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Not just “WannaCrypt,’ a cryptocurrency attack is generating digital cash fast

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San Francisco, May 17 : As the world gets together to contain “WannaCrypt” ransomeware attack that exploited a vulnerability in a Microsoft software, the same Windows vulnerability (MS17-010) has been exploited to spread another type of virus that is fast generating digital cash from machines it has infected.

According to a report in The Registrar on Wednesday, tens of thousands of computers globally have been affected by the “Adylkuzz attack” that target machines, let them operate while generating digital cash or “Monero” cryptocurrency in the background.

“Monero” — being popularised by North Korea-linked hackers — is an open-source cryptocurrency created in April 2014 that focuses on privacy, decentralisation and scalability.

It is an alternative to Bitcoin and being used for trading in drugs, stolen credit cards and counterfeit goods.

“Initial statistics suggest that this attack may be larger in scale than WannaCry[pt], because this attack shuts down SMB networking to prevent further infections with other malware (including the WannaCry[pt] worm) via that same vulnerability,” US-based cyber security firm Proofpoint researchers were quoted as saying in the report.

According to the researchers, the “Adylkuzz” attack is still growing.

“Once infected through use of the ‘EternalBlue’ exploit, the cryptocurrency miner ‘Adylkuzz’ is installed and used to generate cybercash for the attackers,” Robert Holmes, Vice President of products at Proofpoint, was quoted as saying.

According to experts, the Adylkuzz began its attack on or before May 2, more than a week before “WannaCrypt” arrived and hit 150 countries, including India.

“Indications are that the crooks behind ‘Adylkuzz’ have generated a lot more money than the ‘WannaCrypt’ ransomware fiends,” the report noted.

“Unlike ransomware, no demands for money are made of victims. The malware is deliberately stealthy; users will only notice their Windows machine is running slowly and that they don’t have access to shared Windows resources,” the researchers said.

According to cyberscoop.com, “Monero” doubled in price over the last month to around $23 while other digital currencies, including bitcoin, saw a mixed month.

“Cybercriminals intrigued by the currency’s promises of greater anonymity are using it more often on black markets.” it said.

(IANS)

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Elon Musk quits OpenAI group to avoid conflict with Tesla

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Elon Musk (File Photo)

 San Francisco, Feb 23: SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has quit the board of OpenAI, a non-profit artificial intelligence (AI) research company he co-founded that aims to promote and develop friendly AI that benefits the humanity.

“Elon Musk will depart the OpenAI Board but will continue to donate and advise the organisation. As Tesla continues to become more focused on AI, this will eliminate a potential future conflict for Elon,” the research group said in a blog post on Thursday, welcoming some new donors.

In 2014, Musk said AI was humanity’s biggest existential threat later adding that the United Nations needed to act to prevent a killer robot arms race.

OpenAI has fast become a significant voice in the global machine learning community.

Its research has been wide-ranging, including teaching computers to control robots with minimal instruction and the creation of AI agents to play popular video game Dota.

OpenAI recently contributed to the “Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence” report, which warned AI was ripe for exploitation by rogue states, criminals and terrorists.

Drones turned into missiles, fake videos manipulating public opinion and automated hacking are just three of the threats from artificial intelligence in the wrong hands, experts said in the report.

They said that those designing AI systems need to do more to mitigate possible misuse of their technology and that governments must consider new laws to tackle such misuse.

IANS

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Airtel offers Rs 2,000 cashback on Motorola, Lenovo 4G device

As part of the offer, Moto C would be available for Rs 3,999, Moto E4 for 6,499 and Lenovo K8 Note for Rs 10,999.

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AIRTEL

New Delhi, Feb 23: As part of its “Mera Pehla Smartphone” initiative, Telecom services provider Bharti Airtel announced to offer a cashback of Rs 2,000 on select 4G Motorola and Lenovo smartphones.

Two popular 4G smartphones from Motorola — Moto C, Moto E4 and Lenovo K8 Note are available with the offer.

As part of the offer, Moto C would be available for Rs 3,999, Moto E4 for 6,499 and Lenovo K8 Note for Rs 10,999.

“We look forward to working with Motorola to bring smartphones within the reach of more and more customers,” Vani Venkatesh, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel, said in a statement.

“It is a great opportunity for Airtel subscribers to upgrade to 4G and enjoy the meaningful experiences across Motorola & Lenovo smartphones,” added Sudhin Mathur, Managing Director, Motorola Mobility India and Lenovo MBG India.

IANS

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New iPhone app to aid heart attack survivors

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Corrie app

New York, Feb 23: A new iPhone-based app may help patients who survived a heart attack to maintain their health and reduce the number of hospital readmissions, according to a study.

The “Corrie” app is the first cardiology app for the Apple CareKit platform and is designed to help patients navigate the hospital discharge process by educating them about heart disease.

The app allows them to keep track of medications, follow-up appointments and lifestyle changes needed after a heart attack.

“We have found there are many gaps in care in patients recovering from a heart attack,” said lead author William Yang, from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, US.

“We wanted to engage patients in their own care, and help them transition from the hospital to home using existing technology,” Yang added.

Heart attack patients “may suddenly have new doctors and more medical visits, including cardiac rehab, and the app helps them track and centralise all those appointments”, he said.

The app helps patients to keep track of all their medications, including how much to take and at what time.

It also syncs with the Apple Watch to monitor heart rate and keep track of how much they are walking and with a Bluetooth blood pressure monitor.

Yang said the app has also proven useful to patients even while they were still in the hospital as it allows patients to store important medical information on the app.

The results were presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Cardiovascular Summit in Las Vegas.

IANS

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