Archive for February 6, 2018

Guest Post: Nord VPN Discusses Why VPN Usage Doubles During The Olympics

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 6, 2018 by itnerd

This Friday, on February 9, the long-awaited event – the Winter Olympic Games – will start in PyeongChang, South Korea. Billions of eyes all over the world will be on this event, which also carries important messages about peace, unity, and tolerance. The athletes of North and South Korea will march under one flag this year, making it an especially intriguing moment to watch.

Olympic games draw millions of viewers around the world – around 3.5 billion people watched last Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

However, it’s not always possible to watch your country’s athletes perform, especially when you are traveling – a country you are in will usually be showing their own athletes’ performances. Therefore, many people who might have never used a VPN before (Virtual Private Network) turn to one for watching any game online.

NordVPN, a VPN service provider, has seen an increase in its users during every Olympics and other international sporting games – but last Olympics reached a record number of new users.

During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, NordVPN’s sales grew by 104.72%, showing growing digital awareness of viewers.

A VPN service links user’s computer to a server in a country of their choice via an encrypted tunnel. For example, a person can appear to be in the U.S. while they actually are in Europe, or vice versa, simply by choosing a different VPN server location. A VPN service like NordVPN would allow you to substitute your current IP address with the IP address of the United States so you can watch the Olympics as if you were in the States.


Darktrace Safeguards Data For Heritage Education Funds

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 6, 2018 by itnerd

Darktrace, the world’s leading AI company for cyber defense, has today announced that Heritage Education Funds has deployed the Enterprise Immune System to detect and stop sophisticated cyber-attacks against its network. Heritage joins the growing number of Canadian organizations, including TRJ Telecom, Energy+, Pizza Pizza, and DynaLIFE, that use Darktrace’s proven AI to dramatically boost their cyber resilience.

With over $2.65 billion in assets and 50 years’ experience, Heritage Education Funds is a leading  Registered Education Saving Plan (RESP) provider, enabling families across Canada to save money for their children’s university education. The organization not only advises its members on investments, but also applies for federal and provincial grants on their behalf. Heritage’s network holds the sensitive personal and financial information of over 450,000 Canadian citizens, making proactive cyber defense a top priority for the Fund.

Powered by machine learning and AI algorithms, Darktrace learns the ‘pattern of life’ for every device and user on a network and uses this continually evolving understanding of ‘normal’ to detect new anomalous activity as it emerges. This unprecedented early threat detection enables organizations to identify in-progress attacks before they can do damage. Darktrace’s AI can also autonomously stop in-progress cyber-attacks by generating a precise, proportionate response akin to the generation of digital antibodies.

Darktrace is the world’s leading AI company for cyber defense. Created by mathematicians, the Enterprise Immune System uses machine learning and AI algorithms to detect and respond to cyber-threats across diverse digital environments, including cloud and virtualized networks, IoT and industrial control systems. The technology is self-learning and requires no set-up, identifying threats in real time, including zero-days, insiders and stealthy, silent attackers. Find out more at


Oxford UP Releases 3 New Dictionary Apps For German, Spanish, Portuguese Users

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 6, 2018 by itnerd

Oxford University Press is releasing three new dictionary apps specifically developed for English learners in key global regions, with one of the apps becoming available for the first time ever and the other two being re-released.

The apps, the Diccionario Oxford Pocket (for Spanish-speaking learners of English), the Dicionário Oxford Escolar (for Brazilian-learners of English), and the Oxford Klausur-Wörterbuch (for German-speaking learners of English) will provide students and teachers with all the benefits of a localised English language resource, along with some of the most effective enhancements that mobile technology can offer.

Each app offers users the chance to record and improve their own English speaking skills, with thousands of pre-recorded model pronunciations, and the highly-prized Oxford 3000 feature which shows the most important English words for learners selected by experts. The Klausur-Wörterbuch is particularly notable in this case for being the first ever Oxford dictionary mobile app for German-speaking learners of English.

With this news, Oxford adds to its collection of dictionary resources for English learners and teachers. The new app joins a list already helping Arabic and Italian speaking learners of English, along with the previous versions of the Spanish and Brazilian-Portuguese dictionaries. The addition also reflects a rapidly growing appetite internationally for mobile-ready educational resources.

The apps were developed with Oxford University Press’ long-term collaborators, Paragon Software. They were released on the 31st of January 2018 and are available on iOS and Android.

Availability: Oxford dictionaries are available via in-app purchase within Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries: Bilingual editions app for 19,99 GBP (21,99 EUR) in the App Store and for 16,66 GBP (22,99 EUR) in Google Play. The apps come with a free preview and can be tested for free.

Guest Post: Five Things You’re Doing That is Compromising Your Online Safety

Posted in Commentary on February 6, 2018 by itnerd

By Dr. Eric Cole

Just like we work to improve our physical health and well-being, it’s also vitally important to improve our cyber health and keep ourselves safe from online danger. Here are five easy fixes to keep yourself cyber safe this year:

1. What You’re Doing: Clicking in Emails

What You Should Be Doing Instead: Never click on a link or email attachment, ever! Think of email as a text-only method of communication because nothing else about it is safe. It was never meant for transferring files, and links are probably not what they appear to be. Remember that email is the number one method that the adversary uses to get you to do their bidding. Unless you absolutely know that the email comes from someone you trust, don’t click! And even if it does come from someone you trust, be cautious if the link appears unusual or out of character for them. It could be an adversary pretending to be someone you know. Think about every click as possible doom.

2. What You’re Doing: Using Only One Credit Card

What You Should Be Doing Instead: There are many credit cards without annual fees that will be more than happy to extend you credit. I recommend having at least 3 or 4 different cards that you use for different purposes. Ask for a low credit line on each – I’m certainly not recommending that you run up big bills on multiple cards! But having a separate card for different types of transactions reduces your risk and the effort needed if one card gets compromised. For example, have separate cards for online bill paying, online purchases, dining and entertainment, and travel.

Never use a debit card except at the ATM – you have far less fraud and theft protection from your bank than you do from the credit card companies. Finally, enable real time text message alerts on your cards so that you know every time your card is used and don’t find out at the end of the month when you see unusual charges.

3. What You’re Doing: Using One Computer For All Your Cyber Activity

What You Should Be Doing Instead: With the price of computers dropping rapidly, you can’t afford NOT to have a separate “high risk” computer for your online activities such as email, web browsing, and shopping. On your “low risk” computer you can minimize online activity to encrypted transactions such as with your bank or credit card company. Unfortunately, it’s likely that you’ll get compromised in the near future and it could take a long time, if ever, to recover your personal and financial files. That effort and heartache will cost a lot more than a couple hundred bucks for the second computer.

4. What You’re Doing: Using Public WiFi Without a VPN

What You Should Be Doing Instead: Every time you log on to an unprotected public network, everyone else on that network can see your computer or device. It’s like running naked through the mall shouting “Look at me!” — you will most certainly get noticed. Cover up! There is a simple type of application called a VPN, which stands for virtual private network. It sounds fancy, but what it really does is create a private tunnel to the Internet that your device can use without being seen. Every time you want to connect to the Internet in public, you fire up your VPN and you become invisible.

5. What You’re Doing: Using Weak Passwords

What You Should Be Doing Instead: I’ve always recommended switching to pass phrases where you create a strong password from a phrase that you’ll remember but that no one can guess. This is great if you only have a few passwords to remember, because you don’t want to use the same pass phrase for multiple sites. But some people have hundreds of passwords for home and work, making it impossible to create unique phrases for each one and remember which is which. In these cases, consider using a password vault that will generate strong passwords for each site you use. You only need to remember the master password/pass phrase to unlock the vault, and then it will fill in your unique passwords as you visit different sites. Remember to lock your vault after each session, or have it time out after a couple of minutes.

Bottom line, be smart about how you handle your online activity. Even if you adopt only one or two of these tips, you’ll be taking a big step toward being cyber safe this year and beyond.

Dr. Eric Cole is CEO of Secure Anchor, former CTO of McAfee and Lockheed Martin, member of the Commission on Cyber Security for President Obama, the security advisor for Bill Gates and his family, and author of a new book, Online Danger: How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones From the Evil Side of the Internet. For more information, please visit, and connect with Dr. Cole on Twitter, @drericcole.

Samsung Boss Gets Sprung From The Clink

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 6, 2018 by itnerd

Remember when Samsung boss Lee Jae-yong got tossed into jail for five years over bribery charges. Well he just got sprung from jail yesterday:

Lee Jae-yong, a 49-year-old billionaire, was found guilty of bribery and other corruption charges in August and sentenced to five years in prison. But a higher court on Monday cut the sentence to two and a half years and suspended it for four years.

Great. I guess this billionaire got off easy. Crime does seem to pay.


Cryptocurrency Technologies That Will Affect You

Posted in Commentary on February 6, 2018 by itnerd

Cryptocurrency has hit a bump in the road over the last month, but its growth shows no sign of abating. Smaller coins continue to grow, and Canada is a growing crypto hub due to its favourable trade and infrastructure. Cryptocurrency is, of course, a product of technological forces, with its most famous proponent – Bitcoin – ‘mined’ through the calculation of complex mathematical strings by consumer computers.

To match, the cryptocurrency industry is ever evolving, bringing innovative computer security solutions and disruptive technologies that will soon feature massively in our everyday lives.


Probably the most familiar term for all of those not familiar with cryptocurrency and it’s technical language, blockchain is – in simple terms – a record of blocks that have been mined since the cryptocurrency ever started, generating an ultra-secure and contiguous list of transactions and records. What impact does this have on our everyday lives, though? Several companies have already scoped out the possibility of using blockchain to securely establish medical records in an accessible fashion, and blockchain is being introduced to companies in a preparatory nature for the disruption it may cause. Current trajectories already show blockchain activity eclipsing other popular trends, like cloud computing and the IoT.


Cryptocurrency transactions rely on two main avenues; currency exchanges and wallets. The latter were key during the early days, before trading of cryptocurrency as a forex-style venture really blossomed. Whilst the idea of keeping data on a secure outlet has always been recommended, the information age has seen many consumers hosting huge amounts of data in the cloud or on vault apps. However, events like the 350m USD Coincheck hack have brought this into sharp focus, and the abilities of wallets. Expect to see a huge outreach in personal data storage and security solutions as current favourites are scrutinized.

Smart contracts

A major gripe for many small businesses the world over is getting those up the transaction chain to pay. With little recourse to legal avenues without serious outlay, it can seem difficult. Smart contracts are as they are in real life – contractual – but have instant effects, guaranteeing a contract without the minimum of fuss. This allows for an easily accessed audit trail to be used with personal account applications and prevents the risk of not being paid – or restricting services.

Cryptocurrency has been the rollercoaster financial story of 2017 onwards. Less publicized is the transformative nature of its technologies, which will have positive effects on the world in years to come.