It has been 5 months since the WannaCry ransomware took down thousands of computers across the globe, and yet, the hackers behind it have not been found. the ransomware infected computers over the network by encrypting files and asked victims to pay between $300 to $600 in bitcoins (a cryptocurrency) to decrypt the files for future use.
The attackers further concealed their identity by converting the bitcoins into another virtual currency called Monero -an open source private untraceable currency that is considered to be more anonymous than the bitcoins as it require no account details to sign up. Monero can be used for making purchases in the deep web (part of web which cannot be detected by any standard search engine).
More than 3,00,000 computers were attacked in over 100 countries, the worst hit was Britain’s national health service, affecting 36 hospitals across the country. Globally companies that were affected include Nissan motors,FedEx , China National Petroleum, Renault SA, Hitachi, Sberbank of Russia and Russian interior ministry. Most of the companies were using the older version of Windows Software thus the threat around WannaCry ransomware increased, India was the third worst hit country.
Incidents were reported from some part of Kerala and Gujarat, in Odisha a government run hospital was affected, The West-Bengal electricity distribution company and the Southern Railway divisions suffered glitches.
The damage could have been worse had Marcus Hutchins , a 22-year old cyber security researcher, not activated a kill switch. His ‘accidental ‘ discovery stopped the attack from further spreading, he named his ‘kill switch’ contrary to WannaCry ‘WannaHappy; researchers were able to work on recovering the data to some extent.
As per the bot watching the bitcoin wallets tied to the ransomware attack , as on May 22 the perpetrators collected 48.86 bitcoins- estimated to be worth $104,436. According to IBM and Ponemon Institute’s Cost of Data Breach Study 2017 , the average cost of data breach for Indian companies surveyed is ’11 crore ; whereas, globally, the average cost of data breach in 2017 is $3.62 million.
The experts said “the main motive was not extortion of money but something more. An attack of such high caliber , was designed to asses the preparedness , and the impact of what such an attack could create”. perhaps the worst is yet to come and the world should be ready for it.
How does Apple Face ID works
Ever wondered how does Apple Face ID works. Apple first introduced the technology of Face ID for authentication purposes. Since then many smartphone manufacturers started giving Face ID for their devices in the budget range. Hail that notch which took the industry to cut the portion of the screen and play as bezelless display. In this article we will take a closer look of that notch particularly the Face ID and unravel the working of that technology. Will also be looking at some of the downsides of having a Face ID, cause ofcourse noting is safe in this world.
Most of our digital information are stored on Phones and it’s important to protect that information. Face ID is the next big step in that direction. Face ID provides intuitive and secure authentication enabled by the state-of-the-art TrueDepth camera system with advanced technologies to accurately map the geometry of your face.
With a simple glance, Face ID securely unlocks your iPhone X. You can use it to authorize purchases on the Apple Store.
The dot projector embedded in the notch produces over 30,000 invisible rays to create a depth map of your face and also stores an infrared image of your face. Apple’s A11 bionic chip also plays a significant role, it transforms the depth mapping and the infrared image into a mathematical representation and compares that representation to the enrolled facial data.
So what happens if my face changes like if i trim by beard or apply makeup or some crazy stuff, or even if I show half of the face, how does it recognise me?
The answer lies in the fact that it maps your face but does not open until you open it manually using your pin, it then knows you are the authorised personnel and it updates the mathematical representation, so it remebers how your face look under different conditions. It actually keeps learning over time or we can say updating that mathematical representation over time. So it becomes highly accurate.
The mapping of face is a very high dimensional data and needs a lot of computing power to work fairly fast. A part of the A11 Bionic chip’s neural engine — protected within the Secure Enclave, performs this task with an ease. Face ID is designed to work with hats, scarves, glasses, contact lenses, and many sunglasses. Furthermore, it’s designed to work indoors, outdoors, and even in total darkness.
To start using Face ID, you first need to enroll your face. You may do this during the initial set up process, or at a later time by going to Settings > Face ID & Passcode. Face id works best at arms length and very well even when the phone is inclined to certain extent.
Security is important to protect information on our devices. Face ID uses the TrueDepth camera and deep learning for a secure authentication solution. Face ID data – including mathematical representations of your face – is fully encrypted and protected with a key available only to the Secure Enclave.
The probability that a random person in the population could unlock your device is approximately 1 in 1,000,000 which 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID. Face id only takes five unsuccessful attempts to prompt you to enter your passcode.
Face id also looks at your eyes when unlocking the device, so if you’re asleep then for sure nobody will be able to unlock it, unless they wake you up. Face id cannot be fooled by photographs as it does not have any depth, it’s designed to protect against spoofing by masks or other techniques.
Furthermore, you must enter your passcode for additional security validation when:
- The device has just been turned on for first time or restarted.
- The device has been idle for more than 48 hours.
- The device has received a remote lock command.
- After five unsuccessful attempts to match a face.
- After initiating power off/Emergency SOS by pressing and holding either volume button and the side button simultaneously for 2 seconds.
Some less known fact about Face ID is that the data doesn’t leave your device and is never backed up to iCloud or anywhere else. Only in the case that you wish to provide Face ID diagnostic data to AppleCare for support only then information will be transferred from your device. And even in that case data isn’t automatically sent to Apple; you have to first review and approve the diagnostic data before it’s sent.
If your iphone gets lost, then you can choose to delete the data on the device from another Apple device or Apple care cneted, the face id data also gets deleted.
Even if you don’t use Face ID the true depth camera is active all the time, it looks for your face, it dime the light when you are not looking at it, or pause the video when you are not looking at it.
Other third party app developers can also use the face id for authentication purpose, but the face id data is not shared with the developers.
The true depth camera is safe to use under normal conditions, it has gone through international safety standards, the infrared rays will not cause any harm to eyes or skin, due to its very low output power.
Some cameras may be able to detect the infrared light though we may not see it directly and it is normal.
Users with physical limitations can also use the Face ID, the enrollment doesn’t require the full head range of motion it mostly depends on the way you look at your device at the time of registering your face.
Drawbacks of Face ID
The Face ID can be easily tricked by twins or children under 13 having the same statiscal features. May also be tricked with spoofing neural networks which approximates your face fretty accurately. Face ID cannot be used for authorisation of family purchases. And it definitely does not work in landscape mode as they have shown in the commercial.
Apple’s face id is the next big step in security and authentication. The whole Face ID concept is new, as of now a lot of manufacturers started using the face id as a new security measure to unlock your device, the future of Face ID seems bright.
How to mine bitcoins in India? Is bitcoin legal in India?
Bitcoin has gained a lot of popularity nowadays, everyone is talking about bitcoins.All this attention is especially because it’s price has gone through the roof! Though there are still a lot of people who are unaware of cryptocurrencies, and how they work.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and a payment system worldwide.It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central bank or single administrator.It was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.It is an open source software. This means, that no person, company or country owns this network just like no one owns the Internet.
The system is peer-to-peer, that is, users can transact directly without an intermediary like a bank, a credit card company.Transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called the blockchain.
What is Bitcoin mining?
Just like anyone can join the Internet, anyone can help to verify and record payments into the blockchain. This process is called mining.In mining, users offer their computing power.Miners are rewarded with newly created bitcoins and transaction fees.
Currently, miners receive 12.5 bitcoins every 10 minutes. This halves every 4 years. The next halving will happen in mid-2020.
How to mine Bitcoins in India?
Now the question is, how you can mine bitcoins in India? There are mainly two ways by which you can mine bitcoins-
1.MINING BY OWN HARDWARE
Bitcoin mining can be done by a personal computer, tweaked a bit especially for cryptocurrency mining.It requires basic software and some specialized hardware.
When mining began, regular PCs were fast enough to generate bitcoins. That’s the way the system was set up and it was easier to mine in the beginning.It becomes harder to mine as more bitcoins are generated. Over the last few years, miners have had to move on to faster hardware in order to keep generating new bitcoins.
It was found that graphics cards were more efficient in executing these tasks than the conventional CPU processors.So that multiple GPUs are assembled together are used to mine.
New faster hardware is being created by various mining start-ups at a rapid rate dedicated to mining only and with a price tag of full mining rig starting with approx $3000.
The software required to mine is very straightforward and easy to use and is open source, meaning free to download and run.
A miner needs a bitcoin wallet which is an encrypted online bank account. The problem is, as in most bitcoin scenarios is that, a lot of wallets are unregulated and are more prone to attacks.Late last year, hackers stole some $1.2 million worth of the currency from the site Inputs.io. When bitcoins are lost or stolen they are completely gone, just like cash. With no central bank backing your bitcoins, there is no possible way to reimburse your losses.
The second piece of software needed for Bitcoin mining is the mining software itself.One of the most popular software available is GUIMiner.When launched, you don’t need to do anything the program begins to mine on its own and it looks for the magic combination that will open that padlock to the block of transactions. The program keeps running and the faster and more powerful a miner’s PC is, the faster the miner will start generating bitcoins and start getting back their investment made for the hardware.
If you don’t want to buy all these expensive hardware and worry about setting it up and all, then cloud mining for you.It is gaining a lot of popularity nowadays as it is a great option for mining.
Some companies like Hashflare, Genesis and Bitconnect have set up so-called farms to collectively mine cryptocurrencies for individuals unable to assemble their own machines, for a fee.Individuals can now spend as low as $2 to start mining, and these companies assure fixed returns every month which makes it a great option.
Is Bitcoin legal in India?
Even as economies like Japan and Russia move to legalize the use of Bitcoins, India, despite being at the cusp of a digital revolution is yet to officially recognize the cryptocurrency.
As per now, we can say that Bitcoin is neither legal nor illegal in India.
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