CEO of Baidu Inc. gave a speech at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference on July 9. Robin Li highlighted the development of AI by Baidu which may provide potential help in fighting Covid-19, economic stagnation, and unemployment.
The chief executive mentioned that China’s “New Infrastructure” plan can be considered as “ the largest – scale infrastructure engineering project” assisting intelligent transformation. He also mentioned Baidu’s plans on deploying 5 million intelligent cloud services and training 5 million AI experts in 5 years.
Li claimed that it’s easy to be pessimistic at this AI beginning development stage, but he also mentioned AI successful results, which exist already. For example, the LinearFold algorithm (developed by Baidu), which might be able to predict how the virus changes, therefore it allows taking early preventative actions. Robin Li also mentioned temperature screening system and autonomous vehicles, which reduce cross-infection.
With regard to AI prognosis, Robin Li said AI will come through three main stages of progress: intelligent transformation of technology, economy and society.
Aleksey Burkov pleaded guilty for credit card fraud and was sentenced in Virginia by US court. A 30-year old scammer was responsible for running two websites selling credit card information, malicious software and offering other hacking services.
Who is Aleksey Burkov?
A Russian citizen from St. Petersburg was operating a website named Card Planet in the period 2009-2013. The website was selling credit card information, which was stolen mostly from American citizens. It was mentioned that near 150, 000 credit card numbers were sold out, the equivalent ranged from $3-$60 each. On top of that, the website offered money-guarantee, if the credit card wasn’t working for some reason.
Apart from running Card Planet, Burkov created a forum named Direct Connections, where “unique cybercriminals could communicate safely and make hacking plans/schemes, sell and buy stolen information, malware, etc’’. To become a member of the forum, one had to put a $5,000 bond and have three forum members vouch for them as a guarantee of a perfect reputation in the criminal world.
Burkov pleaded guilty with two of five charges against him, including credit card fraud and money laundering; identity theft. He was detained in Ben-Gurion airport, Israel, and the charges against Burkov were filed in 2015.
Alexey Burkov’s extradition
After spending four years in custody, Burkov was sent to the US in November 2019. Before he arrived in Virginia, Russia tried to extradite him and offered Israel a deal: releasing Israeli drug smuggler Naama Issachar (sentenced in Russia) in return for Alexsey Burkov. Nevertheless, the deal never took place and cybercriminal was extradited to the US.
Despite prosecutors insisting on a 15-year sentence, Burkov got 9 years, taking into account 4 years he spent in custody. Moreover, he will have to to pay restitution of $7,000. After serving in prison Burkov will be under surveillance for 3 more years.
Our lives have changed and become home-based due to the virus outbreak. Now personal trainers, instructors, educational establishments and even big corporations are using Zoom for meetings and conferences. No wonder that experts are disputing how safe it is to use the software.
How good is Zoom?
Another feature of Zoom is data mining, which automatically matches e-mail addresses to LinkedIn profiles when signed in, even if you chose to be anonymous or used a pseudonym. As a result, if another person in the meeting was a Sales Navigator subscriber, he could access the LinkedIn profiles of those he was talking to in Zoom meetings. Later Zoom permanently removed this function.
End-to-end encryption was also an issue while disputing Zoom. As a result, on April 1, Zoom has published an update that while the meeting is not being recorded and all meeting participants are Zoom clients, all video, screen sharing and other content is encrypted and is not decrypted until reaching the receiving client.
Besides, the Waiting Room feature was created in order to avoid cybercriminals to access unprotected meetings and broadcast inappropriate material. The Waiting Room feature is requiring a password to access Personal Meeting in order to prevent unwanted participants in your meetings and conferences.
To use or not to use?
Zoom has become a lifesaver in the period when everything has become remote. You can use it for casual meetings, yoga sessions, educational purposes, and other social events. Its security level is sufficient for those purposes. As for meetings where you share any sensitive information, you might consider other services like Wire or Jitsi.
Hello VPN wishes you to stay safe and secure on the Web!
The world is experiencing hard times right now and while this stage is full of fear and panic for people, some see it as a good way of propagating and earning money.
Attention! Cybercriminals are using Covid-19 outbreak for their own advantage. There are various kinds of scams and tricks used to make people install malicious software.
“World’s best protection” website?!
The latest website that turned out to be a scam was advertised as “Corona Antivirus World’s best protection”. It sounds like nonsense, but the website is supposed to protect users from the real Coronavirus infection. To make things more absurd, the creators of the malware attached a note stating:
“Our scientists from Harvard University have been working on a special AI development to combat the virus using a windows app. Your PC actively”
The newly discovered malware was discovered by Malwarebytes and many more are popping out. Malware, phishing attacks, trojan horses are aimed to breach your security on the Web and to get control over your PC, steal save passwords, take screenshots, etc.
How to stay safe on the Web?
Now it is the time when people mostly work remotely from home. That is why being extra cautious is critical. Do not download from unknown websites and stay alert when instant pop out messages appear on your computer.
If you want to learn more about cyber hygiene, you can read our article on How to be absolutely secure on the Web.
Hello VPN wishes you to stay safe and protected at any time anywhere!
Every time people need to create a new password, here comes the question: what password will keep me safe and unhacked? Traditionally, SplashData has announced the most-used passwords people have chosen in 2019. Let’s take a look at them.
SplashData has revealed the most-used and the worst passwords of 2019. The first place took “123456”, the same story happened last year. The second place went to “12345678”, among other passwords were: “qwerty”, “password”, “iloveyou”, “123123”, “donald”, “666666”, “dragon”, “654321” and others.
According to the above mentioned, people don’t combine letters with upper cases and numbers to create a strong, hard-to-hack password. Whenever the password is easy to get or you use the same password for different accounts creates danger for your data.
Take care of your privacy
In case you have found one of your passwords among the list, you might consider changing it. You can use password manager or KeePass to keep your passwords safe and not worrying about forgetting any of them.
Find more information on how to stay secure on the Web here.
Russian citizen Maksim Yakubets, aged 32, has been accused of distributing banking malware, that helped him steal more than $100 million from 300 banks in 40 countries. Russian hacker is also known for leading cybercriminal network “Evil Corp” and a $5 million reward is waiting for any information that will help to capture Yakubets.
How did the Evil Corp managed to steal $100 million
Prosecutors claim that Evil Corp’s focus for the last 10 years was financial organizations in the U.K and the U.S. The cybercriminal network has created a malicious software-malware Dridex, which Yakubets and other members of Evil Corp were spreading via phishing attacks and ransomware. Their target audience (financial workers) were letting the malware in by clicking the email.
Yakubets has been accused of spreading the “Zeux malware” before to get banking information. The losses from Zeux were estimated at $70 million.
Who else is involved
In total 17 members of cybercriminal network Evil Corp joined the blacklist. Igor Turashev, Denis Gusev and others are believed to be involved in multiple cybercrimes. Both Yakubets and Turashev were charged in Pittsburgh and Nebraska for bank fraud and computer hacking.
$5 million for a cyber criminal
$5 million reward was announced for any information that would lead for capturing Maskim Yakubets. It’s worth mentioning, that $5 million is the highest amount of money that has ever been offered for a cyber criminal.
Not only your PC can be hacked these days, but your phone as well. Sometimes phones contain as much personal information as the computer itself. That’s why it makes a good target for hackers to get your data and sensitive information. Hello VPN has prepared some tips on avoiding the threat of being hacked.
First things first! How can your phone be hacked?
Usually while downloading apps from non-official resources causes downloading malware. Malware is a malicious software that damages your phone or computer. Malware can be presented as a virus, trojan horse, spyware, SMS-malware, adware and others.
You should pay attention if:
Your phone’s battery significantly decreased. The malware might be using your phone to transmit your data to third parties, which causes extra battery usage;
Adware presence. Pop-up messages, which is hard to close and which redirect the user to other websites;
Sometimes your phone might freeze or crash unexpectedly, which is one of the signs of malware presence.
How to protect your mobile device from hacking
This way or another, cybercriminals find their way to invade and steal your sensitive information. To prevent it from happening, you should use a VPN coverage while browsing the Web.
Among other things, VPN service provides end-to-end encryption, meaning your private conversations stay confidential.
BEC is a sophisticated way of phishing attacks, which does not include only email phishing, but tends to attack social media, mobile devices, etc. Cybercriminals go on targeting global companies with more advanced technologies than ever. How to recognize and protect yourself from BEC attacks?
The definition of BEC
BEC stands for Business Email Compromise. BEC is a method, which is used by criminals to hack emails of big organizations/companies, contact employees by pretending to be CEO or someone well-known in the company. There are different schemes but the most common case is when cybercriminals emailing a person in charge of wire transfer and ask to deposit the money.
BEC’s target companies
According to Gulfnews cybercriminal targeting different industries and their customers globally. The focus industries are high-tech, financial services, e-commerce and media. Their objectives are the biggest world’s brands like PayPal, Dropbox, Microsoft, DHL.
How to identify and prevent BEC attack
Cybercriminals are using different tactics to find the right person to scam. The first alarm is noticing suspicious words like “urgent”, “payment”, “requested”. The next step is to check the sender’s email address and forward the message, so the address would be double-checked before you reply. The other technique is creating a unique domain for the company’s mailbox instead of using online emailing services.
Ransomware or BEC is a very significant cybercrime threat. According to Trendmicro companies lost in total 140,000 USD in 2016 due to such attacks. That’s why neglecting any kind of suspicious activity on your PC or in particular emails or messages, requiring to transfer a certain sum of money, might be dangerous. So beware! You should also join a training course or an educational program (if there is any in your company) on how to detect this kind of threat.
The “IP” shortening means Internet protocol. The “address” is a unique number of digits that connects to all your activity. To make it more simple, IP address is the individual address that ensures: the information you requested is routed back to you! But what are the ways to change my IP address?
The reasons WHY
Your motives for borrowing a different IP address might vary from accessing blocked content and avoiding Web snooping to bypassing bans and changing your geographical location. You can use the next options to change your IP address, let’s take a look at them.
When you are home, your IP address connects to your home router, therefore all the devices are assigned with your “home” IP address. When you are at the office Your IP address is not traveling with you and you will be assigned a new one. Whenever you connect to a different WIFI your location at the same time will change. How does it work? You are just using a workplace network IP address while you surf the Web.
VPN coverage (the safest way)
Virtual private network usage has many perks and one of them is IP address change. When activating VPN you hide your public IP address and VPN client provides you private and secure Internet connection. The new IP address assigned to you hides your location. So you can still be in your home country, but explore the Web as if you are somewhere else! Among other things, VPN provides high bandwidth, safe connection and protects your vulnerable data from leaking, prevents data tracking and digital footprint.
Besides the above-mentioned options, you can reset your modem to get your IP address changed. Unplug your modem, wait 30-40 seconds and plug it back. Your modem will register with a new IP address.
China is known for its most developed face recognition system in the world. Its ‘smile-to-pay’ implementation was fulfilled in 2017. Customers in markets, coffee shops and even fruit markets started to pay their bills by looking at the screen and confirming their identity. It didn’t stop there and we can observe new technology that the government launched a while ago. Face recognition ticketing in subways is on and has its targets. What are they? Let’s take a closer look at them and what other opportunities does face recognition bring?
In 2017 Alibaba’s online payment platform Alipay introduced cashless system, where customers didn’t have to bring anything with them when going out. Do your shopping and smile. Customers don’t have to take out their phones and scan QR codes to pay in supermarkets or simply paying for their beverages. The shops, equipped with special devices provide fast and convenient payments for chinese residents. 3D cameras scan the face and link the image to the customer’s bank account. Except for gaining its popularity in China, a lot of people mentioned they feel ugly while paying through looking into camera. That’s why Alipay is thinking about applying beauty filters to their system.
Tencent, which runs WeChat app keeps up with Alibaba and introduces new payment method in subways. Now Chinese citizens have the opportunity to pay for the ticket only by turning their heads to the camera on special devices in metro stations. The procedure is identical to ‘smile-to-pay’. The fee is automatically subtracted from passenger’s bank account. That’s why in order to pay through newly implemented face-recognition ticketing, one has to be registered into the system first.
On the surface, face recognition system provides both convenience and security. Taking into account the population of China, now the time spent in the lines for payment and entering subway trains will be reduced. In terms of convenience, it’s not a problem anymore if you forgot your card or smartphone at home. Face recognition system takes care of it. It terms of security, the amount of shoplifters can be reduced and jaywalkers will be easier to identify. What is more, besides FacePay China introduces ‘gait recognition’, which can identify people by the way they walk. So, it seems that digital progress is moving apace. Is there any other reasons to populate new payment methods?
New technologies not only aim to simplify life in China but also make it easier to control the growing population. People are worried their data can be collected for surveillance reasons. To encourage the population to use new technology, the campaign for people over 60 has been launched (rides without fee for those who register their face in the system).
China is moving forward and represented technologies might be just a beginning. They are impressive and frightening at the same time. The technologies we couldn’t image a decade ago are here! 5G service makes it real to provide quality FacePay systems. But no matter how attractive new technologies look like, we should not forget about their main feature: identifying, collecting and storing the data.