For once, the law appears to be throwing the little guy a bone. Yesterday, the president signed a bill into law that again makes it legal to unlock your phone and free it from your mobile carrier overlord.
As we wrote previously: “The bill essentially revives a rule that the Library of Congress issued in 2010 but did not renew in 2012 exempting phone unlocking from the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.”
There are a handful of reasons you might want to unlock your phone, though if your first interest is some nebulous idea of freedom from The Man, you might want to hold off.
Instances in which unlocking a phone is useful:
Computer users pass around USB sticks like silicon business cards. Although we know they often carry malware infections, we depend on antivirus scans and the occasional reformatting to keep our thumbdrives from becoming the carrier for the next digital epidemic. But the security problems with USB devices run deeper than you think: Their risk isn’t just in what they carry, it’s built into the core of how they work.
That’s the takeaway from findings security researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell plan to present next week, demonstrating a collection of proof-of-concept malicious software that highlights how the security of USB devices has long been fundamentally broken. The malware they created, called BadUSB, can be installed on a USB device to completely take over a PC, invisibly alter files installed from the memory stick, or even redirect the user’s internet traffic. Because BadUSB resides not in the flash memory storage of USB devices, but in the firmware that controls their basic functions, the attack code can remain hidden long after the contents of the device’s memory would appear to the average user to be deleted. And the two researchers say there’s no easy fix: The kind of compromise they’re demonstrating is nearly impossible to counter without banning the sharing of USB devices or filling your port with superglue.
“These problems can’t be patched,” says Nohl, who will join Lell in presenting the research at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. “We’re exploiting the very way that USB is designed.”
Nohl and Lell, researchers for the security consultancy SR Labs, are hardly the first to point out that USB devices can store and spread malware. But the two hackers didn’t merely copy their own custom-coded infections into USB devices’ memory. They spent months reverse engineering the firmware that runs the basic communication functions of USB devices—the controller chips that allow the devices to communicate with a PC and let users move files on and off of them. Their central finding is that USB firmware, which exists in varying forms in all USB devices, can be reprogrammed to hide attack code. “You can give it to your IT security people, they scan it, delete some files, and give it back to you telling you it’s ‘clean,’” says Nohl. But unless the IT guy has the reverse engineering skills to find and analyze that firmware, “the cleaning process doesn’t even touch the files we’re talking about.”
Mobile devices are quickly taking over as the preferred medium. What has your business been doing to take advantage of this trend? Read on to find out why 2014 may be your last chance to get the jump on mobile optimization.
Have you heard all the talk about “going mobile” and making sure you are “mobile optimized?” Chances are that you have, but if you haven’t, don’t worry, I’m going to tell you all about it.
For those of you that know about mobile optimization but still haven’t taken advantage of it for whatever reason, you don’t have to worry either, there’s still time to get ahead of the game.
Amazon Web Services hosts more malware hosting sites than any other ISP or web hosting provider, according to a new report from security company Solutionary. In Q2 2014, AWS supported 41 percent of the identified malware hosts, up from 16 percent in Q4 2013.
According to the Security Engineering Research Team Quarterly Threat Intelligence Report for Q2 2014, the top 10 ISPs were the source of more than half (52 percent) of the malware identified in the second quarter.
In its report, Solutionary, an NTT Group company, identified the top 10 hosting providers that hosted malware out of more than 21,000 ISPs.
Regardless of whether you are attempting to build a company website, an affiliate marketing powerhouse, or the authority blog in your niche, SEO should be a core growth strategy.
A quick search of Google will turn up more SEO advice, tips and strategies than anyone could ever possibly read. As an SEO practitioner, I prefer to test variables and come up with facts about what works and what doesn’t. It appears that not everyone believes information needs to be true or correct to share and as such, we are left with a ton of misinformation, like these 21 myths, tips and terrible SEO advice.
The New Year is officially here, and with it comes New Year’s resolutions. By now, you probably have your market and performance goals for your business well-defined, but consider these seven meta-goals to help you reach those other benchmarks.
1. Delegate One Task Each Day
While planning your work each day this year, choose one task to assign to an employee or assistant. Most business owners fail miserably when identifying what they can and should delegate. This practice will help you learn.
Do you want your small business to enjoy a higher profile, greater success, more engaged employees and increased profitability in 2013? For a more successful business in the New Year, begin by making resolutions to improve in the 10 areas below.
- Have a plan. Too often, small business owners get so caught up in day-to-day operations that they neglect long-range planning. If you have a business plan, update it to reflect your current goals. If you’ve never written a business plan, do so-it will force you to think about what you want to achieve in 2013 and beyond.
As the new year approaches, its time for small and medium-sized businesses to start getting connected to their customers in the cloud, as well as on mobile devices, according to a new trends report from cloud services solution provider j2 Global.In compiling its report, the company found that .”
2011 saw a massive boon in smartphone sales – so much so that the mobile devices actually outsold PCs that year. That trend continued this year, and in 2013, j2 Global foresees companies getting more mobile-savvy, with mobile “tools” spanning industries, generations and job types and being leveraged for more than just basic communication needs.
Best to know the terminology…
Ad Call: An ad exchange related term, an Ad Call is when a user’s browser asks an ad server to send an ad. The typically includes information like browser cookies and ad tag information such as publisher ID, size, location etc.
Ad Exchange: One of the most commonly misunderstood terms in the digital advertising landscape, an ad exchange is a platform through which advertisers, publishers and ad networks buy and sell ads. Exchanges enable participating members to use a single, unified language to exchange data, set prices and serve ads. Also see ROE (run of exchange).
By now, you’ve probably been advised to use search engine optimization SEO to get your website on the first page of Google. Before you dive in and spend the next six months working hard for Google brownie points, you should know that SEO might not be right for your business. Not yet anyway.
The typical SEO story for must businesses goes like this: They choose a keyword, do some keyword research and work (or pay an SEO to work for them) for months and eventually get onto the first page. Perhaps they even get to the first or second spot. The traffic comes – like it never has before – and they sit back and wait for the orders to come in. Days pass, then weeks. And they wait and they wait.