Latest Technology News

Should businesses prepare for ransomware with a cryptocurrency stash? [Q&A]

ransomware key

An increasing number of enterprises are considering pre-purchasing cryptocurrency in anticipation of potential ransomware attacks. But is this a valid risk-reduction strategy for enterprises?

To get some views on this controversial issue, we spoke with Mike Doran, senior security consultant with the enterprise incident management team at cybersecurity specialist Optiv, and former computer forensics examiner with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

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Razer Phone 2 Android 8.1 gaming smartphone puts Google Pixel 3 to shame

A couple of days ago, Google unveiled its 3rd generation of Pixel phones. And you know what? Many consumers don't really seem to care. Let's be honest, the search giant's flagship devices are usually reserved for only the most hardcore Android lovers -- most consumers prefer Samsung. Sadly, even the Google faithful seem unimpressed by the terribly ugly Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. These devices are beyond uninspired, and the notch on the XL variant is shockingly large.

Thankfully, there is another phone that should wash the filthy Pixel 3 taste out of your mouth -- the Razer Phone 2. Yes, the popular gaming company is back with a second generation phone. The device is still focused on gaming, and this time it has a faster processor which delivers an impressive performance boost. It also gets a glass back which helps enable Qi wireless charging -- a must in 2018. And since this is a gaming device, it now has customizable RGB lighting -- for the rear Razer logo.

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Plex for Linux now available as a Snap

Microsoft is having a terrible time lately. Sometimes it feels like the company wants to sabotage itself. The most recent debacle is its flagship product -- Windows 10 -- deleting user files. Even worse, the company ignored user feedback that it was happening! Quite frankly, after such a scary thing, I am not sure how people can trust Microsoft's operating system with important data.

Thankfully, you do not have to use Windows. These days, it is easier than ever to use Linux instead. There are plenty of great apps available for operating systems like Ubuntu, Fedora, and more. Canonical's containerized Snap packaging makes it even simpler to both install Linux apps and keep them updated. Today, a very popular app, Plex Media Server, gets the Snap treatment. In other words, you can install the media server program without any headaches -- right from the Snap store!

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Two out of three worry about identity theft but half still engage in risky behavior

identity theft

A new survey from identity management specialist SailPoint in conjunction with US National Cybersecurity Awareness Month finds two out of three professionals are extremely concerned about their personal identity being stolen.

Yet despite this half admit that they would participate in the types of risky behavior that increase the threat of leaked information and a potential breach.

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94 percent of big-business leaders would consider moving off mainframes

Black and white mainframe

A new survey of senior IT decision makers at some of the world's largest organizations that still rely on legacy mainframe systems reveals that most want to move away from the technology due to the high cost and inflexibility that it has brought to their business.

The study from Microsoft and LzLabs surveyed IT leaders in the US, Canada, UK, France and Germany, and finds concerns about the skills crisis limiting number of mainframe professionals left in the market, and the importance of being able to leverage cloud deployment, agile development, and open source initiatives.

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All emojis are now considered equal on Twitter

Twitter emojis

How many characters is an emoji? It seems like a simple question, but on Twitter the answer has not always been clear. Some emojis count as a single character while others eat further into the character count.

But now this is changing -- Twitter has announced that all emojis will now be treated equally. Previously, emoji that could be modified in various ways -- such as changing the skin tone of people -- would use up large numbers of characters. No more!

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Apple signs $600 million deal with European chipmaker Dialog

Black iPhone

Apple is buying part of Dialog Semiconductor, a chipmaker based in Germany. The iPhone manufacturer is interested in Dialog's power-management technology and has put forward $300 million for it.

On top of this, Apple has committed an additional $300 million to make purchases from other parts of Dialog's business, making this the largest deal the company has undertaken. As part of the arrangement Apple will acquire patents from the chipmaker as well as 300 staff.

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Samsung unveils the new Galaxy A9 with quad camera

Samsung has just taken the wraps off its latest mid-range smartphone -- the Galaxy A9 -- and it’s one that the South Korean tech giant says has been made with "Instagram generation" firmly in mind.

The key difference between this, and other similarly priced devices is it comes with the world's first quad camera. This might seem like a gimmick, and to a degree it probably is, but actually each of the four lenses servers a different, useful purpose.

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Microsoft joins Open Invention Network and open sources its patent portfolio

Microsoft sign on building

Microsoft has joined the "largest patent non-aggression community in history", the Open Invention Network (OIN), effectively open-sourcing almost its entire patent portfolio.

The company has shown increasing warmth to the open source community in recent years, and this latest move means that other OIN members will have access to its patents -- with the exception of those relating to Windows and desktop applications. The OIN embraces -- as Microsoft has done of late -- Linux "as a key element of open source software".

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Hackers, geeks and thieves -- analysis of dark web communities reveals varied motives

cyber criminal

When we talk about the dark web it's easy to think of it as an amorphous malevolent blob. But new research from Recorded Future reveals some key differences between dark web communities in different parts of the world.

The company's Inskit Group of researchers has actively analyzed underground markets and forums tailored to Russian and Chinese audiences over the past year and has discovered a number of differences in content hosted on forums, as well as differences in forum organization and conduct.

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Snap launches Snap Originals -- original, bite-sized, interactive shows for Snapchat

Snap Originals

Snap has announced the launch of a new range of original, scripted shows for Snapchat. Snap Originals are penned by Hollywood writers that Snap describes as the "world's greatest storytellers".

The shows are not going to compete with offerings from the likes of Netflix. These are not shows of typical episode lengths, but a mere five minutes long. Snap will be hoping that the length, in conjunction with the interactivity and social elements of the shows, will increase their appeal to teenage Snapchat users.

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Carbon Black launches advanced threat hunting from the cloud

Insider threats

Most endpoint detection tools collect only a limited set of data, which can make it hard for teams to track down and combat threats.

To address this issue, endpoint security specialist Carbon Black is launching a new threat hunting tool as part of its Predictive Security Cloud (PSC).

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68 percent of enterprises are not ready to cope with DNS attacks

DNS

A new study reveals that 68 percent of the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500 rankings are not adequately prepared for the next major DNS attack.

The Global DNS Performance Report by network intelligence company ThousandEyes shows that DNS best practices are not widespread in major enterprises and SaaS providers, leaving them needlessly vulnerable.

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Microsoft has bumped up the price of Windows 10 Home by nearly $20

Windows on wood with dollars

You'd be forgiven for not having noticed, but Microsoft has quietly -- virtually silently, in fact -- increased the price of Windows 10 Home.

Previously available for $119.99, the operating system will now set you back $139 -- a $19.01 increase. While it's fair to say that the price increase of close to $20 won't affect too many people -- there are just a handful who don't either opt for an upgrade, or buy it pre-installed -- Microsoft did a great job of introducing the new price by stealth.

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Microsoft fixes Windows 10 October 2018 Update data deletion issues, delivers new test version to Insiders

Windows 10 box and spanner

Yesterday was supposed to be the day when the Windows 10 October 2018 Update started to properly roll out to users, but due to a number of well publicized problems, most notably with the OS deleting user data, Microsoft was forced to change its plans.

It "paused" the update last week in order to investigate the problems, and now has an updated version of Windows 10 1809 ready for Windows Insiders to test and provide feedback on.

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