NEWSLETTER: RANSOMWARE NOT BEHIND RECENT CYBERATTACKS & WORLD’S FIRST SMARTPHONE SIZED 360 CAMERA

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.” – Omar Bradley (General, US Army)

PETYA RULED OUT AS THE PRIME SUSPECT IN TUESDAY’S CYBERATTACKS

THE STORY

Investigators suggest malware creators intentionally made it difficult for victims to pay ransom.

WHY IS IT NOT RANSOMWARE?

The world was left in shambles as a large scale malware attack swept across eastern Europe, North America, Australia and U.K. on tuesday. While most investigations based on the attack patterns and behavior pointed towards ransomware, recent discoveries show something far more devious. According to Russia based security firm Kaspersky Lab, the malware used in this attack is not a strain of Petya Ransomware. Although the malware does make it seem that you’re attacked by a cryptovirus, the payment system is incredibly complex for victims.

Unlike with most other ransomware, attackers only used a single Bitcoin account and provided an email address that doesn’t work. Investigators suggest that this was done intentionally as earning money wasn’t really the prime motive behind this infection.

IF NOT RANSOMWARE, WHAT WAS IT?

The attackers tried their best to disguise this virus as ransomware. However, since victims who made payments weren’t able to retrieve their lost data, analysts consider this to be for pure destruction rather than generate money. According to researcher Matt Suiche, this version of ‘Not-Petya’ totally wipes certain parts of the disk instead of encrypting files. It carefully deletes primary sectors that leads to complete loss of data.

WHO DID IT?

Although none of the investigations could lead to the identity of attackers, Ukrainian government have their money on their neighbours Russia. They claim this attack was state-sponsored by Russians to disrupt world industry. The Ukrainian chief of Center for Cyber Protection. Mr. Roman Boyarchuk also added “It’s difficult to imagine anyone else would want to do this.”

While this does seem like a total shot in the dark by Mr. Boyarchuk, there has been no denial to this claim by Russian officials yet, adding more fuel to the flames of speculation.


CHINESE COMPANY CREATES A SMARTPHONE-FRIENDLY 360 CAMERA

THE STORY

Chinese tech firm HT Optical displays a 360 camera module, that can be placed inside smartphones without making them bulky.

HOW SMALL IS IT?

Taking 360 degree shots requires special cameras that are far too bulky to be retrofitted in a smartphone or digital device. But according to the latest reveal at MWC held in Shanghai, China, this technology is soon getting a pint-sized treatment and will be soon become a common feature in smartphones.

This new camera module is small enough to be fitted inside a 7.6mm thick phone/device and offers 16-megapixels resolution. Not only this is far more powerful than existing 360 degree cameras by Samsung and others, but is way more compact.

AREN’T THERE 360 DEGREE CAMERA PHONES ALREADY IN THE MARKET?

There might be a chance that you didn’t know but Chinese phone makers ProTruly already have released two smartphone models with 360 degree cameras. Despite these models meeting with mixed reviews for their bulkiness and protruding camera lens, latest offering by HT Optical can be a major game changer and could outshine Apple’s dual lens camera in iPhone 7 Plus and above.  It must also be noted that HT Optical has also had dealings with companies such as Olympus and Sony, so there’s a high chance of this technology making big waves in the dynamic smart device market.

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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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