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Definitions: ‘What’s’ what in the Bug world

What is Malware?

Malware constitutes any software written for malicious reasons that infiltrates a computer without authorization and performs some nefarious function. Malware can come in many varieties and perform a myriad of functions. It is malware that is the centerpoint of the modern cybercrime landscape, for it is this carefully engineered software that performs attacks on an automated level among millions of compromised machines around the world. This is a level of influence that could once be only dreamed of in the early days of the internet. The public conception of computer crime centers around the understanding of a computer "virus." Although computer viruses have a very limited definition, it is common today to refer to all malware as viruses. A virus, in the traditional sense, is specifically a malicious program that copies itself into other programs and documents on the infected system. As we will see in the next section, network worms are far more devastating in the modern malware landscape. Below, we list some common malware types:

Trojans

A trojan (short for trojan horse) is a package disguised to appear as something useful or popular, but in fact it actually carries a malicious payload that the victim may never be aware of. In many instances, this can be a free screensaver or collection of artwork coming in through an email attachment, and the contents may well indeed be as advertised, however along with the 'legitimate' contents a well designed virus can lurk. Once executed, the malware has done its damage. What is unique about trojan horses is the mechanism that it uses to gain access to your machine. It requires your ignorance and authorization. Trojans cannot punch through your machines defenses without your direct action. As a consequence, trojans are not as devastating as their network-resident counterparts: Worms.

Worms

Worms on the other hand are malware variants that can propagate on their own. They contain builtin functionalities that exploit computer networks and file transfer mechanisms that allow them to self-copy and infect other machines. To gain entry into the target computers, worms need no human interaction. They penetrate and infect purely through vulnerabilties that are inherent to the system itself. Worms are most known to play havok on networks, as they rapidly consume bandwidth as they scan for new infection possibilities. The network congestion goes up exponentially as the worm has infected larger populations on the network.

Rootkits

A rootkit is a malicious bundle of software designed to modify the underlying operating system of an infected computer to hide other malicious programs from the user of the system. Hidden information can include the presence of suspicious files, executable names in process lists, network information, and other key statistics. It is the use of rootkits that allows malware to thwart detection from even the most trained eyes. Rootkits are typically bundled with other forms of malware. They are useless by themselves. There are rootkits designed for all platforms. Rootkit Revealer Can be used to detect rootkits on windows systems. We recommend it. For more information, take a look at this excellent article summarizing 6 popular utilities.

Spyware/Adware

A large fraction of the malware in the wild today is designed specifically for commercial use. Spyware and Adware, although not as much of a threat as conventional trojans and worms, still pose a significant challenge to maintaining privacy online. Spyware is any software that collects personal information about you and your actions. Certain applications can follow your trail of web visits and report them upstream. Marketers can use this information to better searve advertisements to you, or to benefit their own operations without concern for you. Adware on the other hand is a classification of malware that brings commercial advertising to your desktop, namely in the form of popup ads. These ads can be triggered by certain web visits, or can occur at random times. Some adware programs also hijack the browser and redirect web pages. Even more complicated packages can overlay advertisement information within the browser on top of third party search engines.

News Blog

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus: Australian Price

And Release Date

It’s bigger, but not the biggest phone Apple is planning on selling in the new line-up. The iPhone 6 is a 4.7-inch iPhone with 38 per cent more pixels on the screen compared to the iPhone 5s. It’s running the new Apple A8 processor, complete with the new M8 motion co-processor as well. From a straight spec comparison between chips, such as the Snapdragon 805 found in Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 4, the A8 may not seem like a big deal. The 805 is quad-core 2.7GHz SoC, but it’s important to remember that the A8 is a custom job, built and optimised specifically for Apple products and iOS, whereas Qualcomm creates stock chips for multiple smartphones. A pure spec sheet comparison doesn’t come close to telling the whole story. So what’s the price? Well, Apple will be selling the iPhone 6 in gold, silver and space grey. Prices start at $869 for the 16GB model, $999 for the 64GB model and $1129 for the 128GB model. That 128GB model is a first for Apple, and it sees the company eliminate the 32GB tier altogether. You’ll be able to buy it on Friday, 19 September in Australia, and you can pre-order it from Friday, 12 September.

Mega-Navigation Menus

All kinds of new fancy navigations have been tested and adopted in recent years. The mobile responsive web is a big piece to this, along with the HTML5/CSS3 specifications. I have noticed a small yet growing trend of mega navigation menus which expand to hold large blocks of content and links. These are most common on websites that publish lots of unique content in high volumes. Online magazines or web forums immediately come to mind. It does take up a bit of space on the page, but it also gives readers a broader choice to navigate your site. I stumbled onto a related article on Smashing Magazine talking all about navigation menus for mega-sites. The concepts are similar and the examples provided may be a good starting point for anyone interested in this trend.

FireChat: The internet-free messaging app

that's sweeping the world

We already have Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, Snapchat

etc, what makes FireChat different?

You can chat "off the grid", even if there is no internet connection or mobile phone coverage.

How is that possible?

Instead of relying on a central server, it is based on peer-to-peer “mesh networking” & connects to nearby phones using Bluetooth and WiFi, with connectivity increasing as more people use it in an area.
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