Monthly Archives: July 2014

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The Pakistani hackers continue to target Indian Government and other websites.  ‘Pakistan Haxors Crew’ is to be one of the most active groups that targeting Indian websites.

On May 27,2014 , the hacker known as ‘H4$N4!N H4XOR’ from the group hacked into one of the popular Indian Government websites ; The main page of Taj Mahal website(www.tajmahal.gov.in) is now displaying the Pakistan’s flag.

The message posted on the defaced page reads follows:
“Whatever you fail to detect, will cause your downfall..Pakistan Haxors Crew is here to remind you of your Security.. Our fight is not against any individual but the system as whole”

It is not the only website defaced in the recent attack. The group also changed the contents of other popular government websites including Agra Fort official site(agrafort.gov.in) and Fatehpur Sikri site.

While other sites are modified to display the hacker’s content in the front page of the site, hackers have placed their defacement page in Fatehpur Sikrisite at “http://fatehpursikri.gov.in/r00t.html”

At the time of writing, all of the affected websites still display the contents modified by the hackers.

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A rumor that’s been floating around for a couple of months may have gelled this week. Though all the t’s aren’t yet crossed nor i’s dotted, it appears Google has inked a deal to acquire Twitch, a service that specializes in streaming live video gameplay and sports events. Twitch’s growth “does not look dissimilar to the growth YouTube was experiencing when Google bought it,” noted IHS’ Dan Cryan.

Google apparently is adding another prominent streaming video service to nestle alongside YouTube in its stable. It reportedly has acquired Twitch for around US$1 billion.

When the deal will be announced and the official purchase price are not yet clear, VentureBeat reported, though Twitch investors are said to be pleased with the return on their equity.

Twitch allows gamers to stream their gameplay and commentary to others. It was founded as a subsidiary of streaming video service Justin.tv in 2011, before spinning out as a separate service early in 2013.

Twitch has more than 50 million unique visitors per month, as interest in e-sports and consumers streaming their own content has swelled.

 

Big Money

E-sports events, many of which are streamed on Twitch, can draw millions of viewers while offering prize pools equivalent to major sporting events. They provide a vast opportunity for advertisers, which is one reason for Google’s apparent interest making the acquisition.

Twitch also hosts shows from gaming publications such as Joystiq, GameSpot and Destruction, while Twitch visitors watch more than 13 billion minutes of video per month.

Such is Twitch’s popularity that key gaming platforms such as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One — as well as Nvidia’s new game-focused Shield tablet — enable players to stream to Twitch seamlessly.

Twitch accounted for around 1.35 percent of Internet traffic in the first half of 2014, according to Sandvine, and is among the top 15 Internet applications in many regions of the world.

“Twitch has emerged as the leader of live video-game streaming video in the Western world,” said Dan Cryan, digital media research director at IHS.

“The growth that it has been experiencing has been considerable, to the point where it does not look dissimilar to the growth YouTube was experiencing when Google bought it,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

YouTube has a certain quantity of live video-game streaming, but it doesn’t have the same level of scale as Twitch,” Cryan said. “What they have bought is the market leader in a very rapidly growing segment.”

New Tools

A report first emerged in May that Google had made a $1 billion all-cash offer to Twitch, with YouTube leading the deal.

YouTube this month added new tools that seemed targeted toward attracting gamers to use it ahead of Twitch, namely support for video at 60 frames per second, a staple framerate for most modern games.

“This is a natural additional [service] to combine with YouTube because it adds more unique content that is more attuned to the Internet generation,” said Jim McGregor, principal at Tirias Research.

“It also creates a link to possibly a stronger foray into gaming. I don’t see a downside to such a deal for either company. It would appear to be a natural fit and one that expands Google’s presence in content,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Much like YouTube, Twitch has an advertising revenue-share model with partner streamers. While Twitch users can opt to pay to subscribe to their favorite streamers, it likely is in advertising where Twitch has the largest revenue-growth opportunity.

Addressing Imbalance

“The most obvious place for them to start dovetailing at the beginning is to start bringing Google’s considerable online video ad sales into the Twitch fold,” IHS’ Cryan suggested.

“Game video and e-sports video have been through a process where audiences have been marching ahead of advertising revenue. The existing advertising infrastructure that Google brings to bear stands to help address that imbalance fairly quickly,” he explained.

“Anybody who likes rising pageviews and deep user engagement metrics is going to like what Twitch has built,” said Lewis Ward, games research director at IDC.

“The ad potential is obvious — and some might say ominous — but I don’t think Google has much of a track record of coming and blanketing new users with obnoxious ads. I suspect not a lot will change in terms of pre-roll video and so forth in the near-term. Over time, though, it’s inevitable that Google will find more ways of monetizing this customer base,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

“Google/YouTube has been trying to get into live streaming over the Web, and so I think this is about more than just buying audience as well as a competitor. Google/YouTube is also getting a lot of talented workers who know how to do live video streaming over the Web right,” Ward added.

“Twitch is quite complementary to YouTube’s on-demand orientation,” he pointed out.

“Lastly, Twitch might have needed someone like Google/YouTube also, because I suspect the bandwidth cost of running all that video traffic is massive,” Ward continued.

“I have little insight into Twitch’s finances, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn they’d built up a huge audience and then realized they didn’t have a great way to monetize those eyeballs even as their fixed bandwidth costs were skyrocketing,” he mused. “Solving these issues is right in Google/YouTube’s wheelhouse.”

In the era of Government surveillance, ensuring the security and safety of our private communications regardless of platform – email, VOIP, message, even cookies stored – should be the top priority of the Internet industry. Some industry came together to offer Encryption as the protection against government surveillance, but some left security holes that may expose your personal data.
A critical issue on Instagram’s Android Application has been disclosed by a security researcher that could allow an attacker to hijack users’ account and successfully access private photos, delete victim’s photos, edit comments and also post new images.
Instagram, acquired by Facebook in April 2012 for approximately US$1 billion, is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, apply digital filters, and share them on a variety of social networking services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.
USING UNENCRYPTED HTTPS CONNECTION
Instagram’s Android Application communicates with its server over an unencrypted HTTP connection, which is susceptible to tampering by anyone in a position to intercept it, Mazin Ahmed, who discovered the vulnerability explained in a blog post.

I started using the app on my phone, and monitoring the traffic in the network using WireShark, looking for evidence for unencrypted data that goes through the network or a technique to make this data unencrypted (if it was encrypted),” said Mazin.

INSTAGRAM SESSION HIJACKING
He found that the unencrypted Instagram app communication also vulnerable to session hijacking flaw that can be done using a man-in-the-middle attack, common technique used by attackers to intercept wireless data traffic.
Reusing intercepted HTTP session cookies on another system/browser allows the attacker to hijack the session of the victim’s Instagram account.

As soon as I logged into my account on my phone, Wireshark has captured unencrypted data that goes through HTTP. This data includes: The pictures that the victims watching, The victim’s session cookies, the victim’s username and ID.

It is really surprising that the largest social networking giant Facebook ignored such a big issue in its most popular image and video sharing service and failed to take the maximum measure to insure the security of its users.
Instagram account hacking
Mazin, who believes the issue might be getting exploited by the intelligence agencies for the purpose of surveillance, reported the vulnerability to the Facebook on 24th July, but its security team replied: “Facebook accepts the risk of parts of Instagram communicating over HTTP not over HTTPS.
Facebook has decided to adopt complete HTTPS for its Instagram mobile application in near future but till now it is not clear that how much time it will take.

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Microsoft wants Windows users to have a unified experience, regardless of the device they’re using, and that means further consolidation of its operating systems. Microsoft is “a large percentage of the way” toward developing a single OS, said Directions on Microsoft analyst Wes Miller. Windows Phone, Windows RT and Windows 8.1, as well as Windows Server 2012 R2, all share code and the kernel.

Microsoft will unify and streamline all its operating systems into one, and emphasize mobility and the cloud, CEO Satya Nadella told analysts in a call Tuesday after the company announced its earnings.

In a nod to the growing bring-your-own-device trend, the company’s devices and applications also will merge life and work.

Microsoft will “consolidate overlapping efforts,” Nadella said. “This means one operating system that covers all screen sizes and consolidated dual use productivity services that cross life and work.”

The company “will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes.”

What Nadella Wants to Do

Multiple Microsoft applications will be on every home screen. “This is why we brought Office to the iPad,” Nadella said.

“I think the project to code the major Microsoft applications for Android is under way,” said Ezra Gottheil, principal analyst for the computing practice atTechnology Business Research.

“Why would you develop for iOS and not for Android?” Gottheil asked.

XMS versions of formats have “tamed, or at least rendered less awful” format compatibility issues, he told TechNewsWorld.

Thumbs Up for Nadella

“He’s saying the right things — breaking down the silos, focusing on the user, backing out of the dead end that was ‘devices,'” Gottheil remarked.

The emphasis on productivity instead of consumer and commercial, and the way “platform” comes to mean more than “operating system,” are plus points to Gottheil.

“Office, for instance, is a platform that runs on multiple operating systems,” he noted.

Nadella is “pointing — even leading — in the right direction,” Gottheil said. “From what I know of Microsoft people, I think they like the direction. But it remains to be seen whether they can change the institution to allow them to follow.”

Nadella still has to transform the culture, he cautioned.

To Our Children’s Children’s Children

This new strategy “anticipates the world of tomorrow,” Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, told TechNewsWorld.

“As we go forward, mobile platforms will gain more capability, and much more emphasis will be placed on the cloud,” he pointed out. “In the developed world, we’re moving to a model that’s more like a cable operator and less like the PC world of the 90s.”

With that focus, “it’s much more possible to create a single OS,” Enderle said. Most applications will run off the cloud, not the client, which will be a thin, light client. High-end applications may constitute a superset on the cloud that is accessed as a service — again, with a thin client.

“We’ll probably be there in 10 years. A lot can happen in 10 years, but we’ll get there,” Enderle predicted.

“It feels like this is the right direction, but we need to watch and see how Microsoft enterprise customers respond,” said Wes Miller, an analyst atDirections on Microsoft. Many of them are excited about the cloud, but “the significant security, privacy and compliance concerns are keeping many away for the time being.”

There’s another concern, which has to do with the efficiency, or lack thereof, of manipulating large files on the cloud.

“The cloud-based Excel is very helpful in letting you access your spreadsheets wherever you are, but I wouldn’t want to put one of our 10-MB monster models into the Excel Web application,” Gottheil said.

What Must Be Done

Microsoft is “a large percentage of the way” toward developing a single OS, Miller told TechNewsWorld. Windows Phone, Windows RT and Windows 8.1, as well as Windows Server 2012 R2, all share code and the kernel.

The biggest gaps across the Windows family are the presence of the legacy desktop on RT and its absence on Windows Phone; the lack of a version of Office that can run in Windows RT without requiring the legacy desktop; and an application model that is not 100 percent aligned across Windows platforms — “but that’s now much, much closer,” Miller remarked.

Microsoft “has long been working to get shared code running in their applications across platforms,” he pointed out, “beginning with Bing but moving into OneNote and beyond.”

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If your News Feed goes by in a blur because you don’t have enough time for all the items that interest you, Facebook now offers a solution: You can Save the link, video or audio clip for later. “The inability to save content or return to particular pieces of information or posts has been a deficiency in the user experience,” said tech analyst Greg Sterling.

Facebook this week launched a feature that allows users to save content from their News Feed that they might want to read or watch later.

Called “Save,” it is designed help users who may be inundated by links to articles, music clips and videos to separate the wheat from the chaff.

“Every day, people find all sorts of interesting items on Facebook that they don’t have time to explore right away,” Jessie Baker, a spokesperson for Facebook, told TechNewsWorld. “Now you can save items that you find on Facebook to check out later when you have more time.”

Users who see something intriguing — say, a link to an article, a new restaurant where a friend checked in, or a movie, TV or music clip — now can choose the Save option in a dropdown menu in the upper right-hand corner of a post.

Saved content is stored by category within a user’s Facebook account. Facebook might occasionally remind users that they’ve got items waiting to be read or viewed.

A user’s saved items will stay private unless they choose to share particular links with their friends.

Not the New Instapaper

Facebook’s Save feature appears to be similar to popular apps like Instapaper and Pocket, which allow busy social media users who want to quickly skim sites the chance to save more time-consuming content for later.

There are a few key differences that separate Facebook’s tool from those apps, though. For one, Instapaper lets users add links to save for later from across the Web — for instance, from a Twitter feed, or to an article a colleague mentioned in a meeting.

Save is accessible only via Facebook, which means the saved content can be viewed only when users have a Web connection. For many Instapaper and Pocket users, the beauty is that they’re able to access material when they have loads of time but no Internet connection — say on a subway or a plane.

More Facebook for Everyone

Still, it’s an important and much-needed update to the Facebook platform, as is any new feature that can create a more engaged user base, said Greg Sterling, founder of Sterling Market Intelligence.

“This is a potentially very significant feature for Facebook, making it more useful and potentially changing the way that people interact with content on Facebook,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“The inability to save content or return to particular pieces of information or posts has been a deficiency in the user experience which this addresses directly,” Sterling said.

It’s a feature that the company should continue to develop in order to draw more eyeballs and advertising dollars, said Internet marketing expert Brian Carter.

“This is smart,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Many times I want to go back to something but can’t find it. But they need more — better search that finds content you may have seen but not saved. Facebook’s News Feed algorithm disappears things you didn’t click on, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t stick in your mind.”

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