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Avira Internet Security Suite v15.0.26 –

AviraInternet Security Suiteprovides strong antivirus protection anda host of other extras.

The core antivirus engine is a good one, which normally scores very well with the independent testing labs. Itranked5th out of22 in theSeptember 2014 AV-ComparativesReal World Protection tests, for instance (equivalent to Bitdefender),with a very creditable detection rate of 99.2%.

The program also provides capable browsing protection, though, detecting and blocking malicious websites before they can even load, and preventing drive-by downloads.

Integration with the Avira Protection Cloud improves performance,with unknown files classified in real time.

The Browser Tracking Blocker helps to maintain your privacy online by preventing more than 600 networks from recording your web activities.

The Website Safety Advisor adds icons to your search results (if theyre carried out via the Avira toolbar), warning you of potentially dangerous sites before you click.

Integration with the free Avira SocialShield helps protect your kids on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others.

Security Suite also includes Aviras System Speedup module to tune your PC for maximum performance.

The 2015 edition adds little, other than your products cannow be managed through Avira Online Essentials, a web dashboard for installing and displaying information on all your Avira apps and devices (computers, tablets and phones).

Please note, there is no stand-alone trial of Avira Internet Security Suite. The download link gets you Avira Antivirus Pro. To add other features sign in at, find your device (if youve more than one), scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Add for whatever extras you need (Browser Safety, System Speedup, Identity Safeguard and Dropbox again).

Whats new in update 26?

Rework the user interface flow of update in case predictable reboots. New Scanner (shell extension scanner) writes specific warnings from AIRS, Engine and LocalDecider into the scanner log file (separate log files for each scan session). New Scanner users can scan their EFS-encrypted files.

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Cloudflare debuts a security solution for IoT – TechCrunch

Cloudflare debuts a security solution for IoT
Cloudflare, the content delivery network that promises speed and security for websites, announced today that it's moving into the internet-of-things industry with a security product called Orbit. Now, instead of just securing websites, Cloudflare wants
A Clever Plan to Secure the Internet of Things Could Still Have Big DrawbacksWIRED
The Internet of Thieves? Why IoT urgently needs to be securedDATAQUEST
Cloudflare Shores Up Defenses For Internet Of (Easily Hackable) ThingsFast Company
CSO Online –The Register –Yahoo Finance
all 13 news articles »

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Russian-controlled telecom hijacks financial services’ Internet traffic – Ars Technica

Enlarge / A map that visualizes network changes being announced by Rostelecom.

On Wednesday, large chunks of network traffic belonging to MasterCard, Visa, and more than two dozen other financial services companies were briefly routed through a Russian government-controlled telecom under unexplained circumstances that renew lingering questions about the trust and reliability of some of the most sensitive Internet communications.

Anomalies in the border gateway protocolwhich routes large-scale amounts of traffic among Internet backbones, ISPs, and other large networksare common and usually the result of human error. While it’s possible Wednesday’s five- to seven-minute hijack of 36 large network blocks may also have been inadvertent, the high concentration of technology and financial services companies affected made the incident “curious” to engineers at network monitoring service BGPmon. What’s more, the way some of the affected networks were redirected indicated their underlying prefixes had been manually inserted into BGP tables, most likely by someone at Rostelecom, the Russian government-controlled telecom that improperly announced ownership of the blocks.

“I would classify this as quite suspicious,” Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at network management firm Dyn, told Ars. “Typically accidental leaks appear more voluminous and indiscriminate. This would appear to be targeted to financial institutions. A typical cause of these errors [is] in some sort of internal traffic engineering, but it would seem strange that someone would limit their traffic engineering to mostly financial networks.”

Normally, the network traffic bound for MasterCard, Visa, and the other affected companies passes through services providers that the companies hire and authorize. Using BGP routing tables, the authorized providers “announce” their ownership of the large blocks of IP addresses belonging to the client companies. On Wednesday afternoon at around 3:36pmPacifictime, however, Rostelecom suddenly announced its control of the blocks. As a result, traffic flowing into the affected networks started passing through Rostelecom’s routers. The hijacking lasted five to seven minutes. When it was over, normal routing was restored. The event is nicely captured in a graphic here.

The hijacking could have allowed individuals in Russia to intercept or manipulate traffic flowing into the affected address space. Such interception or manipulation would be most easily done to data that wasn’t encrypted, but even in cases when it was encrypted, traffic might still be decrypted using attacks with names such as Logjam and DROWN, which work against outdated transport layer security implementations that some organizations still use.

Madory said that even if data couldn’t be decrypted, attackers could potentially use the diverted traffic to enumerate what parties were initiating connections to MasterCard and the other affected companies. The attacker could then target those parties, which may have weaker defenses.

According to shareholder information provided by Rostelecom, the Russian government owns 49 percent of the telecom’s ordinary shares. The US Department of Commerce lists Rostelecom as a state-owned enterprise and reports that one or more senior government officials have seats on Rostelecom’s board of directors. Rostelecom officials didn’t respond to e-mail seeking comment for this post.

The affected company networks also included those belonging to security provider Symantec and technology company EMC. A list of 36 affected network prefixes and registered owners and locations of those prefixes are:

The above list filtered out 14 Russia-based prefixes that Rostelecom announced around the same time.

Such hijacks underscore the implicit trust governments and corporations all over the world place in BGP routing announcements. For years, engineers have proposed a variety of measures to ensure service providers can announce only those networks they’re authorized to carry. At the moment, however, there is no authoritative way to do so. Dyn, BGPmon, and similar services do a good job detecting when unauthorized announcements are made, but those detections inevitably come after improper redirections or hijackings have already occurred.

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WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption, but dissatisfied customers are free to quit, Facebook tells SC –

Apr 25, 2017.

Dreaming of writing that book or taking that cruise when you hit your 40s? Well, this dream need not be unrealistic.

All it takes is simple math and the foresight to do some smart financial planning when you are still young. If you start early and get into the discipline of cutting down on unnecessary expenditure, using that money to invest systematically, you can build wealth that sets you free to tick those items off your bucket list sooner than later.

A quick look at how much you spend on indulgences will give you an idea of how much you can save and invest. For example, if you spend, say Rs. 1,000 on movie watching per week, this amount compounded over 10 years means you would have spent around Rs 7,52,000 on just movies! You can try this calculation for yourself. Think of any weekly or monthly expense you regularly make. Now use this calculator to understand how much these expenses will pile up overtime with the current rate of inflation.

Now imagine how this money could have grown at the end of 10 years and overcome the inflation effect if you had instead invested a part of it somewhere!

The fact is that financial planning is simpler than we imagine it to be. Some simple common sense and a clear prioritization of lifes goals is all you need:

A mutual fund is a professionally managed investment scheme that pools money collected from investors like you and invests this into a diversified portfolio (an optimal mix) of stocks, bonds and other securities.

As an investor, you buy units, under a mutual fund scheme. The value of these units (Net Asset Value) fluctuates depending on the market value of the mutual funds investments. So, the units can be bought or redeemed as per your needs and based on the value.

As mentioned, the fund is managed by professionals who follow the market closely to make calls on where to invest money. This makes these funds a great option for someone who isnt financially very savvy but is interested in saving up for the future.

So how is a mutual fund going to help to meet your savings goals? Heres a quick Q&A helps you understand just that:

The essence of mutual funds is that your money is not lying idle, but is dynamically invested and working for you. To know more about how investing in mutual funds really works for you, see here.

Disclaimer: Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Mutual Funds Sahi Hai and not by the Scroll editorial team.

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Bitcoin and Ether prices hit all-time high – TechCrunch

Something is going on in the cryptocurrency world, but its hard to figure out why prices are jumping. Both bitcoin and Ether prices are currently trading at an all-time high.

According to Coindesks price index, you could buy one bitcoin for $1,343 earlier today. It roughly represents a 6 percent increase in 7 days, and a 34 percent increase in a month.

And when it comes to the price of an ether, things are even more impressive. One ether is currently worth $64.04, up around 24 percent in just a week.

Ether prices are a bit correlated to bitcoin prices as many people trade bitcoins against Ethers. But it doesnt explain why it was such a good week for Ethers price.

Bitcoin still faces a scalability issues. It seems like bitcoin stakeholders cant agree on a solution to make some improvements on the core bitcoin protocol to speed up transactions and lower transaction fees. As a result, it has never been so expensive and slow to send and receive bitcoins.

But theres one thing I noticed. Prices tend to go up when theres bad news around the world. If Donald Trump tweets about North Korea, chances are it will have positive effect on cryptocurrencies.

Conversely, I noticed a micro-crash minutes after the results of the first round of the French election prices went up again minutes later. Marine Le Pen arrived second, which was a good sign for traditional currencies like USD and EUR.

Its still hard to predict those market changes as many depend on macro-economic rules in China. But as many worry about the current political outlook, cryptocurrencies could counterintuitively look like a safe investment.

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Latest:A&B looking to embrace Bitcoin – Antigua Observer

The Cabinet of Antigua & Barbuda has instructed the Attorney General, Steadroy CutieBenjamin to draft laws for the implementation of Bitcoin.

This, after a group connected with the Antigua Leisure & Gaming Association met with Cabinet, on Wednesday, to discuss and share knowledge and experience on a new method of transacting the sale of goods and services, which is known as the Bitcoin technology.

The Cabinet has agreed to place the country on the cutting edge of this new technology.

Here in Antigua & Barbuda we know we are always very much front and centre of new developments; we are leaders, trendsetters in the Caribbean, Minister of Trade and Consumer Affairs, EPChet Greene said at the post-Cabinet briefing, yesterday.

He added that what is of interest to the country is the fact that this new currency is immutable; you can always go and trace transactions, so in the context of allegations of our country being involved in tax havens, it allows for better traceability.

The currency benefits us in Antigua & Barbuda in respect to our Internet gaming sector. It will allow us,the satisfaction needed as a jurisdiction in respect to questions that would be asked of us in the Global Environment, Greene said.

Several countries, including Korea and Japan, have already begun the process of recognising and regulating the use of the virtual currency, BitCoin, for business transactions, while other countries, such as Switzerland and Malta, are either already engaged in this technology or have given commitments to get onboard with this development.

The minister is encouraging the public to conduct online searches on BitCoin which came onstream in 2009, and has increased in value several times since it was patented.

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Federal Agents Raid Home of Arizona Bitcoin Trader – CoinDesk

A bitcoin advocate and trader based in Arizona was arrested last week by federal authorities, according to local reports.

Reports from websites include FreedomsPhoenixand Phoenix New Times indicate that Thomas Costanzo was arrested on 20th April for unlawful possession of ammunition stemming from a prior conviction. The arrest resulted from a home raid led by the US Department of Homeland Security.

Yet warrant documents obtained by Freedoms Phoenix suggest that authorities are investigating other aspects of Costanzos activities, including his use or sale of digital currencies including bitcoin, ethereum and dash.

Costanzo, who uses the moniker “Morpheus Titania” online, operates a bitcoin-centered website that was updated as of 3rd April. According to the site, Costanzo has been a full-time bitcoin trader for the past three years, while also selling bitcoin miners and ATMs.

One of the warrant documents approves the search for “digital currency including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, or other digital coin ‘altcoin’, or any other financial instrument believed to be proceeds of money laundering or drug sales”.

Further along, the warrant identifies records for “digital Bitcoin transactions” and devices capable of retaining “virtual currency applications [and] crypto-currency wallet applications” as other items for seizure.

A complaint and subsequent indictment filed in the US District Court for the District of Arizona, however, only account for the allegedly unlawful possession of ammunition.New Times suggested in its report that additional charges could be filed, but its unclear at this time whether that will happen.

According to Freedom’s Phoenix, Costanzo is scheduled to appear at a detention hearing on 27th April.

Police carimage via Shutterstock


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Bitcoin and cryptocurrency – South Africa vs the World – MyBroadband

The University of Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance has partnered with Visa to publish the first Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study.

The study collected data from companies and individuals to provide detailed information regarding cryptocurrency usage.

All cryptocurrencies were included in the study, including Ethereum, Dash, Monero, Ripple, and LiteCoin.

The study examined a number of factors, including cryptocurrency payments, wallets, security, and mining distribution.

Luno, one of the biggest Bitcoin exchanges for South Africa, contributed to the global study.

While many South Africans use Bitcoin exchanges and own cryptocurrency, the majority of cryptocurrency companies are distributed throughout North America, Europe, and China.

The study found that the Asia-Pacific region and North America contain 80% of the worldwide cryptocurrency market.

South Africas contribution to the global cryptocurrency market is negligible.

A map detailing the distribution of study participants across global regions is shown below (click to enlarge).

They study showed that only 4% of overall cryptocurrency users were based in the Middle East and Africa region.

A significant portion of cryptocurrency users are from North America, whilethe majority are based in either Europe or the Asia-Pacific region as shown in the graphic below.

The study also found that a large portion of cryptocurrency miners were based in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to the data, only 6% of global transactions are cryptocurrency-to-cryptocurrency exchanges, with the majority (67%) of transactions consisted of national currency to cryptocurrency transactions.

Cryptocurrency payment companies said the biggest obstacle they faced was the difficulty of obtaining banking and money transfer operator (MTO) relationships, along with the high cost of regulatory compliance.

The study looked at which national currencies were supported throughout the world, providingan idea of local demand for services provided by cryptocurrency payment companies.

The South African rand falls below the Kenyan shilling and the Nigerian naira in terms of payment service support for African countries.

The full list of national currencies supported by the surveyed payment companies is below (Click to enlarge).

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Bank of Korea: Cryptocurrency Costs Unlikely to Crowd Out Fiat Currencies – CryptoCoinsNews

South Koreas central bank has published a new working paper analyzing a dual-currency regime by pitting cryptocurrencies against traditional fiat currencies.

Penned by economists and academics from the Bank of Korea and Seouls Hongik University, the working paper, titled Crowding out in a Dual Currency Regime? Digital versus Fiat Currency, [PDF] was published earlier this week.

[W]e examine the impact of a privately issued digital currency and fiat currency using the simplest framework, with which we may derive the most straightforward implications, reads the introduction of the paper. More specifically, we attempt to answer the question of whether digital currency will crowd out fiat currency.

The authors claim their research employs the simplest model of monetary economics to drive these straightforward implications with the minimum number of assumptions. The research considers dual currency regime, one which sees the coexistence of privately-issued digital currencies and fiat currencies issued by the government. Bitcoin is underlined is a notable example of a private digital currency.

Making note of a number of efforts with central banks exploring the possibility of issuing their own digital currencies, the researchers point to the example of the Bank of England which has publicly revealed its effort to do so. Such an attempt could drastically change our monetary system the authors write.

According to the researchers, the costs associated with both fiat and digital currencies will see both of them function together with each others drawbacks. High costs in using one could inturn spur demand for the other, and vice-versa, allowing both fiat and digital currencies to co-exist. They state:

High costs of using fiat currency increase the demand for digital currency. Similarly, high costs of using digital currency relative to fiat currency raise the demand for fiat currency. In a world of imperfect currencies with uncertain costs associated with the use of a currency, it is unlikely that the relative costs of using digital currency will be low enough to drive out and accordingly crowd out fiat currency entirely. Our results rather suggest that the threshold of equating the demand for fiat currency with that for digital currency will allow the co-existence of both currencies.

Fiat currencies have been historically known to decrease continuously, the authors confirm, due to inflation and the factor of new money pumped in to the supply by the central bank, also known as quantitative easing.

Bitcoin, in stark contrast, has a fixed supply which would imply a deflationary bias, the authors note.

This could lead to a situation in which Bitcoin drives out fiat currency as a store of value, the authors speculate, before quickly adding:

However, security or trust issues the decentralization of digital currency and the absence of insurance provided by governmental authorities may prevent digital currency from being used as a store of value. Instead, digital currency may be used as a medium of exchange dominantly.

The authors also point to future research possibilities, such as covering the topic of digital money appreciating due to ever-increasing demand and the possibility of a triple currency regime, one which would see private digital currencies like bitcoin, central bank digital currencies and fiat currencies operate together.

Bank of Korea image from Shutterstock.

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Growing Diversity of Cloud Storage Solutions – IT Business Edge – IT Business Edge (blog)

Storage remains the primary application for the enterprise cloud, but its days as simply a low-cost warehouse for bulk data are coming to an end. Going forward, the enterprise should see a widening array (sorry) of storage options in the cloud, most of them geared toward highly targeted workloads.

According to 451 Research, overall pricing for cloud storage will continue to fall as providers shift the competitive playing field from virtual machines to object storage. Over the past year, object pricing has dropped by 14 percent compared to a 5 percent cut in VM costs. The trend is being driven by a number of factors, including the increased prevalence of cloud-native storage solutions and the fact that object storage itself is quickly emerging as a mainstream enterprise option. As well, top cloud providers are keen on maintaining competitive advantages in both compute and storage, and are likely to take the pricing war to relational database services next.

Data migration to the cloud continues to center largely on storage-related applications like disaster recovery and archiving, according to recent research by backup specialist Zetta. In a survey of 385 IT professionals, DR came in as the number one application for 36 percent of respondents, while file sharing, backup and general storage were in a statistical dead heat for second at around 30 percent. And while lower cost is still the most common reason for employing cloud storage, other factors like speed and management simplicity are emerging as key factors as well.

Cloud storage is also making its way onto leading enterprise systems and platforms, offering users an integrated solution combining low costs, high scale and broad data availability. Oracle recently linked its own storage cloud to the ZFS Storage Appliance, giving organizations a way to converge on-premises and cloud-facing data without expensive gateways or cloud-access licenses. In this way, users pay pennies per GB per month for inbound and outbound data movement while gaining advanced features like intelligent automation, all-Flash storage pools and cloud-scale data protection.

Recent developments are also making it easier for the enterprise to establish integrated storage solutions across multiple third-party clouds. Open-source storage management firm NextCloud recently added a blockchain solution from a company called Sia that allows organizations to build encrypted, distributed storage pools using virtually any provider. While blockchain is typically used as an online ledger for digital currency, it also has broad applications in non-financial settings in which data veracity is still a top priority. Sia maintains it can cut cloud storage costs by a factor of 10 compared to leading solutions like Amazon S3.

Clearly, the cloud will prove to be a valuable asset as the enterprise transitions to a digital services model through initiatives like the Internet of Things and Big Data analytics. Even if only a fraction of the data generated in the coming years is worth saving, it still represents a substantial increase in volume that can only be realistically accommodated by low-cost, cloud-based solutions.

But its important to note that storing data is only part of the equation. Enterprises will also need increasingly sophisticated means of locating, transferring and sharing all of this information.

Even in the cloud, there is a great discrepancy between the value of data at rest and data in motion.

Arthur Colewrites about infrastructure for IT Business Edge. Cole has been covering the high-tech media and computing industries for more than 20 years, having served as editor ofTV Technology, Video Technology News, Internet News and Multimedia Weekly. His contributions have appeared in Communications Today and Enterprise Networking Planet andas web content for numerous high-tech clients like TwinStrata and Carpathia. Follow Art on Twitter @acole602.

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