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How social tech fights crime

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Over the last few months, ttrumpet has been working with the Community Police Forums (CPF) in Pretoria to connect individuals in real-time with their communities, to syndicate information to keep themselves and their families safe.

“Social media continues to grow exponentially – where the sharing of information amongst individuals has the real potential to improve vigilance and ultimately lead to safer communities,” says Charles Murray, director at ttrumpet. “As such, we’ve engaged with a number of parties in the region to bring two critical parties together – the community and the CPFs – over a mobile platform – for better safety.”

Currently, ttrumpet, along with the CPFs already covers over 700km2 in the Pretoria region, covering an impressive 289 241 households – a number that grows bigger every day as new security channels join the platform. The platform’s security channel is being used to provide updates to the community, report suspicious activity, highlight the real crime hotspots and generate better community awareness and vigilance to assist the police.

Warrant Officer A.C. Holtzhausen, Sector Manager, sector 1 Pretoria North SAPS, is currently using the ttrumpet app to connect with his sector community. He says: “ttrumpet is an enabler to combating crime. Not only is it bringing our community together to raise security awareness and report criminal activity, but if used correctly, it also provides the perfect platform to gather real statistics around the activity in the area – which enables us to deploy units more effectively, look out at certain crime hotspots and be more readily available when needed.”

As an example: if a community member sees a suspicious car that is in the process of stealing another car, they can report the incident on ttrumpet, with a picture and a registration number. Then through the technology, the registration number can be extracted from ttrumpet and placed into a database on which ANPR cameras work on. Once the ANPR camera recognises the registration number it then informs the police/sector manager where that vehicle is situated. The police can then respond accordingly – streamlining the entire process and assisting criminals to be caught faster – just from a message that was sent.

To date, 55 channels have been created in the Pretoria region where the current incidents posted over these channels are at 1318. The current channels include a channel created specifically for schools in the Pretoria North region which keeps parents informed of suspicious activity and/or any incidents related to child-safety as well as a second-hand goods channel that protects store owners from buying stolen goods. Adds Murray: “We’ve seen a major uptake specifically in the school’s channel as parents can now ask for extra patrols during sports or other events and they are made aware, in real time, of any suspicious vehicles/persons in the vicinity of their child’s school.”

“Active citizenry, coupled with a strong purpose-built platform that brings together relevant parties, has real potential to change the status quo. Pretoria is actively looking at this – and reaping the benefits – and we look forward to working with the other regions to drive safer communities,” says Murray.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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MWC: Next generation of inflight connectivity to be unveiled

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Next week at Mobile World Congress, the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal progress on its mission towards enabling the next generation of inflight connectivity. This follows a significant start for the Alliance, which has seen membership increase five-fold since the first meeting in June of last year. The Alliance has a new research laboratory setup and continues progress through its three working groups, writing specifications for the technology, requirements, and operations.

These developments represent a huge leap towards the goal of making connectivity as easy and enjoyable in the skies as it is on the ground. Appearing as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.

“The passenger experience with inflight connectivity remains one of the great technology challenges. From Day One we have been determined to deliver on our mission to bring industries and technologies together to make the inflight internet experience simple to access and a delight to use,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Mandala.

“I have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiastic and committed response we have seen and the widening areas of expertise we can call upon as more and more companies and organisations continue to join us,” he added.

Announced during MWC 2018, the Seamless Air Alliance has since grown to twenty-three membercompanies with more than one-hundred key personnel from across the membership participating in its three working groups, with numbers continuing to increase.

The Seamless Air Alliance was created by founding members Airbus, Airtel, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb and Sprint, and quickly joined by Air France KLM, Aeromexico, and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and global technology leaders including Astronics, Collins Aerospace, Comtech, Cyient, iDirect, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Latecoere, Nokia, and Panasonic. 

Today, the Alliance is pleased to announce five additional new members: Adaptive Channel, Etihad Airways, GlobalReach Technology, Safran, and SITAONAIR.

“We are extremely pleased to have these companies join and be a part of the companies driving the next generation of connectivity.” said Mr Mandala.

The Seamless Air Alliance will enable travelers boarding any flight, on any airline, anywhere in the world, to use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet with no complicated login process nor paywall to scramble over.

The Alliance is also announcing the release of a new research study on the economic benefit of standardization on the inflight connectivity market at Mobile World Congress. This report is available for download at https://www.seamlessalliance.com/publications/

The Alliance is moving rapidly towards an expected demonstration of the technology later in 2019 and anticipates massive interest in Barcelona from the whole communications eco-system.

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