Cryptolocker Infection Numbers Revealed
Cryptolocker is the vicious ransomware that is shutting PC users out of their personal files and charging them large fees in return for a passkey to access them again. The virus has spread quickly over the past year and the estimated figures of infected units have been revealed by Dell Secureworks.
The US and UK have been the most targeted, with approximately quarter of a million PCs being targeted worldwide. Users that encounter Cryptolocker are given a threatening message which informs them they have a limited time to pay a fee in order to unlock their files before they are deleted permanently.
We looked at Cryptolocker back in November, and discussed the ways that you can protect yourself from contracting the ransomware on your PC. If you are unfortunate enough to have your files blocked by Cryptolocker, the most important thing to do is to ignore the request of payment. This only serves to perpetuate the virus and does not guarantee the safe return of your files. One of the best pre-emptive measure you can take is to regularly back up your files.
The biggest mobile app of the moment, Snapchat, came under fire over the New Year as 4.6 million users had their information leaked online on New Year’s Day. Hackers exposed flaws in the picture app’s security by revealing user names and phone numbers of a large portion of the Snapchat user base. Full phone numbers were not revealed, however only the last two digits were hidden.
Snapchat acknowledged the vulnerability and claimed they had taken steps to reduce the risk of a security breach, this didn’t prevent the hack though, and many account details (specifically those in North America) were posted online. No apology has been offered by Snapchat as of yet.
If you have a Snapchat account and are worried about whether or not your details have been leaked, you can check here by typing in your username. The nature of the hack means that it wasn’t necessarily intended to be malicious towards the users. The numbers were posted online rather than kept secret until more details could be accessed, perhaps indicating that the hackers intention was to embarrass the company. This doesn’t stop others downloading the database and using the details for malicious use though.
Digital Currency, Doge and Kanye West?
We’re sick of talking about Bitcoin, but it just doesn’t seem to be going away. Digital currency, while still in its infancy, is exploding across the internet with new currencies popping up almost daily. Bitcoin remains the strongest of the bunch, with just one Bitcoin worth hundreds of US Dollars. The value is constantly fluctuating, however it received a boost recently as Zynga (creator of Farmville) backed Bitcoin by allowing their users to pay for games in in-game add-ons using the currency.
Dogecoin is the fastest rising digital currency and has gained popularity through social media sites such as Reddit thanks to it’s association with popular meme Doge (Such currency, so digital, wow). Inventors of digital currencies are struggling to fight for attention so are “branding” their creations with weird and wonderful logos in an attempt make them stand out and generate worth.
The latest crypto-currency to attract such attention is the hilariously named CoinYe West (a play on rapper Kanye West). Released on the 11th January, the creators are drumming up publicity by claiming free giveaways of coins, and marketing it to the average internet user, rather than those that have the time and money to invest in expensive mining tools for Bitcoin.