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Biometric credit card technology – An Overview

Of late there are several companies that are making use of technology to prevent plastic card related fraudulent activities by making use of the concept of biometric fingerprint activated debit and credit cards.

Companies like SmartMetric, Zwipe, and Visa have taken the initiative. It is being said that biometric fingerprint technology has the ability to change the scenario of the manner in which card payments are made worldwide thereby restricting fraudsters to carry out their horrendous activities.

However, there is an important implication in this. This concept can be applied for preventing fraud at that takes place at POS or Point of Sale. However, experts emphasize that preventing fraud at POS is just not enough; it has to be also effective for CNP or Card-not-present transactions.

Statistical data

The Nilson Report states that in the year 2014 alone, the losses incurred on credit card fraud amounted to a whopping USD$16.31 billion across the globe. And interestingly, United States alone suffered losses worth USD$7.86 billion. The type of fraud that caused the loss in figures includes losses from card-not-present transactions, stolen cards, lost cards, and counterfeiting. And what is even more striking is that experts still predict that fraudulent activity related to plastic cards (debit as well as credit cards) will amount to a loss worth more than USD$35.54 billion by the year 2020.

To counteract the fraudulent activities, MasterCard came into a contract with Zwipe in the year 2014 and the world’s first biometric contactless payment card was launched. It had fingerprint sensor that was integrated. Soon companies like Visa followed suit and its designs were based entirely on Visa (EVM) chip standard, MasterCard, and EuroPay. The aforesaid cards work on the principle of “match-on-card” authentication and makes use of biometric readers at the terminals (ATM).

Aside from the above, SmartMetric came up with EMV compliant biometric plastic card, which makes use of a built-in fingerprint reader inside the card, which enables to identify the identity of the cardholder.

Banking sector opt for prevention methods for credit card frauds

The small chip that you get to see on your plastic cards is the first line of defense when it comes to preventing credit card fraud. In fact banks are carrying out experiments to improve upon means of combating plastic card frauds. In fact, fingerprint scanners are also being tested by banks.

Concept of Motion Code

The concept of Motion code has been found to fight credit card fraud in a totally new manner. In this the CVV number that is on the reverse side of the cards is nothing but a display that is mainly digital in nature.

The fact that the number is constantly changing makes it impossible for anyone to use the number for fraudulent transactions. If at all anyone tries to misuse it, he won’t be able to.

Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and Apple Pay refrain from sending the actual or so called real plastic card numbers to the merchants. Instead they make use of so called one-time code that prevents your original digits from being transmitted to the merchants.

It has been observed that so called “fingerprint validation technology” is effective even in case of smartphone digital wallets as in Apple Pay. However, there is one hitch and that is this concept does not work well with the older phones. And for this reason every effort is being made so that the older phones can be made compatible with appropriate biometric verification tools thereby curbing the incidence of CNP or card-not-present transactions. Other options that are being tried out for preventing credit card frauds are voice recognition and facial recognition. And it is being apprehended that it is not too far when these technologies will be implemented too.

LaunchCode Offers Free Coding Courses to Help You Get a Dream Job

LaunchCode offers free coding classes to help you launch your career in technology

LaunchCode is a non-profit organization based in St. Louis, Missouri, that works with hundreds of companies to set up paid apprenticeships in technology for talented people who lack the traditional qualifications to get a good job. The non-profit startup has trained more than 1,000 people with essential computer skills for free that has helped them in getting a job in the tech industry.

Now, LaunchCode has figured out a distinct method way to teach people with all backgrounds how to code before assisting them in finding an apprenticeship.

Those interested need to apply online for a LaunchCode apprenticeship. The startup offers a 20-week introduction to computer programming course, wherein the apprentice is taught computer coding skills. During the course of the program, mentors help apprentices’ grow their skills while providing feedback on their progress and help them to finish the program. Then, LaunchCode will match the apprentice with one of their 500 employer partners for a paid apprenticeship. The non-profit says more than four out of five apprentices become full-time hires.

Tampa Bay has been listed as one of LaunchCode’s six locations across the country. The first class in Tampa had started in 2017, and on Thursday night, it hosted its first graduation ceremony at Nielsen Media Research’s headquarters in Oldsmar.

Kyla Rieger, a Tampa Bay resident, who was a stay at home mom for nine years, decided to re-enter the workforce but did not know where to begin.

“I tried to learn to code on my own, but it’s hard to know where to start,” she said.

That’s when she saw an ad on Facebook for LaunchCode Tampa Bay. 

LaunchCode is expected to come up with their second round of applications shortly. For more information, click here.

China’s AI wizards want to entertain you, cure you, and dominate the world

At EmTech Digital, three Chinese executives highlighted how far AI has come in the country-and its plans for the future.

The Chinese government has a massively ambitious plan to lead in the field of artificial intelligence by 2030. It’s investing billions of dollars in a technology park in Beijing dedicated to AI. It wants to shape the standards that will govern the field. And it’s fostering the development of impressive AI startups, which raised more money last year than American ones.

At MIT Technology Review’s annual EmTech Digital conference in San Francisco this week, several Chinese executives spoke about the advances their firms had made in AI.

What’s clear from the discussions is the impressive progress their companies have been making in a range of AI-powered technologies from computer vision, to speech recognition and natural language processing.

Some of these firms have been growing at breakneck speed. ByteDance, which runs a hugely popular news app called Toutiao, now has over 700 million monthly active users, and some 120 million people open its app every day. Such scale gives it a massive amount of data on which to train algorithms that create a personalized menu of articles, videos and other content that it serves up to its customers. In particular, it has mastered the art of using AI to help people create and disseminate short videos, some 20 million of which are uploaded to its platform every day.

Wei-Ying Ma, the head of the company’s AI lab, talked about its Snapchat-like approach to enhancing photographs using AI and about its other offerings such as a Quora-like Q&A discussion forum. The company also has ambitious plans to use AI to, for instance, create personalized commentaries for sports games. The AI would learn about a person’s favorite players and then use a combination of video from a game and information about players scraped from the web to generate tailored coverage.

“We believe that content creation is really the next frontier,” said Ma. Of course, the Chinese government watches closely what is published, so it’s no surprise that ByteDance has an army of human moderators to supplement the AI that polices what’s published.

One of the reasons for AI’s rapid advance in China is the amount of research now under way there. SenseTime, which provides facial recognition technology for things such as image analysis and payments services, has a research team that includes 150 PhDs in artificial intelligence on its staff, and has published nearly 120 papers at the world’s top AI conferences since 2015—more than American giants like Facebook and Google.

Dahua Lin of SenseTime, who is also a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, showed off technology that can deliver a frame-by-frame analysis of movies to, say, extract the most exciting moments in a film that can be delivered as highlights.

Shipeng Li, a technical adviser to iFLYTEK, one of the four tech firms along with Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, designated as national leaders in various fields of AI, highlighted some of the advances that his company had made in fields like healthcare, where iFLYTEK’s virtual doctor service had become the first to pass the country’s national medical exam, coming in the top 5% of “students” when it took the test in 2015.

Li stressed that although China was making great strides domestically, he and many other technologists recognize the need for global collaboration on things like research and standards in AI. “Our goal is to use AI to create a better world, not just a better country,” he said.

Nanobot’ viruses tag and round up bacteria in food and water

 

NEW ORLEANS — Viruses engineered into “nanobots” can find and separate bacteria from food or water.

These viruses, called bacteriophages or just phages, naturally latch onto bacteria to infect them. By tweaking the phages’ DNA and decking them out with magnetic nanoparticles, researchers created a tool that could both corral bacteria and force them to reveal themselves. These modifications can boost the sensitivity and speed of rooting out bacteria in tainted food or water, the researchers reported March 20 at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society.

“You’re taking the power of what evolution has done … to bind bacteria, and then we’re just helping that out a little bit,” said Sam Nugen, a food and biosystems engineer who leads the team designing these phages at Cornell University.

Competing technologies for detecting bacteria use antibodies, the product of an immune response. But these are expensive to produce and work best in a narrow temperature and pH range. In contrast, phages “exist everywhere,” making them potentially more broadly useful as bacteria hunters, Nugen said. “They’ve had to evolve to bind well in much broader conditions than antibodies.”

Phages identify and grab bacteria using proteins on their leglike tail fibers, which form a strong bond with compounds on the bacterial cell surface. To infect the cell, the phage injects its genetic material. This hijacks the cell, forcing its machinery to produce phage clones.

Nugen and collaborators programmed phages to tag E. coli bacteria. The team’s engineered phages contained extra DNA that told the bacteria to make an easily detectable enzyme. When the infection caused the bacterial cells to rupture and release the new phages, a chemical reaction involving the enzyme produced a measurable signal: light, color or an electric current. For example, the phages exposed E. coli in milk and orange juice by turning the liquids red or pink.

The researchers also loaded the phages with nanoparticles with a magnetic iron and cobalt core. Once the phages latched onto the bacteria, researchers could use a magnet to round the bacteria up even before the bacteria ruptured and announced their presence. This allowed the researchers to detect low concentrations of bacteria: less than 10 E. coli cells in half a cup of water. Conventional methods grow the bacteria into colonies to find them, which can take up to two days. But using the phages, Nugen and his colleagues skipped this step and found the cells within a few hours.

Using phages for magnetic separation would be “really nice for food and environmental samples because they tend to be really dirty,” said Michael Wiederoder, a bioengineer at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Massachusetts, who was not involved in the research. The salt, sugar and fats in food can slow the reactions of antibody-based tests, he said.

Also, the phages infect only bacteria that can reproduce, allowing testers to tell the difference between live cells and those killed by antibiotics, heat or chlorine. With food, “whether the bacteria are alive or dead is the difference between you getting sick and not,” Wiederoder said.

The nanobots could also prove useful for blood or other human samples. There, phages would provide a way to find resistant bacteria left alive after a course of antibiotics.

The next challenge: tinkering with the phages to tune which bacteria they go after. In nature, phages prey on specific species. But in food, it may be helpful to detect several common offenders, like E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria, or, alternatively, to have greater discrimination to find only the pathogenic E. coli and leave the rest.

Oracle wins legal battle against Google over use of Java code in Android

 

Oracle wins appeal against Google in landmark copyright case

The never ending legal battle between Oracle and Google took a new twist on Tuesday when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington ruled that Google’s use of Java shortcuts to develop Android “went too far” and was “a violation of Oracle’s copyrights”. This decision could see Google pay Oracle billions in damages, as the eight-year-long dispute between the two software giants draws near a close, reports Bloomberg.

For those unaware, Java was created by Sun Microsystems back in the 1990s and Oracle acquired the company in 2010. The legal battle between Oracle and Google formally started in 2010 over bits of Java code called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) – a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. APIs are useful as developers don’t have to write new code from scratch to implement every new function or change it for every new type of device.

Eight months after the purchase, Oracle accused Google of using its copyrighted APIs in its Android mobile operating system and filed a lawsuit. Since then, both the companies have gone through federal trials and multiple appeals courts in the U.S.

In May 2016, Oracle lost the plagiarism case it had filed against Google, as the search giant had argued that the copying fell within the “fair use” provision of copyright law, which meant it was free to use. At that time, a jury of 10 unanimously agreed with Google who found that the search giant’s use of declaring code, and the structure, sequence, and organization of Java APIs was fair use.

Google at the time, said that its victory at trial was “a win for the Android ecosystem; for the Java programming community and for software developers who rely on open and free programming languages to build innovative consumer products.”

However, Oracle went ahead and appealed the ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and asked them to overrule the federal jury’s decision taken in May 2016 that says Google’s use of Oracle software didn’t violate copyright law. As of 2016, Oracle sought $9 billion in damages as part of the lawsuit it first filed in 2010.

Finally, the U.S. Court of Appeals in its decision on Tuesday (March 27, 2018) ruled that Google’s use of APIs was “unfair as a matter of law.”

“The fact that Android is free of charge does not make Google’s use of the Java API packages noncommercial,” the three-judge panel wrote in its decision. It also pointed out that Android has made more than $42 billion in revenue from advertising and that Google had not made any changes of the copyrighted material.

“There is nothing fair about taking a copyrighted work verbatim and using it for the same purpose and function as the original in a competing platform,” it stated.

Oracle said its APIs are freely available to those who want to build applications for computers and mobile devices, but draws the line at anyone who wants to use them for a competing platform or to embed them in an electronic device.

Welcoming the ruling, Dorian Daley, an Oracle executive vice president and the company’s general counsel, in a statement said, “The Federal Circuit’s opinion upholds fundamental principles of copyright law and makes clear that Google violated the law. This decision protects creators and consumers from the unlawful abuse of their rights.”

On the other hand, Google and its supporters said that extending copyright protection to APIs, would threaten innovation and lead to higher costs for consumers.

“We are disappointed the court reversed the jury finding that Java is open and free for everyone,” Google said in a statement. “This type of ruling will make apps and online services more expensive for users. We are considering our options.”

Google is likely to ask the three-judge panel to reconsider its decision or ask the full appeals court to review the decision. The case could even go all the way to the Supreme Court of the U.S.

The case has been closely followed by the tech industry because of its extensive implications for software innovation and copyright law

How To Hack Wi-Fi Password Without Cracking By Using Wifiphisher

Hack any Wi-Fi password using Wifiphisher without cracking

Disclaimer: This tutorial is for educational purpose only. Hacking Wi-Fi passwords may be illegal in your part of the world.

One of the many queries we get from our readers is how to hack Wi-Fi password. Though there are many ways to hack Wi-Fi, today we are going to show you how to hack any WiFi password using Wifiphisher. The beauty of Wifiphisher is that it can hack WPA/WPA2 protected Wi-Fi networks without cracking.

Without much ado, here is how you should go about how to hack Wi-Fi password without cracking using Wifiphisher. Read the disclaimer above and proceed at your own risk.
What is WiFiphisher?

Wifiphisher is a security tool that mounts automated phishing attacks against WiFi networks in order to obtain secret passphrases that people use to lack their Wi-Fi networks. Basically, it is a social engineering tool unlike other methods which use brute force attacks. Wifiphisher presents a very easy way of obtaining WPA/WPA2 protected secret passwords.
How does it work?

WiFiphisher creates an evil twin AP, then de-authenticate or DoS the user from their real AP. The Wi-Fi user logs in to find the Wi-Fi needs re-authentication and that is where Wifiphisher works great. The Wifiphisher redirects the Wi-Fi user to fake AP with the same SSID.

After connecting with fake AP, the owner of the Wi-Fi network will see a legitimate looking webpage that requests him/her to input password to “Upgrade firmware.” When the user enters the password in the cloned web page, it is reported back to the hacker without the knowledge of the Wi-Fi user. User allowed further to access the internet from fake evil twin AP, so they can’t feel anything suspicious.

The Wi-Fi owner goes about surfing the internet obvious to the fact that you have hacked his/her Wi-Fi password using Wifiphisher.

Requirements to Hack Wi-Fi using Wifiphisher Hacking tool

PC/laptop running on Kali LINUX
Download Wifiphisher from GitHub.

Step 1: Install or Update Python

First, you have to install or update “python” in Kali LINUX. Open the terminal and type below command

apt-get install python

How To Hack Wi-Fi Password Without Cracking By Using Wifiphisher
Step 2: Unpack Wifiphisher script

After installing python, you have to unpack the Wifiphisher.

kali > tar -xvzf /root/wifiphisher-1.1.tar.gz

Alternatively, you can clone the code from GitHub by typing:

kali > git clone https://github/sophron/wifiphisher.git

How To Hack Wi-Fi Password Without Cracking By Using Wifiphisher

Step 3: Navigate to the directory

Navigate to the directory where Wifiphisher has been installed.To navigate type below command in terminal.

sudo
cd wifiphisher/

How To Hack Wi-Fi Password Without Cracking By Using Wifiphisher

Now confirm the name of the script. To confirm the name of script, type

ls -l
Step 4: Run the Script “wifiphisher.py”

To run script type below commands in terminal and hit enter.

python wifiphisher.py

How To Hack Wi-Fi Password Without Cracking By Using Wifiphisher

Once installed the first time you run the script, it will likely tell you that “hostapd” is not found and will prompt you to install it. Install by typing “y” for yes. It will then proceed to install hostapd.

When it has completed, once again, execute the Wifiphisher script.

kali > python wifiphisher.py

This time, it will start the web server on port 8080 and 443, then go about and discover the available Wi-Fi networks. Wifiphisher will get to work and list all the Wi-Fi networks it has discovered.
Step 5: Select AP and Get the Password

From the listed Wi-Fi networks, select your target AP. To select target just press ctrl+c (to stop scanning) and type “num” of AP. After entering num hit enter. The Wifiphisher will show you the target APs SSID and Mac address. Now let the Wifiphisher do its magic and clone this SSID while jamming the real AP. Once this process is completed, the Wifiphisher will direct the original owner of the Wi-Fi network to the cloned page and ask them to re-authenticate their login credentials.

After connecting to evil twin AP, Wifiphisher serves a legitimate looking proxy 10.0.0.58 web page and display a message to the Wi-Fi owner that his/her firmware is being upgraded and they should enter their username and passphrase.

When the user enters their password, it will be passed to you through the Wifiphisher open terminal. Thus Wifiphisher does its job without cracking or even letting the Wi-Fi user know he/she has been hacked.

Researchers believe aliens can destroy humankind with a malware

Aliens will send simple messages through Artificial Intelligence to destroy humanity, researchers claim

Just when we thought we have had enough of worries on our plate, such as ransomware, data theft, DDoS (denial of service attacks), a joint study done by two researchers last month has revealed that alien civilization could destroy the Earth with just AI (artificial intelligence) messages and that too without visiting us.

The academic paper titled “Interstellar Communication. IX. Message decontamination is impossible” has been written by Michael Hippke of the Sonneberg Observatory in Germany and John Learned of the University of Hawaii. The paper discusses about a possible alien invasion either intentionally or unintentionally, by embedding code in a message.

“It is cheaper for an extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) to send a malicious message to eradicate humans compared to sending battleships,” the researchers wrote.

They claim that such a message would be impossible to decode and could pose an “existential threat,” hence, humans should use extreme caution to open up the message.

“A complex message from space may require the use of computers to display, analyze and understand. Such a message cannot be decontaminated with certainty, and technical risks remain which can pose an existential threat. Complex messages would need to be destroyed in the risk averse case,” the researchers added.

The researchers explain that if we do receive messages that appear ‘positive and interesting’, it would probably be better to have them printed rather than try and open it on a computer, as any kind of advanced malware message could destroy the technologies on our planet and completely shut them down.

They suggest that the messages we send to the aliens need to be carefully considered.

“As we realize that some message types are potentially dangerous, we can adapt our own peaceful transmissions accordingly,” the researchers write. “We should certainly not transmit any code.

“Instead, a plain text encyclopedia, images, music etc. in a simple format are adequate. No advanced computer should be required to decrypt our message.”

While the good news is that the threat of a malicious contact is extremely low but it is not zero, the researchers claim.

“It is always wise to understand the risks and chances beforehand, and make a conscious choice for, or against it, rather than blindly following a random path.

“Overall, we believe that the risk is very small (but not zero), and the potential benefit very large, so that we strongly encourage to read an incoming message,” the researchers say.

Uber Self-driving Car Kills Woman In Arizona

Uber self-driving Car hits, kills Arizona pedestrian; company suspends testing

The self-driving car, which is considered to the future of transportation, was involved in a fatal vehicle accident that killed one pedestrian woman. An Uber self-driving car in Arizona was involved in a crash that killed a woman crossing the street early on Monday, ABC15 reported, making it the first fatality involving an autonomous vehicle in the U.S.

The Tempe police said in a statement that the self-driving car was in autonomous mode when the vehicle struck 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg while she was walking outside of a crosswalk. Herzberg was taken to a hospital where she later died of her injuries.

“The pedestrian was outside of the crosswalk. As soon as she walked into the lane of traffic she was struck,” Tempe Police Sergeant Ronald Elcock told reporters during a news conference. While the vehicle was moving around 40 miles per hour when it struck Herzberg reveal the preliminary investigation, it is not yet known how close Herzberg was to the vehicle when she stepped into the lane, he added.

Elcock also said he believed Herzberg may have been homeless.

Chief of police Sylvia Moir told the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday that video footage taken from cameras fitted to the autonomous Volvo SUV potentially indicate that Uber is not at fault and the victim is more likely to be blamed for the incident.

“It’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode [autonomous or human-driven] based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway,” Moir told the paper, adding that the incident took place roughly 100 yards from a crosswalk. “It is dangerous to cross roadways in the evening hour when well-illuminated managed crosswalks are available,” she said.

Although the vehicle was operating in autonomous mode, a driver was present in the front seat. But Moir said there appears to be little he could have done to intervene before the crash.

“The driver said it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them,” Moir said. “His first alert to the collision was the sound of the collision.”

Following the incident, Uber said it has suspended North American tests of its self-driving vehicles, which are currently going on in Arizona, Pittsburgh and Toronto. Uber said in a statement on Twitter: “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family. We are fully cooperating with local authorities in their investigation of this incident.” However, a spokesman refused to comment further on the crash.

Uber’s CEO, tweeted: “Some incredibly sad news out of Arizona. We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened.”

The incident is currently being investigated by Tempe authorities and federal officials. Canada’s transportation ministry in Ontario, where Uber conducts testing, also said it was reviewing the accident.

Video footage will help the ongoing investigation, and the case would be submitted to the district attorney, Elcock said.

“Our investigators have that information, and they will be using that in their investigation as well as the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office as part of their investigation,” said Elcock. “They are going to attempt to try to find who was possibly at fault and how we can better be safe, whether it’s pedestrians or whether it’s the vehicle itself.”

The latest incident is a prime example that self-driving technology is still in its early stage of development and hence, self-driving cars are not yet ready for our roads.

The Tech that Will Help You Through University

University has never been a breeze. Studying hard and balancing that against what is often a newfound experience of freedom, can take a lot of practice to figure out, and even then many of us don’t manage to master it by the time we leave. Luckily for us, we live in an age where our advanced technology allows us many advantages that simply were not viable to classes of the past. In this article, we’ll go over just a few of the smart tech which can help create the difference between success and failure, making your life easier in the process.
Mobile Hardware

A modern piece of technology which no student should be without if they can help it. Any piece of sufficiently advanced mobile equipment will work here, whether a phone, tablet or laptop. This helps not only in being able to easily check online for updates but in allowing the quick research of anything which comes up in real time. This is something our parents would have killed for, so make the most of it.

Advanced Search

Many of us perform searches on the web every day, but many of us only know the most basic facets of this type of information gathering. Learning a few extra search commands, also known as “search operators”, to use on Google can massively increase the efficacy of your searches, and finding the right searches on which to search can also create a world of difference in usable results. Most commonly, at least on our end, we found the – command especially helpful for Google. This can be used to simply remove any results with the word following the -. A little thing, but one which can make all the difference, and this is only one of many possible options.

Another good bet, especially when you’re really stuck, is taking advantage of the already existing homework market to get an idea of the correct answer. There are websites out there which can help with direct questions, for those without the time to mess around.

Finally, be sure to check out websites dedicated to academic article searches, like Google Scholar. These are a godsend when it comes to proper citations, not only in terms of actually counting as real citations but in terms of also generating the exact citation for you, so you don’t have to bother with the constant hassle.

Social Media

Despite being a form of technology that is so widely used by so many people, there are some who would rather avoid having their personal information online. While this is something we can absolutely agree with this, there are issues when it comes to group work that becomes so much easier with access to social media. Websites like Facebook, for example, allow a simple creation of groups for classes and assignments that are simply not possible in everyday situations. In cases like this, it can absolutely be worth to create an account to take advantage. Alternatively, there are other platforms and forums where such conversation can take place, but it’s often up to what the creator of the group has chosen to use – and, more often than not, that’s Facebook. If you are concerned about your private data, considering keeping your profile devoid of other information, just use it to access the study group.

Stay Alert

Be sure to keep an eye out when it comes to new developments in helpful technology. This is a marketplace and forum which continues to develop alongside the new technology, and it is often the first adopters who manage to pull out ahead of the pack. Remember what we wrote, and keep an eye on what your successful classmates use, and you’ll be well on your way to a much more successful university experience.