Be on the alert – Ransomware attacks around the globe

On Friday May 12, the world faced a massive coordinated ransomware attack, also known as ‘WannaCry’ and ‘Wanna Cryptor’. Specific malware is transferred via email to Microsoft users, resulting in Windows computers being blocked with all the contents encrypted. Victims are demanded to pay hundreds of dollars to get back access to their files. So far, around 100 countries have been exposed to the cyberattack, including such institutions as FedEx, Russian Interior Ministry, numerous UK hospitals, China schools, etc. hit. According to online security researchers, many people have already given in to pay between $300-600 in bitcoins to the hackers each.

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Australian Metadata Retention Law: #timeforVPN

About two years ago, Parliament of Australia passed a metadata retention law as one of the attempts to fight against terrorism. According to it, Internet Service Providers and telecommunication companies have to log online activities of their users. What does this mean for Australians? Well, the answer might not be as pleasing as one could expect.

Since April 13, 2017, this law has come into effect allowing ISPs and telcos to collect users’ metadata and store it for two years; making it possible for law enforcement and intelligent agencies to have the access to it.

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VPN vs Proxy: which service meets your needs?

Yet being two different services, VPNs and proxies have many things in common. They both aim to protect the identity of users and provide anonymity. They can hide your online identity and your geo-location and let you surf anonymously. However these two tools aren’t actually the same.

First things first. Let’s have a look at what a proxy is, and how it is different from a Virtual Private Network. Since many users might even confuse these two different services.

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How to survive without Google in the era of excessive crime

Several weeks ago, the US police department in Minnesota was granted a unique warrant to collect and proceed Google search data related to ALL users from the city of Edina. Previously, similar warrants were provided to perform certain records’ search connected to a particular person in case of a seriously grounded investigation. Being so broad and powerful, the new warrant implies full freedom to penetrate into innocent people’s private lives through their Google search activity. Meanwhile, the Internet privacy experts suggest connecting via VPNs and/or using alternative search engines that keep your personal data relatively safe.

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Online privacy rules irreversibly repealed by Trump – VPN sales rise

Last week, the US Senate introduced a resolution that implies an overturn of the Internet privacy rules previously accepted by Obama cabinet. Later on, the law statement was passed to the House of Representatives, where the regulations eventually got supported with a 215-205 win. On Monday, March 3 2017, President Trump signed a historically notable bill allowing the American Internet service providers to monitor and sell users’ online activity data to the third parties. Within the last days, there has been an unprecedented number of search requests related to VPN services: people do care about privacy and desperately skim reviews of the top VPN providers like the one, where we compare the best offers in detail.

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iCloud hacking incident: a new security threat

On Tuesday, March, 21st, a new hacker group – Turkish Crime Family – has started to blackmail Apple. These cybercriminals claim that they have hacked iCloud storage service and now have control over 100+ millions of user accounts. And they want a ransom. They demand $75,000 in cryptocurrency (either Ethereum or Bitcoin). There is an alternative option: they would also accept $100,000 in iTunes gіft cards. Later Turkish Crime Family posted on Twitter that in fact the sum of $75,000 was mentioned by mistake by one of their former group member, and they are actually asking for even more.

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Mind the gap: watch out for VPN leaks

You can only be sure about your online privacy 24/7 when the VPN is properly configured. Otherwise, there is no guarantee your IP-address is actually hidden: at some point, advertisers may get access to your browsing data, or you are repeatedly denied to access a location-specific website despite connecting via the VPN. Both situations are true signs of the security breach associated with a VPN leak.

How VPN gaps arise

The first significant trigger of security leaks is a web browser, or, to be more precise, Web Real Time Communication protocol (WebRTC) built in such popular browsers as Chrome, Opera, Mozilla Firefox.  The protocol ensures end-to-end communication performed via browser clients placed in different networks in the form of file sharing, voice and video calls etc. Unfortunately, WebRTC technology is prone to hacking even when the VPN is on.

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Communications encrypted: 5 messengers to protect your privacy

No matter how ridiculous it may sound, but we are being spied on every time we go online or send a short message on a mobile phone. Numerous shocking revelations like those by Edward Snowden in 2013 and the latest WikiLeaks report on our gadgets’ vulnerability, recently introduced surveillance measures like the monitoring program in the UK prove the despair we actually find ourselves at, added by concealed supervision that government agencies execute with a view to provide our national security. The only way to hold privacy to some extend deals with encrypting the data sent and received via any gadget.

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Bored? Set up your own VPN server!

For real geeks this would be no problem at all: surely, they know how to avoid paying extra for VPN services and, on top of that, stay ‘independently secure’. But what do you get in return? In fact, it is worth evaluating all pros and cons of having a private home VPN server before actually configuring one.

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The US Senate ultimately blocks online privacy

On March 24, the Republican senators voted 50 against 48 to allow the American Internet service providers share or sell users’ sensitive data to the third parties without any customer consent.  Such a move is likely to grow into a real historical privacy setback and make ISPs actual “invaders of subscriber privacy”. The rules, accepted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in October 2016 and defending the basic rights of digital citizens, will get completely eliminated only when the House of Representatives approves the resolution made by the US Senate, which is almost a done deal given the number of Republican representatives in the House. For now, the Internet privacy advocates strongly recommend connecting via non-free VPNs able to keep your traffic relatively safe from suspicious monitoring: luckily, we have detailed reviews of VPN service providers to help you make the right choice.

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