Cryptojacking 101

Cryptojacking is a website or app taking over your device and using its excess resources to mine cryptocurrency. There are examples of this happening right now in the wild (both with and without the “victim’s” consent or knowledge). Currently, this is most commonly happening via JavaScript code running in websites which are able to discretely tap into the user’s excess computing power to mine Monero. The net effect is that the user’s computer uses lots of excess power, costing them money and draining their battery quickly if they are on a laptop, all while making the distributor of the code a small amount of digital currency. If the perpetrator can distribute the code to enough users, it is possible that they could make a significant sum over time.
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A common perception of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is that those behind it are out to “replace people” or do away with jobs. While that may be true in some instances, AI technology is also used to enhance people and empower them to do more than they could have on their own. When considering an AI platform, it is worth evaluating whether the goal of that system is to automate a task or to augment a person to perform that task more efficiently. In some cases, the result may be a combination of both where fewer people are needed, and those who remain can perform even more effectively than a larger group previously could.

For example, if you’re the Manager for a customer service center, AI can be very valuable if it is used to augment the human employee’s ability to answer questions, find relevant information, and generally, help the customer to quickly complete their desired task. In this arena, speed is the priority for the customer, so they will appreciate whichever path gets them to their goal in the most efficient way possible. Sometimes that means that it is easier and faster for them to work with a person than to navigate their way through an automated process that they may not be able to handle as comfortably.
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Overview of the Yahoo Hack

Yahoo has disclosed that 1 billion user accounts were compromised in August 2013. This is a separate incident from the previous disclosure in September 2016 of 500 million accounts breached in 2014. The compromised data includes:

  • Names
  • Email Addresses
  • Telephone Numbers
  • Dates of Birth
  • Hashed Passwords
  • Encrypted or Unencrypted Security Questions and Answers

When considering a breach like this, one of the first things to consider is: “Is the damage contained to this service?”.

When a company loses factual data about who you are, it can aid someone trying to steal your identity. Security questions are something that give many people a false sense of security while undermining their ability to protect themselves from identity theft.
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When I first meet a prospective client and analyze their website, I look at a few key factors. One of the most important is which company is providing the hosting service, and specifically what does that plan offer?

I work mostly with WordPress-based websites, and that content management system is built on the PHP programming language. So naturally, determining which version of PHP is running on a client’s hosting account is a significant detail. I’m going to do my best to outline just what is so important about PHP, and why using an old version can be so costly.
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