World’s Largest Contract Chipmaker Recovering After Ransomware Attack

World’s Largest Contract Chipmaker Recovering After Ransomware Attack

Apple iPhone TSMC chipmakerTaiwan tech firm and Apple chipmaker, TSMC, said it was recovering from a ransomware attack over the weekend. Apparently one machine was online when it shouldn’t have been and this lead to the infection of more than 10,000 of their manufacturing machines in multiple factories. The ransomware was a variant of WannaCry which is a type of ransomware cryptoworm used by bad guys to encrypt computer data and hold it for ransom. TSMC says they are now back in full production again.

Always make sure you have a good antivirus program installed and up to date! Just as important, make sure you have a good, solid back up of any data that’s important to you!

Source: Reuters

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How To Spot An SMS Phishing Attack

SMiShing: SMS phishing. We’ve all heard of email phishing scams where an attacker sends a false email and “fishes” for financial information, login credentials, or other sensitive data. These phishing scams can also happen over text messages.

Criminals will send you an SMS or text message that leads you to a website that will ask you to put in your login credentials or other sensitive information, therefore stealing it. Or clicking on a link in the text will install malware on your device. This malware can basically hijack your phone, log your keystrokes, and perform a number of malicious attacks.

It sounds like an obvious plan that would be easy to detect, right? Who would fall for that? SMS phishing attacks can be tricky, especially to those that are uninformed of the dangers. Because of  the personal nature of text messages, when a criminal sends a text directly to your phone, you will open it usually within 15 minutes of receiving it.

It might appear as if the text came from a friend, a retailer, your bank, and other trusted sources. Often the texts will say that you have won something or, according to AboutTech.com, they will play on your fears such as fear of someone stealing your money, fear of being accused of a crime, or fear of harm to a loved one.

Last September, the occurrence of SMS phishing attacks more than tripled in the U.S, according to Cloudmark, a security firm. The U.S. region most prone to SMS phishing attacks is Odessa and West Texas, with 16.1% of the population being attacked at some time. This might be due to the rural, less tech-savvy population.

Here’s how you can avoid falling for a SmiShing scam. Avoid clicking links in text messages, no matter who the text came from. Ignore texts that ask you to “respond quickly” or respond with your sensitive, personal information. If a text appears to have come from a trusted source like your bank or a retailer, call that business directly. Be suspicious of strange numbers that don’t look like phone numbers. This could be criminals covering up their identity with email-to-text services. Turn on the “block texts from the internet” feature on your phone. Most of all, always be on your guard and think about what you are doing. It only takes half a second to click on a malicious link.

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Google’s Motorola Line Purchased By Lenovo For $2.91 Billion [VIDEO]

When Google purchased Motorola, it was losing money hand over fist. Google saw potential in the brand and began the process of rebuilding the integrity of Motorola. First, it discontinued the Motorola ‘dumb’ line. The use of more intuitive software and less gimmicks has been a hit since the release of the Moto X.

Lenovo has been making big waves in the smartphone market, but to this point has kept its sights off of the United States. With this aquisition, you can bet that they will begin to shift their focus when it comes to their lines of smartphones. When you look at the purchase price you will see that Google is taking a giant bath on this deal. They are selling to Lenovo for $2.91 billion only 2 years after purchasing the company for $12.5 billion. That is a huge loss.

While Lenovo is purchasing the company, it’s more of a partnership. Google will still retain the vast majority of patents including “current patent applications and invention disclosures.” This will be an ongoing relationship with Google.

You can bet that all eyes will be on the next line of Motorolas that roll out with Lenovo driving the ship. Lenovo will use it’s current brand of smartphone in the markets where they are already doing very well and bring the Motorola brand to the United States. In markets like China, they may market both.

This deal will also free up Google from conflicts with other partners such as Samsung along with shedding a losing handset business. In the long run this will actually increase profit margins for the search giant.

 

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When Will Skpe Get The Messaging Fix On Windows Phones? Sooner Than You Think

The Skype app on Windows phones has been plagued with problems since the launch. The out-of-sync messages and missed messages have had users complaining that the app is almost a “flop.” Well, Skype has aimed to fix that. Project manager Jeff Kunins told The Verge that Microsoft is aware of the problem and a fix is in the works as we speak.

Some of the problem seems to be the Skype cloud-based servers. Microsoft has traditionally ran on a peer-to-peer system and they say that this is where they believe that the glitch lies.

Users will be able to expect that their Windows phone will sync across multiple devices without the annoying display of old messages or already read messages. Jeff Kunins also stated that running notifications will only sync on devices that the user is currently using rather than syncing to all devices that have the app installed. This will prevent multiple devices from ringing at once. Kunins said to keep your eye out for the Windows 8.1 app as it will have all kinds of new fun things.

Photo courtesy of Skyp – Facebook

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Self Healing LG G Flex Making Waves In The Smartphone Arena [VIDEO]

LG has never really been a “stand out” in the smartphone arena. Granted, they have had some really decent phones, but nothing that makes them a really sought after builder, until now. The new LG G Flex phone is making huge waves in the smartphone world.

The G Flex has a quad-core processor and a curved face design. LG unveiled this after it was able to complete a curved battery. Most of the major carriers plan on offering the device. The curve of the device actually seemed to make usage of a device this size quite a bit easier. Not only that, but it makes viewing video on the device a real treat.

As for the self healing aspect, it’s pretty dang cool. Whether you accidentally keep you phone in your pocket with your keys, or are just rough on phones, it really helps keep those normal wear and tear scratches from ruining the look of your device. You can see in the video that it really works quite well, and while it won’t completely protect your device, it does a really good job.

What do you think? Will you be making a switch to the new LG G Flex? Check out the video below.

 

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Hackers Target Smartphone & Tablet Users With New Viruses & Malware

Security experts have stated that over the past few years and months that there has been an explosion of virus and hacker attacks on mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. Beware of viruses, malware, and new scams that you might have never looked at.

Some viruses and malware are annoyances like Leanne Karlgut experienced. Others are not.

“My phone started singing a song and the song had a couple curse words in it and there’s no way I could make it stop,” Karlgut said.

Security experts have noticed a 600% increase in the number of malware found targeting mobile devices. Cyber security expert George Waller says it’s estimated that up to 50% of devices are currently infected.

“As more people are using the phone for both their personal use and their business use, the malware writers are viewing that as a good, a good spot to hit you,” Waller said.

It’s as easy as clicking on a poison link and malware can be downloaded directly to your handheld device. These viruses and malware and log every keystroke you make. That means that they are recording text messaging, emails, and even your usernames and passwords.

“It could get your banking credentials and essentially go into your bank, act as you,” Waller said.

Another prediction is that newer versions of malware called “Ransomware” will be released shortly where the virus hijacks your phone rendering it useless until you pay a fee. Mobile wallet apps are also vulnerable using a shortwave transmission and interception technique

The details on this continue to roll out as hackers begin moving toward mobile hacking.

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Android Phones Can Now Download Microsoft Office

Earlier this year, Microsoft Office was released for iPhone and to the applause of all who use the software. But, there was not an app for Android at the time. Seeing that Android is the world’s #1 smartphone OS, it seemed only fitting that there be an Android version as well. Well, now that has happened. Office 365 users will now be able to download the Office mobile app.

The Android version of the app doesn’t work on tablets. There are other web based alternatives to use via tablets, but as of today they have not released a version to fit large screen mobile devices. Keep in mind that in order to use the app, the users phone must be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or above.

The app download is free, but the user must subscribe to Office in order to run the app. Once you have subscribed you are allowed to run Office on up to 5 devices, which doesn’t include the 5 MAC or PC desktop apps that can be running.

Files can be stored and accessed using Skydrive which is a cloud based storage. Office users will receive 20 GB of storage for usage. Windows phones will still have a tad bit more accessibility rights at they will be allowed to open and edit copy-protected files.

Office mobile looks to have a nice clean interface and a good amount of functionality. It is not at the same level as Google Drive, but is a good start for Microsoft. With the expansion to both iPhone and Android users, you can bet that they will be requesting the full functionality soon.

 

 

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The New Moto X Android Smartphone From Google Is The First To Be Made In USA

Google purchased Motorola in 2012 and since has mainly been “in the background”. They will be releasing the first Google inspired Motorola device this year and the Moto X will be unveiled in New York on August 1st. One of the biggest selling/buying points for this new device is that it is completely assembled in Fort Worth, Texas.

It is expected to create 2,000 new jobs in the Fort Worth and the Moto X leaked images show a Texas Flag wallpaper this is displayed on the device. The Moto X is expected to have a dual-core 1.7 GHZ Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, and a removable rear Kevlar shell.

Google is not the only company jumping on the “made in America” bandwagon. Apple has stated that the bold new Mac Pro would also be built right here in the US. Apple even kicked off WWDC with an emotional animated video that concluded with the phrase “designed by Apple in California”.

Photo via cnet

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Consumers Counting The Seconds To The Announcement Of The Samsung Galaxy S 4

I know, I know. It hasn’t even been a year since the release of the Galaxy S3 and now Samsung is releasing the Galaxy S4, but the only people who will be griping about this are the people who locked up their upgrade by purchasing the S3 a few months back (put me in this category). I understand that technology sometimes seems to rollover onto itself sometimes, but that’s what we (early adopters) get for buying the latest device.

I am guilty of this in all areas of technology. Whether it be the newest laptop to hit the market like theLenovo Twist, or the newest gadget to sync my S3 and my HD TV, I jump in with both feet. I would love to get my hands on this new S4 (only chance of that is to coax the wife into trading me phones and giving me her upgrade = not likely). Now on to some things that are expected from the S4.

First, it’s rumored to have an eight core processor. While we may see that in UK models, I am willing to bet that the US devices get the 1.8GHZ quad-core. But the rumor mill is touting an eight-core, so I guess we will see.

Second, 5.0 1080×1920 resolution display. They are packing this larger display with more pixels which in turns means richer and fuller colors along with performance powered by the quad/eight core processor (depending on who you believe).

Lastly, the camera. The front facing is expected to be a 2.1 megapixel camera which is easily on par with the top devices on the market. But, the main camera will be an 13 megapixel monster that is even rumored to shoot in 3-d. This is probably the most anticipated feature besides an eight-core processor.

These are the main things that interest myself when looking for a new device. All the other amazing things like ‘eye scrolling’ and wireless charging are just a bonus to me.

 

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