty member Evy Poumpouras, formerly an agent in the U.S. Secret Service. She stated that internal controls are deemed more significantly effective in exposing fraud as well as preventing it beforehand.

 

The report was based on examinations of 1,483 fraud cases as reported by the Certified Fraud Examiners who had investigated the cases.

 

“The evaluation of these fraud cases offers important lessons on how fraud is perpetrated, how it is spotted and how organizations can minimize the potential to such danger,” ACFE President James Ratley stated in the introduction to the report.

 

From the study’s estimates, the typical organization loses 5% of its revenues yearly to fraud. Which could mean a worldwide phenomenon to the tune of $3.7 trillion, the report claims. But as appalling as the number might appear, Poumpouras says it is not surprising.

 

“Numerous other cases remain uncovered,” she said.

 

Almost 50% of the fraud cases investigated was committed in the United States, where the most stringent anti-fraud controls are often applied. Yet, the greatest damages were uncovered in Eastern Europe and Central and Western. The median loss in those areas amounted to $383,000, compared to that of the US at only $100,000.

 

Workers and junior managers perpetrated the biggest percentage of fraud, with business owners and senior officers sharing only 19% of the offenses. But rather as expected, the study highlighted the fact that the higher up on the ladder the fraudster sat, the bigger the losses.

 

Nevertheless, financial fraud is for the most part hard to detect, Poumpouras stated, since the offenders have less of a psychological attachment to the crime they are committing than they do for other forms of illegal acts.

 

“Often, the person does not touch or see the money but rather thumbing reports or files( http://thecorlissreviewgroup.com/blog/ ). It does not feel as real,” said Poumpouras, who has been engaged in many investigations covering financial fraud.

 

“Forcing people to admit to committing financial crime is much harder than forcing them to admit to homicide,” she said, which could explain why external audits can be next to useless.

 

The study reports auditors uncovered only 3% of the fraud offenses reported in the previous year, compared to 7% identified by accident.

 

“While separate audits provide an essential aid in organizational management,” the report says, “our findings show that they should not be totally depended upon as the organizations’ main anti-fraud strategy.”

 

Rather, the study suggests what it refers to as “proactive detection procedures”, including in-house hotlines that provide workers a way to become anonymous informants of fraud and maintain honesty in the ranks. Continue reading: http://thecorlissreviewgroup.com/blog/2014/06/03/corliss-tech-review-group-study-external-audits-not-an-effective-tool-for-against-fraud/

 

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: Crackdown on Chinese Cyber-Theft Overdue

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: Crackdown on Chinese Cyber-Theft Overdue | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it

The Justice Department announced last week that it had indicted five members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army on charges of cybertheft( http://blog.heritage.org/2014/05/25/crackdown-china-spies-overdue ). According to the indictment, the five hackers systematically stole business secrets from American corporations — household names like Westinghouse, Alcoa, and U.S. Steel.

 

The alleged thefts were not aimed at boosting Chinese national security( http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Corliss-Tech-Review-Group-6536794 ) or undermining ours. Rather they appear to be part of a scheme, going back at least to 2006, to boost Chinese companies by stealing American know-how.

 

For example, while one company was negotiating to build and operate four power plants in China, the Chinese stole the bidder’s proprietary and confidential business specifications for piping used in its nuclear power plants. Beijing apparently finds it easier to steal a new idea than think one up.

 

The indictments should surprise no one. In 2013, Mandiant, a private American cybersecurity company( https://foursquare.com/v/the-corliss-tech-review-group/526dc4b811d2d87c16d076e2 ), released a report on the activities of Unit 61398 of the signals-intelligence branch of the PLA — the same group cited in the indictment. According to Mandiant, Unit 61398 had penetrated more than 140 western companies. Also in 2013, the congressionally chartered Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property estimated that the losses from IP cybertheft totaled some $300 billion per year.

 

And, so, this week’s indictment is quite welcome. Finally, after a number of years of just talking about the problem, the United States is responding.

 

To be sure, nobody actually expects this case to ever come to trial. The Chinese are simply not going to extradite members of their military to stand trial in an American courtroom. Still, the indictment sends several powerful messages.

 

First, the charges set an important precedent: That the U.S. government sees state-sponsored economic espionage as a crime. While the five PLA officers are beyond our borders, the companies that benefit from the theft are not. Someday, therefore, we may see Chinese companies and corporate officials indicted for their role in the theft of American intellectual capital.

 

Second, the charges tell corporate America that the government will defend their interests. Even if the Chinese hackers are never brought to justice, the indictment will have the positive effect of assuring American companies that Washington is willing to incur significant diplomatic costs on their behalf. This will likely persuade corporations, in turn, to be more willing to come forward when they are victimized.

 

Third, the indictment serves as a warning. It says to the Chinese “we are watching you and we know what you are doing.” This remarkably transparent action reflects a conscious decision to risk the disclosure of sources and methods of how the U.S. collects intelligence data for the benefit of deterring Chinese misconduct. Buried in the indictment, for example, is a discussion of Chinese cyber espionage tradecraft (which false domains and websites( http://thecorlissreviewgroup.com/ ) they use). It contains the details of specific intrusions into specific identified companies and provides a highly particular list of exactly how the attacks were carried out. That kind of detail has to give Chinese hackers some pause. They can no longer be sure they are cloaked in anonymity.

And, finally, the indictment says that the U.S. is coming out of its post-Snowden defensive crouch. No matter what the world may think of Snowden’s revelations, we are putting the embarrassment behind us and resuming our efforts to manage the cyber domain( http://thecorlissreviewgroup.com/blog/ ).

 

The indictment may have been a long time coming. (I suspect that the Snowden disclosures altered the timing quite a bit). But whatever the timing, it is good news that our government is finally willing to stand up to Chinese theft and call it what it is: state-sponsored crime.

 

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European Union accuses Google of market abuse

European Union accuses Google of market abuse | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it

Corliss Tech Review Group - Our substance is short yet to the point, and intended to challenge you to live in and nurture with IT technologies.

Queeniey Corliss's insight:

European Union has formally charged Google of abusing its dominant position on the internet search market.

According to a Corliss Tech Review Group report, Google has used its gigantic power as a search engine to redirect internet users from rivals to its own services, which include YouTube and its own social network Google+.

Expedia, Microsoft, and TripAdvisor, which are Google’s competitors, declare that its way of promoting its own companies above rivals on its search engine stops them from contending on a level playing field.

Insiders claim the case could prove just as costly as the EU's decade-long battle with Microsoft, which ultimately cost the company £1.6 billion in fines.

If Google fails to rebut any formal charges imposed by Brussels, the commission could impose a huge fine which could exceed £4 billion which is about 10% of Google's most recent annual revenue.

More than twenty four European organizations have filed antitrust complaints against Google. Many are from powerful publishing groups and online firms in Germany.

They have previously requested to force Google to stop blocking competition in sections like online maps, travel and shopping services.

Moreover, lawyers from France also requested for Google to reveal its secret formula for ranking websites but Google argues such transparency would expose its business secrets to rivals and leave the search engine vulnerable to spam.

In accusing Google of anti-competitive practices against rival shopping sites, the EU competition authority said it is continuing to investigate other areas, including alleged "web scraping" to copy content off of rival travel and local business review sites, and Google's restrictive practices on advertising.

Android Investigation

EU will be likely to probe Google’s operating mobile operating system Android.

The investigation will center on whether Google has entered into anti-competitive agreements or abused a possible dominant position in the field of operating systems, applications and services for smart mobile devices.

Google has given 10 weeks to reply and they will also get the chance to argue their case in a formal hearing. But if it finds the company in the wrong then it would face the legal consequences and must change the way it does business in Europe.

The competition commissioner also claims that Smartphones, tablets and similar devices play an increasing role in many people's daily lives, and she wants to make sure the markets in the area can flourish without anti-competitive restrictions inflicted by some company.

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Google Reduced Fifty Percent of Android Malwares

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As stated by Corliss Tech Review Group, a malware is a type of software that is specifically created to gain access or damage user’s sensitive data.

 

Android has long been seen as vulnerable to malware because it is an open platform and several devices run older versions of the mobile operating system. Android is also one of the world’s most popular mobile platform where it powers hundreds of millions of mobile devices in more than 190 countries worldwide, but its popularity has also made it a magnet for malwares based on Corliss Tech Review Group.

 

In the past year, Google claims that malware infections on Android devices have been reduced in half after notable developments and security upgrades for mobile phones such as improved encryption and better detection tools for malware.

 

According to a blog post of Google’s chief security engineer, Adrian Ludwig, the overall worldwide percentage of possibly harmful applications installed are decreased by almost fifty percent during the first and the fourth quarter of the year. Android devices in use worldwide which are over 1 billion have their devices protected by security through Google Play wherein it conducts two hundred million security scans every day and less than 1% of the devices had potentially harmful applications installed in 2014.

 

Google also states that the rate of possibly malicious applications installed on devices which only use Google Play apps was less than 0.15%.

 

Ludwig also ensured that Android is a safe place and they are still making improvements to enhance protections for Android devices wherein they are being more hands-on in reviewing applications for all types of policy violations within Google Play and they have also increased their efforts to increase security for specific higher-risk devices and regions outside of Google Play.

 

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review - Protect Your Assets By Practicing Common-Sense Cybersecurity

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review - Protect Your Assets By Practicing Common-Sense Cybersecurity | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it

Let’s get the scary stuff out of the way upfront: Cybercrime costs the global economy $575 billion annually, according to reports. The United States takes a $100 billion hit, the largest of any country, according to Politico. A report from former U.S. intelligence officials counted 40 million people whose personal information was stolen within the past year.

 

Online theft is huge, and it only seems to be getting worse. Hardly a week goes by without some story about hackers penetrating a computer system somewhere. Corporations, individuals, even White House servers were hacked last week. I sometimes wonder just how difficult it is for a determined bad guy to access grandma’s checking account or your neighbor’s IRA and grab those assets.

 

I am not the only one thinking about this. New York State Department of Financial Services issued a report on cybersecurity in the banking sector, where more than 150 organizations rely on third-party service providers for critical banking functions. The regulators want the banks to tighten security.

 

So should you.

 

We spend most of our time in financial markets looking at ways to deploy our capital: What assets to buy or sell, how much we should save for retirement, whether we should own more of these stocks and less of those bonds.

 

We don’t spend so much time thinking about the ways we can lose that money — to fraud and to common theft. We should be more vigilant, especially as we move our lives online, with digital access to our checking and savings accounts, our online portfolios, even our taxes.

 

It is impossible to make yourself hack-proof, but you can make yourself less vulnerable.

 

It all starts with some common-sense security steps. Three ways you probably can improve your existing practices: Develop better e-mail habits, beef up password security and (as always) remember that your behavior is the root of most of your problems.

 

Get your e-mail act together

 

Every day, your inbox fills with all manner of junk. Some of it is merely time-wasting nonsense, but let’s not forget about the really dangerous stuff: phishing schemes, malicious viruses and malware. It seems the only reprieve we get are those rare occasions when the main servers in Russia — a.k.a. Spambot Central — gets temporarily knocked off-line.

 

It’s more than a huge productivity killer, it’s a financial hazard. That $100 billion a year we mentioned above comes out of everyone’s pockets. Even if you have not been hacked, you are paying for it in some way. Banking costs are higher as financial firms spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on security.

 

People have tried a variety of ways to tackle this: Filters, whitelists, e-mail verifiers and trusted ID services; disposable ­ e-mail addresses from sites such as Mailinator; “junk” e-mail addresses from Hotmail, Yahoo or Google. And still the danger keeps coming.

 

I have a few tricks I use to keep the really nasty stuff under control, such as:

 

●View e-mail as plain text.

 

All of the bad links, embedded viruses and other malware go away when you select “view as plain text.” Sure, you lose all of the graphics and links, but you lose the threats as well.

 

●Create a primary e-mail address.

 

This is your main address — for colleagues, clients and peers. Never share this e-mail address. Don’t subscribe to anything using this address — no Internet mailing lists, no subscriptions, nada. Use this address alone for your finance- and business-related e-mails. Anything unrelated is junk; treat it that way. Block the domains of senders. Mark junk mail as junk.

 

●Use an e-mail forwarder.

 

I have been a big fan of Leemail.me. Instead of giving out my e-mail address, I use Leemail to auto-generate an address whenever I want to share my e-mail with an unfamiliar company. It forwards my e-mail from the company to me. When I want to shut that sender off, I flick a button.

 

Tracking the companies that share or sell your e-mail address is invaluable. The basic version of Leemail is, astonishingly, free, and the upgrade is only a few bucks a year.

 

●Don’t hit “unsubscribe”; get blacklisted instead.

 

There are a number of companies that provide e-mail services to third parties, shops such as Constant Contact, Vertical Response and iContact. They are the middlemen between businesses and consumers. And while they claim to be “opt-in only” and not spammers, in truth, they are subject to whatever bad behaviors their clients engage in. They all have become legal quasi-spammers.

 

On every e-mail these companies send, there is an unsubscribe button. NEVER CLICK THAT. When you do, you are not unsubscribing. Rather, you are verifying that your e-mail address is legitimate.

 

Instead, go to the company Web site and track down the customer service number. Call customer service and insist on having your e-mail or domain “blacklisted.” Thats the only way to ensure you will truly be unsubscribed. If the company refuses, file a Federal Trade Commission complaint.

 

Password security

 

If you were like I was five years ago, you had one simple password that you used for everything — Amazon, Facebook, Wall Street Journal — everywhere. This could’ve been disastrous. Now all passwords are different. Avoid the common errors, such as using birthdays or your kids’ names. Never use sequential numbers. And for goodness sake, don’t use “password” as your actual password.

 

Put all of your passwords on a document named something other than “My passwords.” I find burying passwords somewhere in a spreadsheet to be useful. Print out a copy and place it in your safety deposit box with other important papers.

 

Your biggest risk? You.

 

I have said all too often that when it comes to investing, people are their own worst enemy. Behavioral problems are rife in security as well. Get into the practice of thinking about security, and soon it becomes second nature.

 

The Securities and Exchange Commission has gotten much more serious about personal financial data security. They have informed advisers and brokers that there is a duty to protect client data. When we set up our wealth-management practice, we put into place specific policies and procedures to protect clients:

 

● All sensitive information is sent by secure e-mail using a third party for encryption.

 

● We never e-mail Social Security numbers or account numbers or other private data via regular email.

 

● We went totally paperless. Our file cabinets are empty, everything is cloud based.

 

● Any documents that arrive are shredded, so even our outgoing garbage is secure with nothing usable to a thief.

 

Most of this is common sense. However, many people are still vulnerable. With smarts and a bit of awareness, you can make your financial assets much more secure.

 

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: Top tips to stay safe while shopping online on what promises to be one of retail's biggest days of the year

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: Top tips to stay safe while shopping online on what promises to be one of retail's biggest days of the year | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it

Cyber Monday is set to be among the biggest shopping days of the year - but how can you avoid becoming the victim of online shopping fraud on Monday?

 

Experian found that last year saw a huge lift in Black Friday’s significance, with a 19 percent increase in visits to retail websites last year (29 Nov) compared to 2012. Cyber Monday is also increasing, with a 9 per cent increase last year on 2012’s figures.

 

Meanwhile, the rise of ‘click & collect’ services, and a greater trust in retailers being able to deliver well in time for Christmas, has resulted in a trend for people being more comfortable leaving their Christmas shopping until a Monday later: Manic Monday, you might call it.

 

A few things to remember if you are doing the bulk of your Christmas shopping online, according to Experian:

 

1. It’s best to use websites that you know and trust. Always look for a security padlock icon in the top left hand corner of a page before you register financial or personal information on a website. And if an online deal you find, or have been emailed, sounds too good to be true, it quite probably is.

 

2. Use strong passwords, especially if you have stored payment details, and it’s a good idea to change them every now and then. If possible, install the latest anti-virus and firewall software. If you’re out and about, make sure you can’t be overlooked when you make a mobile payment – be especially careful around wi-fi, even at home.

 

3. Keep an eye on your bank and credit card account balances. Your credit report can also show you if there are any irregularities, such as suspect applications for credit and rises in card balances. As a CreditExpert member you can get unlimited views of your Experian Credit Report and alerts to credit activity in your name so you can spot potentially fraudulent activity.

 

4. Buying on credit can give you protection. If you buy goods or services on your credit card, you have extra protection if things go wrong (clothes don’t fit, unwanted gifts etc.) compared with paying by cash or even debit card, under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

 

Corliss Tech Review Group provides some tips and reviews on how to secure you through online and technical issue. Our substance is short yet to the point, and intended to challenge you to live in and nurture with IT technologies. For more update, just visit our blog site @ http://corlisstechreviewgroup.blogspot.com

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review on Bitdefender Total Security 2015

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review on Bitdefender Total Security 2015 | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it
Bitdefender is regarded as one of the best technical Windows internet security suites, and Total Security 2015 lives up to that rep. Read our Bitdefender Total Security 2015 review.
Queeniey Corliss's insight:

Regarded as one of the best technical Windows internet security suites for PC and laptop, and Total Security 2015 lives up to that rep.

 

Bitdefender is widely regarded as one of the best technical Windows internet security suites. Its Total Security product offers a very good range of the features you rightly expect in a security suite. The 2015 version aims to make life even easier for customers by introducing Profiles, which adapt the software for particular tasks, like playing games, watching movies or general office work. Also see: Best internet security software 2014.

 

After installation, you’re presented with a very Windows 8-looking tiled interface. Rather than having a lot of tiles slide awkwardly through the Bitdefender window, as in the 2014 version, here there are three large tiles and four subsidiary ones, giving quick and easy access to all the program’s key functions. 

 

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review on How Anqor Gets You Online

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review on How Anqor Gets You Online | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it
If you travel, you know the pain of getting online wherever you go. Either you pay offensive tethering charges when you really shouldn’t be, or, in some cases, it’s just impossible to access the Internet unless you’ve got an in-country SIM card. As we’re increasingly global, this is increasingly annoying, but there’s one Kickstarter, Anqor, …
Queeniey Corliss's insight:

If you travel, you know the pain of getting online wherever you go. Either you pay offensive tethering charges when you really shouldn’t be, or, in some cases, it’s just impossible to access the Internet unless you’ve got an in-country SIM card. As we’re increasingly global, this is increasingly annoying, but there’s one Kickstarter, Anqor, that supposedly has the solution.

 

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Closing the High-Tech Gender Gap | MIT Technology Review

Closing the High-Tech Gender Gap | MIT Technology Review | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it

This year’s Lemelson-MIT Prize winner discusses grassroots ways for boosting the number of women in technology and business.

 

I have a confession to make: I’ve been living under a rock.

 

I’ve actually been busy under here — running a bioengineering lab at MIT, starting companies, teaching, consulting, being a mom. But I’ve been so focused on keeping all the balls in the air that, until recently, I hadn’t noticed that women typically aren’t the ones starting technology companies.

 

To be fair, I had recognized that:

 

• Girls choose engineering less often and drop out of engineering disproportionately (the so-called “leaky pipeline”).

• The percentage of women computer science majors peaked 30 years ago.

• The higher I climb, the fewer other women there are at the table with me.

 

I’ve also seen progress in gender equity in higher education. I just didn’t realize until recently that the technology industry ( https://plus.google.com/communities/107015906836716172905 ;) is light years behind.

 

In case you’ve also been under a rock, here are some numbers that I found truly astonishing. Women lead only 3 percent of tech startups, account for only 4 percent of the senior venture partners funding such startups and represent only 5 percent of the founders, advisors and directors at MIT technology spinoffs.

 

Are you as shocked as I was? What if I tell you that more than 50 percent of students in some MIT undergraduate science majors are women — and that’s been the case for almost 20 years? Where do these talented women go, and what are the implications of that drain?

 

If we believe that entrepreneurship is a fundamental engine of progress, that it is a path to getting ideas into the world, then what does it mean for our society if the ideas that germinate in the minds of all those young women rarely turn into companies with products? (By the way, women-led private tech companies have 12 percent higher revenue and 35 percent higher return on investment than those led by men, according to the Kauffman Foundation. This shouldn’t have to be true to make us care, but it actually is.)

 

The Lemelson-MIT Prize is an award for invention, for making discoveries useful through commercialization, and for inspiring the next generation. As the 2014 recipient, I am truly honored and grateful to the many people who have contributed to our collective track record using miniaturization tools to impact human health.

 

Here are three things that made a difference for me:

 

Great expectations: My biggest fan and mentor has always been my dad, himself a serial entrepreneur. When I became a professor, he had mixed feelings about me climbing the ivory tower. To encourage me, he asked one simple question: “When will you start your first company?”  (As it turned out, I started my first company within five years. Since then, my students and have founded 10 companies between us.)

 

Microclimate: Many have noted the chilly climate for women in engineering. I’ve been extraordinarily lucky. Of my college tribe of girlfriends, four of us are now successful entrepreneurs. My best friend is among that 4 percent of women venture capitalists; in fact, she was named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women. I’m fortunate to work alongside female founder colleagues, MIT’s Technology Licensing Office, and the ever-inspirational Professor Robert Langer. Indeed, my microclimate is actually pretty warm.

 

Men who believed in me: Much has been written about visible role models for women. I try to be one, even when it’s hard to put myself “out there.” Along the same lines, I appreciate having had a working mom who was a trailblazer, having been one of the first women in India to receive an MBA. However, it’s worth noting that the people in my life who have seen more for me than I saw for myself, who believed in me and promoted me, were mostly men, including my graduate advisor, my first investor, and my husband. The truth is that changing the face of technology requires the involvement of men who care about it.

 

I will donate some of the prize money to the MIT Society of Women Engineers. This organization runs fabulous outreach programs designed to keep young girls interested in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). I also look forward to supporting a program for women’s entrepreneurship in MIT’s upcoming Innovation Initiative.

 

I hope other institutions will follow suit and such initiatives spread as quickly and far as the ideas set forth in the gender equity report championed by MIT’s beloved former president Charles Vest. I encourage you to also do your part: If you believe strongly in a talented woman you know, why not ask her when she will be starting her first company? It could be just the kind of great expectation that makes a real difference.

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: New Algorithm Finds the Most Beautiful

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: New Algorithm Finds the Most Beautiful | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it
If you prefer beautiful routes over short ones, GPS mapping algorithms are of little use. But Yahoo researchers have come up with an approach that could change that.
Queeniey Corliss's insight:

The way we navigate in cities has been revolutionized in the last few years by the advent of GPS mapping programs. Enter your start and end location and these will give you the shortest route from A to B.

 

That’s usually the best bet when driving, but walking is a different matter. Often, pedestrians want the quietest route or the most beautiful but if they turn to a mapping application, they’ll get little help.

 

That could change now thanks to the work of Daniele Quercia at Yahoo Labs in Barcelona, Spain, and a couple of pals. These guys have worked out how to measure the “beauty” of specific locations within cities and then designed an algorithm that automatically chooses a route between two locations in a way that maximizes the beauty along it. “The goal of this work is to automatically suggest routes that are not only short but also emotionally pleasant,” they say.

 

Quercia and co begin by creating a database of images of various parts of the center of London taken from Google Street View and Geograph, both of which have reasonably consistent standards of images. They then crowdsourced opinions about the beauty of each location using a website called UrbanGems.org.

 

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: GE Device Measures the Calories on Your Plate

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: GE Device Measures the Calories on Your Plate | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it
Low-energy microwaves can tell you the caloric content of food, providing a more accurate estimate of what is on your plate.
Queeniey Corliss's insight:

Self-tracking devices like the Fitbit do a fair, if imperfect, job at measuring how much you move and then inferring how many calories you’ve burned in a day. But they don’t measure how many calories you consume. You can enter calorie estimates into an app, but doing so is a tedious and often inaccurate process.

 

GE researchers have a prototype device that directly measures the calories in your food. So far it only works on blended foods—the prototype requires a homogenous mixture to get an accurate reading. But they’re developing a version of the device that will determine the calories in a plate of food—say, a burrito, some chips, and guacamole—and send the information to your smartphone.

 

Matt Webster, the senior scientist in diagnostic imaging and biomedical technologies at GE Research who invented the calorie counter, says eventually the device might be incorporated into a microwave oven or some other kitchen appliance. Heat your food, and at the same time get a readout of the precise calorie count, without measuring out portions and consulting nutritional charts.

 

Webster analyzed nutritional data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture—which contains detailed information on thousands of foods—and determined that it’s possible to get an accurate calorie estimate using just three pieces of data—fat content, water content, and weight. The calories from all the other constituents of food—such as sugar, fiber, and protein—can be approximated by subtracting the water and fat weight from the total weight.

 

In tests using the prototype to measure mixtures of oil, sugar, and water, results were within 5 to 10 percent of the results from standard, destructive means of measuring calorie content, such as the bomb calorimeter that measures food calorie content by burning it.

 

The device works by passing low-energy microwaves through a weighed portion of food and measuring how the microwaves are changed by the food—fat and water affect the microwaves in characteristic ways. Getting a reading is easy using existing equipment if the food is liquid or blended. Getting a good reading for a sandwich and chips will require “virtual blending” Webster says. That could be done by developing microwave antennas that form a more uniform distribution of microwaves than the current equipment and using algorithms to get an average, or by progressively scanning the food. In either case, the complete measurement could be taken in a second or two.

 

Others are developing devices that are being marketed as being able to count calories. For example, a pair of devices have emerged recently on crowd-funding sites. But those devices are limited to analyzing the surface of most foods (they work by measuring reflected light). This approach might work to recognize a piece of food as an apple, for example, whose caloric content can be looked up in a database. It wouldn’t easily work with a burrito, where most of the calories are wrapped up inside.

 

“We’re looking at waves that pass all the way through the food. So you’re getting a complete measurement of the entire food,” Webster says.

 

Content Source:

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/528721/ge-device-measures-the-calories-on-your-plate

 

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: ‘RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN’

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: ‘RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN’ | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it
Queeniey Corliss's insight:

While I find the ‘Right to be forgotten’ law/precedent interesting and even convivial, the fact remains that such a law may have grave implications on our society. By society, I mean the global village we find ourselves in today and the throng of imperfect, inadequate and sometimes inhuman inhabitants (e.g. BH), we find within this space.

 

Undoubtedly, we all have things and phases of lives we would like forgotten, but for the greater good of society this might not always be appropriate and fair to all parties concerned – particularly when the action in question impacts on others directly.

 

The question is this, ‘does the right to keep an information private/hidden/and away from public eye supersede the right (Freedom) of the public to that information?’

 

The ‘Right to Forgotten’ Law recently came under fire and into proper scrutiny on May 13, 2014 when search engine (research) giant, Google (GOOG) lost a data privacy suit against it at the European Court in Luxembourg.

 

 The European Court of Justice in its ruling confirmed that an EU law exists which allows citizens to claim a “right to be forgotten” stating that Google is bound to obey this law and must enforce it.

 

The court’s ruling established that armed with a “right to be forgotten,” an individual can make a request to Google, asking it to remove information about them from its search guide. This request could be pictures displaying youthful exuberance, moments of indiscretion, offensive comments on a social media website, malicious allegations, old publications of financial impropriety, links to old debts, notifications of court orders, unfavourable court orders, company filings, etc.

 

This precedent laid down, which currently applies across the EU, now forces Google and other online publishers to handle all information received differently.

 

Holistically speaking, the law imposes on Google, the duty/obligation to manage content on its servers and links. Google is effectively responsible for content, even if it was simply processing it on its servers and presenting links. If it receives a legitimate request to delete information on those servers, it must do so, even if that information is still published legally on the internet.

 

After the ruling, Google Inc. (GOOG) has had consultations with data-protection regulators and just two days ago, Friday May 30th, 2014 the company came up with an online tool to remove personal information where the need arises. The new web form allows citizens in 28 European countries to request the Google search platform to remove results for queries that include their names where those results are ‘inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.’

 

Interestingly, the arguments for and against this law and the decision of the court, has been diverse and far-reaching beyond the EU.

 

In the United States of our America, where the scales are tilted in favour of Free Speech and Freedom of Information, as against the right to privacy, observers and critics actually consider the ruling a “Blow” against free speech.”

 

Nigeria on the other hand, currently has no significant Data/information or Privacy protection law (An Act). Whilst our Constitution (Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999) provides for our Right to Privacy in Section 37, it is not far-reaching enough to cater for Data/information protection abuse. Nonetheless, certain precedents such as the case of Ariori v. Elemo (1983) 1 SC 13, which attempted to take care of this, by establishing public interest over and above private interests.

 

Data protection involves strategic measures to manage and safeguard the unauthorised access or use of data, and efforts at enacting an appropriate data protection law in Nigeria – one that is far reaching, has met with great hurdles after seven attempts.

 

The first attempt was in 2005 – a bill for an Act to provide for Computer Security and Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Bill was proposed; the next was the Cyber Security and Data Protection Agency Bill 2008; followed by the Electronic Fraud Prohibition Bill 2008; the Nigeria Computer Security and Protection Agency Bill 2009; Computer Misuse Bill 2009 and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act (Amendment) Bill 2010, and again the Cyber Security and Information Protection Agency Bill 2012, which has gone through its 2nd reading.

 

Speaking on the issue, Anti-Counterfeit expert and Partner in charge of Brand Protection, Media and Entertainment Practice at commercial law firm Jackson Etti & Edu, Obafemi Agaba, notes that a privacy law or precedent such as the “Right to be Forgotten” ruling handed down against Google, should ordinarily take into consideration public safety and interest.

 

In his view, “whilst we have no set privacy laws in Nigeria, an individual can have recourse under the fundamental rights provision in the 1999 constitution  as well as in common law. I also believe that a Data Protection/Privacy law in any part of the world should take into consideration the good of the public and their right to know.”

 

He continues, “That part of an individual’s life which directly affects or impacts the public should be left open and accessible to the public. As a legal practitioner and a privacy expert, I always advice my clients about the position of the law where the individual’s interests conflicts with that of the law,” he concluded.

 

However, Mena Ajakpovi an expert in Commercial litigation, whose clients range from public officers to artists and star entertainers, believes that there must be an “established’ overriding statutory public interest” before such data can be considered ‘NOT PRIVATE’ and made accessible to the public.

 

Citing the case of Ariori v. Elemo, he explains, “In the face of that responsibility, if pulling down or removing that information or data by an individual pre-disposes him/her to commit that an offence or infringing on the right of another.”

 

The critical issue however, is striking that balance between allowing individuals control of their online presentation and ensuring that the system is not abused to remove stories in the public interest.

 

While Civil rights and Public Interest advocates continue to express concerns as to who has the role of deciding what is in the public’s interest, another Nigerian Legal Practitioner, Ayodele Oni does not think it is Google’s role or any other Search engine to make public an individual’s private information that he/she wants hidden or kept private from public eye.

 

Hear him, “It is trite (commonplace) that a person is not entitled to a reputation he or she does not have. That said, to the extent that there are other records publicly available, I believe that persons can request a firm like Google to delete their offensive records. Where anyone needs to conduct a criminal check, then they can visit bodies statutorily empowered or obliged to keep same (e.g. the Police or the EFCC) and not firms such as Google etc.

 

“We need to work on our data storage and keeping system in Nigeria like the credit bureau newly established in Nigeria. So for credits now, there is now typically a credit record check. We can adopt that for other issues such as criminal, bankruptcy and the likes,” he said

 

Situations where data protection might be overlooked are found in legislations such as the European Convention on Human rights, which allows access to a government agency or public authority in a democratic society – but must only do so where it is absolutely necessary and is in the interest of national security, public safety, the economic well-being of the country, the prevention of crime, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

 

In the weeks that have passed after the ruling, the questions persist. Questions that bother on, “What happens when a budding politician with a criminal conviction or unsavory public comments that are mentioned in an online post wants it removed? Would it be right for content censorship to clear the path to them becoming a public figure? What happens to the fiancée of a convicted fraudster who may be deprived of the right to see information relating to their past because he/she has asked for it to be removed from Google searches or any other search platform?

 

As they continue to lament the implication of the ruling, FOI proponents and promoters believe that it has set an unusual and unwelcome precedent, whilst describing it as radical.

 

Google has confirmed that since the ruling was announced a few weeks ago, they have received thousands of requests, including a scandal-hit politician, a paedophile convicted of possessing images of child abuse, and a doctor who wanted negative reviews of his practice removed.

 

One thing is certain though, ‘Reputation Managers’, ‘Publicists’ or whatever they are called these days, are having a field day now.

 

But the question remains…..TO KNOW OR NOT TO KNOW. What Prevails?

 

Content source:

http://businessdayonline.com/2014/06/right-to-be-forgotten/#.U5JulnJdW0e

 

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: US cyberspying case against Chinese military officials is all talk, no action

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: US cyberspying case against Chinese military officials is all talk, no action | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it
Five Chinese military officials charged with hacking into US companies to steal trade secrets are virtually assured of never having to face a court
Queeniey Corliss's insight:

Two weeks after the Obama administration announced a groundbreaking criminal case, accusing five Chinese military officers of hacking into US companies to steal trade secrets, the accused have yet to be placed on Interpol's public listing of international fugitives.

 

What's more, there is no evidence that China would entertain a formal US request to extradite them.

 

Short of the five men flying to the US for a vacation, for example, there's no practical way they could be arrested outside China without help from foreign governments. It's also unclear whether the charges levied by the US are accepted internationally as crimes. No country so far has publicly expressed support for the groundbreaking charges.

 

The Obama administration described the unusual indictment on May 19 as a wake-up call for China to stop stealing US trade secrets. The FBI published "wanted" posters with pictures of all five Chinese military officers. Attorney General Eric Holder said such hacking suspects "will be exposed for their criminal conduct and sought for apprehension and prosecution in an American court of law".

 

Now, weeks later, that's looking less likely than ever, illustrating the complex legal and diplomatic issues posed by the indictment. There may be no viable options for Holder to make good on his word.

 

"The next step needs to be [we], here in the US, saying this is not just a US-China issue," said Shawn Henry, former cyber director at the FBI and now president of CrowdStrike Services, a security technology company. "This is a China-versus-the-world issue."

 

So far, the US does not appear to have the world on its side.

 

Neither officials in China nor the US said they would comment on any efforts by American prosecutors to arrest the Chinese military officers. The White House and State Department directed inquiries to the Justice Department, where spokesman Marc Raimondi said: "Our investigation is active, and we are not going to comment on specific actions to locate the individuals charged in the indictment."

 

A federal grand jury charged the five Chinese military officials with hacking into five US nuclear and technology companies' computer systems and a major steel workers union's system, conducting economic espionage and stealing confidential business information, sensitive trade secrets and internal communications for competitive advantage.

 

The US and China have no extradition treaty. And China's laws preclude extraditing citizens to countries where there's no treaty.

 

China has denied the hacking allegations and wants the US to revoke the indictment. A defence ministry spokesman, Geng Yansheng, said last week that the case ran counter to China-US military cooperation and had damaged mutual trust. Citing the suspension of dialogue on computer security, Geng said further responses from China would depend on Washington's attitude and actions.

 

"The Chinese are obviously not going to extradite their officials to the US," said John Bellinger, former State Department legal adviser. For this reason, Bellinger said he did not expect the US to make the request. "To ask them to do something that they're obviously going to then deny makes [the US] look ineffectual," he said.

 

The US can ask Interpol, the international criminal police organization, to place defendants on its "red notice" list of wanted fugitives, which would alert the 190 member countries if the men were to travel outside of China. But the five officers were not on Interpol's public list as recently as yesterday, although there were 24 other Chinese citizens on that list wanted by the US on charges that included fraud, sexual assault, arson and smuggling.

 

Raimondi, the Justice Department spokesman, would not say whether the US had asked Interpol to assign red notices to the men. Interpol does not allow red notices in cases it considers political in nature, but spokeswoman Rachael Billington declined to say whether Interpol considered economic espionage to be political.

 

"Whilst we could not comment on a hypothetical situation, requests for red notices are considered on a case by case basis to ensure that they comply with Interpol's rules on the processing of data," Billington said.

 

A former Interpol official said especially sensitive international cases were far more complex.

 

"In this kind of case, where it has a lot of attention around the world and involves superpowers, it's going to be more under a microscope about what they have," said Timothy Williams, former director of Interpol's national central bureau in Washington, and now general manager of G4S Secure Solutions, a security consulting company.

 

Interpol sometimes circulates secret red notices, such as cases involving sealed indictments or arrest warrants. But listing the five Chinese men secretly on Interpol's list would not be effective in this case, since China is a member of Interpol and would see that the US wants them detained if they were to travel outside China.

 

The Chinese defendants could argue they are immune from prosecution in the US under international law. Such claims were so often contested that the issue was under review by a United Nations commission, said Tim Meyer, a law professor at the University of Georgia in the United States. He expected the case of the Chinese to come up during the UN discussions.

 

"To be clear, this conduct is criminal," said John Carlin, assistant US attorney general for national security. "And it is not conduct that most responsible nations within the global economic community would tolerate."

 

But few countries want to upset China and suffer trade repercussions. The lack of support for the US position could also be due to other countries committing the same practices as China.

 

"I have no comments on the US action on China," said Joao Vale de Almeida, the European Union's ambassador to the U.S.

 

Still, the Obama administration says it is committed to bringing the five Chinese men to justice, and it says this case will be the first of many like it.

 

In a 2003 case, the US charged a Cuban general and two pilots with murder in the shooting down of two civilian planes in 1996. Like China, the US has no extradition treaty with Cuba. And, at the time, some questioned whether the indictment was politically motivated.

 

Eleven years later, the former US attorney in Miami in 2003, Marcos Jimenez, said the case against the Cuban military officials was still worth bringing, even if no one was ever prosecuted in the US.

 

"It's a message to the world that we're not going to tolerate these types of crimes," Jimenez said. "You can't just kill unarmed civilians in international air space. You can't just hack into our computer systems. These aren't things that we're just going to ignore and not prosecute."

 

That case has been stagnant since 2003

 

Content Source:

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The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: Cybercriminals Have Your Number, But Which One?

The Corliss Group Latest Tech Review: Cybercriminals Have Your Number, But Which One? | Corliss Tech Review Group | Scoop.it

You probably realize that identity thieves are after your email addresses and passwords, but that's not all they want....

Queeniey Corliss's insight:

The Star Wars Cantina of cybercriminals targeting your identity, health care, finances and privacy today might seem like a movie you've seen so many times you could lip sync the entire thing. Nevertheless, cybercrime and identity-related scams change faster than trending hashtags on Twitter, and the fact is nobody knows what's going to happen next. Who would have thought Apple's iCloud was vulnerable (much less to ransomware)? Or eBay? Data breaches are now the third certainty in life and sooner or later, you will become a victim.

 

According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Chronology of Data Breaches tracking tool, at least 867,254,692 records were exposed through data breaches between 2005 and May 22, 2014. The Milken Institute says the number of compromised records was more than 1.1 billion between 2004-2012. The Identity Theft Resource Center reported 91,982,172 exposed records in 2013 alone. Frankly, it really doesn't matter who is right. The amount of information out there is simply staggering.

 

You probably realize that identity thieves are after your email addresses and passwords, but that's not all they want. In particular, each of us is attached to various sets of numbers that, when cobbled together, enable sophisticated identity thieves to get their claws into you. The fraudster doesn't need all your information to complete the problem set. They just need enough to convince others that they are you. Here are eight numbers that they are gunning for.

 

1. Phone Numbers

 

You want people to be able to call you; you may even list your phone number on a public-facing site. If you do, bear in mind some companies use your phone number to identify you, at least in part. With caller ID spoofing, it's not hard for a fraudster to make your number appear when they call one of those companies.

 

2. Dates and ZIPs

 

Birth, college attendance, employment, when you resided at a particular address, ZIP codes associated with open accounts -- these are all numbers that can help a scam artist open the door to your identity by cracks and creaks. Many people put this information on public websites, like personal blogs and social media sites. In the post-privacy era, it is imperative you grasp the concept that less is more. Another tactic worth trying is populating public-facing social media sites with inaccurate information -- though you might want to check each site's rules since some sites frown upon the practice.

 

3. PIN Codes

 

Card-skimming operations use a device to capture your debit card information while a camera records you as you type in your PIN code, making it very easy for a thief to replicate. Cover your hands and be paranoid, because it's possible someone actually is watching you.

 

4. Social Security Numbers

 

Your Social Security number is the skeleton key to your personal finances. There are many places that ask for it but don't actually need it. Be very careful about who gets it and find out how they collect it, store it and protect it. Whenever you're asked for your SSN, always consider whether the request is logical based upon the context of your relationship with them.

 

5. Bank Account Numbers

 

Your bank account number is on your checks, which makes a personal check one of the least secure ways to pay for something. Consider using a credit card. You get rewards, buyer protection and less of your information will be out there.

 

6. IP Addresses

 

Scammers can use malware and a remote access tool to lock files on your computer and then demand a ransom in exchange for access. A message informing a user that his or her IP address is associated with online criminal activity is a common scare tactic used in ransomware scams. Don't fall for it. While it's not difficult to track an IP address, there are a number of browsers that hide your IP address and associated searches from the bad guys, and there are fixes for ransomware.

 

7. Driver's License and Passport Numbers

 

These are critical elements of your personally identifiable information that represent major pieces of your identity puzzle and, once you have the number, these documents can be counterfeited. Countless times each day, millions of personal documents undergo major makeovers and suddenly feature new names, addresses and photographs of fraudsters.

 

8. Health Insurance Account Numbers

 

Health insurance fraud is on the rise, and one of the biggest growth areas is identity-related health care crimes. This can jeopardize your life -- not just your credit or finances, as the fraudster's medical information can be commingled with yours, precipitating blood type changes, and eliminating certain allergies to meds or presenting new ones. The results can be catastrophic when a course of treatment is prescribed based upon incorrect information in the file.

 

It's time to become a data security realist. Data breach fatigue is the enemy. Every new compromise and scam is potentially crucial news for you, since it may point to weak spots in your own behaviors and ways that your data hygiene might be putting you at risk. So keep reading articles about new threats to your personal data security, and read every single email alert that you receive -- though be careful of the obviously fake emails and always verify directly with the institution.

 

The smartest thing you can do is to assume the worst. Your personally identifying information is out there, and, in the wrong hands, you're toast -- even if you are really on top of things. That said, by monitoring your bank and credit card accounts and the Explanation of Benefits Statements you receive from your health insurers, you'll be in a better position to minimize the damage. Most importantly, read your credit reports. You can do that for free once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com, and use free online credit tools, like those on Credit.com, which updates your information monthly, explains why your credit scores are what they are, and give tips for what you can do to improve your credit standing. But then what?

 

It is also vital for you to have a damage control program in place once you suspect that you have an identity theft issue. Contact your insurance agent, bank and credit union account rep, or the HR Department where you work to learn if there is a program to help you recover from an identity theft. You may well be surprised that there is and you are already enrolled for free as a perk of your relationship.

 

While there is no way to avoid cybercrime and identity theft, there is plenty you can do to make sure the damage is minimized and contained, and that no matter what happens, your daily life can go on without too much disruption.

 

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