Apple and Chinese Telecom Firms to Combat Spam with Machine Learning

Security Breaches in China

In an effort to fight spam, attempted security breaches, and protect their Chinese customers, Apple will employ sophisticated algorithms based on advances in the field of machine learning. The California-based tech giant is looking to enlist the help of Chinese telecom operators to identify messages by source, presumably. “We are in touch with telco companies to see what additional steps could be taken to reduce this inconvenience,” Reuters quoted an Apple spokesperson as saying.

Apple plans to use machine learning to determine whether a message is spam or not, cites a report from Reuters. The tools, which are being developed will also help bar fraudulent accounts from sending spam messages. An Apple spokesperson was quoted as saying, “We are currently working on additional ways to further reduce it, including more advanced machine learning models to identify it and more tools to block fraudulent accounts.”

The Crux of the Matter

Apple was forced to act when the official state broadcaster, worried by the growing volume of spam messages Apple users were receiving through the messaging app and in an attempt to protect citizens who are most vulnerable, accused the American multinational corporation of allowing gambling apps on their devices – gambling is illegal in China.

The allegation forced the US manufacturer to take more effective action against unsolicited messages, which potentially cheats people out of their money, lowers consumer confidence in online commerce, and threaten the digital economy.

The issue of spam and unsolicited calls is a common problem in China, where individuals can get phone numbers from black markets. So, the Apple situation isn’t an isolated one. In fact, spam problem is so rife in China that a Spam Laws content claimed spam grows faster than the Chinese population.

On its part, the Chinese government is making efforts to curb spam through an organization created explicitly for this purpose, the “China Anti-spam Alliance.”

Undefined Engagement Objectives

Apple partnering with Chinese telecom operators is a step in the right direction. However, it is not yet clear what possible role the telecom companies could play with regard to fighting spam, or how they could help the tech giant, bearing in mind that Apple’s native messenger, iMessage uses the manufacturer’s servers and all data communication between end users is encrypted with a secure encryption algorithm.

As mentioned, they would likely be asked to provide the tech giant with information regarding the identity of spammers to enable Apple to block the messages from source using advanced machine learning algorithms.

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How Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Will Impact Cyber Security

AI Security and Intelligence Services

The efforts of security and intelligence services to counter threats has led experts to consider using new concepts that are fast becoming part of our daily life such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning as a defense to boost skills for countering cyber-attack.

Industry experts have always believed that AI will have a growing impact on cybersecurity technology thanks to its potential to improve threat detection. Believe however turned to reality when Alphabet launched a cybersecurity intelligence system designed to fight crime on a global scale back in January. If one ever needed proof of how AI-based solutions will improve existing technologies and drive greater efficacy and efficiency in the war against cybersecurity, Chronicle is it. Before we proceed to discuss their impact on cybersecurity, it is essential to first understand, from a technical standpoint, what is meant by artificial intelligence and machine learning.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is an aspect of computer science that gives prominence to the creation of applications that engage in tasks that require mental processes of a high level such as memory organization, perceptual learning, and critical thinking.

In other words, artificial intelligence borders on the development of machines that work and react like humans by performing activities such as problem-solving, learning, planning, and speech recognition, among others.

What is Machine Learning?

Kris Lahiri, co-founder and chief security officer of Egnyte, in an article published on Forbes, defined machine learning (ML) as “a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that refers to technologies that enable computers to learn and adapt through experience.”

How Will AI and ML Impact Cybersecurity?

With technologies advancing very quickly, the sophistication of hackers is fast emerging as a threat to internet security. Cybercriminals continue to develop new attack strategies meant to avoid existing security systems. This makes organizations act defensively rather than proactively. The difficulty in knowing precisely what attackers are planning makes it hard to take preventive measures.

As the level of sophistication across the entire global threat landscape continues to increase rapidly, security outfits must use advanced tools to get ahead of the threats before they do any damage. Given their sophistication and intelligence, it is believed that the use of AI and machine learning tools will enable companies to detect, investigate and remediate breaches faster.

This is because AI allows organizations to automate complex processes for detecting attacks and responding to breaches. And since AI and ML work hand-in-hand, AI can leverage ML capabilities to enhance its abilities and evolve. In this manner, AI security solutions powered by ML can rely on ML use data from previous attacks to react to newer and similar risks.

Tech professionals believe that the efficacy of this approach rests on the fact that hackers build on old threats. Therefore, by deploying AI and ML, new dangers can be detected more quickly and dealt with before they do any harm.

 

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WannaCry Attack is Actually Good for Cyber Security Stocks

Consumers and companies had a rude awakening recently. They’re all at risk of cyber attacks. One of the biggest cybersecurity developments recently was the WannaCry attack. Now, WannaCry is ransomware, which is a type of malware that blocks users access to their data until a ransom is paid to the hackers to regain access. On May 12, 2017, WannaCry began to infect Windows-based computers across the globe, primarily through phishing email scams and a worm feature in the ransomware.

The WannaCry attack spread to 150 countries, and targeted approximately 200,000 organizations. The WannaCry ransomware exploited a flaw in Microsoft’s Windows software, which was discovered by the U.S. National Security Agency and leaked by hacker. Although WannaCry affected millions of users and hundreds of thousands of organizations, it’s good news for the cyber security industry.

 

Highly Publicized Cyber Attack

Now, when there is a highly publicized cyber attack, it tends to be good news for cyber security companies, and stocks tend to rise off of this news. For example, Sophos Group PLC, which is a UK-based cyber security company, saw its stock rise over 7% and set a record high. This was primarily due to the company’s guidance raise.

In the event of a cyber security attack, traders price these events in, as this could mean more potential business for publicly-traded cybersecurity-related companies. In turn, this should drive revenues and earnings higher, which should cause cybersecurity companies’ stock prices to rise.

According to trader Jason Bond, “We’ve seen cybersecurity stocks run higher following some cyber attacks on companies, such as the attacks on Yahoo, Target and Home Depot. The idea behind is this move is quite simple. When hackers attack companies or users, those companies and users may look to increase their defense against another attack. To defend against cyber attacks, these companies will look to leverage the technology of well-established cybersecurity firms.”

We saw this in some cybersecurity stocks, such as FireEye Inc (NASDAQ: FEYE),  an enterprise cybersecurity company that provides products and services in an attempt to protect against cyber attacks and threats. After the news of the WannaCry attack was released, FEYE closed up over 5% that following day. Here’s a look at FEYE on the 15-minute chart, after it hit a high above $16.

 

Source: TradingView

Now, that wasn’t the only cybersecurity-related security that gained that day. Traders may use HACK as an investment vehicle to gain exposure to the overall industry, rather than just one cybersecurity-related company. The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF ultimately closed up over 3% on the trading day following the WannaCry reports. The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (NYSEARCA: HACK), the world’s first cybersecurity exchange-traded fund (ETF), shares also saw a rise following the WannaCry attack. The PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF offers investors away to gain exposure to the cybersecurity industry, and the fund is comprised of companies offering consulting, software, hardware and services to defend against cyber attacks.

 

Here’s a look at the ETF following the WannaCry reports, on the 15-minute chart.

 

 

                                                              Fight Cyber Crime

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How Does a Reverse Phone Lookup Work and How to Use it

Have you ever looked at a phone number and you didn’t know whose number it was? It happens to everyone. Picture these simple situations. You go to your caller ID and find there is a missed call from a strange number. Or maybe you are cleaning up your desk and you stumble upon an old scrap of paper with a number on it. Whose number is it? Should you call it?

Well, a reverse phone lookup will save you all the trouble. Reverse phone lookup helps you to identify phone numbers, the name associated with that number and even their addresses. So the next time you find a strange missed call, instead of calling back right away, just look it up, see who it is, and then decide whether it’s someone you know or not.

Applications for reverse phone lookup can go beyond the simple task of identifying strange numbers and their owners. Think of this situation. You’ve visited a doctor and they refer you to a specialist who will take care of you. Normally, you will only get a name and a number. But locating the specialist is made so easy with reverse phone lookup. All you need to do is look up the number and you will get the address of the specialist. It’s just that easy.

 

How to Do Reverse Phone Lookup

Reverse phone lookup works in a very simple way.

If you want to establish the owner of a phone number, there are a few steps that you can take:

 

Using Google – You can use Google or any other search engine to check details about a specific phone number. All you need to do is to type the number into the browser and click search. Make sure that the numbers are separated by hyphens (for example, 622-555-1888). Google will give you phone book results that will include the phone owner’s name, their address, and even a map that pinpoints their exact location. However, there are some phone numbers that may not be listed in Google.

Using Reverse Phone Lookup – You can also use Reverse Phone Lookup to find the details of the phone number you want. Start by typing “reverse phone lookup” on your browser and hit search. You will see a wide variety of websites that offer this service, click on one of them, enter the phone number, and search. You will get the name of the person who owns the phone number, their address, and directions to where they are.

Reverse phone lookup sites can be free or paid. In case you are looking for free sites, Addresses.com, Anywho.com, and Whitepages.com are great options. The challenge with these free sites is that they can only help you locate landline numbers.

When we put mobile phone numbers into the equation, things get a little complicated. Accessing user information for cell phone numbers is relatively harder. However, you can still find cell phone number details albeit you will have to pay for this service.

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