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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Computer Security Updates Week 4 of Sep 2013 and 2013 Q3 Review

Refer to Computer Security Updates Week 2 of Sep 2013; the biggest news was the news reported by Reuters that the U.S tapped into networks of Google, Petrobras, others; first ever case of mobile Trojan spreading via ‘alien’ botnets discovered.

On Week 1 of Sep 2013, New York Times, Twitter hacked by Syrian group; USA Today reported that NSA performed exercise which used supercomputers to crack Web encryption.

On Week 5 of Aug 2013, Yahoo reported that China to probe big IT firms after Snowden leaks.

On Week 3 of Aug 2013, Reuters reported that U.S house of rep rejected bid to curb spy agency data collection.

On week 3 of July 2013, Oracle issued 89 security fixes.

On July 1, 2013, Malaysian domains were compromised by hacker Tiger-m@te, allegedly Bangladeshi origin

The trends and news which emerged from Q3 2013 for computer security carry themselves a few common themes.
  • Software makers to be made responsible for security bugs - the industry seems to be moving towards this direction and this is bad news for software makers.
  • The NSA, Snowden, PRISM, cyber-espionage related news help people to understand the cyber security landscape better.  
  • and the biggest Internet players were taken to tasks with personal data protection. 
  • DDoS attacks stopped.
  • Based on Q1 2013 and Q2 2013 review, two trends are brought forward to Q3. 1.) Mobile trends such as BYOD serves as catalyst for growth in security vulnerability; 2.) Security companies introduced proactive approach for security solution - with Intelligent security features - Verizon DBIR 2013 confirms that 71% of breaches targeted user devices than servers.
  • Even though enterprise security vendors are banking on proactive approach with enhanced intelligent, however not much APTs recorded - Verizon DBIR 2013 confirms that only 25% of breaches are APTs related while others are opportunistic and 78% graded as less sophisticated.
  • and what was worst is that despite 78% being graded as less sophisticated attacks, 66% took months to be discovered and 69% of those (discovered are) by external parties.
  • Parallel with 2012 and predictions for 2013, zero-day exploits are still popular and Android malwares continue to grow.

Some interesting facts to note:
  • Facebook said no to Putrajaya’s request for details on 197 users.
  • The high cost of a security breach: averages $649,000.
  • Cybercrime costs the global economy between $100 billion and $500 billion annually.
  • Lloyds survey found that cyber threats are now the third biggest worry for CEOs.
  • F-Secure: The most used exploits kits in the world is BLACKHOLE.
  • F-Secure: CVE-2011-3402 is among the most targeted vulnerabilities in the world.
  • F-Secure: Worm: W32/Downadup (also known as Conficker) is the most detected threat in Malaysia.

For this week / last week, here are / were the biggest news.
  • The Bank of Fakes – almost a third of users have received bogus bank emails.
  • Secure Identity Alliance welcomes three new members.
  • Symantec successfully sinkholes significant part of the massive ZeroAccess Botnet
  • AccessData Announces Interoperability with HP ArcSight to Deliver Accelerated Incident Response to Security Threats.
  • CyberArk unveils Master Policy.
  • Verizon: 2013 Data Breach Investigation Reports (DBIR).
  • Kaspersky Lab exposes “Icefog” APT: a new cyber-espionage campaign focusing on supply chain attack.
  • AccessData: Broken cyber security model insufficient against APTs.
  • ECSB strengthens security portfolio through new partnership with Barracuda.
  • American Express Malaysia phishing site is discovered. today@ --> please DO NOT visit!
  • Cellebrite presents Mobile Forensics trends for year 2014.
  • F-Secure’s Latest Threat Report: nearly 60% of F-Secure’s top ten detections in the H1 2013 were exploits.
  • Microsoft has published a security advisory on vulnerability in IE.
  • Kaspersky: more than 1/3 malware attacks costs users money.
  • Reuters: Hackers offered cash to crack iPhone's fingerprint security.
  • Symantec: Hidden Lynx, pioneers of 'watering hole', professional for hire.
  • Mcafee: Lily Collins the most dangerous cyber celebrity of 2013, Rain emerges as Asian equivalent.
  • Reuters: Iran unblocks Facebook and Twitter access
  • Kaspersky Lab Brings its Best Security Technologies Together
  • AccessData partners with Contego Solutions to Fortify Digital Forensics Capabilities of Middle East Enterprises.
  • Bouygues Telecom Secures Critical Business Systems with CyberArk Solutions.
  • Reuters: Hacker steals two million Vodafone data.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

UPSI Launches First PSYCHOMETRICS PROFILING for student assessment

Press Release - KUALA LUMPUR, 24 SEPTEMBER 2013

Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) in Tanjung Malim, Perak recently launched UPSI Pscychometrics; a project developed in collaboration with MIMOS to be used in educational institutions to better assess students as well as academic staff.

The Psychometrics Cluster at MIMOS is instrumental is promoting and practising psychometrics in Malaysia and has the expertise in the fundamentals and applications of psychometrics theories and techniques as well as psychometric-related technologies for educational as well as psychological testing in Malaysia.

UPSI Psychometrics launched by Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah, MOSTI Deputy Minister. Looking on is Dr Haniza Yon, Head of MIMOS Psychometrics Cluster.

Monday, September 23, 2013

ICT Happening Updates Week 4 of Sep 2013

The most significant news for Week 2 of Sep 2013 was the announcement of iPhone Series - iPhone 5C and 5S.

For this week / last week, here are / were the biggest news.
  • Lotaris In-AppCommerce now supports Android.
  • Hello OpenWorld, it has been one year - Oracle unveiled New In-Memory Capabilities during Oracle OpenWorld 2014.
  • KLMUC & Cosmopoint College of Technology join Adobe® Creative Cloud.
  • Investment giant accelerates data, saves US$60,000 a year with Silver Peak Software.
  • The Telegraph : BlackBerry agrees to sale for $4.7 bn
  • O'Briens, HTC Malaysia, Moola and 12FLY Join the WeChat Family!
  • HTC Malaysia Celebrates HTC Day!
  • I-PMart Lifestyle Link: The All-in-one Card Link to your modern lifestyle
  • Download, print out and program your own robots by May 2014!
  • The Evernote repackages itself for the Apple Family, with Evernote for iOS7 and Presentation Mode
  • SEEBURGER partners BPM Consulting to penetrate into Singapore, Sri Lanka and India markets.
  • P1 celebrates 5th Anniversary with truly unlimited broadband plans.
  • BlackBerry introduces the New BlackBerry Z30 Smartphone with 5” Display and BlackBerry 10.2 OS.
  • Brocade revises New Brocade VCS Fabric and launches New Brocade Vyatta 5600 vRouter
  • Online retail giant speeds up market expansion with hybris.
  • Kamcord announces beta solution for Android
  • Oracle launches In-Memory cost management application for Oracle E-Business Suite.
  • Tata Comm. and PCCW Global bring Voice over IPX and HD voice to mobile operators worldwide.
  • Oracle Eloqua AppCloud now integrated into the Eloqua Topliners Community.

SAM's Groceria First Premium Urban Grocer at Gurney Paragon, Penang

Press release - 22 SEPTEMBER 2013 - PENANG:

First retailer in the Asia-Pacific region to introduce the use of the Personal Shopping System by Motorola Solutions that is set to provide an even more convenient and hassle-free shopping experience.

SAM’s Groceria, the latest premium urban grocer to hit the Malaysian market was officially launched today by Dato’ Hasan bin Malek, the Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism at the Gurney Paragon Mall. Also present at the launch was Datuk Wira (Dr) Haji Ameer Ali bin Mydin, Executive Director of SAM’s Groceria and Dato’ Khor Teng Tong, Executive Chairman of Hunza Properties Bhd.

Minister of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism, Dato’ Hasan bin Malek ‘checks-out’ with his purchases at SAM’s Groceria Gurney Paragon Mall. Looking on are Anand Mehta, the Retail Director of Motorola Solutions, Asia Pacific (second from left), Touch ‘n Go Chief Executive Officer, Abdul Karim Md Lassim (third from left) and SAM’s Groceria Executive Director, Datuk Wira (Dr.) Haji Ameer Ali bin Mydin

With a total investment of RM34 million, SAM’s Groceria marks homegrown wholesale and retail titans, MYDIN’s first venture to capture the high-end grocer segment.

Equipped with this portable mobile computer device that comes with an integrated bar code scanner, customers will be able to self-checkout items by themselves.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

To uphold net-neutrality and fight for free speech

I see a web site that I like, I blog it and I hyperlink it - that was the net neutrality that I knew for many years since the inception of Internet in my country, I believe that to be around year 1995 - 1996.

Hence, for many years, we have been doing hyperlinks and link-exchanges, tell me now unnatural that could be ???

Following Google's directive link schemes guidelines, IT-Sideways will have to make certain changes moving forward.

1.) All uninvited linkage to external URLs will not be hyperlink tagged.

This is important to protect myself.

It will simply be a text. For instance, the; Google's Link Schemes directive,no-follow,

It is quite old fashion and messy...

2.) Dropping the branding of Tech Blog Malaysia.

IT-Sideways has ranked no.1 for this search key word for many years on Google, Yahoo and MSN. Now I feel it is an appropriate time to move forward.

This blog aspires to become more globalized, vibrant, adopt more varieties and support more functions.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Google wages war against illegal online marketing, SEO and etc

For many years since 9 years ago, people emailed me requesting for links exchange and etc.

Now, this blog received emails from the same people requesting for removal - it is quite annoying actually.

It turns out the following to be true.

Referring to the link schemes guidelines from Google.

1.) Unnatural comments - need to enable comment moderation.

2.) Unnatural links - other people shall not create link to your sites without your knowledge, only the web owners shall create contents and request to be published on other web sites with incoming links.

In other words, it is better not to link to other web sites even if you find something interesting. If you have to, get the permission from the content owners.

Alternatively, just do the followings:
  • Adding a rel="nofollow" attribute to the tag
  • Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file

Thursday, September 19, 2013 convert hex to decimal - Beware of overflow

First thing to do is to understand hex or hexadecimal.

To understand hex, the first rule is to know that it is a numbering system and hence it consists of a series of number represented by 0-9, A-F.

Hence, it starts from 00,01, 0F,10... FF

So, what happens after FF ?

The answer is, since FF is equivalent to 255, what comes next is 256.

Using scientific calculator, 256 (decimal)--> 0100 (hex).

For example, manual conversion of a hex number from B372837E to decimal representation, using MS Excel can be calculated as:

= [11*POWER(16,7)] + [3 * POWER(16,6)] + [7 * POWER(16,5)] + [2 * POWER(16,4)] + [8 * POWER(16,3)] + [3 * POWER(16,2)] + [7 * POWER(16,1)] + [14 * POWER(16,0)]

In terms of programming in VB.NET or C#.NET, to convert a hex to decimal, just need to use 'System.Convert.ToInt32' function.

However, please take note that the tricky part is always about overflow.

In retrospect, the decimal equivalent of B372837E is 3010626430 or 3,010,626,430.

Hence, if you perform System.Convert.ToInt32(tempStrHex, 16), it will result in a funny negative number, this is because Int32 is actually a signed integer; the maximum positive number is 2,147,483,647.

The solution is to make use of 64 bits integer.

Dim tempNum as UInt64

tempNum = System.Convert.ToInt64("B372837E", 16)

It will work.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pi and Fortune In Malaysia-Indonesia PR Alliance

KUALA LUMPUR, JAKARTA, 13 September 2013 – Locally established PR agency - Pi PR Consultancy Sdn Bhd announced its latest partnership alliance with Southeast Asia's leading integrated strategic communications company, PT Fortune Pramana Rancang also known as ‘Fortune PR’. The partnership alliance was formed in the recently signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fortune PR, making Pi the focus PR agency in Malaysian market for Indonesia’s largest independent public relations and strategic communications consultancy in effort to derive more project leads from Malaysia’s increasing trend of local and MNC companies expanding into the vast Indonesia market.

Fortune PR was started in the 1980's as a subsidiary of FORU (IDX-listed communications group) and was one of the earliest public relations consultancies in Indonesia. In FY2012, Fortune PR recorded an annual revenue over 10 million US Dollar and was the second fastest growing PR firm in the world, according to 2013 World PR Report published by The Holmes Report. The firm has more than 100 headcounts in Jakarta office alone and has recently started boutique consultancy in Singapore.

Friday, September 13, 2013

splinter blog : Salaries for Developers and Designers across the world

Malaysia is amongst the lowest in the world, this explains for many things - no passion, no motivation, no will to succeed, and always wanted to start own business.

And so if you want to consider yourself to be the best software engineers in the world with the best pay, these are the company you should send your resume to:

Amazon, Apple, Cisco, eBay, Facebook, Google, HP, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Microsoft, Oracle, Qualcomm, Yahoo, Zynga.

The highest based salary per year for 2012 was from Google: $128,336.

To gauge oneself, if you are an entrepreneur in software industry, and assuming that you are able to get a project with a paycheck of RM 130,000 per year, then perhaps there is no need to send your resume to Google - you're doing fine actually.

Good luck!

Check out details and here.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Enlogic : the PUE can be misleading

While PUE does provide an effectiveness metric of the facility services to the IT equipment; it does not provide any meaning in relation to IT equipment efficiency, and in fact can become quite misleading.

“Take an extreme example; imagine a data centre full of thousands of computer servers sitting idle, but consuming energy. Suppose such a data centre has a well-managed facility with a PUE of 1.4; would one believe this is an efficient date centre despite no computing work being done?” quoted Eddie Desouza, Head of Business Operations, APAC for Enlogic.

While reducing total energy consumption is ultimately more important than reducing the PUE, many managers are setting their individual and facility performance goals based on improved PUE, not necessarily reduced energy which is harder to quantify.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Computer Security Updates Week 2 of Sep 2013

Refer to Computer Security Updates Week 1 of Sep 2013; the biggest news was a report by Reuters about the hacking of New York Times, Twitter by Syrian group.

For this week / last week, here are / were the biggest news.
  • Bank Rakyat phishing site surfaces-
  • Sophos Mobile Control delivers immediate support for the Apple iOS 7.
  • Kaspersky Lab wins AV-Test Innovation Award for securing online financial transactions.
  • Reuters: Sourcefire achieves strong partner ecosystem growth across APAC Region.
  • FireEye targets IPO between $12-$14 per share.
  • Reuters: U.S tapped into networks of Google, Petrobras, others.
  • McAfee delivers updates 2014 Core PC security products.
  • Kaspersky Lab: First ever case of mobile Trojan spreading via ‘alien’ botnets.
  • Reuters: Security camera maker penalized for bugs - not so good news for software makers.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

NCR Introduces APTRA Interactive Teller to Transform Branch Banking Experience in SEA

Singapore. September 9, 2013 - NCR Corporation today launched NCR APTRA™ Interactive Teller, a new ATM-based technology that makes everyday banking transactions easier for customers by allowing them to complete more than 95 percent of typical branch transactions at the ATM assisted by a live remote teller, well beyond operating branch hours.

NCR APTRA Interactive Teller will help banks in South East Asia to take a new approach to grow their geographic footprint and focus on transforming their branch location into a more effective service and sales environment. It will allow banks to offer after-hours full teller services in areas that are not served by branches, while taking advantage of the advanced features of NCR ATMs such as intelligent deposit, bill pay, new account opening and loan initiations.

Beyond talking to a teller, Interactive Teller offers more services than can be conducted on an ATM or other self-service devices. For instance, customers can perform secure transactions without using a traditional ATM card and, like branch tellers, remote tellers can provide customers access to cash in their accounts in amounts over the standard ATM daily cash withdrawal limits. An internal study done by NCR shows that the implementation of NCR’s interactive video technology can result in a 33 percent reduction in transaction time and 40 percent savings for the cost-per-transaction, as compared with a branch teller transaction.

Monday, September 09, 2013

ICT Happening Updates Week 2 of Sep 2013

The most significant news for Week 1 of Sep 2013 was the announcement of acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft.

For this week / last week, here are / were the biggest news.
  • Apple introduces latest iPhone Series - iPhone 5C and 5S.
  • The Star Online: Public Service D-G advises social media users to online prudently.
  • HTC unveils new, mid-range HTC DESIRE 500
  • HSIS Enterprise Applications Division extends to Southeast Asia.
  • Brocade names Bill Lipsin as VP of Worldwide Channel and Global Systems Integrator Sales.
  • Daimler aims to launch self-driving car by 2020.
  • HP expands capacity with new Scitex ink manufacturing plant@Israel.
  • Bosch revolutionizes conferencing with IP-based solution, DCN Multimedia.
  • Intel unveils new technologies for efficient cloud data centers.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Tata Comm. Case Study: Powering 67 million unique users at

On race day, every second counts. With enthusiasts around the world glued to, the smallest technical glitch or performance issue could have a huge impact on both fans and the Formula One Management organisation. is the official website of Formula 1®, representing the brand around the world.

The website is a highly interactive and engaging platform for fans that depend on it to stay updated on all things F1®. While the site sees substantial traffic on any given day, the traffic to the site increases exponentially on race days. These typically see spikes of up to 100 times the usual number of visitors accessing the site, using multiple devices including laptops, handheld devices such as tablets, and mobile phones; as well as from multiple platforms and web browsers. This diversity demands that the web systems provide consistent performance and user experience across a multitude of network bandwidths and rich media-capable devices.

With an ever-increasing number of fans using the website, Formula One Management challenged Tata Communications to deliver a flawless experience for and provide fans a more innovative web experience in the future. The requirement was for a content acceleration that provided:

Consistent delivery of content to users accessing the site from anywhere in the world, on even slow connections (such as 2G or dialup) Instant-on delivery and highly reduced latency

Friday, September 06, 2013

EMC Survey Reveals Big Data Adoption Trends in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia– September 5, 2013 - EMC® Corporation today released the findings of a survey that asked I.T. decision makers in Malaysia for their perspective on the challenges and opportunities that Big Data and I.T. transformation – and related skills – can present to their companies. The Malaysian results will be added among the thirty-six country-level survey results being collected through EMC Forum events taking place around the world between June and November 2013.

EMC Malaysia Managing Director  Cheam Tat Inn addressing the attendees at EMC ForumTom Zack, President - SEA, EMC  Corporate at EMC Forum Malaysia

Survey details.

Key Findings:

In Malaysia, Big Data is giving rise to markedly improved decision making and is having a significant impact on companies’ competitive differentiation and ability to avert risk.
  • 88% of Malaysian businesses surveyed reported that better use of Big Data will lead to better decision making
  • 69% of respondents believe that Big Data will be a key factor in determining winners and losers in their industry
  • 40% have already achieved a competitive advantage as a result of Big Data analytics technology
  • 69% believe that those industries that succeed will be the same ones using Big Data tools
  • 67% of respondents also agree that Big Data technology will prove vital in identifying and protecting against cyber-attacks
  • 89% agree that data center automation will be crucial to innovation and agility over the next three years

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

SOFTEC Asia 2013

Petaling Jaya, 3 September 2013 (Tuesday) – Today with the rapid integration of businesses in ASEAN, many Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in the region are facing challenges in making IT systems work seamlessly across borders.

At the recent SOFTEC Asia 2013 that was held from the 2nd to 5th September at Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa, CIOs were presented with an opportunity to share about these challenges through a CIO Roundtable event which discussed software quality perspectives for C-Level business executives and its ROI propositions.

SOFTEC Asia 2013, a regional-level conference on software testing was organised by the Malaysian Software Testing Board (MSTB) under the auspices of the Malaysia Software Testing Hub (MSTH) initiative, a public-private collaboration to develop a new source of economic growth for the nation.

(L-R) Puan Azizah Hamzah, Director K-Economy, Economic Planning Unit (EPU), Prime Minister’s Department;Puan Mastura Abu Samah, President of Malaysian Software Testing Board (MSTB);Yang Berbahagia Senator Dato' Seri Abdul Wahid Omar, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department;Yang Berusaha En. K. Yogeesvaran, Deputy Director-general, Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister’s Department;Encik Amiruddin Jaafar Sidek, Director, Malaysian Software Testing Board (MSTB)

SOFTEC Asia 2013, meanwhile, was officially opened by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Dato' Seri Abdul Wahid Omar. SOFTEC Asia 2013 is being held at the Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa from 2nd to 5th September.

Monday, September 02, 2013

ICT Happening Updates Week 1 of Sep 2013

The most significant news for Week 5 of Aug 2013 was the announcement of the planned retirement of Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer.

For this week / last week, here are / were the biggest news.
  • WD expands NAS HD with World's First 2.5" WD RED.
  • Reuters: Microsoft to buy Nokia's phone business for 5.44 billion euros.
  • CrimsonLogic appoints Saw Ken Wye as CEO.
  • Ericsson to build three global ICT centers.
  • Ninetology launches its Flagship Touch Point at Plaza Low Yat.
  • Reuters: Worldwide PC shipments to fall 9.7% this year.
  • ExactView released flagship Mobile App.
  • Reuters: China to become e-commerce market leader in a decade.
  • Ericsson ConsumerLab: Place-shifting newest TV and video viewing habit.

Computer Security Updates Week 1 of Sep 2013

Refer to Computer Security Updates Week 5 of Aug 2013; the biggest news was Yahoo reported that China to probe big IT firms after Snowden leaks.

For this week / last week, here are / were the biggest news.
  • Kaspersky: NetTraveler is back with new tricks.
  • USA Today: NSA uses supercomputers to crack Web encryption, files show.
  • Symantec: G20 Summit used as bait to deliver Backdoor.Darkmoon.
  • Symantec: Cynical spammers exploit deepening Syria crisis.
  • Fortinet Blog: Implementing Wireless Security.
  • Reuters: New York Times, Twitter hacked by Syrian group.
  • Eset Blog: Mobile banking apps pose “serious” safety risks, financial watchdog warns.
  • HP helps enterprises accelerate software security assessment, assurance and protection.
  • Yahoo News: Facebook says no to Putrajaya’s request for details on 197 users.
  • Trend Micro's 'Trend Ready' Cloud Security Verification Program gains momentum.