Millions of debit and credit cards prone to getting hacked by malware

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Washington: A malware that had infected Target’s cashiering system late last year is back in the news once again, leading to the susceptibility of millions of credit and debit cards getting hacked on a larger scale.

At least a thousand more businesses have been found reported to be affected by this malware.

The Minneapolis based American retailing company, ‘Target’, had faced the ignominy of seeing some 40 million credit card numbers hacked from its database, reports Washington Times.

The deadly malware identified as ‘Backoff’as reported by Tech Times, says that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) worked with the Secret Service to discover the word in its code.

The notorious code which steals customers’ names, credit and debit card numbers, mailing addresses and emails has been found by two companies ‘United Parcel Service’ and ‘Supervalu’ and both have reportedly admitted the same.

The report goes on saying that one tech expert who was interviewed by Fox News compared the scale of this malware affecting credit cards and debit cards this time surpassing the Target episode using the example with a flea.

ANI

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Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera star as Sri Lanka square series

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A responsible half-century from captain Angelo Mathews and some big hitting by Thisara Perera set up a comprehensive 77-run win for Sri Lanka against Pakistan in the second ODI on Tuesday and helped the hosts level the series at 1-1.

Mathews (93) once again fell short of a deserved maiden ODI hundred but all-rounder Perera smashed five boundaries and four sixes in a 36-ball 65 to take Sri Lanka to 310 for nine in their 50 overs after they won the toss and opted to bat.

Pakistan started briskly but lost their way against the spinners in the middle overs and Perera then returned with the ball to take three wickets for 19 runs and mop up the lower order as the tourists were all out for 233 in the 44th over.

In-form Mathews, who also scored 89 in a losing cause in the first ODI at the same venue at Hambantota, and Perera added 87 for the seventh wicket as Sri Lanka added 80 in their last six overs to set Pakistan a steep target.

Mahela Jayawardene (67), who has retired from both tests and twenty20 internationals, propped his team up with a 122-run stand with Mathews for the fourth wicket after Sri Lanka were reduced to 62 for three.

Part-time off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez pegged Sri Lanka back with a three-wicket burst as the hosts were reduced from 184-3 to 194-6 in the space of a few overs.

Mathews consolidated again before falling to left-arm paceman Wahab Riaz, who was the most successful bowler with four for 65, but by then the hosts had closed in on the 300-run mark, which was breached by Perera`s pyrotechnics.

Hafeez (62) and opener Ahmed Shehzad (56) added 96 for the second wicket in quick time for Pakistan but both fell to leg spinner Seekkuge Prasanna, who was brought into the Sri Lanka team for the second match.

The required run-rate kept creeping up and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath piled on the pressure by taking out Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq (36) and Sohaib Maqsood (nine) during the batting powerplay.

Big-hitting Shahid Afridi (17) tore into Lasith Malinga in an over, hitting the paceman for three fours, but did not last long as Perera got into the act.

Fawad Alam (30) ran out of partners and became man-of-the-match Perera`s third victim before Malinga came back to clean up Junaid Khan for his second wicket and complete the victory.

The third and final match of the series will be played at Dambulla on Saturday.

ZN

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8 Must Have Elements to Make Your Presentation Rock

Being selected as a subject-matter expert presenter at can be high praise. However, you need to do well because your reputation-and your company’s reputation-is on the line.

Whether you’re presenting in person or online, follow these steps to keep your audience’s attention and avoid the far off, unfocused sea of eyes in the room — or worse, the people that “slyly” duck out (yet everyone notices).

1. Start with a story. You have to open with a bang. If you are able to grab your audience’s attention at the get-go, you’re more likely to keep them interested the entire time.

I once attended a session where the keynote speaker opened with a heartwarming story about dating a woman who later became his wife and learning to deal with her dog, who did not like him nor did he like the dog. Through hilarious recollections of his misadventures with this dog — with whom he ultimately developed a strong, loving bond until her passing — he had me wanting to both laugh and cry within five minutes of his presentation. And then I was hooked.

Start with a story that lets the audience know you’re a person, and relate this story to some main lesson learned that you hope to draw from the presentation.

2. Involve your attendees. Get your audience going with a sprinkling of engagement tactics, such as polls (online or show of hands), direct questions (ID a member of the audience or webcast) or even walking up to your audience and being in their space for a moment. Even something as simple as making eye contact with your attendees can encourage participation.

3. Include multimedia elements in your presentation. Words in a presentation are boring. People came to see you (or logged in to hear you speak), so they don’t want to read. Videos are one of my favorite tools. They’re highly visual and can be emotionally entertaining. Plus, our brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than text-based information, so videos will help your audience retain information.

4. Don’t make an unattractive presentation. This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many underwhelming presentation designs I’ve seen. The best presentations are free of clutter, include large and sparse text, have ample amount of visuals and are short. Stick with palatable colors that are crowd pleasing and save the bold, battery-powered colors for accents and visuals. Also, always avoid the overuse of slide animation — it’s distracting, leads to errors in the presentation and can be cheesy when used in excess.

5. Avoid last-minute prep work. Everyone should run through at least several mock presentations before delivering in front of a live audience. Choose a group of people you know to be your test audience. If your attendees have registered for your presentation, provide them with preparation materials beforehand to establish a relationship.

For example, if you’re a lawyer and will be discussing interesting cases in your presentation, send information to your attendees in advance so they can be up to speed on the details.

6. Speak naturally. This should go without saying, but it’s harder than you think. Try speaking to yourself in an empty room without sounding like you’re reciting the Declaration of Independence. When your conversation is mostly one sided, it will be challenging to maintain a casual cadence to your speech. People will find it easier to listen to and engage with you when your speech is conversational.

7. Have passion. You can’t fool your attendees. If you’re not passionate about the subject, they’ll know. This is where you should shine: You can increase your visibility in your career by being a memorable subject matter expert.

8. Encourage Q&A. If by the end of your presentation, the audience is a little shy about asking questions, it’s probably not you. It takes an icebreaker for the audience to warm up a little. That’s why you should come prepared with a few questions that you collect beforehand. Maybe you’ve already spoken to someone who will be attending and have a question or two you can call out from them. Ask a friend or colleague to attend your session and act as an icebreaker if needed.

TECHGIG

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Facebook plans to cut into Google’s advertising business

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By Lisa Eadicicco

Google may be dominating the online advertising business, but Facebook could be readying a new ad strategy to take some of that spotlight off the search engine giant, reports Tom Dotan and Amir Efrati at The Information.

Facebook is reportedly pouring more resources into Atlas, the ad server Facebook bought from Microsoft for an estimated $30-$50 million in 2013.

The social network is said to unveil a new set of features that aimed at competing with Google’s display advertising platform DoubleClick as early as September.

One of these new features will be a “demand-side platform,” which is a system that lets advertisers make automated bids for ad inventory. This demand-side platform would be designed to specifically compete with Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager.

Facebook is also reportedly in talks to provide Nielsen with data from major publishers to improve ad tracking.

Facebook is already raking in a ton of revenue thanks to its mobile presence. Facebook saw a 50.5% increase in US digital ad display revenue last year, while Google saw a 33.3% growth rate, according to statistics published by eMarketer in March.

Facebook isn’t the only tech company looking to cut into Google’s ad business. Amazon is also reportedly building new software to compete with Google’s AdWords platform, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.

TECHGIG

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50 days of war in Gaza

Key events in the Gaza war that enters its 50th day on Tuesday and has killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and 68 on the Israeli side.

July, 2014

8: Israel launches Operation Protective Edge with air strikes on Gaza to counter rocket fire from Palestinian militants. Hamas responds by firing rockets at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

13: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas asks the UN to put the state of Palestine under “international protection”.

15: Israel’s security cabinet accepts an Egyptian ceasefire proposal. Hamas rejects it, and demands an end to the blockade of Gaza in effect since 2006.

17: Israel launches a ground operation preceded by an intense bombardment with the aim of destroying cross-border attack tunnels. It is the first ground assault since Operation Cast Lead over New Year 2009 in which 1,440 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.

20: More than 140 Palestinians are killed, more than half of them in Shejaiya in eastern Gaza City. Heavy fighting there also kills 13 Israeli soldiers.

23: The UN calls for an investigation into possible Israeli “war crimes” in Gaza and also condemns Hamas rocket attacks.

26: A 12-hour humanitarian truce takes effect.

30: World outrage after a second strike on a UN school kills 16 homeless Palestinians and, during a four-hour lull, another shell hits a packed market in Shejaiya killing more than 20.

Around 120 Palestinians die throughout the day.

August, 2014

1: A 72-hour truce collapses after just 90 minutes following an attack that kills two Israeli soldiers with a third believed captured, triggering a major bombardment near the southern city of Rafah. Some 36 hours later, body parts from the missing soldier are found inside a tunnel, with the army pronouncing him dead.

3: A third UN school is hit triggering world outrage. “This madness must stop,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says.

Washington issues a rare rebuke of Israel, calls the shelling “disgraceful”.

5: Israel withdraws all ground troops from Gaza after destroying the tunnels, as a three-day truce goes into effect, allowing indirect Egyptian-brokered truce talks to take place in Cairo.

8: Attempts to extend the 72-hour ceasefire fail and the fighting resumes.

11: A new three-day lull takes effect, followed by another five-day truce, which is extended by 24 hours in the longest period of quiet since the war began.

19: Militants fire rockets at southern Israel in the last hours of the 24-hour truce extension, prompting Israel to hit back with air strikes. The Israeli team is ordered to return from Cairo, breaking off truce.

An Israeli strike kills the wife and two children of Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif, who escapes the attack, the Islamist movement says.

21: Hamas says three senior commanders, Mohammed Abu Shamala, Raed al-Atar and Mohammed Barhum, are killed in an Israeli air strike in southern Gaza.

22: A 4-year-old Israeli child is killed by rocket fire, the first minor to be killed in Israel.

Hamas publicly executes 18 alleged collaborators in Gaza City.

25: Cairo proposes a new ceasefire initiative that would open Gaza crossings to aid and reconstruction materials.

The death toll in Gaza rises above 2,130, including more than 490 children, while in Israel, the toll stands at 68 people, 64 of them soldiers.

HT

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