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Streamlining the Know Your Customer procedure with blockchain

Streamlining the Know Your Customer procedure with blockchain

Last year, I wrote a post about the possible privacy implications of applying blockchain technology to such areas as education, health care, and human resource management. However, a blockchain-based solution to a problem plagued by the shortcomings of traditional approaches can help with dealing with personal data as well. I am talking about KYC (know your customer), and recent advances in using blockchain for KYC procedures.

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The term “know your customer” originally came from financial services. Banks needed to identify their customers, make sure they didn’t cheat, and be able to check their credit history. So, banks...

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Earth 2050: Visions of the future, today

Earth 2050: Visions of the future, today

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Originally published in Eugene Kaspersky’s blog

You may have already heard about the big change at our company last week. However, big changes are nothing new to us! Ever since we began 22 years ago, it’s been nonstop change, change, change — and always for the better, naturally. Change has basically become our profession! Here’s why…

If we didn’t understand technology’s development, that would hardly bode well for our future — and I’m not talking about sales. I’m saying, in that case, maybe no one would be around to buy our products in the first place!

Joke :)

I’m sure everything will work out just fine. Technology’s changing the world for the...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 96

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 96

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For the 96th edition of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast, Dave and I jump all over the place with stories ranging from pizza to hacked US Customs and Border Patrol photos.

We kick things off with an interesting tale from the Brofist Army. Yep, we are talking PewDiePie and a recent advertisement he did with Ukrainian social media Nimses. While there is some concern and fake news surrounding the app and ad, we tried to cut to the meat and potatoes of the tale and the app itself.

From there, we bid farewell to Facebook’s Graph Search, and after that, we discuss the latest snafu from US Customs and Border Control. Seems they have some trouble...

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How to protect your VK account against hacks and spam

How to protect your VK account against hacks and spam

Like most social networks, VK attracts all sorts of people. Considering its multimillion-strong audience, it is no surprise at all that alongside its well-meaning users you will also find scammers, spammers, and trolls of every description. People may push services in private messages, post ads to your wall, write obscenities in comments, and bad-mouth you in front of your friends — you don’t even have to be a celebrity for that.

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You can protect your account from unwanted attention by setting it up properly. Even if you’ve already done this, we recommend you make sure that everything is OK; from time to time the social network offers...

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Wi-Fi in the office — convenient but risky

Wi-Fi in the office — convenient but risky

Almost every office has a Wi-Fi network today, and sometimes more than one. Who wants to connect laptops with a cable? And forget about smartphones and tablets! However, a wireless network can be a weak point in your IT infrastructure.

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Not all companies use complex and unique passwords for their wireless networks, and few bother to disable the broadcasting of the network’s name. And not many at all limit the power of the WI-Fi signal to prevent network connections from outside of the office. Thus, usually little prevents a potential attacker from hanging around near the office and trying to get into a corporate network through a...

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Learn how to spot travel phishing

Learn how to spot travel phishing

Summer’s coming, and that means vacation season is on its way. A lot of people are looking through travel websites in search for interesting places to go, cheap places to stay, and tickets at interesting prices. And, as usual, scammers are eager to give them what they are looking for — sort of.

In addition to the usual tactics scammers use to rob you while you’re looking forward to having a nice vacation, these travel tricks are worth knowing before you start planning your next trip. In this post we’ll dig into some details and talk about how malefactors try to trick excited folks into believing they’re on a genuine travel website. All of these methods...

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Soccer club defrauded

Soccer club defrauded

The players: three soccer clubs (Russian, French, and Argentine), one midfielder, and about 40 million euros. Plus: scammers. Minus: €520,000. In short, this is the tale of Leandro Paredes’s move from the Russian Zenit team to the French Paris Saint-Germain.

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In January, world sports news media announced the transfer of Paredes from Zenit to Paris Saint-Germain. The price tag of this transfer was about €40 million (for 4.5 seasons). According to FIFA rules, Paredes’s first club, the Boca Juniors, claims a certain percentage of the deal (about 3.5%): €1,299,377.48, to be more precise.

Paris Saint-Germain and the Boca Juniors agreed on a payment plan of...

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Baltimore encrypted

Baltimore encrypted

In early May, officials in Baltimore, Maryland, encountered ransomware called RobbinHood that encrypted a number of municipal computers. It completely paralyzed some city services.

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The Baltimore authorities have not disclosed details of the incident, but according to the New York Times, the attackers took advantage of the sensational EternalBlue exploit. IT specialists at the mayor’s office promptly took measures to stop the spread of the malware, but not before it had disabled about 10,000 devices. Extortionists demanded 13 bitcoins (about $114,000 at the time of this writing) to decrypt the computers.

Ransomware against cities

Baltimore is hardly the first and...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 94

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 94

Welcome to the 94th edition of the Kaspersky Lab Transatlantic Cable podcast. In this edition, we jump around a bit between cybercrime, privacy, and a little bit of Terminator 2 action.

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To kick things off, we head down to Charm City. As you may have heard, Baltimore is dealing with a pretty serious ransomware attack that is crippling the city — not to mention the inevitable finger-pointing. From there, we head to the IoT and privacy front. With its new patent, Amazon wants to listen to everything you say. The company says it’s an effort to improve the experience for users.

We then move along to an events company data breach that affected more than...

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Top 4 dangerous file attachments

Top 4 dangerous file attachments

Spammers send billions of messages every single day. It is mostly trite advertising — annoying, but generally harmless. But every once in a while, there is a malicious file attached to one of the messages.

To provoke the recipient into opening a dangerous file, it is usually masked as something interesting, useful, or important: a work document, a great offer, a gift card bearing the logo of a well-known company, and so on.

Malware distributors have their own “pet” formats. In this post we explore this year’s top malware-hiding files.

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Cybercriminals love to conceal malware in archives. For example, ZIP files teasingly titled...

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How to delete your Snapchat account while preserving your data

How to delete your Snapchat account while preserving your data

Snapchat developers were recently accused of breach of privacy after some employees’ privacy abuses came to light. In essence, they spied on users. Not a pleasant discovery, is it? It might even make one think about leaving the social network.

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It doesn’t really matter what prompts the idea, though — could be excessive attention from strangers, a commitment to defeat Internet addiction, or your 25th birthday. We are just going to tell you how to do it.

Saving data from Snapchat

Before you delete your Snapchat account, you will probably want to save the photos and videos you had so much fun sharing — and maybe also some other...

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Introducing the new us

Introducing the new us

I’ve heard it said: “Life needs shaking up more often than not, so it doesn’t turn sour.”

Well, no chance we could ever let things go sour here at KL — not in the industry we’re in, which is constantly and rapidly changing. Still, sometimes it is useful to stop, take a look at yourself as if through someone else’s eyes, think about what’s around the corner, and make a few changes to the look and feel of the company accordingly. And so it is with this lyrical introduction that I want to formally announce our rebranding and explain why we’ve done it.

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We were born in the 90s. Back when we founded the company in 1997, we had just one simple goal: Make the best...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 95

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 95

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Episode 95 of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast touches on encryption’s power, burger joints, Google Chrome restrictions on ad-blockers, and more.

To start things off, Dave and I tackle a pair of stories dealing with end-to-end encryption and how governments are looking at it. The first is from Germany and ponders if law enforcement should be able to read, in plain text, encrypted messages. Then we jump to how companies such as Apple and Google are pushing back on the GCHQ for proposing the same thing.

Afterward, we move to sports and how a football club may need to recheck where they send their money. Then, we discuss a burger chain in...

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CIA sextortion — an old scam with a new twist

CIA sextortion — an old scam with a new twist

What would you think if you received an e-mail with “Central Intelligence Agency — Case #45361978” in the subject line? Would you decide that someone, somewhere had seriously screwed up and accidentally sent you a top-secret file? Or that you’re being recruited for the secret services (well, you never know)? Alas, in either case you would almost certainly be mistaken — the e-mails in question are just another extortion trick.

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The author of the e-mails that caught our experts’ collective eye poses as a CIA officer who has allegedly found the recipient’s details in Case #45361978 (relating to possession and...

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How spammers use Google services

How spammers use Google services

As you know, Google is not just a search tool, but multiple services used by billions of people every day: Gmail, Calendar, Google Drive, Google Photos, Google Translate, the list goes on. And they are all integrated with each other. Calendar is linked to Gmail, Gmail to Google Drive, Google Drive to Google Photos, and so on.

It’s all very handy — register once and away you go. And there’s no need to mess around moving files and data between services; Google does everything for you. The downside is that online fraudsters have learned to exploit the convenience of Google services to send spam or worse.

NsFWqXTZI3cn7ocZltB1H-Ba0qKTxiWw.jpg?s=e0deb221af7cd3d9c4d2e7a9c8db280dSpam through Google services: Calendar, Photos,...
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Fake Apex Legends: The battle royale of malware

Fake Apex Legends: The battle royale of malware

These past couple of years, the battle royale (last player standing) genre has conquered gaming hearts and minds. In early February, the world-beating Fortnite and PUBG were joined by another smash hit in the form of Electronic Arts’ Apex Legends (25 million downloads in the first week). As with the other two titles, fans are waiting with bated breath for the mobile releases of Apex Legends. On this score, EA is dragging its feet. Cybercriminals, however, are licking their chops.

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We’ve already talked about the risks facing Fortnite for Android fans as a result...

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Cybersecurity report from Middle-earth

Cybersecurity report from Middle-earth

What do Tolkien’s works say? Some read them as entertainment, others as profound Christian philosophy, still others as propaganda. As for me, I see cybersecurity parables. And just because these past few years I’ve been seeing them all over the place doesn’t mean they’re not also in Tolkien.

After all, did you know that shortly before the outbreak of WW2, Tolkien was trained at the British Government Code and Cypher School as a cryptanalyst? That’s the organization that went on to crack the German Enigma codes. Later it was rebranded as GCHQ — the service responsible for providing signals intelligence and information assurance to the British...

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Porn extortion malware GandCrab is back — and romantic

Porn extortion malware GandCrab is back — and romantic

“We hijacked your webcam and nailed you watching porn. And encrypted your data. And now we want ransom.” You may remember that a somewhat similar blackmail scheme saw phenomenal success last year. Well, it seems rumors of the ransomware behind this extortion scam dying are slightly exaggerated.

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GandCrab ransomware is back and active as ever. Its developers are constantly launching new versions so as not to lose the hard-won share it currently holds — about 40% of the whole ransomware market. The attackers who rent and propagate GandCrab are also staying current, opting for diversified, creative, and sometimes even romantic tactics...

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How pirates hook gamers

How pirates hook gamers

Brandon wanted to play a computer game without paying. No fool, he knows where to download games free (without SMS or registration). The Internet is teeming with sites with headings such as “Download pirated games free without viruses.”

Of course, game developers aren’t fools either, and they’ve come up with plenty of methods to fight piracy. But for every cunning developer, there’s sure to be a kindly hacker who can somehow get around the tricks of the trade, upload a crack, and share it online so that others can play free.f_ZSHKGfFhXN3xlvqsk5GVIU_07Q3Uo8.jpg?s=a9e97393ba2e558b585301a17d1a80f2

In this case, Brandon even knew the name of the crack needed for the game he wanted to play, so he went straight to googling the names of the...

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Hello, this is Lenny!

Hello, this is Lenny!

We’ve talked quite a bit about telephone fraud on our blog — those fake Microsoft tech support guys who try to scare you with malware into paying for their service, or the fake cops who say your kid is in trouble. Everybody hates them, regardless of whether they ever fell for the scam. At the 35C3 hacker congress, I happened to be at a talk that mentioned an amazing solution to all those phone scam problems. That solution has a name: Meet Lenny.

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Lenny is a rather unsophisticated voice chatbot that simply reads its lines one by one when the caller pauses for a while. Lenny has several minutes of those lines recorded by a talented elderly voice actor. After it reads...

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SiliVaccine: Antivirus from North Korea

SiliVaccine: Antivirus from North Korea

Cheсk Point’s research team once got a message from a Bloomberg journalist named Martyn Williams, who had been forwarded a copy of a North Korean antivirus by someone allegedly from Japan. One does not encounter North Korean software often, so experts Mark Lechtik and Michael Kajiloti were only too glad to see what the antivirus tool was like. They presented the results of their study at the hackers’ congress 35C3.l0j_i-pOXATBU0Xk_oUiPQ2mUrhpfcOv.jpg?s=ae1abcb1a259fd83dcbd753f9efeb139

But before we discuss the North Korean antivirus product, we should probably briefly cover the relationship North Korea has with the Internet and vice versa.

North Korea’s role in developing the global network

Attribution — crafting a...

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Why machine learning is not enoughSDCSC

Why machine learning is not enough

Connected technologies are invading our lives more and more fully with each passing day. We may not even notice how natural it’s become to ask Siri or Alexa or Google to interpret more of our human experience, and expect our cars to respond to the rules of the road fast enough to keep our hides intact. Some of us are still bothered by technologies such as public cameras feeding images to facial recognition software, but plenty aren’t.

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At this point, it’s easy to laugh at a lot of AI failures because on balance they’re mostly funny (just forget about the potential for fatal outcomes). Well, we think as the machines march on, and as malware continues...

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Trojans exploit WAP subscriptions to steal money

Trojans exploit WAP subscriptions to steal money

Do you remember what WAP is? Didn’t think so! WAP is a rather primitive excuse for mobile Internet. The tiny websites it can access show mostly text, and we visited them back when phones had just learned to transmit data.

Despite the fact that WAP has practically passed into oblivion, parts of the technology are still supported by mobile carriers. For example, some still support WAP billing, which allows users to pay for something right on a website directly from their mobile accounts.L0-TUd5-gmKvAwBV7HuyMCrvKZWT3zWd.jpg?s=cd2c7add68bec7ab7d403efd4c205da3

WAP billing as a revenue source for cybercriminals

WAP billing has several problems. First of all, it is not quite transparent for the buyer. In theory, a...

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Transforming business – from selling solutions to enterprise partnership

Transforming business – from selling solutions to enterprise partnership

Every company that reaches a certain threshold has to face the challenge of transformation. That threshold might be reaching a certain revenue — for example, surpassing eight figures. At this point, technology companies have two ways to go.pdx1GxuTI2Za5txJfXcS6iCmTfXip7sg.jpg?s=3c8ae5b0d28aaab6ef25df3b8181f1a1

The first is to drive average revenue per user upward. When you have reached a customer-base plateau, attracting more customers becomes too costly, so it makes sense to offer more value to existing customers through additional features, options, and so forth. Doing so requires having a good feedback channel; without hearing from your customers it’s impossible to understand...

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Redhot: very cool topics. There is no other way to avoid partnership and do selling only on Enterprise Business. Re-seller must develop very reliable partners...
Technologically advanced phone scams

Technologically advanced phone scams

Readers of this blog will already be familiar with phone scams — you’ve probably even received a shady call or two. But you don’t accept offers from strangers or give up personal info when speaking to them, so you’ll be fine, right?

It turns out that the answer is no, not really. Not long ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a warning about an unusual phone scam. Fraudsters call their victims up and ask a seemingly innocent question: “Can you hear me?” The answer “Yes” is all they need. Replaying a recorded affirmative response lets them subscribe their victims to paid services, which will be included in the...

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