Today’s topics include how cyber-criminals are ramping up phishing attacks, the importance of blockchain database technology for the financial services industry, the bot technology behind Microsoft’s news-gathering and the launch of a Xiaomi Drone in China.
The number of distinct Website links in phishing attacks jumped by more than 150 percent in five months, showing that phishing remains a major vector of cyber-attacks, the Anti-Phishing Working Group stated in a report released on May 24.
In March 2016, phishing emails seen by APWG members contained more than 123,000 unique URLs, up from 48,000 in October 2015.
While the number of URLs has increased dramatically, the number of domains and the number of brands used as camouflage by phishers have remained relatively constant at about 20,000 and 418, respectively, according to the report.
Blockchain distributed database technology has the potential to be the most significant technological innovation since the Internet, according to a recent survey of financial services executives.
A new study released today from Pegasystems, Cognizant and Marketforce found that 60 percent of global financial services retailers with an understanding of blockchain believe it is a potentially game-changing technology.
However, that said, there exists a significant gap in awareness of the technology as more than 35 percent of all global respondents admitted they have never heard of blockchain. Furthermore, of those who had heard about it, 23 percent said they had no understanding of the technology.
The “botification” of Microsoft’s software portfolio continues this week with the 2.0 release of the company’s News Pro mobile and Web app.
First launched in January, News Pro is a self-updating, news-reading app from Microsoft Garage that delivers a personalized selection of articles to users’ Apple iOS devices or to Web browsers.
Users can search for their topics of interest and the app will seek out relevant news stories from thousands of publications and blogs. Over time, the app “learns” a person’s interests and will make recommendations.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has launched its modular Mi Drone in China, with two distinct models featuring 1080p or 4K video capabilities.
The Mi Drone, which uses four flight propellers and a modular design with folding landing gear, was announced by the company on May 25.
The Mi Drone equipped with the 1080p video camera sells for $380, while the Mi Drone with 4K Ultra HD video sells for $456. Both versions use a 104-degree wide-angle lens for video capture, with the 4K camera featuring 3,840-by-2,160p resolution and support for still photo recording in RAW format.
They can also capture 720p live video with low latency from up to 1.24 miles away. The drone has a lightweight design that allows the device to be disassembled into several pieces for storage and transport.