All about Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Digital Transformation

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Dr. AMK, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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  2. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Microsoft working to scale Blockchain for grand distributed ID scheme
    Someone's got to get it scaling!
    By Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor 14 Feb 2018 at 06:29
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/02/14/microsoft_blockchain/

    "Microsoft's wanted a really good federated identity scheme ever since the early 2000s, when it gave the world Project Hailstorm, aka ".Net My Services", to let a web of online services know a little about you and the information you are happy to share with others.

    Hailstorm passed, swept back years later as Geneva Server and now seems to have found its way into a blockchain-powered conceptual heir that Microsoft's now named "Decentralized Digital Identities" .

    Alex Simons, director of program management in Microsoft's Identity Division has revealed that "Over the last 12 months we've invested in incubating a set of ideas for using Blockchain (and other distributed ledger technologies) to create new types of digital identities, identities designed from the ground up to enhance personal privacy, security and control."

    Microsoft's identity ambitions, he wrote, now centre on user-controlled-and-owned Decentralized ID schemes so that a single data breach can't give crooks the keys to your kingdom.

    "After examining decentralized storage systems, consensus protocols, blockchains, and a variety of emerging standards we believe blockchain technology and protocols are well suited for enabling Decentralized ID," he wrote.

    Failure to launch
    But like so many others considering blockchain, Microsoft has hit upon scaling problems.

    "While some blockchain communities have increased on-chain transaction capacity (e.g. blocksize increases), this approach generally degrades the decentralized state of the network and cannot reach the millions of transactions per second the system would generate at world-scale," Simons wrote. "To overcome these technical barriers, we are collaborating on decentralized Layer 2 protocols that run atop these public blockchains to achieve global scale, while preserving the attributes of a world class DID system."

    Microsoft's not detailed what that work will entail, but has said that its Authenticator app will soon support Decentralized Identitie.

    "With consent, Microsoft Authenticator will be able to act as your User Agent to manage identity data and cryptographic keys. In this design, only the ID is rooted on chain. Identity data is stored in an off-chain ID Hub (that Microsoft can't see) encrypted using these cryptographic keys," Simons wrote.

    Simons didn't offer a timeline for Microsoft's contributions, but we imagine they will be eagerly awaited given blockchain transaction times have already seen prominent vendors - Microsoft included - bail from offering pay-by-bitcoin on their online stores."
     
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  3. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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    Big data is a big concept, but what is it really? And more importantly, how can you leverage it effectively in IT?
    In this easy-to-digest eBook, we explore what really constitutes big data, how it can provide a competitive advantage in any industry, and how to deploy an agile infrastructure ready to flawlessly run Splunk, Hadoop, NoSQL, Elastic, and more of today’s top big data tools.

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    [​IMG]
     
  4. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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  5. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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  6. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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    How to Block Cryptocurrency Miners in Your Web Browser (Your thread is already a good reference)
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...ency-miners-in-your-web-browser.811257/page-2

    6 Easy Ways To Block Cryptocurrency Mining In Your Web Browser
    https://fossbytes.com/block-cryptocurrency-mining-in-browser/

    Use NoScripts in Firefox
    For Firefox, you can use JavaScript-blocking extensions like NoScript. Before using it to block cryptocurrency mining in the web browser, please note that it’s pretty aggressive and it could break lots of websites as it disables all scripts running on pages. If you’re using Tor Browser, you would already be knowing about NoScripts and its use. You can use any one of these methods to get rid of the cryptocurrency mining in web browser.

    [​IMG]
    Check Your CPU Usage all the time.
    The simplest way to determine if your PC is being used to mine cryptocurrency is to assess its CPU usage. By opening the resource monitor of your computer (EDIT: or any other monitoring software like HW64), it’s possible to view a list of applications and processes that are currently using processing power.

    Observing a noticeable spike in CPU usage when viewing specific sites that don’t show any outward signs of CPU-intensive media is a key indicator that there may be Javascript running that is taxing or hijacking your processing power. If you’re still observing high CPU usage after closing your browser, it’s possible you may have a crypto mining malware issue.
     
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  7. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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    Salon has every right to hijack your laptop to mine cryptocurrency while you read it
    http://uk.businessinsider.com/salon-hijack-your-laptop-to-mine-cryptocurrency-2018-2
    [​IMG]Salon Media Group CEO Jordan Hoffner. Peabody Awards / YouTube

    • Salon is mining cryptocurrency via the web browser of any reader who refuses to turn off their adblocker.
    • The liberal web magazine is being totally upfront about it, and readers have a choice: They can turn their adblockers off.
    • This is a cunning solution to the problem of people who think the web should be free.
    • The web isn't free, duh.

    Salon, the liberal, San Francisco-based web magazine, has a new adblocking policy: Either turn off your adblocker to read the site, or you can keep it and let Salon take the unused computing power on your machine to mine cryptocurrency.

    The decision is, needless to say, controversial.

    When I tweeted about it yesterday I was surprised by how many of my followers thought this was a good idea.

    That got me thinking: This is a good idea.

    If you use an adblocker, this is your fault
    You see, Salon isn't a charity. There is no ethical or legal requirement for Salon to provide you with free news and opinions. Websites are in no way "free." Someone has to pay to publish them, to maintain them and keep them on the net. If you've ever tried running even the smallest web site you'll know that the monthly costs of keeping one alive start to mount pretty quickly. Any company that publishes news that you can read for "free" is, in fact, paying thousands of dollars to keep it "free."

    And yet there is this weird belief, seemingly held by 90% of people on the internet, that there is a requirement for media companies to pay your internet server, and publishing costs, in order to provide you with information free of charge.

    Most media companies, obviously, pay for these costs by hosting advertisements on their sites. But a few years ago, many people — again, it feels like 90% of people on the internet — decided that ads were ruining their "free" web experience, so they started using adblockers.

    Adblockers are software add-ons that you can plug into your web browser. They prevent ads from being shown on any website you look at. Surfing the web while using Ghostery or Ad Block Plus is a wonderful experience. Pages load quicker, and there are fewer ads to look at.

    The only problem with adblockers is that they will eventually bankrupt the websites you're looking at, unless those web sites do something else to make money. That's why so many websites refuse to show you any content until your turn your adblocker off. That is a war that was largely won by the publishing companies.

    Recently, more companies have decided to start charging for their content. Business Insider has put a small amount of its content behind a paywall, called BI Prime. When we first started doing this, a lot of people got angry (probably a small minority of readers, but on Twitter it can feel like "everyone"). They were enraged that we were no longer going to give them everything free of charge.

    'Hey @Salon, this is a terrible idea'
    Now Salon has taken things a step farther. It gives readers a choice: Turn your adblocker off, or continue with your adblocker while we use your machine to mine cryptocurrency:

    "Your unused processing power are the resources you already have but are not actively using to it’s full potential at the time of browsing salon.com. Mining uses more of your resources which means your computer works a bit harder and uses more electricity than if you were just passively browsing the site with ads."

    Salon didn't try to hide what it is doing. The warning is literally the first thing that pops up on the site.

    [​IMG]Salon

    Again, many people on Twitter are enraged by this. If you leave your adblocker on, Salon starts using the spare power on your computer's CPU. This becomes noticeable — the fan on your laptop will come on as your computer works harder to crack the complex equations that crypto-mining requires. Your device will use extra power, or wear down your battery faster.

    "Hey @Salon, this is a terrible idea. Forcing your readers to either run crypto mining code or disable ad blockers is actively harmful," one Twitter user said.

    These angry people have choices, of course. They can turn their adblockers off, and continue to read Salon for "free," with no crypto mining whatsoever. Or they can go to another site and get their news there.

    But those choices aren't as much fun as being angry at Salon for hijacking your browser and running mystery crypto scripts that make Salon money.

    'I genuinely think this could be the future of media (if publications are transparent about it)'
    I have also been surprised by the number of people who said they are totally OK with this. "I genuinely think this could be the future of media (if publications are transparent about it)," Lynsey Barber of City AM tweeted at me. Her sentiment was echoed repeatedly in the replies to the angry man I mentioned earlier. It's true. Salon's solution is cunning and funny. (And Salon ought to get more kudos for being founded before the dot-com boom of 2000 and surviving the crash that followed.)

    Here's the thing.

    The web isn't free. It's not a non-profit org. Someone has to pay to create this stuff for you. Now, you can either use it for free (and tolerate some ads), or subscribe to your favourite bits (for a largely ad-free experience) or, in the case of Salon, continue reading for free while the company mines Monero.

    You have choices.

    But the "free" ride is over.
     
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  8. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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    Adult content domains are home to half the sites using cryptomining malware
    https://www.digitaltrends.com/web/cryptocurrency-mining-porn-sites/
    [​IMG]

    A new study reveals that cryptocurrency miners are turning to porn sites to exploit users’ computing power when they’re online. A Bejing-based company called 360NetLab has analyzed internet traffic patterns and concluded that sites offering adult content, while small in terms of web traffic, make up the vast majority of sites containing web mining code on their homepages.

    These cryptocurrency mining programs usually download without permission when you click on the site and run in the background, using the computing power of your CPU to create new cryptocurrency (usually Monero). This can significantly diminish the performance of your computer while you’re online.

    According to 360NetLab, 628 websites out of Alexa’s top 300,000 contained cryptomining code within their homepage (Alexa is a web traffic and analysis service that ranks websites by visitors, not to be confused with the ubiquitous voice assistant of the same name).

    While small in terms of actual traffic, the research found that a whopping 49 percent of the domains containing cryptomining software were sites offering adult content.

    We’re not linking to any of these sites for obvious reasons, but in terms of traffic the most-visited sites were mejortorrent, firefoxchina, scamadviser, and thepiratebay.blue. The most prevalent coin-mining tool is coinhive, which is used by 57 percent of the sites. Others include jsecoin, webmine, and cryptoloot.

    More and more mining site providers want a piece of the action as well. The coin-mining software downloads started to become more prevalent around September of last year, and saw a big surge in January.

    As the International Business Times points out, what these companies are doing is not technically illegal in most countries. Some sites claim that cryptocoin mining is a way to fund their websites, just like hosting advertising or asking for subscriptions. Most users would argue that it should be opt-in only. In fact, one new site called authedmine only mines with the user’s permission.

    600 websites is a pretty small number, however, so there’s no need to panic. Any decent antivirus software can protect your computer by detecting the mining software before it’s downloaded. As always, make sure your operating system and security software are up to date.
     
  9. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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    Water Utility Infected by Cryptocurrency Mining Software
    https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/02/water_utility_i.html
    A water utility in Europe has been infected by cryptocurrency mining software. This is a relatively new attack: hackers compromise computers and force them to mine cryptocurrency for them. This is
    the first time I've seen it infect SCADA systems, though.

    It seems that this mining software is benign, and doesn't affect the performance of the hacked computer. (A smart virus doesn't kill its host.) But that's not going to always be the case.
     
  10. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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    Hackers Exploiting 'Bitmessage' Zero-Day to Steal Bitcoin Wallet Keys
    https://thehackernews.com/2018/02/b...ecurity+Blog)&_m=3n.009a.1684.tv0ao07vo4.10rr
    [​IMG]
    Bitmessage developers have warned of a critical 'remotely executable' zero-day vulnerability in the PyBitmessage application that was being exploited in the wild.

    Bitmessage is a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) communications protocol used to send encrypted messages to users. Since it is decentralized and trustless communications, one need-not inherently trust any entities like root certificate authorities.

    Those who unaware, PyBitmessage is the official client for Bitmessage messaging service.


    According to Bitmessage developers, a critical zero-day remote code execution vulnerability, described as a message encoding flaw, affects PyBitmessage version 0.6.2 for Linux, Mac, and Windows and has been exploited against some of their users.
    "The exploit is triggered by a malicious message if you are the recipient (including joined chans). The attacker ran an automated script but also opened, or tried to open, a remote reverse shell," Bitmessage core developer Peter Šurda explained in a Reddit thread."The automated script looked in ~/.electrum/wallets [Electrum wallets], but when using the reverse shell, he had access to other files as well. If the attacker transferred your Bitcoins, please contact me (here on Reddit)."Moreover, hackers also targeted Šurda. Since his Bitmessage addresses were most likely considered to be compromised, he suggested users not to contact him at that address.
    "My old Bitmessage addresses are to be considered compromised and not to be used," Šurda tweeted.Šurda believes that the attackers exploiting this vulnerability to gain remote access are primarily looking for private keys of Electrum bitcoin wallets stored on the compromised device, using which they could/might have stolen bitcoins.

    Bitmessage developers have since fixed the vulnerability with the release of new PyBitmessage version 0.6.3.2.


    So, if you are running an affected version of PyBitmessage, you are highly recommended to upgrade your software to version 0.6.3.2.

    Since the vulnerability affects PyBitmessage version 0.6.2 and not PyBitmessage 0.6.1, alternatively you can also consider, as suggested by Šurda, downgrading your application to mitigate yourself from potential zero-day attacks.

    Although the developers did not reveal more details about the critical vulnerability, Šurda advised users to change all their passwords and create new Bitmessage keys, if they have any suspicion of their computers being compromised.

    Binary files for Windows and OSX are expected to become available on Wednesday.

    The investigation into these attacks is still ongoing, and we will update this article with more information as it becomes available.

    Stay Tuned! Stay Safe!
     
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