Posted in Hardware, ICT

Intel Introduces New Core i9 Processor In X-series Chips

Intel, the giant producer of processor chips have unveiled the Core 18 Core i9 in the Core X-series chips, describing it as the dawn of a new breed of extreme desktop processors.

Powered by a massive 18 cores and 36 threads, the Core i9 processor enables extreme single-threaded performance with the updated Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0.

This technology now identifies the two best performing cores to provide increased single and dual-core performance. The new Extreme Edition boasts 44 PCIe lanes and support for multiple discrete graphics cards, Thunderbolt technology, and high-speed storage like Intel Optane technology and it is fully unlocked1 for extreme performance.

Intel further described the X-series processor family as designed to scale to performance needs by delivering options between 4 to 18 cores for extreme performance, the latest technological advancements and headroom for the future.

core i9-intel-chip-computer

According to PC World, the unveiling of the Core i9 is another renewal of battle between Intel and AMD, its competitor in the chip manufacturing industry.

PC World said that the new chip is Intel’s answer to AMD’s 16-core, 32-thread Threadripper.

PC World also added: “The Core i9 Extreme Edition i9-7980XE, what Intel calls the first teraflop desktop PC processor ever, will be priced at (gulp!) $1,999 when it ships later this year. In a slightly lower tier will be the meat of the Core i9 family: Core i9 X-series chips in 16-core, 14-core, 12-core, and 10-core versions, with prices climbing from $999 to $1,699.

“All of these new Skylake-based parts will offer improvements over their older Broadwell-E counterparts: 15 percent faster in single-threaded apps and 10 percent faster in multithreaded tasks, Intel says.”

Intel said that the X-Series processor family with up to 18 cores and 36 threads is the company’s most powerful chip ever.

“Turn your PC into a studio: produce amazing 4K or 360-degree videos, stunning photos, or amazing music. This is the ultimate tool for gaming and virtual reality experience the power to do it all.” Intel added.

Posted in ICT

Ransomware: All You Need To Know About The Global Cyber Attack

More than 150 countries and over 300, 000 computers have been affected by the recent Ransomware global cyber attack worldwide.

This attack, known as “WannaCry” or “WannaCrypt”, spreads by itself between computers and does not require human interaction. It restricts access to the affected system as well as demanding for the payment of ransom.

Simple ransomware may lock the system in a way which is not difficult for a knowledgeable person to reverse. More advanced malware encrypts the victim’s files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them.

National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on Monday 15 May 2017 drew the attention of Nigerians to the global cyber-attack that affected computers in various countries Worldwide.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is an Agency under the Federal Ministry of Communications. The Agency was created in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology Policy and co-ordinate general IT development and regulation in the country.

In addition, to advising government on how to enhance the security of the nation.

Technically, Ransomware can be defined as a type of malicious software that carries out the cryptoviral extortion attack from cryptovirology that blocks access to data until a ransom is paid and displays a message requesting payment to unlock it.

The ransomware attack exploited vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows Operating System, especially those not currently supported such as Windows XP (Microsoft as since stop giving support and patches to Windows XP), Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003.

Its Operation

The concept of file encrypting ransomware was invented and implemented by Young and Yung at Columbia University and was presented at the 1996 IEEE Security & Privacy conference. It is called cryptoviral extortion and is the following 3-round protocol carried out between the attacker and the victim.

Attacker→Victim – The attacker generates a key pair and places the corresponding public key in the malware. The malware is released.
Victim→Attacker – To carry out the cryptoviral extortion attack, the malware generates a random symmetric key and encrypts the victim’s data with it.

ransomware-wannacry-cyber-attack

It uses the public key in the malware to encrypt the symmetric key. This is known as hybrid encryption and it results in a small asymmetric ciphertext as well as the symmetric ciphertext of the victim’s data. It zeroizes the symmetric key and the original plaintext data to prevent recovery.

It puts up a message to the user that includes the asymmetric ciphertext and how to pay the ransom. The victim sends the asymmetric ciphertext and e-money to the attacker.

Attacker→Victim – The attacker receives the payment, deciphers the asymmetric ciphertext with the attacker’s private key, and sends the symmetric key to the victim. The victim deciphers the encrypted data with the needed symmetric key thereby completing the cryptovirology attack.

The symmetric key is randomly generated and will not assist other victims. At no point is the attacker’s private key exposed to victims and the victim need only send a very small ciphertext (the encrypted symmetric-cipher key) to the attacker.

Ransomware attacks are typically carried out using a Trojan, entering a system through, for example, a downloaded file or a vulnerability in a network service.

The program then runs a payload, which locks the system in some fashion, or claims to lock the system but does not (e.g., a scareware program).

Payloads may display a fake warning purportedly by an entity such as a law enforcement agency, falsely claiming that the system has been used for illegal activities, contains content such as pornography and “pirated” media.

Mitigation

Microsoft released a patch for the vulnerability in March and machines that were updated with the patch would have been automatically protected.

Should your system be infected by ransomware, isolate the system from your network to prevent the threat from further spreading. In addition, the following actions can be taken immediately:

Remove the system from Network

Do not use flash/pen drive, external drives on the System to copy files to other systems;

Format the System completely and get fresh OS copy installed

If an attack is suspected or detected in its early stages, it takes some time for encryption to take place; immediate removal of the malware (a relatively simple process) before it has completed would stop further damage to data, without salvaging any already lost.

A new categories of security software, specifically deception technology, can detect ransomware without using a signature-based approach. Deception technology utilizes fake SMB shares which surround real IT assets.

These fake SMB data shares deceive ransomware, tie the ransomware up encrypting these false SMB data shares, alert and notify cyber security teams which can then shut down the attack and return the organization to normal operations.

Cyber Security experts have suggested precautionary measures for dealing with ransomware, which I think is the best form of protection from the attack. These precautionary measures could be:

Use software or other security policies to block known payloads from launching to prevent infection, but will not protect against all attacks.

Keeping “offline” backups of data stored in locations inaccessible to the infected computer, such as external storage drives, prevents them from being accessed by the ransomware, thus accelerating data restoration.

History

Encrypting ransomware
The first known malware extortion attack, the “AIDS Trojan” written by Joseph Popp in 1989, had a design failure so severe it was not necessary to pay the extortionist at all.

Its payload hid the files on the hard drive and encrypted only their names, and displayed a message claiming that the user’s license to use a certain piece of software had expired.

The user was asked to pay US$189 to “PC Cyborg Corporation” in order to obtain a repair tool even though the decryption key could be extracted from the code of the Trojan. The Trojan was also known as “PC Cyborg”. Popp was declared mentally unfit to stand trial for his actions, but he promised to donate the profits from the malware to fund AIDS research

Non-encrypting ransomware
In August 2010, Russian authorities arrested nine individuals connected to a ransomware Trojan known as WinLock. Unlike the previous Gpcode Trojan, WinLock did not use encryption.

Instead, WinLock trivially restricted access to the system by displaying pornographic images, and asked users to send a premium-rate SMS (costing around US$10) to receive a code that could be used to unlock their machines. The scam hit numerous users across Russia and neighboring countries—reportedly earning the group over US$16 million.

Mobile ransomware
With the increased popularity of ransomware on PC platforms, ransomware targeting mobile operating systems have also proliferated. Typically, mobile ransomware payloads are blockers, as there is little incentive to encrypt data since it can be easily restored via online synchronization.

Mobile ransomware typically targets the Android platform, as it allows applications to be installed from third-party sources.

The payload is typically distributed as an APK file installed by an unsuspecting user; it may attempt to display a blocking message over top of all other applications,

while another used a form of clickjacking to cause the user to give it “device administrator” privileges to achieve deeper access to the system.

Different tactics have been used on iOS devices, such as exploiting iCloud accounts and using the Find My iPhone system to lock access to the device.[56] On iOS 10.3, Apple patched a bug in the handling of JavaScript pop-up windows in Safari that had been exploited by ransomware websites.

WannaCry
In May 2017, the WannaCry ransomware attack spread through the Internet, using an exploit vector that Microsoft had issued a “Critical” patch for (MS17-010) two months before on March 14, 2017.

The ransomware attack infected over 75,000 users in over 99 countries, using 20 different languages to demand money from users.

The attack affected Telefónica and several other large companies in Spain, as well as parts of the British National Health Service (NHS), where at least 16 hospitals had to turn away patients or cancel scheduled operations, FedEx, Deutsche Bahn, as well as the Russian Interior Ministry and Russian telecom MegaFon.

NITDA is working with critical stakeholders to come up with ways in which the Nigerian cyberspace can be adequately protected.

For issues and for more information, you can Contact NITDA Computer Emergency Readiness and Response Team (CERRT) for assistance. They can be reached via telephone on +2348023275039 or e-mail: support@cerrt.ng.

Posted in Foreign, ICT

WhatsApp In Trouble Over Facebook Data Sharing In Italy

U.S.-based mobile messaging service, WhatsApp, was fined 3 million Euros (3.3 million dollars) on Friday in Italy for insufficient transparency on data sharing with its parent company, Facebook.

WhatsApp was taken over by Facebook in 2014 and two years later, it introduced new terms of service and privacy policies that gave Facebook access to WhatsApp users’ data.

Italy’s Antitrust Regulator — AGCM — said in a statement that “the opportunity for WhatsApp users to refuse the handover of data to Facebook was available `but it was inadequately flagged.”

The regulator also criticised WhatsApp for introducing “unfair clauses” to its term of service, such as giving the company the right to cut off services or start charging customers without warning.

In December, the European Commission, which regulates antitrust matters in the EU, launched an investigation into Facebook’s conduct prior to the WhatsApp buyout.

The EU executive accused Facebook of misleadingly telling the commission that it could not smoothly integrate its own users’ data with that of WhatsApp.

However, Facebook denied any wrongdoing and promised to explain its actions.

The commission said it could slap a fine of up to 1 per cent of annual turnover, around 280 million dollars, if it is not satisfied by the internet giant’s answers.

WhatsApp, was incorporated in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum, both former employees of Yahoo!. After Koum and Acton left Yahoo! in September 2007, the duo traveled to South America as a break from work.

At one point they applied for jobs at Facebook but were rejected.

WhatsApp Messenger is a freeware, cross-platform and end-to-end encrypted instant messaging application for smartphones.

It uses the Internet to make voice calls, one to one video calls; send text messages, images, GIF, videos, documents, user location, audio files, phone contacts and voice notes to other users using standard cellular mobile numbers.

It also incorporates a feature called Status, which allows users to upload photos and videos to a 24-hours-lifetime feed that, by default, are visible to all contacts; similar to Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram Stories.

WhatsApp 2.0 was released with a messaging component and the number of active users suddenly increased to 250,000.

WhatsApp Inc., based in Mountain View, California, was acquired by Facebook in February 2014 for approximately US$19.3 billion.

By February 2016, WhatsApp had a user base of over one billion, making it the most popular messaging application at the time.

Posted in Creativity, Domestic, ICT, Software

Female Scientist Develops e-Learning Software To Enhance Health Service Delivery

Miss Farida Kabir,  a Scientist, says she has developed an e-learning software for health workers that can help them build their capacity in health service delivery using their mobile phones.

The Microbiologist disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.

She said that the software called O’tract was invented between 2014 and 2015 during the Ebola outbreak in the country.

She said that the software was invented when it became obvious that there were constraints in readily accessing available health information.

“Over the years, people have gotten inappropriate medical advice from some practitioners, especially at the local council level and of course the consequence was disastrous to their health.

“So, with that in mind, it became evident that continuous professional development is essential for health workers and unfortunately not all our health workers can afford travelling abroad for capacity development.

“Also, available seminars and conferences are expensive and not flexible, so to address this problem, I designed O’track to enable health workers to easily choose courses online,’’ Kabir said.

Kabir, who is also an entrepreneur, said that the platform could also enable health workers learn at their own pace on their mobile devices irrespective of their location.

She added that by so doing, they would learn a lot, which would help them in their professions.

Kabir said that the software had a provision for health advocacy tool, which could also help people not in the health sector to be involved in health advocacy.

“If for example, you are not a medical doctor, you have nothing to do with the health sector, and then there is an outbreak of Lassa fever, you can learn what to do and inform others.

“Or you notice an infestation of rat in your house, with the health advocacy tool you can easily log on to and get information on what you need to do.

“There are short and animated clips, audio files and other documents, we also have an e-library database whereby public health researchers can have access to scientific journals, books articles and many others,’’ she said.

Kabir said that the goal of designing the software was to enhance capacity development of health workers toward excellent health delivery services in the country.

She said that the health advocacy tool in the software would educate those outside the health sector about different kinds of diseases and ailments toward building a healthier nation.

Posted in ICT

Why Information Can’t Be 100 % Secured Online

Some ICT experts on Thursday in Abuja said no information could be 100 per cent secured from a third-party including encrypted messages.

Encryption is defined as the process of converting information and data into a code, especially to prevent unauthorised access.

The ICT experts were reacting to the terrorist attack in Westminster in British as the government revealed that WhatsApp encrypted message was used by the killer before  he attacked behind the parliament.

The British government had therefore decided that its security services must have access to encrypted messaging applications such as WhatsApp.

Mr Mike Amanyi, an Information Communication Technology (ICT) said that in spite the fact that individuals required security on the information sent on their social media platforms, there could still be a level of intrusion.

information-secure-online

“When people send encrypted messages, especially on their social media platforms, the information is protected and can be accessed by the two parties sending the message.

“It is also important to note that sending encrypted messages between parties should be among people that know and understand the information sent.

“When an encrypted message is sent, there should be de-cryption message also sent for the receiver to access the information.

“But there are also ethical hackers, that is people trained to access encrypted messages because no information is 100 per cent secured,” he said.

Amanyi, the Chief Executive Officer of Sawtel Technologies, Lagos, added that interference on an individual’s encrypted message could be deployed when the information sent posed a security threat to the society.

He said that similarly, developers of social media platforms had a level of encryption.

“By default developers of social media platforms have a level of encryption.

“Facebook has a level of encryption but it is not as strong as what Whatsapp has.

“Messages on Facebook can be saved on your internet cache while messages on Whatsapp are not saved anywhere.

“Once you delete any information from your Whatsapp platform, it is gone.”

Amanyi, however, noted that individuals encrypting the message on their social media platforms could be advised if the means of accessing the information was easy.

Mr Gideon Ayogu, the Head, Corporate Communications, Yudala, an online and offline retail firm said that encryption ensured privacy but could be altered.

Ayogu said that the terrorist attack that which took place in Westminster stimulated the British government on to encourage its security services to have access to encrypted messaging applications such as WhatsApp.

According to him, access to these encrypted messages by a third-party may mean less privacy for people.

“WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption ensures only you and the person you are communicating with can read what is sent and nobody in between, not even WhatsApp.

“Your messages are secured with a lock and only the recipient and you, have the special key needed to unlock and read your message.

“For added protection, every message you send has a unique lock and key. All of this happens automatically, no need to turn on settings or set up special secret chats to secure your messages,’’ he said.

WhatsApp was created in 2009 as an alternative to text messaging, is today one of the world’s most popular instant messaging service with more than one billion users in 180 countries.

(NAN)

Posted in Communications Technology, Foreign

Safety Traffic Light Installed For Phone Addicts In Dutch Town

A Dutch town has installing traffic lights in the pavements, an unusual way of trying to keep smartphone-addicted residents safe.

Bodegraven, in the Netherlands, has put strip lights in the floor at a pedestrian crossing.

It mean that people who stare at their phones all day will see them, preventing them from wandering dangerously into traffic.

Apart from their unusual location, they work just like ordinary traffic lights: Green means go, and red means wait.

The lights are built by HIG Traffic Systems, a company based in the town, which hopes to sell them more widely to other towns and cities.

Right now they’re just being used at a single intersection in a trial.

A spokesperson for the company told Dutch-language site OmroepWest: “Smartphone use by pedestrians and cyclists is a major problem. Trams in The Hague regularly make an emergency stop because someone looks at their smartphone instead of traffic.”

However, the lights have also proved controversial. “It’s not a good idea to help mobile phone users look at their phones,” Dutch Traffic Safety Association employee Jose de Jong reportedly said.

“We don’t want people to use phones when they’re dealing with traffic, even when walking around. People must always look around them, to check if cars are actually stopping at the red signals.”

Posted in Arts, Creativity, ICT

You Can Learn Anything With YouTube: Google Unveils Tips For Makeup

Google’s Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Anglophone West Africa , Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, said Youtube had unveiled tips on how to look good and trendy with makeup.

Kola-Ogunlade, in a statement in Lagos, said that Youtube was sharing video content for one to have a perfect face, even after fumbling with the brushes.

According to him, as the makeup business is now on top, either personally or in business, Youtube was sharing free makeup lessons at a click.

“Some of us are just plain terrible when it comes to applying our own makeup.

“It is not always like one is trying to get a career in makeup artistry, but it would be quite great to have a perfect brow, even after fumbling with the brushes.

“In the internet, you will find out there is so much resources on how to apply makeup. And even if I decided on getting a career in makeup, it is possible to do it right from a computer.

“The internet has several articles and websites that will get one very confident. With several how-to videos, makeup tutorials and favourite picks of beauty products and cosmetics offering the right makeup tips.

“You can find out how to have fun handling makeup tools, and also turn out good results at the same time,’’ he said.

bride1

The google manager urged makeup lovers that are interested in keeping up with being trendy and looking good, to visit the regular Youtube sites to get tons of help.

He said that one could find several content creators sharing top skills on how to get the perfect finish for the face on the Youtube site.

Kola-Ogunlade listed 5-popular Youtube videos one could visit as; work friendly-back to school natural makeup with this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?

Also listed are: simple everyday makeup tutorials for beginners/Omabelletv on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?

Among them are the Nigerian bride! traditional engagement makeup & gele! with link https://www.youtube.com/watch?

Included on the list also, the quick 15-minute natural-look makeup tutorial with link https://www.youtube.com/watch?

Finally to the list, then apply makeup like a pro with link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?

(NAN)

Posted in Creativity, ICT

Creativity An Inspiration That Makes The Difference In The Society

Creativity1

When I sit at work and think about what you can achieve online, I see people doing everything online. ICT has really enhanced our day to day activities, from communication to business, Art to lifestyle and in so many other ways.

Online Activities (Photo: Internet)

Online Activities (Photo: Internet)

I believe creativity is one thing that can stand you out of a million in what you do. As an IT practitioner, creativity in anything I do remains a focal point.

There are a lot of computer novice out there despite the mobile phones, tablets and palmtops in use by many. Things like editing files in PDF format or resizing images and uploading them is big deal.

That is why I found a niche in Practical Computer Literacy and use of Internet Training. I had always wanted to impact my immediate community in a positive way and training people (specifically youths) in this aspect of ICT has always been a fulfillment and source of inspiration to my career.

creative idea
Network of Creative Ideas (Photo: Internet)

I joined various groups to fulfill my desire to contribute to the society. One of these groups is the Global Network of Creative Youths in Nigeria (GLOBNETCYN). It is all about a collection of creative youths in different fields and professional backgrounds  coming together to promote societal values for National Development.

Also, as a founding member of the Infotech Educational Development Initiative (IEDDV) this has given me an opportunity to promotes ICT through training, video tutorials and practical test. It is a non-governmental organization poised at given back to the society.

In a couple of years, I see myself creating job opportunities and employing a handful of youths in Nigeria and Africa at large.