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The number of mobile malware attacks doubles in 2018, as cybercriminals sharpen their distribution strategies

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Four African countries made the list in terms of top 10 countries by share of users attacked by mobile malware; Nigeria climbs from fifth place in 2017 to third in 2018.

Kaspersky Lab (www.Kaspersky.co.za) researchers have seen the number of attacks using malicious mobile software nearly double in just a year. In 2018 there were 116.5 million attacks, compared to 66.4 million in 2017, with a significant increase in unique users being affected. Despite more devices being attacked, the number of malware files has decreased, leading researchers to conclude that the quality of mobile malware has become more impactful and precise. These and other findings are unveiled in Kaspersky Lab’s report Mobile malware evolution 2018.

As the world becomes more mobile, the role of smartphones in business processes and day to day life is growing rapidly. In response, cybercriminals are paying more attention to how they are distributing malware and the attack vectors used. The channels through which malware is delivered to users and infects their devices is a key part of the success of a malicious campaign today, taking advantage of those users who do not have any security solutions installed on their phones.

The success of the distribution strategies is demonstrated not only by the increase in attacks, but also the number of unique users that have encountered malware. In 2018 this figure rose by 774,000 on the previous year, to 9,895,774 affected users. Among the threats encountered, the most significant growth was in the use of Trojan-Droppers, whose share almost doubled from 8.63% to 17.21%. This type of malware is designed to bypass system protection and deliver there all sorts of malware, from banking Trojans to ransomware.

“In 2018, mobile device users faced what could have been the fiercest cybercriminal onslaught ever seen. Over the course of the year, we observed both new mobile device infection techniques, such as DNS hijacking (http://bit.do/eKudD), along with an increased focus on enhanced distribution schemes, like SMS spam. This trend demonstrates the growing need for mobile security solutions to be installed on smartphones – to protect users from device infection attempts, regardless of the source,” said Viсtor Chebyshev, security expert at Kaspersky Lab.

Four African countries made the list in terms of top 10 countries by share of users attacked by mobile malware – Nigeria in 3rd place at 37.72%, Algeria in 5th place (35.06%), Tanzania in 8th place (31.34%) and Kenya in 9th place with 29.72%.

Other findings in the mobile malware evolution 2018 report include:

  • In 2018 Kaspersky Lab products protected 80,638 users in 150 countries against mobile ransomware, with 60,176 mobile ransomware Trojans samples detected
  • In 2018, a fivefold increase in attacks using mobile malicious crypto currency miners was observed
  • In 2018, 151,359 installation packages for mobile banking Trojans were detected, which is 1.6 times more than in the previous year

In order to protect your devices, Kaspersky Lab security experts advise the following:

  • Only install mobile applications from official app stores, such as Google Play on Android devices or the App Store on iOS
  • Block the installation of programmes from unknown sources in your smartphone’s settings
  • Do not bypass device restrictions as this might provide cybercriminals with limitless capabilities to carry out their attacks
  • Install system and application updates as soon as they are available — they patch vulnerabilities and keep devices protected. Note that the mobile OS system updates should never be downloaded from external resources (unless you are participating in official beta-testing). Application updates can only be installed through official app stores
  • Use reliable security solutions for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud(http://bit.do/eKurx)

To learn more about threats to mobile devices, please read the blog post available at Securelist.com. (http://bit.do/eKuiq)

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Kaspersky.

About Kaspersky Lab:
Kaspersky Lab (www.Kaspersky.co.za) is a global cybersecurity company which has been operating in the market for 21 years. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.Kaspersky.co.za.

source: Africanews

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How can I look at others’ WhatsApp status without them knowing it?

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The WhatsApp status feature has become a widely used option today with people posting regular updates on their stories.

After rolling out the feature, WhatsApp had also introduced an option of privacy on the status that you upload — who can and cannot see the update.

For users’ privacy, WhatsApp had rolled out a feature through which you can stop the blue tick, the read sign, in messages from appearing. However, did you know that the same could be done for stories?

Yes, you can spy on others’ stories without them having any knowledge about it.

How to do it

Well, it is a pretty simple trick, the same that is used for messages — WhatsApp> Setting> Privacy> Toggle off the Read receipt.

Now, you can view your contacts’ status without them knowing about it, but on the downside, you will not be able to see who has opened your status.

Source: https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/750650-how-can-i-look-at-others-whatsapp-status-without-them-knowing-it

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Snap to pay video creators $1 million daily

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The fast-growing public listed American social media company – Snap Inc., plans to release new functionality to its Snapchat app in order to enable popular videos that would be termed as Spotlight, and further disclosed it will pay $1 million per day to the creators of high performing videos.

According to Bloomberg, Snap revealed how content creators could earn such income with ease, as the level of entry was kept minimal, on the basis that video submitters to Spotlight do not need to have large followers or popular profiles.

What you should know

An algorithm from the app software will be the judge in realizing what videos Snapchat users will see based on how often Snap users view such videos.

If other snap chat users view the same content repeatedly, for example, that’s an alert it’s trending and this will trigger the algorithm to distribute it more widely.

What this means

The new feature will give Snapchat enough ammunition to fend off its rivals in an ever-changing competitive market for posting trendy videos online, which has been largely controlled by Google’s YouTube, Facebook Inc.’s Instagram, and China-based ByteDance Ltd.’s popularly known TikTok.

Tech Experts anticipate that such a new feature in its trendy app could generate more revenue for the company, as its recent earnings show it has 249 million daily active users in Q3 – such high numbers will attract global brands on advertising and enable more sponsored content.

The investors of the American social media company have earned high returns from its stock in 2020 alone, as its stock has almost tripled this year to a record $45.38million on the bias that an increasing number of young people spend more time on the app.

Source: https://nairametrics.com/2020/11/23/snap-to-pay-video-creators-1-million-daily/

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Google’s latest Chrome update delivers ‘largest performance gain in years’

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Google is wrapping up 2020 with what it claims are major performance enhancements to the company’s Google Chrome browser. “This month’s update represents the largest gain in Chrome performance in years,” Matt Waddell, Chrome’s director of product, wrote in a blog post. Sounds pretty exciting on the surface, no? Waddell says a slew of under-the-hood changes and optimizations have led to boosts to Chrome on several fronts.

The first has to do with tabs. Chrome now will prioritize your active tab over the others in the background, “reducing CPU usage by up to 5x and extending battery life by up to 1.25 hours (based on our internal benchmarks).” Google goes into greater detail on just what it’s doing to keep tabs in check (hint: it involves throttling JavaScript) at the Chromium blog. “We’ve done this without sacrificing the background features that users care about, like playing music and getting notifications.”

But even opening Chrome should feel faster. The browser now launches 25 percent faster — hopefully to where you’ll notice the difference. It loads pages up to 7 percent faster, “and does all of this using less power and RAM than before.”

Google is also adding tab search, which is exactly what it sounds like and could be a godsend for those of us buried under an avalanche of them. “You’ll now be able to see a list of your open tabs — regardless of the window they’re in — then quickly type to find the one you need.” This feature is debuting on Chromebooks first and then expanding to other desktop versions of Chrome.

The address bar is getting a bit more useful with something Google calls Chrome Actions, “a faster way to get things done with just a few keystrokes.”

For example: when you type “edit passwords,” or “delete history,” you can now take action directly from the bar. Our first set of actions — available initially on desktop — focuses on privacy and security, so you can increase your peace of mind in a few clicks.

And last, you might soon notice “cards” when you open a new tab in Chrome.

To help you jump back into activities like planning a meal, researching a holiday gift, or winding down with a video, we’ll soon add cards to your new tab page in Chrome. Clicking on them will take you to recently-visited and related content on the web, and save you time in the process.”

For now, cards will only appear “for some users” beneath the shortcuts area; Google says it’s planning to add entertainment-focused cards in 2021.

All these things together add up to a significant update for the world’s most popular web browser. And they come on the very day that Apple is being lauded for the speed and efficiency of its new M1 Mac computers. Speaking of which, Chrome for macOS also gets a new icon that’s a better fit for the latest Big Sur release. But if the optimizations actually meet Google’s claims, I’m way more excited about the improved efficiency. The update to Chrome 87 is rolling out beginning today.

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