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Hackers distribute stolen apps bypassing the App Store

Mandy Boyd



Hackers are currently distributing counterfeit versions of popular apps, including Minecraft and Pokémon Go, bypassing Apple’s App Store, reports Reuters. These illicit applications could have cost thousands of dollars in lost revenue to the original software developers.

Advertisements that usually appear in the original apps are blocked in pirated versions, and paid features are offered for free.

Hackers use “corporate developer certificates” to distribute their applications outside the App Store. These certificates are normally given to companies so that they can offer internal applications to their employees.

By using this special permission, hackers can offer their apps without being subject to checks from the App Store, which blocks pirated content.

Significant revenue losses

A certificate like this would cost around $299, according to TechCrunch. All indications are that it is relatively easy to obtain one, since some of the pirated application distributors have previously been banned by Apple, but it took them a few days to submit their applications online.

To make their investment in a certificate profitable, distributors would require an annual subscription of approximately $13.

Designers of the original apps are losing a significant portion of their revenue when users turn to pirated versions. The exact amount of losses incurred is unknown, but Reuters points out that the hacking companies it investigates have a total of 600,000 followers on Twitter. This suggests that their services are well known and potentially used by thousands of people.

A widespread ploy

Business designer certificates have been blamed in other controversies in recent weeks. Facebook and Google were first pinned by TechCrunch for distributing applications to get very large amounts of data using this method. Then, a few days ago, the American web magazine discovered that companies were distributing gambling and pornography applications using the same ploy.

With information from Reuters TechCrunch and Engadget

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ChatBots! What Are They – Future of Chatbot in 2019?




Introduction of ChatBots

We all probably at some point of time would have heard that chatbots are the future. That future is now. According to recent report by Gartner, Chatbots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by 2020.It is the latest trend that every industry leader is talking about. Giants like Google, Amazon, Microsoft are engaged in a ferocious battle to attain the coveted top spot in the industry for the ChatBot technology! Now to understand the stir caused by this technology, we must understand what it is, what it does, etc.  that makes it a must have by many leading industry players.


In simple, uncomplicated language, Chatbots are nothing but computer programs that use the technology of Machine Learning to understand human talking patterns and then mimic these conversations, when reacting to written or spoken prompts by the client/customer etc. If we take the example of the social media leaders such as Facebook and WhatsApp, they amongst themselves have around 2.8 billion users sending numerous messages with the help of these chatbots. Other well-known examples of ChatBots are the Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and so on.

Designed to perform this simple task of interacting with humans in humanlike manner, these ChatBots have found their way into a number of industries such as banking, e-commerce, retail, travel and many more. They are extremely efficient and can help lower customer service cost. A common example for this would be the chatbot of the widely known food delivering app – Swiggy. It is the first thing a client interacts with in case of a query and solves it with a set of questions. This not only reduces the time take to solve the query, but also reduces the need for customer executive to intervene. It is no surprise that due to these benefits upto 80% of the marketers are now planning to include ChatBots in their marketing activities in one way or the other by the year 2020. (Source – Oracle Survey)

Now in businesses, time and money are key. Chatbots when leveraged right can save both! They can easily cut down the costs and increase the profit margins. If used upto their full potential, they have the capability to turnaround the way business work. Today, the chatbot market is growing at an exponential rate. Valued at $190.8 million in 2016, it has been estimated to reach $1.25 billion by the year 2025.

Why are ChatBots Important?

Today’s millennials are extremely tech savvy; they need information on the tips of their fingertips. Brands now need to be available on such a platform. The chatbot technology gives them that opportunity.

It gives them a chance to be present on the same platform as their target audience. Whenever a user requires any information they can directly reach the brands on these platforms. In many instances, a user requires information, even after the working hours, it is then chatbots come into play. As they are pre-loaded with basic information & data and with it they can guide the user in answering their query, any time of the day, 24/7.

Types of Chatbots

There are many best AI chatbot platforms that help you build a chatbot with ease. When we look to categorize the chatbots, they can be broadly categorized into two types. They are:

Simple or Workflow-based chatbot

As the name suggests, these are simple workflow-based chatbots. They are menu-based or flow-driven. The working is simple, the user gets choices to access the bots and that’s exactly how they work. The flow and the information related to the products can be set and when the customer asks about a particular information the preset flow will be triggered automatically.

AI or intelligent chatbot

Intelligent bots are designed in such a way that they are capable of recognizing user queries with the help of AI. They recognize keywords present in the user’s query and respond to it accordingly. With the help of Natural Language Processing (NLP), these chatbots can communicate in human language with the users. For example, if the user has query related to paid leaves, the bot will trigger the relevant flow and solve it.

How chatbots work?

Chatbots are more than capable of answering large number of queries from a user, depending on the functionality. They can help the user to locate the relevant information any time of the day.

When we talk about AI-based bots, as discussed above, they can distinguish user’s intents from input queries, and assess as well as respond accordingly. For instance, if a user asks a bot to “book movie tickets on April DD, YYYY”, then the bot can detect the movie and date from the query.

Meanwhile, the workflow-based chatbots, the bot guides users with the help of flows.

How to build a chatbot?

Initially developing a chatbot with the help of codes was very challenging. One had to get everything in place such as getting the right resources, consulting experts in the field of AI and technology, and then finally develop a portal. But as the chatbot technology began to boom, experts started searching for easier ways which led to the development of Platforms to aid in the development of chatbot

Now with the help of these DIY chatbot platform they can be easily created without any prior knowledge of coding. Numerous such chatbot development platform are available in the market.

Conclusion – The Future

The future of chatbots looks very promising. They have a powerful technology, that allows them to have an effective interaction with human. One critical aspect to be kept in mind is that this technology is still budding. Being in the nascent stage it has room for growth and fine tuning from how it is now. It wouldn’t be fair to expect the AI to be at levels of a Sci Fi movie in the present scenario. But with technological advancements, as the AI becomes more advanced, the day is not far that the chatbots would be able to predict the user’s behavior, their next move, and would be able to solve their problems in real time with all the data collected by them. That would be real Sci Fi scenario!!

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Twitter used personal data without express consent

Cam Potvin



Twitter announced Tuesday that since May 2018, personal data had been used for advertising purposes without the explicit consent of its users.

The social network said the mistake was corrected Monday and that an investigation is underway to determine how many people could be affected, advising the passage to users who use its service to review their settings for data sharing.

According to Twitter, the use of personal data was carried out in two ways. In the first case, information was transmitted to Twitter’s advertising partners when the user clicked on an advertisement for a mobile application.

This data leak started in May 2018, coinciding with the entry into force of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The RGPD requires companies to disclose such leaks of personal data within 48 hours of discovery and provides significant fines for business violating the rules.

Monitoring on the web

In the second case reported by Twitter, the social network says it has presented targeted advertising to users by monitoring their browsing the web, even when it had been banned this collection of data.

Since September 2018, we have been able to show you advertisements based on what we have deduced from the use you make of your device, even if you have not given us permission. The data concerned remained in the hands of Twitter and did not concern information such as passwords or email addresses , explained the network in an explanatory note published on its online help center.

Once again, Twitter could be sanctioned under the GDPR in Europe, since the regulation requires web platforms to ensure the explicit consent of users to collect their data, including for advertising targeting purposes and when such collection is for third-party companies.

Twitter, which apologizes to those concerned, ensures that the necessary steps are taken to prevent this from happening again , and invites people to contact their data protection office via a form.

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After El Paso, 8chan loses Cloudflare, and its founder calls for closure

Cam Potvin



Cloudflare – which provides services for many Internet sites – announced that it was terminating its contract with the 8chan forum, on which the author of the El Paso, Texas shootings had published a manifesto racist. In addition, Frederick Brennan, the founder of 8chan, called Sunday for the closing of the forum, with which he cut the bridges last December.

In a blog post, Cloudflare’s CEO, Matthew Prince, on Sunday called the forum – prized by extremists of all kinds (extreme right, masculinists, conspiracy …) – of hay-filled bottom because the site not moderate the contents.

8chan is one of more than 19 million Internet businesses that use Cloudflare’s services. We have just announced the end of our services at 8chan as of midnight today , Prince wrote.

The reason is simple: they proved that they did not respect any law, and this anarchy caused many tragic deaths. Even though 8chan may not have broken the law by refusing to moderate his community full of hatred, he has created an environment that is pleased to violate the spirit of the law.

On Monday morning, 8chan suffered sporadic disruptions of service. His administrator tweeted that he was migrating the forum to a new service after Cloudflare’s decision, which made 8chan vulnerable in terms of its IT security.

A Line crossed

According to Prince, Cloudfare did not make a decision lightly.

“We reluctantly tolerate content that we find reprehensible, but we do not accept platforms that have shown that they directly inspire tragic events and outlaw,” he wrote.”8chan has crossed this line.”

Shortly before the murderous shooting of El Paso on Saturday, the shooter, a white man identified by the media as Patrick Crusius, posted on 8chan a racist manifesto with regard to Hispanics and praising the massacre, in March, of 51 people in two mosques located in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The author of the Christchurch massacre had expressed his intentions on the political section of the 8chan forum. He then broadcast his attack live on Facebook Live for 17 minutes before the retransmission was disabled.

Close the site

On Sunday, 8chan’s founder, Frederick Brennan – who broke all links with the site – said it should be closed.

“As soon as I hear of a mass killing, I say to myself, “Well, we need to find out if there is a connection with 8chan,” Brennan told the New York Times=.

“Close the site,” he continued.

[8chan] does not bring anything good to the world. It is totally negative for everyone except for its users. And you know what? It is negative for them too. They just do not realize it.

Frederick Brennan

The site is currently managed from the Philippines by a US Army veteran, Jim Watkins.

A necessary measure, but not very effective

Ceasing to provide services to 8chan will not make the Internet safer or reduce hate online, Prince said.

Two years ago, after the death of a woman killed by a neo-Nazi woman during violent far-right protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, Cloudflare stopped providing services to a neo-Nazi site. Daily Stormer.

Today, the Daily Stormer is always available and always disgusting. They boast of having more readers than ever before. They are no longer the problem of Cloudflare, but they remain the problem of the Internet, wrote Mr. Prince.

Unfortunately, the decision we make today will not solve the problem of online hate. It is almost certain that it will not even be able to chase 8chan off the Internet.

Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare

“But it’s the right thing to do. Online hate is a real problem,” he added.

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