Honor is holding an event in London on May 15, Honor 10 likely to be outed

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Huawei sub-brand Honor is holding its next unveiling event in London on May 15. It has started sending out press invites for the occasion, and you can see the associated promo image below. That’s obviously the outline of a smartphone, so it’s pretty clear what the event will be about. The must-have buzzword of 2018, “AI”, is present too, so you know this will be a high-end device of some sort. That’s why we assume the Honor 10 is the handset in question, the one making its debut at this May 15 London event. It would complement the Honor View 10 in the company’s portfolio, and should…

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Hackers Are Holding The City of Atlanta Hostage

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

The city of Atlanta has been hacked.

On the morning of March 22, a remote ransomware attack trapped the city’s data behind an encrypted wall that will only be lowered if the city coughs up a $ 51,000 ransom, paid out in bitcoin.

For now, the city is working to come up with a solution to get past the attack without paying its ransom, bringing in “best in class external partners” to guide the fix, according to Atlanta news station WSB-TV.

But five days in, the effects are profound, crippling some of the city’s critical functions. As of March 27, city employees remain without email or internet access; residents cannot pay their electric bills; wi-fi is shut down at the Atlanta International Airport; and many departments — including the city jail — “are running on pen and paper while there is no access to electronic records for municipal court,” according to a report from Georgia Public Broadcasting, NPR reports.

“This is much bigger than a ransomware attack, this really is an attack on our government,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a news conference, Reuters reports. “We are dealing with a (cyber) hostage situation.”

The mayor also warned Atlanta city employees and residents to keep an eye on their bank accounts, and to shore up the security around their personal information, just in case.

“I wish that I could say it would be the last time, but it really never is the last time. We just have to make sure that we’re doing all that we can do and making the investments in the city to be as protected as possible,” Bottoms told WSB-TV.

Experts have warned that cybersecurity is likely the next great security threat for governments and companies around the world, and that most systems are simply not prepared. Indeed, Atlanta isn’t the first U.S city to be hit by ransomware — the Colorado Department of Transportation has already been hit twice in 2018. However, the Atlanta attack seems to the most thorough, city-wide cybersecurity breach yet. And though some companies have ramped up security following attacks, as Atlanta plans to do, it seems that most cities aren’t adapting their security before an attack happens.

That’s bad news, because cities will likely be at particular risk moving forward. Many are seeking to automate processes that humans used to do, and more city systems are connected via the Internet of Things. These future “smart cities” plan to digitize huge portions of city infrastructure — street lights, traffic systems, pollution monitoring, water systems, and even city residents’ vehicles.

“The potential attack surfaces of a city is a huge challenge,” David Raymond, deputy director of Virginia Tech’s IT Security Lab, said to The Washington Post on potentially hacking cities in 2015. “The digital pathways between all of the entities and organizations in a city is often not well managed. In many cases, there’s no overarching security architecture or even understanding of holistically what the city looks like.”

“No one is thinking about the security implications,” he added.

It’s not yet clear at what point Atlanta will give in and pay the ransom to get its data back. But as more cities rely on digital processes, the dangers to both citizen privacy and security are going to multiply. Imagine a hack that takes out not just a city’s computer systems, but also its electrical power, plumbing, and even control of your own car.

If the future lives up to even a fraction of these predictions, Atlanta may have gotten off easy.

The post Hackers Are Holding The City of Atlanta Hostage appeared first on Futurism.

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Apple holding another ‘Lose Your Wallet’ shopping event promoting Apple Pay w/ exclusive discounts

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

It looks like Apple is running another “Lose Your Wallet” shopping event, encouraging users to use the company’s Apple Pay mobile payment service by offering discounts at select stores. The event previously ran in June of 2017, in San Fransisco. This time, it’s being held in Los Angeles.

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Exclusive: Telegram is holding a secretive second pre-ICO sale

You have to admire Pavel Durov’s audacity.

Over the past few months, the CEO of Telegram convinced 81 accredited investors, including Silicon Valley giants Sequoia Capital and Benchmark, to give him $ 850 million in a presale of his company’s cryptocurrency in advance of an initial coin offering, or ICO. Now he’s trying to raise even more money from accredited investors before the coin gets offered to the public in a secretive second presale.

This week, investors got an email explaining that Telegram is doing another private presale, four sources with knowledge of the deal told The Verge.

The exact amount to be raised is still being determined, according to one source, but two other sources said Telegram is estimating it will be around…

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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway increases Apple stake by 23.3 percent, now its largest holding

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Legendary investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway continued to bet big on Apple over the fourth quarter 2017, raising its stake in the tech giant by 23.3 percent to hit 165.3 million shares, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

How we stop fraudulent apps from holding you ransom

Recently we shared our 2016 Android Security Year in Review, which looks at how we protect Android users and their data. Today, we’re taking a closer look at how we shield people from a rare—but particularly disruptive—potentially harmful app (PHA) known as ransomware. We’ve long had protections from ransomware in Android, and we added new ones in Nougat as well.

Ransomware is a type of app that restricts access to your device until a sum of money is paid. Ransomware usually presents itself in one of two forms: apps that restrict access to your device and then demand payment to regain access to the device, or apps that encrypt data on the device’s external storage (such as an SD card) and then demand payment to decrypt your data. To make the scam more convincing, fraudsters sometimes pretend to be from a credible law enforcement agency and accuse you of doing something illegal so you’re more likely to pay.

Although ransomware has begun to target mobile devices, it’s still rare: Since 2015, less than 0.00001 percent of installations from Google Play, and less than .01 percent of installations from sources other  than Google Play, were categorized as ransomware.  (That’s less than the odds of getting struck by lightning twice in your lifetime!).

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Some examples of popular ransomware

And Android users have long been protected from ransomware. Our Google Play policies strictly prohibit apps that contain it, and if we ever detect these scams, we rapidly take action. Verify Apps, our security system that analyzes apps before they are installed and then regularly checks more than 400 million devices and 6 billion apps everyday for PHAs, is another safeguard. And Application Sandboxing, a technology that forces each app to operate independently of others, provides another layer of defense. Sandboxes require apps to mutually consent to sharing data, a protection which limits ransomware’s ability to access sensitive information like a contact list from another app.

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Ransomware protections in Android Nougat

With the release of Android 7.0 Nougat, we added to existing defenses against ransomware, and also made some changes to address some of the newer tactics of ransomware scams. Here are a few examples:

  • Safety blinders: Apps can no longer see which other apps are active. That means scammy ones can’t see what other apps are doing—and can’t inform their attacks based on activity.
  • Even stronger locks: If you set a lockscreen PIN prior to installing ransomware, ransomware can’t misuse your device’s permissions to change your PIN and lock you out.
  • Whacking clickjacking: “Clickjacking” tricks people into clicking something, often by obscuring permission dialogs behind other windows. You’re now protected from ransomware attacks that use this tactic to sneakily gain control of a device.

Protecting your data and device from ransomware

Even with all the safeguards we’ve built into Android and Google Play to protect you from ransomware, there are still a few things that you can do to keep your device safe.

  1. Only download apps from a trustworthy source, such as Google Play.
  2. Ensure Verify Apps is enabled.
  3. Install security updates and always ensure your device is updated to the latest version to get the best security protection.
  4. Back up your device.
  5. Be cautious. Take a moment to read reviews and other information about apps before installing, to make sure you download the app you’re looking for.

If you accidentally install ransomware on your phone, you have a few options. First, you can try to boot into safe mode. Starting your device in safe mode means your device only has the original software and apps that came with it. If an app is misbehaving but the issues go away in safe mode, the problem is probably caused by a third-party app downloaded on your device. If you can boot into safe mode, try to uninstall the app and then reboot the device. On a Pixel, you can get into safe mode with a keyboard combination that PHAs can’t touch.

If safe mode doesn’t work, then you might have to reset your phone to factory settings. Many devices running Android allow you to remove dangerous apps by resetting it to factory settings (also referred to as formatting the device, or doing a “hard reset”). This should be your last resort, but if you’ve backed up your files, resetting your device should be easy. Check with your carrier or device manufacturer for instructions on how to reset your phone.

Ransomware on Android is exceedingly rare. Still, we’ve implemented lots of new protections in Nougat, and we continue to improve on the defenses that have long been in place. Those protections, along with extra vigilance about how you download your apps, will help keep you and your device secure.


Android

Tips: If you’re holding off on macOS High Sierra, turn off upgrade notifications for good

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Every time you boot a computer capable of upgrading to High Sierra, macOS will pop up at least one notification a day exhorting you to move up. Here’s how to turn them off for good, with one Terminal command.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

UK government to initiate tax crackdown on tech firms holding earnings offshore

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The UK Treasury on Wednesday said it will begin cracking down on large corporations that shift British earnings overseas in a bid to avoid the country’s high taxes, a move that follows a wider European Union strategy seeking much the same.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Paradise Papers reveal Apple shifted holding firm to Jersey to protect $252B from taxation

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After a 2013 investigation into its Irish tax affairs, Apple continued to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes by changing its structure, moving the holding firm for over $ 250 billion in cash reserves to the Channel Islands, this week’s "Paradise Papers" leak has revealed.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Patent holding firm picks up Sony & Nokia IP, files suit against Apple

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Non-practicing entity Ironworks Patents has filed a lawsuit against Apple, hoping to claim up to 12.5 cents per iPhone for U.S. patents originally belonging to Sony and Nokia.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News