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Blockchain Transactions Affirm Suspicious Levels of RaaS Interconnectedness

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During the COVID-19 outbreak, the virtual working environment has disclosed various organization vulnerabilities to ransomware attacks. Ransomware strikes impulsively at the heart of organizations, resulting in businesses facing extensive loss during and after the attack.

Blockchain Transactions Affirm Suspicious Levels of RaaS Interconnectedness

Are you familiar with the fact that ransomware attacks boosted almost 900% during the first half of 2020? Sadly, 72% of the ransomware growth is observed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Undoubtedly, ransomware attacks started to evolve long before the pandemic exists. Ransomware attacks have faced growth at a tremendous pace by 200% over the past two years.

It is estimated that ransomware attacks are becoming more sophisticated, expensive, and frequent with the passage of time. Keeping in view above mentioned statistics and estimations, businesses should acquire actionable steps and measures for ransomware attack management.

Let’s have a look at the interconnection between four prominent ransomware strains using blockchain analysis.

Blockchain Transactions Depict Collaboration Between The 4 Biggest Ransomware Strains

A report was recently published by Chainalysis limelights the informational theories with unforgeable and undisputable cryptographic shreds of evidence that are left behind by Bitcoin transactions that have occurred among some of these groups.

“A prominent connection was observed among the 2020s four of the most prominent ransomware strains: Maze, Egregor, SunCript, and Doppelpaymer. Thanks to blockchain analysis.”

These four ransomware strains were quite active during the pandemic and have attacked some of the most leading companies, including LG, Pemex, Barnes, and Noble, University Hospital New jersey. All four ransomware strains utilize the double extortion strategy and RaaS model. This concludes that affiliates conduct ransomware attacks themselves and pay a commission of each victim payment back to the strain administrators and creators.

It is observed by some cybersecurity researchers that Egregor and Maze are linked somehow. It’s not just egregor, it is claimed by a bleeping computer that prior to the Maze’s shutdown announcement, SunCrypt representatives contacted them affirming to be a part of the “Maze ransomware cartel”. However, Maze has denied this.

It cannot be claimed with certainty that these four ransomware strains have the same administrators, but it can be concluded with relative certainty that some of the affiliates are in common. Maze and Egregor rely on the same OTC brokers for the conversion of cryptocurrency into cash. However, they interact with those brokers in different ways.

The Interconnected Landscape Is Actually a Great Sign

As we observed that these overlaps and connections proved to be successful between these four prominent cybercrime groups, this confirmed interconnection proved to be a great sign for law enforcement. Chainalysis claims that: 

“Given the number of unique ransomware strains currently operating, the collected pieces of evidence depict that the ransomware world is smaller than one might think in the first instance.”

Since a carefully planned blow can impact numerous RaaS providers and groups at the same time, this theory should impact the disruption and crackdown of ransomware attacks. RaaS operates and its affiliates often utilize over-the-counter and money laundering services for the conversion of stolen funds into legitimate currency. Reaching out the real-world profitability by this fund conversion, RaaS operators face a hard time finding a reason to operate when their work doesn’t prove to be profitable.

Tips To Approach And Avoid Crypto-Ransomware

Ransomware attacks are continuously wrecking businesses worldwide. However, it is mandatory for organizations to significantly improve cybersecurity measures to deal with crypto-ransomware.

Let’s have a deep dive into the following tips for the management of ransomware risks with a high rate of accuracy and efficiency.  

  • Organizations should provide comprehensive training to employees about ransomware, online threats, phishing schemes, and how to deal with them. The most effective way to deter ransomware attacks is to increase employee awareness. 

  • It is mandatory for businesses to find a partner with high credibility to help with cyber ransom settlement. It is crucial for businesses to choose wisely and integrate with a highly experienced and credible ransomware settlement provider. 

  • Have a strong, reliable, and transparent relationship with financial infrastructures that deal with cryptocurrency. The settlement partner needs to have an extensive history of exhaustively documenting every cryptocurrency transaction. 

  • Organizations should comply with considerable anti-money laundering background and stringent compliance programs, with appropriate regulatory guidelines and bodies. This includes the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), anti-money laundering, office of foreign assets control (OFAC), and other state regulatory guidelines. 

  • Companies must enhance their capability of rapid identification and detection of criminal activities. C-suite members should also share threat data with authorities and peers for the enhancement of actionable intelligence and also drive security advancements across industries. 

  • Assurance of formal procedures by enterprises in which employees and those who are responsible for managing high-priority security threats should be able to streamline the organizations’ response to ransomware attacks, and its capability to restore services to develop a transparent relationship between employees and customers.

Beware, Ransomware Will Continue To Get Worse

Unfortunately, ransomware attacks will tend to grow at a continuous and rapid pace in 2021 and in upcoming years. There would be no wrong in saying that with the advancement in artificial intelligence and machine learning, upcoming years are going to be extremely challenging especially for companies who are expanding the usage of cloud computing. However, higher authorities are enforcing and acquiring enhanced cybersecurity measures to fight a strong battle against fraudulent activities and illicit money transfers.

Nevertheless of the nature of these connections, the shreds of evidence concluded in the report suggest that given the number of unique strains that are currently performing operations, the ransomware world is smaller than one might think beforehand. This information can be a force multiplier for law enforcement. If they can identify and act against groups controlling numerous ransomware strains, or against OTC’s enabling multiple ransomware strains to cash out their earnings, then they will be able to impact or halt operations of numerous strains with one squelch.

No doubt, businesses, and financial infrastructures should take an actionable step now. They should integrate themselves with incident respondents and cybersecurity organizations and should adopt proactive security measures for a safe and secure future.  

Image source: Shutterstock Source: https://Blockchain.News/analysis/blockchain-transactions-affirm-suspicious-levels-of-raas-interconnectedness

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Importance of Gamma Exposure and How to Trade Volatility

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6 Best Artificial Intelligence Apps Making Human Lives Easier

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It is no secret that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has gained a lot of popularity and taken the world by storm. Past studies have revealed that the global market of AI is predicted to reach from US$29.82 billion in 2019 to US$252.01 billion in 2025, growing at a CAGR of 42.7 percent.

“Research by Gartner identified that in the next few years, every application or service will incorporate AI at some level. ” 

Due to its benefits, AI is being used in different business functions and fields, including marketing, operations, finance, etc. 

Besides this, AI allows computers to extract valuable insights from large volumes of data, thereby helping perform complex tasks with ease. Moreover, AI-based apps have not only facilitated organizations, but have made human lives a lot easier. For example, rule-based automation and machine learning have simplified many routine jobs.   

Apart from business applications, AI has now gained popularity in the real world scenario and is being increasingly used in web-based and mobile applications. And for this reason, AI-enabled apps are being increasingly embedded in mobile operating systems that are available in the market.

We have created a list of the 6 best Artificial Intelligence apps that are making human lives easier. 

#1 Google Assistant 

The first one on our list is none other than the famous Google Assistant, which is an AI-driven virtual app generally available on smart home devices and mobile phones. The good thing about this AI app is that it supports different languages. This gives users a chance to interact with the app by using their mother tongue. 

Apart from this, the Google Assistant can perform all the possible tasks that can make your life easy and hassle-free. Not sure which ones? Have a look at the list below:

  • It can access the required information from your calendar. 
  • It can look up for information online, such as restaurant bookings, weather updates, etc. 
  • It can play your favorite music for you. 
  • It facilitates in making appointments and sending messages. 
  • It can open different apps on your phone or other smart devices. 

#2 Ada – Healthcare in Your Hand

Ada is another AI-based app that has a clean and interactive user interface and it helps you in understanding what are you suffering from. This app works like any other doctor’s appointment as you are required to share your basic details first and then details regarding the symptoms.

Based on the information that you provide, it prepares a medical report regarding your current condition, which includes a summary, potential causes, etc. You can also share that report as a PDF with your doctor or any medical expert for further diagnosis. 

Besides this, Ada is an accessible health advisor which is powered by a smart Artificial Intelligence engine. The good thing about this app is that it considers all important patient information, such as past medical history, risk factors, and more. And after gathering this data, it leverages machine learning and AI to provide accurate feedback.

#3 Hookt

Another one on our list is Hookt which is a platform that facilitates in chatting, making friends with people who share common interests. So, if you are somebody who is fond of making new friends in your area or while traveling, you should try the Hookt app. 

All in all, it is crucial to note that sometimes apps ask you to share your personal information, thus increasing the likelihood of scams. A study carried out by Business Insider revealed that 1 out of every 10 adults falls prey to a scam each year in the US. 

Therefore, you should be well aware of how to detect a fraud or scam as this can save your money. For instance, previously, many Vodafone users reported that they had to pay for the airG chat service even when they didn’t subscribe for it. However, airG was fast enough to identify this airG spam and took corrective actions immediately. Since not everyone is as responsible and authentic as airG, you should be beware. 

#4 Socratic 

AI and Robotics have not only revolutionized the way businesses are run, instead they are helping improve educational standards at schools considerably.  

“Socratic is one of the most popular AI-based apps for iOS and Android that helps students with their homework.” 

This app provides educational and informative resources, such as explanatory videos, definitions, etc. To use this app, users are required to take a photo of their homework, and then the app provides them with solutions and principles that can help solve the problems. 

The best thing about this app is that it is not subject-specific, instead, it provides help regarding different subjects, including Chemistry, English, Economics, Math, and Science. 

#5 YVA

YVA is a cloud-based app that is widely used in many different organizations. This app leverages AI for evaluating the performance of employees. Apart from this, YVA can be connected to instant messengers and corporate mail, thereby making it a one-stop solution. 

Another good thing about this app is that it conducts regular employee surveys, and analyzes the received information. This helps send the required warnings to employees and managers. Besides this, YVA helps prevent conflicts in teams, as it recognizes the competencies, like strengths, weaknesses, and leadership qualities of each employee. 

#6 Juke Deck

Juke Deck leverages the full potential of AI-based technologies for creating music tracks of different genres. However, the users of this app are required to identify the initial parameters of the composition, including the genre, tempo, duration, mood, etc. Once these variables are finalized, the Create Track Buttons helps process the track. 

The good thing is that you can either listen to the music that you have composed in a browser or download it on your computer. Revisions to the processed track can be done easily as well. Apart from this, Juke Deck does not ask for royalties, therefore you can use the work created as you wish. For example, you can post your created tracks on social media or YouTube. 

The Final Words 

In a nutshell, Artificial Intelligence has completely revolutionized the way we live and has made our lives a lot more convenient, on both – a personal and professional level. Therefore, you should try the above-mentioned AI-powered apps and enjoy their benefits.

The post 6 Best Artificial Intelligence Apps Making Human Lives Easier appeared first on Aiiot Talk – Artificial Intelligence | Internet of Things | Technology.

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Source: http://www.aiiottalk.com/artificial-intelligence-apps-making-human-lives-easier/

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