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Monday, November 25, 2013

Fastest-growing Internet virus ransoms computers

Terry Dent was certain that it was a scam the moment she read the warning message on her computer.

She knew she hadn’t downloaded any child pornography, this 57-year-old widow acknowledge that she is not the most computer- literate woman in the world but she is quite sure she hadn’t done any mistake. If in any case that she did, she knew the FBI wouldn’t be asking her to use a prepaid credit card to pay a $300 fine to unfreeze her computer.

“I’m not stupid,” she said. “I wasn’t going to send anyone anything.”

But the thing is other people do and will keep doing it.

According to computer security and identity theft experts, Dent’s computer was infected with a version of the Reveton virus. The virus is a popular form of “ransomware” that takes over a computer and prevents users from operating it, supposedly until they pay a fee.

The truth is the law enforcement is not involved although a lot of versions of the virus tell people their computers have been flagged by the Department of Justice or FBI.

Ransomware is rapidly being popular virus for con artists. A computer-security software firm McAfee, catalogued more ransomware in the first half of 2013 than in all previous periods combined. And according to Symantec Corporation – the software company behind the Norton AntiVirus programs – Reveton attempted to infect 500,000 computers over an 18-day period last year.

“It is absolutely the fastest-growing threat to computer users,” said Marian Merritt, a Symantec spokeswoman.

Experts persuade victims not to pay the ransom and they will convince them instead that they should take their computers to information-technology professionals to have the viruses removed.

“Paying the fine will only be providing criminals with a credit card number,” said Robert Siciliano, an online security expert with McAfee.

“Often the criminal will still not keep their end of the bargain and will just continue to ask for more money,” added Eva Velasquez, CEO and president of the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Although Dent wasn’t defrauded with any amount of money, her experience with the virus traumatized her. The virus turned on her web camera and snapped a picture of her at her computer to make it look like she was under investigation by the federal government.

“You could see my whole living room,” said Dent, a former sales clerk who was scared by the incident and didn’t even know how to turn on her web camera at the time. “You could see my door was open. You could see everything.”
Dent contacted Norfolk police and said she spoke with officers for more than an hour, but a police spokeswoman said no report was filed.

Dent said she paid a man $135 to fix her computer. She rarely uses it now, however, because she is afraid of getting hacked again.

“I probably have 800 emails sitting on there,” she said. “I don’t even bother anymore.”

And what she did to the webcam is she put a piece of electrical tape over it, just to be safe.

“Ransomware” takes over a computer and prevents users from operating it, supposedly until they pay a fee. Experts urge victims not to pay the ransom but to have information-technology professionals remove the viruses.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Grand Theft Auto V Wins Game of the Year by Abney and Associates

Grand Theft Auto V has taken top prize at the annual Golden Joystick Awards.

Held this year in central London, the Rock Star North’s record-breaking title won Game of the Year at the annual awards.

A target date in the gaming industry’s calendar, the Golden Joystick Awards celebrate the best video-gaming creations of the past 12 months.

GTA V is the best ever selling video game title of all time and is forecasted to sell 25 million copies in the coming year.

A “masterpiece” it is. Games website IGN called is called one and this is one of the greatest video games ever made.

The setting is the fictional city of San Andreas, GTA V’s mission-led gameplay has gathered talk wildly reviews from fans worldwide, but critic says the game glorifies violence, torture and crime.

GTA V’s release last month saw chaotic scenes across the UK as avid fans queued up to get a copy of the fifth installment of the series while costing an estimated £170m to make and market.

Apparently, a 23-year-old man in north London was stabbed and robbed of his copy minutes after it went on sale.

And three teenagers have been charged regarding the incident.

The GTA series has moved around 150 million copies from the time when it started in 1997.

Nevertheless, the creators of GTA V were forced to make an apology at the start of October after the launch of the game’s online multiplayer mode was overwhelmed with problems.

Countless protested of the game deteriorating to load, at the same time as others were frequently disconnected once they managed to log on to the online platform. The issues were afterward fixed.

Other winners on the night naming cult shooter Call Of Duty picking up a Hall of Fame award, Naughty Dog’s The Last Of Us winning Best Newcomer and Best Storytelling and BioShock creator Kevin Levine taking home the inaugural Lifetime Achievement award.

Levine said it’s an exciting time for the video game industry.

“The great thing about the still-maturing nature of video games is you get to be inspired by the work of novices and veterans alike,” he said.

“We’re all figuring out day by day exactly what the medium is capable of.”

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The upcoming cyber-security threat cycle

The first PC viruses appeared more than 25 years ago. Little did we realize that this was just the beginning of what would become a series of threat waves.
For nearly 10 years viruses endured as the primary method of attack, but over time were largely matched by defenders’ talents to block and protect against them. Motivated by the notoriety and knowledge gained by discovering and publicizing a new vulnerability, attackers continued to innovate. What ensued were distinct threat cycles. From macro viruses to worms to spyware and rootkits, approximately every five years attackers would launch new types of threats and defenders would protect against them.
It’s no surprise that we can map these cycles to major technology shift


Thursday, April 18, 2013

-|-|0\/\/ 70 |3 1337 (How to be leet)

Learn how to write the 1337 language from posts by our team composed of self-proclaimed computer geeks who practically breathes virtual air 24/ […]


Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Leet speak has its origins from the IRC chat culture and was believed to be born from the need of geeks and hackers to develop a way to avoid censorship and detection in their communications online. The language is characterized by intended grammatical errors, mix usage of numbers […]


Sunday, April 14, 2013

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Abney and Associates and Technology Research Lab cracks leet speak. It was first used by hackers as a way to prevent their websites/newsgroups from being found by simple keyword searches.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Transport Layer Security is the successor of SSL as cryptographic protocol and is largely deemed as more effective and secure than SSL. It encrypts the sessions using message authentication codes, symmetric encryption, etc.

It enables server and client to communicate across a network and secures that connection from tampering or eavesdropping. 


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Understanding Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a form of Internet money that is immensely trendy and greatly appreciated means of buying and selling on line. And this is a currency that barely anybody understands. Various companies exclusively accept Bitcoins. The truth because of the recent banking instability in Cyprus it became so enormous that the worth of “all outstanding Bitcoins” just hit $1 billion.
So what is this bitcoin? Bitcoin (sign: BTC) is a decentralized digital currency based on an open source, peer-to-peer internet protocol. It was introduced by a pseudonymous developer named Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. (

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Secure Sockets Layer, created by Netscape, is the predecessor of TLS that was discovered to contain security flaws, making it ineffective in terms of its cryptographic capacity.

SSL starts a session between the server and client by generating session keys to protect the integrity of data being exchanged. 


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ransomware boosts credibility by reading victims’ browsers

In order to make scams more believable, ransomware have started using the browsing histories from infected computers.
Abney and Associates IT research, ransomware is a specific type of malicious software that holds a computer and its contents virtually hostage. This malware acts as a means to perpetuate extortion. Attackers who use malware do so with the goal of forcing victims to pay money to regain access to their own files. After the money has been received, the attacker provides the victim with a code that can restore the system back to normal.
Viruses that can encrypt files and withhold them from their rightful owners have also been called cryptoviruses, cryptoworms and cryptotrojans. They have become increasingly popular. Ways that ransomware can infiltrate a computer system are similar to those of the average computer worm. Ransomware can enter through an infected email or network vulnerability. They can also make their way onto the computers of unsuspecting victims by way of search engine activities, infected web advertisements and automatic Internet downloads.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Encryption–the process of encoding data so that it requires a special key to be read–can protect your data from prying eyes. Once the domain of spies, encryption is fast becoming an advisable precaution for businesses and homeusers: It’s your best tool for protecting your trade secrets and privacy.
Whether your encryption program is stand-alone or built into your e-mail app, the encryption process is the same[…]

Sunday, March 31, 2013


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is the web standard for email transmission using port 25 or 587 (MSA). It conducts secured connections via SSL (SMTPS).
This is a text-based protocol wherein a mail sender communicates with its receiver through giving its instructions over TCP connection. However, it only defines the message transfer and not its content (i.e. like the physical mail envelope and not the body of the letter).

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Internet Message Access Protocol is a message retrieval system common in most mail servers and email clients. It supports both offline and online operation modes and functions by transferring messages from a server to a client. IMAP does not automatically deletes messages from the server even after downloading them, unless manually done by the user.


Monday, March 25, 2013


File Transfer Protocol is the standard network scheme in transfering files from one server (host) to another via TCP network or Internet.

Login requires username/password system in order to grant access. Data is received by the server and once it is verified[...]

Friday, March 22, 2013


Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the basis of data communication for the Internet and defines the standards in exchange of hypertext. It is developed to enable intermediate network components to communicate on behalf of servers and clients. HTTP is the application layer protocol within the IP suite.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

PC Speak: An Abney and Associates Internet and Technology Research Lab Presents the IPv6

Internet Protocol version 6 is the most recent update of the IP, the main communications protocol that holds the whole Internet. It is created to supplant the older Internet Protocol version 4 that is still in use on most of the web traffic until today. IPv6 was formed by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) as a solution for the IPv4′s imminent address shortage.

For every device that connects to the Internet, it needs an IP address — a binary number assigned to it to enable communication with other devices. And with the quick turnout of Internet-capable devices today, the current IPv4 protocol is running out of addresses that we could use.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Android befall iOS in popularity in Singapore, HK

When it comes to Smartphones, It is clearly a battle between Android and iOS.  But signs are emerging that Apple might be loosing grip in the two Asian markets.

Conforming to Reuters report, most of the well-off smartphone users in Singapore and Hong Kong are turning to Android handsets, mostly Samsung, rather than iOS of Apple.  The trouble that iPhone is their desire to be different that causing them as weakness and in turn an advantage to competing device.

Continue Reading

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cyber-Threat Trends of 2013

Experts forecast a rise in computer and cellphone scams
It takes no expert to predict that there will be for sure an increase of sophisticated methods and updates of old scams to try to take control of our computers and cellphones to get identities and money. Yet another year, here comes 2013, scammers are busy or maybe had already developed new ways to swindle us in the coming months.
Sign up for the AARP Money Newsletter.
This comes as a general rule and everyone must know even without asking tips from the experts, to stay safe one must know the basic vigilance. Now the question is how. This is how: Keep your security software updated and run it regularly. Click only on links from trusted sources; the same goes for buying cellphone apps. Be smart about where and how you navigate in cyberspace.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Computer scientist looks for ways of fraud prevention

Jeremy Wendt, Sandia National Laboratories computer science researcher, focuses on working on a program to uncover probable preys of nefarious emails.
The weakest link in many computer networks is a gullible human. With that in mind, Sandia National Laboratories computer science researcher Jeremy Wendt wants to figure out how to recognize potential targets of nefarious emails and put them on their guard. – Phys. Org
He aims to trim down the figure of visitors that cyber analysts have to check as possible bad guys among thousands who search Sandia websites each day.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Net providers begin warning of illegal downloads

In the first decade of the 21st century, technology made it possible to download music, movies or televisions shows from the Internet to your computer. Before this, you had to go to a music store physically and purchase an album or CD if you wanted to hear the latest from your favorite artists. With this new technology, the entire scope of how you obtain your music has changed.

But as the technology advances rapidly, unlawful downloading sites also places on a huge number. And with these, internet users who illegally download online could soon receive warning notices from the nation’s five major internet service providers. Consumers who are using peer-to-peer software are the number one target this week of the Copyright Alert System.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol are the core of internet protocol suite as the they work together in supporting web functions.

TCP is used in email, FTP, file sharing, media streaming and the Internet in general. Because of traffic load, network congestion and other network behavior, IP packets could not be delivered properly so TCP detects possible problems to achieve successful data transmission.



PC Speak: An Abney and Associates Internet and Technology Research Lab talks about TCP / IP and other related protocols:


Abney and Associates Internet and Technology Research Lab illustrated the importance of IP addresses. IP has the responsibility of addressing packets to be transmitted across a network or across the Internet.


Sunday, March 3, 2013


A complete and definitive list of programming languages ever made, with no distinction of their being high- or low-level. (Classification of PLs as low- or high-level changes over time and is highly relative to time. What is considered high-level today could be seen as low-level in the future just as assembly language was deemed high-level before.) So instead[...]

Friday, March 1, 2013

High level

High-level languages are easier for programmers to use for its closer resembalnce with human language, making it more understandable and less time-consuming compared to assembly language. Instead of assembly codes that need to be remembered or looked up each time, high-level utilizes boolean, functions, loops, arrays, objects, threads and arithmetic for maximum efficiency.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Low level

A low-level programming language refers to machine code or what is called assembly language. This is the one closer to the hardware for small abstraction present between the latter and the machine language.

Low-level PL converts easily into machine code, something that a computer can directly process as is, so there is no need for a compiler or interpreter . The code runs on the processor itself ergo programs written with this run fast and do not consume that much in memory.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


PC Speak: An Abney and Associates Internet and Technology Research Lab summarizes the following programming languages.  Programming languages are artificial languages used in giving instructions to a machine (particularly a computer) that it could understand. They are employed in creating programs or software and have control on the performance, output and activities of a machine.

PLs are characterized by their syntax (form) and the meaning of its code (semantics). They are quite different from human languages as PLs are finite, exact and can be fully understood


Thursday, February 21, 2013


We provide details here on how to easily (for those who want long-winded procedures, we also have the complex way) convert one numeral system to another.

Decimal > Binary


Monday, February 18, 2013


Hex or hexadecimal is the base-16 numeral system that uses 16 different symbols ranging from the digits 0 to 9 and the letters A to F (representing values from 10-15). Hexadecimal is a positional number system in Computer Science and Mathematics.
Each hex digit is equal to 4 bits (binary digits) and or what is called 1 nibble (half an octet). Hex system is […]


Saturday, February 16, 2013


Base-8 numeral system or octal uses digits from 0 to 7 and can be achieved from grouping consecutive binary digits into groups of 3.
Octal is sometimes used instead of hex as it does not require other symbols as digits, as opposed to the hex system that requires 6 letters.

Continue Reading:

Friday, February 15, 2013


A base-2 positional notation is a numeral system which only uses the digits 0 and 1. This is very well-known for machines understood it for its simple implementation. In fact, it is not only employed on computers but also on associated machines such as logic gates and facilitate internal communications among components of a machine.

Numeric value of a binary number depends on only two states which are usually designated as “on” and “off” (or in some cases, “yes” or “no”). Any number can be converted into binary numerals (bits).


Wednesday, February 13, 2013


PC Speak: An Abney and Associates Internet and Technology Research Lab.
Numeral systems in computer science are internal representations of numeric values in order for machines, software and hardware included […]


Friday, February 1, 2013


PC Speak: An Abney and Associates Internet and Technology Research Lab – The world of internet technology and infotech update!
Please e-mail press releases, product information, and[…]