Monday, 31 July 2017

Macs Are New Ransomware Targets

The world has been recently swept by a malware bug that has crippled businesses and government organizations in different parts of the world. This ransom malware is known as WannaCry and has affected over 200,000 computers in supposedly 150 countries. Windows PCs are vulnerable to this ransomware especially the older operating systems like Windows XP and Windows 7 that don’t have up-to-date security updates. This vulnerability is related to the implementation of the Server Message Block (SMB) by Microsoft. Fortunately, it seems that Windows 10 wasn’t vulnerable to the attack.

The popularity of bitcoins has made ransom malware a favorite crime of hackers. It means they can monetize their attacks from dazed victims who badly want their data back. While the spread of the malware has significantly slowed down upon the discovery of the kill switch, it does not mean that the worst is over because Macs seem susceptible too now.

Give us your money, or else: Mac users and their computers aren’t immune from ransom-demanding malware after all, as a first so-called ransomware attack was detected by the security researchers at Palo Alto Networks last week.

Mac owners who installed the Transmission BitTorrent client last Friday or Saturday may have infected their machines with a malware program called KeRanger that may attempt to encrypt some of their personal files. The app then displays a ransom note, asking users to pay around $400 to get access to these files again.

Ransomware attacks like these are nothing new for users of Windows PCs, where a number of similar programs have been attacking users for some time. Ransomware programmers typically hide their tracks by asking to be paid in Bitcoin, their apps are often  hard to detect by antivirus software.

(Via: https://variety.com/2016/digital/news/apple-mac-ransomware-1201724188/)

It seems that the target of hackers isn’t individual computer users but more on businesses and organizations that have the capacity to pay the ransom they are asking for. The world may have been blown away by the WannaCry attack but it appears that Mac users must also be wary of the KeRanger malware because Mac computers aren’t immune to malware after all.

Unplug and disconnect storage

The one example of effective ransomware seen on a Mac so far - KeRanger - also attempted to encrypt Time Machine backups, to try to make it impossible for the user to simply restore files from a backup.

Therefore, upon discovering your Mac has been infected by ransomware you should minimise the possibility of backups becoming encrypted too by immediately unplugging any removable storage like external hard disks, and disconnecting from any network shares by clicking the eject icon alongside their entries in the sidebar of Finder.

Are Macs affected by WannaCry?

Put simply, no. WannaCry takes advantage of a bug in Microsoft Windows' network file sharing system, a technology called SMB. Once WannaCry gets onto a single computer on the network - usually because an individual opened a rogue email attachment - it then uses a bug in SMB to inject itself into all other computers on the network that haven't been patched.

Macs also use SMB as the default network file sharing technology, so you might initially think Macs could be affected too. However, Apple uses its own bespoke implementation of SMB. While this is fully compatible with Microsoft's version, it doesn't suffer from the same bugs or security holes, so isn't affected by WannaCry - or at least not in WannaCry's current manifestation.

(Via: http://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/mac/how-remove-mac-ransomware-3659100/)

If you want to ensure your Mac computer stays protected from any ransomware attack, try installing the app, RansomWhere?. It is actually a free app that silently watches out for any signs of encryption in the background. Upon detection, it stops the encryption process and lets you know about it.

Other precautions that are actually pure common sense includes not opening malicious email attachments, avoiding dodgy software, regularly updating your system, and making sure you only install from official websites. Ensuring you back up your data is also a great way to give you the peace of mind knowing you have the same copy of the files that were just encrypted, so no need to worry about paying the ludicrous ransom at all.

If you want to know more about Mac Data Recovery services, check this link http://www.harddriverecovery.org/mac-data-recovery/ for more details. Hard drives are crucial components of your PC for they store all your important data. You wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to it. If you can’t afford to buy a backup, just make sure you know of a hard drive recovery service company to help you out such as this: http://www.harddriverecovery.org/hard-drive-recovery-service.html/. If you are clueless as to who to hire, you don’t have to look elsewhere because we can take care of your problem for you at a price you can afford.

Macs Are New Ransomware Targets was first published on Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog



source http://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/macs-are-new-ransomware-targets/

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Computers And Safe Air Travel

A lot of the things we now enjoy have been made possible by our continually advancing computing technology. Man keeps on dreaming bigger things and that enables new discoveries and innovations to be made. Indeed, much has changed since our forefathers had first access to computers. And we’re not just talking about the technologies we use at home or smart technology but of even bigger and more complex industries like air travel.

The airline industry needs computers in order to function effectively and to even just basically exist. Airplanes are full of all sorts of gadgets and technologies to ensure a safe flight for everyone. There is so much technology involved yet surprisingly; they all work cohesively every time a plane flies to make sure the plane does as it should do. Not to mention the fact that most passengers now book their flights online, the sheer amount of technology used is just simply mind-blowing.

BRITISH AIRWAYS usually relishes the spring bank-holiday weekend, as families take advantage of the extended break to jet off somewhere pleasant. This year's won't end soon enough for the airline. A catastrophic computer failure on May 27th grounded over a thousand flights and caused chaos for flyers.  

The incident, which was reportedly related to a power failure rather than a cyber-attack, will raise questions about the company's IT system. But for those caught up in the turmoil, it will simply confirm how the service standards of this national airline have deteriorated. Indeed in some respects it showed a chilling disregard for customers.

(Via: http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2017/05/going-nowhere?journey=d)

Some people have plane jitters and you can’t blame them after watching movies like Turbulence and Snakes on a Plane. You’d realize how vulnerable you truly are when you are aboard the most lucrative vehicle in the planet.

As the nose of the aircraft rose and it started to lose speed, the automated voice barked out in English: “STALL STALL STALL.” Despite the warning, Bonin kept pulling back on the stick, and in the black skies above the Atlantic the plane climbed at an astonishing rate of 7,000 feet a minute. But the plane’s air speed was evaporating; it would soon begin to slide down through the storm and towards the water, 37,500 feet below. Had either Bonin or Robert realised what was happening, they could have fixed the problem, at least in its early stages. But they did not. Why?

The source of the problem was the system that had done so much to keep A330s safe for 15 years, across millions of miles of flying: the fly-by-wire. Or more precisely, the problem was not fly-by-wire, but the fact that the pilots had grown to rely on it. Bonin was suffering from a problem called mode confusion. Perhaps he did not realise that the plane had switched to the alternate mode that would provide him with far less assistance. Perhaps he knew the plane had switched modes, but did not fully understand the implication: that his plane would now let him stall. That is the most plausible reason Bonin and Robert ignored the alarm – they assumed this was the plane’s way of telling them that it was intervening to prevent a stall. In short, Bonin stalled the aircraft because in his gut he felt it was impossible to stall the aircraft.

Aggravating this confusion was Bonin’s lack of experience in flying a plane without computer assistance. While he had spent many hours in the cockpit of the A330, most of those hours had been spent monitoring and adjusting the plane’s computers rather than directly flying the aircraft. And of the tiny number of hours spent manually flying the plane, almost all would have been spent taking off or landing. No wonder he felt so helpless at the controls.

(Via: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/11/crash-how-computers-are-setting-us-up-disaster)

While many of you probably wondered what it is like to inflate a life vest, you wouldn’t really want to wish yourself in such a situation. Airplane disasters don’t always have a happy ending. Once the airplane’s computers or motors malfunction, the pilot can only do so much to salvage the situation. Of course, the goal is to land the plane (preferably on land) as safely as possible and with minimal losses (both properties and lives) but that does not always happen.

Can you also remember what it was like to be completely at the mercy of travel agents when booking flights? It’s the least convenient task and can be quite pricey too. But with today’s technology, you can now do your bookings online and you are free to choose the flight details and the amount you are willing to shell out for your travels. But more than just the convenience, safety should be your utmost concern when you are high up in the clouds in a vehicle that is virtually ran by computers.

Meanwhile, you may not get to fly an airplane in your lifetime aside from those in video games but you probably own a computer or two at home. You hate it when your computer does not work as it should be especially when the hard drive is involved because of the risk of data loss. Unfortunately, it is unavoidable no matter how careful you may be. When that happens, check this link when choosing a hard drive recovery service: http://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/how-to-choose-a-hard-drive-recovery-service/. For more ideas on the tools to be used, this link may be helpful: http://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/data-recovery-tools/.

Computers And Safe Air Travel Find more on: http://www.harddriverecovery.org



source http://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/computers-and-safe-air-travel/

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Joy A Smartphone Brings You

Smartphones are life. Can you imagine going through your day without your handy and ever so reliable smartphone with you? You’d even go to great lengths of going back home in the unfortunate event of leaving your smartphone back home. The possibilities are endless when you have your smartphone with you and you likely won’t get bored ever again. Moreover, Internet services have significantly improved to power the increase in demand among web users, so you can surf the web for all you want.

With an advanced mobile operating system that rivals that of most laptops and computers, smartphones are truly an icon of our times. And the best thing of all is that you are sure to have an option no matter what price you can afford. Even if it does not always sink in to you, it’s truly amazing to have almost everything that the world has to offer on a gadget that fits the palm of your hand. For only a decade, their existence has drastically changed our lives – both for the good and bad.

Next month see the 10th anniversary of the release of the first iPhone and the start of a smartphone revolution that has shaped the intervening decade in many ways, both obvious and subtle.

But the birth of the smartphone also presaged the death of something else, something whose absence we hardly remark on but which is of momentous importance – the smartphone has in many ways eliminated boredom in the developed world.

Those moments of idle reflection and those minutes of frustrating inactivity have been rendered a thing of the past by the devices in our pockets, which provide short bursts of diversion whenever we have a moment to fill.

(Via: https://www.irishtimes.com/business/innovation/how-smartphones-killed-off-boredom-1.3076980)

There is no such thing as boredom anymore. You no longer have to wonder how to kill time when there are countless things you can do with your smartphone. The memory of going crazy when you have nothing else to do a couple of decades ago is nothing but a distant memory, something that the younger generation won’t be able to relate to.

Part of this article came together for me in the shower. Why is it that ideas so often come to us while doing mundane tasks? It’s because moments of boredom free up our mind to think creatively. And regular bouts of boredom play a powerful role in building cultural intelligence (CQ).

Yet who has time to be bored these days? As I travel across the U.S. and around the world rarely, if ever, do I see people who are bored. And that’s largely thanks to smartphones!

You can fast forward through the boring commercials watching your favorite show, pass the time waiting in line by scrolling through your social media feeds, or sit through a religious service or class by surfing the web and texting. I’ve even seen security personnel and traffic cops using their phones to alleviate boredom. I recently stayed at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur where a VIP was staying. Security was everywhere. Yet several of the security officers were leaning against the wall scrolling through their phones every time I walked by them.

Our smartphones are an insurance policy against ever being bored. Granted, not everyone across the world has one - I still catch glimpses of elderly people in certain communities who are simply sitting outside apparently doing ‘nothing’ - but the reality is, most of us reach for our phones whenever there’s a minute to spare.

(Via: http://www.management-issues.com/opinion/7262/boredom-smartphones-and-cultural-intelligence/)

While we have high praises for the wonder that is our smartphone, it has some unintentional drawbacks. We may hate boredom but it does us some good after all. Your sense of creativity and innovation are heightened by feelings of utter boredom. The convenience offered by smartphone use reduces our creativity by providing us answers to our questions right away. It prevents our mind from thinking out of the box. We also miss out a lot on the beauty and benefit of actual conversations with other people and not through chat threads that we so adore now.

Let us remember that it is us who are in charge of our lives and not our phone dictating us on what to do. You forget to live in the moment because of your constant preoccupation with your smart gadget and it’s making you miss out on some of the finest moments of your life. While boredom is the least of your worries with a smartphone to keep you company, hard drive failure is a nagging threat to all computer users. When trying to recover your data, avoid these http://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/hard-drive-failure-recovery-three-major-user-mistakes/ and save yourself from the headache of data loss forever. Make sure you ask for the professional help of someone like us http://www.harddriverecovery.org/clean_room.html who understands clearly everything about data recovery for your ultimate peace of mind.

The Joy A Smartphone Brings You See more on: HDRG



source http://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/the-joy-a-smartphone-brings-you/

Saturday, 1 July 2017

What Is All The Buzz With Apple’s New Ads

Apple users have been complaining for a while about not seeing or hearing about any updates on Mac’s computer line considering how many changes can now be seen on new Window-powered computers that abound the market today. That’s because for quite some time, Apple focused on iPhones and their sales are primarily what kept the company afloat during the years when its computer sales were waning up until today.

Recently, the company aired their switch ads that show how easy it is to switch data from your phone (an Android one) to an iPhone and the obvious perks of using an Apple product are just some of the reasons why you should make the switch from an android phone to that of an iOS. The ads are so streamlined they can even work very well on certain social media platforms like Instagram without the need for spoken words too. The visuals speak for itself. It resembles old “I’m a Mac” ads that featured old pals, Hodgman and Long that were quite entertaining too.

The new spots, which appeared on YouTube on Monday, are too short to be called ads and too abstract to engage on any emotional level.

There's no dialogue, just brief illustrations of the difference between "your phone" and the "iPhone."

In each, the screen is split neatly down the middle. Invariably, a character travels (either by their own volition or through someone else's) from one side to the iPhone side. If the character is running slowly on the "your phone" side, they speed up on the iPhone. If someone is snooping on the main character on the left, they're alone and secure on the right; if they're ploddingly playing piano on the "your phone" side, they're a concert pianist in the iPhone space. 

Each transition is accompanied by a few on-screen words that promise more speed, ease of music transfer or better privacy.

There is a small thread of connection between the memorable theme music from the old "I'm a Mac" commercials, but it's also all over the map, especially because some of the music is there to help illustrate Apple's point. In the speed spot, for instance, the music starts off slowed down and distorted and speeds up to normal when the runner reaches the Apple side.

(Via: http://mashable.com/2017/05/22/new-apple-switch-ads/#s4VfdH7JKkqu)

The message of these ads is quite clear – everything is so much better when you are using an Apple device. These ads are short yet sweet and showcase the superiority of Apple gadgets from other smartphones sold in the market.

Apple is notoriously secretive.

The California technology giant almost never speaks about upcoming products before officially announcing them. Journalists who ask about rumours and reports might get told "no comment" — if they're lucky enough to get a response.

But for all its mystery, Apple can't stem every leak. Reports and speculation inevitably swirl in the run-up to rumoured launches, while many of its products are released on a regular annual schedule.

Here are some of the things we should look out for that Apple has in store for all of us this year:

  • A Siri smart speaker

  • The iPhone 8

  • The iPhone 7s and 7s Plus

  • Improved Macbook, Macbook Pro, and Macbook Air

  • New iMac

  • 3rd-gen Apple Watch

  • 4K Ultra-HD Apple TV

There’s even word of more investments in health technology and more upgrades on Apple’s computing line that is in dire need of an upgrade for a long while now.

(Via: http://www.businessinsider.com/apples-rumoured-launches-iphone-8-siri-speaker-macbook-pro-2017-5)

It’s been a decade since the first iPhone was launched and a lot has changed since then. The smart technology has been so successful that almost everyone owns a smart gadget these days. There is so much more in store for the loyal Apple users this year. Patience is indeed a virtue and it will soon pay off for everyone who always wondered what Apple got under their sleeves all this time and these ads are but teasers for more to come.

But just like any other tech device, your Mac may fail for various reasons. It can give you quite a headache especially if you use your computer daily. Read this link on Mac data recovery: http://www.harddriverecovery.org/mac-data-recovery/ to find out how you can recover precious data on your Mac computer or ask for our expert help if you don’t want to beat around the bush and want the issue taken cared of right away. It’s a comprehensive article on what you need to understand when it comes to Mac recovery. Meanwhile, if you run your own business and happen to use an older RAID hard drive, you can count on us for professional assistance at a price you can afford when your hard drive fails. This link: http://www.harddriverecovery.org/raid-data-recovery.html can also help broaden your knowledge about RAID hard drive failure, so you don’t panic the next time you face the same problem again.

The following blog article What Is All The Buzz With Apple’s New Ads is available on www.harddriverecovery.org



source http://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/what-is-all-the-buzz-with-apples-new-ads/

Servers Down Because Of Another Ransomware Attack

Ransomware attacks are happening quite often now that many businessmen and even world leaders are worried about its disastrous consequences ...