125 Billion Reasons

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Here are some mind blowing data about the brave new future of mobile transactions. In no more than two years from now, you can expect a turnover of more than $125 billion on a yearly level. In other words, mobile payments and transactions are going to explode by the end of 2018.

Yes, cyber boys and girls, our precious money has become mobile, and there is nothing we can do about it. Our precious shiny gadgets are going to rain money for all kinds of service providers and product distributors. Everything and anything related to mobile sphere has a fantastic lucrative potential.

However, it would be tragically wrong to hope and expect that hackers are going to miss or sleep over this tremendous change. You can rest assured that they are already working hard on the next generation of malicious mobile solutions. This is a gold rush for them as much as it is for us.

Which brings us to the third participant of our story. If you are working or plan to work in the cyber security industry, then this is the right moment for you yo become a true cyber-star. Oh dear, there will be plenty of work for the cyber security busy little bees. Probably more they can handle.

Android Lock Patterns = Passwords

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It is really hard to believe that the ALPs or the Android Lock Patterns can be unforgivingly ridiculous as the ones, we have had a chance to examine for our good old passwords. When it comes to passwords, you can create an endless list of the easiest ones, you can figure out in a second.

Do we have to remind of some of the golden hits, such as 12345678 or the password as a password itself? Well, the same pattern exists among the numerous Android users. There are very few common patterns, which can allow you to unlock almost any smartphone. What is your excuse?

It seems that we are helplessly lazy and reckless, when it comes to our passwords and lock patterns. Then, if you do not want to learn it the easy way, the hackers will make sure you will remember it the hard way. Is there nothing we can do about it, for real? Have not you learned a thing, so far?

For some users passwords or smartphone lock patterns are obviously not necessary. Having a poor and a weak password or lock pattern is just like you do not have any. And, at the end of the long security day, you have the nerve to complain about the unsatisfactory state of cyber security.

China vs China

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China has arrested more than 15,000 hackers and cyber criminals. When you have almost 1,5 billion of your own citizens, this really seems like a meaningless drop in the ocean. Or, everything and anything has to be huge and impressive in China, including the number of hackers.

On the other side, there are quite raised eyebrows and suspicious faces that this battalion of arrested hackers is not going to end up in prison. What is that supposed to mean, exactly? Well, China has quite a notorious reputation for its numerous and merciless hacking teams.

It is not an unimaginable thing to witness Nikita scenario for Chinese hackers. It is better to work for the Chinese government or military things you are doing best, than to dream about computers from your cell in some God forsaken province. It is not much of a choice, is it?

So, what is China supposed to do, in order to gain our trust? Even if they arrest 150,000 hackers, we are still going to be suspicious, aren’t we? We sure hope China is doing some serious job in this field. Otherwise, hackers can easily hack the entire China one day. We are not exaggerating.

$32 For 32 Million Problems

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The latest DefCon event witnessed one both surprising and disturbing presentation. Just when you dare to think that you are safe from harm, there is a gadget to spoil the fun. In this case, we are talking about the RollJam. So, what is this notorious and affordable gadget all about?

Well, according to his inventor and numerous successful tests conducted at Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, Chrysler, Nissan, and Lotus models, you can unlock a car or even a garage, with this little “helper”. In other words, with something worth only $32, you can steal the other thing worth $32,000 or more.

There is only one thing we can do. We should offer a job to RollJam’s inventor as soon as possible, otherwise we are going to end up in a serious trouble. It is simply amazing that someone can make this kind of a cheap device, which can steal so efficiently our car and garage lock codes.

Luckily for us, this brilliant mind has decided to present its dangerous gadget at DefCon rather than some real Grand Theft Auto players. Such a shame, when you can collapse an entire safety and protection system with a couple of bucks worth gadget. How inconvenient, indeed.

The Stagefright Detector App

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The busy little bees, who discovered one of the most serious Android vulnerabilities, have done nicely their cyber-security homework. If you have a Nexus, then you do not have to use this app. You will know, when you are in the Stagefright trouble. But, what about the others?

Well, this app comes to the rescue. If you are aware about the problem on your Android smartphone, then you are almost half cured, so to speak. However, there is a catch, you should be fully aware about. Can you guess what it could possibly be?

Unfortunately, this app does what its name says it does, no more, no less. This is a detector, not a fixer of the problem it so successfully detects. That is why, we are extremely worried. Quite a few people are going to be disappointed or even angry. With no justifiable cause, of course.

Detection is the first, but definitely not the only step, on your road of cyber recovery. We should be grateful for this essential feature of this app, rather than to complain, why it does not fix what it detects at the moment. Our hats off to this app, the rest is up to you, as always.

The Trouble In Firefox Paradise

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Here is a bad news for all Windows and Linux Mozilla users. There is a security flaw in Firefox JavaScript sector, which leaves an open door for hackers to exploit. What is happening with Mac users? Well, for the time being, their apple Apple is safe from harm.

What can we do about it? According to Mozilla, all what you have to do is to upgrade your Firefox to the latest version available. On the other side, there is no point of crying over the spilled milk in the earlier versions, is it? Is that all cyber-folks?

Apparently, it is. The business is going to be as usual for Mozilla. The users, who are going to experience a couple of privacy related inconveniences here and there, will not have a decent chance to complain. In the matter of days, we are very likely to forget this most recent trouble.

So, what is the moral of this story? Well, it is good to be fully aware about the imperfections of our existing cyber-empire. But, at the same time, you should not worry too much about it. Why? Because, there is not much you can do about it.

The Craziest Virus Ever

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Let us face it cyber boys and girls, most of the so-called visionariness and IT entrepreneurs out-of-this-world, you admire discreetly,  would bored you to death in less than five minutes. Can you imagine Steve Jobs with a beer in his hand, or Bill Gates smoking marijuana on a presentation?

Our point is simple. These, and so many other more or less known cyber guys have shaped and reshaped our world. Nevertheless, despite their contributions, we are not going to make a movie about them. We have tried that with Steve Jobs, and we know how that one ended up in flames or criticism and poor box office results.

On the other hand, we have John McAfee, who can nowadays probably earn more from selling his story to the Hollywood, than selling his antivirus solutions. It would be ridiculous to even try describing his turbulent life in one post. Right?

He was high on the ladders of business success, and also high on you know what, when he helped us to fight back some of the notorious viruses during the 1980s and 1990s. He should definitely write a book, or help some Hollywood producer make a movie about his life. Oh boy, that would have been something.

Million Miles Away From Hacker’s Home

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When there is a will, there has to be a way of improving our extremely compromised cyber security. Even if you do not have or do not want to pay money for cyber security services, you can always compensate. Just ask United Airlines, because they certainly have a lot to tell you all about it.

For what is worth, the busy little bees in the United Airlines have launched a genuine bug bounty program. So, what is so special about it? Well, if you knock them off their feet, your reward is not going to be a financial one. Surprised?

How about a one million miles of free flights reward, for a change? The United Airlines has decided that it is worth of every mile. What for? Well, thanks to the cyber bug bounty hunters, their website is bulletproof, when it comes to potential hacker’s attacks.

That is not all. One of the biggest worries for every airline company is a serious threat of a cyber hijack of a plane. In this worst case scenario, no price is too high to pay for a proper safety measure. Our hats off to this brilliant move. We should follow United Airlines’ example.

Who Will Guard The Guardians?

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One National Guard member has exposed sensitive and private data of more than 850,000 of his fellows. How could this be? This is how, we have ended up in a vicious circle of game to blame. Really, who is to blame? The system or an individual, who has wrongfully used it?

Well, if the system works flawlessly with all of its security features, then there is nothing to worry about the potential misuse. However, if there is a flaw, then someone will take an advantage of it, sooner or later, this way or another. So, we have to blame the system. Right?

Maybe, the basic presumption that our own staff cannot do anything wrong is to be blamed. We are focused all the time to the threats coming from outside that we have completely forgotten about the cyber hazards working from inside. Which brings us back to our question.

Who and how will guard our cyber guardians? There should not be exceptions from our safety procedures and standards. On the contrary, we should apply special and additional standards for our guardians, because they are in a favorable position of taking an advantage over the system. Right?

Avira Web Browser

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Here is a different approach to online security. Instead of special extensions for browsers, what do you say about a web browser, which is entirely dedicated to web security? As a matter of facts, how about a web browser, which is entirely designed, launched and run by the cyber security company?

We are talking about Avira. It seems that Avira got tired of its extensions. Therefore, they have decided to come up with something different and more powerful. Their browser is based on Google Chrome, and it is fully compatible with Microsoft, Mac, and Linux environment.

So, what is next? Kaspersky will also launch its own web browser? To tell you the truth. We do not care. We just want to be safe. Can Avira guarantee such a thing? Well, you will get a fair warning that a website you are trying to access is not reliable. This is supposed to ring a bell for you.

On the other hand, we are pretty much convinced that Avira is up to something serious. This is not supposed to be one more marketing trick. Either our cyber-guardians will have to come up with browsers of their own, or we will have to see some teaming up in order to keep us safe. There is no third option. Right?