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How to prevent Ransomware Attacks such as Cryotowall, Reventon, Cryptolocker

Ransomware: Type of malware (malicious software) that locks your computer screen and prevents you from accessing your files and asks you to pay a certain fee (ransom) for you to get back and control over your computer.

These malware sometimes come in the form of a fake antivirus installer which when clicked into the computer then accesses your files and sends details to another server used by the criminals. It is also possible to download ransomware unknowingly by opening infected attachments in emails or unsecure websites.

WHAT TO DO TO PREVENT ATTACKS FROM RANSOMWARE

  • First and foremost the best on can do to avoid any data loss not only from ransomware attacks but any other form of attack is to back up your data regularly preferably using a backup plan such as the 3-2-1 plan which entails that you make 3 copies of the data, store it in 2 separate storage from where it is initially stored and 1 in a separate location.
  • Scrutinize emails and embedded links/attachments found in emails or unsecure websites before clicking on them to avoid any unnecessary installations into your computer that may be the ransomware itself.
  • Regularly update software, programs and applications as these updates tend to add an added layer of protection and also patching up backdoors that could be used by criminals and other online threats to gain access to your computer.
  • Disconnect computer from Wi-Fi or unplug from internet immediately you open an attachment and it starts installing unnecessarily being that it’s not an executable file or the website isn’t secure or the email comes from a source you don’t trust. If you act fast before the characteristic ransomware screen pops up, you can stop communication between the ransomware and the server used to send the encryption key to your computer. This might reduce the number of files that will be encrypted by the ransomware and also buy you some time to back up your data just in case you hadn’t done so.
  • Use system restore which might help you restore your computer to a former known clean state. This however may not really work since the ransomware have newer versions which are able to delete ‘shadow files’ which are vital for the system restore but it’s worth a try.

NB: The most common ransomware today is one called CryptoLocker

The chances of data recovery in cases of ransomware attacks are very minimal thus we advise prevention of these attacks as there is no known solution for these attacks at the moment. The only known way is to pay the ransom which is the advisable also as the decryption key might not be sent to your computer to decrypt the files or it might not even work and the criminals might even try extort more money from you and it becomes a repeating cycle. Secondly it also encourages such criminal acts.

ZAINAB NAMUDDU

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE

EIGHT TECH CONSULTS LTD

 

 

The Impact Of The Internet Of Things On Global ICT

Generally speaking, Information Communications Technology(ICT) includes any electronic device that can transmit, receive, or store digital information. In the past, this group was somewhat limited to only include telephones and then, computers. It now includes a variety of devices, some of which are extremely common such as smartphones, tablets, and televisions.

The widening scope of ICT does not stop with these devices either. The Internet of Things(IoT) is having a large impact on this field of information technology. So much so that it is actually transforming how ICT is perceived, categorized and used to benefit the world. First, what exactly is the IoT and how does it relate to information technology?

The IoT: A Global Movement

The Internet of Things is more than just a hobbyist’s dream of connecting toasters to the internet. It is a global movement that aims to connect nearly any device possible to the internet so that information can be shared. This may seem trivial at first glance, but it is having a lasting impact on global communications, on developing economies, and in the medical field.

It is estimated that in 2016 there will be at least 6.4 billion devices connected to this Internet of Things. (http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3165317). That’s a 22 percent increase from 2015. Those same estimates predict more than 20 billion connected devices by 2020.

Sure, there may be quite a few toasters, washing machines, and refrigerators in those numbers, but what about the larger picture? That huge number of connected devices is becoming a driving force in global ICT. It allows copious amounts of information to be gathered from different sources or devices and shared instantly with many of the other 20 billion connected devices around the globe.

Accessible To Struggling Countries

More than 95 % of the globe now enjoys basic 2G mobile-cellular connectivity, which means important data can be gathered or shared just about anywhere in the world. (http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2015/57.aspx#.Vx_QUWPdi00) However, many third-world countries might struggle to afford personal computers, expensive medical equipment, or to even hire a full staff of medical professionals: That’s where the diversity of the IoT comes into play.

Being connected to the IoT no longer requires a general purpose computer, tablet, or smartphone. Likewise, diagnosing certain medical problems no longer requires a face-to-face consultation.

Niche devices designed specifically for gather certain types of data or for transmitting certain types of data are constantly being developed. As our programs designed to offer professional assistance from experts who might not reside in the local area.

A new development in the field is seen almost every day. This is extremely beneficial for those countries where funds are limited. The fact that many of them are designed to transmit data using only a basic 2G mobile-cellular network removes the need for Wi-Fi, which isn’t yet available everywhere.

Many IoT devices are being designed with a struggling economy in mind. They are built to be affordable and replaceable. Similarly, they are often designed with ruggedness as a key quality. This allows them to operate outside in harsh climates and in environments that wouldn’t be too friendly to some forms of technology.

Delivering Information Needed For Growth

The utilization of specially designed IoT devices allows for the instant delivery of important information where it is needed most. The possibilities are seemingly endless. They are already having a noticeable impact in the fields of education and technology. Communities that may not have the best access to traditional sources of education or medical knowledge are now up to speed with the rest of the world.

At the same time, these devices can also gather important data, such as climate or environmental data, from these same regions and instantly deliver it to organizations that can make good use of it. The IoT is no doubt having a positive impact on Information Communications Technology by making this gathering and sharing of data possible in areas of the world that have been cut off from the global network for too long.

You can kill your motivation in these 4 ways

You can kill your motivation in these 4 ways

Staying motivated will keep the hunger in you, to work hard to achieve your goals and dreams. When you are motivated, you have that extra zeal to push for your aim, but the same cannot be said when your motivation has been dented.
Unfortunately, people hurt their own motivation and kill their drive to reach certain heights.
This is how you to do that;
1. You doubt yourself
Success starts with you; it starts with you believing in yourself, and you believing that you can achieve it. When you have doubts in yourself and you don’t believe you can do it, then your motivation will gradually diminish till there’s nothing left.
2. You let things distract you
If you want to maintain your motivation, you should be able to ward off distractions. Distractions come in many forms, and if you don’t keep it away, you’ll easily lose focus.
3. You keep procrastinating
When you keep postponing the things you ought to do now, you make it more difficult for you to even do them at a future date, and it wouldn’t take long for your motivation to be lost thereafter.
4. You see challenges as the final stop
Challenges will definitely come, some things will definitely look difficult to overcome, but the way you see these challenges can go a long way in determining how successful or unsuccessful the relationship could be.
Motivation can easily die off, if you let it to, and these are some of the ways you hurt your motivation.

Published by: Zainab Namuddu
Business Development Executive
Eight Tech Consults Ltd

A Rant against Mediocrity

Seeing a university student reading a PowerPoint handout on a train in Melbourne Australia triggered mixed thoughts in me. Having firmly agreed with a derogatory term coined in my university days that our degrees are “PowerPoint – degrees” I couldn’t reconcile my respect for universities in western countries with the thought that this student of – most likely – economics or business was going to get a PowerPoint degree “just like I did”. Then I thought maybe it’s all a mirage; maybe it’s a myth that in certain universities in the west; students are taught thoroughly and have to milk a stone to get marks, so that by the time they reach the workplace, they have been worked so hard that they are better placed to meet th

e requirements of the world of work. For a second, I thought – “twakoowa, the west is overrated”.  I certainly need to research a little more into this but for now, here is what I think. Many of the things we do are actually copied from the west. The only challenge is we are not so good at copying. We just produce poor quality variants of western systems. If we can’t produce our own, then at least, let us perfect the art of copying. Lecturers in Uganda did not invent powerpoint handouts. They copied them from universities abroad just like the course content they teach.  But having worked with fresh graduates of Australian Universities and found them more knowledgeable than their coun

Rwebembera Job and Wife Lynette
Job and Lynette in Melbourne Australia

terparts in Uganda, I have a theory that much as they do powerpoint too, they have textbooks not only in a library but also in their rooms because as part of their semester tuition, they pay for books which they receive at the beginning of the semester. The lecturer’s handout therefore is only a guide to ensure you don’t miss the main points the textbook has. But ultimately you won’t pass his exam if you only depend on the powerpoint. That is not the case in a Ugandan University, at least not the one I attended. You can pass a huge majority of the course units comfortably without even knowing whether or not textbooks exist in that field of study. The result is, at graduation, the graduate is so half baked that it’s fair enough to call them a powerpoint graduate. You see, universities should be “places of HIGHER LEARNING”, but we have reduced them by converting them to just “HIGHER PLACES of learning”. At University, we should learn concepts and ideas instead of points and formulas.  But the problem is even bigger, these universities are powered by pamphlet driven secondary schools. And like handouts, pamphlets are just many pages of bullet points. And though you can pass the exam with a pamphlet or handout, the world won’t respect you for only a good grade, it requires you to have a command of the subject matter.

Way forward for students: don’t settle for a powerpoint degree. Those 2 slides in the handout of “CSC 1100 – Introduction to computers” represent 45 pages in the textbook “Computers – Novice to Professional”. How about you pick up the book and read it. Those 3 slides on page 5 of the handout on “Organisational Change”, come from 78 pages in 3 different textbooks. How about you read through 2 of them? Aaah I hear you, it’s too much work Job, it’s too much work – you say. Let this quotation from one of the wisest men ever answer you: “Do you see a man skillful and experienced in his work? He will stand [in honor] before kings; He will not stand before obscure men.” . Proverbs 22:29 [Amplified] I will not water down that verse with my understanding of it. Read it again please and think about it. And before we make up too many excuses, let us remember that the word of God is more true than our opinions. So in the above verse’s case, a non committed Christian person who is a more skilled manager will get a better managerial job than a committed Christian who is depending on just God’s favour and not deliberately up-skilling him/herself in management.

It is sad to know that our small economy does not create enough jobs for us and that corrupt people who are well connected will get employed when more qualified people sit at home. The situation is so demoralising that we may say, why try to excel, why get a first class degree if corruption is standing in my way. My short answer is, how about we do what is in our power and let God do the rest. Its within your power to do whatever you do with an attitude of excellence; do that and let God deal with opening doors and taking injustice out of your way. I remember a story of a person I know. This person applied for a job that would be a promotion for her at her workplace. The interviewers asked for money from all the candidates except her because she knew a number of them and they would be ashamed to ask her to buy the promotion. She was on maternity leave when the interviews happened. She just came in to be interviewed on the last day after all the people who had “bought” the job had finished their interviews. One of the most senior people on the panel did not even know her but when she finished the interview, the interviewers discussed how they had already compiled the list of people who would get the jobs since they had already taken money from enough candidates. This senior person put his foot down and said that this lady is the best among all the candidates we have interviewed and she must get one of these positions. I don’t care how much money the other candidates paid, find a way of taking one of them off the list but this lady must get the job. Long story short, she got the job without paying a coin. This is what it means for your excellence to bring you before kings.

Don’t buy the crap of lies that the world is a hopeless place and we might all just give in. Do your part and stay hopeful. God will fight that boardroom battle in your absence. But do not use God’s favour as an excuse for mediocrity. Moses had God’s favour but Acts 7:22 says “Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action”, Daniel and his friends were 10 times better than the Babylonian “intellectuals” Dan 1:20.  God’s favour/blessing is the power to make wealth Deuteronomy 8:18, and I believe that it is the blessing that enables us to be thorough at our work. It is the blessing that enables us to be diligent and excellent at whatever we do. And if God will bless ALL the work of your hands as Deuteronomy 28:12 says, its means that if you go the extra mile, you are creating an extra mile for God to bless.

Finally for today, I will counter this lie that we have swallowed hook line and sinker that there are no opportunities; there are no jobs, e.t.c. The reason I call it a blatant lie at the risk of sounding too detached from reality is because I want to catch your attention so that probably, you will think differently about it. Ecclesiastes 9:11 says “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.” If you had believed the lie that there are no opportunities, that there are no chances for you, let this verse settle the matter for you. The truth is in your lifetime, irrespective of how good or bad you are at different things, opportunities will come your way. Irrespective of the corruption and the injustice in the world, time and chance happens to all men. Make good use of the opportunities that come your way. Seizing opportunities is a tough task and there may not be a proven approach to doing it well but one way to make good use of opportunities is to be prepared. The Batoro have a proverb that says – “Obutetegeka, embwa ekairuka omukaro” loosely meaning “because of not being ready, a dog fled from meat”. Whoever threw meat at the dog wanted it to eat it but since it was not prepared, it thought maybe it is a stone coming its way, it fled from a delicacy. You may never be “fully prepared” but you can certainly be “better prepared” for the opportunities that come your way. If you thought this was an article about university education that has many quotations from the bible, let me correct you, this was a rant against mediocrity because with or without University education, our own mediocrity is the biggest hindrance to success in life. Over and out!!!

Job Rwebembera is a Software Developer and lives with his wife Lynette in Melbourne Australia.

European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development Phase II (PAEPARD II)

In 2017, ILRI was invited to host up to 8 PhD fellowships. This is in association with DAAD. Below please find the available ILRI –DAAD fellowship opportunities.

ILRI-DAAD PhD Scholarship: Towards improved herd health in the smallholder pig systems in Uganda (Closing date: 31 January 2017)

ILRI-DAAD PhD Scholarship: Analysis of adulterants, physicochemical and microbiological quality and shelf stability of local butter along the value chain in Jimma town and central highlands of Ethiopia (Closing date: 31 January 2017)

ILRI-DAAD PhD Scholarship: “Light-touch” interventions in the dairy value chain to improve food safety and health outcomes: assessing scale and sustainability (Closing date: 31 January 2017)

ILRI-DAAD PhD Scholarship: Raw milk and children’s health: a risk assessment of the contribution of raw milk to the diets and the health of children in peri-urban settlements in Nairobi (Closing date: 31 January 2017)

ILRI-DAAD PhD Scholarship: Agent-Based Simulation modeling for the study of emerging disease threats and outbreaks: A case study of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Uganda. (Closing date: 31 January 2017)

ILRI-DAAD PhD Scholarship: Enhancement of participatory decision support tools to support improved feeding strategies by smallholder farmers in Malawi and beyond. (closing date: 31 January 2017)

ILRI-DAAD PhD Scholarship: Genetics of tolerance to Theileria parva infection in Bos indicus cattle (Closing date: 31 January 2017)

ILRI-DAAD PhD Scholarship: Economic analysis of milk quality certification in Rwanda (Closing date: 31 January 2017)

ILRI-DAAD PhD Scholarship: Targeting and prioritizing value chain intervention for synergies and impact in smallholder crop livestock systems (Closing date: 31 January 2017)

ILRI-DAAD PhD Scholarship: Comparative analysis of ruminant GHG emission factors and GHG emissions intensities from different smallholder systems in Kenya and Tanzania. (Closing date: 31 January 2017)

PhD position: Formal methods in control (Munich, Germany)

We invite applications for a doctoral researcher position in the field of formal methods in control. The successful candidate is expected to advance theory of as well as computational methods for abstraction-based controller synthesis, to a degree that facilitates routine, fully automated, practical application of the approach to nonlinear continuous-state plants and complex specifications. The focus is on synthesis algorithms that are both efficient and formally
correct.

The project involves theoretical work, algorithm and software development, and, on a small scale, experimental work. There is no teaching requirement and no coursework to be completed. Competitive
salary is offered according to the tariff “TVOeD Bund, E 13”.

Required qualifications:
* MSc degree (or equivalent, giving access to doctoral studies) in Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science, or a related field. Students about to complete their MSc will also be considered.
* Excellent academic record, showing a strong theoretical/mathematical background and a strong interest in dynamical systems.
* Proficiency in programming (C or Ada/SPARK).
* Excellent communication skills in English (CEFR level C1).

In addition, experience in one of the following fields would be a plus: Set-valued or validated numerics; dynamic programming; formal methods in control; reactive synthesis; professional-grade software development.

Your complete application consists of the following documents, which should be sent as a single PDF file to the email address given below (deadline: Feb 15, 2017):

* CV with photo
* One-page cover letter (clearly indicating available start date as well as relevant qualifications, experience and motivation)
* University certificates and transcripts (both BSc and MSc degrees)
* Contact details of up to three referees
* Possibly an English language certificate and a list of publications

All documents should be in English, with the exception of university certificates and transcripts, which may also be in German. The position is open to applicants worldwide; no special security
clearance necessary.

Priv.-Doz. Dr. habil. Gunther Reissig
Email: gunther2014@reiszig.de, Subject: PhD ref 1777
Web: http://www.reiszig.de/gunther/

University of the Armed Forces Munich, Germany
Department of Aerospace Engineering
Institute of Control Engineering

Risk taking and Power of Numbers by: Adolf T. Sabiiti

Banking is medium of trust and without trust the banking sector cannot survive.

The poor keep their money in the banks on saving account since they do not trust each other; they lack investment ideas/ventures and have no knowledge of business opportunities around them. They fear taking any risk. In other words they are risk averse and they do not know that ’The greatest Risk is Never to Risk’’. The rich keep their money on current account. The rich borrow the poor person’s money from banks at an average interest rate of 20% per annum and use this money to invest and earn more from risk taking hence making the rich richer and the poor poorer in the long run.  Since banks are trusted by the poor and willing to take risks with other people’s money that are willing to save with them, the poor man is only paid an average interest of 2% per annum on savings in Uganda. The poor person lacks knowledge of treasury bills, fixed deposits, capital markets and any other financial information to use to multiply his/ her little resources.

At Eight Tech we resolved that we shall only borrow money when we want to invest in productive ventures and the best institution to borrow from is that one regulated by Central bank. Borrowing money from a finance institution comes as a last resort after failing to get interest free loans from colleagues, business partners, and relatives.

We encourage each member at Eight Tech family and any other institution to always develop trust and pay debts promptly or on time. Once friends, relatives or workmates know that you are a trusted person, they will always be willing to lend you interest free money and this increases disposable income.

Avoiding money lenders is very critical since they charge high interest rates and make people poorer.

Power of Numbers

Banks survive on power of numbers by having different individuals or institutions saving with them. We need to always encourage people to be united as leaders right from family unit; the more empowered people are the better for our country and society.

For Example: ‘’Alone I can say but together we can talk’’

‘’Alone I can enjoy but together we can celebrate’’

‘’ Alone I can smile but together we can laugh’’

Always ask yourself before joining any group.

What are the benefits of joining any group socially, financially, spiritually and In terms of networking? If you find no value, do not join since it even takes away the little resources that you have. Time is very critical and must be spent well in any group.

At Eight Technologies we are a family of twenty one people and we formed a savings society where nineteen (19) members, each one saves 200,000 monthly.  We have an investment we need to undertake in 2020 after saving for five years and we do not need to use borrowed funds since we can leverage on the numbers. Below is an illustration of our projection based on the current numbers at Eight Tech Ltd:

 

YEAR Members Amount Monthly Cumulative Annually
1 19 200,000 3,800,000 45,600,000
2 19 200,000 3,800,000 91,200,000
3 19 200,000 3,800,000 136,800,000
4 19 200,000 3,800,000 182,400,000
5 19 200,000 3,000,000 228,000,000

This is what numbers can do, nineteen persons saving Uganda shilling two hundred twenty eighty million in five years. On average each will have saved 12,000,000 (twelve million Uganda shilling only). Currently we have entered our second year in savings and none has defaulted since we have all learnt the benefits of numbers and timely payment of bills or commitments. We are now planning to start investing in treasury bills, real estate or lending amongst ourselves at only 1.5% per month on declining basis. We also agreed  that at the end of fifth year each member will bring capital from other sources to our society of Ugx 15,000,000 (Uganda shilling fifteen million only) and this will translate to additional capital of Ugx 285,000,000/=.

Five Years Savings Additional  Capital from Members        Total
228,000,000 285,000,000 513,000,000

We also assumed that the money saved monthly will be invested to cater for inflation and other costs.

At Eight Tech we hope and believe in power of numbers and with our Ugx 513,000,000 at the end of fifth year we shall be able do our business venture without paying any bank interest on loans.  The time to come together is now or never and forms a saving group with common goal! As the saying goes’’ There is no better time to do something than right now since your future will always be filled with challenges’’. We believe that you can save whichever amount you have.  People do not need to be friends to each other to do business but only need to agree and look at returns in form of dividends in the longrun. Integrity, honesty, trustworthy and commitment is the key for the power of numbers to work and we have learnt this very well at Eight Tech. People have a lot of money but due to lack of integrity and trust they would rather keep in banks or under their pillows. I believe you have had of stories where our brothers and sisters in Diaspora have sent money to relatives to build for them houses but only to come back and find nothing on ground. These relatives keep sending nice pictures of other people’s houses showing progress on construction in order to get more money and cheat. Where did trust and ethical conduct go in our modern society?

Fourteen months back, it was hard to start  our savings society as people used to tell us you cannot .We can do all things once we have passion and zeal as the bible says “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me Phil 4:13’’

We have trained ourselves in the way we want to be in the next five (5) years and once we achieve our objective we shall only aim higher and expand our horizon or Portifolio.

Saving is a sacrifice not because you have a lot, if you can’t save 5,000/= while earning 100,000/= you may not save 50,000/= while earning 1,000,000/= because human needs keep on changing as our income levels increase.

We have learnt that those who tell you it can’t be done have always been around, but throughout history, progress has always come from those who said it could be done.  Kahlil Gibran said ‘‘The significance of a man is not in what he attains but in what he longs to attain”. Start up something small in 2017; you never know it may be your turning point!

Authored by: Adolf T. Sabiiti

+256754280306/ 782368387

Finance Director at Eight Tech Consults

Eight tech face lifts its website

Eight tech consults limited has unveiled its new online face to the public after the management felt the old website had served well but there was need to update to the technologies of the time and ensuring the websites responsiveness across all devices since the times demand for accessibility across all platforms and smaller devices account for a higher share of internet access and web searches.

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