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Trends

  • Petya or NotPetya, this is the world’s latest ransomware attack

    Ransomware is yet again sweeping across the world's computers today, and no, it's not WannaCry. It goes by a few names, but it's being commonly referred to as Petya or NotPetya by security experts. While the former was first discovered in 2016, the latter name refers to a newer strain of the ransomware. Yesterday, Petya or a derivative, reappeared in Ukraine and has since spread to countries as far east as Australia, and as far West as the US. While details about the nature of the attack and the attackers' intentions are unclear at present, we do know a few key factors...

  • YouTube to launch comment topics so you can skip the boring stuff

    I'm a simple woman: I see YouTube is letting me filter out annoying, tired jokes and I click. YouTube announced Saturday that it is working on a feature dubbed 'comment topics' that will allow viewers to filter comments using popular phrases. Say you're watching a popular vlogger visit your hometown and you want to see what people are saying about it. Just above the comments section will be a list of popular phrases used in the comments -- all you have to do is click on your town's name and browse away. If you hate-watch YouTubers, though, the feature may not give you what...

  • WannaCry ransomware now affecting Australia’s traffic cameras

    Remember WannaCry? The fearsome ransomware package that infected over 250 000 computers in 150 countries earlier this year? Well, it's back, but not in the way you might've been expecting. According to a report by The Guardian, around 55 traffic cameras in the Australian state of Victoria have been affected by the virus. While the cameras have been operating normally, notes the Victorian department of justice, those found to have been handed incorrect fines, they will be scratched from the system. How nice. In May 2017, WannaCry ripped through the world's unpatched Windows machines, locking users out of their devices and forcing them to...

  • Snapchat now makes it easier to stalk friends using ‘Snap Map’

    Snapchat has added a new feature that allows you to see where your friends -- and other featured stories -- are on a map. The Snap Map is accessed by pinching the screen to zoom out, and adds another layer to Snap's already complex interface. Once on the map, the user can choose who can see their location, with the options of all friends, select friends and Ghost Mode (no one but them.) If their friends have chosen to make themselves visible, users can view where they are and the stories that go along with that location. Along with their friends are other...

  • Subscription-based ERP software becoming more relevant during SA’s economic toils

    In light of South Africa’s recent economic upheaval, local enterprises are under more financial pressure than ever before, with many sacrificing critical business management tools so as to protect their all-important cash flow. Enterprise Resource Planning software, or ERP as it’s commonly known, is one of many key business tools entrepreneurs have historically steered clear of, deterred by the financial implications such an investment might have on business. Traditionally thought of as a big business tool, ERP software enables business owners to enjoy a 360 degree view of their operation, improving transparency and collaboration, and in many cases, significantly reducing operational...

  • Cape Town’s Koeberg nuclear power station to get mini-desalination plant

    Cape Town's nuclear power plant Koeberg is turning to desalination as the drought deepens, Eskom reveals. A column written this week by Koeberg's power station manager Velaphi Ntuli and published on Engineering News explains that the move is part of Eskom's "robust risk management process" to safeguard the city's power supply. "Koeberg currently uses about 1 300 kilolitres of fresh water per day," Ntuli writes. "In light of the current drought situation, Koeberg is driving various water saving initiatives to reduce potable water consumption by at least a third in the short term." While the power plant itself is cooled by the Atlantic Ocean,...

  • ‘Judy’ malware found on Google Play Store puts 36.5m users at risk

    Just when you thought that WannaCry would be the last of the big malware attacks to plague 2017, a new breed of nasty has appeared on the Google Play Store. And its name is Judy. According to a report published by security company CheckPoint, Judy "is an auto-clicking adware which was found on 41 apps developed by a Korean company". The malware gets its name from the usual (and rather adorable) protagonist of the games fronting the malware. In one particular case, users can "create delicious food with Judy". Sounds yum. Cleverly bypassing Google Play's security measures by masquerading behind a legitimate app,...

  • Cape Town’s flexible work hours may prompt businesses to move to the cloud

    The City of Cape Town’s proposal to introduce flexible hours to combat heavy traffic has cast a spotlight on existing business inefficiencies, and highlighted the need for local enterprises to find alternative logistical solutions in the cloud. Thanks to legacy hardware, poor internet infrastructure and a resilient populace familiar with the nine-to-five concept and centralised office locations, South African companies have been slow to adapt to this global trend, resulting in the kind of congestion previously only seen in cities like Los Angeles and Bangkok. Much of this could be alleviated by a widespread move to the cloud, something which would...

  • Zomato hacked, 17m users’ personal data leaked to the dark web

    If you frequent the India-based restaurant and food review app Zomato, you should probably change your password immediately. That's the message conveyed in a blog post by the company on Thursday, after it announced that more than 10% of the company's user records were stolen by a hacker. "The reason you're reading this blog post is because of a recent discovery by our security team - about 17 million user records from our database were stolen. The stolen information has user email addresses and hashed passwords," it noted, adding over 120-million people visit Zomato monthly. For those who had their user information stolen,...

  • Edward Snowden reminds us all that he was right after WannaCry fallout

    It's hard being right all the time, especially if you're Edward Snowden. The infamous whistleblower who curently calls Russia home spoke on Monday via video link at a Washington DC security conference. And he just couldn't help reminding everyone that the NSA sucks. "They knew about this flaw in U.S. software, U.S. infrastructure, hospitals around the world, these auto plants and so on and so forth, but they did not report it to Microsoft until after the NSA learned that that flaw had been stolen by some outside group," the former CIA contractor noted, according to a Newsweek transcript. WannaCry infected over 300...

  • Airbnb adds R2.4bn to SA economy in 2016, hosts 400 000 visitors

    Airbnb has this week published its annual economic report, which sheds some light on the home sharing platform's economic impact on various global economies. South Africa happens to be one of these economies. Publishing its effect on South Africa's economy just prior to the Tourism Indaba taking place in Durban in May, the company makes some notable claims. For one, it suggest that it generated around R2.4-billion for the South African economy in 2016, considering the expenditure of guests and the income accrued by the 16 000 hosts last year. R817-million of that income was earned by local households. The company also notes...

  • Could WannaCry ransomware be linked to North Korea?

    WannaCry, the ransomware package that wreaked havoc across the world's Windows machinery this past weekend, might have links to North Korea, security experts revealed. The ransomware swept across the world last Friday, infecting over a quarter-million Windows machines across 150 countries. It remains a threat, but infection rates have somewhat slowed. According to a report published by Reuters, South Korean security researchers found coding similarities in WannaCry's earlier versions, and a different malware used by the Lazarus Group -- a hacking collective with ties to North Korea. These findings have also been noted by Google security researcher Neel Mehta, Symantec and Kaspersky. Shared...

  • WannaCry ransomware infects a quarter million computers in 150 countries

    WannaCry wins 2017's prize for most ominously named ransomware, and it has seemingly lived up to its name. A worldwide attack involving the ransomware swept through personal computers, companies and government institutions beginning on Friday 12 May. By Sunday, over 230 000 computers in more than 150 countries, including South Africa, were infected. Straight out of an episode of Mr. Robot, WannaCry (Wcry, WannaCrypt, WanaCrypt0r 2.0, or Wanna Decryptor) is a malicious software package that infects computers running Microsoft Windows. It's spread using an exploit developed by the NSA called EternalBlue which was leaked by a hacker collective in April. While Microsoft...

  • Is artificial intelligence making the data analyst redundant?

    It is all too apparent that every industry is being radically impacted upon and even deeply disrupted by, digitalisation, while existing and familiar roles are being transformed, making way for new opportunities to emerge. One such role that is being challenged to prove its worth, is the analyst, in no small part due to Big Data, analytics, and the most exciting, cutting edge development at the moment, artificial intelligence. This convergence of forces begs the question: Are analysts no longer needed? Arguing in the affirmative is the fact that machines can process data at speeds that far surpass human capability, and...

  • 3 hilarious (but scary) printer security stories from the internet [Native]

    Printers might seem like innocuous little office gadgets that do one job and one job alone, but they've become more vulnerable thanks to the internet. While human beings' reliance on the web expands, so does the ability for baddies to crack their security protocols. With that in mind, here are three previous moments in history that printers were the victims of rather comical, if not potentially catastrophic, security stories. -> YOUR PRINTER HAS BEEN PWNED <- In February 2017, a hacker using the alias Stackoverflowin took control of over 150 000 printers across the globe to probe a point. And to distribute memes. Although...