Tip Fight Ramsonware

The nefarious ransomware business model has turned out to be a lucrative industry for criminals. Over the years its ill repute has made law enforcement team up with international agencies to identify and bring down scam operators.

Most of the ransomware attacks that have taken place in the past have been linked to poor protection practices by employees.

There are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to ransomware.

  1. Do not pay the ransom. It only encourages and funds these attackers. Even if the ransom is paid, there is no guarantee that you will be able to regain access to your files.
  2. Restore any impacted files from a known good backup. Restoration of your files from a backup is the fastest way to regain access to your data.
  3. Do not provide personal information when answering an email, unsolicited phone call, text message or instant message. Phishers will try to trick employees into installing malware, or gain intelligence for attacks by claiming to be from IT. Be sure to contact your IT department if you or your coworkers receive suspicious calls.
  4. Use reputable antivirus software and a firewall. Maintaining a strong firewall and keeping your security software up to date are critical. It’s important to use antivirus software from a reputable company because of all the fake software out there.
  5. Do employ content scanning and filtering on your mail servers. Inbound e-mails should be scanned for known threats and should block any attachment types that could pose a threat.
  6. Do make sure that all systems and software are up-to-date with relevant patches. Exploit kits hosted on compromised websites are commonly used to spread malware. Regular patching of vulnerable software is necessary to help prevent infection.
  7. If traveling, alert your IT department beforehand, especially if you’re going to be using public wireless Internet. Make sure you use a trustworthy Virtual Private Network (VPN) when accessing public Wi-Fi.

Five of the Best Web Browsing Privacy Programs

In today’s time and age, one has to take safety and security as some of their top priorities. You know how whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) accesses the central servers of major companies like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, AOL, Skype, Apple, Facebook, YouTube, and others.

You should always think that this agency (and several others) analyze all electronic communication devices, files, and everything else that they contain and store. You cannot tell the government to exclude you from their surveillance list. What you should do instead is to control your own web privacy.

Because of the above-mentioned revelation from Snowden, you should never underestimate the power web browsing privacy programs. You should always use cryptography and encryption software in order to keep things as private as possible.

What Encryption Is

When you encrypt data, you can send sensitive information to authorized individuals via the Internet. It features a formula that render the information unreadable or inaccessible to people who do not have the “code” or the “key.” Proper encryptions will allow only you and those who have the code or key to access the data.

Here are five of the best web privacy and encryption software you should use.

  1. AdBlock Plus

One of the most commonly sought-after browser extensions, this open source community project addresses a lot of the annoying issues that come with intrusive and sensitive-data-stealing online ads. Its motto, which is: “We want to make the Internet better for everyone. Purging bad ads is a good start,” aptly describes what they can do for their users.

  1. EasyList & EasyPrivacy

Created specifically for AdBlock users, these subscriptions contain filter lists that, when activated, automatically eradicates unwanted ads and unauthorized tracking from all your web activities. With these two enabled, you no longer have to worry about web bugs, information collectors, and tracking scripts. In other words, you can ensure your personal data, specifically the sensitive ones, remain private and secure.

  1. Ghostery

Ghostery, a web monitoring tool, turns you into a detective by having more than 1200 trackers containing information about annoying and data-stealing ad networks, web publishers, and data providers among many other companies that want to be privy of your web activities, Internet behavior, and other net-concerned habits.

  1. Tor Browser

Another open source tool, Tor makes your Internet activities anonymous. It comes bundled with a browser that you can use for Linux, Windows, and Mac operating systems without having to install any other unnecessary software. Its primary functions are to prevent anyone from gaining knowledge of the sites Internet users visit, prevent websites from learning your physical location, and provide you with access to blocked or banned websites.

  1. HTTPS Everywhere

With HTTPS Everywhere, you can make sure every website you enter and visit starts with https://. This means that all sites you visit go into an encrypted mode. You can use for both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome (BETA).

 

Do not allow your websites and all web-related activities to become privacy concerns. Start using these programs and extensions now.

ref: https://www.buycpanel.com/five-best-web-browsing-privacy-programs/

Factory Reset OS

Below is some guideline of the shortcut key to perform the factory reset for following brand of PC/Laptop

Acer – Alt + F10

Asus – F9

Dell/Alienware – F8

HP – F11

Lenovo – F11

MSI – F3

Samsung – F4

Sony – F10

Window Life Cycle

Every Windows product has a lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when a product is released and ends when it’s no longer supported. Knowing key dates in this lifecycle helps you make informed decisions about when to upgrade or make other changes to your software.

End of support

End of support refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. This is the time to make sure you have the latest available update or service pack installed. Without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information. For more information go to Microsoft Support Lifecycle.


 Client operating systems  Latest update or service pack  End of mainstream support  End of extended support
  Windows XP  Service Pack 3  April 14, 2009  April 8, 2014
  Windows Vista  Service Pack 2  April 10, 2012  April 11, 2017
  Windows 7*  Service Pack 1  January 13, 2015  January 14, 2020
  Windows 8  Windows 8.1  January 9, 2018  January 10, 2023
Windows 10, released in July 2015**  N/A  October 13, 2020  October 14, 2025

 

ref: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet

QNAP Launches QTS-Android Combo NAS TAS-168/268

TAS-x68_Release_en

Taipei, Taiwan, December 1, 2015 – QNAP® Systems, Inc. today announced the world’s first and only QTS-Android Combo NAS – TAS-168 and TAS-268, which support QTS & Android dual systems. Both systems share the same storage database, allowing users to simultaneously access media files and documents from QTS and Android. With a compact mini-tower design, the TAS-168/268 comfortably fits in homes and small offices/workspaces. Coupled with up to terabytes of storage capacity and 4K (H.265 & H.264) HDMI-out, the TAS-168/268 is the optimal budget-friendly multimedia NAS with unlimited app applications for modern digital lifestyles.

“The QNAP QTS-Android Combo NAS TAS-168/268 is an unprecedented network storage center for file storage, backup, remote access and diverse Android applications,” said Hanz Sung, product manager of QNAP. “Users can enjoy video streams, use apps and manage files on a big HDMI display instead of sliding and tapping on a small screen. The TAS-168/268 makes the personal cloud experience more flexible and enjoyable.”

Powered by an ARM® v7 1.1GHz dual-core processor with 2GB DDR3 RAM, the TAS-168/268 supports terabytes of storage capacity and is designed as a media NAS optimized for home use. Users can simply connect a keyboard, mouse and HDMI display to directly manage, edit and play files stored on the TAS-168/268 via Android, without needing an additional PC. Using TAS is extremely easy as the Androidexperience is the TAS experience, and users can freely control their multimedia experience with the bundled remote control.

With the TAS-168/268, users can download various videos and educational apps from Google Play on Android, or install QNAP apps and access other app marketplaces from Qmarket. Whether enjoying 4K (H.265 & H.264) videos, streaming videos from Android apps, using apps as e-learning tools or centrally managing files, the QTS-Android Combo NAS TAS-168/268 is a great choice for enjoying infinite applications and fun.

In addition to working independently, the TAS-168/268 can also be used with another QNAP NAS to handle more applications. QTS RTRR/rsync functions helps back up files on the TAS-168/268 to another NAS. With the Android interface displayed via HDMI, users can use apps like Qphoto, Qmusic and Qvideo to browse multimedia files on another QNAP NAS, or install the Vmobile app to monitor IP cameras from the Surveillance Station of another NAS. With another NAS using QTS 4.2, users can activate the remote connection function in File Station to manage share folders in the TAS-168/268 through FTP, WebDAV, and CIFS/SMB.

With various VPN apps available in Google Play, users can stream media contents from blocked sites, or create a secure OpenVPN tunnel between the TAS and another NAS to process remote backup tasks. The TAS-168/268 is also a great file center for synchronization. Users can synchronize their files across multiple connected devices using Qsync or use Cloud Drive Sync to synchronize files to Google Driveand Dropbox®.

The TAS-168/268 provides an easy way to create a secure personal cloud which alleviates the storage limitations and data security concerns of public cloud services. myQNAPcloud provides multiple remote access services for users to conveniently access, manage and share multimedia files on the TAS-168/268 from anywhere with a web browser. Users can also access and browse files on TAS-168/268 by using QNAP mobile apps including Qfile, Qphoto, Qmusic, Qvideo and Qmanager.

Key specifications of new models

  • TAS-168:1-bay mini-tower NAS
  • TAS-268:2-bay mini-tower NAS

ARM® v7 1.1GHz dual-core processor, 2GB DDR3 RAM; 3.5” SATA 3Gbps HDD; 1 x USB 3.0 port; 4 x USB 2.0 port; 1 x Gigabit LAN port; 1 x HDMI output

adapt from https://www.qnap.com/i/en/news/con_show.php?op=showone&cid=457

Window 10

Are you a Windows 8 user? Still using Windows 7? Either way, you’ll love Windows 10.

Over the six years since Windows 7 was released, Microsoft has made its PC operating system far more intuitive and powerful by packing it with tablet- and smartphone-like features.

Windows 10 has a Start Menu, just like Windows 7 — only better.

On the left Start Menu column, you’ll find a list of your most used apps, most visited folders and recently added software. There’s also a button that will show you all your apps in a single list.150220164556-windows-10-start-menu-small-780x439

 

On the right part of the Start Menu, there is a grid of app tiles that you can arrange however you like. The “live” tiles will show you updates, such as the latest stock prices, the last show you were watching on Netflix, social media updates, weather, news and sports scores.

150220164656-windows-10-start-menu-large-780x439

If you want, you can take the Start Menu full-screen by clicking the “expand” button — it’s kind of like having a tablet or smartphone screen for a desktop. But, crucially, it’s only there if you want it. The default is the familiar Windows desktop experience.

Windows 10 provides some design changes that Windows 7 users will welcome. For example, taskbar icons glow at the bottom when they are opened, but only the app icon that is currently being used is completely highlighted. In Windows 7, all open apps are highlighted, confusingly.

150220164423-windows-10-files-780x439

Folder icons are far less glitzy and much more intuitive in Windows 10, making it much easier to view the contents of the folder at a glance before you open it. Gone is the confusing and redundant “libraries” directory. The task manager is also much simpler to use.

Windows 7 users should be unafraid of upgrading when Windows 10 hits store shelves later this year. There is hardly any learning curve, and the new bells and whistles alone are definitely worth checking out.

Better than Windows 8: So what if you’ve upgraded to Windows 8? Here are the big differences you’ll notice in Windows 10.

Windows 8’s odd tablet-style layout was confusing to Windows die-hards. You won’t find Windows 10 difficult to use. Windows 10 boots straight to the desktop, and it stays there.

If you have a convertible laptop or Windows tablet, Windows 10 has a “tablet mode” that recognizes when there is no keyboard or mouse present. But rather than make two separate tablet and desktop interfaces like Microsoft did for Windows 8, Microsoft chose to make the Windows 10 desktop and apps more finger-friendly for tablet users. They only morph a little to fit the device they’re running on.

So if you download a “modern” app from the Windows Store, it will run in a window, just like standard Windows software. The only difference is that it has a diagonal arrow button between the “close” button and the “expand” button at the top right of the window. That will take the app into “tablet mode,” going full-screen. But you can easily get out of that by moving the mouse to the top of the screen and clicking the button again.

Windows 8’s unhelpful charms bar has been replaced with the Windows 10 action center. There, you get notifications and access to handy quick settings, such as brightness controls, airplane mode, Wi-Fi and tablet mode toggles.

150220163923-windows-10-action-center-780x439 150220164656-windows-10-start-menu-large-780x439

Also different is Windows 8’s app-choosing feature, that let you go back to the last-used app by swiping in fro the left. It has been replaced with a far more useful display of all your open apps on a single screen.

Touchscreen users can access the action center with a swipe in from the right, just as they can view all the open apps by swiping in the from the left. But, mercifully, Windows 10 put buttons for both on the taskbar so mouse and keyboard users won’t accidentally launch those features by putting the cursor too far to the left or right.

Window 10’s New Features: Windows 10 isn’t just about correcting Windows 8’s mistakes, though. There are new features that Windows 8 users will love.

The coolest new feature is Cortana, Windows 10’s version of Siri, which appears net to the Start button on the taskbar.

“She” has a sense of humor (“I know Siri, but I don’t KNOW her, know her, if you get what I mean,” Cortana says in response to an obvious question). But in addition to barking voice commands and queries, the search feature is genuinely helpful.

It will search your apps, the Windows Store, the Web and your files to answer search queries. It’s a super-quick way to launch an app (just start typing and hit Enter when the app appears). And like Windows 8’s outstanding search function, Cortana can help you access deeply hidden settings with a few keyboard strokes, helping you avoid hunting and pecking through control panel settings.

Windows 10 also comes with multiple desktops, which is helpful for cleaning up a messy workspace.

I have been testing the preview version of Windows 10 for a few weeks. There are plenty of things not to like, including the fact that you still can’t access all your settings from the “settings” app. We’ll cover more of the hits and misses in a fuller review once Microsoft gets closer to releasing Windows 10.

But the preview has shown me enough to confidently say that Windows 10 will be a breeze to use, a welcome change for both Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, and a big hit for Microsoft.

money.cnn.com/2015/02/22/technology/windows-10-review/index.html

5G Mobile / Cellular Technology

With the 4G telecommunications systems now starting to be deployed, eyes are looking towards the development of 5th generation or 5G technology and services.

Although the deployment of any cellular system takes many years, development of the 5G technology systems is being investigated. The new 5G technologies will need to be chosen developed and perfected to enable timely and reliable deployment.

The new 5th generation, 5G technology for cellular systems will probably start to come to fruition around 2020 with deployment following on afterwards.

5G mobile systems status

The current status of the 5G technology for cellular systems is very much in the early development stages. Several companies are looking into the technologies that could be used to become part of the system.

In addition to this the standards bodies, particularly 3GPP are aware of the development but are not actively planning the 5G systems yet.

Many of the technologies to be used for 5G will start to appear in the systems used for 4G and then as the new 5G cellular system starts to formulate in a more concrete manner, they will be incorporated into the new 5G cellular system.

5G cellular systems overview

As the different generations of cellular telecommunications have evolved, each one has brought its own improvements. The same will be true of 5G technology.

  • First generation, 1G:   These phones were analogue and were the first mobile or cellular phones to be used. Although revolutionary in their time they offered very low levels of spectrum efficiency and security.
  • Second generation, 2G:   These were based around digital technology and offered much better spectrum efficiency, security and new features such as text messages and low data rate communications.
  • Third generation, 3G:   The aim of this technology was to provide high speed data. The original technology was enhanced to allow data up to 14 Mbps and more.
  • Fourth generation, 4G:   This was an all-IP based technology capable of providing data rates up to 1 Gbps.

Any new 5th generation, 5G cellular technology needs to provide significant gains over previous systems to provide an adequate business case for mobile operators to invest in any new system.

Facilities that might be seen with 5G technology include far better levels of connectivity and coverage. The term World Wide Wireless Web, or WWWW is being coined for this.

For 5G technology to be able to achieve this, new methods of connecting will be required as one of the main drawbacks with previous generations is lack of coverage, dropped calls and low performance at cell edges. 5G technology will need to address this.

5G specifications

Although the standards bodies have not yet defined the parameters needed to meet a 5G performance level yet, other organisations have set their own aims, that may eventually influence the final specifications.

Typical parameters for a 5G standard may include:

SUGGESTED 5G WIRELESS PERFORMANCE
PARAMETER SUGGESTED PERFORMANCE
Network capacity 10 000 times current network
Peak data rate 10 Gbps
Cell edge data rate 100 Mbps
Latency < 1 ms

Current research

There are several key areas that are being investigated by research organisations. These include:

  • Millimetre-Wave technologies:   Using frequencies much higher in the frequency spectrum opens up more spectrum and also provides the possibility of having much wide channel bandwidth – possibly 1 – 2 GHz. However this poses new challenges for handset development where maximum frequencies of around 2 GHz and bandwidths of 10 – 20 MHz are currently in use. For 5G, frequencies of above 50GHz are being considered and this will present some real challenges in terms of the circuit design, the technology, and also the way the system is used as these frequencies do not travel as far and are absorbed almost completely by obstacles.
  • Future PHY / MAC:   This area presents many possibilities from the use of new modulation formats including GFDM, Generalised Frequency Division Multiplexing, as well as FBMC, Filter Bank Multi-Carrier, UFMC, Universal Filtered MultiCarrier and other schemes to the management of the multiple access schemes. All these need to be developed. Higher levels of processing that will be available by the time 5G is launched mean that multicarrier systems will not require to be orthogonal as in the case of OFDM. This provides considerably more flexibility.
  • Massive MIMO:   Although MIMO is being used in many applications from LTE to Wi-Fi, etc, the numbers of antennas is fairly limited -. Using microwave frequencies opens up the possibility of using many tens of antennas on a single equipment becomes a real possibility because of the antenna sizes and spacings in terms of a wavelength.
  • Dense networks   Reducing the size of cells provides a much more overall effective use of the available spectrum. Techniques to ensure that small cells in the macro-network and deployed as femtocells can operate satisfactorily are required.

Other 5G concepts

There are many new concepts that are being investigated and developed for the new 5th generation mobile system. Some of these include:

  • Pervasive networks :   This technology being considered for 5G cellular systems is where a user can concurrently be connected to several wireless access technologies and seamlessly move between them.
  • Group cooperative relay:   This is a technique that is being considered to make the high data rates available over a wider area of the cell. Currently data rates fall towards the cell edge where interference levels are higher and signal levels lower.
  • Cognitive radio technology:   If cognitive radio technology was used for 5th generation, 5G cellular systems, then it would enable the user equipment / handset to look at the radio landscape in which it is located and choose the optimum radio access network, modulation scheme and other parameters to configure itself to gain the best connection and optimum performance.
  • Wireless mesh networking and dynamic ad-hoc networking:   With the variety of different access schemes it will be possible to link to others nearby to provide ad-hoc wireless networks for much speedier data flows.
  • Smart antennas:   Another major element of any 5G cellular system will be that of smart antennas. Using these it will be possible to alter the beam direction to enable more direct communications and limit interference and increase overall cell capacity.

There are many new techniques and technologies that will be used in the new 5G cellular or mobile telecommunications system. These new 5G technologies are still being developed and the overall standards have not yet be defined. However as the required technologies develop, they will be incorporated into the new system which will be defined by the standards bodies over the coming years.

5G technology timeline

No dates have been set yet for the development of 5G, but a number of companies and organisations have set their own 5G timelines so they can plan ahead.

One major enabler for 5G will be the release of spectrum, and it is anticipated that the new spectrum will be agreed at the World Radio Communication Conference, WRC to be held in 2015. The International Telecommunications Union, ITU is currently at work on the International Mobile telecommunications, IMT spectrum requirements for 2020 and beyond. After WRC-15, ITU will have a clearer path for determining network system and technology requirements.

estimations of the development of 5G technology estimate that the basic research phase will take place until around 2016 and then the standards will be developed between 2016 and 2018. Product development will then be a major activity between about 2018 and 2020, and early deployment will occur around 2020.

(Article first appear at www.radio-electronics.com)