A widespread attack has exposed millions to malware that holds files to ransom. The campaign, which was first detected a month ago, placed fake adverts on websites such as Yahoo, AOL and The Atlantic that installed so-called “ransomware” onto a victim’s computer. The attackers stole assets from the likes of Case Logic, Bing and Fancy in order to make the malicious ads appear real, but once a computer becomes infected, things get very bad, very fast, for victims.
The ransomware — named CryptoWall 2.0 — uses Adobe Flash to exploit browser vulnerabilities, installing itself on the affected computer. It then sets about encrypting files on the users’ hard drive, refusing access to said files until the victim pays for a decryption key. The fee, said to be equivalent to $500, is requested in Bitcoin, and security firm Proofpoint, which first noticed the attack, estimates that the attackers’ are currently raking in $25,000 from victims. As Bitcoin wallets are public, Proofpoint is able to analyze the incoming payments to each of the attackers’ accounts. One of the Bitcoin wallets was in use for just 5 days and managed to pull in the equivalent of $9,350.
This latest breach highlights the dangers of malware online. Earlier this year a similar attack targeted Synology storage servers, ransoming mostly small business data for around $350. How do you stay safe? There’s no way to ensure a computer is 100 percent secure, but keeping all your software up-to-date with the latest security patches is a good start. Most modern browsers can also be setup to only open plugins such as Flash when content is clicked on, which would eliminate the risk of being infected by this particular attack.
Filed under: Internet
Despite some recent company efforts to help pay for customers’ phone bills through promotions and subscription programs, the telecommunication industry largely relies on customers using more phone data each year — through new applications and innovations — to keep its sales growing, according to The Wall Street Journal. And this is no more apparent than when you see how cell phone bills have risen since the dawn of the smartphone.
Based on data from the Labor Department charted for us by BI Intelligence, US households are spending 50% more on their phone bills than they did in 2007, the year the iPhone launched and Google introduced the Android operating system for mobile devices. Households spent an average of $913 on phone bills in 2013 — and a fifth of those households spent more than $1,400 that year. According to Verizon Wireless, the average monthly phone bill is about $161.24, which is a 3.5% rise from last year.
Twitter wants to gain a bigger presence in the lives of consumers, and so from today it’s going behind the scenes of how we connect to our smartphone apps. The most obvious route? Our phone numbers. On Wednesday it launched a new mobile platform for developers called Fabric, and a core feature ca…
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Can social media analytics be compressed into an elevator pitch? That was a question Lenovo asked its social analytics firm, Socialbakers. The result, launching today, is a Social Health Index that presents a few top-level indicators of a brand’s standing in social media vis-a-vis any competitors…
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Mint’s Aaron Patzer Launches Beta Version Of An On-Demand Answers App With $4 Million In Funding From Shasta And First Round
Aaron Patzer, the founder and former CEO of Mint is placing his next bet with the on-demand info space. He and co-founder Jean Sini (another former Minter) are launching the beta of Fountain, an app that gives you advice from a curated set of experts. The app is currently focusing on the home imp…
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Google's ever-increasing dominance of online advertising looks set to wane. The growth of its search business, which fueled it for years, is weakening. That sounds completely mad. The company just booked $16.5 billion in revenues on its search business in Q3 alone. But people are seriously beginn…
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drag2share: Mobile Video Advertising Is Taking Off, As Ad Buyers Pile Billions Of Dollars Into Small-Screen Ads
Mobile is growing faster than all other digital advertising mediums in the US, but one mobile format in particular is catching ad buyers’ eyes: Mobile video.
- Mobile video ad revenue in the US will top over $4.4 billion in 2018, up by a five-year compound annual growth rate of 73% from 2013.
- Mobile video ads will grow almost five-times faster than desktop: For comparison, desktop video ad revenue will grow by a CAGR of only 15% during the same time period.
- Display, including rich-media ads, will grow even faster, propelled by the migration of desktop ads to mobile, which is where audiences are today. But the advantage of mobile video is that it can absorb advertisers’ video ad assets created for larger screens.
These insights are from a new BI Intelligence report on mobile advertising, which includes an exclusive forecast of the segments of the mobile ad market and how fast they will grow. These include display, video, social, and search. The report provides exclusive breakdowns on how spend on each format will grow and why, and examines the overall performance of mobile ads. It also looks at how programmatic ad-buying tools, including real-time bidding, are reshaping mobile advertising.
You’ve probably heard of the Nielsen Ratings, which are the figures relating to the number of people who watch a particular TV series. It’s these statistics that Hollywood uses to decide if your favorite show gets a second season or if it’ll only live on in fan fiction. Unfortunately, with more and more entertainment being delivered online, a TV ratings company isn’t much use to anyone. That’s why Nielsen has teamed up with Adobe to begin rating pretty much everything on the internet. By splicing Nielsen’s audience know-how with Adobe’s online analytics and video tools, the pair promise to be able to work out which gets more attention: news websites, social media, blogs or that video of the cat running head-first into a glass door. The system will go live at some point in 2015 with Sony, ESPN and Viacom already saying that they’ll be signing up, hopefully so that we can finally find out, once and for all, if anything is more enjoyable than that video of the cat running head-first into the glass door.
Filed under: Internet
There’s no doubt that business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers are using content marketing. In an August 2014 study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, 77% of B2C marketers in North America reported doing so. And responses indicated that marketers were getting more effective at the tactic: 37% said their organizations were effective at content marketing, up from 34% last year and 32% three years ago.
What metrics are most common for evaluating content marketing success? Website traffic remained the most pop! ular met ric for assessing content efforts, cited by 62% of B2C marketers. Fully 54% of respondents looked at sales, and conversion rates arrived on the scene. Actual time spent on the website and qualitative feedback from clients fell in importance.
Still, B2C marketers surveyed were struggling to measure content marketing efforts. Just 23% said they were successful at determining return on investment (ROI). In comparison, 32% of respondents were unsuccessful, and more than one-fifth weren’t even trying to track ROI. Similarly, measuring content effectiveness was the top content marketing challenge, cited by 51% of respondents.
Results from April 2014 polling by Forrester Consulting are in line with this. Among US digital marketing decision-makers studied, 52% cited challenges measuring ROI as a hurdle to content marketing—the second-highest response.
Source: Adobe [pdf]
Notes: Few videos were watched to full completion during Q2, reports Adobe, although videos viewed on desktops were 3 times more likely than those viewed on mobile devices to reach 75% completion. Separately, the study finds that mobile devices were responsible for more than 1 in 4 video starts in Q2 (26.6%), up from 18.6% a year earlier.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
Collaborators – Digital Profs
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