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Secure messaging App Telegram blocks 78 ‘ISIS-related’ channels

Telegram blocks 78 IS-propaganda channels from using its secure and encrypted messaging platform

It has been well known that the ISIS and its supporters use the Telegram App to propagate their ideology. Now the Telegram creators have blocked as many as 78 ISIS affiliated accounts from using its encrypted and secure service.

The Berlin-based Telegram, a popular mobile messaging service app has blocked 78 known ISIS sympathizer accounts from using its technology to communicate and spread propaganda to a wide audience. Telegram, which has been founded by two Russian brothers, Pavel Durov and Nicolay Durov uses strong encryption that makes it all but impossible for security services to intercept private messages between individuals or members of a group.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Telegram said that it has blocked 78 ISIS-related channels that the terrorist group used to spread propaganda and communicate with other members. The group had been using the app for distributing its propaganda material since October, when Telegram introduced a feature letting users broadcast messages to an unlimited number of subscribers.

“We were disturbed to learn that Telegram’s public channels were being used by ISIS to spread their propaganda. We are carefully reviewing all reports sent to us at abuse@telegram.org and are taking appropriate action to block such channels. As a result, this week alone we blocked 78 ISIS-related channels across 12 languages.

We are also introducing an easier way for our users to report objectionable public content in the upcoming update of Telegram this week.”

Telegram, Russia’s most popular social network site is very famous internationally, where it is used as an alternative to WhatsApp on similar services. It is an ultra-secure way to quickly upload texts and voice messages, and share videos. It says it has 60 million active users. In 2014, the app racked up millions of downloads, following Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp. According to its founder, Pavel Durov, who disclosed the stats during TechCrunch Disrupt in September, said that the app sees more than 12 billion messages a day.

According to security researchers, Telegram became the preferred method for Islamic State to broadcast news and share videos of military victories or sermons. The group used Telegram to claim responsibility for the Paris attacks, which left 129 people dead, and the bombing of a Russian airliner over Egypt last month, which killed 224.

According to Alex Kassirer, a counter-terrorism analyst with the New York-based private intelligence firm Flashpoint, said that IS had started using Telegram broadcast channels to send press releases targeted at inspiring and recruiting followers.

Further, Rita Katz, director of Bethesda, Maryland.-based extremist monitoring service SITE Intelligence Group said that some of the dozens of channels set up had 10,000 followers or more. Some of those channels could not be accessed on Wednesday afternoon and a message was displayed saying they were no longer available. She further added that Telegram had appeared to let the jihadists operate without fear of being turned off or traced until Wednesday.

However, Telegram explicitly says on its site that it makes efforts to block Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS.

The company statement stressed that shutting down ISIS channels on the site was not taken to restrict free speech, which it encourages.

“While we do block terrorist (e.g. ISIS-related) bots and channels, we will not block anybody who peacefully expresses alternative opinions,” Telegram said of its actions.

Telegram said the move would only affect public channels and automated response systems called ‘bots.’ Messages between individuals and group chats that can include up to 200 users would not be affected. While the app says it blocked the ISIS-related channels, unfortunately private communications between ISIS members were unaffected by those blocks.

 

Bitwalking dollars: Digital currency pays people to walk

Bitwalking dollars: Digital currency pays people to walk

A digital crypto-currency has launched that is generated by human movement.

Bitwalking dollars will be earned by walking, unlike other digital currencies such as Bitcoins that are "mined" by computers.

A phone application counts and verifies users' steps, with walkers earning approximately 1 BW$ for about 10,000 steps (about five miles).

Initially, users will be given the chance to spend what they earn in an online store, or trade them for cash.

The founders of the project, Nissan Bahar and Franky Imbesi have attracted more than $10m (£6.6m) of initial funding from mainly Japanese investors to help launch the currency and create the bank that verifies steps and any transfers.

Japanese electronics giant Murata is working on a wearable wristband that will provide an alternative to carrying a smartphone and show how many BW$ the wearer has earned.

Shoe manufacturers are poised to accept the currency, and a UK high street bank is in talks to partner with the project at one of the UK's biggest music festivals next year.

The founders have a track record in disruptive technology that could help developing nations as much as richer ones.
Last year they launched Keepod, a $7 USB stick that acts like a computer in Nairobi, Kenya.

Fitness boost

The idea of Bitwalking is to take advantage of the trend for fitness trackers by offering an additional incentive to keep fit.

The global scheme plans to partner with sportswear brands, health services, health insurance firms, environmental groups, and potentially advertisers who could be offered unique insights into the audiences they are targeting.

In the future, employers may be invited to take part in a scheme that would be offered to their employees to encourage them to stay fitter, with the currency they earn converted and then paid alongside their salaries.

In developed nations the average person would earn around 15 BW$ a month, but it is hoped that in poorer countries where people have to walk further for work, school, or simply to collect water, the Bitwalking scheme could help transform lives.

Double income

Salim Adam walks around six miles (10km) a day to work as an IT teacher at his local college in Mthuntama in northern Malawi.

He has worked out that he can earn 26 BW$ a month just by having the app running on his mobile phone. His current salary is the equivalent of $26 USD.

The impact Bitwalking could make in developing countries isn't lost on the founders. It is one of the central reasons for creating the currency. In Malawi, one of the African nations to join at the launch of the project, the average rural wage is just US$1.5 (£1) a day.

Business advisor, Karen Chinkwita runs Jubilee Enterprises, giving business guidance to young people in Lilongwe. She said: "There may be a temptation for some to walk instead of work.

"But most people want to earn more money and will do both. With some education we can teach them how to use that money to create even more opportunities."

The Bitwalking manager for Malawi, Carl Meyer, has set up the first two Bitwalking hubs in Lilongwe and Mthuntama where local people will be trained how to trade the BW$ online for US$ or the local currency, Malawi Kwacha.

Eventually an automatic online exchange is planned that will match up buyers with sellers and a rough exchange rate will begin to emerge.

The Go! app for iOS and Android devices will initially be offered to a handful of countries, including the UK, Japan, Malawi, and Kenya, to give the organisers a chance to iron out any difficulties before other countries come on board.


Faking it

The idea isn't completely new. Several start-ups have tried to connect keeping fit to earning rewards but most have failed to measure movement accurately enough to avoid scammers.

Bitwalking hasn't officially released the algorithm used to verify steps but says it uses the handsets' GPS position and wi-fi connections to calculate the distance travelled.

The team has created its own walking algorithm to verify users' workouts after testing Google's and finding that steps could be spoofed.

The phone reports the speed and type of movement as measured by the accelerometer.

At its launch the total amount someone can claim in one day will be capped at around 3 BW$ (roughly 30,000 steps) and running multiple accounts will be banned.
Sustainability

The success of the scheme is likely to depend on how much interest there is from established companies such as big sportswear brands, health insurance firms, or charity and environmental groups all of whom have an incentive to work with the fitness sector.

In Japan, it is not unusual for firms to offer employees rewards for fitness activities. Bitwalking's founders hope their project could help extend this idea to other nations.

The country's largest convenience chain store, Lawson, runs a successful scheme that pays its workers up to $50 a year to eat healthily and keep fit.


store

But the Lawson scheme is based on promises and trust, so unlike Bitwalking it is not verifiable. The vouchers earned cannot be traded for cash.

Despite the freedom to trade, it is likely that unless BW$ can be freely used to buy goods and services they are likely to drop in value from parity with the US$ – the point where the founders are launching it.

The online store will sell goods for the same price in BW$ as US$.

Keeping the virtual shelves of this online store fully stocked will be one of the first challenges.

The shop isn't expected to be open all the time, but plans are in place for other retailers and service providers to accept the currency in their stores too.

 

It is still not clear how a currency that appears to be so easy for users to produce could maintain its value, nor if the initial funding for the scheme will be sufficient to sustain it in the initial period while confidence in its value is being built up.

The Bitwalking website will invite people to apply to join the scheme so the company has some control over user numbers.
Privacy steps

Because the new scheme necessarily tracks its users there will be data available that could be particularly valuable to advertisers – and accompanying concerns over privacy.

"That won't be for sale," says co-founder Nissan Bahar.

"We may explore offering advertisers the opportunity to focus on different groups depending on how active they are, but we won't pass on any information relating to individual's movements."

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Transfers of the new currency will also be carefully monitored with transactions going through a central 'bank' which verifies each deal using the block chain method used to transfer other crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin.

Users will have access to their own wallet which stores the dollars they've earned and will be able to transfer them to others via the app.

"It's a currency that can be earned by anyone regardless of who they are and where they live," says Franky Imbesi.

"For some it will be a free cup of coffee a week perhaps offered by local businesses to encourage people to explore their local shops. For others it could be a game changer, transforming their lives by enabling them to earn and trade in the same way with the rest of the world.

"And all while encouraging us to protect the planet and stay healthy."

Russia Creates A ‘Skynet’ to Lead Its Robo Army.

Russians have created a ‘Skynet’ type AI that would soon control all the robotics in the country: civilian, military and even UAVs. The scientists have named it ‘Unicum’ which is the Latin for ‘the only one’.
At a time when science and technology stalwarts like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk are calling for the AI warfare ban, Russian scientists are busy developing the big daddy of the Artificial Intelligence. Well, the country doesn’t have an army of robots but it sure does have a lot of machines and robots.

The researchers at the United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation (OPK), a research corporate that builds high-tech communication tools and systems, automated control systems and advanced electronics and robotic systems for the Armed Forces of Russian Federation, has created a universal software that would give the robots (civilian and military) adequate brains to perform the complex tasks without human directions.

The scientists have named it ‘Unicum’ which is the Latin for ‘the only one’. As the team has tested, the Unicum powered 10 robots, the software was able to communicate and distribute the ‘roles’ among the robots. It even chose the commander of the group.

Unicum is made to make the battlefield as human-free as possible. In the experiment, the Artificial Intelligence was able to choose targets and request target elimination confirmation from its human masters (thankfully, it does ask for permission).

AI has been undergoing phenomenal developments with each passing day. Just recently the researchers created a psychic robot, and now we have a software that could control all the other machines. What else is left!!

The Deputy Director of OPK, Sergey Skokov said that the technology is almost ready and will soon be installed in real life robotic systems, including UAVs.

He added:
With Unicum, the robots will be capable of executing tasks independently, to see and evaluate the situation, plotting new courses as well as communicating with other machines. In fact, this is yet another step to the creation of full-fledged artificial intelligence, enabling mechanisms with nearly human capabilities.

Well, when we thought Artificial Intelligence has been maxed out for today’s levels at Tesla’s better than the human self-driving car, and the AI that becomes chess grandmaster in 72 hours,  Russians took it to whole another level.

How To Check/Retrieve Your Gtbank Account Number Via SMS Using Your Mobile Phone

How To Check/Retrieve Your Gtbank Account Number Via SMS Using Your Mobile Phone.you can retrieve your gtbank account number via sms.if you've forgotten your account number and you want to make use of it for urgent transaction, instead of going to the bank, calling customer care service to retrieve it, all you need to do is to pick up your phone and send a text message to gtbank customized number and immediately, you will get a message containing your gtbank account number.you save time and money going to their branch or making phone calls to customer service.so if you've forgotten or did not have your bank account number stored in your mobile phone, you can make use of this to retrieve it back.here is how to get your gtbank account number via SMS Using Your Mobile Phone.
 

Note that sms charges may applied when making use of this service.its not free.you will need to have airtime/credit on your mobile phone before sending the text message.at least like #10 airtime should be on your phone.follow the steps below to get it done.

How To Retrieve Your Gtbank Account Number Via SMS

to check it, send the word

myaccount to 08076665555

immediately you send the message, you will receive a message that contains your gtbank account number.

Note that you must use the phone number used in creating your gtbank account else you won't get any message.this is due to security issue.

How To Buy Airtime Recharge Card For Friends & Family From Your Mobile Phone Using Gtbank : No Internet Required

How To Buy Airtime Recharge Card From Your Mobile Phone Using Gtbank : No Internet Required. recently gtbank have just introduced buying of recharge card airtime for friends and family using your mobile phone without internet connection.you can carry out the task by simply dialing a specific number given by gtbank which will enable you carry out the transaction.it works just like share and sell credit transfer but this time your bank account will be debited.all you have to do is to use the persons phone number in the transfer code and immediately, the recipient will receive the airtime from gtbank platform regardless of the mobile network operator you are making use of.to do this, follow the steps below.How To Buy Airtime Recharge Card From Your Mobile Phone Using Gtbank : No Internet Required

Note that this only works with the phone number you used when you created your gtbank account.it won't work if the sim you used is not attached to your gtbank account.i don't mean the recipient number.just follow the steps below

How To Buy Airtime Recharge Card From Your Mobile Phone Using Gtbank : No Internet Required

==> dial *737*amount*persons number# . Then send it,example *737*100*08031234567# . the friend or individual you want to transfer airtime to will receive it.

Well, my opinion on this is that you should be careful on how you keep your phone exposed to friends and family due to security reason. I expected gtbank to be wise on this features,though its a welcome development but the features is not complete without authentication code.

At least the owner of the account should be able to have a password/passcode inserted to initiate the transfer because anyone could just pick up the phone and dial it.

Just imagine some one like me who knows about this, i can easily pick up my friends or family members phone and do a transfer without their noticed.

At the end of it, they will start questioning gtbank of deducting their money without their consent.

As a result of this, to prevent it, gtbank should add authentication code to initiate the transfer else, this innovation is not complete.

So if you are making use of this features, then be wise to keep your phone close to you because anyone who knows about this could wreck your bank account.be warned.

DON'T FORGET TO SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK BY CLICKING THE SHARE BUTTON.

How to bypass Android’s lock screen pattern, PIN or password

How to bypass Android’s lock screen pattern, PIN or password

The main reason to set up some sort of lock screen security on your smartphone is to keep strangers (or friends) from checking out your messages or private pictures. Beyond that, you don’t want anyone who dares to steal your phone to get full access to your mails, pictures or other sensitive data. But what if you’re the one who cannot access your phone? You could forget your PIN or pattern, right? Or someone pranks you by setting up a lock screen pattern and just leaves you struggling with it.


In any case, there’s quite an easy solution to this without smashing your phone against a wall (or your friend’s face). The only thing you need is to have Android Device Manager enabled on your device (before you locked yourself out of your phone). If you have a Samsung phone, you can also unlock your phone using your Samsung account.
Forgot your Android lock screen pattern, PIN or password? Here’s what to do
I tested the following methods using a lock screen pattern, PIN and password and was able to unlock my LG G2 with Android 4.4.2 successfully.

Unlock your Android device using Android Device Manager (ADM)
As already mentioned, the following method only applies to devices that have Android Device Manager enabled.
1.    On a computer or other mobile phone, visit: google.com/android/devicemanager
2.    Sign in using your Google login details that you also used on your locked phone.
3.    In the ADM interface, select the device you need to unlock (if it isn’t already selected).
4.    Select ‘Lock’
5.    In the appearing window, enter a temporary password. You don’t have to enter a recovery message. Now click ‘Lock’ again.
6.    If it was successful, you should see a confirmation below the box with the buttons Ring, Lock and Erase.
7.    On your phone you should now see a password field in which you should enter the temporary password. This should unlock your phone.
8.    Now, before you go on with your life, go to your phone’s lock screen settings and disable the temporary password.
9.    That’s it!

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Unlock your Android lock screen pattern with your Google Login (only Android 4.4 and below)
If you haven’t updated your firmware to Android Lollipop (5.0), then there’s a faster way to unlock a lock screen pattern.

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1.    Enter a wrong lock screen pattern five times (shouldn’t be hard if you don’t remember the correct one)
2.    Select ‘Forgot Pattern’
3.    Now you should be able to enter a backup PIN or your Google account login.
4.    Enter either your backup PIN or your Google login.
5.    Your phone should now be unlocked.

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Bypass your Samsung phone’s lock screen using its Find My Mobile tool
This is an easy way to unlock your Samsung device if you created a Samsung account and registered it beforehand.

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1.    Go to Samsung Find My Mobile.
2.    Sign in using your Samsung login details.
3.    In the Find My Mobile account interface you should see your registered phone on the left hand side. This tells you that you’re phone is registered to that account.
4.    On the left sidebar, select ‘Unlock my screen’.
5.    Now select ‘Unlock’ and wait for a few seconds for the process to finish.
6.    You should get a notification window telling you that your screen is unlocked.
7.    That’s it. Your phone should be unlocked.
 

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Disable your lock screen using custom recovery and “Pattern Password Disable” (SD card needed)
This method is for more advanced Android users that know what the terms “rooting” and “custom recovery” mean. As the title says, for this to work you need any kind of custom recovery installed and your phone must have an SD card slot. Why the SD card? Well, we need to transfer a ZIP file to your phone and that’s usually not possible when it’s locked. The only way is to insert an SD card with the file.Unfortunately, card slots became kind of a rare thing in the smartphone world, so this will only work for some people.
Here’s what you need to do:
1.    Download the Pattern Password Disable ZIP file on your computer and put it on an SD card.
2.    Insert the SD card into your phone.
3.    Reboot your phone into recovery.
4.    Flash the ZIP file on your SD card.
5.    Reboot.
6.    Your phone should boot up without a locked screen. Should there be a password or gesture lock screen, don’t panic. Just type in a random password or gesture and your phone should unlock.

Erase your phone (and lock screen) using Android Device Manager
If all the methods above didn’t work out, you need to move on to more drastic measures. In case Android Device Manager is enabled on your phone and unlocking it didn’t work, you can use it to erase all data by selecting the Erase button. Be aware that this will delete all apps, settings and other data on your phone. The good thing is, once the erasing process is done, you can use your phone again (after setting everything up).
 

Reset your phone to factory settings
If Android Device Manager doesn’t work at all for you, your last resort is to make a factory reset on your device. On Nexus devices, this can be done in recovery mode, for example. Below, we take you through the reset process that work with Nexus devices. If you own a different Android phone, check out this site and look for your manufacturer’s support page.

How to perform a factory reset on your Nexus using recovery mode:
Important note: If your Nexus device is running Android 5.1 or higher, you’re required to enter a Google username and password associated with your device after the factory reset process finishes. This is a security measure to make sure that no stranger is reseting your phone or tablet. If you fail to enter that data, the phone won’t be usable anymore. Really make sure you know your Googel username and password.
No matter what version of Android you’re running, you need to have an internet connection and if you just changed your Google account password, you need to wait at least 72 hours before starting the reset process.
1.    Turn off your device.
2.    Press the volume down AND power button and keep pressing them. Your device will start up and boot into the bootloader (you should see “Start” and an Android lying on its back).
3.    Press the volume down button to go through the different options until you see “Recovery Mode” (pressing volume down twice). Now press the power button to enter recovery mode.
4.    You should see an Android on its back and a red exclamation mark.
5.    Press and hold the power button, then press and release the volume up button. Now you should see “Android Recovery” written on the top together with some options.
6.    By pressing the volume down button, go down the options until “Wipe data/factory reset” is selected. Press the power button to select this option.
7.    Using the volume down button again, go down until “Yes – erase all user data” is selected. Make sure you read through the notes above and then, finally, press the power button to start the reset process.
8.    Once the process is done, press the power button to select the reboot option. Your device will now reboot and start the inital setup process of your device. That’s it! All you need to do now is to set up everything and restore your data.
You can also check out Google’s official page and follow the instructions there.

As already mentioned earlier, be aware that reseting or erasing your device will delete all data like apps, settings, videos and pictures.

 

How to Track and (Potentially) Recover Your Stolen Laptop or Android with Prey

 

Laptops are lighter and more powerful than ever; they're also easier to steal. Luckily, a genuinely versatile and powerful track-and-recover application is also free. Here's how Prey works, and how it could save you a month's rent in new laptop cost.
 

Why Prey?
There are obvious reasons to like Prey. Chief among them, it's free to use for up to three devices of any kind, from computers running Windows, Mac, or Linux to Android devices. But that wouldn't mean anything if the tracking Prey provided wasn't really solid. It's not fool-proof, especially if the thief wants to entirely wipe your computer or phone, but if that's not the case, it gives you a fighting chance.

On a laptop with a webcam, a Wi-Fi chip, and Prey installed, it's a good bet you'll have a photo of your thief and an approximate location on them just as soon as they have your computer running for a few minutes. You don't have to actively search, either—devices with Prey installed in the background "phone home" to your web-based account every 20 minutes by default (you can decrease this interval), spilling their guts about everything they're doing.


Webcam snaps, desktop screenshots, lists of modified files and running programs, network data galore, and much more are provided to those who want to quietly track their, uh, prey. If you'd prefer to think that maybe someone just found your device, you can set read-aloud alerts, fire off alarms, change the system wallpaper, lock it with a password, and remotely wipe out your browser data—all from any browser you can get to.
The basics of installing and using Prey are covered in the video, but here's a brief run-through:

Step One: Set It and Forget It
 
Head to Prey's download section, grab the package for your system (again, Prey supports Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android), then install it as normal, creating an account as you do so. The only major issue to address is how you want to control your system and track it if it goes missing. Most people will want to stick with the default, web-based standard method, but those who would prefer an email-based, server-controlled tracking setup can explore an "Advanced" option. I'm focusing on the default Prey + Control Panel setup.
Because it's tracking software that doesn't want to be seen, Prey is almost invisible when it's running on your system, without any configuration or executable files to be seen. In fact, once you've deleted the installer, you shouldn't be able to find Prey at all in your system, because that's the idea. It quietly and quickly checks in with Prey's servers in the background, at an interval you decide, to see if the owner has logged in and marked it as stolen. That's all it does—until you flip the switch on Prey's servers to note that it is, in fact, stolen, or ask for an update on the hardware profile.
 
After you've installed Prey and set your defaults, log into Prey's web center, and peek at the basic configuration tools. You can give each of your devices a unique name, clarify its details, and change the frequency of its reporting time. You can set the frequency to a reasonable 20 or 30 minutes now, but don't worry—you can update it as soon as your device is swiped, so you won't be wasting those precious early minutes wondering what's up.
Step Two: Set Your Modules
 
The Modules menu on Prey's site determines what happens when your device checks in and notices that it's stolen (if only computers could recognize their strange meta-existence). There are two types of modules: the quiet, informative "Report" modules, and the more aggressive "Action" modules that secure your data, and likely let the thief or finder know that you know your stuff is missing—and that you've got a way to track it.
 
Report Modules: In general, you'll want to switch all these on. You never know what might come in handy, and it's not too much more effort for Prey to grab any one item more than the others. You can set limits on how much raw modified data and running program information is thrown your way, but the defaults are fine, if voluminous. The most important module to turn on is Geo, which uses Google's Wi-FI location API to try and triangulate a laptop's location—or the GPS chip in an Android for very accurate positioning.
The main exception would be the "Webcam" option. If your laptop has a webcam that must activate a very distinct light or LED before snapping a picture, it could be an obvious give-away and tip your hand. MacBooks, for example, turn on a green LED when grabbing images from the webcam. If you wanted to go stealth and not let the unlawful owner know you had them, you could shut this off—but you'd likely be better off trying to grab at least one picture of the thief unawares. (He or she may not be perceptive or paranoid enough to catch what's going on.)
 
Alarm modules: When subtle won't work, Alarm Modules provide you with your next best chance of alerting the thief, the person who bought stolen goods from the thief, and potentially anyone near them, that your laptop is your laptop. Failing that, some alarm modules can at least wipe out any potentially revealing information about you.
Alarm, Alert, Change Wallpaper, and the password-protected Lock are pretty self-explanatory. Our volunteer "thief" Whitson reported that the alarm is, in fact, quite loud and attention-getting, and that the pop-up alert comes up over anything else you may be doing.
The "Secure" module is where you make your big security decisions. You can set Prey to wipe out your entire password keychain, delete data from Firefox, Safari, or Chrome (sorry, Opera users), or wipe down Outlook or Thunderbird. A total account wipe-out would be a nice option, of course, but there's likely a compromise between making Prey still active and having data deletion access.
Android SIM Protection
Android phones set up with Prey actually have fewer reporting and alarm modules than laptops, but they do have one unique feature: SIM card protection. If a thief attempts to swap out the SIM card in your phone, the new SIM number is captured and text-messaged to a contact you set up in the Prey options. With that kind of data and a police contact, you're pretty close to tracking down your phone.

Step Three: Using Your Reports
 
So you've registered Prey on your laptops and Androids, and if it gets stolen, you'll get an email announcing a new report is drawn up every X minutes. Now what?
First things first, report your laptop or device stolen to the police. The cynical may assume they don't care or don't have the know-how to track your gear, but the cynical often aren't shielded members of a law enforcement agency. Give the police everything you have on your device, including serial numbers, identifying stickers or characteristics, and the last place you knew you had it. It never hurts. When using the similar "Find my iPhone" feature of the MobileMe service, police in Madison, Wisc. were able to track down two iPhones stolen from a store. Your mileage will vary, but it's best to head through official channels first.


If you're on your own, you can hope that the thief or other person toting your laptop makes a regular run of certain Wi-Fi spots. You'll have the IP address they're connecting outward from, the name and details of the Wi-Fi spot they're connecting to, and a list of the programs they're running, connections they're making, and other details. Your best hope is that geo-location through available Wi-Fi can point you somewhere unique in an uncrowded neighborhood, or that the Wi-Fi they connect to is unique and identifiable. If your webcam can grab a clear snap of the thief, all the better. If you've got nothing quite so unique and helpful, a visit to the traceroute and other tools at network-tools.com (or nearly any site resulting from a "traceroute" Google search) can potentially get you closer to your missing goods.

NOTE: Reporting to a the Police at first is usually advisable.

 

Is the Chinese conspiring against the United States?

 

Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was able to provide documents to the German weekly magazine, Der Spiegel revealing a stunning secret. These documents were confirmation that Chinese hackers were able to seize top secret data concerning the F-35 Lightning II, a joint strike fighter jet. Additional information states that the breach had taken place all the way back in 2007. However, as of right now, a government official belonging to the United States has said that all information belonging to F-35 remains secure.

According to sources, F-35 Lightning II happens to be the most advanced fighter that is currently in production. Experts who are close to the subject of aerial warfare have stated that China’s latest stealth fighter, the J-31, and J-20 fighter jet are variants that were inspired by F-35. This could mean that the Chinese took intricate details from the fighter jet and implemented them on their own fighter jets. According to AVIC Chairman, Lin Zuomin, he had this to say about J-31 if it ever met F-35 in an open air fight:

“The J-31 will finish it off in the sky.”

According to the Snowden files, there are several details that outline the scope of Chinese F-35 espionage efforts. These ranged from acquiring the radar design of the fighter jet, as well as detailed engine schematics. These schematics would most likely enable the Chinese to build a fighter whose speed matched that of F-35 and they could also replicate the cooling system of the engine, to prevent it from overheating even when it was stressed to its limits.

The leaked documents from Snowden also reveal that several terabytes of data related to F-35 joint strike fighter program were stolen, meaning that if the Chinese were actually responsible for the hack, they had sufficient information on their hands to build a fighter jet of their own in order to match the prowess of F-35.

The Chinese government has denied any involvement in these attacks as Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei stated the following:

“The allegations are totally groundless and unproven. We, on the other hand, do have documents that show a certain country has a dishonorable record on cyber security.”

If the Chinese are actually responsible for the hack, what is their ulterior motive? To conspire against the United States? Looks like when more Snowden documents are revealed, we will get to know sooner or later.

First Step to Effective Security – How to Know if You’ve Been Hacked

The online world is becoming scarier each day and the possibility of getting hacked gets increased each time you sign into your online accounts. It’s possible that you haven’t been hacked yet, but you must ensure to follow secure practices to remain safe in the future.

News of new data breaches and password thefts are as common as any other development around you. These attacks occur via various means- either through a malicious email, or a flaw in your computer’s operating system. Even the White House and Pentagon aren’t immune to hackers.

There have been about 5,593 data breaches since the year 2005 and this number is rising exponentially. These breaches have exposed about 800.3 million individual records alone in the United States.

These data breaches are a big risk that ask you to be prepared and follow secure practices.

The Identity Theft Resource Center defines data breach as an “incident in which an individual name plus a Social Security number, driver’s license number, medical record or financial record (credit/debit cards included) is potentially put at risk because of exposure.”

So, what do I lose in a data breach?

Usually, it’s just your basic information like name and email addresses. By collecting this basic information and connecting the dots, an expert hacker can gain tons of other sensitive information to hurt you in various ways.

As written in the Forrester report, Planning for Failure, “even enterprises with the most mature security organizations and advanced security controls can’t prevent every single breach — especially if your opponent has the time and financial backing to target you.”

The situation is getting worse with time and keeping your data safe from the reach of the prying eyes must be your top priority.

But, how to know if you’ve been hacked?

With the increase in hacking attacks, a number of sites have opened up that give you alerts when data breaches take place. One of the best places to get these announcements is the mailing hosted at the Identity Theft Resource Center. It sends regular emails with the weekly data breach information in your inbox.

Haveibeenpwned.com is another website that allows you to check if hackers have compromised your personal information. The website also tells you the reason and incident when your email address was breached.

How to Find Your Lost or Stolen Laptop?

Having your laptop stolen is the biggest nightmare anyone can face in the era of our gadget-centric lives. Here are some ways that can help you get back your valuable laptop in case of any theft.

Electronic devices, especially laptops, have become an essential part of our lives rather than a luxury product, that they were considered in the past. Only a mere thought of losing your precious device will give you goose bumps, but what if it really vanishes from your vicinity – thanks to the guy who has the courage to do that magical act.

Jokes apart, in this article we have added some ways that can be used to find your stolen laptop in case of any theft.

Trace your Laptop’s IP address:

The magician who vanished your precious laptop might have the courage to peek into your business. There are great chances, that the person who took your laptop may check your mail account or other services. These services do provide tracking feature that can help you, trace the location and IP address of your device. You can get the device location of your stolen laptop if you use these services:

Gmail:

Just open your Gmail account and move to the bottom of the page. Here you will find “Last Account Activity” written in the bottom left corner of the page. Click “Details” link right below it. A new window will open containing a list of all the recent Gmail sessions of your account, providing IP address and location of the sessions. You can click “Sign Out Of All Other Web Sessions” to protect your Gmail account from further trespassing.

Facebook:

The social networking giant has also provided a feature to track your account activity.

Open “Settings” in your Facebook account and then click “Security” option. You’ll find an option called “Where You’re Logged In”, just click that, and you’ll be presented with details of your Facebook sessions. To know the IP address of any session, just hover on the location name, and it will display the IP address of that session. You can click “End Activity” to log out that particular session or you can click “End All Activity” to log out of all your active Facebook session on any other device.

Dropbox:

Dropbox also provides a session tracking feature. Just sign-in to you Dropbox account and click your name, a drop down menu will appear. Then click on “Settings” option. Click on Security tab, here you’ll find the list of all your active and past sessions. Just hover on the “i” right next to the country name to know the approximate location and similarly, click the “i” next to time (under Most Recent Activity) to know the IP address and time of the session.

Just note down the IP address and location from any of the above sources and contact the police for further assistance.

Prevention is better than cure:

It would be wise enough to be well prepared for such mishaps well in advance. Prey Inc. has come up with an efficient tool that can help you track your device very easily in case of any theft or lost. Though this platform is available for various operating systems like Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux, but we have tested Prey only for the Widows OS.

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to setup Prey:

  1. Go to https://preyproject.com
  2. Click Sign-in and setup your Prey account.
  3. After that, Sign-in to your Prey account and look for a green plus button right next to Your Devices.

Choose your preferred operating system and Prey will start downloading the appropriate application to your device.
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  1.  
  2. Install the application by clicking the usual next, next, next. It’ll take few minutes to install.
  3. At the end of installation, keep the Set-up Prey check box ticked and click Finish.
  4. A new window will open. Click Existing User option, as you have already created your Prey account.
  5. Enter your login credentials and click Connect, a popup will appear, ”Sweet! Your Computer is now protected by Prey. Try it out or protect an additional device, please visit preyproject.com”.
  6. Click OK and you’re done.
  7. You can track your device online by simply logging into your Prey account in any web browser.
  8. If you lose your device, just log-in to your account and click your lost device in Your Devices section. Then click Set Device To Missing.
  9. A box will appear, set the Report Frequency as per your convenience. Click Advanced Options to find more options. Here you can select, if you want to take snapshots of the person using the device via webcam. Using the snapshot feature may alert the person using the laptop as the webcam LED will blink after regular intervals, creating a suspicious environment for that person.
  10. You can track your device online by simply logging into your Prey account in any web browser.
  11. If you lose your device, just log-in to your account and click your lost device in Your Devices section. Then click Set Device To Missing.
  12. A box will appear, set the Report Frequency as per your convenience. Click Advanced Options to find more options. Here you can select, if you want to take snapshots of the person using the device via webcam. Using the snapshot feature may alert the person using the laptop as the webcam LED will blink after regular intervals, creating a suspicious environment for that person.

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  1. You can track your device online by simply logging into your Prey account in any web browser.
  2. If you lose your device, just log-in to your account and click your lost device in Your Devices section. Then click Set Device To Missing.
  3. A box will appear, set the Report Frequency as per your convenience. Click Advanced Options to find more options. Here you can select, if you want to take snapshots of the person using the device via webcam. Using the snapshot feature may alert the person using the laptop as the webcam LED will blink after regular intervals, creating a suspicious environment for that person.

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  1. option.
  2. Whenever you need to know the current status of your device just click the Maps and Action option in the device section.
  3. When you find your device, just Set Device To Recovered and prey will stop the live tracking of your device.

Prey allows you to lock the device remotely, play alarm, send message in case any humble person may return your laptop, if you have forgotten it somewhere. The only disadvantage of this service is that your laptop must be connected to the internet, and for that, “May the Force be with You”. You can add up to three devices in the free option. To add more devices, you’ll have to purchase their plans.

In case of any theft, it is highly recommended to change your passwords for all the online services that you use to protect your valuable data and privacy.

Keeping your laptop safe is a must in this technology driven world. You can protect your laptop by using these simple methods and it will save your valuable memories that you have collected all over your life. Apart from using these methods, you should always set a password to all of your devices, this will protect your data in case of any theft or if you might forget it somewhere.