BTC Mining Servers Gone Missing

Bitcoin mining is not just a passing trend. It is probably the future. It’s true it has been around for quite some time but only in recent years has its popularity exponentially exploded. Suddenly, a large number of people are interested in alternative currencies or digital currencies like Bitcoins. One bitcoin can cost around $8,000-$10,000 today. It is really a luxurious investment if you had the foresight to invest in it early on. However, there is more to bitcoin mining than it being a lucrative means to earn a big amount of money fast. Mining bitcoins require a lot of computing power and strong computers to do the job 24/7. It is especially draining to any device, which is supercomputers are often used or computers with extensive servers because they are constantly required to solve endless mathematical questions to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Hence, the rise of malware attacks that either cripple devices and systems in exchange of payments in the form of bitcoins or the introduction of malwares into various devices in order to tap these devices for power and mine bitcoins without the owner realizing what is going on. Once the owner realizes what is happening, they won’t hesitate in going after services like https://www.harddriverecovery.org/clean_room.html to get their lost data back and also get their computer fixed. This has been going on for quite some time but perhaps the demand for bitcoins and other alternative currencies still can’t be satisfied as recently hundreds of servers used to mine Bitcoin were stolen in Iceland. It is interesting to note that these servers that are already used to mine bitcoins will likely be used for the same reasons too by the thieves.

About 600 computer servers used to mine bitcoin were stolen in Iceland in a series of large-scale robberies in December and January, according to police.

The servers were taken from data centres in Reykjanesbær, near Reykjavik airport, and Borgarnes on Iceland’s west coast.

About 10 people have been brought in for questioning, and two Icelanders in their 20s and 30s are being held on suspicion of involvement in the thefts, a police spokesman for south-west Iceland told AFP on Wednesday.

He suggested the thefts could be linked to organised crime, saying: “Everything points in that direction.”

(Via: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/07/hundreds-of-bitcoin-mining-servers-stolen-in-iceland)

We are talking about servers here not just one computer. It takes a lot of planning in order to pull off this heist since servers are usually bulky and difficult to transport around. Moreover, we are dealing with servers that are already used in mining bitcoins. What are the odds for an ordinary thief to steal these serves if they do not already have prior knowledge about these things? It is one thing to get a server infected because you can easily just have it fixed with https://www.harddriverecovery.org/server-recovery/ but losing the actual device is also one thing.

The stolen equipment is believed by police to be a part of organised crime.

A spokesman said: “Everything points in that direction.”

About 10 people have been brought in for questioning over the missing servers and two Icelanders in their 20s and 30s have been arrested.

Police are now contacting internet service providers as well as electricians and storage units to ask them to contact the police is they experience a sudden spike in energy usage.

Since Bitcoin was first mined in 2009, the virtual money has seen its value surge and it reached an all time high of more than $17,000 (£12,000) in December 2017.

(Via: https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/928742/bitcoin-latest-news-cryptocurrency-mining-computers-stolen-iceland)

To say that these servers are expensive pieces of equipment is also an understatement because you do not just use ordinary computers and servers in running a bitcoin mining business. And since it is common knowledge that bitcoins can be mined more easily when the servers are placed in cooler places like Iceland, most bitcoin miners have properly relocated to such countries to take advantage of the cool weather that supports optimal bitcoin mining, so everyone’s happy. Iceland, for instance, is the number one choice for alt miners and you can find countless data centers and blockchain technologies located there. People are perhaps taking advantage of the situation while bitcoin is still hot and profitable because this is a volatile currency whose value can suddenly plummet without warning.

BTC Mining Servers Gone Missing is available on http://www.harddriverecovery.org

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/btc-mining-servers-gone-missing/

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Mac Users Are No Longer Safe

Not everyone can afford a Mac computer. It is a status symbol that speaks of wealth, class, and affluence. More often than not, only people from the higher echelons of society uses Mac computers since the very first time Apple released their own set of computers. And for the longest time, Mac users have felt secured thinking that their device is almost virtually safe from hackers and other virtual attacks that most Window users have to deal with far often than they want it to be. But it is proving to be such a big lie today as we continue to see one malware attack to the other directed at Apple computers. The premise here is this, hackers saw how big of a market the Windows PCs are and exploited it to their heart’s content. It was easy money for them and they can also target more victims at once.

However, they haven’t forgotten about Macs. It’s just that the Windows market is bigger, more vulnerable, and easier to access. Macs aren’t immune to outside attacks and we are seeing it now. It has actually been going on for years although not as widespread as malwares directed at Windows computers. And now, the statistics have spoken. Cybercriminals are releasing more malwares that target Mac PCs. These attacks won’t just damage the hardware your Mac is built of but even endanger privately stored data into leaking and get in the hands of the wrong people. When such a thing happens, you better come prepared by knowing the basics about data recovery and related services such as https://www.harddriverecovery.org/mac-data-recovery/.

Apple used to boast that its Mac computers were a virus-free utopia, but that was before hackers and criminals decided to focus their efforts on the operating system. Now, your Mac is just as vulnerable to viruses as any Windows PC, and a new report reveals that hackers can get access to your computer through an entryway that you might think would be better protected: the Mac App Store.

According to software developer and privacy expert Felix Krause, third-party apps can spy on everything you’re doing on your Mac, even if they’re running in the background. 

(Via: https://lifehacker.com/how-mac-apps-can-spy-on-your-computer-1822928525)

It is inevitable for you to lose important files or even be unable to access your own computer like in the case of a ransomware attack where your device is encrypted and the hacker gains remote access to your device locking you out. It is no longer just simple phishing or the likes. Last year alone hundred thousands of devices were affected by ransomware even that belonging to hospitals and other public institutions causing global panic and hysteria. These attacks have grown alongside the growth in Mac users as well as if knowing by instinct that they have more people to victimize. We now face the harsh truth that using a Mac isn’t an assurance that you will be safe from such attacks.

Malwarebytes has released figures that show that in the year 2017 alone, Mac threats increased more than 270 per cent, while malware targeting Mac operating systems more than doubled from 2016 to 2017.

In a supporting blogpost, the company highlighted four case studies from 2018 that demonstrated a ‘similar pace of malware development’. The first, OSX.MaMi, changes DNS settings on infected Mac computers, and also installs a new trusted root certificate in the keychain. “By redirecting the computer’s DNS lookups to a malicious server, the hackers behind this malware could direct traffic to legitimate sites, such as bank sites, Amazon, and Apple’s iCloud/Apple ID services, to malicious phishing sites. The addition of a new certificate could be used to perform a “man-in-the-middle” attack, making these phishing sites appear to be legitimate”, said the researchers.

(Via: https://www.scmagazineuk.com/mac-malware-rockets-270-percent–users-warned-safe-perception-is-wrong/article/750725/)

There is even such a thing as a developer featuring taking advantage of a Mac app being able to take screenshots of your PC without you knowing. It works quietly in the background and you are essentially clueless that your safety has already been sacrificed. Through this, cybercriminals can steal your most precious data and either steal from you or worse, take on your identity. This is just one of the many cybersecurity issues Mac PC users now faces. Apple should take this cue and beef up their security measures to counter these attacks or scare away their loyal Mac fanbase from continuously using their devices.

However, understand that these things happen on a wider scale, so don’t just go and complain to Apple if you happen to fall victim to a Mac malware attack. Even big servers are targeted too and they have to face the music and work on getting their data back with services like this: https://www.harddriverecovery.org/raid-data-recovery.html. Everyone is at risk. That’s the bottom line, so take extra precautions in protecting your device and security when using your Mac computer, for instance. That’s the least you can do if you don’t want to go through all the costly and time-consuming hassles of getting your device fixed and salvaging your lost data back.

Mac Users Are No Longer Safe is courtesy of http://www.harddriverecovery.org

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/mac-users-are-no-longer-safe/

Recent Exploits Show Servers At Risk

Technology has truly transformed our lives. A big majority of us are now too obsessed with technology that it practically runs our lives. We are too invested in our gadgets and spend hours on end tinkering with it. While they can save us from boredom at times, they also prevent us from being productive especially if we can’t help ourselves but indulge on our whims of getting updated on all the latest things happening on the web. We like to think that these devices make life easy and convenient for us, which is actually the case more often than not. Unfortunately, it can also be a major bummer and headache if you encounter tech problems especially that not all of us are that tech-savvy and know how to fix these problems when they come.

Nowadays, the tech issues we face no longer just revolve around physical damage to our devices. We usually now face issues that pertain to our activities on the web, meaning we connect to the Internet when doing it. Since a lot of people now go to the web in pursuit of various activities, cybercriminals saw an opportunity arise from this increase in tech demand. They use malware and other bugs to infect our gadgets and steal our data or a times hold it hostage. What’s even more depressing is that they found a decades-old PC vulnerability that they can conveniently use to remotely access our devices and also steal sensitive information stored in our PCs without us knowing.

The exploits, the result of long-standing design flaws in chipsets, could allow malicious actors to access or steal sensitive data from devices or servers. However, as The Wall Street Journalnotes, to take advantage of the vulnerabilities, hackers must run software on the CPUs of the devices they are targeting.

The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a cybersecurity response center inside the Department of Homeland Security, said late Wednesday that it was aware of the two vulnerabilities. It encouraged users and system administrators to contact their software vendors for ways to patch them. CERT said it is not aware of any “active exploitation” of the bugs.

(Via: https://biztechmagazine.com/article/2018/01/how-respond-meltdown-and-spectre-exploits)

It is a rather difficult problem to overcome as the problem lies in the very design of the processor that runs all modern computers. Unless the processor design is changed, all computers and servers right now will remain vulnerable to phishing, malware attacks and what not. All computer users are at risk to this PC vulnerability even that of big computer servers used by big companies and even the ones that power the cloud. Spectre affects all PCs while Meltdown poses an urgent threat and no fix has been developed for Spectre just yet, which is really sad because roughly 90% of PCs used by individuals and businesses all run on Intel chips that are affected by this bug.

Researchers have discovered two major security flaws in microprocessors that affect virtually every modern computer, including mobile devices, personal computers, and servers running in cloud computer networks. The first, dubbed Meltdown, affects every CPU made by Intel since 1995. According to the NY Times, Intel processors are used in more than 90 per cent of the computer servers that underpin the internet and private business operations. To fix Meltdown, Microsoft, Apple, and the community that oversees the open-source Linux are working to push out updates that would fix the problem, but reports indicate that could slow the performance of computers by up to 30 per cent. The second flaw, called Spectre, is a flaw in the design that has been used by processor manufacturers for decades, meaning it affects CPUs created from Intel, AMD, and ARM designs – which is to say virtually all of them. According to researchers who discovered the flaw, Meltdown is an urgent crisis while Spectre affects virtually every processor. Currently there is no fix for Spectre, and we may not see one until a new generation of processors is released with a re-design. As for personal computers used by consumers, hackers would still have to first find a way onto your device, so we must maintain constant vigilance when downloading software in an email or app store, or when visiting an infected website.

(Via: https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/hashtag-trending-cpu-bugs-affect-virtually-every-computer-samsung-reveals-chip-behind-the-upcoming-s9-airport-and-hotel-robots/400403)

Tech companies are now scrambling to make a patch for these vulnerabilities to somehow lessen the extent of the damage especially that the glitch is embedded on the computer processor itself and not just a software or an application that we can live without. For now, the best counter-measure for this issue is to ensure your device’s software is always updated and that you refrain from accessing suspicious sites or opening dubious emails to prevent introducing the malware into your system. We’ll just have to wait for the time when computer makers have made a new chip design that will power the computers of the future.

And since we are still in the midst of this computing crisis, better educate yourself on how you can overcome possible data loss problems in the unfortunate instance you find yourself a victim of either Spectre or Meltdown. https://www.harddriverecovery.org/raidcenter/dell_poweredge_data_recovery.html and https://www.harddriverecovery.org/raidcenter/hp-proliant-data-recovery.html can come to your rescue when this happens. At least you can be sure you are not paying more than you should be and still get quality service in return.

Recent Exploits Show Servers At Risk was originally published to HDRG

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/recent-exploits/

Is Our Smartphone Addiction Spiraling Out Of Control?

It is safe to say that roughly 70-75% of the world’s population is hooked on smartphones nowadays. It’s the first thing you check before sleeping and the first thing you look for upon arising. Every single waking moment, you constantly check on it and spend idle hours fidgeting with your device and the many apps you got stored there. The mere existence of smartphones has virtually erased the word “boredom” in our dictionary because you won’t run out of things to do with it and you don’t even have to go out of the house or be somewhere to have a good time. Adults nowadays can’t live with it but more so with kids that grew up with these devices littered in their homes. Even a young toddler can navigate a smartphone much better than an adult who is still learning to use one.

As entertaining and as useful it may be, excessive smartphone use has its drawbacks and it all boils down to addiction. And what’s even more disturbing is that even young kids have embraced this addiction that parents and other older adults are starting to get really worried for their health and well-being if this obsession with smart gadgets continues. Even Apple’s investors are speaking up on this issue and urging the company to take measures on how to curb excessive smartphone use among the youth because it has a big impact to their health and normal growth and development.

“As one of the most innovative companies in the history of technology,” the investors write, “Apple can play a defining role in signaling to the industry that paying special attention to the health and development of the next generation is both good business and the right thing to do.”

Research into smartphone addiction is still in its infancy. Studies tend to be retrospective, anecdotal, qualitative, or reliant on self-reported data. (The investors, in their letter, cite “common sense” as well as peer-reviewed journal articles.) Part of the problem is that psychologists haven’t agreed upon what qualifies as smartphone addiction—or even that it’s a disorder at all.

(Via: https://psmag.com/news/smartphones-present-a-siri-ous-problem)

There are lots of studies not being done to determine the extent of smartphone addiction among kids and its detrimental effects to their health and well-being and it is raising awareness to the community at large as to why kids should not be overexposed to these tech advances. Because of tech use, kids are exposed to harmful blue light. They also stay up late at night as they become oblivious to the time while browsing through their social media newsfeed or playing a game they like. They also go through certain emotional and psychological issues in their use of SNS and cyberbullying is also increasingly being reported today.

The average American teenager who uses a smart phone receives her first phone at age 10 and spends over 4.5 hours a day on it (excluding texting and talking). 78% of teens check their phones at least hourly and 50% report feeling “addicted” to their phones. It would defy common sense to argue that this level of usage, by children whose brains are still developing, is not having at least some impact, or that the maker of such a powerful product has no role to play in helping parents to ensure it is being used optimally. 

Noting that Apple’s existing parental controls are limited and third-party software is confusing, Jana and CalSTRS want the company to design better, intuitive ways for parents to protect children. To get there, the investors recommend that the company form an expert committee, preferably including the popular Twenge, and partner with academics “to assist additional research efforts.”

(Via: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-01-09/smartphone-addiction-is-a-problem-apple-won-t-solve)

People are speaking out about this now seeing that for instance, Apple’s existing parental control is not enough to prevent children from getting too immersed and obsessed with their smart devices. They are urging the company to conduct more research studies that will delve deeper into the problem and hopefully find answers and solutions to this problem. Kids should not rely too much on gadgets in doing things for them or spend all their time fidgeting with it because their growing mind and body need to experience life as it is so they grow up well-balanced and ready to take on the world because of their practical understanding of how the world works.

Kids that are well-rounded will be able to tackle future adult issues much better than the ones who appear pretty clueless on a lot of things because they were too absorbed in their virtual world and missed out on the chance to do things on their own and learn from their mistakes and experiences. Eventually, they will experience their fair share of the problems later on such as data loss and data recovery, which are mundane issues we face on a daily basis. By then, it’s fine for them to know about https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/hard-drive-failure-recovery-three-major-user-mistakes/ and https://www.harddriverecovery.org/clean_room.html because it can save them from mental and financial headaches but more so because it is finally their business to worry about their things and not yet now when they’re supposed to be growing up and discovering the world.

Is Our Smartphone Addiction Spiraling Out Of Control? Find more on: Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/is-our-smartphone-addiction-spiraling-out-of-control/

Recovering Data From Your Android or iOS Device

Data reigns supreme today, at a time when almost everything has gone digital. Whether in your private life or in business or institutions the world over, you use data in your day-to-day and it is inevitable for you to encounter some problem with it over time. The more data you store on your device, the bigger the headache you’ll get once you experience problems with it, which is happening far more common now than it did in the past. Back then, you would only experience data loss issues when your device itself broke down or something but now    and either delete or steal your data and at times you’re no longer able to access your device as in cases of ransomware attacks.

However, even the simplest of mishaps and shortcomings on your part can lead to accidental data loss. Losing data is hard especially if you have not secured any backup files. These data can either be images, videos, documents, etc. that may no longer be replaced in case of accidental deletion. Imagine looking for that data and realize shortly that it’s gone but you need it soon for a report or presentation. That is really scary. But should data recovery be expensive? It’s costly if you don’t know any better and don’t do your research. In reality, there are various ways how to recover data especially the ones stored on your smartphones.

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For Android devices you can download a third party app from the PlayStore to recover your deleted photos and videos. Apps like DiskDigger and Deleted Photo Recovery are simplest ones to use. Once you’ve deleted something you can use the app to scan the device for recently deleted files.

For ios users however, things get even simpler. The new latest ios will create a Recently Deleted in Photos app and the deleted items will remain in the folder for 30 days. So even if you delete something in a hurry, you can always restore it from that folder. But if you’ve deleted something permanently you will have to use your iCloud or iTunes to restore the lost data.

(Via: https://www.gadgetsnow.com/how-to/how-to-recover-your-lost-data-from-ios/android-device/articleshow/62489243.cms)

Whether you are an Apple or Android user, you don’t necessarily have to say goodbye to lost data for good if there are ways for you to retrieve it. There are apps you can use to retrieve data for Android users. Meanwhile, iOS users can conveniently check their recently deleted folder for photos and videos that were deleted from their gallery. Deleted items can stay there for 30 days before it is deleted for good. There’s also the iCloud that serves as a backup for your files.

If your smartphone has not suffered physical or complex logical damage, you can try to solve the problem yourself, however this comes with its own risks. To read out the internal memory of an Android-based smartphone, there are some software solutions on the market which transfers the stored data mostly via USB cable to the user´s computer.

The validity of this method will depend on whether the device is recognised as a removable hard disk on your computer. In some cases it may not be, especially if data on the internal memory has been erased due to a crash or an installation abort.

If it is recognised as a removable disk or storage medium, there are some software solutions on the market that can recover the deleted data, as long as you have not waited too long and they have not been overwritten in the meantime by the operating system. In a nutshell, the longer you use the phone post-data loss the more data the device will write and the lower the chances of a recovery will be.

(Via: https://www.krollontrack.co.uk/blog/pieces-of-interest/lost-data-on-your-phone-heres-what-to-do-next/)

Don’t despair yet the next time you end up looking for a non-existent photo or data anymore on your phone. Just remember that there are options to retrieve them if you just know what they are. Depending on your device, start the recovery process as soon as you can to ensure that you can still get them back. You may even encounter some glitches on your phone soon after updating your device’s operating system and lose data in the process but rest assured you can get them back even though at times you may need the assistance of a professional in doing so.

Regardless of your computer’s brand or model, any physical damage that has resulted in data loss should be brought to an expert for data recovery services. Fortunately, it is not as pricey as data recovery in computers. If your problem is not with your phone but with your PC and is looking into ways to save money for repair but still get your problem fixed, https://www.harddriverecovery.org/pricing.html will give you an idea how much these services should be so you are not ripped off of your hard-earned money. Those with servers can find this https://www.harddriverecovery.org/raid-pricing.html helpful too and feel confident that the data stored in these servers are safe despite the widespread threat of cybercriminal activities that steals your data and leaves your device rather useless after.

The following blog article Recovering Data From Your Android or iOS Device was originally seen on HDRG

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/recovering-data-from-your-android-or-ios-device/

Apple Defenses Against Modern PC Vulnerabilities

If you are a computer user, it helps to be aware of the most common OS vulnerabilities that may likewise affect your device like every other computer in the world today. Spectre and Meltdown are two of the most talked about vulnerability now even if they have been around for decades. It’s embedded to the PC’s processors itself and there is little we can do about it unless we change the way processors are designed in the future. Not even Apple’s mighty defenses can overcome these much-talked-about vulnerabilities these days. Back then, it was not really that big of a deal since the issue with the processor does not have any drastic implication to computer users but things have significantly changed with the advent of the Internet of Things.

For two decades we simply ignored these vulnerabilities but hackers saw potential in it and it’s the reason why we are even talking about it now. Speculative Execution is a feature that your PC’s CPU is capable of doing even in the background. It boosts your computer’s performance and allows it to multitask, a capability that comes in handy these days. Now, Spectre and Meltdown have taken advantage of this property by accessing sensitive information in your PC’s memory it should not have access to through the delay in the rollback of speculative execution. All devices are affected and Apple is doing its best to reduce the damage to its iOS users.

Apple released a statement on their website confirming that all of their devices were affected by the two flaws but that no actual incidents had yet been reported.

The company also said many of these processor security issues require a “malicious app to be loaded” onto the device before a hacker can take advantage of them. Apple recommends their customers download software from “only from trusted sources” such as the iOS and Mac App Stores to keep their data safe.

The latest Apple updates – tvOS 11.2 released on 4th December, iOS 11.2 released on 13th December, and macOS 10.13.2 released on 6thDecember – have been designed to protect supported devices against Meltdown.

These updates are available for all supported iPhone, iPad, Mac computers and Apple TV devices. Apple also confirmed that WatchOS did not need updating to defend against the Meltdown flaw.

(Via: https://www.cashlady.com/news/meltdown-spectre-affect-mac-ios/)

The best counter-measure against these vulnerabilities are ensuring your devices are equipped with new updates. At the rate malware is being spread by cyber criminals, it is easy to fall prey if you don’t safeguard yourself by simply updating your devices. This is all that we can do for now – to make do with patches from updates since the problem exists at the processor level, essentially your computer’s brain. Come to think about it, all PCs and modern computing devices today use AMD, ARM, and Intel chips that are all affected by both Spectre and Meltdown.

Apple revealed that it had already released ‘mitigations’ for Meltdown in iOS 11.2, so make sure you keep an eye out for any new updates made available for iOS on your iPhone or iPad and go into ‘Settings’ to check what version of iOS you are running.

Ensure your Mac is up to date by hitting the apple in the top left of your menu, selecting About This Mac, and checking if your version number reads macOS 10.13.2 or greater. Apple says the patches don’t measurably affect performance, and it’ll continue to develop more mitigations for future updates.

Don’t jailbreak your iPhones. Those who jailbreak their devices are potentially more vulnerable to malware, particularly when vulnerabilities exist at a processor level.

(Via: https://www.mensxp.com/technology/how-tos/41790-how-to-protect-your-mac-and-ios-devices-from-spectre-and-meltdown-flaws.html)

So, whether you are using an iPhone or a Mac device, you remain at risk of these vulnerabilities but you somehow reduce this risk through software updates. Also, refrain from jailbreaking your phone because you increase the likelihood of getting your device infected and your data stolen by these crooks. If there is one good news Apple users should rejoice for is the fact that despite the widespread reports of other devices getting infected by these vulnerabilities, none were reported so far among Apple users. Apple already released patches for Meltdown on their recent update but is still working on one for Spectre.

While we are waiting for these fixes, always be careful and avoid opening dubious emails or make sure you only download apps from the App Store. Simple things like these can go a long way in safeguarding your device from malware. If you are not careful enough, you may find yourself worrying about https://www.harddriverecovery.org/mac-data-recovery/ after losing your data to hackers. Meanwhile, bigger companies with servers may also have to deal with https://www.harddriverecovery.org/raid-data-recovery.html knowing that processors are the ones affected here and no fix can ever address this issue for real unless the processor’s design is changed for good.

Apple Defenses Against Modern PC Vulnerabilities See more on: The Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/apple-defenses-against-modern-pc-vulnerabilities/

Should You Be Worried Of Meltdown And Spectre?

Computers are a crucial part of life now. A big part of society is highly dependent on these machines to do things for us and make things happen 24/7. It is hard to imagine how it is like to go back to our more primitive life a few decades back when computers were only used by a few industries and not many people are adept in using it in their day like today. Today, most homes have their own computers. They are just crucial to living normally in our modern world when the Internet of Things is so widespread throughout the globe it is but common sense to own a computer for your ease and convenience. However, life is not always a breeze for us tech users, especially once our gadget breaks down. First off, they’re often expensive and a repair isn’t always a guarantee for a fix. Second, you may lose a lot of your precious files or have them stolen by cyber crooks that frequent the web nowadays.

There are always bugs and problems that we should be wary of especially if we use the computer and navigate the web on a daily basis. But you need to be aware of other potential issues that you may experience soon and it is once again bad news for you. The Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities can leave everyone potential victims to hackers and not a single computer in the globe is safe from it as it is essentially connected to your computer’s processor and not just to the OS, for instance. Even tech giants like Google and Amazon are not safe and can fall prey to hackers through Spectre and Meltdown.

At the core of the problem is the manner in which computers are designed these days with the end goal of being as fast to perform a task as it possibly can. As they were reaching the limits of processor hardware enhancements, processor companies became cleverer and tried looking for ways which would help shave off time taken to give an output.

To this end, processors were designed to anticipate and do calculations in the background and keep it in the cache memory for faster access. Then, depending on the input, it would discard non relevant output and share only the relevant result. This process, called speculative execution, helps processors anticipate and do some routine tasks so that the system over all seem faster to the user.

(Via: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/internet/meltdown-and-spectre-decoding-the-problem-affecting-computers-across-the-world/articleshow/62440339.cms)

Attackers can access your PC through Microsoft Word, for instance, and gain access to a part of the PC memory it should not be able to access in the first place. It is a big issue in the tech world now and everyone is taking precautions and it all starts with the software update. There is little we can do about the problem as this vulnerability has been around for many years now but by being alert and cautious all the time and maintaining an updated operating system, you can save your device from an unfortunate fate.

To understand where these security weakness stem from, it helps to know about a process that chips use called speculative execution. Speculative execution is typically a good thing—it helps processors run efficiently. In simple terms, the processor guesses what might come next as it’s computing and does some work in advance to get ahead, in the likely chance that it is right and that work will come in handy. Think of it as doing tasks in your free time that you’re very sure you’ll need to do later, like preparing a report your boss asks for most Wednesdays.

“There’s nothing that’s inherently wrong or insecure about the idea of speculative execution—it’s all about the way that it gets implemented,” Ghosemajumder says.

Both Spectre and Meltdown leverage speculative execution to do something they shouldn’t, and both affect chips from the likes of Intel, AMD, and ARM; Spectre is considered to be the broader threat. Together, there are actually three vulnerabilities, because the term “Spectre” encompasses two different types of attacks.

(Via: https://www.popsci.com/meltdown-spectre-what-to-do#page-2)

Computer makers designed modern processors to be able to anticipate our next actions for increased efficiency and overcome hardware limitations but in turn, it has proven to be a liability. This ability of computers to make calculations in the background and store and discard information they consider as relevant or not is known as speculative execution. And it is thoroughly unfortunate for all of us that hackers found this to be highly useful in obtaining sensitive information such as passwords and other login details that you have already discarded or not used that much. It really is a big problem when these data fall into the wrong hands, so make it a point to keep your device’s software updated at all times.

The most common computer problem you may encounter pertains to data loss. Hence, data recovery may be necessary. It helps to be knowledgeable on https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/data-recovery-tools/ and https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/how-to-choose-a-hard-drive-recovery-service/ so you can still salvage your most important files without spending a lot on these services. It is a must to educate yourself about these things since we already live in a digital world and the chances of things changing in the near future are rather slim to none.

The following blog post Should You Be Worried Of Meltdown And Spectre? is republished from Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/should-you-be-worried-of-meltdown-and-spectre/

Resale Value Of Secondhand Smartphones

Almost everyone in the world today owns a smartphone or two. It is no longer just a luxury but a necessity in our modern world. There are endless things you can do with it at any time of the day. These tiny pieces of plastics and metals allow you to socialize or even work (somehow) without requiring you to use an actual computer or laptop. It simply is indispensable in a lot of ways, which is probably why many don’t hesitate to spend hundreds to thousands of bucks to get the latest tech craze ahead of everyone else because of all the new perks it offers that only the best smartphones have. Seeing the trend when companies release their newest smartphone lines or models, the temptation to upgrade often is always there. One of the solutions most smartphone users find really helpful is to sell their older device so they only add up a few more bucks to come up with the money needed to buy a brand-new unit.

However, different devices sell differently. For starter, Apple units generally maintain their resale value pretty well even that of their much older models compared to its Android counterparts. Meanwhile, the market is full of a smorgasbord of Android smartphones both high-end and low-end. You can easily predict how a certain model will sell but for some, it is not always that pretty. Their resale value also quickly goes down because a lot of new models are released every few months or so. Most of these devices usually have the same specifications. A few tweaks here and there make them look a little different and thus can debut in the mobile market industry and in a way affect the prices of the existing smartphones already available out there.

Keeping up in the mobile market can be a costly endeavor. Whether you’re keen to keep up to date with the latest and greatest in smartphone technology, or simply like to update your phone every year, selling your old phone can make all the difference. However, due to the fast rate of change in mobile technology and wide range of handset released every year, smartphone prices typically fall shortly after they launch. This can limit what you’re able to get for your old handsets, which makes picking up a flagship which retains retail value very important. But which phones keep their value best?

We’re not necessarily looking for the cheapest selling prices or used prices on second hand sites. Instead we’re looking at the typical selling prices for the smallest memory models from Amazon or other major retailers, to give an idea of general market value rather than used prices. Most of the historic price data we use comes from camelcamelcamel.com.

(Via: https://www.androidauthority.com/phones-best-resale-value-2017-817308/)

In the Android market, Samsung is arguably one of the most popular and sought-after brands out there next to Apple yet you’d be surprised to discover that secondhand HTC phones actually sells better than Samsung ones especially the S8 and S8 Plus of the Samsung’s Galaxy line. However, take note that this is a review of the S8 and S8 Plus alone and not of the entire Samsung product line. Availability plays a major role in this as well among others. Preference is also one such factor but knowing about a phone’s resale value can also impact a consumer’s buying choice in the first place especially nowadays when phone users tend to change and upgrade their phones after a year or two of use and they often, if not always, sell their previous unit when doing so.

Used iPhones hold their resale value better than other leading smartphones, according to a new study.

Like cars, which lose significant value the minute they’re driven off a dealer’s lot, smartphone resale prices take a hit as soon as the devices are removed from the box.

The iPhone 7 lost 34% of its value one month after use, according a study by used gadget sales site Decluttr, the smallest drop of any other brand’s flagship phones over a similar period. The Samsung Galaxy S7, which lost half its value in its first month on the market, for example, was the next best.

(Via: http://fortune.com/2017/04/07/used-smartphone-highest-resale-value/)

It is common knowledge that you will be able to enjoy a higher resale value if you own an Apple phone. Everybody knows that. The market knows that. Their price depreciates really slowly and you have only Apple’s own products as competition aside from the wide array of Android phones that populates the market. Samsung users come in second and it is easy to see why their gadgets rank higher than the rest of Android ones. The aesthetic, topnotch specifications and ease of use are just some of the reasons why the masses are drawn to Samsung devices but the only downside is they often release new units that may be the very reason why their phones’ resale value significantly goes down.

Fortunately, you no longer have to deal with more costly and stressful problems PC owners faces even if you can a lot of the same things you can do on computers with your smartphone. Data recovery tops the list. Spare yourself from the woes of such a situation here https://www.harddriverecovery.org/clean_room.html. Avoid being in this situation by knowing the most common mistakes that lead to hard drive failure through this https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/hard-drive-failure-recovery-three-major-user-mistakes/.

Resale Value Of Secondhand Smartphones is republished from HDRG

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/resale-value-of-secondhand-smartphones/

Unraveling The Mystery Of Data Recovery Pricing

As much as we love technology, we also can’t deny how much of a headache it is once they no longer work as they should or that to get them back working again will take too much of our time, effort, and money. Yet unfortunately, you will experience it many times in your lifetime when you own one, two, or more gadgets.

Some may be able to pull off fixing their own gadgets; especially if they have the technical background required but not everyone is tech savvy when it comes to PC or gadget repair. Then, there is the even more stressful aspect of data recovery. It won’t be as painful for someone who has the common sense to save duplicate copies of their work and files to a secondary storage device or up to the cloud but sad to say that not even half of the population does that.

More often than not, hard drives would often need to be replaced and you are not guaranteed that you can still get your lost files back. Anyone would likely give a shot at data recovery if they are in the unfortunate situation of having their files corrupted either through the web or because of a malfunctioning device even if no matter how costly it is. Since most of you have no idea about data recovery prices, you can easily be ripped off  by unscrupulous technicians who will take advantage of every opportunity to make more money without even telling you the truth that there is a slim chance you’d actually be able to get your lost data back.

Recovery services are also the only viable option if the machine was exposed to water or if it was dropped and it’s likely some part of the drive was broken. If you hear loud clicking noises, or the machine was immersed in liquids, then the best route is to turn it off and keep it off. Never use a hairdryer or other hot air on the machine as this can push the liquid into further components and create an environment of high humidity. Simply find a recovery service and let the experts handle it.

Beware Software Tools

There are hundreds of software utility tools that can be downloaded off the internet for free and offer promises of fast and easy data retrieval. Unfortunately, some of these are unreliable and worse have limitations on the amount of data you can recover without upgrading to a paid version. If going down this route, only choose well known, and well respected programs.

Reduce the risks of data loss

Despite the availability of some recovery options, the best way to avoid going through the expensive recovery process is to proactively manage data so that if a device fails, it does not have as big of an impact on your productivity. You simply buy a new machine and go about your day. Here’s some tips for reducing the risks of data loss:

(Via: https://betanews.com/2017/12/05/diy-data-recovery-challenges-and-alternatives/)

The first thing you need to know is that technicians charge by the hour. It’s the golden rule of their trade regardless of the amount of data recoverable or whether they’ll be able to recover anything or none at all. And there are other things you need to consider aside from that. At times, you may be charged for the cost of parts when the problem involves a mechanical failure of the drive. We’re not even considering how much it will cost to diagnose your problematic hard drive if you want to know what caused it to malfunction.

If you’re struggling to get to grips with data recovery pricing yourself, read on – the following guide should give you an idea of how much your next job will cost.

The first rule of data recovery: You pay for time, not quantity

The first thing you should know about data recovery pricing is that you’ll almost always be charged by the time the job takes, not the amount of data you need to recover, and any company that says differently should be eyed with suspicion.

Think about it: if you bring a shattered hard drive into the shop, the recovery job is essentially the same regardless of whether you’re attempting to grab a single file or several gigabytes of data. The real work is getting the drive to function again, not to transfer some or all of its contents to a fresh medium.

(Via: https://www.krollontrack.co.uk/blog/concepts-explained/data-recovery-pricing-explained/)

Remember that there are factors you need to take into consideration that led to the ultimate demise of your hard drive. Make sure you regularly upgrade your device so it is protected against the latest versions of bugs out there and you can eliminate them as potential threats to your device. Don’t underestimate the capability of malware in rendering your device useless and you end up worrying about data recovery issues when it could’ve been easily avoidable by being a little cautious whenever you use the web. Prepare to really shed out money when it comes to PC issues. To give you a better idea how much to prepare, this may help https://www.harddriverecovery.org/pricing.html. For RAID recovery pricing, check here https://www.harddriverecovery.org/raid-pricing.html.

Unraveling The Mystery Of Data Recovery Pricing is available on The Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/unraveling-the-mystery-of-data-recovery-pricing/

Computer Science Is The Key

We live in a day and age where computers reign supreme. It is virtually all around you. From your home to your school or office, you can see lots of computers sprawling in every room and even in people’s bags. What’s more, we have long been navigating the web using the mini versions of these PCs and surfing the Internet, checking out social media, and doing just about everything with it using our handy yet just as efficient smartphones. And we all know technology has still a lot to improve because we’re not yet even riding on flying cars like what older movies like Back to the Future predicted people in 2017 will be doing, or rather, riding.

Definitely, computer science is the key to our continued progress. By continuously and tirelessly innovating and making existing technologies better, sleeker, and more efficient can we only achieve the impossible. You learn all sorts of things by studying the science and the fundamentals of computing. It also makes common sense to study this field now over other degrees because the demand for workers in various industries will never run out as mostly everything has gone digital. Even small to medium-sized enterprises uses some sort of tech innovation in their daily operation if they don’t want to be left out. However you look at it, you can say that your future will be as bright as the developments in today’s world by investing in a solid education with a Computer Science background.

Because computer science is the defining field of the 21st Century, children who learn to code now will have better opportunities to land the jobs of the future.

Surprisingly, most schools don’t teach kids how to code or open their eyes to the possibility of pursuing computer science careers.

With this as a backdrop, Navex Global joined Code.org and held our first Hour of Code Dec. 7, in our Lake Oswego headquarters. Hour of Code is a global campaign that seeks to broaden participation in computer science and increase diversity in tech. It has reached more than 100 million students of varying backgrounds across 180 countries.

(Via: https://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2017/12/13/how-one-local-software-company-encourages-computer.html)

You really have a competitive edge over your peers if you know how to navigate your way over the many complexities of the digital realm. Aside from not running out of work, you are also well-remunerated and has higher chances of going up the ladder. You can also establish yourself as an authority in the field and be sought-after in today’s world when nobodies can become digital tycoons because they had a brilliant idea and knew how to execute it perfectly with the use of today’s modern technologies.

“Through the Canada 150 Research Chairs initiative, the federal government has given institutions like UBC an invaluable recruitment tool to attract top-tier, international scholars,” said UBC President Santa J. Ono.  “Particularly in fields like computer science, it is challenging for universities to compete with the private sector for top talent. We are thrilled to welcome Margo to UBC and for the potential her recruitment offers for student learning, research and entrepreneurship opportunities in computer science at UBC and in Canada.”

Seltzer is particularly interested in using computer systems to improve education.

“There is a serious question about how we prepare students to learn and work in the presence of automation,” said Seltzer. “For so long, education has been about transferring information to students. Now that’s no longer the problem. We need to teach them how to interpret information and make connections. I look forward to working in an inclusive environment at UBC to tackle this issue.”

(Via: https://science.ubc.ca/news/harvard-computer-scientist-recruited-ubc-through-federal-research-program)

There is no limit to what you can achieve when computers are involved. Not only will you be sought after in the workplace but in the academe and the field of research as well. And now more than ever we need a new breed of hungry and passionate individuals who will take on the challenge of realizing everyone’s tech dreams through computer science and learning all the ropes so they can soon find solutions to today’s dilemma and hopefully make our lives better and easier. There will always be job vacancies to fill and it is why computer experts are encouraging those who already have a keen interest to technology to develop it further and be a part of the catalyst for change whether it be by developing and building better hardware or software or by completely transform the computing technology that we now know.

And while the young ones are urged to dream big, they can still settle in doing the most mundane of things to make a living because we all know the demand is high. Hard drives issues are common complaints. You may find yourself with a corrupted or a failing hard drive and desperate to salvage your precious data, this may help https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/data-recovery-tools/. However, it can also happen that it is beyond relief and expert help is a must https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/how-to-choose-a-hard-drive-recovery-service/. In a nutshell, it is still a win-win solution for those with tech degrees because they will surely never run out of work.

Computer Science Is The Key was initially published to http://www.harddriverecovery.org

From https://www.harddriverecovery.org/blog/computer-science-is-the-key/