Ransomware attacks see huge year-on-year rise

Malware and ransomware are both on the rise according to new global figures from the security firm SonicWall.

The cybersecurity company detected a 44 per cent increase in the amount of malware infecting users’ machines between January and October of this year.

At the same time, Ransomware which is a type of malware that encrypts all of the data on a victim’s machine in exchange for a ransom paid in cryptocurrency, saw a 117 per cent jump during the same period.

Over 300,000 new attack variants were spotted by SonicWall so far in 2018 which breaks down to 1,095 new attacks each day. Surprisingly, 50,000 of these attack variants have never been seen before.

Ransomware is no longer limited to enterprises

SonicWall also revealed that its web apps experienced 108 per cent more attacks to reach a total of 93,816 threats this year when compared to 2017. Additionally, encrypted threats which are “the hardest for the average web user to detect’, were up by 62 per cent.

The firm also warned that businesses of all sizes should [...]  read more

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Only half of businesses are as secure as they should be

New research from Tanium has revealed that despite the fact that 99 per cent of UK business leaders say that making technology resilient to business disruptions such as cyber attacks should be an integral part of their firms wider business strategy, the reality is actually quite different.

Of the 1,000 UK business leaders surveyed for the Resilience Gap study, only half (54%) claim their organisation is as resilient as it needs to be with 20 per cent admitting they would not be able to calculate the indirect costs from lost revenue and productivity following a cyber attack.

Tanium’s study shed light on the fact that there are more barriers to achieving the resilience that UK businesses believe to be important. When it comes to the barriers holding them back, 38 per cent blame their organisation’s complexity while 21 per cent blame siloed business units.

Looking to their teams and tools, over a third (35%) said that hackers being more sophisticated than their IT teams poses a [...]  read more

The best free iPhone apps of 2018

You’ve got an iPhone, and have ventured into the melee of Apple’s App Store, which has well over a million apps.

Great news! Many of them are free. Not so great news! You’ve got to sift through them to work out the very best. Fortunately, that’s what we’re here for, listing them here.

Our selection’s sorted into handy categories, so whether you need a no-cost photo editor, translation app, sat-nav or anything else, you can just jump straight to the relevant category.

Click through to the following pages for each category, but first check out our free iPhone app of the week below, and make sure you give this page a cheeky bookmark so you can keep up with our latest free iPhone app pick every seven days.

Free iPhone app of the week: Enlight Pixaloop

Enlight Pixaloop enables you to animate your photos. This is achieved through you manually drawing ‘path’ arrows to define the direction of animation, [...]  read more

Get video processing software VideoProc free, exclusively for TechRadar readers

Digiarty Software is offering TechRadar readers the opportunity to download powerful video processing software VideoProc completely free, for PC or Mac.

With VideoProc, you can convert videos, audio files and DVDs to over 400 output formats. VideoProc uses full GPU acceleration, which enables it to process even 4K videos quickly, without compromising quality.

VideoProc doesn’t just convert files, either. You can use it to cut videos to remove unwanted sections and rearrange parts of footage, crop to eliminate black bars or zoom in on the action, add subtitles, apply special visual effects, rotate and flip clips, and merge several video fragments in different formats together into one MKV file.

It’s a particularly good choice for editing video recorded using action cams and drones, because it can stabilize and de-noise footage, remove fisheye distortion.

VideoProc is also capable of recording footage from your desktop or a webcam, and can download videos and playlists from over [...]  read more

How businesses can unlock smart city success

The relationship between businesses and smart cities is mutually reinforcing, opening doors to new possibilities only achievable under one harmonious environment. In being better connected to their surroundings, businesses – so often the service providers of smarter cities – will not only understand the landscape in which they operate in better, but also the people that inhabit them, offering more advanced technologies and solutions to citizens directly through a city’s infrastructure.

Collection and collaboration

The roots of success lie in the collaboration of data. Cities are collecting vast amounts of data every day, but it’s impossible to comb through all of it. That’s where businesses come in; each holding a piece of the big data puzzle.

The pervasiveness of connected devices and mobile networks in recent years has seen data’s footprint expand exponentially. With the likes of 5G networks being introduced as early as next year, this is only set to increase. And yet, while human and machine [...]  read more

Spotify officially available in MENA

Music fans rejoice – if you’re tired of listening to radio stations with overly-enthusiastic DJs and a million ad breaks, then you’ll be glad to know that Spotify has finally launched in the MENA region.

The launch is across thirteen countries in the region, including UAE, KSA, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Palestine. With the launch in MENA, Spotify’s global reach expands to 78 markets worldwide.

Spotify will support a full-localized Arabic interface and locally-curated playlists, offering over 40m songs in local and international music, as well as its discovery and music recommendation features.

“I am super excited to share with you that, from today, Spotify is now available across the Middle East and North Africa,” said Cecilia Qvist, Spotify’s Global Head of Markets. “Spotify is launching in MENA with a full Arabic service, dozens of locally-curated playlists for every mood and moment, and access to a full catalog [...]  read more

Spotify makes its official debut on the Apple Watch

Spotify has been testing a beta version of its music streaming app for the Apple Watch for a few months now, but today a public version makes its official debut. However, like the beta, the first version of the Spotify app is rather bare bones.

In its present form, it’s essentially a remote on your wrist to control playback on iPhones or on Spotify Connect devices from the Apple Watch screen. Users will be able to select playlists, shuffle and skip songs or podcast episodes, access recently played items and favorite tracks.  

When using the app on the Watch, the traditional ‘Now Playing’ screen will be replaced by Spotify’s own interface, giving easy access to controls, including the ability to move forward or back by 15 seconds on podcasts.

 [...]  read more

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is up for pre-order on PS4

After recent leaks all but confirmed that PUBG was coming to PS4 in December, Sony has officiated the news with a firm launch date and the availability of pre-orders.

On the official PlayStation site, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is currently up for pre-order in three different editions, all with a release date of December 7, 2018.

PlayStation players will be diving into a more well-rounded and full-featured game when compared to the earlier PC and Xbox launches, with the PS4 edition shipping with all major updates and patches thus far. 

It will also feature all three currently available maps – Erangel, Miramar, and Sanhok – with the winter-themed Vikendi to arrive shortly after launch.

The base game is called the Looter’s Edition, seemingly because you’ll have to start from scratch with your in-game wallet empty of both G-Coins and BP, the game’s two native currencies used to purchase skins and other items.

Or, you could spend considerably more and grab the Survivor’s [...]  read more

Google adds a VPN and enhanced network features to Project Fi

In an effort to further improve the browsing experience of its Project Fi customers, Google is introducing its new enhanced network feature which allows devices to switch between Wi-Fi and mobile networks faster as well as its new optional always-on VPN service.

Fi already uses a VPN service by default to protect users when they’re connected to any of the almost two million supported Wi-Fi hotspots. Now Google is extended this feature to cellular connections to further protect its users privacy.

In a blog post announcing the new feature, Google explained how its VPN will even prevent it from seeing what its users do online, saying:

When you enable our enhanced network, all of your mobile and Wi-Fi traffic will be encrypted and securely sent through our virtual private network (VPN) on every network you connect to, so you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that others can’t see your online activity. That includes Google—our VPN is designed so that your traffic isn’t tied [...]  read more

SteelSeries Siberia 350: Should I buy these gaming headphones

SteelSeries made a name for itself in gaming audio with its its Siberia headphones, and the Siberia 350 was one of the more premium models. Now, the company has moved onto the Arctis line of headphones, with a new design. 

What does that mean for the Siberia headphones? It means they got cheaper and will almost definitely see even better discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The Siberia 350 gaming headset is now priced at $89 (about £68), putting it in the realm of more affordable gaming headsets. Don’t think its age and lower price makes this a shabby headset though, as there’s plenty to love. The Siberia 350’s specs and features makes more than a match for recent wired gaming headsets.

What you get

The headset itself features large ear cups with memory foam padding for a comfortable over-ear fit. Inside are large 50mm neodymium drivers offering a powerful sound experience. The frequency response is a bit more limited than some premium headphones, but 20Hz-28kHz should satisfy [...]  read more