NEWSLETTER: NO HOPE FOR RANSOMWARE VICTIMS & QUALCOMM’S FINGERPRINT TECHNOLOGY

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Let me put it this way, Mr. Amor. The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.” ~ HAL (2001 A Space Odyssey)

RANSOMWARE VICTIMS UNABLE TO RETRIEVE DATA EVEN AFTER PAYING RANSOM

THE STORY

Recent Petya attacks claim almost $9000 worth of ransom without releasing the hijacked data.

WHAT IS PETYA?

It might sound strange to a few, but we are currently experiencing one of the worst and most widespread malware infections till date. On tuesday June 27, Ukraine was hit by a massive ransomware attack that soon spread to other parts of the globe including North America, U.K. and Russia etc. The infection was caused by a variant of Petya Ransomware, that was used in a large scale attack using Eternal Blue tool. Like most ransomware, Petya encrypts files in a user’s system and demands a payment of $300 in bitcoin to release the data.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE WHO PAID?

Although most government agencies discourage making any negotiations with ransomware creators, investigators discovered 36 payments being made towards Petya. Unfortunately, the operator behind the provided email address blocked the id. Hence victims who made payments couldn’t receive any emails with decryption key as there was no way for attackers to know who paid them.

The German email operator Posteo also added ““Please make no speculations about how high the chances are to decrypt files locked by ransomware if you pay a criminal.” This clearly shows how important it is to never trust criminals especially when you find yourself compromised by Ransomware.


QUALCOMM PLANS ON INTEGRATING FINGERPRINT SCANNING IN CHIPSETS

THE STORY

The American chipmaker’s new announcement makes screen fingerprint scanners obsolete, much before their market arrival.

WHAT IS THE NEW TECHNOLOGY?

At the recently held Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, China, Qualcomm announced its plans on a new fingerprint scanner built right inside device chipset. This means phones no longer need to worry about integrating fingerprint scanners in other components such as screens or back of the device. Qualcomm said their scanners could work through glass or metal surfaces and also function underwater. Moreover, these new sensors will work seamlessly with both new and old generations of Snapdragon processors. Using ultrasonic technology, these new sensors will also be able to read user’s heartbeat and blood pressure, making it much more than just a fingerprint scanner.

WHAT ABOUT ON SCREEN FINGERPRINT SCANNERS?

Major smartphone brands such as Samsung and Apple struggle to bring this project to their upcoming devices. Vivo has already integrated similar tech in their latest smartphone model leaving the giants totally baffled. Qualcomm’s tech on other hand, will make screen fingerprint scanners look like an old hat once they start supplying these new chips sometime in 2018.

 

Akshay Peter

Akshay Luke Peters is a writer and blogger for Systweak Software. He likes to write about off-beat topics and technological awareness. He is also part musician who likes to explore the future of technology in entertainment and popular media.

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