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MWC: Software SIM to cut roaming cost and complexity

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KnowRoaming is best known for a sticker that goes onto SIM cards to enable low-cost roaming, but now it has come up with a software solution.

Roaming solutions provider KnowRoaming has launched an entirely virtual, hardware-free SIM, complete with custom management tools and a global roaming network, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.

“The KnowRoaming Soft SIM Platform is the first truly end-to-end, turn-key solution of its kind,” said Gregory Gundelfinger, KnowRoaming CEO. “The Platform offers the complete package, from delivery, to management, to global network connectivity.”

KnowRoaming has partnered with TCL Communication, manufacturers of Alcatel handsets,  for the launch of this platform in the company’s handsets – starting with the China market before launching in the US and other global markets. Its portfolio of products is currently sold in over 170 countries globally under the ALcatel and and TCL brands. Globally, it reported cumulative sales of handsets and other products of more than 83 million units in 2015, whiole Alcatel is the fourth largest mobile handset manufacturer in North America.

With the technology integrated in selected handsets, users can automatically connect to networks in foreign countries, monitoring their account usage in real-time through the dedicated app, all while benefiting from low data roaming rates and a seamless device- integrated experience.

The end users access roaming rates up to 85% lower than their carriers’ in 200+ countries thanks to KnowRoaming’s commercial agreements with networks worldwide. KnowRoaming operates the global Multi-IMSI network that provides the data, voice and SMS services. The network selection, call routing and billing are all handled by KnowRoaming infrastructure.

“Our Soft SIM Platform is designed for easy implementation with different baseband chipsets, purposefully created to be a quick, drop-in integration,” said Dominik Swierad, KnowRoaming COO. “The Platform offers full control and dynamic provisioning, custom- designed for Multi-IMSI roaming connectivity.”

KnowRoaming first entered the consumer market in 2013 with the launch of the Global SIM Sticker. The Sticker attaches to a customer’s existing SIM card and remains dormant while at home. When the customer travels, the Sticker automatically connects to local networks for significant savings. Since the launch of this product, KnowRoaming has continued to focus on developing innovative new technologies to better connect devices across borders.

“The Soft SIM Platform is a natural evolution for KnowRoaming. First, we took the standard SIM technology and created the ultra-thin SIM Sticker. Next, we removed the hardware component completely,” said Gundelfinger. “With the flexible delivery mechanisms, the operation of a mobile network, and commercial agreements with networks worldwide, KnowRoaming has a unique vertically integrated solution and the applications are seemingly endless. We’re a one-stop shop for global connectivity.”

* For more information, visit www.knowroaming.com.

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Wannacry still alive

One and a half years after its epidemic, WannaCry ransomware tops the list of the most widespread cryptor families and the ransomware has attacked 74,621 unique users worldwide.

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These attacks accounted for 28.72% of all users targeted by cryptors in Q3 2018. The percentage has risen over the last year, demonstrating more than two thirds growth against Q3 2017, when its share in cryptor attacks was 16.78%. This is just one of the main findings from Kaspersky Lab’s Q3 IT threat evolution report. 

A series of cyberattacks with WannaCry cryptor occurred in May 2017 and is still considered to be one of the biggest ransomware epidemics in history. Even though Windows released a patch for its operating system to close the vulnerability exploited by EternalBlue 2 months prior to the start of the attacks, WannaCry still affected hundreds of thousands devices around the globe. As cryptors do, WannaCry turned files on victims’ computers into encrypted data and demanded ransom for decryption keys (created by threat actors to decipher the files and transform them back into the original data) making it impossible to operate the infected device.

The consequences of the WannaCry epidemic were devastating: as the victims were mainly organisations with networked systems – the work of businesses, factories and hospitals was paralysed. Even though this case demonstrated the dangers cryptors pose, and most of PCs around the world have been updated to resist the EternalBlue exploit, the statistics show that criminals still try to exploit those computers that weren’t patched and there are still plenty of them around the globe.

Overall, Kaspersky Lab security solution protected 259,867 unique users from cryptors attacks, showing a substantial rise of 39% since Q2 2018, when the figure was 158,921. The growth was rapid yet steady, with a monthly observed increase in the number of users.

The rising share of WannaCry attacks is another reminder that epidemics don’t end as fast as they start – there are always long-running consequences. In the case of cryptors, attacks can be so severe that it is necessary to take preventive measures and patch the device, rather than deal with encrypted files later,” said Fedor Sinitsyn, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

 To reduce the risk of infection by WannaCry and other cryptors, users are advised to:

  • Always update your operating system to eliminate recent vulnerabilities and use a robust security solution with updated databases. It is also important to use the security solution that has specialised technologies to protect your data from ransomware, as Kaspersky Lab’s solutions do. Even if the newest yet unknown malware does manage to sneak through, Kaspersky Lab’s System Watcher technology is able to block and roll back all malicious changes made on a device, including the encryption of files.
  • If you have bad luck and all your files are encrypted with cryptomalware, it is not recommended to pay cybercriminals, as it encourages them to continue their dirty business and infect more people’s devices. It is better to find a decryptor on the Internet – some of them are available for free here: https://noransom.kaspersky.com/

·         It is also important to always have fresh backup copies of your files to be able to replace them in case they are lost (e.g. due to malware or a broken device), and store them not only on the physical object but also in cloud storage for greater reliability (don’t forget to protect your cloud storage with strong hack-proof password!)

·         If you’re a business, enhance your preferred third-party security solution with the newest version of the free Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool.

·         To protect the corporate environment, educate your employees and IT teams, keep sensitive data separate, restrict access, and always back up everything.

·         Use a dedicated security solution, such as Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business that is powered by behaviour detection and able to roll back malicious actions. It should also include Vulnerability and Patch management features that automatically eliminates vulnerabilities and installs updates. This reduces the risk of vulnerabilities in popular software being used by cybercriminals.

·         Last, but not least, remember that ransomware is a criminal offence. You shouldn’t pay. If you become a victim, report it to your local law enforcement agency.

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Nokia 6.1 gets slice of Pie

HMD Global has announced that the Nokia 6.1 will start receiving Android 9 Pie – the second smartphone in the portfolio to receive the latest version of Android less than a month after the update arrived on the Nokia 7 plus.

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Packed with Google’s newest software and building on the features of Android 8.0 Oreo, Android 9 Pie’s focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning gives owners a more customised and tailored experience.

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform, the Nokia 6.1 is over 60% faster than its predecessor. Also, now offering enhanced Dual-Sight, ZEISS optics, USB-C fast-charging, Nokia spatial audio and pure, secure and up-to-date Android Oreo.

The Nokia 6.1 has been selected by Google to join the Android One family and therefore users get exclusive access to Apps Actions – a feature only available to Android One and Google Pixel devices.  App Actions helps users get things done faster by predicting their next move and displaying the right action on right away.

Now with Android 9 Pie, the Nokia 6.1’s already impressive battery life is further complimented with the introduction of Adaptive Battery, an update that uses deep learning to understand usage patterns and prioritise battery power on the most important apps.

Other key features of Android 9

·       Slices – Identifies relevant information on favourite apps to make them more easily accessible when needed

·       Adaptive Brightness – Automatically adapts phone brightness by learning from interactions with different settings

·       New system navigation – Features a single home button that provides intelligent predictions and suggestions (user enabled)

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