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News  General
On April 12th, 2016 the internet changed forever

Let's Encrypt free SSL certificates now available for all websites

As the whole internet moves gradually towards total end-to-end encryption, Let's Encypt gave this process a massive boost on April 12th 2016 when they announced their free SSL certificate program left beta.

This is crucially important for various reasons. So many current and future attacks are immediately rendered null and void the instant SSL is enabled that it's worth doing as a matter of urgency.

Furthermore, Google recognize this so announced some time ago that if a site is SSL secured, it will feature higher in its search engine rankings. When determining how high a site gets, it uses various "signals", and with encryption joining mobile-friendliness it's something every site owner needs to be aware of.

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Chinese hackers bribe mobile gaming company

Malware whitelisted

A sophisticated scam involving bribes, a legitimate anti-virus company, mobile apps and stenography has been uncovered in China.

This was not your usual malware attack.

In a multi-pronged operation, the first part was for the attackers to get Qihoo 360, the largest anti-virus company in China, to whitelist several malicious apps. They did this using social engineering techniques, which leveraged past business relationships in order to get them to abuse their trust.

The apps had to be on this whitelist because they had a very specific purpose in mind...

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Hollywood Hospital Hacked

Malware locked staff out

A nightmare scenario which sounds like it came straight out of the pages of some new Hollywood blockbuster just happened for real, in Hollywood. On Feb 5th a hacker locked staff out of a hospital computer and demanded a ransom before letting them back in.

The hospital was the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, and the staff were locked out via the use of malware which encrypted the data on the infected computers. Only the hacker could release the data by giving the hospital the unique key used to scramble it.

Chief Executive Allen Stefanek said the quickest and most efficient way to restore normal operations was to pay the ransom. The hacker was undoubtedly relying on the fact this was a hospital, and would have to do whatever it took to get back up and running as quickly as possible.

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Qualcomm Antivrus in CPU

New Snapdragon CPU defends against malware

Qualcomm moved the anti-virus arms race into a different league when they recently announced they are building malware defenses right in the CPU.

The new technology is termed "Smart Protect" and is claimed to be able to utilize real-time machine learning to detect new malicious apps before their signatures have been incorporated into traditional AV software providers systems. Rather than relying on the usual lookup processes, the new system uses machine learning-based behavioral analysis.