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Trends

  • 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...

  • Google Docs’ latest phishing scam was bad news for journalists

    A Google Docs phishing attack, that paraded as a genuine link to a shared document, caused widespread panic on the internet Wednesday. On the same day that Facebook's WhatsApp was down for the count, some Google users (Fortune's Jeff John Roberts suggests that the scam was targeted at journalists) received an email with a seemingly normal Google Docs link. Closer inspection revealed a few oddities. The sender of the mail is the rather hilarious "hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh@mailinator.com" but the consequences of clicking the mail aren't. Taking unsuspecting users to a faux OAUTH authentication page, suggesting that Google Docs requires authorisation to open the document. The...

  • Ask these questions when buying a secure printer [Native]

    Believe it or not, but security is an important factor to consider when buying a new printer for the office these days. But what exactly does that entail then? Well, we've got a few security-minded questions you should keep in mind before splashing out on a printer. Can you set up access IDs? We've touched on this before, but access IDs are a great way to keep track of who's printing what. Whether you're worried about hacks or abuse, it's worth having anyway. Most printers these days do support access IDs and similar authentication systems, so you're virtually guaranteed to have it on...

  • 5 neat tips to secure your printer [Native]

    There have been numerous stories surrounding the dodgy nature of today's connected printers. In fact, one security expert claimed that the printer was the "worst device" on the internet. That doesn't mean that your connected printer is a lost hope though, as there are several ways to shore up your printer's defenses... Set a secure WiFi and router password It might seem like a no-brainer, but you'll want to make sure that your WiFi connection is secure. After all, it's one of your first lines of defense. If people can access your WiFi connection, then there's a chance that they'll be able...

  • SingularityU’s Southern Africa Global Impact Challenge entries close 18 April [Sponsored]

    Singularity University, better known as SingularityU, has announced that entries to its Global Impact Challenge (GIC) competition for Southern Africa will close on Tuesday 18 April. The GIC, now in its second year, is open to "innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists and technologists," and aims to develop technologies and solutions to problems that will impact the lives of a billion people within ten years. "This year, we are looking for talented women and men who have the skills and passion to develop and launch a startup company around a moonshot idea that addresses climate change, although we will also accept outstanding applicants who...

  • Google hits back after gender discrimination accusations

    Google has released its pay methodology after being accused of discrimination by the US Department of Labour. "It’s very important to us that men and women who join Google in the same role are compensated on a level playing field, when they start and throughout their careers here," Eileen Naughton, VP of people operations, writes in a blog post. Naughton asserts that the company's method of determining pay is "blind to gender." She says that an employee's compensation (including salary and benefits) is suggested based on their role, job level, location and recent performance ratings. Once compensation has been decided, Google's pay...

  • YouTube creators need 10k channel views before earning ad revenue

    Over the past year, YouTube has been struggling to maintain an amicable relationship with its content creators -- and it's working hard to change that. In a bid to keep advertisers and creators happy, the platform has announced that new YouTubers will need a total of 10 000 views across all their videos before applying as a YouTube partner. This change is meant to serve as protection for advertisers who have recently pulled their ads after it was reported that antisemitic and racist videos were being endorsed by major brands. "This new threshold gives us enough information to determine the validity of a channel," its...

  • Root is Standard Bank, OfferZen’s new ‘programmable’ bank account

    Developer job platform OfferZen has teamed up with Standard Bank to introduce Root -- a "programmable" bank account for software developers. Root features full API access for developers, allowing their code to interact with transactions in real-time. So what kind of apps can be crafted with it, then? "Beta users of Root have already written some great RootCode apps including sending their transaction data to a personal Google Sheet in real-time, to make budgeting easy; limiting the days on which they can buy fast food, as part of a diet plan and creating a dedicated card and budget for Uber rides," read...