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MWC: Huawei debuts new laptop and tablet

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Huawei has unveiled its MateBook X Pro and MediaPad M5 Series at this year’s Mobile World Congress which boast new generation processors, faster graphics cards, longer lasting batteries and a richer sound to boot.

Both the Huawei MateBook X Pro and Huawei MediaPad M5 blend crisp and clear displays, powerful hardware updates and intelligent software advances:

Huawei provided the following information:

·         Huawei MateBook X Pro:

The Huawei MateBook X Pro is an ultra-slim, yet full-featured 13.9-inch notebook with an all-new 3K touch-enabled HUAWEI FullView Display and 91 percent screen-to-body ratio. Powered by an 8th Generation Intel Core i7/i5 processor, a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU with 2GB GDDR5 and a long-lasting 57.4Wh (Typical Capacity) battery – the Huawei MateBook X Pro is one of the lightest and most powerful notebooks on the market. The Huawei MateBook X Pro features Dolby Atmos Sound System and custom speakers that deliver breakthrough, immersive audio for sound to flow above and around you, making you feel like you’re inside the action.

·         Huawei MediaPad M5 Series:

Ergonomically designed with a 2.5D glass screen and 2K HD, ClariVu 5.0-enhanced display, the sleek and powerful 8.4-inch and 10.8-inch tablets feature speakers tuned by Harman Kardon. Huawei Histen technology provides immersive 3D audio and fully supports Hi-Res audio for exceptional sound quality. The 10.8-inch Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro comes with an ultra-precise Huawei M-Pen featuring 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity to make note-taking effortless.

“Today’s consumers want more: they expect their technology to be both powerful and adaptable – and Huawei is committed to creating devices that not only meet these expectations, but create experiences that make everyday computing extraordinary,” said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “The Huawei MateBook X Pro and HUAWEI MediaPad M5 Series are at the forefront of a new generation of mobile computing that empowers every aspect of your life.”

Huawei MateBook X Pro

The Huawei MateBook X Pro is the first notebook to feature Huawei FullView Display. The 13.9-inch 3K notebook featuring an all-new 10-point touchscreen has a 3000 x 2000 pixel resolution and is set at a 3:2 aspect ratio, perfect for content creation. Its stylish metallic body design is crafted with perfect diamond cutting and sandblasting finishing to create an ultra-slim body that is just 14.6mm thin and weighs 1.33 kg, making it comfortable to carry. The Huawei MateBook X Pro is available in two iconic colours: Space Gray and Mystic Silver.

The premium design of the Huawei MateBook X Pro is matched by its performance. Featuring a powerful 8th Generation Intel Core i7/i5 processor and a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU with 2GB GDDR5, it is one of the most powerful and lightweight notebooks on the market. The Huawei MateBook X Pro features Dolby Atmos Sound System – breakthrough, immersive audio with Dolby Atmos and custom speakers. A 57.4Wh (Typical Capacity) battery and Huawei’s low power consumption design provide up to 12 hours of 1080P video playback, 14 hours of regular work or 15 hours of web browsing.

Huawei has applied many of its innovative smartphone technologies to the Huawei MateBook X Pro to create effortless and intuitive user experiences. Pioneered by Huawei for the Huawei MateBook Series, the Huawei MateBook X Pro features the super-fast power button 2.0 which enables login in just 7.8 seconds from power off, and 6.6 seconds from hibernation. In addition, the Huawei MateBook X Pro features the world’s first recessed camera which discreetly sits on the keyboard – to activate it, all users need to do is press it and it will pop up, ensuring privacy when it’s not being used. This contributes greatly to the perfect experience of FullView Display. A multi-purpose adapter supports USB-C fast charging widely used in smartphones, meaning users only need to bring one charger when travelling for even greater portability. By developing a high-speed transport protocol, Huawei Share enables users to exchange photos and files quickly, easily and safely, without USB compatibility problems. The Wi-Fi transfer speed is up to 20Mbps, 100 times faster than that of Bluetooth.

Huawei MediaPad M5 Series

The Huawei MediaPad M5 Series is the world first tablet featuring a 2.5D glass screen for outstanding viewing experiences and great hand-feel. Both the 8.4- and 10.8-inch tablets take the iconic design of the Series to the next level with a sleek metal uni-body and U-shaped antenna design that is ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing. They are available in two colors: Champagne Gold and Space Gray.

With the Huawei MediaPad M5, users can take a world of immersive entertainment experiences with them wherever they go. The 2K and ClariVu 5.0-enhanced display captures even the subtlest details while intelligent algorithms ensure videos stay crisp and clear. The MediaPad M5 comes with two speakers on the 8.4-inch version and four speakers on the 10.8-inch version, tuned by Harman Kardon and Huawei Histen for immersive 3D sound. The support from Hi-Res audio when listening through headphones allows music to be experienced the way artists intended.

The Huawei MediaPad M5 is powered by a Kirin 960 Series processor for peak performance whether gaming, browsing the web or catching up on emails. EMUI 8.0 ensures a clean and user-friendly experience. A long-lasting battery – 5,100 mAh for 8.4-inch and 7,500 mAh for 10.8-inch – is augmented with Huawei QuickCharge technology.

Android has been optimized for productivity on the 10.8-inch Huawei MediaPad M5 with a ‘Desktop View’ experience that improves navigation for productivity-related activities. This includes a Taskbar and easy access to files for sharing and editing. The 10.8-inch HUAWEI MediaPad M5 also features ‘Pogo Pins’ that allow a keyboard to be connected, improving productivity even further.

Exclusively available with the 10.8-inch Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro is a Huawei M-Pen featuring 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity to make note-taking more realistic, easier and effortless.

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Which IoT horse should you back?

The emerging IoT is evolving at a rapid pace with more companies entering the market. The development of new product and communication systems is likely to continue to grow over the next few years, after which we could begin to see a few dominant players emerge, says DARREN OXLEE, CTOf of Utility Systems.

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But in the interim, many companies face a dilemma because, in such a new industry, there are so many unknowns about its trajectory. With the variety of options available (particularly regarding the medium of communication), there’s the a question of which horse to back.

Many players also haven’t fully come to grips with the commercial models in IoT (specifically, how much it costs to run these systems).

Which communication protocol should you consider for your IoT application? Depends on what you’re looking for. Here’s a summary of the main low-power, wide area network (LPWAN) communications options that are currently available, along with their applicability:

SIGFOX 

SigFox has what is arguably the most traction in the LPWAN space, thanks to its successful marketing campaigns in Europe. It also has strong support from vendors including Texas Instruments, Silicon Labs, and Axom.

It’s a relatively simple technology, ultra-narrowband (100 Hz), and sends very small data (12 bytes) very slowly (300 bps). So it’s perfect for applications where systems need to send small, infrequent bursts of data. Its lack of downlink capabilities, however, could make it unsuitable for applications that require two-way communication.

LORA 

LoRaWAN is a standard governed by the LoRa Alliance. It’s not open because the underlying chipset is only available through Semtech – though this should change in future.

Its functionality is like SigFox: it’s primarily intended for uplink-only applications with multiple nodes, although downlink messages are possible. But unlike SigFox, LoRa uses multiple frequency channels and data rates with coded messages. These are less likely to interfere with one another, increasing the concentrator capacity.

RPMA 

Ingenu Technology Solutions has developed a proprietary technology called Random Phase Multiple Access (RPMA) in the 2.4 GHz band. Due to its architecture, it’s said to have a superior uplink and downlink capacity compared to other models.

It also claims to have better doppler, scheduling, and interference characteristics, as well as a better link budget of 177 dB compared to LoRa’s 157 dB and SigFox’s 149 dB. Plus, it operates in the 2.4 GHz spectrum, which is globally available for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so there are no regional architecture changes needed – unlike SigFox and LoRa.

LTE-M 

LTE-M (LTE Cat-M1) is a cellular technology that has gained traction in the United States and is specifically designed for IoT or machine‑to‑machine (M2M) communications.

It’s a low‑power wide‑area (LPWA) interface that connects IoT and M2M devices with medium data rate requirements (375 kb/s upload and download speeds in half duplex mode). It also enables longer battery lifecycles and greater in‑building range compared to standard cellular technologies like 2G, 3G, or LTE Cat 1.

Key features include:

·       Voice functionality via VoLTE

·       Full mobility and in‑vehicle hand‑over

·       Low power consumption

·       Extended in‑building range

NB-IOT 

Narrowband IoT (NB‑IoT or LTE Cat NB1) is part of the same 3GPP Release 13 standard3 that defined LTE Cat M1 – both are licensed as LPWAN technologies that work virtually anywhere. NB-IoT connects devices simply and efficiently on already established mobile networks and handles small amounts of infrequent two‑way data securely and reliably.

NB‑IoT is well suited for applications like gas and water meters through regular and small data transmissions, as network coverage is a key issue in smart metering rollouts. Meters also tend to be in difficult locations like cellars, deep underground, or in remote areas. NB‑IoT has excellent coverage and penetration to address this.

MY FORECAST

The LPWAN technology stack is fluid, so I foresee it evolving more over the coming years. During this time, I suspect that we’ll see:

1.     Different markets adopting different technologies based on factors like dominant technology players and local regulations

2.     The technologies diverging for a period and then converging with a few key players, which I think will be SigFox, LoRa, and the two LTE-based technologies

3.     A significant technological shift in 3-5 years, which will disrupt this space again

So, which horse should you back?

I don’t believe it’s prudent to pick a single technology now; lock-in could cause serious restrictions in the long-term. A modular, agile approach to implementing the correct communications mechanism for your requirements carries less risk.

The commercial model is also hugely important. The cellular and telecommunications companies will understandably want to maximise their returns and you’ll want to position yourself to share an equitable part of the revenue.

So: do your homework. And good luck!

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Ms Office hack attacks up 4X

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Exploits, software that takes advantage of a bug or vulnerability, for Microsoft Office in-the-wild hit the list of cyber headaches in Q1 2018. Overall, the number of users attacked with malicious Office documents rose more than four times compared with Q1 2017. In just three months, its share of exploits used in attacks grew to almost 50% – this is double the average share of exploits for Microsoft Office across 2017. These are the main findings from Kaspersky Lab’s Q1 IT threat evolution report.

Attacks based on exploits are considered to be very powerful, as they do not require any additional interactions with the user and can deliver their dangerous code discreetly. They are therefore widely used; both by cybercriminals looking for profit and by more sophisticated nation-backed state actors for their malicious purposes.

The first quarter of 2018 experienced a massive inflow of these exploits, targeting popular Microsoft Office software. According to Kaspersky Lab experts, this is likely to be the peak of a longer trend, as at least ten in-the-wild exploits for Microsoft Office software were identified in 2017-2018 – compared to two zero-day exploits for Adobe Flash player used in-the-wild during the same time period.

The share of the latter in the distribution of exploits used in attacks is decreasing as expected (accounting for slightly less than 3% in the first quarter) – Adobe and Microsoft have put a lot of effort into making it difficult to exploit Flash Player.

After cybercriminals find out about a vulnerability, they prepare a ready-to-go exploit. They then frequently use spear-phishing as the infection vector, compromising users and companies through emails with malicious attachments. Worse still, such spear-phishing attack vectors are usually discreet and very actively used in sophisticated targeted attacks – there were many examples of this in the last six months alone.

For instance, in late 2017, Kaspersky Lab’s advanced exploit prevention systems identified a new Adobe Flash zero-day exploit used in-the-wild against our customers. The exploit was delivered through a Microsoft Office document and the final payload was the latest version of FinSpy malware. Analysis of the payload enabled researchers to confidently link this attack to a sophisticated actor known as ‘BlackOasis’. The same month, Kaspersky Lab’s experts published a detailed analysis of СVE-2017-11826, a critical zero-day vulnerability used to launch targeted attacks in all versions of Microsoft Office. The exploit for this vulnerability is an RTF document containing a DOCX document that exploits СVE-2017-11826 in the Office Open XML parser. Finally, just a couple of days ago, information on Internet Explorer zero day CVE-2018-8174 was published. This vulnerability was also used in targeted attacks.

“The threat landscape in the first quarter again shows us that a lack of attention to patch management is one of the most significant cyber-dangers. While vendors usually issue patches for the vulnerabilities, users often can’t update their products in time, which results in waves of discreet and highly effective attacks once the vulnerabilities have been exposed to the broad cybercriminal community,” notes Alexander Liskin, security expert at Kaspersky Lab.

Other online threat statistics from the Q1, 2018 report include:

  • Kaspersky Lab solutions detected and repelled 796,806,112 malicious attacks from online resources located in 194 countries around the world.
  • 282,807,433 unique URLs were recognised as malicious by web antivirus components.
  • Attempted infections by malware that aims to steal money via online access to bank accounts were registered on 204,448 user computers.
  • Kaspersky Lab’s file antivirus detected a total of 187,597,494 unique malicious and potentially unwanted objects.
  • Kaspersky Lab mobile security products also detected:
    • 1,322,578 malicious installation packages.
    • 18,912 mobile banking Trojans (installation packages).

To reduce the risk of infection, users are advised to:

  • Keep the software installed on your PC up to date, and enable the auto-update feature if it is available.
  • Wherever possible, choose a software vendor that demonstrates a responsible approach to a vulnerability problem. Check if the software vendor has its own bug bounty program.

·         Use robust security solutions , which have special features to protect against exploits, such as Automatic Exploit Prevention.

·         Regularly run a system scan to check for possible infections and make sure you keep all software up to date.

  • Businesses should use a security solution that provides vulnerability, patch management and exploit prevention components, such as Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business. The patch management feature automatically eliminates vulnerabilities and proactively patches them. The exploit prevention component monitors suspicious actions of applications and blocks malicious files executions.
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