Iconosys, a mobile safety smartphone application developer has released the ‚I Can Quit‚ app, a new health-related smartphone app aimed at providing assistance and tracking for a person trying to stop habits like smoking.
An estimated 50 million people still smoke in the U.S, and many of them are trying to quit ‚Ä¶ without permanent, or even temporary, success! Whether it is based on a desire to improve their own health, a new year’s resolution, a commitment by a spouse to another, or a mom or dad promising to quit at the request of their children, the fact is that millions of smokers, drinkers and other addicted persons want the power, to quit unhealthy habits, and simply need additional help to make these changes a reality. For example, it is estimated that 17 million Americans try to quit smoking each year with very little success. Self-help programs are popping up all over with options and resources encouraging those who want to quit to do so.
For years, we have known in this country that cigarette smoking is a leading cause for illnesses like cancers, heart disease, stroke, and others that lead to death.
In fact, the US Surgeon General’s office gives us 4 official warnings (noted below) that must be posted on packaging that contains tobacco products:
‚Ä¢ Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, and May Complicate Pregnancy
‚Ä¢ Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health
‚Ä¢ Smoking By Pregnant Women May Result in Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, And Low Birth Weight
‚Ä¢ Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide
‚When I was in the US Marine Corps, I was summoned back to central Florida to attend the funeral of my grandmother, after she had died from very sad, distressing and ugly struggle with Emphysema. I was her oldest grandson, she was so young. It was one of the most horrible things to see. I feel awful for those struggling to break the cycle and get off of the road leading them to such live-ending illnesses, and wish them all the strength in the world to quit if they so desire,‚ commented Iconosys co-founder and CEO Wayne Irving II.
The I Can Quit Features Include the Following:
‚Ä¢ I Can Quit app sends supportive texts to the user throughout the day, motivating the quitter to continue his or her efforts toward a habit-free day.
‚Ä¢ The messages that are transmitted to the user come in at pre-programmed intervals, or can be customized in terms of content and/or frequency of transmission by the user/quitter, a loved one or a care-provider as it is requested or required. In particular, a timer and a quota can be set as to how many and the recurrence or frequency of messages that the quitter may get throughout the day.
‚Ä¢ Currently, there are 10 pre-programmed messages inside the app, which the app will send the user via SMS Text message: these would include encouraging words to the effect of ‚doing a good job‚ or ‚keep up the good work‚ . A congratulatory timer is included that keeps track of the quitter’s daily victories in remaining habit free and showing the quitter their daily and weekly progress.
The app is available now for download from Amazon AppStore, Android Marketplace, GetJar, and the AppHysteria Appstore. While Iconosys plans to sell the app and provide a portion of the resulting funds to non-profits in support of programs aimed at helping quitters quit, at the present time the app is free of charge.
Scammers cleaning up with gullible computer users
Kaspersky experts have detected a two-fold rise in the number of users being attacked with fake system cleaners – fraudulent programmes designed to trick users into paying for alleged serious computer issues to be fixed. The number of users hit reached 1,456,219 in the first half of 2019, compared to just 747,322 for the same period in 2018. During this time, some of the attacks have become more sophisticated and dangerous.
A slow-working or poorly performing computer is a common complaint among PC users, and there are many legitimate tools available to solve such issues. However, alongside genuine system cleaners, there are fake ones developed by fraudsters that are designed to trick users into believing their computer is in critical danger, for example through memory overload, and needs immediate cleaning. The attackers then offer to provide such a service in return for payment. Kaspersky defines and detects such programmes as ‘hoax system cleaners’.
Upon receiving user permission and payment, the fraudsters install the hoax programmes that claim to clean the PC, but which often either do nothing or install adware – an annoying, but not critical, storm of unsolicited advertising – on the computer. Increasingly, however, the cybercriminals are using the installation of hoax cleaners to download or disguise malware such as Trojans or ransomware.
The countries most affected by attacks with hoax cleaners in the first half of 2019 show how geographically widespread the threat is; leading the list is Japan with 12% of affectedusers, followed by Germany (10%), Belarus (10%), Italy (10%) and Brazil (9%).
“We’ve been watching how the phenomenon of hoax cleaners has been growing for the last couple of years, and it is a curious threat. On the one hand, many samples that we have seen are spreading more widely and becoming more dangerous, evolving from a simple ‘fraudulent’ scheme into fully functioning and dangerous malware. On the other hand, they are so widespread and seemingly innocent, that it is much easier for them to trick users into paying for a service, rather than frightening them with screen blockers and other unpleasant malware. However, these two ways end up with the same results with users losing their money,” says Artemiy Ovchinnikov, security researcher at Kaspersky.
Kaspersky detects hoax system cleaners as:
To avoid falling victim to hoax threats, Kaspersky researchers advise users to:
- Always check that the PC services that you are about to adopt are legitimate and easy to understand. If it sounds confusing, use a search engine to find out more about the service as there may be a more detailed explanation available
- Use a reliable security solution for comprehensive protection with a clean-up function for a wide range of threats and PC cleansing, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud.
- If you are purposely looking for a PC cleaner, use reliable, IT-targeted sources of information for recommendations, with a long-built reputation and software reviews.
Read the full report on Kaspersky Daily.
Trend Micro unveils security suite for Azure in Africa
Cybersecurity leader Trend Micro Incorporated has announced highly optimised security solutions for Microsoft Azure workloads for customers in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Trend Micro Deep Security suite takes into consideration that a customer needs to approach cloud security differently than one would traditional security. As a result, it is fully optimised for Microsoft Azure. The suite ensures that a customer can tap into a solution that provides flexible, scalable protection of operating systems, applications, and data without slowing you down.
“Microsoft is an important partner to Trend Micro and as a result we have built a series of technologies that support their position in the cloud,” says Indi Siriniwasa, vice president at Trend Micro Sub-Saharan Africa. “Our security solutions are uniquely optimised for Microsoft Azure and complement Microsoft Azure Security Centre so customers across the world continue to turn to Trend Micro to help better secure their Azure real estate. With Microsoft Azure now available from new cloud regions in South Africa, customers can rest assured that we support the use of Microsoft to streamline provisioning of security for Windows virtual machines and SharePoint workloads.
“This will help customers to ensure that their security follows them from their physical environment to the cloud and back again, customers can automate security with Microsoft PowerShell scripting to streamline provisioning of security for Windows virtual machines and SharePoint workloads plus many other orchestration tools for Azure, including Chef, Puppet, and RightScale, we can also help clients to better automate security control deployments.”
With Deep Security for Azure, businesses can detect and protect against intrusions as well as protect their business against serious vulnerabilities with intrusion detection and prevention (IDS/IPS). The solution will also help uncover suspicious changes to a system and immediately highlight and alert the business to these activities – without security admins having to manually sort through logs.
It also has the ability to keep malware off of workloads by using predictive machine learning mechanisms to detect unknown threats and prevalent attacks, so that a user can identify and then remove malware and blacklist domains known to be command-and-control (C&C) servers. Customers can also stop applications attached with IPS rules that block XSS or SQL attacks and other serious vulnerabilities until systems can be patched, as well as increase application visibility and control.
A particularly relevant feature within the South African context is that Deep Security is able to speed up a client’s route to PCI DSS compliance. The Deep Security solution allows a client to meet multiple PCI requirements with a single product, including intrusion detection and prevention, file integrity monitoring, and log inspection.
“Trend Micro’s integration with Microsoft Azure reduces the dependence on multiple point security tools, helping you to identify and address security and configuration issues quickly,” says Adwait Joshi, director, Azure Product Marketing at Microsoft Corp.
Trend Micro provided the following information:
Trend Micro’s Deep Security currently secures more servers globally than any other solution and specialises in protection for cloud and virtualised workload. It acts as part of the Trend Micro Hybrid Cloud Security solution, powered by XGen and provides comprehensive, flexible security for Azure workloads in a single product, so you can build new applications or move existing resources to the cloud with confidence.
Deep Security protects workloads by:
- Defending against network threats with intrusion detection and prevention (IDS/IPS)
- Immediately protecting against vulnerabilities like Shellshock and Heartbleed
- Keeping malware off Windows and Linux workloads
- Alerting when unplanned or suspicious changes are made to systems
- Stopping SQL injection and XSS attacks on applications
- Gaining visibility and control of elastic workloads with application control that fits DevOps
Local Trend Micro customers can also turn to the company’s Trend Micro Cloud App Security which is directly integrated into Office 365 via APIs. This includes advanced email protection, as well as compliance on third-party cloud file sharing services such as: Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business.