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Stellar cracks ‘WannaCry’, working on 5 India cases

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New Delhi, May 19: In a good news for those struggling to gain access to locked data after the “WannaCry” attack hit Windows users in 150 countries, Stellar Data Recovery on Friday claimed it has cracked the ransomware at its R&D labs and is currently working on five cases from India.

Stellar received requests from over two dozen customers with specific request for recovering lost data from “WannaCry” affected drives.

The requests were received at several data recovery laboratories locations.

“We are already working on five specific ‘WannaCry’ cases at our Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh, Kolkata and Kochi locations. Our data recovery lab services are subscribed by customers who would like professional expert to examine the affected drives and recover lost data,” Sunil Chandna, CEO, Stellar Data Recovery, told IANS.

Stellar’s data recovery experts analysed drives infected with the ransomware and, after careful evaluation, they were able to identify a possible weakness.

The research and development team then updated their software “Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery” to exploit the vulnerability.

Data can be recovered either using “Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery Free Edition” or by subscribing to the company’s professional lab services in India and Europe.

“Since we have published an update on our website yesterday, Stellar Phoenix data recovery software was downloaded by over 600 users. ‘Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery Software for Windows’ has a FREE edition that can help customers recover data at ZERO cost,” Chandna added.

Stellar has a dedicated team of over 80 R&D professionals who work on solving ever-evolving data loss problems.

“Since the news broke of this attack late last week, our R&D team spent hours researching and developing ingenious ways to resolve this crisis. I am happy with their accomplishment and am confident that it will benefit thousands affected by this crisis”, Chandna noted.

According to the data recovery company, all files stored outside “My Documents” and “Desktop” locations on the infected device can be recovered in many cases through Stellar’s do-it-yourself software “Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery Free Edition” from www.stellarinfo.com.

Users simply have to download and install this software on a desktop or laptop, which is not infected by this ransomware, connect the infected hard drive as an external media and perform a scan.

All data can be saved after successfully scanning the infected drive without the need to pay ransomware in bitcoins.

“We are confident that we would be able to help our global customers in future too,” Chandna told.

IANS

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‘WhatsApp Business’ now available on Android in India

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New Delhi, Jan 23: To help businesses communicate better with their customers in India, WhatsApp has officially rolled out “WhatsApp Business” — a free-to-download Android app for small businesses — in the country.

The new app, available on Google Play Store, will make it easier for companies to connect with customers, and more convenient for its users to chat with businesses that matter to them.

“WhatsApp Business”, yet to come on Apple App Store in India, asks for a separate phone number from the one users have for their individual WhatsApp account.

“People all around the world use WhatsApp to connect with small businesses they care about from online clothing companies in India to auto parts stores in Brazil,” the Facebook-owned app had said in an earlier statement.

“WhatsApp Business will make it easier for people to connect with them, and vice versa, in a fast and simple way,” the company added.

“WhatsApp Business” was launched last week in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Britain and the US.

The app will help customers with useful information such as a business description, email or store addresses and website.

It will also save time with smart messaging tools — quick replies that provide fast answers to frequently asked questions, greeting messages that introduce customers to your business, and away messages that let them know you’re busy.

“People will know that they’re talking to a business because you will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number,” WhatsApp said.

People can continue using WhatsApp as usual as there’s no need to download anything new.

“People will continue to have full control over the messages they receive, with the ability to block any number, including businesses, as well as report spam,” the company added.

In India, 84 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers, and 80 per cent of SMBs think that WhatsApp helps them grow their business.

IANS

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Honor 9 Lite Review: Four -camera set-up to disrupt mid-segment market

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New Delhi, Jan 22: Honor 9i (Rs 17,999) was the first smartphone with a four-camera system that arrived in India last year. To tap into the mid-price segment with the same USP, Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has launched Honor 9 Lite, starting at Rs 10,999.

The device is in a direct fight with Oppo A83 (Rs 13,990) and Samsung Galaxy On7 Prime (Rs 12,990) which were launched on the same day, January 17.

Let us see what works for the device.

Bearing a striking resemblance to the iPhone 8, Honor 9 Lite looks stunning with a plastic frame, sandwiched between 2.5D-curved glasses at the front and back.

The mirror-like glass at the back has more resistance against smudges when compared to other devices.

It comes with a 5.65-inch full-HD+, bezel-less display with an 18:9 aspect ratio in a 5.2-inch screen form factor, giving extra work space to users.

The screen is similar to the display concept by Samsung sans the curved edges that the South Korean giant has in its premium devices.

Honor 9 Lite sports a 13MP quad-camera set-up, Phase-Detection AutoFocus (PDAF) and advanced wide-aperture mode.

As far as the camera performance is concerned, the device offered a somewhat mixed performance. The beauty effects in selfies and portraits came out well at times.

The Beautify feature especially worked well. The face marks vanished and the skin had a soft tone to it while clicking selfies. It took a split second to process the image and the output was good too.

In the Portrait mode, available in both front and back cameras (13MP+2MP), the “bokeh” effect was excellent despite the device not being a premium smartphone.

With “bokeh”, we could also point out edges which were not meant to be blurred out.

The Portrait mode did work wonders for the rear cameras and we had better final images.

The device is powered by 16nm Kirin 659 Octa-core processor that runs it smoothly. The Kirin chip delivered seamless performance.

Even with a four-camera system, we did not find any lag while working with several apps simultaneously in the background.

The user interface has had a minor facelift with new EMUI 8.0 that runs Android 8.0 Oreo. The new interface is also claimed to have Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities which are not available in this device at the moment.

Since Honor 9 Lite has a lighter version of EMUI 8.0, there was no impact on the overall performance.

The smartphone has a 3,000mAh battery that gave us a day-long power with moderate use, including surfing and video data consumption.

What doesn’t work?

Although the camera output was good, the Beautify option did editing to an extent that the images appeared almost fake compared to the original.

The plastic chassis sandwiched between the glass is an unwelcome feature — drop your device and it’s gone for good.

Conclusion: For Rs 10,999 (32GB variant), the device with a four-lens system works perfectly. If you are a heavy user, you can opt for the 64GB model.

IANS

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Less than 10% of Gmail users enable two-factor authentication: Google

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San Francisco, Jan 22: Despite the growth of sophisticated cyber threats globally, Google has said that less than 10 per cent of active Gmail users have enabled two-factor authentication making the remaining 90 per cent more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

According to Google engineers, compromised passwords are the top way hackers gain access to accounts and all users — especially those in the enterprises — should implement two-factor authentication immediately.

“Further, only 12 per cent of Americans use a password manager to protect their accounts,” US-based news website Techrepublic quoted Google engineer Grzegorz Milka as saying in a presentation at the Usenix Enigma 2018 security conference in California late on Saturday.

Two-factor authentication is one of the most effective ways to protect online accounts given that compromised passwords are the top way attackers gain access to accounts.

In the enterprise, if a hacker can break into the email of even one employee, it gives them not only access to company data but also ammunition for future phishing attacks — making it even more important for firms to ensure all employees have enabled two-factor authentication and gone through cybersecurity training.

The feature, which Google calls 2-step verification, requires using a second step-often a single-use key or password-along with the account password to verify a user’s identity and allow them into their account.

With Google, the second step can come in the form of a text message, a phone popup, through a Google Authenticator app or from a number of printed single-use codes.

Google first rolled out its two-factor authentication feature back in 2011, yet users have failed to adopt the safety measure in large numbers. The feature adds a few seconds to the login time but is claimed to be the best option to stay away from cyber attacks.

Milka said that Google did not make two-factor authentication mandatory for all users due to usability.

“It’s about how many people would we drive out if we force them to use additional security,” he was quoted as saying.

Google has made a number of other efforts to improve security for its users.

In January 2017, the company announced new layers of enterprise-grade security controls for “G Suite” to give users more control and visibility over sensitive information.

In October last year, it rolled out the “Advanced Protection Programme” that offers better defenses against phishing, accidental data sharing and fraudulent account access for executives and professionals in fields where confidential information is shared online.

IANS

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