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Nigerian Startup Gets into MIT Solve

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Publiseer, Nigeria’s popular digital content distribution platform, gets into MIT Solve Global Challenges, a business incubator from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that advances solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address pressing global issues by connecting innovators with resources such as expertise, human capital, technology, and funding.

 

Since August 2017, Publiseer has been addressing the issue of digital content distribution and monetization in Africa, giving independent African writers and musicians from low-income communities the opportunity to earn a living from their craft.

 

In the first-quarter of 2018, the Nigerian startup reported a profit of over $10,000 without any venture investment.

 

Solve, every year, aims to find potential teams around the world who can have success in Economic Prosperity, Health, Learning, and Sustainability. Solve then enables these teams to connect with its global community of private, public, and nonprofit leaders to form partnerships.

 

Last year, almost 1,000 people across 103 countries submitted solutions to Solve’s four challenges. Solve’s open challenges include ‘Work of the Future’, ‘Frontlines of Health’, ‘Coastal Communities’, and ‘teachers * Educators’.  Solve has many key advisors, including Laurene Powell Jobs, Colin M. Angle, and Ursula M. Burns.

 

Publiseer is a popular digital publishing platform in Nigeria, which helps African writers and musicians from low-income communities in Africa, to distribute and monetize their creative works across over 400 digital stores in 100 countries.

 

The mission of the Nigerian startup is to promote the creativity of the African people to the rest of the world through books (written words) and spoken words (spoken words).

 

Founded by Nigerian computer programmers and serial Internet entrepreneurs, Publiseer has distributed and monetized over 600 creative works.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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MainOne Partners Mest for High Speed Internet to MEST Incubator

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MainOne, West Africa’s leading connectivity and data centre services provider, has partnered with the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) to provide high-speed internet access to the MEST Incubator in Ikoyi, Lagos.

 

MEST is a not-for-profit organisation which provides technology training, seed investment and mentorship for the next generation of globally successful African software entrepreneurs.

 

This partnership will leverage MainOne’s fiber connectivity, as well as MEST’s seed fund and incubator to foster the growth and success of entrepreneurs by providing work space, high-speed internet, hands-on support, resources and a vibrant community to help start-ups succeed.

 

According to Funke Opeke, MainOne chief executive officer, MainOne remains committed to powering up the startup and technology ecosystem in Nigeria which remains underdeveloped, to foster socio-economic development of Africa through the creation of sustainable businesses and enterprises.

Funke Opeke, CEO, MainOne

“We will continue to support initiatives like the MEST with investments in fibre-optics infrastructure to deepen broadband penetration and create enabling environment for these companies”, she said.

 

“Our expansion into Lagos was in response to the vast amount of talent present combined with the surge in the development on technology in the country. Our pan-African network of incubators is aimed at discovering the best tech talent on the continent and providing our existing entrepreneurs the support they need as they expand into new markets across the continent”, said Neku Atawodi-Edun, Director of Investor Relations at MEST.

 

Speaking on the partnership she applauded MainOne’s support in enabling the hub with the capacity to meet the requirements of entrepreneurs who just need the space to focus and work on their big ideas. “The MEST Incubator is a hub where different tech and digital start-ups, are availed seed funds and resources essential to the success of their business.

 

 

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Sophos 2019 Threat Report Unveils Rise of Hand-delivered, Targeted Cyberattacks

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Sophos has launched its 2019 Threat Report providing insights into emerging and evolving cybersecurity trends. The report, produced by SophosLabs researchers, explores changes in the threat landscape over the past 12 months, uncovering trends and how they are expected to impact cybersecurity in 2019.

“The threat landscape is undoubtedly evolving; less skilled cyber criminals are being forced out of business, the fittest among them step up their game to survive and we’ll eventually be left with fewer, but smarter and stronger, adversaries.

“These new cybercriminals are effectively a cross-breed of the once esoteric, targeted attacker, and the pedestrian purveyor of off-the-shelf malware, using manual hacking techniques, not for espionage or sabotage, but to maintain their dishonorable income streams.” – Joe Levy, CTO, Sophos, as referenced in the SophosLabs 2019 Threat Report

The SophosLabs 2019 Threat Report focuses on these key cybercriminal behaviours and attacks:

  • Capitalist cybercriminals are turning to targeted ransomware attacks that are premeditated and reaping millions of dollars in ransom – 2018 saw the advancement of hand-delivered, targeted ransomware attacks that are earning cybercriminals millions of dollars. Attacks are different than ‘spray and pray’ style attacks that are automatically distributed through millions of emails.

Targeted ransomware is more damaging than if delivered from a bot, as human attackers can find and stake out victims, think laterally, trouble shoot to overcome roadblocks, and wipe out back-ups so the ransom must be paid.

This “interactive attack style,” where adversaries manually maneuver through a network step-by-step, is now increasing in popularity. Sophos experts believe the financial success of SamSam, BitPaymer and Dharma to inspire copycat attacks and expect more happen in 2019.

  • Cybercriminals are using readily available Windows systems administration tools – This year’s report uncovers a shift in threat execution, as more mainstream attackers now employ Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) techniques to use readily available IT tools as their route to advance through a system and complete their mission – whether it’s to steal sensitive information off the server or drop ransomware:
  • Turning admin tools into cyberattack tools

In an ironic twist, or Cyber Catch-22, cybercriminals are utilising essential or built-in Windows IT admin tools, including Powershell files and Windows Scripting executables, to deploy malware attacks on users.

  • Cybercriminals are playing Digital Dominos

By chaining together a sequence of different script types that execute an attack at the end of the event series, hackers can instigate a chain reaction before IT managers detect a threat is operational on the network, and once they break in it’s difficult to stop the payload from executing.

  • Cybercriminals have adopted newer Office exploits to lure in victims

Office exploits have long been an attack vector, but recently cybercriminals have cut loose old Office document exploits in favour of newer ones.

  • EternalBlue becomes a key tool for cryptojacking attacks

Patching updates appeared for this Windows threat more than a year ago, yet the EternalBlue exploit is still a favourite of cybercriminals; the coupling of EternalBlue to cryptomining software turned the activity from a nuisance hobby into a potentially lucrative criminal career.

Lateral distribution on the corporate networks allowed the cryptojacker to quickly infect multiple machines, increasing payouts to the hacker and heavy costs to the user.

  • The continued threat of mobile and IoT malware – Malware’s impact extends beyond the organization’s infrastructure as we see the threat from mobile malware grow apace.

With illegal Android apps on the increase, 2018 has seen an increased focus in malware being pushed to phones, tablets and other IoT devices.

As homes and businesses adopt more internet-connected devices, criminals have been devising new ways to hijack those devices to use as nodes in huge botnet attacks.

In 2018, VPNFilter demonstrated the destructive power of weaponized malware that affects embedded systems and networked devices that have no obvious user interface.

Elsewhere, Mirai Aidra, Wifatch, and Gafgyt delivered a range of automated attacks that hijacked networked devices to use as nodes in botnets to engage in distributed denial-of-service attacks, mine cryptocurrency and infiltrate networks.

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ESET, Airtel Unveil New Security app for Smartphone Users

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L-r: President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, Dr. Yele Okeremi; Head, Value Added Services, Anthonia Okpaegbe; Country Manager, ESET Nigeria and Ghana, Olufemi Ake;Head, Corporate Communications & PR at Airtel Nigeria; Erhumu Bayagbon; Ronke Okeremi (Mrs), Managing Director/CEO, Arit of Africa Limited and ED/Chief Technical Officer, Arit of Africa Limited, Olusola Ogunsola, during the launch.

ESET, a security solution company on Thursday launched a new mobile security app specially designed for Airtel Nigeria subscribers.

 

Olufemi Ake, country manager of ESET, said that the mobile security application would provide smartphone users with features for prevention and management of cyber risks associated to android mobile devices.

 

Ake made this known during the ESET Mobile Security Airtel Edition Launch held in Lagos.

 

He said that there was need for average smartphone users in Nigeria to install mobile security apps on their phones, “especially in this age where cyber criminals steal personal data online”.

 

The country manager added that the first telecom-focused security product was optimised for Android and also for bringing both unmatched performance coupled with proactive protection.

 

He said: “The new ESET mobile security for Airtel also welcomes the brand-new premium features such as Anti-Phishing, which protects against malicious websites attempting to acquire sensitive information – usernames, passwords, banking information or credit card details.

 

“It also features Anti-Theft, which locks a device upon detection of suspicious behaviour or when unauthorised SIM is inserted.

 

“The security app also has the Remote Lock feature, allowing a device owner to lock his or her phone remotely, thereby preventing unauthorised access to all stored information, including photos and emails.

 

“It also has the SMS and Call Filter feature, which enables smartphone owners to solely receive the calls and messages that they want and also empower them to define the sender and the time to receive SMS or calls with time-based call management.”

 

Ake noted that the ESET Mobile Security product already exists globally on Google Play Store with over ten million downloads.

He explained that the app also offered precise detection of known and unknown mobile threats with complement of advanced features such as Anti-Theft, Security Audit, App Lock, SMS and Call Filter and Password Protection, amongst others.

 

Dinesh Balsingh, chief commercial officer, Airtel Nigeria, said that the partnership with ESET affirms their strong commitment to protecting customers from cyber criminals.

 

He said that by introducing such apps to subscribers, they would be protected from cyber criminals hacking into their personal data.

 

Balsingh said that Airtel subscribers who wish to benefit from the new security app could subscribe via Google Play store at subsidized and flexible cost of N150 monthly.

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