Human-eyes only: Bots now 'account for 61% of web traffic'

In some staggering research by Incapsula; the firm suggests that 61% of all website traffic is now generated by automated bots - a rise of an incredible 21% over last year.

Of course not all bot traffic is malicious; much of it such as search engine “spiders” is actually helpful and improve the web experience for users.

So do you want the good, or the better news first?

Most of the growth in traffic was in these “friendly” bots. Examples of these are; tools used by search engines...

By Ryan Daws, 13 December 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Industry, Networks, Security.

How to tackle fraud in a VoIP environment

Service providers have long recognised that Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services can be exposed to a variety of potentially fraudulent situations.

There are some inherent vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit, namely three way calls and call transfers. In this case, hackers can inject call signals into the network and essentially hijack calls. This then leads to significant non-billable revenue for service providers.

The reason that these vulnerabilities occur is that it’s a relatively...

By Graham Kunz, 11 December 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Networks, Security, VoiP.

Scroogle you too US Government, says Microsoft

Microsoft’s reputation – along with many other top technology firms – was damaged by the NSA revelations which, if Edward Snowden’s leaks are correct, the Redmond-based firm was involved in the programme; whether knowingly or not.

Now it’s the turn of Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, to help ease customer distrust in the company’s services by speaking of their shared concerns about government surveillance of the...

By Ryan Daws, 05 December 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Big Data, Consumers, Industry, N America, Security.

Warwick Warp’s CEO on biometric ID for personalised experiences #TTW

TelecomsTech (TT) spoke to Stewart Hefferman (SH) at Telecoms Tech World in London this week about the company for which he is the CEO, Warwick Warp, about the increasing capabilities of biometric identity personalisation.

Stewart was previously CEO of OmniPerception; a facial recognition and matching system under the Digital Barriers brand. Here he was also involved in biometrics, and certainly has the experience to answer anything we could chuck at him credibly!

TT: What makes the solutions...

By Ryan Daws, 29 November 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Mobile, Security, Smartphones, Startups.

Leaked agreement allowed NSA to hold UK information (with or without consent)

If you’re reading this and haven’t heard of the NSA and their controversial spying program PRISM we reported on around five months ago – you can catch-up here. Up to date? Followers thought so as well; but yet more revelations have come to light…

It was previously revealed that surveillance reached further than US jurisdiction; causing the EU commissioner for justice and fundamental rights, Viviane Reding, to

By Ryan Daws, 21 November 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Europe, Industry, N America, Security.

Your cup o’ Joe (or any hot beverage) isn’t even safe from hackers

Hackers are indisputably clever; every day finding new ways to circumvent barriers and find their way into your devices. The battle between “White Hats” and “Black Hats” is one which has waged on with increasing intensiveness for decades – and only set to grow. Not even your kettle is safe.

Russian authorities claimed that household appliances imported from China have been found to contain tiny microchips which seek out open WiFi networks and then distribute malware.

St...

By Ryan Daws, 06 November 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Big Data, Security, WiFi, Wireless.

Mobile operators help customers to help themselves in battle against spam

With a recent report from the University of Minnesota and AT&T Labs revealing that more than two-thirds of mobile phone users received short message service (SMS) spam last year, there is no denying that these kinds of attacks are creating a headache for mobile phone users. However, mobile users are not the only victims, as mobile fraudsters, spammers and scammers are becoming increasingly problematic for mobile operators.

In 2012, 4.5 billion mobile spam messages were received, with 350,000 variants of...

By JF Sullivan, 31 October 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Mobile, Networks, Operators, Security.

Voice startup ‘hello’ wants you to say goodbye to Skype

A new Indiegogo campaign by the name of ‘hello’ launches today, with its founder claiming he wants to create “the Mozilla of telephony”.

Paul Grimshaw, the company’s founder, claims that the peer-to-peer voice startup is unique in that it offers complete customisation and branding, with users being able to connect between different providers and move freely between them.

For instance, Canonical could set up an...

By Ryan Daws, 07 October 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Apps, Consumers, Entertainment, Security, Smartphones, Startups.

UK prepares to defend (and fight) Cyber Warfare with new unit

Next-generation warfare doesn’t sound quite as appealing as next-generation consoles; but they have something in common, they are both likely to be technologically-based.

Internationally we are fairly versed in frontline, manned, mechanical battles; guns, tanks, ships, jets, helicopters – all the devastating machinery which has stolen too many lives.

Yet the latest, and perhaps biggest threat; many of us have in our bedrooms – the computer.

Many see the “Internet of Things” trend in a utopian...

By Ryan Daws, 30 September 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Europe, Industry, Infrastructure, Security.

Would you recruit an ex-hacker? Most IT professionals would

A survey conducted by IT recruitment specialists CWJobs.co.uk shows that 70% of IT professionals believe that hiring ex-hackers could be the solution to security problems. After all, who better to protect against intrusions than the people who do it daily?

The most high-profile case in my recent knowledge was that of infamous iOS “Jailbreaker” and PlayStation hacker GeoHot; who was snapped-up by social networking giant Facebook not long after an intense lawsuit by Sony.

Whilst the most common...

By Ryan Daws, 27 September 2013, 1 comment. Categories: Industry, Piracy, Research, Security.

Do we put too much faith in Apple (and others’) security features?

One of the highlight features of Apple’s latest iPhone, the 5S, is the inclusion of a unique fingerprint scanner – futuristically hidden underneath the device’s iconic “home” button. But are we putting too much faith in Apple (and others') security features?

According to an NBC survey, iPhones make up 58% of usage within the House of Representatives in the US – important positions; which require high security.

Yet the U.S. military did not authorise the use of Apple’s...

By Ryan Daws, 23 September 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Industry, Mobile, Piracy, Security.

Latest revelations helped NSA store 200 million communications

Just when you think there cannot possibly be any more NSA revelations surrounding their controversial PRISM programme – we’re proven wrong. Whilst everyone remains fixated on the bigger picture, many of the smaller initiatives under the NSA’s umbrella remained unnoticed.

Meet Blarney, Fairview, Oakstar, Lithium and Stormbrew. Whilst sounding like the names of local cider manufacturers; they were in fact partnerships allowing the NSA to scan 75 percent of...

By Ryan Daws, 22 August 2013, 1 comment. Categories: Consumers, N America, Networks, Operators, Security.

Tips for landing a job: 1) Become a US whistleblower 2) Spend two months in an airport

Edward Snowden is a name you may be familiar with by now. TelecomsTech, and just about every other global publication has reported on the NSA whistleblower on several occasions.

While you'd be forgiven for thinking this is just another Snowden story, for Ed, the saga continues...

After spending over two months in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport; the people’s anti-hero has been given temporary asylum in Russia for up to a year. So what on earth will he do with...

By Ryan Daws, 02 August 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Europe, Industry, Security.

Smart metering – a new security consideration for service providers

Last month saw the UK Department for Environment and Climate Change (DECC) outline its plans for the installation of smart meters across the UK, gearing up to ensure it is on course for the scheduled 2014 mass roll out.

Despite the obvious benefits that this implementation of smart metering will bring, such large-scale operations are bound to come with major security management challenges.

The prime issue is how to secure digital communications between smart metering systems and utility service providers....

By Gary Clark, 31 July 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Billing, Consumers, Infrastructure, Security.

China leads M2M growth, IPTV subscriber market (and global cybersecurity fears)

Despite growing cybersecurity concerns regarding China; the country can’t be stopped in terms of pushing technological boundaries – leading both global M2M growth and IPTV subscribers.

Throughout the second half of 2012, the number of cellular Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications increased nearly 5.5 million. To put this in perspective; that’s the same amount as the UK had in total by the end of last year.

This places...

Huawei to be reviewed in cybersecurity of critical UK infrastructure

The UK government will be looking into Huawei’s involvement in national infrastructure over the same cybersecurity fears which resulted in a ban of the manufacturer’s equipment in the United States after failing to prove the company has no association with the Chinese government.

TelecomsTech first reported on the US situation where – along with rival firm ZTE – “the two firms had failed to demonstrate the absence of Chinese...

By Ryan Daws, 18 July 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Europe, Industry, Infrastructure, LTE, N America, Networks, Security, Telematics.

Honda’s (inadvertently) phishing iTunes users

Over at Netcraft - the Internet services company which provides data mining, defence against fraud and phishing, and security testing – an employee spotted an interesting phishing scam against iTunes users, which is hosted on Honda’s website.

The employee in question, Nicholas Hatter, contacted me about his findings.

Appearing to affect the Brazilian arm of the automotive giant; a page was hosted with a SSL certificate which redirects to a page that replicates iTunes...

By Ryan Daws, 15 July 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Billing, Consumers, Industry, Security.

UK prepares for cyber security war, recruits top firms

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on Friday that it will be partnering with BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, BT Group, Lockheed Martin and Hewlett Packard in an attempt to counter the rising cyber-security threat.

From rogue individuals, to hacktivist groups such as Anonymous, all the way to other governments themselves – such as the rising number of attacks thought to originate from China – concerns from the web are of rising worry and the...

By Ryan Daws, 09 July 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Infrastructure, Security.

Interview: Telefónica’s Pavan Mathew on “Connected Cars”

This week Pavan Mathew, Global Head of Automotive Telematics at Telefónica, privileged me with an exclusive interview about a report released by the company on how the “Car industry must remodel itself to exploit the connected future.”

As we move towards a fully digital lifestyle we expect devices to be connected; with not just access to the wider world via the internet and services that entails, but also seamlessly with one...

Avoiding tax on Bitcoin? Think again, friend

Bitcoin has been getting plenty of coverage, ourselves included, but for those of you who don’t know, it’s essentially a decentralised virtual currency. Many people are under the illusion that because of this fact, it doesn’t accrue tax, but I’m sure the IRS would beg to differ.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report (PDF) which gives a clear example:

  • Bill is a Bitcoin miner....
  • By Ryan Daws, 19 June 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Billing, Consumers, Government, Industry, Networks, Research, Security.