Friday, 6 October 2017

Digital Divide: World Cyber Alerts - October 5, 2017


Policy
their legislation today could be yours tomorrow

Saudi flag and map

Saudi Arabia recently removed its 2013 ban on internet and voice over internet protocols (VoIP). According to the country’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), “This decision comes in line with recent trends in the ICT sector; the reliance on data revenues (Internet delivery) and added services is the global trend that operators in the Kingdom should take.” 




Privacy, Surveillance and Censorship
government isn't always on your side

Chinese flag and map



A leading Chinese messaging app, WeChat, has revealed that it will release the private information of users, including contacts and online searches, to Chinese authorities. WeChat currently boasts 662 million users. 

American flag and map



Cryptography experts have found a flaw in the United States National Security Agency’s push for Simon and Speck encryption protocols to become global industry standards: although the NSA maintains these are secure protocols, the organization can, in fact, break them

Chinese flag and map



China has added messaging app WhatsApp to its list of Facebook products banned in the country. The ban is seen as a measure to limit communication leading up to October 18’s Communist Party congress, which will determine future leadership. 




Research and Initiatives
making your world a more cybersecure place

Ghanaian flag and map


The continent of Africa now has its own internet domain: .africa. Users in Africa see the measure as a step towards “cyber independence” and fostering a continent-wide “internet community”. 

South African flag and map


The 2017 Forum on Internet Freedom in Africa was held in South Africa, marking the first time it was not hosted by Uganda. This year’s event recognized the second annual International Day for Universal Access to Information. 


Zimbabwean flag and map


The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe recently held its second Internet Governance Multi-Stakeholder Conference. Noted digital security trainer, Natasha Msonza, “There is no digital world and a real world, just as there are no human rights and digital rights. The two are not mutually exclusive.” 

Australian flag and map


Australia plans to build a cybersecurity cooperative research center (CRC) with funding from government, industry, and research partners. The CRC is, in part, a response to the fact that Australia ranks second to last in the world for collaboration. 





Cyberattacks
the threats we all face

British flag and map 

United Kingdom-based “Big Four” accounting firm Deloitte has suffered a cyberattack. The company reports that it has contacted “each of the very few clients impacted.” 






All images credit of BOLDG/Shutterstock.com.
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Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The Consequences of Internet Shutdowns

You might have seen the hashtag #KeepItOn across various social media platforms, but perhaps you don't quite grasp the severity of the problem it addresses. The hashtag was started by Access Now to bring awareness about an oft used tactic by regimes to control the online behavior of their citizens, the internet shutdown.

The excuses range anywhere from "to prevent students from cheating on exams" to "to prevent violent protests," but whatever the excuse, it is always a form of oppression.

Whether governments are blocking specific websites or shutting down the entire internet, the economic consequences are severe. The problem is particularly severe among African governments. In 2016 alone, 11 African countries disrupted internet communications. Since 2015, these interruptions have cost $235 million, according to a recent study conducted by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA). This at a time when the internet is making a significant contribution to the growth in GDP in many African countries.

You can get involved by visiting Access Now's #KeepItOn website. This shortsighted and undemocratic tactic must end.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

VPN use in the Middle East

In a recent survey of internet users in Egypt, KSA, UAE, Lebanon, Qatar, and Tunisia conducted by Mideastmedia.org, 37% said they had concerns about governments checking what they do online, while 42% worried about companies checking what they do online. While these numbers are a sizable portion of the population, they are still too low.

The truth is, companies and governments alike want to know what you are doing online, not to mention thieves who salivate at the thought of getting your personal information, including your bank account. But more than money is at stake. Your life could be at stake. Government spies have used what they have gathered online against their own citizens, arresting them and imprisoning them in some cases.

Even lower than those concerned about privacy is the number of VPN users in these countries. VPN encrypts your information so that governments, companies, and cyberthieves can't see what you're doing online. Using a VPN is vital to protecting yourself and your livelihood.


In KSA in 2015, 52% worried about companies and 43% worried about government, yet only 7% said they used VPN when going online. Likewise, in Lebanon, 35% and 26% respectively are concerned about privacy, while a mere 3% use VPN. We aim to change that. With 1 GB free a month, you have no excuse to go unprotected. Get SumRando VPN today.

You can find the full study at http://www.mideastmedia.org/survey/2016/chapter/online-and-social-media.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Digital Divide: World Cyber Alerts - September 1, 2017


Policy
their legislation today could be yours tomorrow

Indian flag and map


Privacy is the constitutional core of human dignity,” says India’s Supreme Court. The country joins the United States, Canada, South Africa, the European Union and the United Kingdom in recognizing this fundamental right. 


Chinese flag and map


China has a new internet policy: “For users who have not given identifying information, platforms for and providers of online communities may not allow posting of any kind.” In other words, real names must be used when posting online





Privacy, Surveillance, and Censorship
government isn't always on your side

American flag and map


Seven members of the United States’ National Infrastructure Advisory Council have resigned. Their letter of resignation accuses President Trump of giving “insufficient attention to the growing threats to the cybersecurity of the critical systems upon which all Americans depend.” 
Iranian flag and map 






In compliance with United States sanctions against Iran, Apple is “moving aggressively” to remove Iranian apps from its store. Most recently, the ride-hailing app Snapp was eliminated. 






Research and Initiatives
making your world a more cybersecure place

Russian flag and map



One thousand Russians protested censorship last week. The demonstration responds to measures such as a recent Putin-approved ban on VPNs, which will go into effect in November. 





Cyberattacks
the threats we all face

Pakistani flag and map 


A sustained cyber spying campaign has been carried out against India and Pakistan. Several groups working on behalf of an unnamed nation state are thought to be responsible. 






introducing 
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SumRando Stash

SumRando Stash allows you to temporarily store files securely and anonymously for file transfer and file sharing needs. With SumRando Stash, mail providers are prevented from scanning your attachments and gaining insight into your personal activities, and you don't have to worry about fumbling with USB storage devices or multiple devices. Files automatically self-destruct in 1, 7, or 30 days. SumRando Stash is currently available for Android and the web - try it today!



All images credit of BOLDG/Shutterstock.com.
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Digital Divide: World Cyber Alerts - August 25, 2017


Policy
their legislation today could be yours tomorrow

American flag and map


Donald Trump has raised the status of the United States Cyber Command to that of a Unified Combatant Command. According to the American president's statement, the Obama-era policy “will strengthen our cyberspace operations and create more opportunities to improve our Nation’s defense.” 





Privacy, Surveillance, and Censorship
government isn't always on your side

Cameroonian flag and map 

Human rights groups are calling for the release of Radio France Internationale correspondent Ahmed Abba, who is serving a ten-year sentence in Cameroon for coverage related to the activities of Boko Haram. Said Reporters Without Borders’ Clea Kahn-Sriber, “The campaign will grow in strength if the authorities do not free Ahmed Abba.” #FreeAhmedAbba 




Research and Initiatives
making your world a more cybersecure place

Japanese flag and map



The second Japan-India Cyber Dialogue has strengthened the two nations’ commitment to an “open, free, secure, stable, peaceful and accessible” cyberspace. The dialogue will continue in Tokyo in 2018.




American flag and map


United States-based Apple has added an ‘Emergency SOS’ feature to its iPhone; hitting the power button 5 times will lock the fingerprint scanner and call the police, prohibiting attackers from forcing a phone to be unlocked. 



Chinese flag and map


China now has a cybercourt—a place to resolve online disputes. Said cybercourt Chief Justice Du Qian, “Not only will this make lawsuits as convenient as online shopping, but it will also give online shopping the same degree of judicial protection as consumption at bricks-and-mortar stores.” 

Liberian flag and map

Dr. Darren Wilkins, Managing Director of the Liberia Telecommunication Corporation, took advantage of a national cybersecurity forum to ask that greater attention be paid to digital safety: “We live in a time of rapid technology and social changes. The uncomfortable and inconvenient truth is that the more we experience these technological and social changes, the more we are vulnerable to cyber threats.” 




Cyberattacks
the threats we all face

Russian flag and map 

State-owned and private Ukrainian lenders have been warned of a new malware threat: “The nature of this malicious code, its mass distribution, and the fact that at the time of its distribution it was not detected by any anti-virus software, suggest that this attack is preparation for a mass cyber-attack on the corporate networks of Ukrainian businesses,” stated a letter from the Ukrainian central bank. 




introducing
SumRando Stash


SumRando Stash 
SumRando Stash allows you to temporarily store files securely and anonymously for file transfer and file sharing needs. With SumRando Stash, mail providers are prevented from scanning your attachments and gaining insight into your personal activities, and you don't have to worry about fumbling with USB storage devices or multiple devices. Files automatically self-destruct in 1, 7, or 30 days. SumRando Stash is currently available for Android and the web - try it today!



All cyber alert images credit of BOLDG/Shutterstock.com; SumRando Stash image credit of sumrando.com.
 
Want more emerging economy cyber alerts? Read on!
 
Want Emerging Economy Cyber Alerts sent to your inbox? Sign up for our weekly newsletter ("Security Tips and News" at bottom of page). 

Have valuable insight to share from your part of the world? Write for us!

SumRando Cybersecurity is a Mauritius-based VPN, Web Proxy and Secure Messenger provider. Surf secure and stay Rando!