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Cyber security sleuths warn about a new malware circulating in social media

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New Delhi: A new malware is circulating around social media networking sites that steal sensitive personal data and passwords of a user, according to cyber security sleuths.

The malware, which is known as ‘dorkbot’, is a combination of a virus and a worm. It is a deadly virus, which specifically affects Windows operating systems, and has capacity to steal cookies, browser data, passwords, and other sensitive information from the affected computers.

Computer Emergency Response Team of India (CERT-In) in its recent advisory said: “It has been observed that the variants of malware named as ‘dorkbot’ targeting windows operating systems are spreading. The malware belongs to the family of worms having backdoor functionality and spreads through various vectors, including drive-by-download attacks, social networking sites and compromised websites with browser exploits via removable drives in the form of auto-run exploits or by means of malicious links in instant messaging chats or internet relay chats.’

The advisory added: “To hide itself from detecting by anti-virus solutions, the malware injects its code into files like cmd.exe, ipconfig.exe, regedit.exe, regsvr32.exe, rundll32.exe, verclsid.exe and explorer.exe.”

The malware works by infecting systems by assuming fake identities of social media platforms like Facebook, and then reducing the immunity of systems and making them vulnerable to potential virus attacks. (Photo: http://techgadgetcentral.com)

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Social Media: A Boon Amid Lockdown

Social media has proved itself a boon, be it dealing with a crisis or emergency and sometimes even saving a life

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Social media has proved its worth in these times. Pixabay

BY PUJA GUPTA

There have been several incidents when social media has proved itself a boon; be it dealing with a crisis or emergency and sometimes even saving a life. There are various groups and communities formed on different platforms that work as a support system of communities.

‘My Pincode’ is one such group on Facebook that was launched by the NGO Social Media Matters in April when the entire country was confined in their houses. It is about local groups on Facebook to virtually connect, communicate, collaborate and create a support system for each other in their respective pincode areas. These groups bring together users, community leaders, subject matter experts, resource points and organizations at a very hyper-local level to provide immediate support, relief, and share critical information.

Blood donation, ration supply, repair work, daily essential information, government advisories are the highlights of My Pincode as these demands top the charts across posts made by users. Partners like Sarvahitey, Akshay Patra Foundation, Blood Bank were fundamental in their roles to look into all the requests and take immediate action.

Shantanu Garg, who lives in West Delhi, posted on the group requesting for a blood donor on behalf of a friend. Within a few hours, moderators of the group who tagged all volunteers and other admins and started reaching out to other blood donor agencies were able to arrange the required amount of blood. There have also been other instances of such donor requests. Sajal Bhateja’s request for urgent requirement of blood on South Delhi Group was also addressed in two hours.

Social Media
There are various groups and communities formed on different platforms that work as a support system of communities. Pixabay

Other topics that are being discussed on the groups are:

Which is the nearest clinic I can visit?

Where can I get emergency help?

What does the situation look like right now on the roads?

What are the queues like at the shops?

How much longer will supplies last?

Are courier services working in the area?

Which are the nearest Government and Private Testing Centres?

Can I visit the police stations?

Are postal services working in the area?

How do I obtain a curfew pass?

What is the situation at the hospitals?

Are there any blood donor requests?

In an attempt to bring together communities from 170 hotspots of India across 17 states (as identified by the Central Government of India in April 15, 2020) and crowdsource help, open groups have been formed and are being managed by moderators and group admins, trained by the NGO. It will be further extended to 32 states and union territories.

Social media
Social media groups bring together users, community leaders, subject matter experts, resource points, and organizations at a very hyper-local level to provide immediate support. Pixabay

Each state has a moderator and several admins who have been moderating the discussions and letting users connect with each other for essential and verified information as to keep fake profiles/information away.

Also Read: Beat Summer Heat With these Coolers

Every day the lead moderators sift through all the groups to look for any inappropriate content that is posted/approved/queried. As soon as users post on the group, the network of admins gets activated and they look into the prime information or request made by the user. Once that is identified, the request is verified and then the network gets activated to resolve the request. (IANS)

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Intel-Microsoft Collaborated Project Turns Malware into Images

Intel and Microsoft joined hands to work on the study

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Microsoft
Intel-Microsoft joint project to turn malware into images. Pixabay

Researchers from Intel and Microsoft have joined forces to study the use of deep learning for malware threat detection in a project that first converts malware into images.

The basis for this study is the observation that if malware samples are turned into grayscale images, the textural and structural patterns can be used to effectively classify them as either benign or malicious, as well as cluster malicious samples into respective threat families, Microsoft said.

The researchers used an approach that they called static malware-as-image network analysis (STAMINA), Jugal Parikh and Marc Marino from Microsoft Threat Protection Intelligence Team wrote in a blog post.

For the first part of the collaboration, the researchers built on Intel’s prior work on deep transfer learning for static malware classification and used a real-world dataset from Microsoft to ascertain the practical value of approaching the malware classification problem as a computer vision task.

Using the dataset from Microsoft, the study showed that the STAMINA approach achieves high accuracy in detecting malware with low false positives.

The results were detailed in a paper titled “STAMINA: Scalable deep learning approach for malware classification”.

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The researchers used an approach that they called static malware-as-image network analysis (STAMINA). Wikimedia Commons

Read More: Healthy Eating Habits in Toddlers Reduces Chances Of Heart Realted Risks Later: Study

To establish the practicality of the STAMINA approach, which posits that malware can be classified at scale by performing static analysis on malware codes represented as images, the study covered three main steps: image conversion, transfer learning, and evaluation.

The study was performed on a dataset of 2.2 million PE file hashes provided by Microsoft. This dataset was temporally split into 60:20:20 segments for training, validation, and test sets, respectively.

The joint research encourages the use of deep transfer learning for the purpose of malware classification. (IANS)

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5 Ways to Make Your Business Withstand Impending Global Crisis

The pandemic has greatly impacted various businsses

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office
WE suugest you some of ways to help you make your business withstand this impending global crisis. Pixabay

Amidst the biggest pandemic the world has ever experienced in a century, there is a looming global economic crisis that is waiting to struck at its strongest anytime in the near future – as a matter of fact, some parts of the world are actually experiencing its initial impact right this very moment.

The first blow will be felt by various businsses great or small. Many enterprises are closing down or at the verge of it. All have been caught off guard. As a business owner, you might be thinking hard and long these past few days on how will your enterprise survive this critical economic situation. Besides making ends meet and cutting some costs, here are some of the ways to help you make your business withstand this impending global crisis.

Build and maintain an online store

Creating an online ecommerce shop may perhaps seem like a challenge, especially if you are not really used to using the internet for your enterprise. But it is becoming a business trend as most places are under quarantine and social distancing is also being practiced. With that, many potential consumers are going online to purchase most necessities. This is why a store website is important nowadays.

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You can get yourself an ecommerce website made as everyone is in quarantine. Pixabay

Creating an ecommerce site is easy. Just make a good hook for a domain name, find a reliable web hosting provider and design your site. However, make sure to plan out how you will maintain it in the long run.

Learn how to maximise social media

It is true that it’s easy to reach people through social media. Regardless of age group, most are engaging on various platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more. But it is not enough to just create a page for your business and post stuff whenever you want or worse, whenever you remember. In order to take advantage of your social media reach, you have to observe your market well and plan out engaging posts to hook them. It is also advisable to align your website content to your social media post schedules in order for your followers to be familiar with your site and also share your contents if interest them or it is relevant.

Strengthen your customer support

Customer service is somewhat neglected at times on enterprises. But it is actually a very significant area in any business.

Quick response time in answering messages and comments on social media is one of the best ways, as well as responding to queries and feedback via email or through your website.

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Intoduce your customers to easier and safer payment methods. Pixabay

Make payment process easier but more secured

Find means to make it easier and safer for your customers to transact payments with you. Security is everything nowadays.

Read More: How The COVID Pandemic Pushed More Indians To Online Casinos

Find a reliable way to deliver products or services

If your enterprise still does not have the means to deliver all your orders, at least search for a very dependable courier that can do the job for you towards your customers.

The recent global economic problem can be a massive bump to every enterprise in the world. But your can survive and overcome. Make your business withstand this impending global crisis.

[Disclaimer: The article published above promotes links of commercial interests.]